Tag Archives: baltimore bride

6 reasons why you should do an engagement session!

As we head into engagement season (yes, it’s a thing – this Vogue article made me laugh!), I wanted to share my top 5 reasons why engagement sessions are so valuable… since after being in this industry for awhile, I’ve answered all of the questions below and you might be wondering the same thing!

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  • “Do we really need an engagement session? We already have our save the dates designed so we don’t need them for that.”
  • “We were going to have Uncle John/my best friend/my brother take them because they can’t wait to try out the new camera they just got and have taken a few photos of us before…”
  • “We have a really tight budget. Can we eliminate them from our wedding package to save money?”
  • “My fiance really isn’t going to be into it…”
  • “I’d rather have my teeth cleaned than stand and pose in front of the camera with a stranger.”

    Hold on, I NEED TO STOP THIS LIST RIGHT THERE and say this:
    I can promise you by the end of our session I’ll have you laughing, snuggling up and holding hands more naturally than you ever thought possible. Strangers will be smiling at you (if we’re in a more public place) and I will be cheering you on as you feel silly and laugh yet look like you belong on the cover of the magazine that would exist if GQ and Vogue merged into one fancypants stylish publication for BOTH of you.

I love engagement sessions with my couples!! I think they are so valuable to our entire experience together that they are complimentary in all of Urban Row Photography’s wedding packages. My goal is to always give you the most enjoyable experience and professional coverage for your wedding day and I don’t want to give you anything less than my best!

  1. Our time together during an engagement session functions like a rehearsal for your wedding portraits!

    That’s right… the rehearsal for your wedding day *photos* happens months in advance of the actual rehearsal dinner fun. 😉 The connection we make helps me learn the quirks and unique gestures that you and your fiance have together; it helps both of you become comfortable around me and in front of the camera. This helps me capture you both in the most natural, flattering and authentic poses at both the session as well as your big day!

    Helpful hint: if you really want it to feel like a true dry run, try coordinating your session with your hair and makeup trials; it will allow you the chance to see how they show up in photos and BONUS… you’ll feel extra glamorous and confident! 🙂

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  2. The timing for an engagement session is generally early on in the process when stress levels are low and excitement is high. (#whycanteverydaybelikethat?)

    It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the wedding day details, planning, guest count decisions, etc, that another reason I enjoy engagement sessions is that it’s time for you and your love to be in the moment with each other with no additional stress of the next planning deadline to occur or finding time to make sure you are in touch with Aunt Martha from California.  It’s just you two in a place that’s full of meaning to you!

    Helpful hint: the location of your session is next in importance to taking engagement photos in the first place!! This is where the fun begins! Are you envisioning an urban look to your photos? Maybe downtown along the waterfront?

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    What about exploring a historic cobblestoned street?

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    Or a more natural garden aesthetic?

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    Maybe a local flower farm?

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    golden, glowing love on a farm

    Or a cozy, woodland look?

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    rainy days can be just as gorgeous!

    Or a timeless and classic historic mansion?

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    a timeless and classic engagement at Hampton Mansion

  3. This moment in time is unlike one that will ever happen again. It’s the beginning of your family’s love story.

    Think about it; your life’s path has now been forever altered in the best way possible. You deserve to to have gorgeous, timeless photos to share and show to your loved ones years from now. Sharing how you both looked, felt and even what you wore when you officially began your journey together is so important. It’s not a phase or a season you’ll ever get back and I’m pretty sure your kids will love looking through your engagement photos while hearing you tell your version of the proposal story. Heck, I’ve heard my parents story 17 times but I’ve yet to see a photo from that period in their lives… and I so wish I could!

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  4. Bringing your pet to the wedding may not be feasible. So furry friends are welcome at your engagement shoot and actually… ENCOURAGED!

    Your little fur-baby plays such a large part in your life and they are generally absent on your big day for logistical reasons (although I’d LOVE it if they were there! Who is planning to have their pet included in their wedding day and/or ceremony!? Let’s TALK!!).  So, I love when my couples include some time during their engagement photos to involve their pets. Let’s be honest, when was the last time all 3 of you got behind the camera together? Those first ‘family’ photos become just as important a keepsake as your wedding ones!

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    pups always steal the show!

    Helpful hint: feel free to bring Max with you but since dogs aren’t able to understand all the benefits of a 60-90 minute engagement shoot, plan to have a family member or friend available to hand them off to once we’ve taken some key shots. 😉

  5. My FAVORITE compliments following engagement sessions are from the grooms telling me how they weren’t expecting to have so much fun during the shoot!

    I sometimes receive comments from my brides that the groom-to-be is a little bashful or uncomfortable in front of the camera.  Well, this is obviously a GREAT reason to have the session. Practice makes perfect, right? It’s a wonderful test run in front of the camera looking into each others eyes and forgetting about everything else.  My job is to make this easy for you and capture those easily forgotten candid glances, the nose wrinkles when he makes you laugh and then cracks up himself…

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    a Univ. of Maryland College Park engagement

     

  6. Focused time with your bling. Since your fiancé spent a ton of time (and $$$) on it!

    Everyone asks to see the ring once you’re engaged and I love taking a few moments to showcase your new sparkly bits! New, antique, unique, I love seeing them all and learning more about your proposal story and why that specific ring was chosen by your fiancé.

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These are just a few reasons why I not only enjoy capturing your love during the time you’re an engaged couple, but also why I feel it is so, so important.  Just like our first meeting, the engagement session is a powerful way for our relationship to grow as we gear up for your wedding.  We spend so much time together on your wedding day, it’s almost fitting that we have a fun photo ‘date’ before the big day!
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a Federal Hill park engagement

xo,
Naomi
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nicole + bryan | american visionary art museum wedding | baltimore wedding photographer

It’s hard to describe how much of a connection I felt with Nicole + Bryan as I got to know such wonderful people… I miss them so much now that their day is over, but luckily, have these photos to share and relive each and every adorable moment, expression and glance! Their love is so genuine and gentle, honest and playful… throughout their engagement and wedding day, it was so obvious how in love they are and perfect for each other!!

We chatted about our love for Charm City during our first meeting, laughed our way along the waterfront during their engagement photos (and here, see their feature on United with Love!) and made the most of their incredibly romantic and elegant wedding day at the American Visionary Art Museum – one of my FAVORITE places in Baltimore!

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Never let a drizzly day get you down… these moments go to show you how much fun umbrellas and diffused light can be!

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but first… I’m stilllllllll SWOONING over Nicole’s details!

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These gifts from Bryan were so thoughtful and classic!

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My color happy heart loved how their drinks matched their Le Rose robes!

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Bryan and his groomsmen were so fun to capture – they couldn’t stop laughing and telling jokes but yet looked so perfectly dapper while doing so!

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The definition of the most fun, vibrant, playful, iconic and unique wedding venue in Baltimore! AVAM never disappoints!!!

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This may be one of my favorites of the day… absolutely filled with pure joy!!!

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I loved how perfectly Nicole chose bridesmaid dresses that coordinated with the American Visionary Art Museum’s mosaic colors!! And then her sister/MOH’s dress being patterned yet in the same color family – so fun, unique and a dress that can be worn again…? win, Win, WIN!

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We made sure to have time to sneak upstairs without guests seeing us before the ceremony, to capture more romantic portraits (ps – there can never be enough if you ask me!)… the catwalk of the AVAM has amazing light that pours through the small window openings!

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I love seeing the unique angles my second shooter captures while I’m down on the ground and in the ceremony action! How many couples can say their ceremony includes a fluffy pink poodle named Fifi, a hot air balloon and an elephant (can you spot them all below?)!

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I can’t get over how GORGEOUS Nicole’s cathedral veil is!! She only wore it during the ceremony since it was drizzling outside during our portrait time… I just love how much more romantic it made this moment!

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I wanted to just bottle up Nicole’s energy, smile, and incredible warmth…!

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Who knew umbrellas made things so romantic? 🙂

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The inside of the JVRC banquet room is such a special space – it doesn’t need much decoration to make it shine! The warmth of the brick was highlighted with some simple uplighting and the exposed wood structure was the perfect backdrop for their elegant ivory and light blue hydrangea tablescapes.

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The speeches were so heartfelt and heartwarming, I just loved seeing Nicole + Bryan reacting to her sister and his best friend’s words! And how neat is that “guest book” idea to use a framed print of Baltimore?!

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These fun and festive wedding guests were absolutely amazing; guest group selfies are my new favorite ‘candid’ reception moment to capture!!

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Is there a contest for cutest grandma dancing photo that I could enter this into? Because I’m pretty sure this one would win… 🙂

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Ice cream, popsicles and the prettiest cake by WinniE’s Bakery add up to one of my favorite cake cutting shots; Nicole + Bryan’s faces say it all!!

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Group photos? I say the larger the better… let’s do this, friends!!
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Rather than using sparklers for their exit, Nicole’s mom planned an exit that used LED wands and allowed for such a fun and interactive way to send off the newlyweds! I loved this ‘Charm Car‘ golf cart that brought us to our iconic night portrait locations!!

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Nicole + Bryan, we absolutely loved having the honor of capturing your day and getting to know you both throughout the process! I hope your honeymoon in Fiji was the relaxing treat you deserved!!! Here’s to many, many more years of making charming memories together!

xo,
Naomi

Loved working with this amazing team!! Hope to do it again soon!

Planning: Vanessa Young of JPB Designs
Venue: American Visionary Art Museum
Getting ready location: Royal Sonesta Harbor Court
Ceremony Music: Hill Chamber Music
Wedding Dress + Bridesmaid’s Dresses: David’s Bridal
Shoes: Keds by Kate Spade
Groom + Groomsmen Attire: Jos A Bank
MD Flag Socks: Cohen’s
Officiant: Heather Saul
Hair: Liz Shields
Makeup: Amber Sgueo
Catering: Rouge
Cake: WinniE’s Bakery
Invitations: Kindly RSVP
Guest Shuttle Transport: Trolley from Extraordinar Limo
Post Wedding Transport: Charm Cars

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mandi + miles | legg mason wedding | baltimore wedding photographer

I always love to hear the words my couples use to describe their wedding day vision when we meet for the first time… I’ll never forget when Mandi + Miles answered “modern, fun… a really good party for our guests” and oh yeah, a touch of classy rowdiness. 😉 Which is exactly how I’d describe one of the most memorable moments of their Legg Mason Tower wedding (heck probably of our 2017 season): when Mandi ICED Miles…!!!

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And he took it like the champ he is. 🙂

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Since their first date was in July and they got engaged lakeside in Orlando in July, they obviously had to get married in July. To have a July wedding in Baltimore takes a certain tolerance for heat and humidity, but this year was different: it was absolutely beautifully temperate with a slight breeze off the water.

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Hold up… let’s backup to the start of the day with the most exquisite Martina Liana wedding dress, rich emerald details and the BEST groomsmen gifts ever!

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Custom personalized bobbleheads for the win!!!

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When it was time for the first look, the sun was out, and so were the most adorable lovebirds…

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A wedding at the Legg Mason Tower in Harbor East means incredible harbor views out of the glass walls and a ballroom easily transformed into an intimate and romantic space with the use of draping, beautiful uplighting and patterned table linens that pulled it all together.

 

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Charlotte, you seriously give Mandi a run for her money with your sense of style!!

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Speaking of style… #squadgoals x 1,000!!

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In case you wanted me to try, I don’t have enough words to describe how hard the ladies of Lemon & Lime Event Design worked to setup the 180+ calligraphy-ed champagne escort cards (gorgeously done by mlc design!) quietly in a matter of minutes… they are wedding wizards and always laughing, smiling and dancing throughout the organized chaos! I love, love, love working with them and can’t recommend them enough. To all of my #urpbrides, do yourself a favor and HIRE THEM.

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Capturing Grandmas that party: reason #32,798 why I love this job.

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Another vendor recommendation comin’ at ya: Go-Go Gadjet will ROCK your party and keep people talking about the *concert* I mean… wedding dance party they attended, for MONTHS to come!!! They were insanely entertaining but I’ll spare you more words about the drum show part of their performance and instead, let the photos speak for themselves. 😉

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Congratulations again Mandi + Miles!!! We loved being a part of your wedding day and can’t wait to get you back in front of the camera next July for your anniversary photos… think Go Go Gadjet’s free to do a mini anniversary concert? 🙂 Thanks for being so much fun, so carefree and so in love… cheers to keeping the party going for many, many years to come!

xo,
Naomi

the best vendor team in all the land:
venue: Legg Mason Tower | Harbor Events
planning + design: Lemon + Lime Event Design
production: Event Pro
videography: Just Hitched Wedding Films
band: Go Go Gadjet
flowers: Steelcut Flower Co.
wedding paper goods: minted and mlc designs
wedding dress: Martina Liana
dress boutique: Garnish Boutique
bridesmaid dresses: Bella Bridesmaids Baltimore
groom’s attire: Tuxedo House
dessert: Flavor Cupcakery
hair and makeup: Up Do’s for I Do’s
photo booth: Bmore GIF Lab
linens/rentals: Select Event Group
ceremony music: Hill Chamber Music

 

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4 new Baltimore wedding venues you need to know about…

What’s the one wedding trend I’ve seen more and more of lately and am very happy to have it stick around? Spaces full of character, texture, custom details and just the right amount of urban grit to keep it real… I’m talking about unique industrial wedding venues with a hint of sweet romance.

View More: http://urbanrowphoto.pass.us/acceleratorspacestyledshoot

Unique details. Memorable views. Natural light from expansive windows or skylights. Historic architecture (think warehouses, mills, lofts, galleries, breweries and greenhouses!). The fabric of a vibrant city.

Where are all my off-beat, industrial, boho chic loving brides and couples? If you can’t get enough of the exposed brick, mixed metal, quarried stone, worn wood/concrete floors and adaptive reuse vibe, you’re going to love these new wedding venue gems! Heck, if we could get married all over again, it would absolutely be at one of these amazing spots!

These spaces are complete blank canvases waiting to have your story and personality infused into them – whether you go the minimalist route leaving them bare and raw or dress them up for a moody, luxuriously lush feel, you really can’t go wrong!!

Church & Company’s NEW venue: Picker House @ Mill No. 1

This intimate event space is coming soon and is going to be breathtaking… just like the other incredible spaces the Church & Company team renovates and breathes new life into. Filled with exposed structure, stone walls and gorgeous views of the Jones Falls, this venue will have you constantly having to remind yourself that yes, you’re still in Baltimore… 😉 one of Charm City’s hidden gems of an event space, for sure!!

The outdoor spaces are perfect for a small ceremony in the cobblestone courtyard followed by a cocktail hour overlooking the river…

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The Assembly Room

In the heart of downtown Baltimore, this large (24,000 SF!) yet flexible industrial space is currently being renovated to host weddings, intimate gatherings and innovative events. It will be available to host events starting in January 2018!

In a previous life, the space was home to the bar, Hammerjack’s. Now under new management and ownership, the space will be cleaned up and refinished, but all of the natural light pouring in from above and exposed brick walls will remain.

Working with a space of this size offers so many ways to customize your event. The building is essentially 2 large areas with separate entries off the street (great for guest arrival!) that can be divided up as necessary. You could easily have your ceremony and cocktail hour on one side and reception on the other… there are still going to be 2 bar areas, one on each side!

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The photo below (left) shows the space above what would most likely be your reception. And that ‘stage’ in the right photo is the perfect ceremony spot (once repainted and cleaned up)! Think lush florals, greenery, draping… the possibilities are truly endless.

I also love that there are rooms on the upper floor that are going to be the perfect bridal suite setup – separate spaces for both the bride and groom to get ready in and not risk seeing each other, yet close enough for your photographer (heeyyyyyy!) to capture both parties easily under one roof. 😉

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While touring the space as renovations were underway, I was able to head up to the outdoor rooftop area. This space while AWESOME and huge, with great views of downtown, won’t be ready to occupy right away. It’ll eventually be another unique space to take photos and maybe even have a rooftop ceremony and cocktail hour… how many other Baltimore wedding venues offer that!?!

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Main Street Ballroom

Almost a year ago now (WHAT?!), I had the pleasure of working with Kate, the owner of Main Street Ballroom in Ellicott City, MD at an open house for her new wedding and event space. I absolutely love that the venue celebrates open, honest and friendly policies and is inclusive to all! The space is full of rustic, industrial elegance and showcases all the charm and character that is unique to historic Ellicott City: stone foundation walls, polished concrete floors, bright and elegant barn doors, shiplap walls and large, industrial corner windows – all elements that come together to create a blank slate ready for your creative vision!

View More: http://urbanrowphoto.pass.us/mainstballroomoverall

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…and the neutral painted exterior walls and tucked away alley street make for gorgeous portrait locations! Recently the outdoor patio was completed with a fireplace nestled against the stream that runs alongside the building… imagine a cozy fall wedding sipping hot mulled wine outside on the patio under twinkling stars and cafe lights…

View More: http://urbanrowphoto.pass.us/mainstreetballroommeghansean

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Accelerator Space

This wedding and event venue just north of the heart of Baltimore is near and dear to my heart. I live a few blocks away and am amazed at the transformation it has undergone from an old car dealership to a kitchen incubator space on the ground floor (hey, B-More Kitchen friends!) and an event space up above, aptly titled the Accelerator Space!

The ‘wild and free’ styled shoot I designed and photographed was recently featured on Baltimore Bride and I couldn’t be more proud to have worked with a dream team of vendors, including Moore & Co Event Stylists, Eleven Courses Catering and Blush Floral Design Studio!

View More: http://urbanrowphoto.pass.us/acceleratorspacestyledshoot

White walls, exposed structure, original wood floors, the BEST natural light and an amazing restored machinery element hanging near the main entrance to the space are just some of the gorgeous touches found in the space. The exterior patio right off of the event space is enclosed with warm ipe wood and can easily host a small ceremony and/or your cocktail hour.

View More: http://urbanrowphoto.pass.us/acceleratorspacestyledshoot

View More: http://urbanrowphoto.pass.us/acceleratorspacestyledshoot

Contemporary exterior signage and blue painted brick walls form a strong wayfinding element along the side of the building and speaking of walls, my favorite wall treatment (maybe ever?) can be found on the metal feature wall within the space – restored from a local area barn, the metal panels are SO fun as a backdrop for portraits and even more amazing in person!

View More: http://urbanrowphoto.pass.us/bmorekitchenexteriorsignage

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If you love the feel of a historic space that has been transformed with modern amenities and will allow you to craft a unique vision that will leave your guests wowed and overwhelmed by how far Baltimore has come, these 4 new spaces should be added to your list of wedding venues to consider and TOUR!

*Fun fact: as a recovering architect/designer, venue tours are my favorite…* 😉

Once you’ve toured them and appreciated them for yourself, I would be honored to share my creative vision with you and photograph a wedding day that is as unique as your story and relationship!

xo,
Naomi

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mary pat + jonathan | cylburn arboretum engagement | baltimore wedding photographer

I always love when couples with a deep connection to Baltimore, return here to get married. It reminds me of our love story a bit: planning a September wedding from afar, where the main goal is for everyone to have fun!!

Mary Pat is originally from Baltimore and still has a large amount of extended family in the area. These lovebirds currently live in Boston, so when I found out they’re working with Courtney of Moore & Company Event Stylists to help execute their wedding day vision, I knew this was going to be not only a fun wedding for their guests, but a rewarding and amazing experience to be a part of as their wedding photographer!cylburn-arboretum-baltimore-engagement_0005
With a love of being outdoors, Mary Pat and Jonathan’s Cylburn Arboretum engagement session was such a gorgeous location to capture their joy and adorable love! Not to mention, how amazing is Mary Pat’s coral dress?! It was the perfect pop of vibrant color among all of the light pink crepe myrtles and greenery.cylburn-arboretum-baltimore-engagement_0003cylburn-arboretum-baltimore-engagement_0012cylburn-arboretum-baltimore-engagement_0006
Cylburn’s historic mansion is one of my favorite pieces of architecture in Charm City; both elegant and approachable, it is surrounded by the most colorful and lush gardens.cylburn-arboretum-baltimore-engagement_0011cylburn-arboretum-baltimore-engagement_0007cylburn-arboretum-baltimore-engagement_0001cylburn-arboretum-baltimore-engagement_0008cylburn-arboretum-baltimore-engagement_0009cylburn-arboretum-baltimore-engagement_0002I had the best time getting to know you both a bit more and love that you were such troopers as we strolled around the arboretum on one of the hottest nights of the summer! I can. not. wait. for your wedding at Frederick Douglass Maritime Park in Fells Point… kicking off the start of a busy fall wedding season at a waterfront ceremony on the pier is my kind of idea of wedded bliss!!cylburn-arboretum-baltimore-engagement_0013cylburn-arboretum-baltimore-engagement_0010cylburn-arboretum-baltimore-engagement_0014cylburn-arboretum-baltimore-engagement_0015Cheers to officially starting married life together on the water among cool breezes and golden sunsets… so honored and excited to capture your wedding day!!

xoxo,
Naomi

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accelerator space | industrial chic wedding | baltimore wedding photographer

I’ve been waiting (not very patiently I might add) to share this dream come true of a styled shoot with you and I’m so excited to finally show off the incredibly creative team that came together at the Accelerator Space! Ever since I stepped foot inside, I knew it would be an amazing space to capture – I couldn’t be more excited for all of the newly engaged couples that will find themselves getting married here!

Here’s a quick sneak peek for now… all of the details will be coming soon in future posts, with featured vendor spotlights so you can learn more about what makes these fabulous professionals so passionate about the work they do. Speaking of passionate entrepreneurs, if you like delicious food, don’t miss out on the goodness that is found just beneath the Accelerator Space: B-More Kitchen. Baltimore’s food incubator is just as inspiring! See more from my time with the chefs, here and here.

If the suspense is killing you, you might want to check out our ‘wild + free’ feature up on Baltimore Bride! 😉

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The inspiration for this shoot came from the idea of contrasting the history and character of the previous life of the Accelerator Space as a car dealership/warehouse (mixed metals, glass, bold, clean lines) with a variety of lush, geometric greenery to balance the mixed metal elements and celebrate a late springtime love. Because if there’s one thing I can’t get enough of, it’s a combination of texture, greenery and soft romantic details!!

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fun fact: Anthony is my better half in many ways, but especially when it comes to styling details, tablescapes and hand modeling!! I’m not even joking one bit.

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Cheers to celebrating together in a space full of history, character, and loads of light… just like the story of the two of you.

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photography + design: Urban Row Photography
planning + styling: Moore & Co Event Stylists
draping: 27 Studios
bride + groom’s attire: K&B Bridals
jewelry/accessories: Faye Daniel Designs
air plants: B Willow
concrete planters: 3 Angles
napkins: Moss & Surf
table, chairs, cutlery: White Glove Rentals
wooden cutting boards: Words with Boards
stationery: Tomahawk Design Co.
stamps: Verde Studio

 

 

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liz + steven | university of maryland | college park engagement | baltimore wedding photographer

So much of Liz and Steven’s love story can be found in Maryland even though they currently live in Atlanta; having attended high school and college together, their love has steadily grown over the years. It was an absolute joy to explore the campus while hearing all about their memories as students. These sweethearts are University of Maryland Terp fans through and through!!

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How cute are they?! Golden locks and glowing laughs while enjoying a perfect summer night on your alma mater’s turf… pretty sure it doesn’t get much better than this!

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We found our way up to their season ticket seats within the stadium and took a few minutes to revel in the fact that we had the stadium all to ourselves – it was pretty incredible!!

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It was so much fun to see them having fun on their home turf, where it all began…

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The light at the stadium was absolutely gorgeous, but it was time to explore the rest of campus!

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I was in awe of all of the gorgeous spots we found together – and every time, these two got cuter and cuter with their expressions!

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We ended at the M… for Maryland or Marriage, I’ll let you decide. 😉

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I adored our time together and am so looking forward to your wedding in Baltimore next June! Cheers, lovebirds!

xo,
Naomi

 

 

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