Tag Archives: maryland wedding

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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wedding vendor spotlight | moss & surf, cocktail + dinner napkins | maryland wedding photographer

Happy Monday! Please tell me you got outside and enjoyed the AMAZING Fall weekend we just had?!? Today looks to be the only sunny day for the next week, so what better way to enjoy it than with the start of a new series on the blog!

I’m soooo excited to announce that as a result of meeting and collaborating with so many incredible talented creatives recently AND continually being inspired by how each got their start as an entrepreneur, I’ve decided to share the love and spotlight some of my favorite vendors – especially those you may not know about but should, while you’re planning your wedding (or any special occasion for that matter)!!

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

Our first vendor spotlight feature showcases Moss & Surf, and owner/designer, Susie McQuiddy. I learned of Susie’s talent and gorgeous work while on Instagram (yay for social media bringing people together in tangible ways!) and thoroughly enjoyed working together on a recent styled shoot! Her simply elegant color-block dinner napkins were the perfect touch to the lush greenery; they immediately brought the tablescape to another level as we tied them with fresh green leaves… perfection!

Susie is not only super talented at her handmade craft, she is extremely detail-oriented and invested in providing a product that compliments the exact look or color scheme you’re going for. I could go on and on about how wonderful she and her cocktail and dinner napkins are, but I’ll let the photos and her fun personality, speak for themselves! 😉

What led you to begin a business in entertaining, home goods, textiles and design?

I started MOSS & SURF as a way to combine all of my favorite things – graphic design, modern interiors, home entertaining, fashion trends, photography, and a passion for color! It was also a fantastic way for me to transition back into the real world after my husband and I (and our canine crew member ) traveled and lived aboard our sailboat for 2 1/2 years. The business is a perfect mix of my professional career as a graphic designer/art director and my longtime enthusiasm for creating handmade goods. I learned to sew in grade school while making clothes for my stuffed Snoopy and eventually advanced to sewing a few outfits for myself along with a lot of home decor! When I’m not working on MOSS & SURF, you can find me in the kitchen baking, walking the dog, or out sailing on the Chesapeake! As a side note, MOSS & SURF represents my love of a small family cabin in the woods with my love of the ocean. It’s also my initials…backwards! I’m a one-girl shop and do everything from the designing and sewing to the branding and photography in my small home studio located near the historic downtown of Fredericksburg, Virginia.

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

What is your favorite aspect about working with clients?

I love helping my clients pick just the right colors to match their tableware, home decor, or event theme! Often, my clients will send images of their dinnerware or placemats for inspiration. In one recent case, I worked with my client to select custom napkin colors for an intimate and eclectic home wedding. She sent an array of references including beautiful images of flowers from her garden. All of a sudden, I became a part of the entire wedding planning process – and a makeshift flower consultant too! It was so fulfilling to be able to lend an artistic eye to her overall vision and be a sounding board for her ideas. Even though the relationship started with a few simple questions about colors, it really blossomed into a true friendship!

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

What is one piece of advice you’d share with the bride and groom to keep in mind during the wedding planning process? 

Oh gosh! My husband and I were married at such a young age, my mom took over almost all of the planning. We just sort of went with the flow and showed up on time! But if we did it all over again today, I would just try to enjoy the process and have fun! Don’t stress out about the details too much (I know that’s so much easier said than done!)…and definitely arrange for as many cake tastings as possible!

Where would you go if you were planning a honeymoon right now?

A honeymoon right now sounds wonderful! My husband and I are a bit of adventure seekers, but we also like lounging around too – a little bit of excitement plus a lot of R & R equals pure bliss for us! So, if you’re into scuba diving (or even snorkeling), Cozumel is our favorite! It can get touristy when the cruise ships come to port, but if you stay at a resort specifically for scuba divers, you’re protected from the regular hustle and bustle. Our favorite is Scuba Club Cozumel! It’s safe, secluded, low key, simple yet charming, and very peaceful. You can spend the mornings out on the water and then relax on their tiny private beach the rest of the day. The underwater sites are spectacular – especially if you try a night dive (hello, eels!). It’s not for everyone, but we would go back in a heartbeat!

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

What is your favorite color palette?

This is a tough question since my favorite colors change on a daily basis! However, I’ve been a bit obsessed with a soft, subtle shade of aqua blue lately. I guess it reminds me of the ocean! My number one resource for palettes is Design Seeds. There are so many beautiful combinations it’s hard to pick just one! Subtle teals, pale greys, and muted olive greens are always at the top of my list. But then again, I love strong colors like eggplant, chartreuse, and tangerine too!

Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration in so many things! My go-to sources tend to be Instagram or catalogs and magazines such as Communication Arts, Design Within Reach, and CB2. I’m always on the lookout for interesting color combinations and they can really come from anywhere! It’s funny, I’ve had an image up on my iPhone of a beer label since February…it just makes me happy. It’s from Evil Twin Brewing called Modern IPA and the label is simply an array of beautiful, angled stripes in summery shades of hot pink and orange. I’m planning to make napkins out of this color combination eventually!

{Naomi interrupting here to say how much I LOVE the vibrant design of this can! …and how it just proves so well that inspiration can be found everywhere!!}

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Favorite recent read or must-listen-to podcast?

My husband and I read every night before bed (sometimes I only last for 10 minutes) and I fully admit to being a detective thriller junkie! I just stumbled across an author on Kindle by the name of Joel Goldman. I’m on the third book in his Jack Davis series and will likely read every book he’s written before I switch to something else! I’m also a big fan of NPR – especially IA, Fresh Air, and Science Friday. Music is always on in the background while I work and I love everything from reggae, old school funk, and acid jazz to indie, latin, and electronica. Bob Marley, Thievery Corporation, and Buena Vista Social Club never fail to keep me moving!

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

Any exciting upcoming projects or collaborations we should be on the look out for?

Yes! Besides collaborating with the fabulous team behind the Accelerator Space styled wedding shoot, my napkins recently appeared in a tasting event for Eleven Courses Catering & Event Co. and I’m working on a few small custom napkin projects through my Etsy shop. I’m thrilled to be one of the artists featured on Cultivations (cultivations.com), a beautifully curated online shop for handmade goods designed in the U.S. Everyday is exciting for me and I’m so appreciative of all the opportunities I’ve had since launching MOSS & SURF last July!

I can’t thank Susie enough for sharing her talent and style with me (and us!) – her color combos are always so uplifting and the elegant look and feel to her napkins is something you won’t want your guests to be without!!

Thanks again, Susie! Cheers to an amazing first year for Moss & Surf!!

Stay tuned for our next vendor spotlight… continuing the greenery trend of the handheld variety! 😉
xo, N

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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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