Archive for May, 2012

May 09, 2012

With wedding season kicking in full gear I thought it’d be fun to share with you my grandparents’ wedding story.  My grandfather had always said that my grandmother proposed to him. :) I wanted to hear her side of that story and find out all the details that went into their wedding back on June 17, 1950.

My grandparents had met through mutual friends when my grandfather got out of the service.  The first “date” they ever had was when he came over to my grandmother’s and showed her his photo album of his time overseas.  He played cards with her parents and they called it a night.  Little did they both know that they would marry three years later.   I asked how Mom Mom finally got her ring.  “He had already proposed 3 or 4 times, and I said no,” she explained.  “But one day I got a phone call that my Dad was in the hospital and I came in to visit him and don’t you know your grandfather was in the hospital too!”  My grandfather worked for Sunshine Laundry and there was actually a bad explosion at the laundry mat so he coincidentally was there at the same time.  “He knew I would go and visit him.  When I saw him in his hospital bed I told him ‘you gotta hurry up and get out of here so we can get married’.  Then he finally fell asleep from the anesthesia he had been fighting til he could get to see me.”  Pop Pop chimed in, “She knew a good thing when she saw it!” Then he gave Mom Mom a wink as she laughed. “He was very convincing!”  So in a sense, I guess my Mom Mom did propose to him. :)  She went with him to pick out her diamond and they were married three months later.  The ham in the photograph below is me at my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary in 2000.

She picked out a pattern for her dress and for her bridesmaid’s dresses and had them made at Benjamin’s in Salisbury.  She had a maid of honor and two bridesmaids and he had his best man.  I asked her what the traditional items were and she said something borrowed + old was her bridesmaid Dot’s lipstick, something new was her wedding dress and something blue was a ribbon on her girdle.  They didn’t have a first dance but they had close to 300 guests at their reception which was held at her parent’s house right across the road from the church.  They were married at Washington Methodist Church in Shad Point, Maryland.  The church has now been moved to the other side of the road.

She still has her wedding shoes.

Their cake was actually a gift from her cousin who lived in DC.  “My dad picked it up in his Buick and it actually slid on the way home and 1 side of it got messed up.  But Mother was a good baker and she fixed it right up,” Mom Mom said.   They didn’t have a set plan for their honeymoon but made their way to Pennsylvania to stay in the mountains.  Their honeymoon was about 4 days then they came home.  Another interesting tradition I learned about was keeping a coin in your wedding shoe!  Mom Mom kept hers and told me that when she and my grandfather were cleaning out his mother’s things- they found the coin she kept in her shoe on her wedding day that was given to her by my great-grandfather Fred. :)

I hope I look as beautiful as she did on my wedding day! :)


May 08, 2012

I knew from their e-session and having read their questionnaire that Sunitha + Joe’s wedding was going to be far from ordinary. :)  They had invited over 400 close family members and friends who were traveling from all over the world to share their special day with them.  Sunitha wore a beautiful, embroidered sari and was presented with gold jewelry from her family.  Her mother actually had jewelry crafted for Sunitha using the gold she wore during her wedding.

They were married at the lovely St. John’s Episcopal Church in Ellicott City.  Sunitha and Joe had the tying of the Thali and the placing of the manthrakodi on her head as part of their wedding ceremony.

Sunitha + Joe had a few performances planned for their guests at the reception but little did they know that their ring bearer, Mikey, would be making a guest appearance! :) Your wedding was absolutely amazing and surrounded with love and joy.  I’m so glad that everyone was able to come for your big day and that I was able to share it with you.  I wish you both the best and am so happy for you. :)


May 07, 2012

there are so many decisions and plans when it comes to a wedding – color choices, flowers, flavor of wedding cake, etc. one of the items on the top of my agenda were the songs. I have been surrounded by music since birth – my grandmother was a music teacher for most of her life and both of my parents had large album collections when they met that combined into an impressive collection of everything ranging from broadway musicals and jazz to classical and bluegrass – so my tastes are pretty eclectic and music is a huge part of my life. I think that the songs played throughout a wedding give me a glimpse about my couples and their families that I may not always see through my lens – some are romantic and sentimental, others are classic and upbeat and some just plain hysterical (‘bad to the bone’ anyone?). our choices weren’t very traditional but perfect for us on that day

processional of bridal party: in my life – the beatles

my walk down the aisle: if I had the world to give – the grateful dead

recessional: god only knows – the beach boys

first dance: steady as we go – dave matthews band

father/daughter dance: the way you look tonight – frank sinatra

mel had some fun choices as well…. as she walked out there were celtic bagpipes and her first dance with mike was don’t let me fall by lenka. after shooting over 300 weddings… we have heard it all. while some of the classics are great (who can really hate ‘at last’ by etta james? even if you’ve heard it 1,000 times)  but I prefer original and sometimes offbeat choices because you know that either it’s ‘their song’ or a song that says everything that they feel on that day. so with no further adieu, I have compiled a small list of some of my favorite choices of our fabulous couples!  :)


  • here comes the sun – the beatles
  • viva la vida – coldplay
  • somewhere only we know – keane
  • happy together – the turtles
  • I will – the beatles

first dance:

  • all I want is you – barry louis polisar
  • no place to fall – isabel campbell
  • it must be love – madness
  • harvest moon – neil young
  • come by me – harry connick jr
  • #40 – dave matthews band


father/daughter dance:

  • father and daughter – paul simon
  • daughter – louden wainwright
  • how you’ve grown – 10,000 maniacs

mother/son dance

  • loves me like a rock – paul simon (again!)
  • sweet child o mine – sheryl crow
  • you are my sunshine – ray charles

and when your dad writes you a song just for your wedding day? and performs it at the reception? well it doesn’t get much better than that!

we can’t wait to hear what this season will bring!

May 04, 2012

gina and I had been corresponding for awhile by email when we finally met her and bobby in person at a delaware bridal show and immediately I knew that I wanted to work with them – from their wedding day plans to their enthusiasm and vision for their photos, I thought we’d be a great match. when they suggested assateague for their e-session AND they were bringing their dog bella – I knew my hunch had been correct. although it was… let’s say a tad chilly.. they both looked amazing when I met them at the base of the verrazano bridge (gina deserves mad props for sticking with her cute dresses despite the temperatures!) their first date took place at the bridge where they rode bikes over it and into assateague so it seemed like a perfect place to start. after which we headed to the beach and their playful side came out while I snapped – which I loved!

I had such a blast with you guys and am looking SO forward to wedding day!

May 03, 2012

as is typical in the spring.. rain is always a possibility. what’s they saying? “aprils showers bring may flowers”? and the whole week preceding megan and chris’ wedding it was looking like is was going to be a very wet day. fortunately, with a bride like megan who plans ahead and picks up some cute umbrellas to suit her color scheme, we were prepared. plus, the ceremony and reception were being held indoors so the only thing left to chance were the photos we wanted to take in the park. I got to the hotel to find megan and her ladies in the business of last minute make up touches and getting dressed and megan was one of the calmest brides I’d ever seen – I knew she was easy going from spending time with her during our e-session, but this was her wedding day and all she felt was joy. when I got to the church and found chris hidden in the back with the priest, he too was nothing but smiles and anticipation. the ceremony itself was filled with big laughs, heartfelt sentiments and happy tears and as they exited the church in a shower of flower petals they were one of the happiest couples ever. once we got to the park, we were happy to not need the umbrellas but had fun using them as props. after we finished up the larger group photos, the bridal party went to wait in the bus as I photographed megan and chris. in this large park, bystanders took notice of my happy and gorgeous couple and how could they not? chris has such an amazing laugh that is infectious and hard to miss, it was the first thing I noticed about him the first time we met and it just makes you happy when you hear it! at the reception, at the gorgeous stroga the party continued with some of the best toasts I’ve ever heard and moments between friends and family that was an honor to witness – to say I had a great time is putting it lightly… this wedding was one for the books!

the sexy mother-fluffers get to work :)


love love love this bridal party!!!

  megan you are simply stunning …. and your groom is pretty dapper as well!

 megan and chris, I simply could not have asked for a better day or a more amazing couple to spend it with! I wish you so much love, adventure, happiness and laughter in your life together!

May 02, 2012

It’s no secret that I absolutely love my job.  Photography, my passion for traveling and all of my other hobbies tend to keep my day planner so full that I rarely am home longer than the amount of time it takes to sleep and grab a cup of coffee on my way out the door in the morning.  At times when I begin to feel overwhelmed, I stop and think of how much has changed since my grandmother was a new bride and how fortunate women are to have the choice to either stay home and raise their family or persue their career.   They cooked, cleaned, did laundry, ironed, sewed, canned, baked and the list goes on!  Although being a mom is the hardest job ever (and something I’m looking forward to in the future), I’m grateful that I have opportunities that my grandmother’s generation didn’t necessarily have.  My grandmother and her mom were actually apart of Shadpoint’s Homemakers’ Club. “We would exchange our recipes and play games.  The best part of our homemaker’s club was dessert!  We met in different members’ homes to have our meetings,” Mom Mom said.  “We chatted a lot.  It was our gossip feast.”

 The above photo is of my grandmother’s first cookbook from when she was married placed in a cast iron skillet.  “Mother used to have homemade biscuits on the table every night for dinner,” she explained.  “One of the best meals I ever liked was canned tenderloin from our hogs, homemade applesauce and hot biscuits.”  My grandmother was telling me how her mother used to make yeast rolls during the war and would send her and her two older brothers up and down the street during dinner time and sell them for 50 cents a dozen.  “I was about 12. It was her way of bringing in extra change.”  My great-grandmother used to can beets, string beans, tomatoes, corn, peaches and pepper relish.  We use her recipe to this day and make a new batch of pepper relish every two years.  I’m no Betty Crocker, but with the helping hand of DiGiorno- I make a bangin’ pizza. :)

Now let’s talk about laundry.  You can see my great-grandmother Esther hanging clothes on a line in the snow.  Both of my great-grandmothers used a metal wash bin and washboard (pictured above, right).  My grandfather explained that his mother would make her own soap by using hog fat left over from a hog killing and mix that with lye (a corrosive and poisonous substance they used for cleaning) and then boil it on the stove top.  When it cooled, she took the soap and cut it into squares.  “On Monday mornings, she boiled water and put it in one of the large metal basins.  Then she placed a cake of handmade soap on the wash board and let her clothes soak in the hot water.  Then she’d use both hands and scrub the garments on the washboard.  After that, she put them in her rinse tub and then would wring them out and then pinned them up on the clothesline.  She put two or three cast irons on the stove to heat up so that by the time the clothes were dry she could iron them out,” Pop Pop said.  “You hoped you had a gentle breeze and warm sun.  She’d put all the clothes in her laundry basket and bring them in before dark to iron them.  I remember her always wetting her finger and touching the iron to make sure it was hot enough.  You’d iron with the first one and when it cooled off you’d grab the next one off of the stove.”  Below is the actual laundry basket my great-grandmother Cooper used.

“But what if it rained?” I asked.  “Oh, well that’s when you used this wooden laundry hanger that you kept inside,” Mom Mom said as she pulled out this apparatus that looked more like a torcher device rather than a useful tool. (pictured below)  I couldn’t imagine my laundry taking up most of my day!

My great-grandmothers also sewed and embroidered.  “My mother used to sew dresses and smocks for me.  I remember her hosting and going to quilting bees.  She would set up in her livingroom and ladies from the neighborhood would come to our house and help make a quit,” Mom Mom said.

Times have certainly changed for women over the decades.  I’m glad I can pick up my crochet needles and yarn or try out a new recipe out of leisure instead of necessity.  This is one of the many reasons I am so fond of history. :)

May 02, 2012

I met laura at the what’s up weddings bridal show earlier this year and I knew as soon as I met her and her mother, that I would love working with them! first off, they were just great and she and alber were getting married at a gorgeous venue  – the chesapeake bay enviromental center – and I knew that her vision would be such a great match for our photography. a few weeks ago laura contacted me because she and alber, who live in connecticut, were going to be in maryland for a few days and they wanted to set up their esession. when she mentioned the william paca house as the location, I was so happy – such a beautiful spot. we also took advantage of already being in downtown annapolis and strolled the streets a bit after we wrapped up at the paca house. meeting alber for the first time and seeing them together gave me a glimpse into just how great their wedding is going to be. they were so sweet together and had such an ease, it was like my big camera and I weren’t even there :)

thanks so much for a great day – I’m looking so forward to working with you!