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Jessica and Rob met in college in Pennsylvania and it was, as they say, love at first sight. Jessica even called her best friend proclaiming that she had found “The One”. However, it took awhile for Rob to actually ask Jessica out, so their relationship grew deeper as friends before he finally had the courage to call her up to make sure she arrived home safely one night – and follow that up with the question she had been waiting for. Years later, and a move to Washington DC together, their wedding day had finally arrived!

Jessica and Rob were married at the DACOR Bacon house in DC and the weather Gods were smiling down since we had such spectacular weather for a memorial day weekend in DC! Rob arrived ready and got to relax in the house with his fellas, while Jessica got pampered and prepped downstairs with her girls by her side…

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They decided to opt for a first look so that we would have lots of time for yummy formals. So after some last minute primping by both…
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It was time to see one another for the last time as a fiances!

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We spent some time around the local area taking some portraits, and then Jess and Rob had a few moments alone to collect their thoughts and cool off before their ceremony.

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I love how beautiful and unique their reception was! Their ceremony was in the courtyard, and they had a buffet style reception, with various stations set up throughout the inside of the house and the courtyard, so their guests could really enjoy the beauty of the historical manse while also enjoying the beauty of the outdoors. It was also so informal and relaxing. Truly a beautiful event!

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They had cheesecake for dessert instead of the traditional cake, and then simply danced the night away!

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Their favors were adorable cookie cutters and cookies in the shape of the Disctrict…
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Way to incorporate their new hometown and the place of their marriage! Congratulations and SO MUCH LOVE to you both, Rob and Jessica!

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The days leading to the wedding were rainy so when I woke up this Friday, I was excited to see it was Sunny and warm and NOT humid – a miracle for late June in Virginia. Shawn and his boys; most Fraternity Brothers from his days at CNU, were at the hotel prepping and reminiscing about the crazy things they’ve done and how Shawn and Kerian met that fateful Atlantic City day. Kerian even provided the same bottle of alcohol they shared the night they met. Shawn was not nervous at all as he dressed and wrote his vows into the book Kerian delivere in her love package – muscle shirt included.

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The scene was set as all the flowers were in bloom at Morais and their friends and family were waiting anxiously for the moment that Shawn and the beautiful Kerian would lock eyes as she turned the corner down the aisle. There were no tears, only excited grins on both of their faces. Not the story as he spoke those vows to his new wife. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as both the couple and guests all spilled a tear, which was quickly replaced with a squeal of joy when Kerian exclaimed “I’m a wife!” as Shawn slipped that wedding ring on her finger.

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We then took advantage of the sprawling grounds to capture portraits of the bridal party and some super fun signs Kerian’s mom made for each of their friends.

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Of course portraits amongst the vineyards are a must have. Look how gorgeous and in love these two are!!

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The ballroom inside Morais was immaculately decorated and stunning. The wedding cake was fit for a princess, and topped with a castle. The first dances got so emotional and it was bittersweet to see Kerian tear up dancing with her father, and to see Shawn’s mother get so emotional as well. Happy tears all around.

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No better way to end this wedding than some wedding bling and walking off into the sunset.

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Congratulations Shawn and Kerian!

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Y’all, I do not like to cook. At all. I do it out of necessity and only because its healthier for my kids and cheaper than eating out or ordering in all of the time. Plus, we’re trying this crazy thing called Clean Eating – and by we I mean me – and that’s almost impossible to do at restaurants these days. Point of this story you ask? Since I hate cooking, I don’t practice or study it and therefore kinda stink at it. And by kinda I mean totally. My poor family eats a lot of chicken. A LOT OF CHICKEN. And this morning it was pancakes. Made from scratch (in this house, Bisquick counts as scratch). And I added fruit, like bananas. Yummy! How could I mess that up you ask? The cooking part of course.

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I ate the well done ones, don’t worry. Ahh, the sacrifices we make for our kids…yummy burnt pancakes. Delish! <sob>

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Talk about an easy commute and a dream wedding! A few weeks ago I had the privilege of working with Ali of Ali McLaughlin Photography at Heritage Hunt Country Club – literally 5 minutes from my home! Together we documented the glowing Shauna as she promised eternity to Brandon and their families were blended into a new fivesome. Shauna’s lace dress was seriously envy worthy….and she was so relaxed as she got her hair and makeup done! Shauna sported an elaborate updo (which is super gorgeous and very pinnable!) and check out that spread of makeup Kristin brought with her. I’ve been in this industry for almost 8 years and haven’t seen this much makeup before. I was drooling – over that and her details. They were all DIY and gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous!! Then Shauna’s bridesmaids helped her get dressed. It was almost time!

I snuck over to Marsh Manson where the guys were getting ready to get a few shots of them, including one of Brandon opening his gift from Shauna 😉 The guys and I headed back and the ceremony began. I love that Shauna and Brandon asked the singer from their church to sing at their ceremony, and they also incorporated a foot washing ceremony into their nuptials. Always God first, right? Such a tender moment to document. Vows, promises and rings were exchanged and the first kiss was such a tender witness of their love.

Ali and I then snuck Shauna outside for some Bridal Portraits to capture her beauty and that of Heritage Hunt and the beauty of Haymarket. Finally as the sun set, the party began in the Grand Hall, where more of their personality shown through in DIY details and their fun photobooth. Shauna and Brandon had such a sweet first dance, and tore up the dance floor after that! Shauna was even challenged by her son to a dance off, and I have to proudly say that she dominated! Way to show up for the mom’s Shauna!! 😉

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Congratulations again Mr. and Mrs. Rop. Thanks to you and Ali for allowing me to share in this special day and I wish you much joy and a blessed marriage.

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Venue- Heritage Hunt Country Club, Gainesville, VA
Wedding Coordinator- Kimberly Esteban at Heritage Hunt
Photographer- Ali McLaughlin Photography
Assistant Photographer- The Hill Studios
Dress- David’s Bridal
Mens Suits and Shoes- Men’s Wearhouse
Flowers- Robin Suda
Makeup Artist- Kristin Mastrangelo @ BritinArtistry
Hair- Lexi McLaughlin Hair & Makeup
DJ- Incredible DJ’S
Invitations and Paper goods- Terra Gilley, Bride’s sister

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I’m so busy right now working on the aesthetic of everything; my blog, website, my house, my life. I keep pushing away what I should be really focusing on in my life because I know it’s going to be so intense and hard and just plain work and I instead just want to focus on the light and pretty and easy.

But at this moment, as I’m looking for the right picture and the right wording for the main header on my blog, I suddenly feel compelled to write and so I’m letting the spirit overtake me and here we go. A few months back I was introduced to a fellow photographer who I ended up hiring to record my promo video – Megan Kelsey Marcus. During our conversations we were excitedly discussing her upcoming nuptials and my newly discovered marital problems. My husband is not a Christian – and my Faith is a huge part of my identity – and she asked me my feelings on being unequally yoked. I don’t know that I’ve ever let it bother me; I’ve always felt that I should lead by example and just be a good Christian and if that leads people to the Lord then thats all well and good, right? WRONG! Something Megan said to me during that lunch really resonated with me and I feel like she was a vessel for the Lord that day.

We are supposed to pray for one another constantly. Pray that everyone finds God, and not only that, but help lead them there, not just by our actions but by inviting them by asking them if we can pray for and with them. Inviting them to church. Inviting them to study the bible with us. In essence, lead by example by leading them with us instead of just doing and hoping they follow along.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit..”
Matthew 28:19 (NSV) 

Consider this my invitation to join me in church, at my weekly Wednesday bible study, or if you need me to pray for or with you, reach out to me and I will happily do so.

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Go Ye Therefore

 

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