From the moment I stepped into the hotel room, I knew Maci’s mom and I were going to be friends. We made a joke about where to hang her dress up, and the rest was history. I had a feeling that Maci’s parents could only be as sweet and kind as she is, and my suspicions proved to be true. Maci and Zach had planned on their wedding ceremony being small and intimate, and for me to be among their closest friends and family that day was a joy. I often hear that we become like the people we surround ourselves with, and that we attract people that are most like us. Maci and Zach’s company were no exception, as everyone there that day showed me, a stranger, so much warmth and welcome. They also showed the bride and groom an even greater abundance of genuine joy and excitement.
This was my first time at the Gaylord National Hotel, which is located right on the Nation Harbor. It set the perfect tone for the day. Sophisticated and classy, yet open and welcoming. I loved being able to be a part of Maci getting ready for the day. She didn’t seem nervous or anxious, just excited to finally be marrying Zach. These two have a long history, including many days spent away from each other. Maci told me that morning that Zach had asked if I would be bringing my daughter Mirabelle again, as I had her with me when I shot their engagement session at the Smithsonian Castle. I got a good laugh out of that, and yet was touched that they had asked about her and remembered her.
Me being the Harry Potter fan that I am, I have to say that my favorite detail of the day was the bride’s gift to her groom: cufflinks with a significant quote from the books, including the date they met and their wedding date. As a photographer that loves romantic portraits, I was thrilled with being able to have a First Look with these two, as well as more alone time with them following their sweet, sweet ceremony. I loved that their wedding day was low-key enough for me to shoot more film. I felt like I had the time to not rush as much and create intentional film portraits, which was really special for me and I hope for them too 🙂