I think DC weddings have got to be my favorite. Actually, DC anything is probably my favorite – I could shoot families (like Sandra and her twin boys!), engagements (like Amber and Matt’s cherry blossom session), or anniversary photos (like Maria and Seth’s National Gallery of Art session), and my heart would be happy, happy, happy. But I think there is something extra special about shooting weddings at the DC War Memorial in downtown DC. Because of its size, having a wedding here means it’s guaranteed to be a small, intimate ceremony, which always makes for such a special experience for me, but more importantly, for my couples and their families and guests. Kim and Chad’s wedding here marked my third time photographing a ceremony at this memorial, with Katie and Scott’s wedding being my first and Macey and Zach’s wedding being my second.
The funny thing is, is that my favorite detail from Kim and Chad’s wedding day is something I didn’t even photograph. They got ready together the morning of their wedding, and asked that this time be kept between just the two of them. I can’t imagine a more serene and special time for these two – to have that time together before the hustle and the bustle, before the photos begin, before the guests arrive, before they are put in the spotlight. They put each other first before it all began, and I think that is a good indication of their future married life.
When I showed up to their downtown DC apartment, it was pouring outside. We went up to their rooftop balcony to see a very faint Washington Monument off in the distance – on a clear day it would have been visible. But Chad and Kimberly smiled through it all! They weren’t going to let a little rain stop their day from being completely joyful. From there, we hopped in a car that took us around to all our favorite monuments on the National Mall: Jefferson, Lincoln, and the Capital building. The rain didn’t slow down until we were almost finished with portraits, but Kim and Chad still looked just as stunning as when I first greeted them. After freshening up, I met them and their families back at the DC War Memorial.
The skies had cleared, and the night was falling quickly. As Kim walked toward the memorial on her father’s arm, candles lit the stairway and their altar. The night surrounded us, but the dome lit up with the dancing light of flickering flames. They exchanged their vows and kissed with such giddiness that I could barely contain my own happiness for them.
We all met up at DGBG for their private reception room, where I joined them for the beginning of their celebrations. Appetizers and drinks were served, and I loved the sweet Disney touches they added to their desserts and decorations. As I bid them farewell that night, they kissed as their families chatted around them. They were surrounded by those most important to them, and they were relaxed, content, and ready to start their new lives as husband and wife, and I left so grateful to have captured it all for them.