Marriage Matters: 1st Anniversary Session
An anniversary photo shoot captured by Rachel May Photography with calligraphy written vows, a tablescape for two and a bottle of champagne.
Nothing makes us happy like a pretty wedding, but marriage is what it's really all about. Marriage matters, which is why we've started our new series featuring beautiful love stories after the "I do." And this couple is as inspiring as it gets. Their love withstood 7,000 miles and multiple Iraq deployments so you better believe they popped the champagne once their first anniversary rolled around. See their photo session captured by Rachel May in The Vault.
From The Bride... Brian and I had an uphill battle at the beginning of our relationship. We met in Washington, DC while I was working for the State Department and he was working as a government contractor. We had our first date on a Thursday and I deployed to Iraq the following Monday. We kept in touch over email and a very slow Skype connection. I came home and stayed for a year but we knew that I would be deploying again. While we had conversations about not pursuing a relationship knowing I would be overseas again for an entire year, we couldn't help falling in love and committing to making it work.

Brian proposed on my final R&R while we were vacationing in the Dominican Republic. I was home for about one more week before I had to return to Iraq for my final tour; so we started planning our wedding while we were 7,000 miles apart!
Our wedding was in the fall in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. I grew up in the area and knew that a mountain lodge wedding was the perfect fit for us. We focused on a casual but rustically-elegant fete complete with a riverside cocktail hour, haybale lounge, apple butter favors, a floral photobooth, moonshine and fried chicken. It was perfect; it was us. For our first anniversary, we wanted to try something completely different from our wedding day style.
We wanted to celebrate our first year of marriage and how we accomplished buying a home, adopting a puppy, both accepting new jobs, and undergoing home renovations while still staying connected. We felt like we had grown so much in one year that we wanted to have a very polished and "grown up" photo session.

We chose Waterperry Farm because of its elegant and formal garden. We used gorgeous floral arrangements in rich colors, calligraphy vows (our version of the traditional paper gift), and a pewter tablescape. We popped a bottle of champagne that had been gifted to us at my bridal shower and used the toasting flutes we received as an engagement present. We re-read our vows to each other, ate a slice of a fresh cake (the layer we saved didn't survive well), and celebrated our first year. Cheers to the next adventure!
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Vendor Credits
Join Our Little Black Book
Rachel May Photography
Event Styling , Floral Design
The Girls From Main Street
Rouge 9
Top Knot Studio
Poppy And Scooter
The Gardens At Waterperry Farm
Place Cards
Paper Birch Designs
Silk & Willow
Southern Grown Vintage