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Sunlit Chesapeake Bay Engagement Session

Not only is this sunny love sesh on the Chesapeake dreamy-as-ever (hello, gorgeous Vince Camuto dress!), but the story that brought these two lovebirds together is poetic to say the least. A love that blossomed from a lifetime of friendship resulted in these stunning images from Justin & Mary and we can’t get enough.

From Justin & MaryGorgeous dress alert! This, in its most beautiful form, is Lauren and Matt. Nothing less, nothing more, just fate that makes you look at each other and say “is this really us; is this really OUR story?” Friends since they were born, these two have managed to fall in LOVE. Their elegant bayside engagement shoot was captured by Justin & Mary Marantz during the most glowing golden sunset. The location is this couple’s most sacred place, the docks of the small town of Port Deposit at Tome’s Landing Marina. This hidden gem’s location is only known by boaters and locals with waters feeding to the most popular boating destinations. This session is full of pretty and soft color! Talk about a breathtaking dress, an adorable couple, and gorgeous scenery! This session is a MUST see!

The story of Lauren & Matt…Somewhere in Chapter 18 of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic The Scarlet Letter, he had the absolute brilliance to state that “love, whether newly born, or aroused from a deathlike slumber, must always create sunshine, filling the heart so full of radiance, that it overflows upon the outward world.” The story of Lauren and Matt is somewhat in between the newly born and deathlike slumber recounted by Hawthorne. The reality of destiny, and the finality of knowing that nothing else matters, is an awe-inspiring experience. This, in its most beautiful form, is Lauren and Matt. Nothing less, nothing more, just fate that makes you look at each other and say “is this really us; is this really OUR story?”

Around 1980, Karen Halupke and Renee Keefe met in the back of a car during a work-related drive. After briefly exchanging pleasantries, the two began informally recognizing that this chance meeting could, in fact, be the beginning of a lifelong friendship. By the late 80′s, Karen had welcomed two girls into the world, the second being named Lauren Anne. Meanwhile Renee gave birth to a baby boy 14 years into her first son’s life, naming him Matthew Kevin. As the two women grew closer, so did their families. Their husbands became good friends, their kids would play nicely in side rooms during dinners, and holiday and milestone gift exchanges became commonplace. Destiny was already working her magic, despite a wandering eye’s refusal to notice a bond which today is undeniable, and yes, borderline chilling.

Lauren and Matt had a common childhood and adolescent upbringing, with, of course, a few bumps in the road along the way. On the Jersey Shore, Matt made his way through elementary school before moving on to preparatory school and then college in Delaware. Lauren, meanwhile, spent her younger years in Hamilton, NJ through elementary, junior high, and high school. Her lifelong passion for art and design made the Art Institute of Philadelphia an easy choice for college; placing Lauren about a 35 minute drive north of Newark, DE where Matt was living and attending school. This was entirely irrelevant however, as the relationship between the two did not extend beyond anything more than a “hi” or a simple recognition of existence at yet another family get-together. Lauren was busy with her life, Matt with his. Memories of the past were simply that; memories, not motivation to experience more or recognition that destiny was calmly waiting for the opportunity to expose her power.

Through the web of social media, the justification of instant means of communication, and a chance work-related visit to Philadelphia by Matt, the initial dose of fate was introduced to the equation. Matt and Lauren began talking on an increasingly regular basis, spending some limited time together, and eventually feeling comfortable enough to attend Lauren’s older sister Krisitin’s wedding in July of 2009 as “friends.” Two weeks after this wonderful occasion, things would change drastically. Fueled off of a lifelong passion and a tremendous opportunity, Matt picked up and moved from New Jersey to Texas to become a collegiate basketball coach at Tarleton State University. He would spend the next three years in Stephenville, TX with only sporadic visits back to the east coast, mostly for holidays and maybe a long weekend here and there. The two stayed in touch, but it was nothing more than a text here or a Facebook post there. It seemed as if destiny was in the back seat, just as Karen and Renee once were. It was behind a driver, which was the equal, yet completely separate, lives which Lauren and Matt were leading. It was determined to not try any harder to show its face, and just let what is meant to happen, happen. And that is EXACTLY what occurred.

After making the decision to return to the east coast permanently in July 2012, Matt knew that a life without Lauren was COMPLETELY out of the question. Although it took some convincing that he was actually moving back (i.e. texting Lauren a picture of the packed U-Haul), the two knew that something had clicked and was completely undeniable. Destiny didn’t even have to show herself. Lauren and Matt knew whatever was going on was VERY real, very different. Soon after, it was easy to see and feel that mutual attraction and interest was quickly being replaced by love, support, and visions of the future. As the days became months, and the months a full year, there was no question that even a lifetime together wouldn’t even be sufficient for all of the laughs, love, morning coffees, adventures, and feelings of loneliness when the other person was gone for just a day. So then, on November 23rd of 2013, in Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia, Matt looked Lauren in the eyes, got down on one knee, and told her that he couldn’t live without her. Forever, just like the only numbers in the date of the engagement (1, 2, 3), there will only be three things: Lauren, Matt, and the love which they will eternally have for each other. Just like Hawthorne said, whether love is newly born, or aroused from somewhere previously unknown, the brilliance which it radiates throughout life is what is truly special, truly distinctive… truly, the Lauren and Matt story.

Photography: Justin & Mary | Dress: Vince Camuto | Hair & Makeup: Behind The Veil, LLC | Bouquet: Amanda's Florist | Casual Shoes: Sperry | Hair Color: Jolie Salon & Day Spa | Her Casual Wear: Banana Republic | His Attire: Ralph Lauren | His Jeans: Lucky Brand | His Shoes: Florsheim | Location: Tome's Landing Marina | Necklace & Earrings: Kate Spade | Our Family Boat: Three's A Charm | Sandal Designer: Stuart Weitzman | The Ring: Carroll's Jewelers

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Springtime Wedding at the Sotterley Plantation

This Spring wedding gets my heart pounding. From the outdoor venue to the rustic blooms by Alicia Jayne, every detail is perfection. The entire day was seamlessly planned by Hitched By Heather while Birds Of A Feather Photography captured the gallery, and trust me you can’t afford to miss it.

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Spring
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Plantation
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Rustic

From Hitched By HeatherThe stunning bride was raised in Southern Maryland, and she wanted to share a piece of her home with her future husband’s Washington family. Sotterley Plantation was the perfect venue with historic Southern Maryland charm.

After sitting down with Sarah to get her wedding vision to paper, her dream wedding team immediately came to mind. Sarah had secured the beautiful venue and the perfect duo of Birds of a Feather Photography. I knew Alicia Jayne Florals would be a crucial asset in pure gorgeousness and originality. Sarah knew pieces of what she wanted, but Alicia took it to the next level. I had goose bumps from the minute we sat down at the first design meeting, to when she brought her moss centerpieces to the site. Vintage Affairs provided rental pieces for both the ceremony and the reception. The church pews that Sarah choose for her ceremony were perfection and the farm tables were the perfect rustic touch for the barn. Sage String Quartet put the final stamp of enchantment as Sarah walked down toward her fiance Mike. You know it’s a magical moment when the photographers and wedding planner can’t help but cry.

The standard Groom concerns were food and music and Mike’s Barbeque did not disappoint! I never thought I would see BBQ served so elegantly at a formal event. The bride’s desire for Southern Maryland’s finest were brought out in the cocktail hour with passed Stuffed Ham Sandwiches, Mini Crab Balls and Coconut Fried Shrimp. DJ Jon Depompa exceeded the groom’s expectations on music. He played perfectly to the groom’s request and the feeling of the crowd. I’ve never seen a crowd get so excited for each and every song that came on!

From The Bride… After being together for a little over 5 years, Michael and I already knew we were going to make it official it was just a matter of when. We are a blended family, as both of us have a child from a previous relationship and we welcomed a daughter together over a year ago. Family is extremely important to us. Based on this we wanted our wedding to reflect not only a celebration of our love for one another but our love for our family and close friends as well. Ultimately we wanted our guests to have a wonderful evening with good food and good music!

We chose Historic Sotterley Plantation in Southern Maryland as our venue because we loved the natural setting it provided. The grounds are beautiful all on their own and therefore do not require much “dressing up”. We exchanged our vows under a big shade tree surrounded by our children, close family and friends. Cocktail hour was held on the back porch of the manor house overlooking the Patuxent River and our reception took place in the restored tobacco Barn. We loved that each event took place in a different setting on the property which allowed our guests to explore Sotterley Plantation without having to leave the party.

We were lucky to have some great vendors help us plan our special day. It really is a team effort when planning your special day and it is important to choose your vendors wisely. We could not have asked for a better team!

Our wedding was truly a magical day which gave us memories we will never forget.

Photography: Birds Of A Feather Photography | Event Planning: Hitched By Heather | Floral Design: Alicia Jayne Florals | Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero | Cake: Michelle's Cakes | Reception Venue: Sotterley Plantation | Caterer: Mike's Barbeque | Makeup Artist: Paige Marie Makeup Artistry | Hair Stylist: Signature Salon & Spa | DJ: Jon Depompa | Music: Sage String Quartet | Rentals: Vintage Affairs

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Charming Parisian Garden Wedding Inspiration

I can’t seem to pull myself away from these pristine images from Krista A. Jones. It’s all Parisian charm with a hint of boho glam, in the classiest kind of way. I couldn’t help but lead with the gorg hairdo that Jewel Hair Design perfected (a must-pin!), and beyond that lies so much more… freshly plated peonies, pastel macarons, gilded place settings and one seriously stunning ring. See it here.

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Summer
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Vintage

From Krista A. JonesIf Marie Antoinette had a more relaxed, laid back little sister, this would be the perfect wedding for her. We drew our inspiration from the chic couple who wishes to have a glamorous but small, intimate wedding. The shoot mixes the formality of eclectic vintage accents with a hint of a bohemian garden vibe. A soft palette of blush pinks, ivory, and gold paired with bits of sparkle and antique china help create a look that is polished, glamorous and a little bit un-done.

The existing vintage inspired decor at Blackwall Hitch paired well with chic candelabras and elegant gold garlands from Intrigue Design & Decor. Jewel Hair Design created the most incredible up-do reminiscent of Marie Antoinette herself and Amy from XOXO Vintage rentals brought in the most gorgeous vintage settee.

Photography: Krista A. Jones | Wedding Dress: Annapolis Formal | Hair: Julie Flury, Jewel Hair Design | Florals: Intrigue Design & Decor | Invitations & Paper: Allison Barnhill Designs | Linens & Table Settings: Party Plus Baltimore | Macaroons: Sweet Hearts Patisserie | Makeup: Angela Papa, Behind The Veil | Restaurant: Blackwall Hitch | Styling & Design: Charlotte Jarrett Events | Vintage China, Props, And Settee: XoXo Vintage Rentals

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