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Elegant Washington, D.C. Anniversary Session

Anniversary sessions just might be my favorite. They prove that you should never stop celebrating that amazing day you walked down the aisle. And when we get to see a session like this one from Bonnie Sen and Floral and Bloom unfold, we count our lucky stars. Liz Fogarty stepped out from behind the camera to cozy up with her super cute beau, and the result is a collection of images I am sure they will treasure forever.


From Bonnie SenLiz is a a wonderful local photographer in the DC/MD/VA area, and her firefighter husband Gavin is one of her biggest fans. Since they didn’t have any engagement photos and their 3-year anniversary was coming up we came up with the idea of doing an anniversary session with lots of details to celebrate this milestone. As a photographer, I love working with other photographers because they totally understand the importance of location, lighting and details. Gavin rented a white tux, Liz got a new dress and some of her “fren-dendors” (Friend-Vendors) were hired to help with the details. The colors of blush, white and gold fit their brand and style. The locations were all monuments in DC. Starting at the DC World War 1 Memorial we found it was just the right size for a couples shoot like this. Later we walked across the street to the Martin Luther King Memorial for a sunset view of the Jefferson and Washington Monuments. We are so spoiled here in DC!

Photography: Bonnie Sen | Floral Design: Floral and Bloom | Hair and Makeup: Beauty by Jackie | Calligraphy: Just Write Studios | Venue: DC World War I Memorial | Planning & Vision: Liz Fogarty

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Abby Capalbo

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Meridian Hill Park Engagement Session

This gorgeous couple didn’t have to go far to find the perfect place for their engagement session. Meridian Hill Park, right by their neighborhood was the perfect serene escape from the big city where they could relax, kick back and have some fun! Their connection was undeniable, and Angela Newton Roy captured every moment of their perfect day; see it all for yourself in the full gallery right here!

From Angela Newton RoyJody and Benji are the epitome of a fun-loving, perfectly matched couple. From the moment we met, I could tell how in sync they were with each other – from their sense of humor, to their love of family, good food, and fashion. I have often joked that Jody is my style twin (I love everything she wears, her taste… she’s flawless!), and I know their wedding this fall at Woodlawn Estate with Sweetface events will be the perfect mix of elegance, style, and have at its center their love for each other and their cherished family and friends!

From the beautiful Bride-to-be… Benji and I met in the spring of 2011. He was living with a good friend of mine so we often ended up seeing each other out at group outings. At first I thought he was too good looking to be real. But he was real and once we started talking I realized he wasn’t just super good looking, he was also a super nice human being. We found out pretty early on that we share the same loves and values – family, friends, music, adventure, travel and fashion. We also both share a weird sense of humor so we spent a lot of the next few years laughing both with and at each other.

Benji proposed on September 21st, 2015. I had just accepted a new job and my mom and sisters were in town for the weekend to celebrate. Benji told me he had to go out of town for work on Friday, but really he flew back to my hometown to ask my Dad if he could marry me. When he got back, after all of the celebrating, he asked me to marry him. It was just the two of us, at our place, really early in the morning. I had no make up on, I was grumpy, but when he got down on one knee I was overwhelmed with happiness and I still am.

We love our neighborhood. It is where we got engaged, live together, go out with friends and spend so much of our time so we knew it was the perfect reflection of us for our engagement photos. Meridian Hill Park is right next to us. There is so much beauty and green scenery that you don’t even feel like you are in a big city. Not only is it picturesque, it is the perfect place for us to get away, to be fun and silly and to just be ourselves.

Photography: Angela Newton Roy | Wedding Planner: Sweetface Events | Shoes: J. Crew | Jewelry: J.Crew | Make-up: Bridal Artistry | Hair: Ury & Associates In Georgetown | Champagne: Veuve Cliquot | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab | Groom-to-be's Attire: J.Crew | Park: Meridian Hill Park | Pink Dress: Anthropologie | Restaurant: Provision 14 | Rose Gold Engagement Ring Designed By The Groom: Mervis | White Dress: Diane Von Furstenberg

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Romantic Washington D.C. Meridian House Proposal

Grooms, take note: this is how you plan and pull off the perfect proposal. It has it all: an absolutely gorgeous ring, family and friends in on the secret, and took place where the Bride-to-be has always dreamed of getting married. This handsome groom thought of everything and thanks to Kimberly Florence Photography, who captured it all, you can share in the newly-engaged couple’s bliss here.

From The Groom…Whew! A lot of excitement and nervousness. I began planning the big day about one-and-a-half months ago. Of course, I started with the ring. My recommendation to all guys who are planning on getting engaged is drop subtle hints about rings and she will give you hints or idea. I think it’s very important to buy a ring that she will love and have no problem wearing in public. Being that Adeline is big into event/wedding planning, she has seen or heard about these amazing engagements, so I wanted to be able to impress her and have her look back and say “Wow! My engagement was amazing.” Once the ring had been purchased and was being made I decided to start the conversation with a few of her closest friends and family to see if they could be a part of her special day. Once I had her friends and family on track, I had to begin planning all other aspects: venue, flowers and clothing for her. I would recommend to all future grooms planning an engagement to make sure you give yourself and others plenty of time to prepare—it may seem like plenty of time but it creeps up on you fast.

My whole idea of the engagement was a mini scavenger hunt which led her to her friends and family along the way. After Adeline left for work that morning, I began the day by picking up one of her friends that was secretly staying at her mom’s house who had flown in the day before. We picked up some small flowers and snacks for all the girls who would be staying at her mom’s house to help Adeline get ready. I wrote out three cue cards/hints of the scavenger hunt and gave them to the individuals who would be a part of the day. Her first card instructed her to go to a nail salon so she could have her nails done. (Guys make sure her nails are done before you propose.) One of her friends was waiting at the nail salon for her where they got her nails done and the second cue card was given to her, which instructed her to go to her moms house where more of her friends were waiting. At her mom’s house Adeline had three dresses to choose from that I had purchased ahead of time. Once Adeline had hair and makeup done by friends, she was given her third cue card where she was picked up by a black car Uber and driven to me at the venue. I chose the Meridian house venue because this is where Adeline has always dreamed of being married.

Photography: Kimberly Florence Photography | Floral Design: Conklyn's Florist | Dress: ASOS | Jewelry: Diamonds Direct | Venue: Meridian International Center

Organic + Ethereal Dumbarton Oaks Engagement Session

If you’ve ever wondered what love looks like, you’re going to find out below. As I was looking at the beautiful photos from Sally Pinera, I caught myself smiling because this gorgeous DC couple is obviously head-over-heels in love for each other. It’s painted on their faces with sweet smiles and evident in their body language’s closeness and comfort. Fall in love with love all over again here.

From Sally PineraThis engagement session was deeply inspired by natural tones and gorgeous organic feel. We hoped for a whimsical and effortless environment. And in the a very busy city, Dumbarton Oaks is a gem!

From the Bride…Working with Sally and Robert was everything we hoped for. Sally’s warm, genuine nature made both Bobby and I feel comfortable and relaxed from the start–allowing us to smile, laugh, and interact naturally–which shows through in the quality and sincerity of the photographs. Her artistic vision perfectly coincided with our goals for the shoot and together we were able to create something magical. Sally and Robert were an absolute pleasure to work with and we are already looking forward to spending more time with them this fall for our wedding!

Photography: Sally Pinera | Garden Park: Dumbarton Oaks | Gowns: Fame And Partners

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SMP Blogger Bride: Makeup Artist Questions with Carl Ray

One of the best parts about being engaged is planning the big day. I remember being overwhelmed with ideas and questions for myself, but before my fiancé and I selected a date, decided on a budget and picked a venue, I was sure to book one vendor that ranked much higher on my priority list at the time—my bridal makeup artist. I mean I am a beauty blogger after all!

There are a bevy of great makeup artists, but my go-to bridal makeup professional is Carl Ray (you may have seen his work on the cover of Vogue or Glamour). You see, outside of his outstanding bridal artistry career, Carl Ray is personal makeup artist to First Lady Michelle Obama and I got the opportunity to ask the man behind the beauty to dish on all things bridal and FLOTUS while he primped me for my engagement shoot. Read on for the answers to all your beauty questions!

Why should a bride have professional makeup applied on their wedding day?

CR: Hiring a professional makeup artist is essential just like any other vendor for your wedding because their knowledge and expertise will have you flawless and camera ready. Also, it will help subside your wedding day jitters.

How far in advance should brides book their makeup artist?

CR: Brides should start the search for a good makeup artist when they get engaged and have a wedding date locked in. Personally, I can book up to a year in advance.

What should brides look for when searching for a makeup artist for their big day? What types of questions should they ask?

CR: Brides should look at a makeup artist’s portfolio or website to get a feel for their aesthetic. It’s great if the artist comes highly recommended. Find out how many years of experience the artist has in bridal makeup and look up reviews online!

Why is scheduling a bridal makeup trial so important?

CR: Bridal trials are important for both the artist and the bride. During the trial, the bride should express their thoughts and feelings on the inspiration of the ‘look’ she is going for on her wedding day. Brides can see and feel how they will look on their wedding day while the artist can get to know you and your personality. Together you can both tweak the look to exactly what you envision.

How can SMP brides prep for the big day skincare wise?

CR: To start, lightly exfoliate your skin one or two times a week. Drink plenty of water, exercise and make sure to get your Z’s. To keep your skin in tip top condition, I recommend using a creamy cleanser, SPF, face and eye cream or serum appropriate for your skin type.

What should brides avoid doing/wearing before/on the day of their wedding?

CR: Brides should avoid getting deep cleansing facials so close to their wedding day because you run the risk of breakouts.

What products should a bride keep on-hand for touch-ups after the ceremony?

CR: Carry a pressed powder or blotting papers for touch-ups throughout the day. Also, keep a lip color handy since you will be eating, drinking and kissing!

What’s it like being THE makeup artist to First Lady Michelle Obama? How do you balance a busy schedule between working with FLOTUS and being a go-to bridal makeup guru?

CR: It’s an honor to be FLOTUS’ personal makeup artist. FLOTUS is rarely busy or traveling on weekends and I know my White House schedule at least three months in advance.

Photography: Elizabeth Fogarty | Makeup: Carl Ray | Hair: Anna Fazio | Venue: Private Residence | Blogger Bride: Kara Manos | Like A Boss Print: Lucy Darling Shop | Robe: Plum Pretty Sugar

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