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Colorful Rustic Chic Crimson Wedding

A couple that embraces color on their big day is right up our wedding alley, and this darling duo? They did just that. A crimson hued affair that’ll have you blushing, Michael and Carina Photography captured it all to share. From the bold bouquets to the bridesmaid gowns, every detail is saturated with rich tones that’ll make you totally happy. Soak up the entire soiree in The Vault!

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Colors
Seasons
Spring
Styles
Al Fresco

From Michael And Carina PhotographyCrimson is such a gorgeous color for florals and bridesmaids dresses that looks beautiful all year round – not just around fall! Different red and jewel tones add an unmatched depth to bouquets and centerpieces.

Lesley and Pat’s Charlottesville wedding was lovingly accented by luscious florals and personal details. The indoor ceremony created an intimate atmosphere and as the bride entered through the overhung archway, everyone gasped.

Lesley wore a delicate Claire Pettibone dress and a subtle greenery head piece to add to the organic feel of the wedding. The mountain view backdrop helped create stunning landscape portraits.

A lavish dessert table with a variety of naked cakes and pies made it impossible to pass up dessert!

From The Bride…Pat and I met on an online dating site back in 2011. We met up for a drink one night after work, and ended up laughing and chatting for hours until the restaurant finally kicked us out. Fast-forward five years, and here we are! We have a happy little apartment together in DC, and plan to buy our own place and get a dog (or three) soon. For his proposal, Pat surprised me with a fall sunset wine festival at Mount Vernon estate. Overlooking the moonlight on the river, he pulled out the ring box (upside-down out of nerves) and asked me to marry him.

We both love nature and the outdoors, so when we saw the mountain view at King Family, we were sold. And, even though Mother Nature brought rain on our wedding day, the indoor ceremony was just as perfect. Our theme was organic, moody, bohemian spring, with a focus on natural elements like wood, flowers, and garlands (which our florist rocked). For our color palette, instead of using traditional spring pastels, we went with more grounded, autumnal tones like marsala, navy, and blackberry, with pops of lighter colors and gold accents. Pat wore a suit from Banana Republic, and his groomsmen were in navy or grey suits that they already owned, with ties we gifted them from JCrew. My bridesmaids’ dresses were from BHLDN, and I wore a dress from Claire Pettibone, which instantly became my favorite piece of clothing I will ever own.

We incorporated lots of DIY and personal touches to make the day feel like “us.” I designed the paper suite with my dad, who painted the floral images. I also hand-lettered the envelopes and seating and table cards, and Pat and I hand-made all of the signs. We glued little notes we had written to each other over the years into our guest book so guests could read some of our love notes before leaving us their own. And, we bought and compiled most of the other decor ourselves, like the lanterns, votives, cake pedestals, etc., most of which came from Target or World Market.

Family means everything to us, so we wanted to include them in our day, too. I had two little fabric hearts from my mom’s wedding dress and my dad’s old pocket square sewn into the lining of my dress. I wore a bracelet of my mom’s and a necklace that my grandmother had gifted me as a baby, and Pat carried his dad’s handkerchief. We also put out photos of our parents and grandparents on their wedding days, and the photos of our grandparents who have passed on sat on the front row during the ceremony so they could be with us in spirit. Finally, for our father-daughter dance, our talented band learned a lullaby my dad had written me when I was born, and played it as a surprise for him.

We asked one of Pat’s closest friends to officiate, and worked with him to create a ceremony that really reflected us as a couple. We also wrote our own vows. It was a precious moment, to be surrounded by our family and friends while we made those promises to each other. Our amazing day-of coordinator ushered us into a room right after the ceremony where we could spend a few minutes alone together taking it all in, which is one of the moments both of us most treasure from the day. And then, we had the time of our lives dancing and singing and celebrating our love with all of our favorite people.

If I could give any advice to future couples, it would be threefold: 1. have a rain plan!, 2. hire some good vendors you trust, including a fabulous day-of coordinator (I promise, it will make your life so much easier), and 3. stop, breathe, and soak it all in with your partner on your wedding day. The day flies so fast, and there are so many details to take in, but the most important detail is your love!

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Photography: Michael and Carina Photography | Cinematography: Kelsey & Nate | Event Planning: Cate Liverman | Floral Design: Petal Flower Co | Wedding Dress: Claire Pettibone | Cakes: Cakes By Rachel | Invitations: DIY | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids' Dresses: BHLDN | Catering: The Local | Hair + Makeup: Moxie Hair & Body Lounge | Band: Bachelor Boys Band | Ties: J.Crew | Groom's Attire: Banana Republic | Venue: King Family Vineyards | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab | Hair Accessories: BHLDN

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How to Feel Beautiful + Confident For Your Boudoir Shoot

I love boudoir shoots. But I’ll be honest; I can’t help but wonder how these portrait subjects look so lovely, so calm and relaxed, in such a vulnerable state. So today we have Michael and Carina here to let us in on the stylish and oh so important secrets to a beautiful – and confident – boudoir session so those fears can be a thing of the past and your results can be filled with the prettiness you set out to capture.

From Michael and Carina Photography… Boudoir, at its best, is as emotional as it is sensual. These photos are an elegant and empowering way to celebrate form, sensuality and intimacy, but there is a lot more to it. Thoughtfulness, intrigue, selectivity, and affection all play a role in creating a powerful, intimate portrait, as well as communication between the subject and the photographer. If you have been curious about what boudoir photography is and if it’s for you, this article is a must! – read on…

Accepting Ourselves

Boudoir teaches us that it is okay to be vulnerable. In fact, taking the step to be photographed in an intimate setting, though empowering, first requires the confidence to be vulnerable and to be vulnerable confidently. Sensuality is as much a part of the human experience as human partnership, marriage, and birth, and boudoir embraces that.

We feel that natural light perfectly compliments this atmosphere of quiet intimacy; window light especially provides a natural lighting source that can be both soft or moody, as most boudoir sessions are indoors.

Most boudoir sessions begin as gifts for other people, and they do make marvelous gifts for partners. Ultimately though, boudoir is for yourself! It celebrates your personality, your beauty and can be an all-around empowering experience. Feeling sexy is great, but feeling confident is even better.

Sharing elegant boudoir images with your partner, who admires and loves you for who you are, will make your partner fall in love with you all over again! Like with any professional photograph, these images were not created just to be shared in an online, password-protected gallery. Consider a boudoir album or a box of prints as a pre-wedding or anniversary gift your lover won’t forget.

Creating a Timeless Look

The art of boudoir is creating an image that is sensual, but timeless and thoughtful. First, create a mood board of textures, images, colors, fabrics, and outfit choices that encapsulate your vision for your session. Then, research your photographer and stylist thoroughly. Communicating with your photographer is crucial in capturing the vision of your boudoir session, from discussing your choice in outfits to the choice of a location.

When choosing a location, consider both light and comfort. Talk to your photographer about the benefits of using a local studio, but also consider using your home or a place that has personal meaning. Ideally the setting is clean and offers natural lighting opportunities. Equally important to the light of the space is that the subject feels safe in that space. Michael and I work always work together in photographing boudoir. I’m always glad to have him with me as his calm and quiet personality usually helps create that safe space for our clients. Having been together for 13 years and having worked together for five, we usually create our best work as a team. We usually have a small meeting with our client before hand to discuss some ideas for the session, and while we always follow our client’s lead and comfort level, we sometimes ask to step in and make adjustments in the placement of hands or to demonstrate ourselves.

Boudoir is meant to capture you honestly. Neutral tones with one or two bold accents in makeup or wardrobe helps to accentuate that. Send your photographer your mood board, or communicate with them in developing it. Finally, let your photographer know what you love most about your body and what you might be more self-conscious with. Communication is everything in ensuring the success of your shoot.

Artistry Within Boudoir

Boudoir can be an experience where you learn more about yourself. It can be a bonding experience, undertaken with a partner for an intimate couple’s session. What definitively sets boudoir apart is vision – shared with your photographer and stylist. Our goal is to communicate with you and to create an environment where you feel safe within your vulnerability, and walk away feeling empowered and confident as a result. We approach each shoot as a new experience as each client is unique; we approach each boudoir session as an opportunity to create art that sensually connects but that is never remotely close to being offensive to our client’s, or our, sensibilities.

Rather than thinking of your session as a “shot list”, we like to think of it as we would approach a wedding – a series of thoughtful compositions that tell a story. For example, a sensual, relaxed portrait in a comfortable bed is great, but there is also beauty in movement, especially framed in an empty space. Florals can exalt your session with symbolism: roses and tulips denote love, freesia denotes innocence, and so on. They can foreshadow or recall your wedding with hints of color. Adding florals to boudoir does not necessarily mean adding a bouquet but perhaps allowing a florist to accent a corner, wall or mantlepiece with details that compliment intimate space.

Finally, you should feel sexy. You should find a photographer that is comfortable in capturing that – boring and boudoir don’t go together. But we feel that the session should gradually build to that point – the initial photos capture moments of vulnerability, softness, intimacy, and as you build confidence, finally sensuality. We usually build to this point with two-to-three looks – one casual, comfortable bedroom look, one more sensual or elegant wardrobe, and for some clients, nude or suggested nude. Communicate with your photographer what you love most about your body, or what your partner finds most attractive about you. And even then – there is just as often as much, if not more, sensuality in what you don’t see and in what is suggested. A hand’s touch can be sensual, the outline of your body where light falls upon it can be sensual.

Intimate Story-Telling

Overall, what we love about most about boudoir is what we love about weddings: the opportunity to create and execute a vision that tells a story – a story that is wholly unique to you.


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Photography: Michael and Carina Photography | Floral Design: Isha Foss Events | Shoes: Bella Belle | Hair + Makeup: Emily Hair & Makeup Artistry | Calligraphy: Corsivo Calligraphy | Venue: Salubria | Clothing: Free People | Clothing: Nordstrom | Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab

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A classically southern affair with a side of prep? Sign us up!

What do you get when you combine a beautiful, Kate Spade employee bride with a handsome groom with a love of all things classically southern? My new favorite wedding.  Think stunning florals by Blossoms Events, the gorgeous stylings of Calder Clark Designs and a magical Forest Creek Golf Club setting.  See every preppy meets traditional moment captured by Nancy Ray in THE VAULT, then press play on the sweet film from Heart Stone Films below.

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Colors
Seasons
Fall
Styles
Classic

From Nancy Ray Photography… This lovely wedding took place in Pinehurst, NC. The bride, Brynne, worked at Kate Spade corporate at the time of the wedding, and the groom worked as an investment banker at Credit Suisse. The couple met at Stanley’s Bar in Chicago, where they got to know each other over beers and danced the night away!

Both the bride and groom are classicists, but as you may guess with her work experience at Kate Spade, Brynne had a slightly preppy side as well. They wanted their wedding to be traditional but fresh, and to mesh with the surrounding greenery and scenery of Pinehurst. One of the bride’s favorite design elements that Calder created was a custom bar featuring latticework and trailing clematis.

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Photography: Nancy Ray Photography | Cinematography: Heart Stone Films | Event Design: Calder Clark Designs | Floral Design: Blossoms Events | Wedding Dress: Amsale | Ceremony Venue: The Village Chapel | Reception Venue: Forest Creek Golf Club | Hair + Makeup: The La La Girl | Band: The Winn Jazz All Stars | Linen Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Spring Floral Wedding Inspiration

Sure we may be in the sweltering heat of summer, but that doesn’t mean spring is far from our minds. Because if this lovely inspo from Elizabeth Fogarty and Claire Duran is any indication, said blooming season is all we’ll be thinking about for the rest of the day. Graced with Plume Calligraphy and beautifully fragrant bouquets, we’ve got it all waiting in The Vault!

From Claire DuranThe inspiration for this shoot was the floral beauty that comes with the Spring and Summer. We wanted to convey a soft and elegant wedding inspiration in which neutral tones and floral texture would prevail. Part of our objective was to use the casual beauty of Seven Spring to show non-rustic decor style in such space. We loved being able to link such different sets of architectural and structural elements of the modern barn with a styling pattern that could be attractive as well to the sophisticated bride. Our favorite piece was the Alexandra Grecco gown. It has amazing texture and movement, bringing together all the elements of this editorial.

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Photography: Elizabeth Fogarty | Event Planning + Design: Claire Duran Weddings And Events | Floral Design: Porter & Ives | Wedding Dress: Alexandra Grecco | Cake: Maliha Creations | Bride's Shoes: Bella Belle | Ring: Susie Saltzman | Makeup: Makeup By Kevan | Hair: Elle Style Studio | Calligraphy: Plume Calligraphy | Groom's Attire: Tuxedo by Sarno | Venue: Seven Springs | Models: The Artist Agency | Robe: BHLDN | Veil: Tessa Kim

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here