ALI + LOUIS || STONE TOWER WINERY, VIRGINIA

Okay, y’all. Buckle up for this one, because it’s nothing short of…well, everything. Ali and Louis had a wild, winey, and absolutely, blissfully wonderful wedding weekend that had something to geek out about for literally everyone.

First things first, we started with a rehearsal at the venue - Stone Tower Winery. Driving through the winding hills dotted with equal parts forests and grazing pastures, the grounds seem relatively tame, as they’re hidden behind the imposing buildings that make up the winery itself. Walk in through the gates, however, and it’s an entirely different story. I audibly gasped and just about tripped over my own jaw when we rounded this corner, and it’s pretty self explanatory why.

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This? This is a photographer’s field day. Plus, you know, wine. Yay!

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After becoming acquainted with the grounds (and more wine!), it was time for a delicious barbecue dinner, which was followed by a cheery and beery casual welcome party.

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Louis is an avid wrestling fan, and avid is an understatement. Naturally, he received a pretty rad gift - a Hulk Hogan shirt, ripped right off the icons chest a fair few years back. Lou was pretty excited, but things got even more ridiculously cool when another wedding guest casually shot his neighbor, Mr. Hulk Hogan himself, a photo of the giddy groom. Chalk that up to things you never expect to happen on the job, but are utterly delighted to see play out!

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The next morning dawned cold, grey, and rainy, but by the time the day really started ramping up, we had bright sun and milder temperatures. 

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It’s amazing how quickly the day runs from calm bubbling giddiness in the prep time in to a nonstop galloping stride of events. We started that great momentum off with three first looks back to back - bridesmaids (props to Brooke on keeping a firm grip on her drink!), Mr. Mac, and finally, to Lou! 

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Did I mention how breathtaking this scenery is?! And these two?! Oy. I’m dizzy just looking at these pictures. 

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After the first look, we had some time before the I Dos to explore the grounds, and then, of course, some vino!

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A perfectly timed and positioned ceremony to take full advantage of the October light, Ali and Louis giggled and teared up and oh! guys, more wine!! 

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Oh, p.s. - I got to do the writing on all the glass + mirrors for the big day, and it was such a fun stretch of creative skills. I’m pretty dang proud of how they turned out ;)

Anyways, back to the wedding goodness!

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In the last few moments of sunlight, we grabbed some more portraits, and then headed in to seriously celebrate. Pro-tip: if you ever see a McIntosh in the wild, dance with them. They’re a party and a half on their own, but when you get them in a group? It’s game over. See also: this evidence from Ali’s brother Tyler and his wife Megan’s wedding last year

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Okay, soooo caricature artist! How cool is this!? What an awesome memento for guests, who wouldn’t want to remember this viking throw down?

Wait, vikings?! Yes, friends, vikings. Didn’t I tell you there was something to tickle literally everyone? Viking dance party, y’all.

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Thank you to Ali and Louis and their friends and fam for including me in this incredible weekend - what a fabulous adventure! Congrats, y’all! -MEJ

WANT MORE VIKING VINO HULK HAPPY SPARKLYNESS? CHECK OUT THE FULL GALLERY HERE!

Still lookin’? Check out Ali + Lou’s engagement session here!

VENDORS || Venue - Stone Tower Winery | Ali’s Dress - Essence of Australia from Wren Bridal | Lous + Crew’s Suits - Menguin | Hair + Makeup - Vintage Veils | Florals - Eight Tree Street Florals | Catering - Purple Onion |

JEN + ROBERT || CROFTON, MARYLAND

While Jen and Robert’s big day was built to be a reason to celebrate their simpler I-Dos last year, it was every little thing to love about weddings, and then a whole lot more. There’s the roller coaster of emotions, delightful personal touches and sweet details, endless inside jokes, a dance floor that just wont’ stop, and! oh oh, and! a donut food truck.

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As so many couples do, they wanted this day to be close to their closest, and literally had their Celtic hand fastening renewal in the midst of all of their guests.

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So that bit on inside jokes? Yeah, there’s a BIG rivalry in the Ringenary house hold, to the tune of the old Washington vs. Dallas football tiff. Jen temporarily put aside this feud got Robert a pair of socks + cufflinks to represent his team, while she donned her own burgundy and gold under her dress..

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The armistice was brief, and Jen came back swinging hard. She’d lured Robert in to a false sense of security, and had the DJ queue up the Washington fight song instead of their planned first dance song. Fortunately, Robert’s got a pretty dang good sense of humor and rolled with the punches on in to a fabulous dance party of a reception.

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From the first planning call we had for this day, Jen told me about her parents. Not only are they rockstar humans that she adores (and obviously stellar dancers) but they were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary just days before this celebration. I was so glad to steal these two for a few moments to make some more intimate portraits than I get to do with most parents on wedding days.

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Back to the party! Jen’s amazing friend + maid of honor baked these gorgeous cakes, and she get’s extra bonus points for being gloved + masked to make the standard cake because she’s so gluten intolerant. That’s some friend love, y’all.

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And as if that handcrafted cakery wasn’t enough, there was a path to another sweet treat - a donut truck! There was just enough of a sugar high to propel the night in to nonstop dancing.

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Congratulations to Jen and Robert, and all of their friends and family on this fabulous celebration! -MEJ

WANT MORE? SEE THEIR FULL PREVIEW GALLERY HERE!

BECCA + BRANDON || CHESAPEAKE BAY FOUNDATION - PHILIP MERRILL ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER

Are you ready for some serious jewel-toned, ultra-dreamy, down to earth yet floatin’ six inches off the ground kind of wedding goodness? Duh, who isn’t! Becca and Brandon had their most wonderful wedding under ominous skies, but I’m definitely positive they retroactively chased any inkling of rain away with the huge dance floor throw down they had to celebrate their I-Do’s.

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Besides the fabulously curated mash-up of colors and patterns that both the bridesmaids and groomsmen rocked, Becca and Brandon really ran wild with their day as we literally tromped through the woods for a first look and some pre-ceremony portraiture.

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Remember what I said about ominous skies? Even with a healthy threat of rain, we’ll totally take them for the gorgeous ambience they give us, and how brightly colors pop in the muted light.

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There was no shortage of laughter and tears, but one of my all-time favorite wedding moments ever, ever came when B&B both started skipping with pure joy down the aisle to “All You Need Is Love” after they were declared husband and wife followed by a giant sibling huddlehug. I mean, c’mon. Heart = overflowing.

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After a little more time taking in the sand and tree limb-strewn beach, it was time to freakin’ p.a.r.t.y. These guys threw DOWN, and I’d expect nothing less from these now-residents of NOLA and their host of southern shenanigan makers.

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Ah, what a day! Thank you, Becca and Brandon, for being so sincerely sweet and silly and spontaneous and such a joy to work with. Congratulations!! -MEJ

SEE BECCA + BRANDON’S FULL GALLERY HERE

Or, if you can’t get enough of these cuties, take a hop back to their engagement session here!