ALYSSA + CHRIS || Kent Island, Maryland - An Eastern Shore Summer Wedding

Alyssa and Chris are two seriously cool cucumbers, and I think with their wedding being on their 9th anniversary (how cool is that?!) they were just so ready, so stoked to get married that they were extra on top of being in the moment and enjoying their wedding. And seriously, there was a lot to enjoy!

Seriously, first looks with bridesmaids are almost as good as first looks with future partners, or at the end of an aisle. All. The. Feelings!

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A million ‘not sorries!’ that there’s a million photos shot on/around/through Alyssa veil. I lovelovelove that gauzy texture, and I’m also pretty partial to the hilarity that happened when it just…fell out when she and Chris were giddily cruising back down the aisle after being named Man + Wife.

For being an almost cloudless day, these photos came out so magical - generally the middle of any summer day sends me fleeing to the shade, but we totally worked the strong light, and got some truly breathtaking portraits along the water.

And all the props possible to the guests + wedding party here - they absolutely flooded the dance floor, putting all those folks who wait until the lights are dimmed to boogie down.

Congratulations to A+C - loved being a part of this breezy, beautiful day! -MEJ

SEE MORE OF ALYSSA + CHRIS’ DAY HERE

VENDORS

Venues: St. Christopher’s Church / Maria’s Love Point Bed & Breakfast
Hair + Makeup: Pretty Weird Beauty
Flowers: The Country Petaller
Catering: Smokehouse Grill Catering
DJ: Derek of Dance Masters Entertainment
Cupcakes: Blue Crab Cupcakes
Transportation: Blanchard Limos

#BourdainDay - Reflecting on the man who taught me to circle the globe swearing, laughing, and experiencing everything I can.

Today is Bourdain Day. I was lucky enough to wander the very tall, incredibly moody cliffs of Lima on this drizzly winter morning to reflect on the gifts I got from a man I never met - how very fitting, how very lucky I am.

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My wanderlust was sprouted from watching No Reservations as a young teen, my travel compass was forged years before I ever got my hands on my first passport. The hustle, the blood/sweat/tears/theft, the beartbreak, the moments darting across bustling thoroughfares, the hangovers, the language barriers, the gruelingly long layovers, the tiny golden connections of human interaction and the big breathtaking moments that're burned in to the back of my skull are all concepts I was as absolutely ready as I could possibly be for when I ran in to them at a breakneck speed. I can thank Uncle Tony for that.

Anthony Bourdain was delightfully and doggedly human. He battled with addiction and mental health. He died by suicide. He was constantly curious. He was about as sardonic as you can get, but he was always undeniably himself. He was real, he was raw, and he put a few toes past the point of brutal honesty sometimes, but through everything, he maintained a solid sense of humanity and humility. Anthony had the ability to reach through the television and shake the shit out of people drowning in the quintessential American Apathy And Desperate Need For Convenience™ that convinces you Epcot's version of countries is more than enough. He opened so many eyes to the United States' complicity in war and famine, and the spoils of colonialism, how to shoulder this knowledge and to do better for it while shaking hands and breaking bread with the people directly impacted by our gains. He invited, no -- he challenged everyone to reach across yards and communities and states and countries and religions and genders to just sit down and open up over a meal. We are never too rich, too poor, too smart, too stupid, too creative, too broken, too whatever to get out in to this world and really, truly experience it. Put down your preconceptions and your pretension, and get going. Unless you're eating your steak well done, then you deserve all our collective scorn.

Peru is the 25th country I've visited in just over four years. Majority of my travels have been by solo. I've been alone, but I've never been lonely - I've had folks back home cheering me along, new friendships forged along the way, and always, the wisdom and wisecracks of Anthony Bourdain constantly chirping at me in my head.

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I'll leave y'all with three things:

1.) Get out there and put yourself in an uncomfortable place to build a bridge to someone who is vastly different from you. Maybe it's a work colleague you've never said much to, a neighbor down the road who you've been meaning to officially welcome to the community, or a total stranger who looks like they could use a hand or a few kind words today.

2.) “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind." -Anthony Bourdain

3.) If you need it, please rally your strength to reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 // En Español: 1-888-628-9454 // Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889 // or the Crisis Text Line by texting 741741. You are deeply loved, incredibly important and capable of amazing things. However long you walk in darkness, whatever you do to lighten it, wherever you go to outrun it, you are not alone. 💛

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BABY ARCHER || KENT ISLAND, MARYLAND

File this under new experiences: I stuck around to get in on some speedy Jeopardy! action at the end of my shoot with this gang!

Getting to know Archer and his parents was so laid back and easy to do, and we took full advantage of all the beautiful light in all the nooks and crannies of their home and back yard on this gorgeous spring day.

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Congratulations on this beautiful, healthy, sweet little boy! - MEJ