Another fabulous weekend is in the books! On Sunday I photographed Silver Spring's signature food festival, Taste the World in Fenton Village, and on Saturday I photographed the wedding of Paul and Sarah. I absolutely adore these two! The love they have for each other knows no bounds, but what made their wedding so special were all the ways they made their guests the focus of their celebration. They even requested a group photo of everyone who attended! I can't wait to share more soon!
I've been looking forward to this blog post for so long! I'm so excited to debut photos from Kathryn and JR's wedding -- which is also my first LDS wedding! I never knew that photographing a wedding WITHOUT photographing the ceremony could be so fun!
Photography isn't allowed at a Mormon wedding ceremony -- called a sealing -- so instead of photographing the "I do" part, I photographed the Temple where Kathryn and JR got married, followed by the couple's Grand Exit from the Temple. After the sealing ceremony, we all headed to the Bethesda Marriott for the reception... This is where things got incredibly sweet.
As a way to honor friends and family who were unable to attend the sealing, Kathryn and JR held a ring ceremony -- complete with a walk down the aisle -- during their reception! It was so beautiful and something that I thought made their reception incredibly unique! After that, the party started! As a photographer, I LOVE weddings where everyone gets their groove on during the reception -- and Kathryn and JR's friend's didn't dissapoint! EVERYONE was on the dance floor!
Kathryn and JR were an amazing couple to work with. They're absolutely adorable together and I'm so glad we were able to meet! I wish them the very best as they begin this exciting new chapter in life!
One of the things I love most about being a photographer is all of the new and unique experiences it allows me to have and the wonderful people it allows me to meet. My time with Kathryn and JR exemplified this. I got to have so many "firsts" with this couple, which was really exciting for me!
For starters, Kathryn and JR are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I'd never photographed a Mormon wedding before and was actually really nervous about it. Kathryn and JR are an incredible couple, though, and they made me feel so welcomed and loved. Whatever nerves I had about photographing their wedding vanished as soon as I was with them.
Second, by the time we met, Kathryn and JR already had engagement photos taken. JR proposed to Kathryn in Utah during a picnic, and hired a photographer to take photos that day. In lieu of engagement photos, which I offer complimentary to couples who book me for their wedding, Kathryn and JR chose to have their first look and wedding portraits taken a week before their wedding. This is something I'd never seen or even heard of before, but I love the idea! And for LDS couples, it makes a lot of sense!
For those who don't already know, an LDS wedding -- called a sealing -- is a very intimate, sacred and private affair. In order to witness it, guests must be members of and in good standing with the LDS church. Photography is strictly prohibited, and the bride and groom usually wear traditional Temple robes over their clothes. That means the couple doesn't actually have photos from their ceremony. By having a first look and couples session before their sealing, Kathyrn and JR were able to experience elements of a non-LDS wedding while still honoring Mormon traditions!
It's that time of year again! The holidays are upon us! I hope by now everyone's belly is sufficiently full of turkey. Cliff and I celebrated Thanksgiving -- my favorite holiday -- with friends and friends of friends. Among those in attendance was a family from Hungary. It was their first American Thanksgiving, and I'm so glad Cliff and I were able to help them experience the tradition.
After our feast, I prepared for my first LDS wedding! Kathryn and JR were sealed (married) in a ceremony at Washington's Mormon Temple the day after Thanksgiving. I can't think of a better to way to start the holiday season than by spending it with two people who love each other! Being around these two is always a delight! Even though I've never before photographed a Mormon wedding, their friends and family didn't bat an eye. Everyone made me feel so loved and welcome!
If Kathryn and JR look familiar, its because they've been on my blog before! In lieu of engagement photos, they chose to have their first look and couples portraits a week before their wedding! You can see a preview of that shoot here.
Over the next few weeks, I'll be featuring Kathryn and JR extensively on my blog. Be on the look out for more photos from their first look and even more photos from their wedding day and reception. For now, enjoy this preview from their beautiful Temple wedding!
p.s. Don't forget to vote for Kathryn and JR and other wonderful families in the canvas contest! Voters must like the Jonna Michelle Photography Facebook Page and a photo in the Canvas Contest album in order for their votes to count.
These two! I just LOVE them! Kathryn and JR are absolutely adorable together! They're getting married next weekend at Washington, DC's Mormon Temple, but chose to do their first look and wedding portraits a week early. (More on why that's such a fantastic idea in my next blog post!) If they can make it through yesterday's photo session, I'm pretty sure they can make it through anything!
Temperatures in this area have been pretty mild... until yesterday. (Of course.) Kathryn and JR endured a storm front that caused temperatures to drop significantly and brought whipping winds that downed leaves, tree branches and, by the end of the session, Kathryn's hair. The photos might look peaceful, but trust me, it felt like chaos! These two were troopers, though, and pushed right on through!
I can't wait to share more from their wedding and their portrait session. Until then, here's a sneak peek featuring one of the coolest couples I know!
As a photographer, one of the hardest parts of my job is actually choosing which photos to feature on this blog. I usually come away from a session with many favorites, and do my best to find a balance between publishing photos that I'm particularly proud of, that will attract future clients, but that also leave a surprise for my current clients. After all, I want them to be excited about these blog posts, but awed when they receive their full gallery of photos.
One of the most challenging blog posts was that of the wedding of my good friends Jimena and Greg. Not only are they uber adorable together, but they're a very non-traditional couple. Their wedding was actually one of the most chill I've ever experienced and when it comes to photos, chill is king. After taking traditional couples photos, we actually had time to kill before the ceremony. (Seriously, people. This NEVER happens!!)
I took the opportunity to take additional portraits of them individually, which was a special treat for me as an artist. In my experience, grooms almost never want photos of just themselves, but Greg was totally game.
I published a few of these individual portraits on Jimena and Greg's initial blog post, but I just couldn't help myself. I love these so much and wanted to share more! Greg is so dashing in his suit! And Jimena with her throwback 1950s shades -- she reminds me of a movie star!
Without further ado, here are some never-before-published photos of a bride and groom moments before they say "I do!"
I'm so excited to share these photos! Jimena and Greg are some of my favorite people, and I'm honored they chose me to photograph their wedding!
I adore small weddings, and Jimena and Greg's big day exemplifies way. Small often means simple but breathtaking. Part of what made this wedding so special -- and, let's face it, so stunning -- were the all details and the stories behind them. Those centerpieces? They were arranged by Ms. Maria Eugenia Lara, a friend of the family. The reception room decor? It was set up by the bride's father and a family friend. The bride's dress? You guessed it! Custom made by a friend of the bride. I'm telling you, this day oozed love!
From couple's five minute (Yes, FIVE MINUTES!) ceremony to that decadent cake, I enjoyed everything about this wedding. But my favorite part of the day was watching Jimena and Greg share their first dance and husband and wife. The love they have for each other is undeniable, and joy was written all over their faces! Jimena and Greg, I love you both and wish you many years of laughter and happiness! xoxo
Saturday was such a fun day!
In the morning, I photographed the wedding of two good friends, Jimena and Greg! I met Jimena a few years ago and can honestly say she's one of the coolest cats I know. Watching her and Greg grow in love has been a true honor! They held a small ceremony at the Ritz Carlton in Georgetown, and it was absolutely stunning! These two have the biggest hearts of any two people I know, and I cannot wait to share more from their big day! Jimena and Greg, I'm so happy for you! I love you both!
In the evening, I did something it feels like I've been waiting a lifetime to do: I SAW THE NEW GHOSTBUSTERS MOVIE!!! AHHHHHHH! I haven't been this excited for a movie in I dunno how long! I loved it! To show just how much I loved it, I joined the guys over at Movie Nightcap to podcast about it!
Recording the episode with hosts Nate and Abe was So. Much. Fun!! I knew that going into it, but talking movies with these two turned out to be way cooler than I ever could have imagined! Our conversation was silly and quirky, but there were also times when it was serious and thought provoking. The podcast should be available in about a week, and I'll be sure to share it here on my blog!
This couple! Their wedding! I just don't have enough good things to say!
Tim and Marie are some of the most caring, giving, genuinely friendly people I've ever met, and that really showed on their wedding day! They're originally from the Midwest, so when they moved to D.C. to pursue careers, they knew most of their friends and family would be traveling long distances to see them tie the knot. Instead of having a traditional wedding here or back home, this couple did something I've never seen before! They planned an all-out wedding weekend extravaganza for 55 guests! Their wedding was, quite literally, a vacation for family and friends! How incredible is that?
Tim and Marie planned everything themselves, and the details they incorporated into their event were incredible! The little things -- from the adorable jewelry poodle Zoe wore to the homemade ice cream Tim made for friends and family -- really made a big statement! The details spoke to who Tim and Marie are as a couple and what they stand for. This weekend really was all about love!
It started with a ballgame at Nationals Park, followed by visits to Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo. The weekend ended with the main event: a chartered, double-decker tour bus that took Tim, Marie, their two dogs and 40 guests to D.C.'s beautiful monuments! At each monument, a friend of the couple gave a personal, heartfelt reading that truly reminded guests what the weekend was all about.
The tour ended with a beautiful ceremony at the Jefferson Memorial, where Tim and Marie exchanged vows surrounded by loved ones. It was so simple and romantic, but my favorite part was the laughter. Tim and Marie are so in love, and it really shows in their smiles, their attitude and the way they make each other laugh!
There are so many beautiful photos from the day, and choosing which to feature on the blog was actually quite different. These are some of my favorites and I hope Tim and Marie love these images as much as I do!
So many super exciting things have been going on in my life lately! First: Ghostbusters. Second: Cliff and I booked a trip to New York for later this summer. I've only been there twice, so going back is going to be a real treat! Two weeks after we get back, I leave again to visit Seattle where I'll get to meet Jade, my best friend's daughter! Third: This wedding. OMG--I cannot get enough!
Tim and Marie only recently moved to D.C. and decided to make their wedding a vacation for their guests! This amazingly adorable couple rented a double-decker tour bus and took close friends and family to visit D.C.'s beautiful monuments and memorials. Tim and Marie ended the tour at the Jefferson Memorial where they said, "I do." But wait. It gets better. Along the way, the happy couple fed their guests (including me!!) homemade ice cream!
I could go on and on about what an incredible wedding this was, but I don't want there to be too many spoilers. For now, enjoy this sneak peek! I can't wait to share more from Tim and Marie's special day soon!
Hey there! I'm Jonna--writer, photographer, blogger, dancer, lover of food, folk music, travel, and my cat, Louie! Like what you see? Reach out! I'd love to chat about your next photo session!