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A blog written by a Denver photographer, with photographs by that photographer, but not always about photography. Or for that matter, Denver.

A beautiful day to get married in Baltimore

Happy New Year!!!

After a rather slow (albeit dramatic) start to last year, I do have to say that the final leg of 2015 was incredibly busy. Where did the time go??!! I upgraded all my camera gear, finally launched my website, have been traveling left and right to start serving new clients, did a ballet guesting...and what else? Oh yes! Somewhere in there, Karen and Drew got married!!!!!

Karen and Drew originally met each other on OkCupid, truly by coincidence, as Karen just happened to be out of state visiting her mother when Drew's profile popped up on her screen. They agreed to meet, dated for several months, and became engaged in July of 2013. They were referred to me by Karen's childhood friend Casey. I first met the couple over Starbucks to discuss their wedding day and instantly liked them both. And by the end of their engagement shoot, I knew that I was going to have the most amazing time spending their wedding day with them.

The wedding day festivities started early on the morning of November 27, 2015 at Floyd's Barbershop in Ellicott City, Maryland. Floyd's is where I religiously went to have my hair cut before deciding to grow out the mop that exists today. They really are the best. And the best of the best is the beautiful Syvonne, who I convinced Drew to have his wedding day appointment with. You're welcome, Drew.

She really is the best.

She really is the best.

I promise that she usually makes more eye contact with your hair.

I promise that she usually makes more eye contact with your hair.

I arrived at Floyd's and was shocked to see the place so empty, as it's normally jam packed with people. Apparently 9am is your best bet to not wait. I greeted Drew, the handsome groom and Charlie, his best man. Charlie is Karen's brother and a gentle giant, standing tall at 6ft 4inches. As I hugged Syvonne she nervously looked at the back of my neck and asked if she could trim it. I refused, knowing that I would leave with hair shorter than Drew and Charlie.

So serious, Drew.

So serious, Drew.

Handsome groom-to-be.

Handsome groom-to-be.

Syvonne started with Drew, who was as calm as I've learned to expect him to be. Drew confessed that he hadn't cut his hair since the engagement shoot, which is saying something. Luckily, Syvonne truly is amazing at what she does and before we all knew it, Drew's haircut was done and he looked sharper than ever. Before he switched places with Charlie, Syvonne shaved Drew's neck with a straight razor blade, a signature at Floyd's.

Ok, I see WHY you think this is Drew's neck hair, but...

Ok, I see WHY you think this is Drew's neck hair, but...

With his old hair covering the floor and looking like a new man, the groom switched places with his best man. As Syvonne began to work on Charlie, Drew began to organize his thoughts about the amazing day ahead of him.

Everyone needs a little hair product in their lives. See? Look at that smile!

Everyone needs a little hair product in their lives. See? Look at that smile!

You are the fairest of them all. 

You are the fairest of them all. 

This shot was not staged.

This shot was not staged.

Neither was this one.

Neither was this one.

I'm sorry...is Charlie's haircut THAT amusing??

I'm sorry...is Charlie's haircut THAT amusing??

After the haircuts were finished, I had some time before I needed to leave for downtown Baltimore. The three of us hopped in our cars and headed to historic Ellicott City. I was told to meet them at a coffee place I'd never heard of called Bean Hollow, a favorite of Drew's. Upon parking my car and walking to the place, I was reminded how adorable historic Ellicott City is and what a gem exists in my very own backyard.

Cool cats.

Cool cats.

We got our coffee (which I KNEW I would need to make it through the day ahead) and then checked out one of the local shops before saying goodbye.

I want one of these, except that I would never use it. Unless somebody can make one with Internet access...

I want one of these, except that I would never use it. Unless somebody can make one with Internet access...

I showered, changed into my "wedding day uniform" consisting of a black polo and pants, and hopped in my car headed towards downtown Baltimore. As I was en route, I received a message that the hair and makeup artists had arrived earlier than scheduled. Panicked, I drove as fast as I felt I could legally get away with, determined to get the shots I wanted. Luckily as I arrived at The Grand, the hair was just being finished. Perfect timing!

Pretty lady.

Pretty lady.

Casey loves getting her hair done almost as much as she loves Croc's.

Casey loves getting her hair done almost as much as she loves Croc's.

Maid of honor.

Maid of honor.

Then it was time for makeup!

Yes, Amanda. You are too young for Botox.

Yes, Amanda. You are too young for Botox.

The ladies of the wedding party consisted of Karen (the bride), her sister Amanda (the maid of honor) and her best friend Casey (bridesmaid). Drew's daughter Riley was on flower girl duty and OH so excited about it!

Oh hi, Riley! Fancy seeing you here.

Oh hi, Riley! Fancy seeing you here.

I was informed that the girls had already cried several times before my arrival. The emotion was truly palpable, especially from Karen's mother Terrie and her Aunt Marmar, who both adoringly watched their beautiful (and all grown-up!) Karen get ready.

Cheers, Marmar.

Cheers, Marmar.

Ooooooh, pretty soon it will be on your finger!!! Until then, I will find creative ways to photograph it. How else can I justify the purchase of my macro lens?

Ooooooh, pretty soon it will be on your finger!!! Until then, I will find creative ways to photograph it. How else can I justify the purchase of my macro lens?

This champagne shot is going to pay off in three minutes. Wait for it...

This champagne shot is going to pay off in three minutes. Wait for it...

Time to put on the dress!!!!!!

Mother of the Bride.

Mother of the Bride.

As the ceremony drew closer, I dashed to the room where the boys were getting ready. Drew was there with Charlie (best man) and Duane (groomsman). Young Tyler looked nice and sharp as the ring bearer. And as the minutes ticked by, the drinks started to flow! Weddings are nerve wracking for everyone involved, and apparently make the ever-calm Drew drink with his pinky finger out. Nice.

Duane

Duane

Charlie

Charlie

You kids and your pocket watches today.

You kids and your pocket watches today.

Charlie and his angels.

Charlie and his angels.

You're right. This is a GREAT idea.

You're right. This is a GREAT idea.

"I have a feeling this picture is going to come back to haunt me." ~Drew

"I have a feeling this picture is going to come back to haunt me." ~Drew

I ran back upstairs to the bridal lounge. Karen's father Kevin had arrived and looked lovingly at his little girl, all ready to walk her down the aisle. Everyone took their final looks into the mirror and boom, it was finally go time!

The bride and her handsome father.

The bride and her handsome father.

Don't cry, mom!!!

Don't cry, mom!!!

I wished everybody good luck and ran out to where the ceremony would take place. The guests were starting to gather and I couldn't help but join them in their excitement! Karen and Drew had become very special to me by this point and I truly felt more like a guest at their wedding than their photographer.

Two totally random guests.

Two totally random guests.

As the ceremony started, the wedding party walked one by one down the aisle to "What a Wonderful World". Karen and Drew are huge book lovers, so instead of flowers, Riley threw pages from a treasured book that Karen and Drew sacrificed and begrudgingly cut into small hearts. It's possible this is an inside joke between the three of us. Just go with it.

Drew's adorable parents.

Drew's adorable parents.

Gentle Charlie with his beautiful mom.

Gentle Charlie with his beautiful mom.

Enthusiastic.

Enthusiastic.

Then it was time. The music changed to "What the World Needs Now"-a beautiful vintage song to go with the bride's gorgeous vintage hairstyle and classic gown. The doors to the hall swung open and there stood Karen, looking like a princess, arm in arm with her loving father.

Stunning. I'm pretty sure I gasped.

Stunning. I'm pretty sure I gasped.

Drew totally would have, too if he was prone to gasping.

Drew totally would have, too if he was prone to gasping.

Karen and Drew decided to keep their ceremony short and sweet, with their guests in mind. The guests got an unexpected surprise when Karen blanked on what she was supposed to say during her vows and got a little comic relief. I guess it was good champagne, Karen!

It's going well, it's going well. Everything is under control.

It's going well, it's going well. Everything is under control.

Ugh. Stupid champagne.

Ugh. Stupid champagne.

The ceremony FLEW by and before we all knew it, they were married!!!!

"You taste like bourbon."  "Yeah, well you taste like champagne AND you flubbed your line. I win." "Point taken. Let's get outta here."

"You taste like bourbon." 

"Yeah, well you taste like champagne AND you flubbed your line. I win."

"Point taken. Let's get outta here."

"You don't think they noticed when I forgot what to say, right?" "No, dear."

"You don't think they noticed when I forgot what to say, right?"

"No, dear."

Just after the ceremony the family toasted the newlyweds. 

Karen's parents toasting their daughter's marriage.

Karen's parents toasting their daughter's marriage.

After capturing some family group shots, I whisked the bride and groom away to get some more intimate photos.

The same....

The same....

...but different.

...but different.

Taking a breather before the reception started, Drew had a beautiful moment with his daughter. For helping out with the wedding and being such a wonderful daughter, Drew smiled and put a beautiful gold necklace around Riley's neck. It was incredibly touching to watch.

Always trust a man that gives you jewelry, Riley.

Always trust a man that gives you jewelry, Riley.

Karen and Drew finally had a brief moment to greet their guests and then it was time for the reception to start. Party time!!!

The reception took place in what's called The Mirror Room at The Grand. It was decorated beautifully, keeping with the theme of the couple's love for literature.

The bridal party entered the room and then it was time for the couple's first dance as husband and wife. Between the ceremony and reception, Charlie had Houdinied his way out, emerging several minutes later with a guitar. To my surprise, he was the one who serenaded Karen and Drew, playing "Grow Old with You" by Adam Sandler. It was the most fitting and beautiful way for the couple to start their lives together as husband and wife and made everyone in the room smile.

Gorgeous and happy couple!

Gorgeous and happy couple!

The couple and their guests then sat down for dinner and shortly after, the toasts began. Karen's father Kevin went first, saying moving words about the special relationship he's always had with his beautiful daughter.

He was followed by Amanda who made everyone cry and finally Charlie, who made everyone laugh uproariously. As Charlie hugged the groom, I captured one of my favorite moments of the night.

"I love you, man."

"I love you, man."

 

After dinner, Karen and her dad danced a gorgeous waltz to "Edelweiss" from The Sound of Music. As a former professional dancer, I was impressed by how well rehearsed and sophisticated their dance was. Well done!

Elegant.

Elegant.

Drew and his mother danced to "Three Times a Lady". Drew's gentle touch around his mother's back truly moved me and I found myself crying behind the lens.

It's just the onions...

It's just the onions...

Cake time!!!

In addition to hair product, sugar also makes Drew smile pretty big. Exhibit A.

In addition to hair product, sugar also makes Drew smile pretty big. Exhibit A.

Then it was time for the REAL party to begin!!! The DJ started playing some fantastic tunes and everyone started to dance up a storm.

Plug, no pun intended. You're welcome.

Plug, no pun intended. You're welcome.

Karen, Casey and a random guest.

Karen, Casey and a random guest.

I love everything about this. If you guys are dating, call me for your wedding. If you are related, please don't. That would just be awkward.

I love everything about this. If you guys are dating, call me for your wedding. If you are related, please don't. That would just be awkward.

LIVE IT UP!!!!

LIVE IT UP!!!!

Suave Kevin.

Suave Kevin.

Get a room.

Get a room.

 

As my job was coming to a close, I took a breather outside the reception hall to check my photographs. While sitting on the floor, I was greeted by some fun, unexpected and intoxicated subjects.

Before finishing up, I was able to grab my final shots as Drew danced with his lovely Riley to "You've Got a Friend in Me". Again I was left in tears. As the song came to a close, the new family took a moment to embrace each other...and with that, I knew my job was complete.

If I had ovaries, they would have just skipped a beat.

If I had ovaries, they would have just skipped a beat.

Love.

Love.

The day was a whirlwind and an adventure, a day I will never forget as long as I live. I was honored to be given the chance to play a small role in their wedding and so thankful to have had a front row seat to everything as it unfolded. Karen and Drew are currently enjoying their time as newlyweds in Ellicott City. I wish them all the happiness in the world!

Congratulations.

Congratulations.

May everyone in the world be so lucky.