the mother of the bride's toast


I never noticed, until recently, that at a wedding the mother of the bride really doesn't have a formal slot for a toast.  The father of the bride welcomes everyone at the reception.  The parents of the groom get to talk the night before.  The maid of honor and best man speak at dinner.  Even friends and aunts speak at the rehearsal dinner and sometimes the bride and groom say thanks at the cake cutting...but, what about the mother of the bride? The one who raised the bride and probably planned half the wedding...when does she get to say anything in the formal toast line up?


I recently photographed a moment that made me tear up.  Keena's mom Sibley gave a toast to her daughter right before she put her dress on.  She talked about what what her daughter meant to her, shared a few memories of her growing up, expressed how proud she was of her daughter and what a special day it was to her.  And it was all a surprise to the bride. It was so special, such an intimate, appropriate moment to say all of this. I loved that the mother of the bride got to give her toast. What a lovely idea. 


give it a twirl

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My advice for the first dance isn’t to get too fancy with steps, I always tell my couples to do lots of twirls and spins, especially at the chorus of your song. It builds drama and movement makes for the best photographs.

personal vows


What can really bring a tear to my eye during a ceremony is when I hear personal vows.  Whether you do them before the ceremony privately like my couple Lauren and Mike did during their 'first look' or you go all out like my couple Adrian and Darren at their Canadian summer camp wedding with longer personal stories and prose, I think sharing your story and declaring your love can be very moving.  It's why we gathered at the wedding afterall. Even if it's the story of how you met or why you fell in love, we want to hear more!  


Maddy and Seth at Gasparilla Inn's Beach Club

A little bit preppy, a little bit hippy.  Two Washingtonians gather their friends and family on a quaint island for beach time and to celebrate their love, under rose petals and the Florida stars. 

maddy seth gasparilla inn

venue: Gasparilla Inn and Beach Club
flowers: Boca Blooms


thank you Alison

I save all my thank you notes from clients, but Alison’s I framed.

As you know, I was extremely concerned about how I would look due to the effects of Chemo, that I wouldn’t be able to look as I had always hoped I would on my wedding day. Kate, I have never felt more beautiful than when I look at your photos. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
— Alison, bride

As a photographer, I was proud. As a woman, I framed it as a reminder of what true beauty is, for being happy with what you have, comfortable with who you are here and now. And for how gracious, resilient and joyful she was after beating breast cancer just a few months before. Alison inspires me as so many of my clients do.

Life doesn't always turn out as you expect, but when it hands you lemons, make an 8-tiered lemon elderflower cream frosting wedding cake and have the best day of your life. 

reflecting on wedding trends


I'm starting to see a shift in weddings.  It's happening slowly.  The fall of Style Me Pretty gave us a hint that the market has become saturated with everyone doing the exact same wedding. I feel very lucky that I have some really forward thinking clients doing different and cool events. Here are my predictions and also what I'm seeing out in the field:

I think weddings are going back to being less about stuff, 'details' and perfection, and more about experiences, family and raw beauty.  From weddings at country clubs to a backyards to summer camps, I see ALL of my clients focusing on welcoming guests and not 'Pinteresting' out their wedding. 

I see a lot of wedding happening in unique venues, like warehouses and loading docks, and also to venues personal to the bride and groom, especially at private homes, no matter how far off the beaten path they are. 

I'm seeing a lot of ceremonies at very old churches and in raw, pop up spaces. 

I see couples throwing big weekend experiences that last a few days. 

I think welcome bags will still rein.  Menus will matter more.  Sophisticated drinks. 

I see fashion becoming more of a splurge, and by fashion I mean thoughtfully chosen, unique clothing instead of just whatever the bridal shop is selling.  

I think the new color palette is eclecticism, color and coordination versus matching.

I like the idea of children as bridal parties, like the royal wedding.  

I love a shift back to moments, an unforgettable party and a personal setting to celebrate with the people you love.  I'm inspired when people think outside the box, using who they are as a starting point. 

dispatch from Florida

Dear Grandma,
Discovering a new little island, Boca Grande, and loving it's quaint streets and easy going vibe.  You can park anywhere and hit the beach!  Loved my clients Maddy and Seth, getting married at the historic Gasparilla Inn, and especially her bridesmaids who treated me like a friend all day and eve. 
more soon,

florida bridesmaids beach

Jaci and Mark at Metier

Intimate in size and plenty on joy, their twenty nearest and dearest gathered to toast in merriment and decadently dine at a chic wedding themed on celebration, of love and of life. 



Jaci and Mark originally conceptualized a large, summer wedding in their backyard. But, when it came to it, they decided to pare the guest list down to 20 or so and marry in an intimate ceremony, followed by the most fantastic meal...and moved it up to January, with a little over a month of planning.  The same week of their wedding, Metier was named the best restaurant in Washington, DC by Washingtonian Magazine and they had booked it all for their Saturday wedding.  How serendipitous, how hip.


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