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Ali & Tommy — Baltimore Basilica & the Country Club of Maryland — Baltimore wedding photography

Marriage is hard sometimes. One of my goals in photographing weddings is to give my clients images that they can look back on and relive the moments, the emotions and the memories from one of the happiest days of their lives. Every weekend, I want to make at least one image that captures a little glance or a stolen look that will really make my clients sigh and think, ‘Wow. I am truly loved.’ Ali and Tommy gave me a dozen or two of those opportunities on their wedding day. I first met Tommy, a prosecutor, years ago in my previous career as a courts reporter for The Baltimore Sun. I had the pleasure of meeting Ali more recently when she e-mailed me to inquire about what dates I might be available in May of 2012 for her wedding to Tommy. I could tell from shooting their engagement session that this wedding was going to be a particular joy to photograph. (Amusingly, so could my 2-year-old daughter who bestowed upon this couple the combined name of Alitommy — as if they were a celebrity couple like Benifer or Brangelina — and repeatedly demanded to see pictures of Alitommy long after I had finished editing their engagement photos and moved on to other projects. You can only imagine the way her little face lit up when she wandered into my office as I was loading these images into the blog post and said, ‘Mama, whozat? It’s Alitommy!’)

Ali and Tommy were married on a stunningly gorgeous day in May surrounded by a couple hundred of their closest friends, colleagues and relatives. Just up the road, at a little track called Pimlico, thousands gathered for another notable event of the day — Preakness. Both Baltimore natives, Ali and Tommy incorporated a bit of Preakness fun into their wedding — more on that later! — along with a bunch of other personal touches. Ali’s nieces and nephews served as some of the cutest flowergirls and ring bearers that you’ve ever seen. An uncle brewed beer that was bottled with custom labels for their favors. A colleague of Tommy’s from the state’s attorney’s office — who is also an ordained deacon — joined the priest who married Tommy’s parents and baptized their only child to perform the wedding ceremony. And they exchanged vows in the cathedral in which grandparents from both of their families were also wed. All in all, it was a wonderful day. Just as I had expected. Here are way too many of my favorites from their big day:

We started with Ali at her parents’ house, where she and her father — a bit emotional at the prospect of his youngest daughter and last child getting married — were doing their best to avoid each other for fear that their emotions would spill over and ruin her make-up.

The bride getting ready and looking gorgeous.

Already fighting tears.

She has exquisite blue eyes.

I love this next series of images.

Ali is obviously a quite popular aunt.

Oh my goodness, were these little girls excited about the limo ride!

And we were off to the Baltimore Basilica — the site of Ali and Tommy’s grandparents’ weddings!

The groom, looking quite tall and dapper.

And it was finally time to get married.

This next image was shot by my assistant, Lucas, who got nice and low to show off the Basilica’s famous dome as Ali and her father swept by.

A few little shenanigans by those darling kiddos.

The next image on the left was also shot by Lucas.

Ali smiles with her eyes. I love that you can tell she’s smiling here even though you can’t see her mouth. Her eyes say it all.

The vows. And the rings.

This next shot from the balcony at the back of the church — as well as the remaining images below from the same vantage point — was also taken by Lucas.

There was a bit of drama with the unity candle — in that it would not light. Father Norris stepped in and improvised a solution by stacking the already-lit votive on top of the stubborn taller candle.

Two different views of the couple’s prayers beneath the famous dome.

There is such grandeur, I think, in the sweep of Ali’s gown and veil here.

Married!

A marvelous shot by Lucas, aided by some careful cropping to eliminate a videographer who had set up shop just beside the back doors.

Little girls, admiring the new rings.

A beautiful — and really kind! — wedding party.

See what I mean? She is so loved!

A wedding day first for me: Ali and Tommy asked if we could stop off at their house to take just a couple quick photos before heading off to the reception. Since Ali first met Tommy when she tagged along with a friend to a party that he was throwing, they trace their relationship back to that first introduction beneath the arch that separates his living and dining rooms. Such sweet photos! (And as bonus sweetness, their neighbors came running outside with their cameras when they saw me with my gear awaiting the newlyweds on their front porch!)

We could not have asked for better light in which to shoot, particularly at the Country Club of Maryland, where the reception was held.

In addition to her exquisitely beautiful, smiley eyes, Ali also has a magnificent laugh.

A few reception details. Check out the label art on that specially brewed beer! (Hint: It was from this. Another first for my photography!)

The Preakness intrigue started here as guests were asked to draw a horse for the race.

A first dance.

A few marvelous toasts.

And they’re off: It was time for the running of the Preakness Stakes!

Guests who drew the winning horse won a gift from Ali and Tommy!

Then, it was back to the dance floor for a beautifully emotional set of parent dances.

And a wonderfully entertaining tribute to/impersonation of Mick Jagger from Ali’s brother.

An important note about the next two photos: I in no way, shape or form had anything to do with her actions. I merely was in the right place to catch it!

An ice cream sundae break.

A few more quick portraits in the golden light of almost-sunset.

And since we started their engagement session with a pre-dawn silhouette, I thought it fitting to end their wedding day blog post with a similar image from sunset.

Many, many congratulations, Ali and Tommy. It was an absolute pleasure working with you both. I hope you have many more adventures in life for which you require a photographer! 

Credits:

Photography: Jennifer McMenamin Photography

Ceremony: The Baltimore Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Officiants: Father Walter Norris and Deacon Steve Roscher

Reception and Catering: The Country Club of Maryland

Bridal attire: Maggie Sottero from the Bridal Boutique

Hair and Make-up: Studio 1612

Groom’s attire: Jos. A. Banks

Cake: Donna Quick

Band/DJ: Bobby & the Believers

Comments

  1. Leo

    Wow! Gorgeous stuff. Congratulations Alitommy!

    Reply
    1. jennifermcmenamin

      Thanks so much, Leo! I very much appreciate the kind words.

      Reply
  2. Sheila Rousseaux

    These were so fun to see. Pictures were just as lovely as the wedding day.

    Reply

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