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An Irvine Nature Center wedding: Catherine + Sergey
The Irvine Nature Center | Maryland wedding photography | Maryland wedding photographer

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There are clients who sometimes seem a little uncomfortable while being photographed. They look to me a lot. They ask what’s next. They require some time to warm up with each other and with me. Catherine + Sergey were *not* those clients. Upon seeing each other for the first time that day in the woods of the beautiful Irvine Nature Center, they melted away into their own little world. They admired each other’s wedding attire. Sergey twirled Catherine. Catherine adjusted Sergey’s bow tie and held his face in her hands. They laughed and smiled and laughed some more. It was just a joy to photograph. Similarly, I have an entire series of fun, candid and casual photographs of Catherine and her bridesmaids that, by my measure, perfectly capture their personalities. All I said to prompt such genuine enjoyment was, “OK, now I need Catherine and her ladies.” That’s it. The whole day was just that delightful. As has unfortunately been the case for much of this spring, the forecast for Catherine + Sergey’s wedding day was not great. There was a decent chance of rain and it had poured for most of the prior week. With their vows scheduled to be exchanged in an open field preceded by a long walk through the woods on mulch paths, there was a significant chance of rain and mud and more rain. Instead, we were graced with a magnificent day. Even the sprinkles that began just minutes before the ceremony seemed to evaporate into thin air. Significant rain didn’t fall until much later in the evening, when everyone was safely tucked away in the reception tent. It was just a joyful day to capture. Here are some of my favorites:

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Catherine + Sergey chose to see each other for photos before their ceremony. 007-EastonNovikov_00244-0053_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 008-EastonNovikov_00250-0056_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding

Just pure joy. 009-EastonNovikov_00256-0059_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 010-EastonNovikov_00273bw-0064_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 011-EastonNovikov_00333-0074_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 012-EastonNovikov_00474-0102_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 013-EastonNovikov_00463-0098_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding

Then, the couple, their parents and their wedding party walked through the woods — no shortcut for them! — for photos in the meadow. 014-EastonNovikov_00641-0131_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 015-EastonNovikov_00661-0135_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 016-EastonNovikov_00676-0139_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 017-EastonNovikov_00691bw-0144_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 018-EastonNovikov_00724-0148_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 019-EastonNovikov_00776-0155_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 020-EastonNovikov_00967-0171_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 021-EastonNovikov_01031-0178_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 022-EastonNovikov_01213-0203_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 023-EastonNovikov_01137-0189_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 024-EastonNovikov_01305bw-0212_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 025-EastonNovikov_01356-0215_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 026-EastonNovikov_01452-0225_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 027-EastonNovikov_01521-0237_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding

Then, it was time to get married. 028-EastonNovikov_01607-0251_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 029-EastonNovikov_01598-0249_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 030-EastonNovikov_01639-0255_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding

I checked the forecast just as guests began to arrive down the hill for the ceremony. My best and most reliable weather app still indicated there would be no rain. Nonetheless, raindrops began to fall. As the guests walked past me to the ceremony site, I assured them that it was not, in fact, raining. Magically, it stopped. It was just that kind of day!031-EastonNovikov_01702-0268_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 032-EastonNovikov_01787-0278_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 033-EastonNovikov_02354-0350_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 034-EastonNovikov_02565-0381_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 035-EastonNovikov_02165-0316_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 036-EastonNovikov_02254-0333_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding

The couple incorporated a ring warming ritual into their ceremony, passing their wedding bands through the rows of guests and asking their friends and family to bestow a silent wish or prayer on the rings. It was lovely.037-EastonNovikov_02134-0310_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding

The ceremony readings included an excerpt from The Little Prince and a poem read by the bride’s mother that was written from the viewpoint of their family’s cat. The combination was just right.038-EastonNovikov_02152-0313_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 039-EastonNovikov_02244-0331_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 040-EastonNovikov_02302-0343_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 041-EastonNovikov_02382-0355_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 042-EastonNovikov_02408-0359_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 043-EastonNovikov_02505-0372_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 044-EastonNovikov_02535-0375_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 045-EastonNovikov_02605-0389_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding

Married!

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One good thing about all the rain that fell in the week leading up to Catherine + Sergey’s wedding: The woods could not have been more green and lush. It was, in fact, a real challenge to find photographs that I did not mind converting to black and white for the couple. The green landscape combined with the pop of color from the ceremony backdrop and the bouquets was really something!

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A few reception details.

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Catherine + Sergey made these centerpieces themselves. Ahead of the wedding, they told me they had sought to find liquor bottles that embodied the spirit of each array of succulents they assembled for their tables. I couldn’t wait to see them!059-EastonNovikov_03509-0530_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 060-EastonNovikov_03482-0522_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 061-EastonNovikov_03582-0553_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 062-EastonNovikov_03560-0545_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 063-EastonNovikov_03565-0546_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding

A few animals visited with guests during cocktail hour.

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A toast from the father of the bride.

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A parent waltz blended into a well-choreographed first dance. 068-EastonNovikov_03708-0596_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 069-EastonNovikov_03750-0615_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 070-EastonNovikov_03764-0617_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 071-EastonNovikov_03832-0628_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding

A pair of toasts. 072-EastonNovikov_03837bw-0632_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 073-EastonNovikov_03988-0693_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding

And lots of fun and frivolity. 074-EastonNovikov_03901-0659_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 075-EastonNovikov_03948-0676_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 076-EastonNovikov_04019-0701_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 077-EastonNovikov_04075-0720_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 078-EastonNovikov_04076-0721_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding 079-EastonNovikov_03782-0622_Jennifer-McMenamin-Photography-Irvine-Nature-Center-wedding

Many, many congratulations, Catherine + Sergey! It was such a delight to work with you, your friends and your families.

Credits:

Photography: Jennifer McMenamin Photography, LLC

Ceremony & Reception: The Irvine Nature Center

Officiant: The Rev. Susan LaMar

Catering: Catering By Seasons

Bridal attire: Ralph Lauren from Nordstrom

Bridesmaids’ attire: Donna Morgan

Groom’s attire: Men’s Wearhouse

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