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Jenny & Ernie — Stone Manor Country Club — DC wedding photography

Jenny & Ernie found me in that oh-so-interesting, friend-of-a-friend, round-about way that so many of my clients initially do: I photographed the wedding of Jenny’s older sister’s good friend’s sister, Melissa, two years ago. Whew! Follow that? (Incidentally, Melissa and Tim’s gorgeous wedding landed on the cover of Baltimore Bride magazine this year, so that was probably a good endorsement as well!) Jenny and Ernie have one of those sweet, sweet love stories that makes me look forward to spending the day at a wedding even more than usual. (They met in middle school and are quite obviously smitten with each other, even all these years later.) That they were getting married at the gorgeous Stone Manor Country Club on a beautiful fall day with lots of surprises planned by Jenny’s parents left me even more excited to work with them. The weather forecast was touch-and-go on their wedding day but it was absolutely stunning — if a bit windy — when it came time for Jenny to walk down the aisle. We were graced with the most spectacular sunset just at the tail end of our portrait time. And though it looked like a ferocious storm was about to blow in just as the reception was starting under Stone Manor’s beautiful tent, the dark clouds and blustery winds simply vanished, leaving us with a perfect evening for their celebration. Here are some of my favorites from their fantastic day:

I loved their invitation suite, especially the fall colors that matched the weekend’s foliage and the graphics that echoed the tree under which they were married.

Jenny’s sister, Jill, steams the dress one last time before Jenny gets ready.

Jenny had *a lot* of nervous energy before the ceremony. She looked so serious as her mother Kathy helped her step into her dress.

I love love loved the mix of yellow bangle bracelets and dark silver sparkly shoes that Jenny’s bridesmaids wore. So elegant.

The bride, ready to get married and looking gorgeous.

A few ceremony details.

And it was finally time to walk down the aisle. (This next shot — and all subsequent images from a similar vantage point — is from my assistant Lucas, who gamely perched in a window above the outdoor ceremony site.)

Oh how I love an emotional groom.

Jenny and her father had a bit of a battle with her veil in the wind. But it did make for some lovely photos!

Lots of emotions from the bride as well.

A little bit of a struggle with Jenny’s wedding band but she won that fight!

Look at that windy veil action that Lucas caught during Jenny and Ernie’s exit.

Surprise No. 1 for the bride and groom from her parents were the little jars of rose petals on each guest’s chair for tossing. “That would be a great shot, seeing them walk down the aisle with petals flying,” the bride’s mother wrote to me in a secret e-mail before the wedding. Mission accomplished!

Jenny and Ernie’s siblings and friends in their wedding party were so much fun to photograph. No stiffly posed formal photos here.

I really loved the punch of yellow against the dark gray dresses.

A few fun photos of the newlyweds with some spectacular late-afternoon light.

This strikes me as very ‘Gone with the Wind.’ Minus the Civil War, of course.

Just up the hill from the country club’s vineyard was a tree-lined ridge. Just beyond that ridge was an unbelievably glorious sunset. Jenny gamely kicked off her super-high heels and headed up the hill with Ernie so that we could include that gorgeousness in their wedding photos. I think it was worth the hike.

A few reception details, including some beautiful fall decor and one of the most varied and darling candy bars I’ve ever seen. (And yes, those are dill pickles alongside the lollipops, gummy oranges and gumballs.) Surprise No. 2 from the bride’s parents was an ice sculpture since, as Kathy explained in that top secret e-mail, “Jenny always kidded us that when she got married she wanted an ice sculpture.”

Let the party begin!

A few heartfelt toasts from the groom’s brothers and the bride’s sister.

The remnants of that perfect sunset lit up the horizon and the tent as the party got underway.

And the last of the surprises: The bride and groom’s name in lights on the dance floor (and later on the ceiling of the tent).

A first dance.

A long-lasting love — the bride’s grandparents, who, if I remember correctly, have been married for 63 years!

A father-daughter dance.

And lots and lots of fun.

I must confess that this next photo did not end well. Yes, that groomsman ran and slid right toward me for an awesome image. But the big toe of my left foot bore the brunt of the subsequent collision. It was very, very unhappy. Oh the things we do for fun photos!

I love this next photo. Instead of renting an expensive limo or a shuttle to get the wedding party safely back to the hotel at the end of the night, Jenny and Ernie chartered an actual school bus — in part, since they first met way back in middle school. We, of course, had to make some fun photos with the bus as the backdrop. 

Congratulations, Jenny and Ernie. It was an absolute pleasure spending the day with you both and your families and friends!

Credits:

Photography: Jennifer McMenamin Photography

Ceremony and Reception: Stone Manor Country Club

Catering: The Carriage House Inn

Lighting designers: The Design Diva

Bridal attire: Vera Wang shoes and an Amsale gown for the bride and Jim Hjelm Occasions dresses for the bridesmaids and mother of the bride, all from from Betsy Robinson’s Bridal Collection

Groom’s attire: Alfani from Macy’s

Cake: Mary Elliott Beautiful Custom Cakes

Invitations: kenzieKate Invitations

Candy table: Love Is Sweet

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