Melissa & Bill — The Belvedere — Baltimore wedding photography

I haven’t blogged in a while and it’s entirely the fault of one sweet little girl. My baby daughter, Molly Sofia (pictured at right), was born last month, a week past my due date and after 12 hours of labor and an eventual cesarean section. (I promise to post a few more photos of her soon!) So I’m a little backed up on work.

I wanted to resume the blog, however, with an absolutely fabulous wedding. It was actually my last wedding of the year, just 20 days before my due date. At one planning meeting with the bride in September, I was pregnant, her wedding coordinator Kate Beck was even more pregnant and Melissa had just had a baby. Her florist, Shawn Nocher of the Floral Studio, joked that she wasn’t drinking any of the water because pregnancy seemed to be going around.

I had so much fun at this wedding. With the help of planner Kate Beck, Melissa hired an extraordinarily talented team to carry out her vision for the wedding. From the explosion of fall colors in the bouquets and arrangements by the Floral Studio and the inherent classiness of The Belvedere hotel where everything took place to the clever theme carried out in the stationary created by Chelle Paperie (more on that later!), the wedding was full of gorgeous and personal touches. Add to that a strikingly attractive couple, their adorable 3-month-old son and dozens of friends and relatives who didn’t leave the dance floor all night (thanks to the wonderful musicians with Nightsong), and it’s no wonder that my second shooter and I came home with a few thousand images. Here are some of my favorites:

We start at The Belvedere, where Melissa was getting ready and where the ceremony and reception were held.

Make-up artist Karen Weiner, of the Studio of Make-up, came to the Belvedere and helped the bride and her ladies get gorgeous.

I love loved the blue shoes. And the feathery headpiece, expertly arranged by hair stylist Gia D’Angelo Callahan of Tranquille Hair & Body.

Flower girl Anastasia could not have been cuter. You’ll see much more of her in these photos.

Can you even believe this woman had a baby three months earlier?

I love everything about this next image: the look on Anastasia’s face, her posture, the elegant, floor-to-ceiling window she’s seated beside. Just love it!

The bride looking gorgeous. She was so emotional in the hours leading up to the ceremony that she wouldn’t let anyone discuss anything remotely touching with her, lest she start crying and ruin her make-up. That included me telling her how beautiful she looked and showing her an image on the back of my camera that proved it. “Jennifer, stop it,” she warned as her eyes filled with tears. It was true, though!

I love love love this image of Melissa by the window. To me, it exudes the elegance and simplicity that her entire wedding evoked.

Meanwhile, across town, my good friend and second shooter, Monica, was with the groom, his soon-to-be father-in-law and little Liam.

I love that Bill’s getting-ready regimen included not only necktie straightening and cuff link affixing but also diaper changing.

I adore this photo of Liam. What a cutie.

Back at The Belvedere, it was finally time for the wedding!

One of the highlights of the ceremony was Liam’s entrance. Melissa had found an antique pram for him to ride in, pushed down the aisle by his cousins. It was precious. Check out his baby Ugg boots.

One of my most favorite parts of weddings is when the bride and groom see each other for the first time. Whether that happens before the ceremony in a quiet moment that we arrange or when the bride makes her grand entrance to walk down the aisle to her groom, it’s always wonderful to document. I love the emotion here in Bill & Melissa’s faces.

Melissa & Bill were married in front of a floor-to-ceiling antique mirror in one of The Belvedere’s ballrooms. It was a bit of a photographic challenge for Monica and me, keeping our reflections out of the photos we were shooting, but it was beautiful.

Just as the bride and groom were about to exchange rings, I noticed that the 4-year-old ring bearer had picked an unusual spot from which to watch the ceremony unfold.

The rings.

The unity candle.

And a final blessing. (I love how Bill is sneaking a glance at Melissa here. What a telling look.)

Just moments after being pronounced husband and wife, almost everyone in the room, it seemed, began snapping pictures with their cameras. With my professional-grade camera that shoots nine frames per second, I have a ton of images of this moment. But I really like how all the flashes reflecting in the big mirror give this one such a Hollywood, high-glamour look.

A few quick portraits.

What a good looking couple!

And it was off to the reception. Since Melissa & Bill met at work, they wanted to incorporate their jobs at their agribusiness and food company into their wedding. That’s where the clever stationary came in. Chelle Paperie made table cards and place cards featuring icons of sources of the oils that the couple’s employer produces and trades — sunflowers, walnuts, olives, etc. Their coworkers were seated at the ‘lard’ table. Such a fun personal touch.

A little dinner, a little toasting.

Then, it was time to dance. The nine-piece band, Nightsong, had great energy and kept the floor packed all night. Melissa had told me that their friends and relatives would make for great party photos. She was not kidding.

Melissa was a ton of fun to photograph on the dance floor. She and my husband seem to share a similar philosophy: The key to being a good dancer is to make a sweet face while you’re doing what you’re doing.

I love this moment between the bride and her grandmother.

One final, sweet moment between the new husband and wife.

Congratulations, Melissa & Bill. It was a joy to be with you on your wedding day. I wish you and Liam every happiness together!


  1. mydeejay

    Molly is such a cutie!! Congrats!!

    1. jennifermcmenamin

      Thanks so much, Evan. I appreciate it! We’re totally in love with her.

  2. Graeme

    That bouquet shot is gorgeous! love the backlighting at the reception too!

  3. Pingback: Kate Beck Events «

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