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Sara & Mike — Old Otterbein United Methodist Church & The Belvedere — Baltimore wedding photography

Sara sent me one of the absolute sweetest e-mails I’ve received when she wrote to me in July of 2011 about plans for her wedding this past September. “I am so glad that you are available on my date!” she wrote. “As much as I loved your gallery photographs, it was your blog and the series of photographs and stories that they told that won me over right away. … I took a psychology and photography class in college and my professor used to plead with us to go out and make the ordinary extraordinary.  I realize that I will want the traditional photographs showcasing my centerpieces, etc. But more so, I love photographic freedom, that takes different approaches, that can be abstract at times. And I love that you capture live action and raw emotion — that is what I am looking for most.” People sometimes ask me whether I get bored of photographing weddings every weekend. I think they imagine that I shoot the exact same thing every week. My answer is always an exuberant no, in part, because of that raw emotion that Sara mentions. That is by far my most favorite thing about my job — freezing time for my clients through photography and preserving for forever the little glances and little looks and tiny smiles and tears that make their wedding day so special to them and their families. I knew I was going to have a great day working with Sara and Mike. Afterall, we had a wonderful time running around Fells Point together one cool, crisp morning for their engagement session. Their wedding day was equally fun — not one but two gorgeous gowns for Sara, beautiful fall flowers that I still feel sort of obsessed with, a simple lovely ceremony, an amazing moment between the bride and groom with their rings (more on that later!), a pair of toasts that had the newlyweds and their guests in stitches and a phenomenally fun wedding party that could bring it on the dance floor! Without further ado, here are some of my favorites from Sara & Mike’s big day:

We started at The Belvedere, where Sara slipped into the first of two dresses for the day.

Sara’s maid of honor, Kelsey, was quite overwhelmed at the site of her longtime friend all dolled up as a bride. It was so sweet.

Sara’s mother gave her a handkerchief with a ring and tiny gold heart from her grandparents sewn in.

The bride, looking lovely.

Sara and Mike decided to see each other before their ceremony for photos. While some couples say a quick hello and then turn to us to start their ‘official photos,’ Sara and Mike spent several minutes hugging, kissing, chatting and admiring each other’s wedding attire before turning to me to ask what was next. It made for some beautiful images.

Did I mention how much I loved Sara’s bouquet and other wedding flowers?

It’s always so enjoyable to work with a fun wedding party. We sure lucked out with Sara & Mike’s friends!

Then, it was off to the church to get married!

I love this next image of the church ladies directing the junior bridesmaids as they prepared to walk down the aisle.

My wonderful assistant, Lucas, shot this next image from the back of the aisle.

Lucas shot this next image on the left and the remaining image from this same overhead perspective.

Now, for that story I mentioned about their rings. Sara had told me ahead of time that she and Mike were having their rings engraved for each other and wouldn’t find out until after the ceremony what the other had written. As they were inspecting their rings after their I do’s, Sara’s face lit up and they both started laughing. I found out later from her that they had both engraved the same thing to each other.

I was nearly as enamored of Sara’s letterpress stationary from The Pleasure of Your Company as I was of her flowers from Crimson & Clover. Imagine my delight at photographing both elements together!

A few more reception details.

A lovely first dance.

A pair of parent dances.

Changing into the second dress!

Those previously mentioned fantastic toasts!

And a fabulous dance party!

Sara and Mike did something really lovely after cutting their cake. They asked her grandparents, who are just darling, to slice a piece for themselves. It was such a sweet moment!

They also played what is apparently widely known as The Shoe Game — the bride and groom sit back to back holding one of each of their shoes. Someone asks them questions — Who has better hair? Who said I love you first? And so on — and they raise the corresponding shoe to answer. It was very entertaining to their guests and a lot of fun to photograph!

After the sun went down, we ducked outside for a few fun portraits that highlighted The Belvedere’s iconic architecture and this marvelous couple!

Congratulations, Sara & Mike. It was an absolute joy working with you both and your families!

Credits:

Photography: Jennifer McMenamin Photography

Ceremony: The Old Otterbein United Methodist Church

Officiant: Pastor Don Burgard and the Rev. Patrick Carrion

Ceremony musicians: Organist Kathie Metz

Reception: The Belvedere

Catering: Truffles Catering at The Belvedere

Bridal attire: Modeca by Enzoani from the Venus Bridal Collection and Sue Wong from Saks Fifth Avenue

Hair & Make-up: About Faces Day Spa & Salon in Canton

Groom’s attire: JoS. A. Bank Colthiers

Florist: Crimson & Clover Floral Designs

Cake: The Baltimore Cakery

DJ: Chris Hart at Bay Deejays

Transportation: American Limousines

Invitations: The Pleasure of Your Company

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