June 26, 2017
RACHEL & DEX | RIVERSIDE ON THE POTOMAC | LEESBURG, VA
I’m sorry in advance for probably one of the longest blog posts ever… but Riverside on the Potomac is gorgeous so enjoy all of these photos AND it’s the wedding of my COUSIN! (You may remember their super cute Outer Banks engagement session from last May!) First of all, the weather was calling for rain all week and we didn’t have a single DROP! #weddingmiracle amiright?! The day was literally perfect. I’m someone who doesn’t like using the word perfect because nothing is ever perfect but honestly – it was the smoothest day! I met up with the girls at the hotel and started with all of the pretty details -from the sparkly hair piece, custom garter, to her something borrowed – grandma’s handkerchief and her something old – 6 pence. (We’ll get to the something blue later!! Keep scrolling!). What made the morning fun was it was filled with family and Rachel’s friends who I’ve met before. The energy was so calm and everyone was just enjoying themselves – champagne in hand, of course!
I had the ever so wonderful Bethanne Arthur assisting me all day. She took the guys for photos while I took photos of the girls in the garden! Aside from one little scare with a tiny garden snake… everything ran so smoothly! Every single girl looked like a million bucks – I reallyyyy had to hold back my tears – seeing my cousin as the bride and her sisters and MY sister as bridesmaids. I was totally feeling emotional! Setting up the first look with my Uncle was a super sweet moment and everything about the wedding day hit me so much more because it WAS family and I was there capturing it all!
The ceremony included special touches for the bride and groom including their officiants – my Uncle Paul and Rachel & Dex’s close friend, Meade. They included an acoustic song, personal hand-written vows, and a special ribbon ceremony where they asked 7 different groups of people who stood for different qualities to tie ribbons around their hands. I think my favorite part was how genuine the ceremony was to their relationship. They spoke back to the audience a few times – joking about who was going to cry first and who was going to win the bet. After the ceremony, family gathered in the garden for portraits and we took a giant family photo of both families! (Keep scrolling to that part of the day to see this super cute moment that I captured for my grandpa!) The bridal party was more than easy to work with! We had fun taking portraits before they were released to cocktail hour. Just check out their “dropping the mixtape” photo – totally stealing that phrase from Rachel’s bridesmaid, SK… because it is too good, you’ll see!
Let’s talk about this cute reception. I don’t want to give it away too soon — so like the other secrets.. you’ll just have to keep scrolling to see. HINT: There was a surprise toast! After dances, I snuck outside with Rachel and Dex for sunset portraits and they were SO romantic!!! Riverside on the Potomac has perfect scenery for golden hour! The rest of the evening was a big dance fest! Bouquet & garter tosses, shoe game, and a special song for Rachel by her Delta Gamma sisters came before their sparkler exit!!
Oh gosh, I could keep going — I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves! Both Rachel and Dex smiled ALL DAY LONG! Multiple times they both kept saying it was the best day ever… and it was. Congratulations Rachel and Dex!! Now, can you find the 3 surprises? Keep scrolling
How gorgeous are all of these bridal details!?!?!Dancing shoes for later at the reception!!! Gotta love those Kate Spade Keds!
It’s so crazy to read Rachel’s name on a wedding invite!!! ahhhh!Check out this cute custom garter!When you find this gorgeous silver tray at the venue… you use it for more bridal details… duh.The girls!
Ready for the bridesmaid reveal!That’s one proud mama!All the girls look so beautiful!!!Awww that sweet, Kenna Lee!Heart eyes!Is it possible that I couldn’t stop taking photos of this stunning bridal party? maybe????As SK called it… the “dropping the mixtape” pose… hahahaha!Sisters by blood and by Delta Gamma!MY sister and MY cousin! ahhh! It’s not real!Berry girls!Junior bridesmaid, Kohen, and flower girl, Kenna – Rachel’s nieces!Father Daughter First Look!So sweet!Dying over this bridal beauty!!!Gorgeous Ray!!!
Let’s take a look at the guys! Dex told me he had such a fun time taking pictures with Bethanne and it shows!!Look at that happpppppy groom!Rachel’s parents MADE the doors!Poor Wyatt! He didn’t like having his picture taken!
It took some arm twisting but Bo finally let me get a good shot!
Ready for surprise #1?! Rachel’s something blue!MR & MRS GREEN!Now that’s a family photo!! Two families joined!
The happy parents of the bride and groom!
Okay… this isn’t really a surprise… but #2 is so cute! Papa told me how he used to own a black one of these old cars and he “never thought he’d ever see it again.” So of COURSE we had to get a photo! It was so sweet!The whole squad!When your friend is a cop…We sent the bridal party to cocktail hour and started bride and groom portraits!!!
How cute is this little chapel? A new addition to Riverside on the Potomac!
I love this shot of the bride and groom and the venue! Riverside on the Potomac is gorgeous! (also… thanks to that branch on the right because my bag was totally in the grass and that leaf is blocking it… haha!)
Reception detail time!
All of the signs you see – all done by the bride herself!Quilt handmade by the bride’s two Aunts and mom!Let’s bring in the bridal party!YAY!Let the speeches begin!Bo Berry, do you have something to add?The last and best surprise!!!
Rachel surprised Dex by getting a video recording of Dex’s Best Man’s speech all the way from Thailand where his best man was deployed! It was the CUTEST moment! Dex was SHOCKED and he cried and it was so beautiful to witness!
I think it’s the first best man toast done by being in a bathing suit in a jacuzzi… ha!Cheers!Rachel and my Aunts and the quilt they made!!!IS THIS NOT THE CUTEST PICTURE OF DEX AND HIS MOM!?!? (all caps because it’s the cutest!)Meg couldn’t control herself… and honestly, neither could I as Rachel and her dad danced to Tim McGraw’s “My Little Girl”…
Katie and Megan joined for a little bit and I’m pretty sure everyone was in tears… I mean, I was.
All military – past and present! Recognize that gal on the right? That’s Bethanne – amazing photog and second shooter! She was in the Navy! and Dex said — get in here!Special moment between Papa and Dex! Bo Berry… possibly making a getaway.
Who’s ready for some sunset portrait?! ME ME ME!Are we in Virginia or… Probably my favorite golden hour photo ever…I mean…There’s that silly side!Surprise song from Rachel’s Delta Gamma sisters!This wasn’t your average bouquet toss…Things got a little intense…SEE?!Killer dive!
Almost ready for the grand exit!! (couldn’t help but sneak this one in there… haha Bethanne and my sister!)GAHHHH The newlyweds!!CONGRATS RACHEL & DEX!HUGE shoutout to all of the amazing people who worked so hard to put on such an amazing wedding for Rachel and Dex! Thank you to my fantastic second photographer, Bethanne Arthur Photography!
VENUE: Riverside on the Potomac
COORDINATOR: Rachael Ballinger of Savoir Fare
OFFICIENTS: Paul Denfeld (bride’s uncle) & Meade Hines (friend of B&G)
MAKEUP: The Highlight
SHOES: J.Crew/Kate Spade KEDS
GARTER: JPQuiltsandMoreLLC (etsy)
BRIDESMAID DRESS: Bill Levkoff
CATERING: Savoir Fare
BRIDE/BRIDESMAIDS BOUQUETS: J.Morris Flowers
RECEPTION FLORALS: Whole Blossoms arranged by Susie Mason & Karen Adams (bride’s aunts)
CAKE: Victoria’s Cakery
FARM TABLES: Barnes Farm Tables
DJ: DJ Mark Maskell
QUILT: Susie Mason, Karen Adams, & Chris Berry