Washington DC Destination Wedding
Wedding at The Ospreys at Belmont Bay
Matt + Ericka
Matt and Ericka said something to me at the end of their wedding that confused me for a moment. The said “We really appreciate you coming all the way out here for our wedding! We know it was difficult to do”. This was confusing because I had never really thought about their destination wedding from their perspective. From their view, they were assuming I had to make some huge sacrifice to come up there. Granted, it is a big trip…8 hours of driving and an entire weekend stay in our Nation’s capital….but I was confused because I never once saw it in that way. See, there are two things I love about being a wedding photographer more than anything else: Meeting amazing new people, and getting to travel and experience new things. Matt and Ericka’s DC Wedding had all of that, and I was so excited to be a part of their wedding that I never once had a doubt in my mind about taking on the experience.
And what an experience it was. You may remember Matt and Ericka from their mountain engagement session – still one of my favorites to-date. And if you look through those photos, you will see exactly why I was so excited to photograph their wedding. These two are a wedding photographer’s dream come true. Easy to work with, happy, vibrant, and full of life – There is something about these two that just makes things work. And I don’t know about you, but when I get the opportunity to work with incredible people while traveling and working in a new area, I consider it a gift. There was no sacrifice here, I was looking forward to this from the very beginning.
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As always, I like to begin with my favorites from the day…but with Ericka and Matt, I found it more difficult to pick out my favorites than normal. And why not? I mean, their wedding had depth – I’ve never had a wedding that had so much checked off on my ‘dream wedding photography’ checklist. Full military ceremony in Arlington VA with a Saber Arch exit? Check. Photographing at the Lincoln Memorial and reflecting pond in the heart of Washington DC? Check. A lively reception filled with celebration? And high emotions throughout the day? Check….I mean, look at Ericka’s reaction to a memorable gift from her bridesmaids right at the beginning on the day. It was a perfect start to the wedding day.
After everyone was dressed and ready in Arlington VA, it was time for the first look. We decided to do it right outside of the Lincoln memorial. To keep Matt from seeing Ericka too soon, we got creative in the car ride over. Yes, that is my tie as a blindfold. At the first look itself, these two didn’t let the thousands of people crowding around bother them at all – It may as well have been just the two of them. Part of wedding photography is learning how to react to unexpected situations….I never would have guessed there would be this many people there, and it seems every stranger there wanted to take a photo of the happy couple. Other people would have let this bother them and the little time we had could have been ruined, but Matt and Ericka are pretty much masters of handling the unexpected. Both in the military, Erika working as a nurse and Matt as a flight surgeon…I guess it’s a little overkill to compare what they do on a daily basis to handling a little crowd control at the Lincoln memorial, but let’s just say I’m incredibly happy that they took it in stride.
After some hair/makeup touchups back at the hotel, it was time for the ceremony. This was my first time being a part of a full military wedding ceremony, and it is incredible that my first one happened to be at the Fort Myer Old Post Chapel right in Arlington VA. So much history here, and it was amazing to be a part of it all. The Sabre Arch exit was also an incredible experience, and it was a fitting send off to the reception.
Speaking of the Reception, it took place at The Osprey’s at Belmont Bay in Woodbridge VA. I knew their reception was going to be a wild one, which meant Matt had to change back into a regular suit for the shenanigans. What I hadn’t planned on was being greeted by an incredible sunset on arrival at The Osprey’s. And since Matt and Ericka enjoy photography, that meant we got to really explore and enjoy our time out there before heading into the reception. A photographer’s dream come true, remember?
Now THAT is a wedding. Matt and Ericka, you really do things right. You two are perfect for each other, and I wish you the absolute best in the future, no matter where it takes you. Cheers!