Black Horse Inn | Warrenton Wedding Photographer | Maribel and Patrick


Aug 15, 2018

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From the time when I first met Maribel, I noticed what a sweet smile she had.  Later, my friend and second photographer, Adrianne Shelton, pointed out that Maribel’s beaming smile is something that shines through when she is around Patrick.  It’s like  a special smile that’s reserved just for his presence.  She is so correct in that observation! From their incredible Great Marsh Estate engagement session to their unforgettable Black Horse Inn wedding day, these two really have eyes and smiles just for each other.

Maribel and Patrick had their family and friends in mind for their big day from the moment they started planning.  They had told me that they would have family visiting from afar and that serving, hosting and accommodating them would be a priority.  And they did just that…everything was designed to welcome and entertain their guests with love and careful attention to detail.  Even the invitation suite was full of helpful information and showcased Maribel’s lavender and gold theme.   KK’s Printing and Stationery designed a gorgeous invitation suite for the occasion.

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Her invitation suite beautifully complimented the details of the day.

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I love the fact that Patrick also had coordinating details!

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Preparing for the Big Day

As Patrick and his men prepared for the day, Maribel and her ladies spent time together getting pampered by Sue Minsky and her team.  While we photographed the details, the ladies enjoyed their special time together.  After photographing Maribel getting ready and into her gorgeous YSA Makino gown, we all made our way to the little bridge beside the Black Horse Inn for Maribel and Patrick’s first look.

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The First Look

Oh my goodness…this was more than a first look.  It was such a sweet, emotion-filled moment.  Patrick had a tough time holding back tears and turned away to try to compose himself.  After seeing each other for the first time in such an authentic and private moment, they read their vows to each other.  Since their ceremony would be a Catholic Church ceremony, they still wanted to share their vows.  So a first look made that possible.  It was such a genuinely touching moment and I have yet to see the video so I don’t know what was said!  I never read the vows while photographing the vow books because I don’t want to violate the privacy of the moment before it happens.

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After the First Look, we strolled the grounds for some romantic couples’ portraits before Patrick had to head over to the church ahead of the women.  It was a beautiful day with perfect weather so it was an effortless stroll with two of the most happy people in the world!

Seriously how sweet are these two?!

Soon Patrick had to leave the Black Horse Inn and head over to the church.  So we then photographed some portraits of Maribel.  She was a STUNNING bride and that bouquet from The Posey Detail complimented her palette just perfectly.  The hearty blooms were the perfect match for a lavender theme.

And Maribel’s ladies were so sweet and helpful!  How about these adorable flower girls?!

The Ceremony

I love photographing at St. John The Evangelist Catholic Church.  It is a beautiful church and the staff are so friendly and helpful.  The limitations of no artificial lighting are certainly manageable here as well.  And once again, Patrick had a tough time holding back his tears as he said his vows to his lovely bride.  The ceremony was full of faith, family and truly meaningful vows.

After some bridal party portraits, we took a little stroll around until their transportation came.  I love how the church has a little private garden in the back!

Cocktail Hour

Once back at the Black Horse Inn, cocktail hour was in full swing.  Maribel and Patrick gifted each of their guests with copper moscow mules from RP & Associates.  Their guests enjoyed Patrick and Maribel’s signature drinks along with appetizers from The Purple Onion and the views at The Black Horse Inn.

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The Reception

The reception was beautifully decorated with the purple, lavender and gold palette.  Every table was stunning and The Posey Detail’s design skills were clearly right on point.  Maribel was so delighted with everything and even told me how much she loves Alyssa of the Posey Detail, referring to her as a designer, friend and counselor! Now that’s a lot of compliments for a planner and florist…and I couldn’t agree more.

And how about that cake from Gateau?!  There wasn’t a piece left after it was cut and served!


The Bride and Groom dance and the Groom and Mother dance was quite the way to kick off the evening…along with some special toasts to the bride and groom as well as a very warm welcoming speech from Patrick.  Patrick and Maribel were such amazing hosts with quite an adoring crowd!

After an amazing dinner, (also beautifully plated by The Purple Onion) the cake cutting and some more dancing ensued.  This was followed by a very special dance shared by Maribel and her father.

Golden Hour

Golden hour was gorgeous.  No rain, just a beautiful evening.  We photographed a few portraits of Maribel and then enjoyed a stroll around some of the property.

Due to a bit of a recording issue with their vows earlier in the day, the team from NuGen Media had to record their vows again.  But the best part about it is that Patrick cried all over again!  His words to Maribel simply ring true every time he shares them.  I can’t wait to see the video and hear what was shared!

Once they had recited vows again, we went to see the horses and oh my goodness! It turns out that Patrick is quite the horse whisperer! The horses came right over to him and genuinely loved his presence.  The Black Horse Inn made for the perfect setting for a couple who are so loved by animals!

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The children at the wedding loved the horses too and Patrick and Maribel so graciously included them in portions of their golden hour photographs…which I just love! My momma heart beat a little faster watching these sweet little ones enjoy a venue like The Black Horse Inn…it was perfect for them as well.

Before it was time for our coverage to end, my second photographer, Adrianne and I captured their sparkler send off with just the immediate family and bridal party.  I love how it was at dusk!  It was a fun moment and they took more than one walk through it!


Congratulations Maribel and Patrick! It was such a tremendous honor to serve you on your wedding day! I look forward to seeing you grow as a couple in the future as well!

Readers, read on to see how they met and how Patrick proposed as well as a list of the folks who helped to make it all possible and more visual highlights from their Big Day!


“Patrick and I met at a bar in Fairfax while I was out with some friends. He began talking to my friends and we later exchanged numbers. We started texting each other the same night and made plans to go to the gym the next morning.

We met at a parking lot in Fair Oaks Mall and from there we took one car to the ‘gym.’ He thought we were going to a regular gym but instead I took him to LA Boxing. (I had been practicing kickboxing/boxing for couple of years). I don’t think he was too excited (due to a massive hangover, haha). But still, we made the best out of our “first” date.

Afterwards, we went to eat at Panera and talked for a little before heading back to the parking lot where we had left one of our cars. Before we parted our ways, he told me that he had a friend’s birthday party at a bar in D.C. and asked if I wanted to go. I told him, ‘Sure, I will let you know later.’ We said goodbye and left.

I remember talking to my friend and telling her about this guy I had just met, this party he invited me to and how I didn’t want to go by myself. She immediately said, ‘Let’s go! I’ll go with you.’ I messaged Patrick and told him that I would be going with a friend. He said ‘Sounds good.’ We all met at a bar in D.C., had a good time and then decided to go to another bar in Dupont Circle. My friend drove all of us, Patrick, two of his friends, me and her. We had a blast! We became inseparable after that night.”


“Maribel’s parents were getting ready to travel overseas and be gone for close to a month. Before they left, they had a family gathering at her parents’ house. I wanted to make it special and propose in front of her whole family along with members of her extended family. It was a nice BBQ they had!

While everyone was sitting around the table, I got on one knee and started tearing up. I couldn’t help it! It was a very emotional time. Maribel thought I was going to tell her I was sick or that something was wrong with me. Haha! But nope! I opened the white box and there was the most beautiful ring she had ever seen (in her words, whew!).”


“Funny enough, a good buddy of mine is a jeweler and assisted me every step of the way with the purchase. I told him that I did not want to see the finished product. So when I opened the box up that night, believe it or not, it was the first time that I was also seeing the ring as well! Thank God it turned out to still be the ring I selected, hahahaha! I proposed on 3/25/17 but joked about wanting to wait another week and propose on April Fool’s Day! That would have been a killer prank, but oh well. I am very happy it happened the way it did, since I know her family means a lot to her. And I wanted to include them all in the special moment.”

Thank you to these cool cats who helped make the day perfect!

Venue: Black Horse Inn

Florals/Planning: The Posey Detail

DJ: Nate with I’m the DJ

Band: Orquesta Nfuzion

Wedding Dress: YSA Makino from Elegance by Roya Bridal

Shoes: Bella Belle

Ring: Gabriel&Co

Bridesmaid Dresses: Weddington Way

Flower Girl Dresses: Fattie Pie

Groom’s Ring: Benchmark

Menswear: Jos. A. Bank

Cake: Gateau

Favors: RP& Associates

Invitation Suite: KK’s Printing and Stationery

Caterer: The Purple Onion

Officiant: Father James Gould/St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church

Second Photographer: Adrianne Shelton

Videography: NuGen Media

Hair and Make Up: Sue Minsky with Beauty by Sue

Check out the Ten Wedding Day Essentials you may not have considered yet for your wedding day!

Michelle Lieb with Lieb Photographic is a Virginia Wedding Photographer, Charlottesville Wedding Photographer, BaltimoreWedding Photographer and Maryland Wedding Photographer. She is also a Washington DC Wedding Photographer, Phoenix Wedding Photographer, Arizona Wedding Photographer and a Destination Wedding Photographer!

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