Jenn and Avery’s wedding day at The River View at Occoquan came with much anticipation for this Virginia wedding photographer! I first met Jenn when she was a bridesmaid in her friend Mollie’s wedding in the Fall of 2017. That was by far one of the most energetic, helpful and fantastic group of bridesmaids I’ve ever seen. So when I met with Jenn and her mom in my favorite coffee spot in Gainesville last year, I knew we would be a great fit!
Jenn and Avery also happen to be JMU alumni, so there’s a bit of that Dukes family connection happening as well. In fact, I couldn’t resist making sure I had a photo in front of the Duke Dog on their wedding day. Jenn and Avery even met at JMU as Student Ambassadors and their love story began to unfold from there.
Their engagement session at the Salamander Resort features more details from their love story and engagement. In fact it was such a sweet story and session that United with Love also picked up on it. (Don’t miss it if you haven’t read it yet!)
So when the Big Day finally arrived, it was a joy to document this couple on the beginning of their journey together as husband and wife. What began as a thrift store date with a toy penguin and a candle with a moose on top evolved into the loving, tightly knit relationship they share today.
My team and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all of the special details that accented Jenn and Avery’s day. They each tell a part of their story, from the invitations Jenn designed with her friend at Paint it Forward to the beaded lace sleeve cuff from her mother’s wedding dress.
Jenn and her bridesmaids prepared for her wedding day at the cutest Air B&B in Old Town Occoquan. There Jenn’s sister Allison, helped her as she donned the most perfect BHLDN dress.
Jenn’s bridesmaids were just as helpful, excited and supportive as Mollie’s were and it was such a sweet joy to have Mollie in the group as well. They were all thrilled to see Jenn in her wedding dress.
Right before a batch of rain made it’s way into the area, we were able to photograph some bridal portraits right outside of the Air B&B in old town as well. Thanks to a fast acting vendor team, Jenn stayed dry and just as lovely as ever!
Upon arriving at The River View at Occoquan, the rain was on and off again. Yet, everything planned was still able to happen with a bit of clever maneuvering. One such moment we had all been anticipating was Jenn’s first look with her dad. Ahhhh…it was not without some tears and plenty of joy!
Jenn’s bridesmaids were simply stunning and the rain held off enough to capture some incredible group portraits together. What a joyful and gorgeous group of women!
The men prepared for the Big Day on site at The River View at Occoquan. Avery enjoyed spending time with his groomsmen and immediate family and received that extra special touch with the pinning of his boutonniere. He had a smile a mile wide for his portraits as well!
Avery and his immediate family and groomsmen enjoyed some rain-free weather to round out their portraits before heading back inside to wait for the coming ceremony.
Every last detail was absolutely perfect! And the weather wasn’t too hot and the rain had stopped. Everything was set for the ceremony to begin.
Jenn and Avery celebrated with a rich, faith-filled ceremony that included a beaming bride, an emotional groom and words of deep commitment. Avery was ready to even ask Jenn to help him read his vows, as he was overcome with emotion (and joking about ruining his make up).
Their vows to one another were some of the most memorable and endearing. Avery spoke of Jenn’s “directional support” stating that she has “walked in front of me, behind me, and next to me…offering support in the ways I needed it the most, from the direction I needed it the most.”
He spoke of the unfortunate truth that so many of the people present on their wedding day will never truly know Jenn just as he does. So he attempted to bridge the gap by speaking on so many of the aspects of her character that make her the incredible woman she is. One of my favorite quotes from his vows was this: “You have no problem being a passenger when necessary and you find genuine happiness in watching others reach their goals. It is such an empowering feeling knowing that whatever comes next, I can always turn around and find you in my corner, ready to help. One of the reasons I fell in love with you was your servant-heart, something fully on display as you walk behind me into the future.”
Jenn also had some incredible things to share about Avery. This included their first date which included a trip to Goodwill and the purchasing of items that reminded them of each other (how sweet is that?!!!)…hence the penguin and the moose.
Jenn also said , “You love life with a passion; it’s contagious. Your integrity and determination are unwavering. You are strong and sensitive. You are everything I need and want in my husband, and you will be the BEST father to our children.”
She was also gracious in thanking their family and friends who had traveled far and wide to be there with them. I just loved all of her attention to such important details of the day!
At the conclusion of their ceremony, they celebrated with a walk down the aisle and a kiss. This was followed by group portraits with some of the amazing folks in their “village” of friends and family who have been there for them all along.
When it was time for their portraits together, the overcast skies made for mild temperatures, which is not always common in June! There was no rain, just joy!
The docks at The River View at Occoquan created the perfect space to walk and stroll along. And from the opposite side, I had the perfect perspective to capture that veil!
The reception details were gorgeous! Jenn’s vision really came to life as the team from The Posey Detail and The Riverview at Occoquan really brought it all to life.
Jenn and Avery made their grand entrances after their wedding party was introduced. During the end of the incredible dinner, Jenn and Avery shared a special first dance as husband and wife. This was followed by toasts and two special parent dances (again, not without tears!).
As a Virginia wedding photographer, I always hope for one of those spectacular Virginia sunsets. But that’s not always a guarantee. However, even if you don’t get one, that evening light still makes for some lovely couples’ portraits and Jenn and Avery were game!
The rest of the evening was spectacular! There were so many wonderful moments, including many with their beloved grandparents. I wish I had more hours to comment on it all. But it’s safe to say that the room was filled with love, joy and lots of incredible singing and playing thanks to the Bobby McKees Dueling Piano Bar!
As for my photography team, we ended the evening with a festive cake cutting and a quick night shot in front of the venue. Before saying our goodbyes, we may or may not have taken some selfies in front of the Duke Dog.
Congratulations Jenn and Avery! Thank you so very much for the honor of photographing your incredible wedding day. I’ve loved serving you!
Keep scrolling for more highlights from their Big Day and thank you to these folks who helped to make it so very special!
Venue: The River View at Occoquan
Planning/Florals: The Posey Detail
Hair and Make Up: Kristen C Artistry
DJ: Jon James
Videography: Love Per Second
Wedding Dress: Watters
Bridal Boutique: BHLDN
Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie
Engagement Ring: Boone and Sons Jewelers
Men’s Attire: Jos. A Bank
Catering: Great Blue Heron
Cake: Bethany Frank
Invitation Suite: Jenn Corser and Paint it Forward
Calligraphy: Paint it Forward
Bridesmaid Gifts: Kendra Scott
Bride’s Jewelry: Kendra Scott
Officiant: Tim Ward
JMU Duke Dog: James Madison University
Ring Box: The Mrs. Box
Michelle Lieb with Lieb Photographic is a Virginia Wedding Photographer, Charlottesville Wedding Photographer, Baltimore Wedding Photographer and Maryland Wedding Photographer. She is also a Washington DC Wedding Photographer, Phoenix Wedding Photographer, Arizona Wedding Photographer and a Destination Wedding Photographer!