I’ll never forget Megan and Ben’s engagement session (part one) in Old Town Alexandria. It was a day with cold rain…the kind that’s so cold you wonder why it isn’t ice. Not only did Megan and Ben stick it out, but so did Winston. Winston is about the cutest Bernedoodle you could ever meet. So after that, I prayed for good weather for their wedding day. Given all the rainy Saturdays this summer, it was no small miracle that their day was GORGEOUS. It was literally the perfect weather and Winston was just as happy as Megan and Ben to celebrate at Walden Hall.
Megan and Ben’s details were such a lovely and telling part of their day. Their invitations even boasted a watercolor from Resource Designs of the venue. Walden Hall is one of the most lovely places to tie the knot and you couldn’t ask for better folks to work with!
Megan and Ben also had the most delicate monogramed wooden ring box as well as a special engraved wine box for their first anniversary. Megan’s jewelry and veil from Sara Gabriel were the most perfect additions to her look as well.
Megan enjoyed preparing for her day in the bridal suite at Walden Hall as well as in the adjoining fainting room. Her bridal portraits were just timeless! She was more lovely than Emma Watson’s Beauty! That Astrid and Mercedes gown was not just stunning but functional as well with pockets…a personal love of mine. And those blooms from The Posey Detail and her hair and make up courtesy Yisell Santos simply completed the look.
Even Winston greeted his momma and spent time with her!
Megan also shared a vey special first look with her dad, who couldn’t hold back tears. Fortunately, she gifted him with a special hankie before making her way downstairs to head outside for portraits with her ladies and immediate family.
Once outside, Megan and her women enjoyed some time strolling in front of the house and in the ceremony area by the side garden. IT was the perfect day with incredible weather so everyone was comfortable and happy together!
The men enjoyed a morning together helping Ben to prepare for his day as well. Of course Winston was an integral part of his morning as well! The men looked dashing in their navy suits with pop of that deep wine for ties!
Winston and Ben also enjoyed a sweet stroll around the grounds together…
Ben and Megan shared the sweetest first look in front of the Walden pond. Ben was overwhelmed with Megan’s beauty and grace and both shared sweet words and laughter.
They also exchanged personal letters and gifts to one another. Megan surprised him with a special pair of sneakers and Ben gave her a framed print of the night sky from when they met, were engaged and their wedding day. The bridesmaids and Winston looked on…don’t they look incredible together with their Kate Spade Keds?!
After such special moments it was time for couples’ portraits. I love this sweet romantic time with the bride and groom where we create genuine moments and images to last a lifetime before the guests arrive and with more privacy than is afforded later in the day. Of course we had to include Winston as well! How sweet are they?
We then had the entire bridal party join us for time together as well as their immediate families. It was so relaxing and delightful to have that time before the ceremony.
The Ceremony details embodied everything that you would want from a garden wedding at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I love how Walden Hall has so many options for ceremony sites.The garden is just one of several perfect spots!
The ceremony was full of life and love, traditions new and old and a bride and groom who spoke vows from the heart. Both were filled with personal shares, words of commitment, laughter and tears.
And of course, that kiss! And one of the highlights was certainly Winston’s excitement at the end!
We even had a little time for some bridal party fun afterwards as well as a veil shot or two or three!
The reception space at Walden Hall was decorated just as Megan and Ben had envisioned. Every table was ready to greet its guests and Megan and Ben had a wonderful and tasty menu planned as well as a delectable cocktail hour.
Right before the amazing meal began, Megan and Ben shared their well practiced first dance. It was magical!
We then headed out to capture the last remnants of golden hour. What a beautiful and sweet time it was…a little overcast but a lot of stunning evening portraits together as husband and wife!
The reception continued with toasts from the Maid of Honor (Megan’s sister) and the Best Man (Ben’s longtime friend). After some very authentic and touching words, Megan danced with her daddy and Ben with his mom. This still remains one of my favorite parts of the evening!
Megan and Ben’s guests certainly knew how to break in the dance floor after the dinner had been served and the cake had been cut! The place was on fire!
We then took advantage of the covered bridge decorated with twinkling lights before heading back in for a glow stick party!
The evening ended with a fantastic sparkler exit and more glow stick fun…
Megan and Ben (and Winston)…it has been an incredible honor to serve you and your family and friends. Thank you so much for such a high honor! I have loved every minute of it and cannot wait to see what the future holds for your sweet family!
Keep on reading to hear their love story, see more highlights from the day and find out who all the the cool cats are who helped make their special day possible!
“I first became aware of Ben during my third year of law school. It was when my roommate and I were reading applications for first year law students to be law clerks for the legal assistance program for which I was the director. My roommate thought Ben had a great application and I proceeded to see his photo on our school’s online directory. It was an awful picture with terrible lighting; I was not impressed.
I first met Ben in person when he interviewed for the law clerk position. He gave a solid interview, but it was somewhat bizarre that his fun fact was that he was “pretty good at Scattegories.” Who says that and what does “pretty good” even mean? Ben was among those selected to be law clerks and the program hosted a party to celebrate the new clerks. By some divine intervention, I was killing it playing flip cup at the party, which caught Ben’s eye.
We started some banter and during our conversation, Ben called me Ursula. To be fair, there was a girl at the party who’s name was Ursula. But I could not believe that he did not know my name, especially when I interviewed him for the job! Anyways, I did not let him down, and still don’t for that. And I made sure everyone else at the party knew his blunder. Since that party, Ben and I have always clicked and get along so easily.
Our first true test was that following summer, when I decided to follow Ben to Indianapolis. He was completing his summer internship there while I studied for the bar exam. I think we both knew then that we were a perfect match for each other because we could survive one of us studying for the bar while living in a studio apartment. Fast forward two more years in New Orleans and one summer long distance. Ben and I now live happily in Virginia with our amazing dog, Winston.”
“My parents were supposed to visit us the weekend after my birthday. Then my dad called to say he had to fill in for someone who was supposedly recovering from surgery. Ben suggested that we go to his family’s beach house in Rehoboth Beach, DE for the weekend instead.
Early that Saturday morning, we took Winston for a walk on the beach, as we have done previously. Winston absolutely loves going to the beach and we had such a great time watching him run around off-leash. As we were on our way back, I noticed a guy with a nice, professional-looking camera. I told Ben that we better put Winston’s leash on, because I feared that he would run and jump up on the guy. Winston did exactly that.
As I ran over to try to get Winston, the guy said he had been taking photos of people with their dogs and asked if he could take a few of us with Winston. I really did not think anything of this, because Winston is the most handsome dog ever and people frequently stop us to talk about him or to take his photo. I only started to feel uncomfortable and suspicious when the photographer asked us to hold hands and look at each other. So I kept asking Ben what was going on and if we were done.
Then, Ben says that he thinks ‘it’s a good time to…’ and he goes into his drawstring bag to get out a box. He gets down on one knee and proposes. I was so happy/excited/crying that I pretty much blacked out to what he was saying, but I at least recall saying ‘yes.’ We took a couple more photos and then started the drive back to the house. As we were driving, Ben insisted that I call my parents. I did not want to because I wanted to Facetime with them back at the house. But I agreed to call them as he dropped Winston off to be groomed.
We finally made it back to the house, and after walking in, my parents, his mom and sister popped out of the kitchen. Crying again as I say hello, I ask if there are any more surprises. Little did I know that everyone knew the whole time, and my dad lied about someone getting surgery. We then celebrated with our families the rest of the day.”
Congratulations Megan, Ben AND Winston! Thank you to these cool cats for helping to make it happen:
Venue: Walden Hall
Planning/Coordination: Main Street Weddings
Florals: The Posey Detail
Rentals: The Posey Detail
Catering: Roadside Chive
Dress: Astrid and Mercedes
Hair and Make Up: Yisell Santos Hair and Make Up
String Quartet: Old Bridge Chamber Orchestra
Veil: Sara Gabriel
Jewelry: Sara Gabriel
Videographer: Studio Mac Films
Bridesmaid Dresses: Kennedy Blue
Air Conditioning Units: Air Pac
Invitation suite: Resource Designs
Calligraphy and additional decor: The Bride!
Favors: Personalized Drinkwear
Bridesmaid and Bridal Shoes: Keds
Officiant: Wedding Ceremonies with Tim
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!