Jessica and Paul have a love story that could have come from one of the beautiful classic movies that they enjoy together. Paul works for the Chamber of Commerce, and the two met at the McClean Community Center when Paul was running for the Center’s Governing Board. Together for almost five years, they attended several concerts at Wolftrap in Vienna, Virginia the first summer they were dating. Returning to Wolftrap for their wedding reception seemed only right! This couple shares an interest in the AFI’s Top 100 Movies of All Time and a love for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Engaged on Christmas Eve, Jessica and Paul have been eagerly anticipating “tying the knot,” and I was happily looking forward to photographing their fall wedding!
A caring couple with an obvious love for their families and country, Jessica and Paul exchanged vows at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Vienna, Virginia. The day began with a chilly rain, but the church was warm and inviting. I loved that the formal ceremony was uniquely reflective of this couple. While the rain continued into the evening, it only served to wonderfully enhance the dark and moody atmosphere of their candlelit reception at Wolftrap. With close friends and family around them, nothing could dampen this day!
Jessica arrived at the church with her hair and makeup ready. Her chosen hairstyle was a side sweep with cascading curls, held in place by a Mariell hair clip. As she dressed and prepared for the ceremony, her mother and her bridesmaids were close by to help with whatever was needed.
The Crane invitations were elegant and included both silver and gold in their design.
I had suggested Badgley Mischka shoes from BHLDN to Jessica and she purchased a beautiful pair that was the perfect complement to the mixed metals of the invitations!
Her flowers by Barbara Von Elm of Growing Wild mirrored the seasonal transition from fall to winter and included greenery with cascading blooms. I thought the garnet dahlias were absolutely gorgeous and worked so well with her other floral choices!
Because of the rain, Jessica decided to have her bridal portraits taken in a bright and open side room in the church. Her Ellis Bridals London dress from the White Swan remained in exquisite shape in spite of the rain. While rain is often dreaded on a wedding day, this bride had thoughtfully prepared for this possibility and the day went on as planned!
Jessica shared a first look with her father. While these are always emotional, this look also happily included many smiles to go with the tears. Laughing with her father, she pinned the boutonniere onto his lapel with help from Amanda of The White Pumpkin. Her father showed me special cuff links that Jessica had given him as a gift.
After Jessica’s bridal portraits, she posed for some pictures with her parents and lovely bridesmaids. There was a quick break in the rain, but because it was so wet outside we decided to keep most of the pictures indoors.
Meanwhile, the men were getting ready at Paul’s home. Paul was dressed in a very classic suit for the wedding. Working for the Chamber of Commerce, Paul knows a great deal about Virginia. His home has many maps and items that display that interest. These were a wonderful backdrop for pictures.
The stately groomsmen included mostly uncles and also his brother-in-law. The men made their way to the church so that the ceremony could begin.
This wedding ceremony was a bit unusual in that the congregation sang hymns during the service. I loved hearing the participation of so many during this moment! The patriotism of this couple was evident as they had everyone sing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.” A rarely heard musical choice at a wedding, the song added a very personal touch not soon forgotten.
Newly married, Jessica and Paul left the ceremony in a classic ’63 Vandenplas, a car that was special to the two of them. This was a perfect ending to their ceremony! They headed to the Filene Center at Wolftrap as the rain had let up for a brief few minutes around dusk. I took as many portraits of the couple as possible until the sun disappeared. Fortunately we were also able to fit in some pictures with the couple and the bridesmaids with their beautiful shawls.
Jessica and Paul enjoyed a walk around one of the prettiest parts of the state and the grounds at Wolftrap.
The couple made their grand entrance into the reception. An amazing meal was catered by The Purple Onion, and toasts were made by family members. It became very clear that both Jessica and Paul have exceptional character as Jessica’s father gave a moving tribute to both his daughter and Paul. Paul’s sister spoke of her love for her brother and Jessica, while also sharing how Jessica had once dropped everything to help when Paul’s grandmother was in the hospital. This was a beautiful merging of two families.
The couple had their first dance together, as well as dances with their parents. Paul and his mother began a twenties-style dance, after which everyone joined in!
Jessica and Paul enjoyed the cake-cutting and tastefully shared the cake with each other.
It was a joy to serve you and your families! Keep scrolling to see highlights from the day.
You can also view their engagement session at Great Marsh Estate HERE!
To view more Northern Virginia weddings and engagement sessions, peruse HERE.
Thank you to these wonderful folks who made their day possible:
Wedding Gown: Ellis Bridals London, White Swan Bridal
Shoes: Badgley Mischka, BHLDN
Hair: Ida Francisco, Colour Bar Studio
Makeup and Bridesmaids’ Hair: Best Face Forward
Florals: Growing Wild
Menswear: JoS. A. Banks
Bridesmaid Dresses: Joanna August
Catering: Purple Onion
Cake: Victoria’s Cakery
Wedding Coordinator: Amanda Smith, White Pumpkin
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!