After 10 wonderful years photographing weddings I have moved on to Maternity, Newborn and Family sessions. I am no longer taking on any weddings as of 2019. Feel free to be inspired by my past wedding couples as you plan your own wedding!
Ashley & Ryan | Peach & Mint Summer Inn at Willow Grove Wedding
Ashley and Ryan had a gorgeous peach & mint summer Inn at Willow Grove Wedding over Labor Day weekend. We had beautiful weather to close out the summer and celebrate their love. David and I have really enjoyed getting to know Ashley and Ryan over the last year as they have been planning the wedding. We spent a weekend with them in NYC in the spring for their engagement session and they gave us a true New Yorkers tour of the city. I loved ending our session with dinner together and chatting for hours while eating fancy macaroni and cheese in a New York hotspot.
They could not have picked a better location than The Inn at Willow Grove for their Southern wedding. The historic yellow plantation house is a stunning backdrop for photos. Ashley chose a beautiful palette of peach, gray and mint green for her colors and the drapey bridesmaid’s dresses were perfect. Ashley and Ryan decided to do a First Look so we could spend more time getting portraits of the two of them before the ceremony. The willow trees were the perfect homage to the Inn and provided a beautiful location for portraits. I loved walking the grounds and finding new locations for portraits! Even though I’ve been shooting at the Inn for the last 5 years I still find new spots to take advantage of.
My favorite part of Ashley & Ryan’s reception was their entrance, they each recorded things about how they felt about each other. Impressions of when they first met, when they knew the other was the one and wishes for the future. I got to stand outside with them and capture the moments they heard what the other had to say, the laughter and the tears of happiness. It was such an incredible moment! I love watching two people say I do but I love it even more when I can call them friends!
“Ryan and I were inspired by our love of the beautiful outdoors and rustic southern charm. We knew we wanted to marry near Charlottesville because it is close to my hometown and also near JMU where Ryan and I first met! We are wine enthusiasts, so our gorgeous venue in the heart of Charlottesville’s wine country was the perfect place to wed. We both had the advantage of being a part of several weddings prior to ours, so we got a lot of great ideas from our family and friends. I really wanted it to be unique and personal which inspired us to take on several DIY projects. I really felt that our entire wedding was a true reflection of our personal style and who were are as a couple.” – Ashley
Peach & Mint Summer Inn at Willow Grove Wedding
“I have to say that one of my favorite parts of the reception were the speeches. I’ve been to so many weddings in past years and I don’t think I’ve ever heard such entertaining speeches as those from our MOH and Best man. They killed it! They were funny and heartfelt and both of them really captivated the entire audience. Of course, my dad’s speech was so special and something that will always remain one of my favorite wedding day memories. I loved that we had a special wedding logo (that Ryan designed) which carried through so many of the details. The outlined state of Virginia with a heart over Charlottesville was featured on our Save the Dates, ceremony programs, welcome bag inserts, and wedding favor labels. Also, one of my closest friends owns a Wedding Rental business and she is the talent behind a lot of the beautiful staging from our wedding day.” – Ashley
“We were very excited about our DIY projects for the wedding. Ryan is a graphic designer, so he did most of the stationary including our welcome bag inserts, shower invitations, and our custom wedding logo. One of our groomsmen works with restoring old barns and was kind enough to give us the wood that Ryan used to make the directional signs. I spray painted the mason jars for the ceremony and we added some of our own floral designs. My dad actually installed the chicken wire on the old screen doors which we used as our guest book. We also spent a whole weekend, with the help of our family, making the favors and welcome bag goodies. Ryan’s mom made her famous Harvest Cookies for our guests and we were enough lucky to have my mom’s best friend paint personalized wine glasses for all of the bridesmaids. It was certainly a team effort, but several of the unique details from our wedding were projects that we enjoyed working on together throughout our entire engagement!”
“I would say one of my favorite wedding memories was our introduction to the reception. Ryan and I each recorded our version of the story of how we first met. We had our DJ drop our voices into our entrance song which was “Our Story” by Mako. It was such a surprise for all of our guests and when the doors opened and we were announced as Mr. and Mrs. Ryan Price”, our entire bridal party surrounded us in a circle of dancing and cheering. It was surreal and just like we had always pictured it. Our first look was another one of my favorite memories. Seeing Ryan’s face for the first time that day was the most unbelievable feeling and I will never forget the joy in his expression as long as I live.” – Ashley
“The best advice I could give to future brides is to enjoy everything. Not just the wedding day itself, but the entire process of planning one of the most special days of your life. The details can be overwhelming at times but remember that you are the only person who is going to notice is something is out of place. No matter what happens, it will be perfect because you are there to marry the love of your life. Include your spouse in important decisions so that your wedding can be representative of both of you. Lastly, I’ll share a bit of advice I received myself. For just a few seconds, step away from all of the chaos and see your wedding from the outside. Take a look at everyone who is there that day and remember they are all there for you. To support you as you start the next chapter of your life. Have fun and don’t waste a second worrying about things that won’t matter the next day.” – Ashley
The editors at Borrowed & Blue loved Ashley & Ryan’s wedding and featured it on their wedding blog to inspire more brides!
Welcome to my blog! I'm Melissa Arlena a Northern Virginia Newborn Photographer based out of Fredericksburg, Virginia. Sit back, relax and check out my latest work along with tips and advice for preparing for your maternity or newborn session. I'm so excited you are here!