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!

Jessica & Anthony | Fall Stover Hall Wedding

Fall Outdoor wedding at Stover Hall in Luray Virginia with Blue Ridge Mountain backdrop by Melissa Arlena Photography #melissaarlenaphotography

fall stover hall wedding

the couple

Fall Stover Hall Wedding – I love that by the time I photograph my couples saying I do they aren’t just clients to me! Instead they are friends and I’m as thrilled as any guest seated when they are pronounced husband and wife. This wedding was different though because Anthony has been a friend of David’s since long before I came into the picture. They are brothers united under the eagle, globe and anchor of the USMC and lifelong friends. In fact he stood by David’s side at our wedding in the role of best man. This time I felt more like family than just a really happy friend as they said I do.

When you’ve known someone for a long time you have lots of fun stories!  Like the time our dog Sadie ate a prized cheesecake Anthony’s mom made at Thanksgiving. Funny now but not so funny then, lol! His brother and best man Roger told us during his speech that he remembers Anthony being very chatty one night. Roger asked what was up and Anthony told him about this girl at work, Jessica. When Roger asked if he was going to ask her out his response was “heck no she hates me!”

the story

Fast forward 7 years I think Jessica got past the the not liking him part! Especially when he was down on one knee in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa asking her to be his wife! His friends had been pointedly asking him for years when he was going to make an honest woman of her.  We were thrilled to hear the news! Over the past year it’s been fun to chat with them about wedding plans and give advice on different things from my experience. It was a big job to pull off but Jessica did it fabulously!

the day

Stover Hall in Luray, Virginia with it’s beautiful mountain backdrop was the perfect location for a wedding weekend getaway! Jessica embraced the rustic elegance of the venue and crafted tons of DIY projects. David and I especially loved all the printed photos she had strung up around the barn. Classics like school photos when they were kids to photos of them with their bridal party throughout their lives. Plus their beautiful engagement photos!

My favorite details included Jessica’s gorgeous beaded gown from Ava Laurenne and her Leaning Tower of Pisa cake from Bijou Sweet Treats!

The weather was perfect with blue skies and enough heat to keep the girls warm but not enough that the guys were sweaty messes in their suits. As the evening temperatures dropped the party moved to the bonfire near the reception space to keep warm and talk about old times.



Look at the handsome groomsmen I managed to pick up at the reception ;)! Hubby and I clean up pretty nice and it was fun to be able to dance with him a bit at the reception!



To see more of Anthony and Jessic’s wedding day, click play below! Leave these two love, if they get 25 comments on this blog post, they will receive a complimentary 8×10″ print of their favorite wedding day image.

the details


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I'm Melissa

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!

Areas I serve

DC, Alexandria, Falls Church, Arlington, Fairfax, Springfield, Lorton, Woodbridge, Stafford, Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania & Richmond area.


Maternity and Newborn Photography

I'm a Virginia born and raised photographer, DIYer, and educator sharing life, love and all my latest projects with you!

xoxo, Melissa Arlena

diyer, sailor, mother, dog lover, military wife


based out of Fredericksburg, Virginia