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!

Paige & Matt – Merrior Rehearsal Dinner Northern Neck Wedding

Merrior Rehearsal Dinner

From the moment I met Paige & Matt and their families I felt like I was immediately a lifelong friend! After their engagement session we went to Merrior for dinner, Paige told me they were planning to have the rehearsal dinner there so it was the perfect opportunity to check out the space and sample their yummy food. Anything on the water and surrounded by sailboats is like to home to me so I fell in love with Merrior. I’d love to try and sail there at some point!

On the night of the rehearsal dinner I had my favorite second shooter there, my husband David and we had so much fun! I shot mostly film while he backed me up with digital images and I’m so glad I brought plenty of film. Something about the casual elegance and the color and grain of the film was a match made in heaven. I look at these images and I’m right back there!

Kendall and Paige did a fabulous job with the decor and the beautiful flowers from Cindy with The Wild Bunch were perfect! The rustic picnic tables were simple with alternating gorgeous floral centerpieces and cute lanterns. I loved the oyster shell place cards, so easy and elegant! Of course Merrior knocked it out of the park with the food, not only was it delicious it was presented so elegantly. I highly recommend a Merrior rehearsal dinner to any Northern Neck brides.

Merrior Rehearsal Dinner




Aren’t these adorable!



Just looking at this photo makes my mouth water!



Grainy black and white film will always have a special place in my heart!



This photo right here captures the entire evening for me, the celebration of friends and family toasting the bride & groom!



Paige & Matt has such an amazing rehearsal dinner that the editors of Tidewater & Tulle published it for all their readers to be inspired!

Check it out – Chic Oyster Picnic Rehearsal Dinner

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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