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Rachel & Steve | Mankin Mansion Wedding

Mankin Mansion Wedding

If I could create a recipe for the perfect wedding it would consist of the following!

Beautiful weather

Amazing Venue

Gorgeous Sweet Bride

Handsome Charismatic Groom

Fun Bridal Party

Cool Details

Loving Families

and finally Sweet Beautiful Light at portrait time!

Rachel and Steve’s wedding had all those ingredients and more!!  They picked the perfect venue, Historic Mankin Mansion in Richmond, Virginia.  If you are searching for an elegant outdoor garden location for your wedding look no further.  Everywhere I turned at the mansion there was another beautiful spot for photos and as the sun set we had the perfect lighting!  I knew it was going to be a good day when I started doing portraits of Steve and he started modeling for me like a pro, I didn’t have to help him at all!  As for Rachel all I can say is WOW, she was stunning and the camera adored her!  When I put the two together for portraits it was AMAZING!!!!  I would put them on the cover of a magazine anyday.

There is a very special bench included in the photos that you will not find at the mansion if you have your wedding there.  That is because it is Rachel and Steve’s bench, the bench he proposed on and with!  Steve carved Will You Marry Me? onto the bottom of the slats on this bench!  Being the sly guy he is he had the bench placed on a trail that he and Rachel bike on, as they were biking he managed to get her to take a break with him on this bench and explained this was not an ordinary bench.  No this was a special bench, it was their bench and I’m so happy they brought it to the wedding for photos!  My latest all time favorite image I’ve ever taken is of the two of them on this bench, it was the sneak peek for their wedding and now graces my homepage because I love it that much!!!

So now that we’ve covered most of the ingredients in my perfect wedding recipe all that is left is fun bridal party and loving families!  I can say check and check to both those things at this wedding.  Steve and Rachel had a large bridal party packed with friends and families that love them and they were so easy to work with!  As the photographer I send a big thank you to the bridal party for making my job so easy, you guys looked great and you listened perfectly!!  Two thumbs up!  Rachel and Steve come from huge extended families and it was awesome to see them all come out and celebrate!  The band kept the dance floor packed all night long.  So congratulations to the beautiful couple, your wedding day was perfect and I’m so happy that I was there to capture it all for you!  Enjoy your honeymoon!!


Big thank you to my second shooter Stacey!  She was awesome and I love this shot with the pool table reflected in the cup!!

I think Steve could work as a model if he ever needs a new career!

The gorgeous Historic Mankin Mansion

What a good looking bridal party!!!

Rachel you looked so elegant and beautiful, the lyrics “Isn’t she lovely” keep running through my head!

I think I squealed out loud when I took this!  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!!

Another favorite of mine!

My favorites from the entire day!  I love the light, the bench that means so much to them and how sweet they look!


How cool is that shadow?!?!  I looked up and there it was!




To see more of Rachel & Steve’s wedding at Historic Mankin Mansion, check out the slideshow below!

Show Rachel & Steve some love by commenting below and sharing this post with your friends!  20 comments will earn them a complimentary 8×10 Fine Art print of their favorite image.  Thanks!!! (All comments are approved so your comment will not show up right away, no need to re-submit it will be approved shortly!)  Also don’t forget to check back for their online gallery of the day’s images in a couple weeks!  Rachel & Steve

The following wedding vendors contributed to Rachel & Steve’s wedding:

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Historic Mankin Mansion
Photography: Melissa Arlena Photography
Catering: Champagne Taste Catering
Makeup: Lou Stevens
Gown: Marissa from Bella Rosa Bridal
BM Gowns: W2 from Rosalins
Groom & Groomsmen: Men’s Wearhouse
Florist: Flowers by Mona Ray
Cake: Cakes by Graham
Band: Klaxton Brown
Officiant: Reverend Andrew Mutter

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  • Mollir DanforthOctober 20, 2011 - 4:35 pm

    A great wedding deserves great photos.
    These photos are great!

  • Libby GarveyOctober 20, 2011 - 11:07 pm

    Perfect setting, perfect weather, perfect couple! Thank you for sharing it.

  • Angela DavisOctober 21, 2011 - 3:51 pm

    These are fantastic photos. It looks like the perfect combination of photographer, venue, beauty, weather, love and the sparkle in their eyes. Wonderfully captured.

  • Historic Mankin MansionOctober 21, 2011 - 6:50 pm

    Thanks so much Melissa for sharing this amazing wedding with your readers- as well as for your kind words. It was a pleasure working with you- we hope to see you again soon!

  • grandma libby danforthOctober 21, 2011 - 9:45 pm

    It was a beautiful wedding. Perfect in every detail. So glad I was able to be there.
    I pray you have a long happy life together. The pictures were great.

  • raena sherrillOctober 22, 2011 - 9:23 am

    Stunning!…simply stunning!

  • TGAOctober 24, 2011 - 12:11 pm

    wow! i LOVE YOUR STYLE. i love that you have a defined look to your photos. your brand.

  • audrey mcgrathOctober 25, 2011 - 1:36 pm

    Rachel and Steve,
    These pictures really captured your magical night. Thanks for allowing me to be a part of your special day!

  • helga jackOctober 25, 2011 - 2:02 pm

    Very stunning photos.. thank you for sharing!


I’m Melissa Arlena

Hi there! Welcome to my blog, a journal about weddings, newborns, sailing & DIY projects. Basically my life in a nutshell! Stay awhile and say hello!

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