December 19, 2014,
What an adventure!
Kelly and Trace flew me and my amazing second shooter, Oxana, to Washington DC to make some beautiful photos of their wedding. When they booked me, they took advantage of the free session that was promotion for booking that month!
They decided to use their session for photos of their rehearsal dinner after party at the Pentagon City Ice Skating Rink. The Pentagon City Ice Skating Rink is like all the rinks Alaskan’s think doesn’t actually exist except in cheesy Christmas movies. But there it was… including an outdoor fireplace and big guys playing the tuba for no apparent reason other than to get a little bit of change. (Yes, they really do that) It was pretty neat.
Check out the adorable slide show!
The next morning, we woke up at the bleary eyed time of 3am to meet the couple in the lobby of the Ritz Carlton in Pentagon City in order to shoot as many photos as possible before the monuments were cluttered with tourists.
When Kelly came down the staircase she was an absolute vision.
Kelley and Trace are from Alaska… and just like the rest of us, they love all things Kaladi Brothers. For the un-indoctrinated and under-caffeinated amongst us, let me help you out. Kaladi Brothers (n): The makers of the world’s best coffee. In many parts of Alaska the term “Kaladi’s” is interchangeable with the word “coffee” and usually preceded with the words “I need some”.
It was a nice touch to have a special shipment of Kaladi’s coffee shipped down to Washington DC, brewed and ready for our early morning adventure. I was thankful for the warmth and extra kick myself!
^^Every Alaskan man knows the way to a woman’s heart, haha.
Trace is a sneaky guy. Apparently before he and Kelly were engaged, Kelly always wore her grandmother’s ring despite the fact that it was missing some of the diamonds. One day, sly Mr. Trace asked if he could have the ring fixed for Kelly as a gift. After it was fixed, he returned it to her down on one knee.
We all loaded up in the bus to head to the monuments.
Sure it was 4am… no sense in not jamming out to the fun music the whole way there!
It was PITCH BLACK while we were outside shooting. And COOLD. Anyone who tells you that people down in the states have it easy with their winters… don’t believe them. It was freezing!
I was thankful That Trace and Kelly were able to withstand it as long as they did.
So many beautiful places to play… but we ended up using the columns of the Lincoln Memorial for a majority of our shoot. Quick was the order of the day.
All the beautiful bridesmaids out there just about froze! We still managed to get some gorgeous photos despite their discomfort.
As the sun began to rise, there was a pop of color coming out behind the Washington Monument. Such a romantic setting!
By then, Kelly was in a need of a warm up. She hopped in the bus to go pick up her father for a surprise.
As we made our way to the Vietnam Wall which is just over the hill from the Lincoln Memorial, I just had to pause and enjoy the gorgeous sunrise. It was breathtaking.
You can see that the US Capitol behind the monument and to the left is covered in scaffolding. Other notables are the Smithsonian Castle to the right of the monument and in the foreground just past the reflecting pond is the World War II Memorial.
The city was just beginning to wake up. We spotted this fun little runners club in their festive Christmas clothes.
The Vietnam Wall was decorated with wreaths with a red bow. And in the corner of a wall was a Christmas Tree covered in handmade ornaments from all over the world. Many had hand written letters of gratitude to the many soldiers that gave their lives.
Trace takes a few moments to contemplate.
When Kelly arrived back, she brought her father, a Vietnam Veteran, to his very first visit to the wall as a surprise.
His raw emotion as he remembered his brothers was very touching.
It was just after sunrise and my very favorite memory of the day. Everyone else hopped on the bus to ride to the War Memorial where the wedding was to be held. I decided to run ahead and beat them there to get photos of them arriving.
I literally had the entire Washington Mall all to myself to be thankful and savor the great sacrifices of those that made our great nation what it is today.
The War Memorial was just gorgeous as the sun peeked out above the trees.
These two… the flower girl and ring bearer nearly stole the show.
Married! Mr. & Mrs. Stevens!
I think they are a bit happy!
And then we were off to the Reception at the Ritz.
Oxana and I enjoyed a few moments of silliness in the elevator on the way to the reception.
When we arrived at the brunch reception, Trace and Kelly were understandably snuggled up by the fire with cups of… you guessed it… Kaladi’s.
So many great moments at the reception.
The little ring bearer told me: “I need to take the very best pictures, so I am just going to follow you around and do what you do!”. Oh my goodness so cute!
Trace and Kelly,
Thanks so much for including us in your beautiful Washington DC wedding.
Click HERE to see the rest of the photos from your beautiful day!