The first time we met Carol and Shelton for their initial client meeting, we could tell that they were a very bubbly and fun-filled couple which fit our style perfectly. During the meeting, we clicked right away and knew that we had found our next couple. There was a little added pressure for us on this wedding as Carol is herself is a very skilled wedding and events coordinator in the DC area. Shelton, like most guys, was there for the laughs (and free Starbucks, just kidding! Just kidding!) but was definitely joking just as much as we were. The couple was so impressed with our work that not only did they book us for their wedding, but we also shot their engagement session as well as Carol's Bridal shower! So by the time the wedding came around, we were all very well acquainted, which is definitely the most ideal scenario. This dynamic played very well on the wedding day and it showed in the images, so let's get to it!
Carol and the bridesmaids spent their morning getting ready in a beautiful suite in the Westin Alexandria. By the time we had arrived, the makeup artist, Nicole Redwine, was just finishing up the last bridesmaid and getting to our bride. Talk about perfect timing! The other bridesmaids were in the other room of the suite tending to their own personal styles. We started off as we start most of our weddings with the details. We chose to go with a more dramatic lighting setup for these details which played very well. The bridesmaids wore gorgeous navy blue dresses and the Maid and Matron of Honor stood out with their golden shoulder chain pieces! Once the ladies of NOT JUST HAIR Salon and Boutique finished the bride's hair, Carol slipped into her beautiful wedding dress from The Bridal Room. We had a great time with the ladies that morning as it set the mood for the rest of the day.
The gentlemen prepared for the wedding at the Franklin household. Shelton had his personal barber come to the house and get the groomsmen looking as sharp as the blades he used. The fellas enjoyed telling jokes and stories about each other over drinks as they dressed in their formal wear from Tuxedo by Sarno.
Finally, both parties would converge at the Alfred Street Baptist Church where final preparations were made. We used this last bit of time before the ceremony to prepare a quick slideshow of the shots that we had taken that morning to play at the start of the ceremony! The children of the wedding showed up and got to have some free time to play the piano and have some fun before the ceremony. The couple shared prayers with their separate parties and then were led in prayer by Carol's father.
Location - Alfred Street Baptist Church
The Wedding ceremony started off with a slideshow of photos to music that we had prepared just before the start using shots from the morning. There were plenty of emotions from guests as the photos scrolled through. The Alfred Street Baptist Church is among one of the most active and beautiful churches in the Alexandria, Virginia area. It provided a wonderful setting for Carol and Shelton's wedding. The couple chose to perform in the hand washing ceremony to symbolize the start of their marriage with a clean slate. There was a duet performance by Ms. Louise Pearson and Mr. Jonathan Watkins that was absolutely riveting. It wasn't long after that we found ourselves looking at the new Mr. and Mrs. Franklin as they hopped the broom in a room full of excitement and love!
Formals / Afternoon Outing:
Immediately following the ceremony, we had all of the guests stand and face the balcony for one large photo with everyone in attendance. Of course we spent a little time at the alter with the couple and their family before the mini-reception. The vehicle for the day was a classic Shelby that was loaned to Shelton by his father. We loved incorporating it into some shots before we took the bride and groom out and about in Old Town Alexandria.
As the sun set for the evening, we found ourselves at the final location for the night--the George Washington Masonic Temple. The entire temple was lit with blue light and the awesome folks at Brightly Ever After provided beautiful letter lights to go out front, giving the couple a gorgeous custom view. Inside of the temple, we finished up the formals sessions with shots of the entire wedding party and a few of our signature fun poses!
Location - George Washington Masonic Temple
The reception area was a gorgeous open area in the middle of the temple. The layout for the couple had the dance floor in the middle of all of the dinner tables so that every guest had a view of the action. The uplighting which was also provided by the musical entertainment for the night, DJ Max Powers, kept with the blue theme for the couple and was gorgeous as it flowed up the columns. All around the reception hall were posters of information and fun stories about Shelton and Carol that the guests seemed to really enjoy.
The couple danced their first dance to the classic Pattie La Belle song "Love, Need, and Want You" followed by the parent dances and dinner provided by Exquisite Cuisine. The party continued without a hitch with funny moments like Shelton pulling off the wrong garter, Carol's brother's toast, and more heart-felt moments like the Anniversary Dance. The Anniversary Dance is when all married couples join the newlyweds on the floor and as the song goes on, couples that have been married for more than however many years are asked to leave the dance floor until only one couple remains to give advice. The couple followed up by cutting their delicious cake from Edibles Incredible.
As the night wound down, the couple put out scarfs to keep guests warm as they prepared to exit into the cold--a very sweet and generous touch. Carol found time to step away and slip into a more comfortable, formal pant suit that complimented Shelton's Tuxedo. The Grand Exit was capped off with a walk through the reception hall surrounded by love and glow sticks!