Charlottesville Engagement | Carrie + Alex

July in Charlottesville is one thing: hot. No, actually, I take that back. It’s two: hot and humid. Every once in a while you get lucky and land a day with highs in the 80s, but for the most part, it’s best to expect temperatures in the 90s or triple digits. As a photographer working with lots of couples well into the summer months (shout out to all my summer brides and grooms!!!), I’ve learned a few things:

1) If you are planning on being outside for more than the 10 seconds it takes to grab your mail and then run back into the AC, then try to be out before 9am or after 9pm. Now this isn’t always possible (i.e. a wedding), but in the case of an engagement session, this is key.

2) Keep powder on hand to take away the shine, drink lots of water, dress in light weight fabrics, try to move as slowly and as little as possible, and just smile because you know deep down that if you weren’t sweating out of your eyeballs then you wouldn’t be getting the true Virginia summer experience!:)

All that to say, I did meet up with this fabulous couple, Carrie and Alex, on a warm July morning for their engagement session and they ROCKED it! They were so wonderful to work with – positive, sweet, caring – I almost forgot about the heat.

Although Alex graduated from UVa, Carrie graduated from Northwestern, so it wasn’t super important that their session scream UVa. In fact, the main reason why we decided to shoot on Grounds was to take advantage of the beautiful gardens that line the Lawn. (Sorry, TJ, no offense). I was so excited when I walked into this first garden and saw that there were still some flowers in bloom.

What did I tell you? Aren’t they the cutest together!?

I love the cool, blue of Alex’s shirt paired with Carrie’s fiery red dress.

One of my favorites…

Carrie and Alex: Thank you for spending the morning with me in Charlottesville! You both were such troopers in that heat – just think how good October is going to feel! I had a great time getting to know you both a little better, and I’m really looking forward to the wedding!

Un abrazo fuerte,

Carrie - August 20, 2012 - 7:47 pm

Thanks so much for the pictures Natalie. You are so talented! Not being “engagement picture people” we did not know to expect from the morning but you made us so comfortable and gave us fabulous engagement pictures. I can’t imagine how much better our actual wedding day will be!

Charlottesville Wedding Photographer | Saana + Marko, Part Two

Welcome back! Part Two of Saana and Marko’s elegant Farmington Country Club wedding is overflowing with dreamy, romantic details and dripping with the glory of golden hour kisses, cuddles and radiant smiles from these adorable love birds. If you’re anything like me, you just won’t be able get enough of their effortless style and palpable love.

One of the first things that caught my eye after walking into the ballroom were these two gorgeous cakes. Shout out to Rachel with Cakes by Rachel for these delicious beauties!

Directly after the ceremony the bridal party gathered outside the Jefferson Room for a few group shots.

Three similar photos…I just couldn’t pick a favorite!

What did I tell you? Cutest. couple. ever.

A few more from inside the ballroom…

Hedge Fine Blooms never fails to knock our socks off with their beautiful bouquets and centerpieces!

Marko and Saana were all smiles on the dance floor for their first dance together as husband and wife.

Before we knew it it was time for toasts from both fathers, Saana’s sister and Marko’s best man.

During the golden hour, we stole Marko and Saana away for one last series of portraits.

I love this balcony for the bouquet toss! I always think Romeo and Juliet.

Before their official exit Saana’s sorority sisters orchestrated a special sendoff song for the newlyweds.

Saana and Marko: From the engagement session to the wedding, we have loved every second with you two! Your wedding day took our breath away, but it’s the love that you have for each other and for your friends and family that’s truly amazing and something to always hold dear.
Un abrazo fuerte,

Charlottesville Wedding Photographer | Saana + Marko

If I were to plan my wedding all over again, I would want it to be just like Saana and Marko’s effortlessly chic affair at Farmington Country Club. From the moment I took out my camera to the second they drove away on that warm summer evening, I was captivated by the shear beauty, style, grace and elegance of the entire day. Combine all this with the fact that Marko and Saana have the cutest smiles, the warmest hearts and the most genuine love for each other, and you have a recipe for perfection (well, at least the closet recipe I’ve ever come across!)

I was so thrilled to start the day off with Saana and her best girls at her father’s home. Walking in, I felt as if I had entered a French chateau. No, seriously. I couldn’t have imagined a more beautiful place, and Saana was absolutely radiant.

A few shot of the boys at Keswick Hall

What a good looking group!

Before leaving the house we headed upstairs to get a few shots of Saana and her parents in front of this gorgeous mantle. I could have photographed here all day!

Saana, your father couldn’t have said it better. You looked exactly how a bride should look on her wedding day – STUNNING!

I absolutely love the Jefferson Room at Farmington. The gold and blue color palette is so feminine and elegant.

I loved capturing these moments between Saana and her father right before he walked her down the aisle.

Outside on the lawn all the guests had arrived and were taking their seats. Thank goodness for the fans. Even at 7pm it was still in the triple digits!

It’s so hard to stop at this point, but I have too many to choose from so I’m going to have to leave you in suspense for tomorrow’s post. Get ready to swoon when you see this gorgeous couple set against the dreamy backdrop of a summer sunset, not to mention dancing, fabulous flowers and to-die-for reception details. See you then – same time, same place!
Un abrazo fuerte,

Charlottesville Wedding Photographer | Jess + Mark, Part Two

Welcome back to Part Two of Jess and Mark’s UVa wedding! After hanging out in the gardens for a while, we headed over to Clemons Library and found this wonderful brick walkway surrounded by trees and rosebushes. Absolute perfection, if you ask me.:)

It just wouldn’t be a UVa wedding without columns.

Back at St. Thomas Aquinas, all of the tables were set and decorated with lovely potted flowers and herbs.

More Scrabble letters!


A few of our favorite moments of Jess and Mark on the dance floor…

Toward the end of the reception the bridal party snuck out to decorate Jess and Mark’s car…

Team picture.

Mark and Jess’ reaction to seeing their newly decorated mode of transportation…

…and they’re off!

Jess and Mark: John and I hope you both had a wonderful time on your honeymoon and that you have been enjoying these first few weeks of married life together! We wish you a lifetime of love, laughter, warm feet and Scrabble!
Un abrazo fuerte,

Charlottesville Wedding Photographer | Jess + Mark

John and I both graduated from the University of Virginia, so, naturally, we have a soft spot in our hearts for wahoo weddings. When we met up with Jess and Mark this past spring for their engagement session and learned that they both graduated, met and started dating at  UVa, it was hard not to feel an instant connection with this sweet Cavalier couple!

Mark and Jess met through the Catholic Student Ministry at St. Thomas Aquinas, so it was only fitting that they would return there for their wedding.

I loved starting off the day with Jess and her best girls as they spent the morning together sharing stories and getting ready.

Jess and Mark are big Scrabble fans. I loved all of the fun and creative ways they incorporated the letters into their day.

Meanwhile, John was downstairs with the boys…

Love this moment between father and daughter…

After the ceremony, we went on Grounds to take advantage of the beautiful neoclassical architecture (thanks, TJ!) and elegant gardens.

After our time with the bridal party we whisked Mark and Jess off to the gardens. Here are some of my favorites from our time together…

I thought I was going to be able to fit all the images into one blog post, but there is just way too much to share. Be sure to check back tomorrow for Part Two; more fun (and some of my favorite images from the day) to come!
Un abrazo fuerte,
A B O U T   M E