“It was always you.”

Displayed prominently in the midst of a sea of photos that told the tales of their families’ long and storied loves, were these words. And I’m not sure if these four words have ever fit a pair more beautifully than they fit Val and Brian. When they were growing up down the street from one another, it was him. When he thought about the only girl he really wanted to take to high school prom, it was her. While they were apart at college, not together but not able to shake the connection that they’d always know, it was him. When they graduated, returned home, and knew it made more sense to take on the world together, it was her. Through a move to Pennsylvania, a long-distance engagement while Brian fulfilled his dream of becoming an officer in the Marine Corp, and while preparing for a life of new places and challenges and moves and adventures… it was always clear. It was always Valerie and Brian. Brian and Valerie.

So when the day came to make always official, it was no surprise that nerves and anxiety were nowhere to be found at the salon where Valerie was getting ready with her closest friends. Excitement for the day? Of course. Anticipation for the big changes ahead? Definitely. But as Valerie received the finishing touches on her makeup, the emotion that echoed off the walls more than any other was assuredness. Assuredness that in just a few hours, she’d be walking toward her lifelong best friend, ready to take on the next 80 years together.

It was an honor to get to capture and be part of such a beautiful day for Val and Brian. From the beautifully romantic details, to the travel-themed reception paying homage to their new adventure of military base living to what has to be the cutest “Ring Security” guy around, everything about Val and Brian’s day was perfection and it’s my honor to get to capture those details for them to remember for the rest of their adventures!

Introducing: Mr. and Mrs. O’Connor

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Don’t miss Val and Brian’s beautiful wedding film by the very talented Whiteflair Productions! Josh and his team are always the BEST to work with and it’s so fun to get to relive the day in both frozen moments and fluid memories. After all, as much as I love photography, it just can’t fully capture the words in your vows or the craziness of your dance moves.

 

Thanks, also, to these other wonderful vendors!

Venue » Fort Belvoir Officer’s Club
Church » St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church
Bridemaids Dresses » Ellie’s Bridal Boutique, Belsoie by Jasmine Bridal Style L174001
Hair & Make-Up » Vincent and Vincent Salon and Spa
Floral Designer » Royalty Flowers
Caterer » Fort Belvoir Officer’s Club
Bakery » Bee’s Wedding Cakes
Invitations » Paper Source
Videographer » Whiteflair Productions
Second Shooter » Kaila Burkett

We had plans. The best laid plans. But you know what they say about the best laid plans. Mice come and steal them away or something like that? I don’t know, I’m not great with adages.

Steph and David are east coasters who are currently living the west coast dream. Meeting in school at Virginia Tech, their relationship began in our great commonwealth, but when David got the opportunity to take a job in Seattle, this pair knew that it was the perfect time in their life for a little cross-country adventure. So, they packed their things, hugged their families and headed out west to the land of Space Needles, Seahawks and Starbucks. Taking on a new coast, together.

Like I said, we had plans. Plans for a session in Virginia while S+D were home for Christmas visiting family. But tight schedules, dreary skies and frigid temperatures made for less-than-ideal Plan A conditions. But if Plan A had worked, this gorgeous session never would have happened, I wouldn’t have had a great PNW adventure, and you all wouldn’t be treated to some absolutely stellar views of the Seattle Skyline from Kerry Park or the Puget Sound during a clear day’s stellar sunset. During that evening of exploring around Seattle with these two, I probably sounded like a song on single-track repeat, shaking my head and remarking over and over that Steph and David’s session was ruining me, spoiling me with views and scenery with which the East Coast just can’t compete. And it’s true, I was spoiled and I know it’s not exactly realistic to request that every couple I work with travel to a new city with me just for a couple of engagement photos. But it’s also true that the inspiration the city of Seattle gifted me did not stay in Seattle when I left. I got to bring it home as a little souvenir. So, Steph and David, thank you a million for the chance to tell your story in a place that is such a big part of this chapter for you. Can’t wait to see you again back in good ol’ Virginia when you two say I Do!

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