How it Began
I first met Joel several years ago- he was a groomsmen at his best friend's wedding and I was their photographer. It was a joy to see Joel's name pop into my inbox several years later and read of his recent engagement to Virginia. The three of us found a time to meet, hopped on a call, and excitedly discussed their August wedding in DC. I remember listening to Joel and Virginia discuss wedding details and the three words that continually popped into my mind were classy, artful, and intentional. Joel and Virginia's downtown Kipton Monaco hotel wedding exuded an atmosphere that was truly classy, artful, and intentional, reflecting their impeccable taste and the deliberate moments that beautifully wove their love story together. These words paint the scene for Joel & Virginia's wedding day.
How it Looked
The Kipton Hotel Monaco served as the perfect backdrop for Joel and Virginia's celebration. Centered in the heart of DC, its blend of historic charm and modern luxury provided a canvas upon which their love story was painted. Every detail, from the elegantly adorned tables to the soft lighting that cast a romantic glow, spoke to the refined taste of Joel & Virginia. The staircase within the Hotel Monaco cut through the center of the hotel and cascaded down each floor. The checkered marble floors and the oval skylight added swoon worthy details to Joel and Virginia's wedding day. My favorite highlights included the elegant wallpaper that adorned the bathrooms and the marble busts included within each room.
Saint Vincent De Paul Church where Joel and Virginia exchanged vows, exuded grace and poise, enveloping the couple in an atmosphere of devotion and love. The grandeur marbling adorned the front of the church were paired with sculptures and ornate candles. Joel and Virginia's unity candle sat front in center.
Inside the National Portrait Gallery, Joel and Virginia's portrait session became an artful journey. The sweeping arches and elegant corridors served as the backdrop for photographs that captured the essence of their refined love. Each room held a different feeling and moment- from bridal party portraits on the marble steps, to a tender embrace from the top floor with it's jutted overlooks.
How it Felt
From the sacred halls of the church to the art-filled corridors of the National Portrait Gallery, their day was a celebration of love, romance, and the artistry that defines their connection. The essence of their love lay not only in posed photographs but also in the fleeting glances, shared laughter, and stolen kisses that punctuated their day.
Each portrait tells a story, from the tender moments of quiet intimacy to the playful exchanges that reveal the depth of their connection.
Some incredibly special moments to highlight include the seashell Virginia kept in her dress pocket. When she was 12, Virginia found a shell at the beach, proudly handed it to her mother and exclaimed "give this back to me on my wedding day." Nestled between a tissue, Virginia's mom kept the shell and released it into Virginia's palm after Virginia had stepped into her wedding gown.
Another highlight of feelings came when Virginia had a first look with each of her siblings and father. The expressions filled the room along with tears, hugs, and laughter. It was a moment that held so much feeling.
As we finished portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, Virginia ran across the street as they headed to their reception hour. A small crowd began cheering as Virginia held her dress while crossing and Joel clung to the wedding bouquet. It felt as though a small paparazzi had found the couple and wished them best of luck for the start of their future together.
Virginia & Joel selected to have a private viewing of their reception hall before guests entered. Pure shock and joy overcame both of them as they admired the florals and stately tables that lined the dance floor. They practiced a few twirls for the upcoming first dance and savored the moment- just the two of them.