Real Frederick Engagement | Kim-Ngan & John

Daysy Photography sent us this lovely Downtown Frederick engagement session of John and Kim, with makeup by Dana Ratliff Howson. John’s mother played cupid and introduced her son to Kim. Here’s how John describes the first time they met …
It all started with an e-mail to a girl who I had never met in person before. My mom had given me an email address and told me I should write first and say ‘hello.’ All I knew was that her name was Kim. First there were e-mail exchanges, then telephone calls and eventually our face-to-face meeting at her place in North Carolina. When I first saw Kim, she was wearing the prettiest white dress when she opened the door. She later confessed to me that it took her hours to prepare for our first date and that she was very nervous. I was definitely nervous, too. Every new memory we shared with each other has been special, from our first time having sushi together to eventually planning our wedding. Our paths were set so that we would one day meet each other and no matter how we got to this point, we ended up in each other’s lives as husband and wife.



Ask the Experts | Do I Need Two Photographers?

Do I really need Two Photographers at my Wedding?

by Mary Kate Battles of Mary Kate McKenna Photography

As a wedding photographer, one of the most popular questions I’m asked is, “Do I need a second photographer?” The answer is: it depends. Check out the tips below:

Reasons to skip a second photographer:

* You’re having a small wedding

When you’ve got 50 guests or less, having two photographers can be a lot. When you have a small group, one photographer is less obtrusive.

*You’re on a tight budget

If you splurged on your dress and flowers and your budget is at its max, skip the second photographer. Your primary photog is more than capable of documenting your day on his/her own.


Reason to consider a second photographer:
*You’re having a big wedding

No matter how ninja-like your photographer is, capturing images of 250+ guests can be tough. If getting photos of most guests is important to you, having another photographer is something to consider.

*You have several locations for your wedding (hotel, church, etc)

If you’re getting ready in one place, having your ceremony at another, and the reception in still another location, it’s a great idea to have a second photographer. That way there can be a photographer with each person getting ready. It’s nice to have each photographer travel separately in case of a flat tire or other problem as well. You just never know. That way, no matter what, there will always be a photographer ready to go. When photographing a church wedding, many times I have my second shooter take off right after the ceremony to head to the reception site. I do this for a few reasons: to scope it out, to capture the detail shots before guests get there, and to capture some of the cocktail hour while I’m doing formals.

*You’re getting married in a church where you can’t move around

Many churches in Frederick have strict photography rules. Several churches make us photographers stay put in one place. So, if there are two of us, we at least can get two different angles.

*You want to see your wedding from many different angles

Each photographer comes to your wedding with a different perspective and unique eye. What one of us sees, another might not. This is an advantage when it comes to having multiple photographers. I love photos of couples with their family just before they walk down the aisle, but I can’t ever capture that because I’m at the front of the ceremony prepping to capture bridesmaids and groomsmen walking down. That’s when having a second shooter is so great. They can hang back and document those sweet moments, then slide in as the ceremony is going on.

Below are a few of my favorite examples of two shooters/two different perspectives.

Ah! Love this one! The bride reading her vows and then a close up of the groom. How sweet!


Which shot do you like better? The couple’s silhouette leaving the church, or the couple surrounded by their bridal party? Both share fun parts of the day from different perspectives.


This couple was staying at the same hotel, but on different floors that were far away from one another. It was great to tag team the getting ready so we weren’t running around wasting valuable time.


This church didn’t have a place for the bride to wait before the wedding, so they stayed in the party bus. I love the groom nervously looking out the church window, but I also love the bridesmaids on the bus waiting for their big moment.

This ceremony was quickly moved indoors when it started to rain. The aisle was tight as the venue had to pack all the guests into a small space. My second shooter actually stayed outside and hunkered down behind the celebrant to snap some great photos where you can see the couple’s faces.

Amanda + Jared’s Romantic Day | Real Frederick Wedding

Amanda and Jared first met on an important phone call. Amanda, who works in human relations, was offering Jared a job at their mutual workplace. Exactly one year after that first phone call, they went on their first date! A few years later, Jared had special plans to celebrate Amanda’s 30th birthday. He arranged for her beloved sisters to fly in from Texas and California, hired a limo to carry her and her friends to a special wine-tasting dinner, and then, just before leading the crowd in a rendition of the “Happy Birthday” song, Jared got down on one knee and asked Amanda to be his wife. She was stunned, but managed to say “yes.” Amanda and Jared said their vows in Middletown’s Zion Lutheran Church and celebrated with family and friends at Catoctin Hall at Musket Ridge in Myersville. All the lovely moments were captured by Spence Photographics.




Photographer :: Spence Photographics
Valerie Mascaro of Trinity Salon & Spa
 wine (2013 Sanigovese)

Ask the Experts | 5 Approaches for a Classy Cocktail Hour

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Photos by Douglas Via

Five Approaches to Welcoming Your Guests With Music

Words by Jennifer Reitmeyer, president of MyDeejay

The cocktail hour at your wedding reception serves to welcome guests to celebrate with you, and the right soundtrack is key to setting the mood for the kind of party you intend to have. Years ago, cocktail hour music was kind of a throwaway, with couples directing their DJ or band to just play “background” music. (Conducive to conversation, perhaps, but also utterly unmemorable and with no personal style whatsoever.) I always advise our clients to work with their DJ to craft a cocktail hour that really reflects their tastes and allows guests to mix and mingle in a fun, upbeat way.

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Cocktail hour music can be approached in all kinds of ways. Here are five styles you may want to consider for your guests’ first musical impression at your reception:

  1. Timeless Classics: As everyone probably knows, jazz and vocals are among the most traditional music choices for cocktail hour. Of course your grandparents will love you for kicking off your party with songs they recognize, but everyone else will appreciate the romanticism, too. After all, these songs have stuck around for a reason! Consider artists such as Miles Davis, Sarah Vaughan, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Nina Simone and Nat King Cole.
  1. Same Old Song (Now with a New Sound): For a playlist that appeals to guests of all ages,  why not consider contemporary covers of classic love songs? Older guests will know the words and melody, while younger guests will appreciate the fresh take and modern production value. Some fun covers include Jamie Cullum’s “I Get a Kick Out of You,” Cat Power’s “Sea of Love,” Norah Jones’ “Love Me Tender,” Ellie Goulding’s “Your Song,” Madeleine Peyroux’s “Dance Me to the End of Love,” and Ingrid Michaelson’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You.”
  1. No Ordinary Oldies: Motown songs and other oldies are great for kicking off the dancing portion of the reception, but they can also create a fun, upbeat atmosphere for your cocktail hour. Who wouldn’t smile at hearing songs such as Sam Cooke’s “Cupid,” Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” Stevie Wonder’s “I Was Made to Love Her,” Otis Redding’s “That’s How Strong My Love Is,” and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons’ “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You”?
  1. Modern Love: Most couples want to incorporate music into their wedding that is personally significant. However, unless the songs have a fast tempo and are recognizable to the majority of the guests, they won’t be hits on the dance floor, which is what makes the cocktail hour the perfect time to get creative. Some contemporary songs to consider for this romantic hour are John Legend’s “All of Me,” Cake’s “Love You Madly,” Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud,” The Postal Service’s “Such Great Heights,” The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven,” and any of the fun, whimsical tracks from the Nouvelle Vague collective, such as their cover of Depeche Mode’s “Just Can’t Get Enough.”
  1. Notes on a Theme: If your wedding is centered on a fun theme, the cocktail hour can be a great opportunity to further express it. Classic and glamorous weddings may choose to incorporate Rat Pack artists such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. Meanwhile, outdoor summer weddings might choose to include Dave Matthews Band, Bob Marley and Jimmy Buffett.

Whatever cocktail music you select, make sure it reflects your individuality and includes songs you love (almost) as much as you love each other!

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