Valthea + David’s Summer Day at VOLT | Real Frederick Wedding

Some people say that Volt restaurant helped put Frederick on the map. Its executive chef, Bryan Voltaggio, lent his name and his culinary prowess to the iconic restaurant, and many flock to the North Market Street hotspot for a special dinner. The historic Downtown Frederick restaurant played the perfect host for the August wedding of Thea and David. From the bride and groom:

Volt’s food and service are without equal and their events coordinator, Julie Rudzin South, went above and beyond our expectations. Surrounded with joy and love by our friends and family, some of the most memorable moments of our lives were artfully captured by our photographer. We are eternally thankful and we could not have wished for a more beautiful day!

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Flowers :: Potomac Floral Wholesale (arranged by bride, her mom, and her sister)
Music :: Harpist Aviendha Fogie (bride’s cousin)
Bride’s dress :: Vera Wang
Groom’s suit :: Brooks Brothers
Bride’s rings :: Custom designed by the groom) and  produced by J. Phoenix Designs
Venue and food :: Volt
Photography :: Frozen in Time Photography

All We Need | Color Palette

Spring is finally here! (Right?! Please say yes!) And we’re thinking about all things green and lush as we tromp through the mud and slush. All we need is love (and a little bit of sunshine!) to get us through these last few chilly days of March. Here’s some yummy inspiration to get us started…

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Ask the Experts: 3 Reasons to Include Your Photographer During the Planning Phase

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3 Reasons to Include Your Photographer During the Planning Phase

Photo and words by Jenna Shriver Photography

Planning ahead can truly make or break your wedding day experience. And the one crucial person to include in the planning process (other than your future spouse, of course!) is your photographer. If you do, you will ensure the following:

1. You will get images of all the major events you want captured. When you and your photographer work together to plan your wedding day timeline, she can advise you on the best time of day to plan for your most anticipated photos, in your location of choice. Maybe you’re getting married at a beautiful Frederick countryside venue and “the shot” you want is of you and your new spouse with the Catoctin Mountains in the background. The best way to ensure you will get this image is to communicate with your photographer. She can figure out sunset time on that day so that lighting will be at its absolute best. If you include your photographer in the timeline planning, she can tell you how to make sure she’s there for the important photos you want, such as your planned grand exit. Many couples forget to factor in travel time from the ceremony to the reception location, which often cuts your bridal party portrait taking time short. Your photographer can offer suggestions so this won’t happen.

2. You and your photos will benefit from optimal lighting situations. For outdoor ceremonies, most photographers would advise couples not to plan the ceremony mid-day (when the sun is at its highest and brightest) or after dark (of course). The sun can cast extremely harsh shadows on your face mid-day, and no matter how much Photoshop prowess your photographer has, the images will not be their best. After dark, your photographer will need to use flash to light the subjects in photos. If you love natural light images with little to no artificial lighting, then this scenario is not ideal. Regardless, if you communicate your timeline well with your photographer, he or she will be able to bring any additional equipment needed to capture your day.

3. The day will run smoothly when all vendors know each other and are working together. Have you hired a wedding planner or day-of coordinator? If so, encourage your planner and photographer to chat before the wedding day. It may even be a good idea to plan an in-person meeting if possible. If your coordinator works for your venue, then he can educate your photographer ahead of time on venue policies and share his knowledge of the venue. If you don’t have a planner or day-of coordinator, then your photographer can be your best ally in helping your day to stay on track by allowing him to communicate with the DJ or band, and other vendors so the day will be stress-free for you.

Jennifer + Alex’s Baker Park Celebration | Real Frederick Wedding

Jennifer and Alex said their vows under a weeping willow at Baker Park, took a pedicab ride down Market Street after, then ended the day with a backyard reception at their own home. It was a breezy, beautiful summer day, captured by Mary Kate McKenna Photography. Here’s how Jennifer describes the day and the events leading up to it…

‘Blue Moon no orange’ were the first words spoken. Alex may not remember, but that was also the first night he ‘unofficially’ told me… and the rest of the bar… he loved me.

I was general manager at a Downtown Frederick restaurant and Alex was in on a Friday night for happy hour. According to him it was my ‘sassy lime green skirt and red hair’ that caught his eye. As time and Blue Moons went by, Alex had drunk up enough courage to introduce himself. Cheesing like a cheshire cat he says to me in a nutshell, “I’m Alex, I’m Russian…date me.” How could I resist such a smooth talker? Our first date was at Café Nola. I will never forget where we sat, what we were drinking, and the black T-shirt and jeans he had on. Thinking back on it , we both laugh that we couldn’t hear a word the other was saying over the music… we just smiled and nodded at each other the whole time.

Alex and I eloped while on vacation in Miami. It was the perfect day…the weather was gorgeous, the scenery was mesmerizing. After snorkeling we drove to a nearby mom-and-pop shop, bought our $30 sterling silver wedding bands, and then tied the knot at a nearby courthouse, bathing suits, flip flops and all. I thought that was the best day of my life… until we did it again.

A year later, Alex and I decided to get married again and include our closest family and friends. We wanted the ceremony to be in Baker Park where Alex proposed, and the reception to be in our backyard. We wanted the wedding to have a rustic feel to it, and I wanted to make as much of the decorations as I could. I wanted to cater the wedding myself, too. We hired a friend of a friend to man the grill, and he served hotdogs, burgers and chicken skewers. There were a lot of long nights before the wedding, and I couldn’t have finished it without the help of my mom and my maid of honor. As another bride once said, ‘If you want it done right, do it yourself. But if you want it done at all, let people help.’

Since Alex is Russian, we incorporated some Russian wedding traditions. Right after the ceremony, we all walked to a nearby bridge and took a lock brought by Alex’s mom from Russia and locked it on the bridge. We then took the key and threw it in the water  to show that our love is locked forever. Next was the throwing of rice and Russian coins at our feet as we walked up to our house. There we were greeted by Alex’s mom who had a loaf of bread and salt. Her offering showed the acceptance of welcoming me into the family. Alex and I took a bite at the same time, and whoever took the biggest bite was the ‘ head of the household.’

The reception was a casual backyard barbecue with our closest friends and family. I really wanted a dessert table, and champagne glasses filled with rock candy – Alex was all about the whiskey and cigar table for the men. All of the small details that were incorporated in the wedding were a representation of ourselves, and made for an amazing day that I wouldn’t trade for anything!

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Photography :: Mary Kate McKenna Photography
Ceremony :: Baker Park, Frederick
Reception :: Couple’s home
Dress :: Coralie Beatrix on Etsy
Hair :: Structures Salon
Cake :: Sweet & Savory
Music :: Erin Frisby from Miss Shevaughn and Yuma Wray
Pedicabs :: MacFawn’s Green Rides
Barrels :: McCutcheon’s Apple Products
Vintage sodas :: North Market Pop Shop
Made by Jenny :: invitations, cake topper, napkins, food, flower arrangements and bouquets

Styled Shoot: Natural Inspiration

A color palette of soft blushes, lavender, creams, greys and pops of teal created a romantic outdoor atmosphere at Arcadian Alchemy Brewing Co., for this styled shoot by Shannon Bishop PhotographyThis sweet farm in Frederick, with gorgeous views of the rolling mountains, was the perfect setting for a shoot inspired by nature. The models were a real married couple, Kelsey and Dan. The love they naturally shared for each other comes through in the images, so sweet and obvious. Here’s how Shannon described the shoot, the inspiration behind it, and the vendors who participated:

For the table, we were inspired by found objects we have been collecting. The place settings included vintage melamine teacups layered on top of ceramic plates and planted with moss balls. From the moss flew wired paper butterflies we painted organically by adding watercolor to one side of the wing, folding together and pressing. Coupled with whimsical handwritten calligraphy on their wings, these made charming place cards that would be Pinterest-worthy favors! The dark mahogany farm table supplied by Weir Event Rentals was the perfect rustic base for a cheesecloth runner layered with a mix of found brass candle holders and apothecary jars made into terrariums with planted glass vases holding soft floral arrangements inside. To add a level of “nerd-chic” to the table we used old books as risers and scientific butterfly specimens as our table “numbers.” The natural romance was continued into the flowers the bride carried created by Candlelight Floral DesignsThe dress was the perfect mix of romantic and sweet with its classic and elegant silhouette paired with fun Swiss dot fabric.
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Photographer: Shannon Bishop Photography
Event styling: Ruie & Grace
Florist: Candlelight Floral Designs
Hair: Veronica Monto
Makeup: Beauty Mark by Nina
Rentals: Weir Event Rentals
Planning: Stephanie Paul Events