BJ and Amanda’s beautiful wedding was straight out of a rustic fairy-tale, with a sweet color palette filled with pinks and corals and lots of white. She arrived in a horse-drawn carriage and they were married in front of their family and friends. Even their ceremony exit was filled with dreamy bubbles! Amanda and BJ were looking for a simple and sweet day and they got it. Thanks to Lauren R. Swann Photography
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.
When Robin Shotola send us this bright, beautiful summer wedding, we couldn’t stop dreaming of warm summer days in Frederick County. From the colorful flowers and Vera Wang dress, to the dramatic portraits and delicious cupcakes, Haley and Jeremiah planned a Real Frederick Wedding that we adore. Here’s more from Haley:
Jeremiah and I met when where 13 years old, in middle school. We were good friends throughout high school and began dating our senior year. Three years later, we went to New York City for my 20th birthday, where he proposed on a carriage ride through Central Park! It was like a fairytale. Jeremiah is my best friend. When it came to picking our venue, we remembered having a high school banquet at Morningside Inn and how beautiful it was. It was the first and only venue we checked out! Morningside Inn was the perfect location for a rustic feel, and had everything we wanted. We hardly had to lift a finger, which made the whole process a lot smoother… perfect for our day!
Hey, Heart fans! This is Molly, and I am so excited to share my first blog post with you. Even though Punxsutawney Phil said we have at least six more weeks of winter to get through, my thoughts are drifting toward springtime. And that’s why I’ve chosen to share this lovely springtime Real Frederick Wedding with you today, from Spence Photographics, the studio I co-own with my husband, David.
Brittany and Martin met as high school students and started dating when she was 16 and he was 18! Years later, they welcomed daughter Olivia and became a family. But Martin wanted to make things official, so one Christmas Eve, he asked Brittany to sit down and watch a special DVD. Brittany smiled as she saw all the photos of their relationship flicker by on a slide show that Martin had made. The final picture was of Brittany, Martin, and Olivia all together, with the words “Let’s be a family forever” written at the bottom of the screen. When she turned around, Brittany saw Martin on one knee, holding her engagement ring! Their wedding and reception was held in the beautiful Middletown Valley at Stone Manor Country Club. Gray skies and sprinkles greeted them on the cool May morning, but the rain held off long enough to get some wonderful photos on the grounds. A great team of Frederick-based vendors helped the newlyweds celebrate in style….
Photographer: David S. Spence, Spence Photographics
Photo booth: Silly Station by Spence Photographics
Venue: Stone Manor Country Club
Caterer: Canapés Catering
Videographer: Jon Key Photography
Hair/Make-up: Brenda Dalton, Rose Brooke Studio
Florist: To the 9s Floral and Event Design
Driving along U.S. Route 15 near Thurmont, your eye is drawn to a beautiful property up on a hill, with lovely grounds and a stunning manor house. This is Springfield Manor Winery and Distillery, one of Frederick County’s newest wedding venues, opening officially in Spring 2014. Springfield Manor is the sister site to Stone Manor Country Club in Middletown, and both are known together as The Manors of Frederick.
Springfield Manor is a beautifully renovated estate, with all of the charm of a Southern mansion and all of the amenities and sophistication of a modern wedding venue. Contributor Jenna Shriver took a tour of Springfield Manor last summer, to give us an inside look at all this wonderful venue has to offer.
Springfield Manor allows for two different reception options. The renovated bank barn can accommodate up to 150 guests. Rustic beams and beautiful farm tables create a lovely setting. Glass panel garage doors expand the view, and open to allow the event to flow directly on to the adjoining patio. The elegantly constructed ballroom is perfect for events of up to 299 guests. A serpentine sun porch and terrace allow for a unique cocktail hour setting.
Much of the interior of the manor home is available to the wedding party for getting ready, including a groom’s suite and areas outside designated for a whiskey and cigar celebration.
The beautiful Catoctin Mountains provide a stunning view for ceremonies performed at the permanent pergola.
With amazing grounds and beautiful interiors, Springfield Manor is a wonderful venue for couples looking for a stylish, yet comfortable place to host their wedding ceremony and reception.
Even though Jon and Lara shared a group of mutual friends, they never had a chance to meet each other. Each time this group would get together, either Jon or Lara would be present, but never both! Finally, when Jon’s best friend married Lara’s high school friend, the resulting house-warming party served as the perfect meeting place. There was one problem – Lara had recently decided to swear off dating. She tried to spend most of the time catching up with her girlfriends, but some guy kept entering each conversation. It was Jon. He soon charmed Lara into three dates in one week, and eventually, the two became engaged.
Jacqie Q Photography captured this lovely engagement session for Jon and Lara in the historic Frederick County Town of New Market. Thanks for sharing, Jacqie!
WORDS BY MOLLY FELLIN SPENCE | PHOTOS BY DAVID S. SPENCE
Earlier this month MK gave us a few good reasons why you need to take engagement photos. So, now that you have no doubt that an e-session is the right thing to do, you need some tips and inspiration to make it happen! And that’s where I come in… here’s 4 tips to help you plan and execute a great engagement session with your photographer.
TIP ONE: PLAN AROUND YOUR FAVORITE SEASON
Now that temperatures are warming up in the region, lots of couples are venturing outside to their favorite park or other outdoor destination for e-session photos. Spring is a great season, with all of the colorful flowers and blossoming trees. Keep in mind that spring can also mean rain showers, so bring along a pair of rainboots and an umbrella for some puddle-splashing fun. Summertime provides plenty of daylight and loads of location options (the beach! your family’s lake house! an amusement park!). Summer can also be your photographer’s busiest season, schedule-wise, so be sure to plan way ahead for this season. Fall colors can’t be beat, and temperature-wise, this season is pretty perfect. If you’re going for a cozy, warm feeling in your images, this is the season to plan for. And don’t count out winter! Sure, it’s cold outside, but bundling up in layers and playing in the snow can make for some awesome natural portraits. If you and your other half love skiing and snowman-making, consider planning your e-session in the colder months. Bonus: you’ll likely have your pick of dates and times, since this is the slowest season for most photogs!
TIP TWO: INCORPORATE YOUR PERSONALITY
How do you spend your time together as a couple? Do you like to hang out with friends at your favorite local pub? Are you big fans of wineries? Or can you be found strapping on your hiking boots and heading out on a long, windy trail? Maybe you love to cook elaborate meals together? Think about your passions as a couple, and ask your photographer to incorporate those into your engagement session. Formal portraits are nice, but capturing you two together, being yourselves, and enjoying what you’re doing together can make for some truly awesome, memorable images.
TIP THREE: BRING ALONG YOUR FURRY FRIENDS.
Did you two become pet parents together? Then, bring along your furry friend to your engagement session! This may be the only time to get photos of you three together, since many venues don’t allow pets to attend wedding ceremonies or receptions. Quick tip: if you’d like to include your pet, it may be a good idea to enlist a friend or family member to come along as well, to serve as a pet wrangler. You’re probably going to want a few photos of just the two of you, and you’ll need some extra help during those times.
TIP FOUR: RELAX AND HAVE FUN!
I know, when someone tells you to relax that can be one of the most difficult things to do. Here’s how to accomplish it: Don’t overthink it. Wear clothes that make you feel comfortable. Go barefoot if it feels right. If you love getting dressed up, then do it! But if that makes you cringe, don’t be afraid to wear a T-shirt and shorts – if that’s truly you. Don’t worry about matching colors with each other, but do try to wear complementary colors. Most importantly: Be yourself, and your photos will reflect a relaxed, happy couple.
Molly Fellin Spence is an editor for Heart of Frederick, and co-owns Spence Photographics, a Downtown Frederick photojournalism studio, with her husband, chief photographer David S. Spence.
Photos by Brian Virts Photography
For many brides and grooms, one of the most meaningful moments at their wedding reception is the dance with their mom or dad. It can be full of meaning and tears or laughter and fun. No matter what, it’s an important tradition at many weddings, so we asked our readers and Facebook fans to share with us their favorite memories from their dance with their mom or dad.
My father died in 2005, so I danced with my mom at my wedding. It started with “Because You Loved Me,” by Celine Dion and then it transitioned into “She Bangs,: by William Hung. (You know, the horrible version that was his audition on “American Idol”). “She Bangs” was my dad’s favorite song, so I kept it a secret and when the music changed at first my mom wasn’t sure what was going on, but once she recognized the song she had a blast dancing to it. And it was a fun (and uplifting) way to keep my father in my day. – Katelyn Keegan
We danced to a “Sound of Music” classic, “Edelweiss,” with my dad. We sang the whole time! It’s our favorite family movie! - Lara Knepper
My husband and I ended up running away to Lake Tahoe and got married… I would have done “My Girl,” by The Temptations; my dad used to sing that to me all the time. - Sharon Wresche Brent
I surprised my dad by picking one of his favorite John Prine songs, “It’s a Big Old Goofy World.” I have been getting him tickets to see John every year for Fathers’ Day for a long time. – Jessica Latos
For many years when I was younger, my dad would rock me to sleep singing “Sweet Baby James,” by James Taylor. I surprised him at our wedding by playing that song for our father/daughter dance… it was a really happy, emotional moment. That song has always been special to me because of the memories from my childhood, and now even more so. -Briana McPherson
I made a playlist and put it on a thumb drive to send to my dad so he can pick out the song (you know…pre-approved from my list…) for us to dance to. – Rebecca Jo Dick
My dad and I danced to his favorite song, “What a Wonderful World.” In my head, for months and months, I had this idea we’d both be crying and emotional. But when it started my dad said to me, “Hey, last time I heard this song was at a funeral!” and I laughed and then we just chatted the rest of the song while we danced. It’s funny how we can plan our weddings all we want, but you just never know how things will pan out! - Mary Kate Battles
Carol and Rich’s love story started as so many great relationships do. First, they were best friends, for nearly 10 years. Then, their love for each other deepened. They celebrated their engagement with a Mount Airy-based engagement session with Spence Photographics and then married at St. Peter the Apostle Church in Libertytown, surrounded by family and friends. The real party began afterward at the Myersville Fire Hall, where sunflowers and burlap dressed up the hall and the bride and groom were toasted with moonshine.
JacqieQ Photography shared this lovely summer wedding with us recently. Here’s what she told us about the day:
Tony and Amanda were wed mountainside at the beautiful Springfield Manor Winery & Distillery in Thurmont. The guys wore Converse sneakers with their tuxes and the bridesmaids wore pewter dresses. The electricity went out during the reception, but the guests barely noticed as Shew-sical Entertainment Services came prepared and the venue opened the doors to the patio, bringing the lovely mountain air indoors.
These last few weeks have been so icy and snowy! It’s a great time to share this wintry color palette, created by our friends at Think Baseline. Winter whites and ice blues are the perfect hues to use as inspiration this time of year. So grab your scarf and your skates, and enjoy our Frederick County winter!