Woodsy Winter Wedding Inspiration

Our winter woodsy inspiration shoot that we put together last winter was featured on United With Love this past week. I am seriously obsessed with this shoot. We are honored that it was also featured on Wedding Chicks this past summer. Here are some of the pictures from our fun day at Raspberry Plain. I’m so glad that the rain held off for most of the day!

Design: Dogwood Events and JEM Events
Photography: Elisa Bricker
Flowers: Country Way
Antique Rentals: Bella Villa Antiques
Venue: Raspberry Plain
Cake: Christa Garvis Cakes
Dress: Amy Kuschel from Garnish Boutique
Hair and Makeup: Amie Decker Beauty
Paper Goods: Ribbons & Bluebirds

Follow us on Instagram for behind the scenes looks. Follow us on Facebook to stay updated on all of the happenings at Dogwood Events. Follow us on Twitter to tweet with us and follow us on Pinterest for some fun inspiration. Don’t forget to visit our website to learn more about us!

Guest Blogger: Natalie Franke on Why You Deserve an Engagement Session

Photo by Natalie Franke Photography

I’m so excited to be guest blogging today for Dogwood Events and I hope that today’s post offers a little insight into the benefits of having an engagement session with your photographer!

 Last year, I married my high school sweetheart and best friend of seven years – which gave me the opportunity to see the wedding planning process from a bride’s perspective! As a photographer who has been capturing weddings for over five years, I absolutely loved getting the opportunity to experience what my brides go through during the wedding process – especially when it came to the engagement session!

Why Every Couple Deserves an Engagement Session – Photographer’s Perspective:

1) Getting Comfortable In Front of the Camera:
There is a little piece inside of each and every one of us that is camera shy. Even the most confident models have moments of anxiety when it comes to having their lives captured on camera… And having an engagement session is the perfect opportunity to get comfortable in front of the camera. I want the first time you step in front of my camera to be outside of the wedding day chaos. I want you to pick a location that you love or a place that is sentimental… I want you to dress up in your favorite clothes, to be yourselves. And having a chance to genuinely open up, feel confident and comfortable comes with practice!

2) Getting to Know your Photographer + His or Her Style:
Having an opportunity to bond and build a friendship with your photographer is absolutely crucial to an amazing wedding photography experience! My photographic style aims at capturing a couple’s emotions, their laughter, the intimate details of their lives… and getting a chance to know them better over an engagement session, allows me to arrive on their wedding day as an old friend rather than a hired professional.

Engagement sessions give my couples the chance to get to know me and my shooting style. It builds trust between us. It creates a safe space to be goofy, to laugh, and to love. By the time their wedding day arrives, they have already spent an hour or two in front of my camera – they know my quirky jokes, my hopeless romantic streak. And I know how they met, their love story… And this makes me even more excited to capture the next step in their journey together!

3) Documenting this Special Time in your Lives:
You have found your soul mate… You are in love with your best friend and you can’t wait to get married! This special time in your life will fly past in the blink of an eye and I’m a big advocate of documenting each and every moment! Whether you are looking for photographs to use in your Save the Dates, to hang in a frame, for your engagement announcements, or just to share with family + friends… An engagement session is the way to go!

You deserve beautiful images of this special time! You deserve to show off your gorgeous engagement ring and celebrate being engaged to your best friend!  This is one of the main reasons that so many of my couples (at least initially) want to book an engagement session and I couldn’t agree more!

– – –

Why You Deserve an Engagement Session – Bride’s Perspective:

1) Spending Time with your Best Friend:
After weeks of wedding-related conversations, stress, and the toils of daily life, my husband and I hadn’t taken a moment to simply be together. Our engagement session was the first time in weeks where we really slowed everything down. We walked the streets of Annapolis together holding hands. We whispered sweet nothings. We were goofy and silly. And by the end, I realized that I was falling even more in love with my best friend. Those two hours together were exactly what we needed in the midst of wedding planning!

2) Learning How to Look and Feel Confident in front of the Camera:
Like many other photographers, I absolutely hate being on the other end of a camera. I feel awkward, a bit self conscious, and I know that so many of my friends + clients share in this sentiment!

Having an engagement session was precisely what I needed to gain confidence in front of the camera and learn how to rock a flattering pose. After a few minutes had passed in the session, I could literally feel my nervous energy fading away! I’m so happy that I could get the pre-camera jitters out before my wedding day!

3) Images to Cherish Forever:
I realize that I am sort of using this point twice, but I wholeheartedly believe that everyone deserves gorgeous photographs during their engagement! The past seven years of our relationship have flown by so quickly and I know that the next seven will disappear in the blink of an eye… I can’t wait to look back in fifty years and remember the way it felt to be young and engaged. Life is so quickly fleeting… and we feel so blessed knowing that we have photographs of this special time to carry with us for the rest of our lives.

If you have been on the fence about booking an engagement session with your wedding photographer, I hope this post inspires you to take a leap of faith and do it! I absolutely love capturing engagement sessions for my clients and I recommend it to every bride that inquires!

Natalie Franke is a Maryland wedding photographer and one of the Co-Founders and Editors of Bayside Bride and Life by the Bayside.

Follow us on Instagram for behind the scenes looks. Follow us on Facebook to stay updated on all of the happenings at Dogwood Events. Follow us on Twitter to tweet with us and follow us on Pinterest for some fun inspiration. Don’t forget to visit our website to learn more about us!

Kelley and Ornette at Newton White Mansion

Kelley and Ornette were married last October at Newton White Mansion in Maryland. Planning their wedding with them was such a joy and everything turned out beautifully. Their sweet wedding was featured this past week on the Washingtonian Bride and Groom‘s blog. Here are a some of the pictures from their big day.

Photography: Audra Wrisley Photography
Planning and Design: Dogwood Events
Venue: Newton White Mansion
Flowers: Twinbrook Florist
Cake: Fluffy Thoughts
Caterer: Spilled Milk Catering
Videographer: Thomas Bowen Films

Follow us on Instagram for behind the scenes looks. Follow us on Facebook to stay updated on all of the happenings at Dogwood Events. Follow us on Twitter to tweet with us and follow us on Pinterest for some fun inspiration. Don’t forget to visit our website to learn more about us!

Meet Leonardo

View More: http://leliamarie.pass.us/leoImage by Lelia Marie Photography

Last month, we welcomed Leonardo the English Bulldog into our little family! When we got him, he was eight weeks old and weighed 4.5 pounds. He flew into Dulles Airport from Texas where the breeder is located. He was by far the smallest puppy that I have ever seen. Our first night at home with him, he was running around and playing and causing trouble. As you can imagine, none of us got any sleep. The next day he became extremely sick so we had to take him to the vet. They ran some tests but weren’t able to tell us what was wrong with him. We also noticed that one of his eyes was swollen shut. The vet told us that he had a scratch on his eye and could lose his sight. Obviously, this was all very scary.

That was a tough first week having to constantly monitor him, making lots of regular vet and emergency vet visits, giving him pills and eye ointment every couple of hours and feeding him baby food with a syringe. There was also a lot of cuddling involved. He slept right next to me every night. Well miraculously, he pulled through all of it. We still don’t know what was wrong with him. We think that it was mostly caused by all of the stress from traveling and adjusting to a new environment, but we’re not 100% sure.

Now he’s almost 4 months old, weighs 10 pounds and is perfectly healthy. He’s a chunky little baby with a BIG attitude and his own agenda. His favorite things to do are eat anything that can fit into his mouth, bite our feet and sleep. He’s a lot of fun and terribly cute although sometimes he can be a little monster. Last week, Lelia of Lelia Marie Photography and I went to the park and tried to get some pictures of Leo before he gets any bigger. Well, let’s just say that it wasn’t easy. Here are some of the pictures that she was able to get of our grumpy little man!

Follow us on Instagram for behind the scenes looks. Follow us on Facebook to stay updated on all of the happenings at Dogwood Events. Follow us on Twitter to tweet with us and follow us on Pinterest for some fun inspiration. Don’t forget to visit our website to learn more about us!

Katharine and Brad at Belmont Country Club

Photography: Kristen Gardner Photography
Wedding Coordination: Dogwood Events
Venue: Belmont Country Club
Flowers: Rick’s Flowers

Follow us on Instagram for behind the scenes looks. Follow us on Facebook to stay updated on all of the happenings at Dogwood Events. Follow us on Twitter to tweet with us and follow us on Pinterest for some fun inspiration. Don’t forget to visit our website to learn more about us.

Cheers to a New Year

Image by Perry Vaile Photography
 

2013 was such an incredible year! I am so blessed to have been able to work with the sweetest couples who allowed me to plan and design the biggest days of their lives.  I have also been lucky enough to have met and worked with so many ridiculously talented wedding professionals that I am now able to call my friends. I launched my new website and have been working tirelessly on several new projects including a full rebrand, opening The Dogwood Shop and a very exciting announcement about the direction of Dogwood Events. I met the love of my life, Leonardo. I am so thrilled about everything that 2014 has in store and I can’t wait to share it with everyone!

Follow us on Instagram for behind the scenes look. Follow us on Facebook to stay updated on all of the happenings at Dogwood Events. Follow us on Twitter to tweet with us and follow us on Pinterest for some fun inspiration.