Chance & Melanie DIY Backyard Wedding | Dunkirk, MD

“Don’t shoot what it looks like, but shoot what it feels like.” is good advice for a wedding photographer. DIY weddings are near and dear to my heart, and the groom of this diy wedding also has a special place in my heart. He is my baby brother. We are probably the most alike out of our 4 siblings though he would swear that isn’t the case. I have plucked over him as his second mother from the time he was born since I was 19 yrs old when my mom gave birth to him. My first maternity shoot was of my mother pregnant with Chance, and my first birth delivery session was of Chance being born. This was way before birth photography was a thing. I actually photographed his birth with my Minolta 35 mm film camera, and developed the negatives and printed the photos in my darkroom.

He was and is a bit of firecracker as we have many photographs and videos to prove it, and I love him. Of course, in pure Chance fashion he, his lovely fiancé, Melanie, and family planned a wedding in 4 weeks. We are quite partial to weddings planned in less than 6 months since our own wedding was planned in that time frame. Weddings really don’t take that much time to plan, but a diy wedding is quite the undertaking. Chance, Melanie and Mindy (Melanie’s mom) pulled it off beautifully!

Their lovely DIY backyard wedding was at Melanie’s family homestead in Dunkirk, MD, located in Southern Maryland along the Chesapeake Bay. Dogs were invited, and their owners as well. Mindy, Melanie’s mom, was frosting the beautiful and delicious cake when we got there. Lights were strung. Hay bales were aligned. Everything from corn hole to bonfires to dancing led the way for a beautiful night.

The star of the wedding and Best Man “Buddy Bud” may have had the best time of all the guests, he danced and ate the spilled food all at the same time. Now that’s a good dog!!

Mathias and Katie's Wedding | Morristown, New Jersey | January 5th, 2019

A true love story.  Mathias and Katie's chance meeting in a Belgium club.  Love at first sight some might say.  A cute Belgian man dancing the night away.  At Katie's first glance, she knew this guy was cute, with a capital C and such a great dancer.  Katie nudged her friend and mentioned how cute “that” guy is. To Katie’s surprise, her friend boldly approached the “Cute Belgian” aka Mathias and made known Katie’s unbiased honest observation.  The rest is history. That evening an extra long distance romance was ignited and kindled with phone calls, long texts and transatlantic plane rides.

 The beautiful venue for their January wedding day was in the historic town of Morristown, NJ.  Twinkling lights, decorated Christmas trees and greenery made for a stunning backdrop at the elegant Madison Hotel with its beautiful conservatory for the reception and the breathtaking Assumption Parish for their ceremony. The unique setting of the victorian restaurant and train cars of Rod’s Steak & Grille was perfect for the bridal portraits.

Katie and Mathias embraced us as part of the family. Being chosen as their wedding photographers to be immersed in and to document their most intimate moments with family and friends on their most special day was an amazing privilege, but Katie and Mathias took it a step further. She invited us to their rehearsal dinner as guests. We enjoyed the most delicious Chinese food. Meeting “Master Blaster” (a nickname given to Katie’s dad Joe) was a great treat as well. Sonny and I both loved getting to know their most intimate family and friends, The portraits captured are so honest and true.

Mathias and Katie,

It was and continues to be a blessing to be a part of your wedding day. We hope these photographs allow you to relive that day in a truly timeless way, that your grandchildren will long to see again and again.

Much Love,

sa