Almost one year ago Rachael stood in a group of young ladies, poised and ready to catch the bouquet that her sister, Emily would soon be throwing. As I focused my lens on the giddy group of girls I wished to myself that Rachael would catch it. All day long I’d watched Rachael with her boyfriend, Seth. There was something special about their relationship and I saw how much he cared for not just her, but for her family. Well, Rachael did indeed catch that bouquet (see the photos from her sister Emily’s wedding here) and just months later, Seth proposed during the holidays in their now shared Virginia apartment, the engagement ring illuminated by Christmas lights.
Walking into Rachael and Seth’s wedding was like walking into a dream. Every detail so carefully thought out. It was elegant and tasteful. Together with Seth’s mom and sister, Rachael’s mom, Ginger and sister, Emily helped her get into her stunning gown. Light poured in from the frosted glass ceiling of the atrium at the Marott as the girls helped Rachael transform into a bride. This family is so close knit and to know any of them is to love them.
Just on the other side of the atrium, the guys hung out in the sun bathed groom’s suite. Seventies rock filled the room as Seth got ready. One of my favorite parts of Seth’s wedding day attire were his Cubs cufflinks, a gift from his parents. (His parent’s also gifted Seth and Rachael the incredible Cubs jerseys that they wore for their engagement photos – they rock!) Best man, Adam, even brought some cigars to celebrate with later. As Seth finished getting ready, the guys – all gathered around to give Seth words of encouragement or advice.
Next it was time for the first looks. Yes, that’s right.. this wedding had not one, not two but three first looks and I loved every second of it! The first one, was between Rachael and Seth. They stood in the lobby of the Marott under the stunning chandelier as Seth saw his bride for the first time. It was an incredible and emotional moment for sure.
Second was a first look for Rachael and her dad. This was especially sweet because Rachael is the youngest in the Brown family. After Rachael spent a few minutes alone with her dad, Ginger and Emily joined for family hug – even though those are SO not Rachael’s favorite. Haha
Last was a first look with Rachael’s sweet grandma, Sue. I’ve had the honor of getting to know Sue a bit and she is just a doll! Rachael was excited to show her that she was wearing the same veil Emily had worn on her wedding day last year. The Brown ladies had taken the appliqués off of Sue’s own wedding dress and carefully added them to the veil. But Rachael had another trick up her sleeve. The beautiful cloth around her bouquet had come from another of Sue’s dresses! Plus, Rachael had designed her engagement ring to match Sue’s. Seriously, how sweet is this family?
Rachael and Seth opted to forgo a large bridal party and instead chose to have one attendant on each side. For Rachael, it was her sister, Emily and Seth was joined by Adam, one of his best friends. The four of them were an absolute blast and Emily and Adam went out of their way all day to make sure the day was perfect for Rachael and Seth! Emily kept Rachael’s dress perfectly smoothed out and Adam ran all over the venue getting things that were needed.
Finally it was time for the ceremony. The atrium is just stunning. Natural light floods the room and brick arches frame the ceremony space. It is a beautiful place for a wedding! The ceremony was exceptionally lovely – complete with a special reading by Seth’s sister and a ribbon ceremony. Finally the big moment came and officiant, Mandy, announced Seth and Rachael as husband and wife!
Following the ceremony and family photos, Rachael and Seth spent some time in the court yard as the sun was setting for their bride and groom portraits. This was easily one of my favorite parts of the day – just look at that chemistry!
After being welcomed to their reception by cheers from their friends and loved ones, Rachael and Seth cut their gorgeous wedding cake and shared their first dance under a twinkling gold chandelier. I loved how Seth kissed Rachael’s forehead during the dance and even gave her an epic dip at the end! Following a delicious dinner and speeches, Mr. and Mrs. Ireland participated in a Brown family tradition of drinking out of a special double sided cup! The bride and the groom both have to drink at the same time with out spilling. It’s pretty hilarious!
As the evening wore down, guests headed back into the atrium which the wonderful staff at Piper’s at the Marott had turned into a whimsical reception space! DJ Troy kept the dance floor full and glow sticks were passed out! It was an incredible evening and everyone had a blast, myself and Zach included!
Congratulations to Mr. And Mrs. Ireland!
Venue: Pipers at the Marott
Hair and Makeup: MariMeg Hair Salon
Flowers: Post Road English Garden
Cake: Classic Cakes
DJ: Troy Miller of DJ Troy-DJ Sound Solution
Officiant: Mandy Baldwin
Photography: Alison Mae Photography