26.7.11

Benjamin + Jacqueline {Frederick Engagement Shoot}





"i don't like you
but I love you
seems that I'm always
thinking of you"
she + him | really got a hold of me

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Her dad told told her "You can't buy a house together until you are engaged."
(seems fair.)
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Benjamin brought up dozens of house listings to their shared 500-square-foot studio apartment,
laid them across the floor, paced the room, waiting for his "gris" to come home.
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It had been a terrible day at work.
She was emotional.
She was late.
She was sitting in her car venting to a friend for half an hour.
  Benjamin kept peaking out the window.
Come on, Jac, seriously, hurry hurry!
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Once she finally came in, she found her steady rock, sitting cross-legged
(an inside joke of theirs: no down on one knee, but down Indian-style)
in a room full of home-listings,
one of which would probably be their own,
with a ring and a question.
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She lost it.
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Screams and "YES!" and tears and happiness unwrapped themselves from her heart.
They enjoyed their moment and also enjoyed the cozy dinner with Jacqueline's dearest friends and family, that Benjamin had all ready and waiting for her.
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When I first started shooting, I was told that these two have special nicknames.
Nicknames they are known for.
Aggy.
And Gris (short for "grisly." Like a grisly bear.)
Gris and Aggy.
Ha-aaaaaawesome!
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They told me that they weren't really touch-y-feel-y.
They told me they were both very strong personalities
(she on the high-strung side, he on the quiet side.)
They told me Benjamin didn't smile big,
and that Jacqueline didn't stop talking.
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I asked them what they loved about each other.

Jacqueline, standing with one hand on her hip, and the other flipping back and forth,
talking along with her mouth said,
"Ohhh, he's the ying to my yang.  He's the voice of reason. He's dependable and loves me.
He's so steady and calm.  He calms me down.  He's the perfect balance for me."
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He shared his thoughts,
"She makes me a better man."

Jac cracked up, and slid her hand down his arm,
"Hahah he's a man of few words!"
She was beaming.
His eyes smiled her direction.
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These two met in 2000... and she was still in highschool ;)
There was no way she was gonna date one of "those" older restaurant guys.
(She was a hostess, he was a server.)
But over the years they kept in touch,
and four years ago they started dating.
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Between long-distance-where-they-flew-from-Maryland-to-Atlanta-every-weekend-for-a-year,
busy work schedules and commutes,
tiny living quarters,
deep, soul-piercing conversations,
healing and growth,
they fell in love.
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And I don't care if they "aren't touch-y feel-y."
I don't care if they are super tough with rock hard exteriors.
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You can't hide what they have.
The mutual respect, the love, the care they have for each other shines.
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(first blurry pic of the post. love it.)
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They don't just love each other,
they are deeply in love.
In their own special way.
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(By the way, Benjamin does too smile!)
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The feeling that you get when you are with them is that they really know each other.
They know each other's strengths and weaknesses,
and they love each other in spite of it.
And they also understand how rare and precious what they have is.
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(second blurry picture of the post! love iiiiiiit too!)
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I truly had a blast with them.
And I think they ended up with someone of my most giggly, touchy pictures I've ever taken.
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Seriously?! Seriously.
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They are a dreaaaam.
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I cannot wait for your wedding and all your BRILLIANT plans :D
It's gonna be fun times!
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Much love,
Kristen

18.7.11

Evan + Betsy {Glen Echo Wedding}

"so i just lay back 
and laugh at the sun
'cause i'm in shoo-shoo-shoo, shoo-shoo-shoo
 sugar town."
nancy sinatra | sugar town
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It was a breezy, but not even slightly chilly sunny day.
And after getting stuck in a VERY creepy parking garage
(turns out I had somehow mananged to park myself in the Valet Parkers garage.
Oops!)
I was ready to see sweet Betsy on her wedding day.
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I had only met Betsy once before her wedding,
but I was smitten with her taste from the get-go.
Especially her + Evan's desire to have a "fun, different and authentic wedding.
We want to to feel real to us as individuals and as a couple."
Sold. Signed, sealed, delivered... I'm yours ;)
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When I got to the hotel I discovered a very nervous Betsy.
Still so sweet.
But oh-so-nervous.
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"I'm not scared about my marriage!
Or my future!
Nothing could be better then marrying Evan.
It's just all this that makes me nervous!"
she said, as she pointed at her dress, hair and hotel room.
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Her mom reminisced with her about her childhood,
trying to take Betsy's mind off her nerves.
"Look! You can see your summer camp right down there!"
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They made sure she had some saltines and water for the stomach,
TV and magazines for the eyes,
and band-aids for those dang heels ;)
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I wanted to give Betsy a little breathing room,
so I headed down a few doors to check on the boys.
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Just a minute or so after I got to the groomsmen,
someone yelled "Hey! Evan! It's for you!
It's Betsy."
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"Hello?
Hey... oh?
Right now?
If you want to! Yes. Sure.
Right now."

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Betsy wanted to see him right now.
The original plan was to do a First Look at Glen Echo.
But she needed her comfort and rock.
And she needed it now.
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The poor girl was visibly emotional.
Not sad or bothered.
Very confident, very sweet... just dying to see her man.
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So with a few final touches...
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... as well as tears and "you look beautiful!"'s from dad...
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... Betsy was ready to roll.
I asked her if she wanted me to find somewhere to go in the hotel with better light,
or more character then the elevator entrance of the tenth floor.
"No, that's okay!  This is us, I guess. And this will just be the story of how it happened!
On our wedding day, I saw him in the hotel hallway!
Because I just couldn't wait!"
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He: Wow.  You are a bride.
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Her: I KNOW! Can you believe it?
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Her: But it's the same.
I'm a bride.
And you're a groom.
But it's the same.
We're normal, right?

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He: Yes, we're normal. We're just the same.
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Her: Well, I feel a LOT better! I don't know if this helped you, but I feel SO much better.
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Apparently seeing her made the stoic-surgeon-Evan much MORE nervous,
but it was the hugest sigh of relief for Betsy.
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Since we had the first look out of the way, there was some time to kill at Glen Echo.
Which was probably good.
Betsy got to sit in a cool, air-conditioned room and talk with her family.
And be photographed by me.
Because she is ridiculously attractive.
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"You know what?" she laughed.
"This is all a bit ridiculous!
You go through months of planning,
and working on this event... and then it comes...
and you can't even go to the bathroom by yourself!"
Betsy had a giddy little moment of "gaining perspective" and her mom cracked up.
"You are one of us!"
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It was rather cute.
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 And before we knew it, it was time for the ceremony,
at my favoritefavorite Glen Echo Park.
(Did I mention Glen Echo is my favorite?)
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Here's a theory I have about shooting at this park:
If you get married at Glen Echo, you just have to be a fun couple.
Or at least interesting.
With fun friends and family, to boot.
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Because what boring, lame, persnickety couple gets married at a 1920's theme park?
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Where artists still create, dances are still held and children still play?Photobucket
None. No lame couples get married at Glen Echo.
At least that's my theory... and so far I'm 5 for 5?
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And look! This couple was so nice!
As their guests walked up, they were offered a refreshing glass of water or lemonade.
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Glen Echo Couple for the win!
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The ceremony was at THE most perfect time of day.
Combined with the colors, murmur of the lively guests and the sweet emotion,
it really was perfection.
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Aaaaaaaw ;)
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After Betsy's nerves left... they were GONE.
And replaced with smile after smile after smile.
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A little shout-out to my favorite company Apple ;) Ow ow!
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Part of keeping their wedding "authentic" was having seven guests share a wish for the new couple.
Some were serious, some were funny,
but all were heartfelt and personal.
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(love all the groomsmen's faces in that ^ one ;) haha it was a very sweet wish.)

Eh, they're alright ;)
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By the way, isn't their huppah fantastic?
But... marriage time!
Vows!
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Rings!
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Kisses!
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And wa-la!
They're married.
She her funny, confident comforter,
and he to his spontaneous, compassionate adventurer.
Forever.
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The guests kicked back at the beautiful cocktail hour.
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The details were all killer.
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(This is what every drink in Heaven tastes like... I think.)
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Happy happy wife.
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Wonderful wonderful drink.
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I ADORED that they had lots of kids in and at their wedding.
I've always wanted to do the same,
and these little people were just SUCH a hoot!
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Evan and Betsy first met in college.
They were friends.
That was about it.
I mean, don't get me wrong... they were good friends!
Great friends, even!
But not in "that" sort of way.
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Betsy's maid of honor explained it well:
"He was the kind of friend you confide in,
trust everything with,
and the kind of friend if you ever let yourself admit it
might be more then just a friend."
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It took them both a while to admit it, I guess.
They were the kind of friends that made a pact with each other
"If we aren't married by _____ age, we'll marry each other."
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But all of a sudden everything changed.
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Evan realized there was more to this beautiful girl.
"I love that you really think."
He loved how she enjoyed cooking and chilling on the beach,
but could also rough it on trips all over the world and make it fun.
She was compassionate and truly dear to him.
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Betsy realized just was wonderful Evan was with people,
how he made them feel comfortable and instantly like a friend.
She loved his loyalty and confidence,
humor and smarts.
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And before you know it,
Evan was in an OldTime Photobooth proposing to his best friend,
Betsy.
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One thing I loved about them as a couple was how they really "stuck to their guns."
Their wedding was exactly what they wanted it to be.
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So very fun.
So very special.
So very "them."
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And that is how they are with each other.
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There is definitley a sense of "take me as I am,
all my faults and failures,
strengths and accomplishments.
We're in this together and I love you for you."
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(Haha this made me laugh. Starts young... ;)
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The maid of honor gave on of the best toasts I've ever heard.
The room was in tears.
The best man gave one of the funniest toasts I've ever heard.
The room was roaring.
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And they all celebrated.
Celebrated where they had come from,
celebrated this very moment of this very day,
and celebrated what was to come for Evan and Betsy.
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I'd toast to that, too ;)
Congratulations newlyweds!
Enjoy living in sunny CA and tell it "hello!" for me!