This year we had a Halloween adventure! We rented a car to go up to the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze in the historic Hudson Valley (about an hour north of the city). We stopped along the way at Fort Tryon Park, Sleepy Hollow and Croton Park. And I finally got Ollie’s Halloween photos in his costume!

Ah! He is only 18 months old, but he is looking so grown up…until he gets his costume on!

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Oh man. This kid. He is so full of giggles, mischief, sweetness and fun.

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I had to throw in some iphone photos too!

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Happy Halloween!

Check out BLAZE here. It was amazing! I would highly recommend it to anyone!

Rachel and Jim were married on a warm autumn day at Cana Vineyards in Virginia.

After a very sweet first look we walked around the vineyard to take some photos.

Rachel shares, “Jim and I meet via OKCupid (my matron of honor Susanne helped me put the OKCupid profile together), and after chatting back and forth for a bit, we agreed for a first date at the Mussel Bar in Bethesda, MD (right around the corner from where I work). Jim was about 10-15 minutes late (this would become a theme for the first few dates we went on). The date went very well; I was impressed by his job with the National Park Service, and he asked me all the right questions about my job (most guys before would only feign interest in what I did). After we left each other at the end of the night, Jim found out he had gotten a parking ticket; when he texted me about that, I thought that was the end, since a previous “suitor” had ended things similarly. But a few weeks later, we went on a second date at a little Mexican restaurant in Friendship Heights, and Jim was 30 minutes late. Still, we each found the other person interesting enough to keep texting. Just before Christmas, we went on our third date to ZooLights at the National Zoo in D.C. It was raining and Jim was over an HOUR late. The date didn’t start well, but it ended well. We walked through the cold rain to see all the Christmas lights, then spent time inside at some of the animal exhibits, where Jim wowed me with his random animal knowledge, before we headed off to a little Italian restaurant for dinner in Cleveland Park (we still try to go to that restaurant every year around Christmas). Our fourth date was at my apartment, ringing in the new year watching Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin over drinks. After that date, it was pretty official that we were dating.

The first official “I love you” came during our first trip away about 6 months into our relationship, in Orland, Florida to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We had a great trip away, and it wasn’t too long after that we decided to move in with each other. We continued to take trips with each other, to see the National Parks in the desert southwest (Zion, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, etc.) and California (Yosemite, Sequoia/Kings Canyon, Alcatraz, etc.), to Iceland, to London, and many more weekend trips.”

The proposal was a surprise! Rachel continues, “Jim proposed to me in November of 2016, right before I was going away on a business trip to New Orleans. We were at one of our favorite Virginia State Parks, Mason Neck State Park. Earlier that day, when we were planning our hike for the day, I offered to just go to a nearby park to save us time. But Jim was very insistent we go to Mason Neck, and I didn’t think anything of it. We walked around the park, took lots of pictures of the sunset. I was turned away from him, staring at the sunset, and when I turned around he was down on one knee with a ring in his hand. My first response was “are you tying your shoe?” I didn’t put two and two together until he started to say something sweet (unfortunately we can’t remember what he said exactly, but I’m sure it was extra romantic) and then he proposed to me. Jim insists I was crying when it happened, I will contend it was merely something in my eye. Afterwards, I started to call and text my family and friends (Jim had told my parents and close friends he was proposing that day). When I was in New Orleans for work, my colleagues (many of whom were at the wedding) took me out for a pre-bachelorette party on Bourbon Street to celebrate.”

Cana Vineyards was the perfect place for their wedding. Rachel shares, “After Christmas, we somehow settled on a date for the wedding (10/7/17), though I personally think Jim tricked me into the date. Jim did quite a bit of searching to find a venue that was available and within budget. We finally settled on Cana Vineyards because it had such a wonderful view and wasn’t too far from our second favorite Virginia State Park, Sky Meadows State Park. When planning the wedding, we wanted it to be very personal and reflect our personalities as much as possible, which is why we went with a National Parks/Harry Potter theme. We (and by “we,” I mean “I”) made all of the centerpieces from recycled wine bottles; the pieces of wood came from a friend of Jim’s, who had cut down some trees near his house and made the pieces for us, to which Jim glued the bottles.

The wedding was pretty perfect in the end. We had a lot of fun, surrounded by a lot of people we love and care about. The honeymoon in Banff National Park, in the Canadian Rockies, was also amazing, and a great start for everything to come.”

The ceremony was held outside in the vineyard.

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MARRIED!

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Rachel and Jim danced their first dance to “There Will Be Time” by Mumford and Sons.

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Congratulations Rachel and Jim!

Special thanks to the team:
Venue: Cana Vineyards and Winery of Middleburg
Venue Coordinator: Alison Whaley
DJ/Band: Finest Sounds, Ron Gray
Caterer: John Feist, The Feisty Chef
Officiant: Emily Patton
Hair and Makeup: Bridal Artistry DC
Cake: Barbara Stephenson, stepmother of bride
Invitations: Paperless Post
Rings: Lillia Nash (bride), Justin Duance (groom)
Bride’s Dress Designer/Shop: David’s Bridal
Cake topper: Etsy’s Sugar Bee Etching
Cake decorations: Cakes by Kristi
Seating chart design: Red Line Studio
Guest book/puzzle: Personalized Art Decor
Custom cat cutouts: Almost Real Standups

Megumi and Joomin were married on a beautiful day in Brooklyn. Preparations began at an apartment in Williamsburg.

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After a very sweet first look, we headed to Dumbo for some photos. Joomin proposed to Megumi at this spot on the pier and it was very meaningful for them to go back to the place where she said “yes!”

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These two photos at Jane’s Carousel perfectly illustrate Megumi and Joomin. They are sweet and emotional, but also silly and tons of fun!

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The ceremony was held outside in the garden at MyMoon.

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Joomin is a trained singer and is currently starring in the Off-Broadway show, “KPOP.” His voice is beautiful! He sang “You and I” by Michael Buble to Megumi just before they shared their vows.

Megumi shares, “My favorite moment was when Joomin sang for me during the ceremony. He kept his eyes on me, and sang to me as his voice was shaking to hold down his tears. I will never forget his face, his voice, and his emotion. At that moment, it really hit me that we are getting married and that we are in front of friends and families, who are witnessing our love.”

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Married!

Megumi says, “Even though we come from two separate traditions, Japanese and Korean, we decided to celebrate our marriage “our way.” We didn’t follow any books to plan our wedding, we just put all the things we wanted to do together, and asked the people we love to be part of it. But Joomin’s mom did wear a traditional Korean outfit for the wedding and she was stunning!”

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The look of the venue was very important to the couple. Megumi shares, “We were looking for a venue with exposed bricks since our apartment has exposed bricks and we are totally in love with it. When we went for a tour, we instantly fell in love with it. So cute, perfect for the number of guests we were planning on inviting, and we loved that the venue included delicious food and great drinks. We also loved that we could project our names and the date of the wedding on the outside wall too!”

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When you have amazing friends who are brilliant Broadway performers, why not have a cabaret hour at your reception? Friends sang love songs to the newlyweds and, of course, the stars of “KPOP” had to sing a song to Megumi! KPOP sang “사랑의 노래” which means “Song of Love” (music and lyrics by Max Vernon and Helen Park).

“사랑의 노래 난 언제나 너만,
바라볼꺼라 약속 할꺼야 소중한 이 자리에.
수줍은 그대 미소 바라볼때마다 난 행복해.
언제까지나 오 영원토록 You are my biggest star.”

This translates to: “Song of love I promise you that I only love you in this special moment. My shy girl, your smile always makes me happy. Forever and ever you are my biggest star.”

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Many emotional speeches were delivered during dinner. Megumi shares, “Since we are from multilingual backgrounds, we made sure that everyone in the room could understand the speeches. We had our friends translate the speeches to English, Korean, and Japanese so everyone could feel included. Joomin’s dad’s speech was all in Korean, but with the translation everyone was able to understand and get emotional with us!”

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I don’t often get to see a good cake smash. This one was awesome! Megumi really went for it!

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Congratulations Megumi and Joomin!

You can also see their engagement photos here.

Special thanks to the team:
Photographer: Jessica Schmitt
Venue: MyMoon
Officiant: Linda Jacobson
Cake: Kuramata Cakes, Hiroyo Kuramata
DJ/Band: Franklin Ayara
Hair and Makeup: Sachiko Yanase
Rings: Jangmi
Bride’s Dress Designer /Shop: Rana’s Bridal

Julia and Steve celebrated an elegant, intimate wedding at Del Posto in New York City. Before the ceremony they shared a first look up on the High Line.

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Julia and Steve are having a very exciting year! Not only are they getting married, but they will be welcoming a baby this winter!

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A Jewish ceremony under a Chuppah with their immediate family took place just before going downstairs to the wine cellar to exchange vows in front of their friends and family.

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After a toast and a celebratory dance, Julia made her way down the aisle.

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After the ceremony we went to a nearby park for some portraits.

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The reception was held in in the dining room. The guests enjoyed a three-course Italian dinner.

Julia shares, “We felt the venue was intimate, sophisticated and elegant- exactly what we envisioned for our wedding day!”

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Congratulations Julia and Steve!

Special thanks to the team:
Venue: Del Posto
Florist: Blossom Heath florist
Wedding Dress: BHLDN
Photography: Jessica Schmitt Photography

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Christina and Kenny were married at the Vista Sky Lounge in Long Island City. We also spent part of the day at Gantry Plaza State Park with beautiful views of the Manhattan skyline.

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Christina shares, “Ever since we were dating, Kenny and I would always go to New York City to celebrate any kind of special occasion. Over the years our love for the city has grown and, since we got engaged in Times Square and took our engagement pictures in Times Square and on the Brooklyn Bridge, we knew we wanted to incorporate New York City into our wedding. So it was a no brainer to choose Vista Sky Lounge for our venue and Gantry Plaza State Park for our reveal because both have amazing views of New York City.”

“My favorite part of the day was when I saw Kenny for the first time at Gantry Park; it was the moment I have waited for my entire life and having the New York City skyline behind him was just the icing on the cake.”

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The ceremony took place on the rooftop of the Vista Sky Lounge.

I love the way Kenny is looking at Christina as she walks down the aisle.

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The ballroom was filled with red roses and some very special New York City touches. Apple cookies sat at each place setting with the name of each guest, and the guestbook was made of postcards guests could fill out and drop in a suitcase for the couple.

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A new wedding trend is having an artist paint live during your ceremony and reception. Katherine Gressel captured a beautiful moment during the ceremony and guests loved watching the painting come to life throughout the evening as she brought paintbrush to canvas.

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In true New York City fashion, bagels were included as favors! The guests were invited to take two bagels from the traditional bagel cart and fasten their bags with adorable bride and groom kissing clothespins.

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Congratulations Christina and Kenny!

You can also see their engagement photos here.

Special thanks to the team:
Venue: Vista Sky Lounge
Officiant: Keith Gugliuzza from NY Marriages Huntington
Cake: Astoria Bakery
Band: Silver Arrows Band
Flowers: Flowers by Burton
Wedding Painting: Event Painting by Katherine
Invitation: Serendipity Beyond Design
Makeup: Carmen Noel
Bride’s Dress: Allure Couture
Groom’s suit: Men’s Wearhouse
Photographer: Jessica Schmitt Photography with Eric Swartz

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