Springtime cherry blossom surprise proposal | Washington DC proposal photography

Who doesn't love a good fairytale love story? When Joe reached out to me from Utah a few months ago about his plans to propose to Heather, one of the first things he told me was how much she loves cherry blossoms. He'd planned a trip for the two of them to DC in the midst of what we hoped would be peak bloom, but anyone who's been in DC this spring knows the weather's been rather... shall we say... capricious, and by the time their trip rolled around, the bloom forecast had been pushed back several times, but an all-too-brief warm spell the last...

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Our spring Styled Sweetheart Session workshop! | Washington DC photographer education

It's been a season of exciting growth for me! My 2018 datebook has been more or less filled since late January, and I have so many exciting things on the calendar for this year! More to come on many of them, but one of the cool things I've been working on is how to share my love for making people comfortable in front of the camera with other photographers. In March, I launched the first Aimee Custis Photography Styled Sweetheart Session workshop!

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Nicole + Joe's stunning purple Four Seasons Baltimore Inner Harbor hotel wedding | Baltimore wedding photographers

Get excited! There is so much to love, love, LOVE about Nicole + Joe's stunning purple wedding at the Four Seasons Baltimore Inner Harbor hotel. A gorgeous and sweet bride, the most beautiful summer day and night right on the water at Baltimore's Inner Harbor, a to-DIE-for sunset, the beautiful and meaningful traditions that accompany a Jewish wedding...

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Aimee Custisweddings
A colorful romantic summertime wedding at President Lincoln's Cottage | timeless Washington DC wedding photography

You'd barely know it from the photos, but this couple is a dream team of keeping their eye on what really matters and being even keeled on their wedding day. Kathryn + Sam have become some of my favorite clients because of this... from their fun engagement photos on Capitol Hill where they totally let me lead them into a bookstore, danced on the lawn of the Supreme Court, and did it all with grace and smiles! We were so excited for their July wedding day... it had some of my favorite fellow vendors (Suzanne! I love you!), my favorite venue (Lincoln's Cottage embodies everything I love about a venue... it's in DC, it has history and character, the staff team is super-nice, and it's so darn photogenic), and so many fun details planned!

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Aimee Custisweddings
Caye + Colin's sunny Blagden Alley engagement session in Shaw | Washington DC engagement photographer

Real talk: I hate to admit it, but not all photo sessions are created equal. The weather, or the season, or the venue, or the light, or a wardrobe malfunction, or a weird camera malfunction (this is why I carry backup gear!) or even someone just having an off day or a bad mood are all super-common things that as a professional photographer, I deal with all the time. And it's my job to handle them gracefully, and in the words of Tim Gunn, "make it work". I'm always proud of my ability to do that, and for the most part, my couples never even know that it was a thing! But a handful of times every season....

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Amber + Andy's Art Deco music-themed wedding at the Carlyle Club in Alexandria, VA | Washington DC wedding photography

What do you get when you combine a love of music, a love of each other, and a love of FUN? Amber + Andy's wedding day, of course! I knew from the moment we rolled with the punches in a wind storm for their engagement session that Amber + Andy were great. They were totally unflappable! I was so excited coming out of that to work with them on their wedding day... and when the day arrived, it was even better than I could've anticipated! Both the bride and groom got ready in Alexandria at the Westin. From there, we headed around the block for their beautiful first look, and found a tiny rose garden with views of Alexandria's iconic Masonic Memorial! And if you're a lover of jazz...

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Aimee Custisweddings
Operation Sequin: Nelle + Matt's magical bike proposal party | offbeat Washington DC wedding photography

Prepare for sparkly-eyed, super-awesome-rainbows-neon-glitter amazingness. Because that is what I have in store for you today. This post is SO freaking overdue, and in the almost YEAR since this amazing day last April, Nelle has become a close friend, I've come to admire and love her fiance Matt, and this amazing day was featured in Catalyst Wed Co!  I can't wait for these two to tie the knot... they are simply put, the very. best. kindest. humans. ever. So what did this magical day look like? Read on...

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proposalsAimee Custis
Nathalie + Chris' snowy Christmas DC engagement in Petworth & Union Station

Merry Christmas! It certainly doesn't seem to be a white Christmas in DC this year, but that one afternoon earlier in December that it snowed? Nathalie and Chris had their engagement session! I don't shoot that many winter engagement sessions, but Nathalie was excited by the idea and really loves the holiday spirit, so we decided to go for it. Hands down, this is one of my favorite sessions of the year, and maybe ever... there's something for everyone in this session!

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A whimsy-filled Baltimore 1840s Carrollton Inn wedding | Caítriona + Michael

Family and friends came from the four corners of the earth to celebrate the marriage of Caítriona + Michael in Baltimore this summer. I love love, and I love seeing communities come together around couples as they make their marriage vows. Caítriona + Michael assembled the most exceptional family and friends around them, and the whole day radiated with that community joy, in a way that photos can't fully capture... but that's okay, because their day at Baltimore's 1840s Carrollton Plaza was beautiful not just inside... but inside and out.

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Alana + Steve's Union Station bridal photo session | Washington DC wedding photography

Steve + Alana tied the knot in Lancaster, PA back in May, and it was a gorgeous day! But DC is an important part of their love story, and they reached out to me in August about the idea of some iconic DC wedding portraits to evoke that part of their story. Talking over many choices, we decided that Union Station -- with its grand white marble and gilt ceilings, and the Senate Gardens, were perfect. It was a gorgeous, sunny Sunday afternoon when we connected. I couldn't be happier with the result! Alana + Steve, you are stunning.

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weddingsAimee Custis
Megan + Nate's Paris destination newlywed session at Jardins des Tuileries

I am SO excited to share this beautiful session!  Megan + Nate are friends of mine who hail from Washington DC. The tied the knot in Virginia on June 3, 2017 -- the same weekend this summer that I jetted off for two weeks of travel to Iceland and Paris! A few days after I did, they hopped on a plane to celebrate their union with a two-week tour of France, beginning and ending in Paris. When we realized we'd be in Paris at the same time, it was kismet!  There are so many gorgeous options for photos in Paris, but captured this golden moment in their lives with a sun-drenched stroll through the Jardin des Tuileries on a midsummer’s evening (before a quick stop outside the Lourve and a night at one of Paris' best wine bars!)

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Barns at Wolf Trap and Children's Theater wedding | Daphne + Steve

Weddings, at their core, are simple: a pledge of commitment between two people. They're also complex: a many-faceted dance of family dynamics, moving parts, friendships, feelings, and bracing for change. Some weddings I see lean toward simple; others complex. Daphne + Steve's wedding day truly embodied both in equal measure. All the way from Istanbul, where they recently moved, I received a lovely thank you in the mail this week. That thoughtful attention to detail (I'm normally the one who's sending thank yous to my clients!) and the simple grace of their words echoed their wedding day, and I think it's probably embedded in everything about these two humans. Their joy and love for one another, life, and their larger world shine through everything they touch, simply and clearly. And yet, their wedding day was a delicate, bustling dance of 1,000 interwoven parts that came together only through care, work, and planning.

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weddingsAimee Custis
Jasmine + Graham's vibrant spring Chinese-American wedding at the Arts Club of Washington

Sometimes, you get to know your Twitter friends in real life. Sometimes, they turn out to be dapper, whip-smart nerds who care about a lot of the same things you do. And then, every once in a while, they're getting married to a gorgeous, fashionable, hilarious, amazing, foodie, dynamo-of-a-woman. And they're getting married. And you get to photograph it. Graham and Jasmine are the definition of a DC power couple, and I was THRILLED to photograph their wedding day in May at the Arts Club of Washington. 

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weddingsAimee Custis
Today, a bride and dear friend asked me for advice

This morning, a soon-to-be-bride who's a dear friend asked me on the phone as we were working on her day-of timeline, "any other advice? I've never done this getting married thing before!"

I laughed and gave her some trivial advice about the wedding day itself, but the truth is, the wisdom I have to share at this season in my life isn't bright trivialities. This year has been the hardest of my life, dealing with love, loss, running out of time, forgiveness, and knowing myself. I've started at least half a dozen times in the past year to write about where life has taken me, but haven't succeeded yet...

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Celine + Yoon's elegant April garden wedding celebration at DACOR-Bacon House

Elegant, thoughtfully detailed, with gorgeous cultural touches. Celine + Yoon's wedding day at DACOR-Bacon House in Foggy Bottom -- steps from the State Department -- couldn't have reflected the two of them more perfectly. DACOR-Bacon House is the home to DACOR, an association of foreign affairs professionals. What could be a better wedding venue for a foreign service officer groom, a State Department bride? Family and friends flew in from all over the world to celebrate with these dear hearts. Celine is demure but hilarious, and Yoon is her perfect complement -- a total gentleman of a rockstar, and he just lights up whatever room he walks into. Together, the two of them are magnetic. They married on a chilly Saturday in April, but by the end of the day and night, between the cherry blossoms, laughter, and great company, nobody was feeling cold in the slightest.

Oh and PS -- their first look? One of my favorite, ever. 

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Aimee Custis
Caitríona + Michael's colorful engagement at US Capitol Lower Senate Park

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. And yet, sometimes, that's a good thing, and in return for putting your trust in the universe, the universe puts its trust in you. When Caitríona, Michael, and I arrived at the National Portrait Gallery atrium to take some beautiful air-conditioned snaps before heading out into DC's July heat... we were a bit flummoxed! Despite our calling ahead, the atrium was set up for a private event... and while the space was open to the public, we weren't planning a gala-themed engagement session...

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Pras + Kristi's Pierce Mill at Rock Creek Park engagement

Kristi + Pras are charming, well-spoken, and warm... and wouldn't you know, the weather on the day we'd scheduled their engagement was forecast to be a perfect match for their sunny personalities! We were so excited to escape DC without-escaping-DC by heading down to Pierce Mill at Rock Creek Park! Well, when I popped out of the Metro at Cleveland Park, a crazy little summer storm had popped up out of nowhere, but luckily by the time Kristi + Pras had arrived, it had blown over as quickly as it had arrived, and we had a beautiful, sunlit few hours in the park!

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