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 CustisComment
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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Laura + Dave's Saturday adventure Baltimore engagement

Adventure day! Baltimore is awesome. Laura + Dave call Pittsburgh (another awesome city) home, but Laura grew up outside of Baltimore, and they'll be tying the knot in Baltimore this fall. Since their wedding is at the beautiful Hillendale Country Club, we decided to explore some of Baltimore's great urban neighborhoods for their engagement! Laura + Dave were in town for the weekend for some wedding planning, so I took the commuter train up for the day, and we started at Baltimore Penn Station...

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Chris + Cody's cherry blossom wedding at St. Regis Hotel

Band camp nerd meets Model UN nerd. They fall in love. And is it any wonder? Chris attended Navy Officer Candidate School before finding himself coordinating the humanitarian relief effort aboard an aircraft carrier floating off the coast of Haiti, and then eventually leaving sailor life behind for an assignment at the Pentagon. Meanwhile, Cody studied political science and health policy, and today directs communications at an HIV/AIDS organization. You have never met two such well-matched, caring, world-changing... nerds. On their first date (a birthday brunch), they shared a koi pond, a trampoline, and Game of Thrones. The rest, as they say, is history.

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10 tips for picking an engagement session location | helpful hints

Engagements sessions! I love them! Why? They document a particular time in your lives and help me get to know you better! If we're going to all the effort to do an engagement session, why not make sure it's extra-awesome and really reflects the two of you as a couple? The very best way to do that is with your engagement session LOCATION! Tons of my couples turn to me for advice on where to shoot their engagement session, and I LOVE to help. Not sure where to start in choosing your own location? Here's the advice I give my couples and the questions I ask...

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Stephanie + John's colorful autumn estate wedding | Ash Lawn-Highland in Charlottesville | Virginia wedding photography

Things I learned documenting this beautiful Charlottesville estate wedding at the home that once belonged to James Monroe: 1.) Do not ever doubt the energy, love, or capability of one Stephanie Remick, bride. She is awesome and her execution of her plans will be equally awesome, however unconventional on paper. 2.) Charlottesville is absolutely beautiful in November, and the golden light on the rolling hills is magnificent. 3.) Getting ready for your wedding day at adjoining AirBnBs is something that more couples should do, because you have so much more space than a hotel room with none of the clutter of being at home... 

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Aimee Custis
Travel photography + a mini portrait session | Half Moon Bay, California

This weekend, I flew to San Francisco to meet my dear friends, the McCreas, first daughter, Larkin! I can't wait to share my time with little lady Larkin, and it was so fabulous to spend time with the family at such an important moment... but Sunday, my amazing grad school friend Krista drove down to meet me from Sacramento for the day, and we went to Half Moon Bay, which in all of my time and trips to the Bay Area, I've never visited! When two introverts get together, you actually end up with a very balanced conversation, and we loved getting brunch, wandering the harbor, and then heading inland to downtown Half Moon Bay.

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personalAimee Custis
Meet baby Leona | Northern Virginia lifestyle newborn photography

Anyone who's followed my photography for any length of time knows that I LOOOOOOVE getting to know my clients. I find it to be so important to capturing the essence and joie de vivre of my subjects! In my busiest seasons, it's a bittersweet joy for me to photograph engagements, and then weddings of my couples. Then, I love following their love stories as they unfold... going on honeymoon... buying a home... and often, welcoming children to their family!  While weddings, anniversaries, and engagement are my focus, occasionally, a family I've grown close to will ask me to photograph their newest additions... and if I'm extra-lucky, it will work out in my schedule! And that's how I came to meet adorable little Leona, the newest addition to Tommy + Corrine's family!

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familyAimee Custis
Amber + Andy's breezy holiday Kennedy Center engagement session

Meeting and getting to know my couples before their wedding day is so important, and one of my favorite parts of that is an engagement session! I met up with Amber + Andy on a beautiful-turned-blustery day in late November at the Kennedy Center. As we got going, clouds rolled in, and the wind whipped up, but we found some lovely spots like a beautiful holly hedge before gale-force winds finally forced us inside!

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Chelsea + Zack's low-key romantic urban wedding at Toolbox DC Washington DC

Holy hot sauce, there is SO MUCH to love about Chelsea + Zack's wedding. First of all, Chelsea + Zack are friends of friends, which means they're totally my kind of people. When they told me they were getting married at a yoga studio / art gallery, I got really excited. When Google Maps told me that said yoga studio / art gallery was situated in an alleyway a 4-minute walk from...

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Jillian + Alex's Dupont Circle + Shaw Atlantic Plumbing urban engagement session | Washington DC wedding + engagement photography

Jill + Alex are a dream team. Jill is a coworker of my friend Liz, and Alex is a fellow American University alum (though we didn't know any of that until after we'd met. But then, great people surround themselves with other great people.)  They're getting married in New York,  but wanted to rock some engagement photos closer to home. We decided on a stylish, urban vibe -- so we started by walking the alleyways of Dupont Circle on a perfect afternoon. Then we headed over to north Shaw, to one of my new favorite spots in the city...

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Daphne + Steve's Secret Garden engagement at Georgetown's Montrose Park | Washington DC engagement photographers

When you meet people for the first time, do you ever think to yourself, "wow, I adore this person and really hope I'm awesome enough that they'll want to be friends with me"?  Daphne + Steve made me feel that way! They are a dynamic duo, and strike me as such force-multipliers for good and happiness in the world! They are the sweetest, most down-to-earth and friendly couple you could ever hope to meet. Such a dynamic duo! I'm super excited for their wedding at the Children's Theater and Barns at Wolf Trap this year... when the engagement photos are this full of cheerful love, their wedding day is going to be unbelievable! 

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JD and Nicole's summery September DC Courthouse elopement

In early September of 2003, JD and I met in New Orleans. His roommate Eric would quickly become my college best friend, so I spent a LOT of time in JD's room that first semester.  I remember freshman JD as kind, funny with a little bit of snarky, nerdy (in a good way!), and conscientious. I met Nicole working together for university res life. Fast forward 13 years (!!), and I got an email from JD + Nicole explaining that they were headed to the Caribbean to tie the knot later in the fall, but before they went, they were headed to the DC Courthouse to make things legal stateside. Would I be up for joining them for the afternoon, and taking some portraits to mark the event?  U JD + Nicole are officially the longest-running love...

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elopments, weddingsAimee Custis