Can we talk about the fact that it's September already? Starbucks says it's pumpkin latte season and kids are back in school, but it's still 95 degrees outside today, I'd barely gotten to the pool and a baseball game, and it rained the whole first half of the summer. I love fall, but I'm NOT ready for it this year! But, I'm bowing to popular opinion (even if I disagree!) and so I'm excited to share an early fall wedding on the blog today. Last fall, Laura + Dave (friends of Amy + Alan's family!) tied the knot with just the faintest early hint of fall color at Hillendale Country Club outside of Baltimore.
Alison is the friend of a dear, dear friend... we've known each other a bit for years, but to get to truly know and work with her was a joy! Alison is part of that crazy-wonderful tribe of DC women who are kind, generous, talented, driven, and hardworking. So basically, exactly my kind of human. Her husband, Barrett, is real life leading-man material -- exactly the kind of human who Alison so entirely deserves! Alison + Barrett's wedding day in April at Toolbox was my first of 2018, and oh buddy did they set the standard…
It's been FAR too long since my last blog post! My only excuse is that for the past two weeks, I was taking some much-needed personal vacation time (a week at home, and then a whirlwind trip to Miami), and things have been crazy-busy since I got back! But today I'm super-excited to share a gorgeous wedding. Rachel is a longtime personal friend and former coworker. She's also KILLING IT as an incredibly talented instructional designer and podcaster, so if you need help in that direction, definitely check her out.
When you find a doctor this gracious, smart, and beautiful you should put a ring on it! That's exactly what he did this past Saturday! M+J's family hosted ~180 friends and well-wishers at a gorgeous traditional Kenyan ceremony at Mt. Airy Mansion. After a quick wardrobe swap, M+J joined the most joyful wedding reception I've ever been a part of!
Can we talk about amazing humans making modern wedding traditions work for them? Shawn is a college friend of mine from Tulane, and one of the most interesting people I know... and he met his match when he found Bailey! I LOVED getting to reconnect, and document such a cool point in their lives! Before moving to Germany together, Shawn and Bailey tied the knot in front of their closest DC friends and family at one of my favorite parks in Georgetown... then, hosted a house party reception! Love these two a lot, and I wish them all of the happiness.
Our own modern-day fairy tale! A group of humans meet and become fast friends in graduate school. School ends, lives continue, and one friend moves to Arkansas to further her career. Her friends in DC miss her terribly, but make do through calls, emails, and frequent visits. Then, the BEST news: she is moving back to DC, and marrying the most amazing person!
Get out of town! Head west! That's the lesson I (re)learned from Dan and Tom at their gorgeous, sunny wedding at the Barvarian Inn in Shepherdstown, WV! A little under two hours from downtown DC, Shepherdstown is a charming college town, and Dan and Tom (and their family and friends!) had gorgeous mountain views, a charming historic downtown to stroll, and a wonderful, cozy resort-style experience at the Barvarian Inn. I didn't stay the night after the wedding, but once I saw the views and the pool, I sure wish I had!
I don't know about y'all, but with this muggy summer weather, some snow actually sounds great right about now.... and wouldn't you know, that on the literal first day of spring, that's what we got for Leah + Brent's engagement session? But these two were total good sports, and we made use of their adorable front porch (hooray, new homeowners!) when things got too wet and cold at the park! They really killed it in less-than-ideal conditions, and I cannot WAIT for their wedding tomorrow at Toolbox in Dupont Circle!
Lauren + Peter are the most lovely humans... I'm so excited to have gotten to spend a beautiful afternoon exploring all the nooks and crannies of one of our mutual favorite neighborhoods, Capitol Hill, with these two! We found beautiful alleyways, hung out outside Barnaby Books, and finished up with the most beautiful light on the columns at the Supreme Court. What a perfect DC afternoon!
What happens when you bring your family and friends from all over the world to a sunny oasis in Falls Church to celebrate? This gorgeous, cheerful, sunlit wedding day at 2941 Restaurant that was all about love between people! Kristi grew up in Maine, and Pras in England (his family is Sri Lankan), and they love to travel. After exchanging online messages for a week, these two met up at one of my favorite spots in my own DC neighborhood -- Veritas! If you ever went to Veritas when it was open, you might not be surprised that Pras 'fesses up that he couldn't really see her on that date. But never mind that, all's well that ends well, because Kristi is gorgeous, and these two avid travelers tied the knot in a low-key celebration that reflected the two of them just perfectly.
Ryan met Shelly when he hired her friend at work, and Shelly stopped by the office. Soon enough, they were on their first date at an Orioles game, and fast forward to this weekend when they're tying the knot at Linganore Winery! Ryan says Shelly is his best friend, and Shelly loves that he makes her smile all the time. We had a lot of fun wandering the halls of the National Portrait Gallery and surrounding neighborhood. Here's to their wedding day being equally wonderful!
I'm a big believer in boudoir as an incredibly powerful and empowering experience. I've both photographed boudoir for friends and clients, and gotten in front of the lens myself. Months ago, I decided to schedule a boudoir photo session. It was a deeply liberating, and empowering, and also heartbreaking experience. I am so incredibly glad to have…
Four months in, Thomas asked Andrea to marry him... so last September, years after being introduced by his roommate who was a close friend of hers growing up, it was definitely meant to be. They tied the knot in an intimate ceremony with only their closest family and friends at the historic Heurich House in Dupont Circle in September. They kept…
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...
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!
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...
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!
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....
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...
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...
Happy February! Valentine's Day is almost here, and with the cloudy, dreary weather we've been having in DC so far this week, I am itching for some sunshine! But looking back at Alison + Barrett's sunny September Washington DC engagement session in one of my favorite hidden parks in Georgetown has me starting to kick my winter blues.
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!
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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.
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...
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.