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Karen + Matt | Patapsco Valley State Park wedding | Baltimore wedding photography

I don't care what they say about it being lucky, no couple really wants to wake up to thunderstorms on their wedding day. But for one of my most anticipated weddings this year, Karen + Matt were under no circumstances going to let it get them down, and it didn't! Karen is just about one of the most bubbly, cheerful, warm people I've ever met. Both she and Matt are librarians, so I knew they would be super-organized and prepared, and sure enough, there were rain plans, and we executed them to a T!

When we got to the hotel it was already pouring out, but luckily, we had some gorgeous window light at the hotel for getting ready and detail shots! Karen handmade all of their "florals" from lace and books, since they're librarians. :)  While we were chatting, Kian asked what books Karen had used, wondering if there were some deeper theme at play, whether Harry Potter, their favorite books, or whatever. Karen made these out of the TAX CODE! She had copies lying around from her law school days, and apparently, the tissue-like paper was perfect for the DIY project. But we couldn't stop giggling over it.

So many of my brides this year are choosing BHLDN dresses from the Anthropology bridal line, and I have to say, I love them. LOVE them!! The last styled shoot I did we used one, and I've been in love ever since!!

You can tell so much about a couple by their friends, and Karen + Matt have really amazing ones! One of Karen's law school pals did her makeup, and it was STUNNING. They also had a whole crew of amazing friends transform their state park campsite into a gorgeous wedding hall!

Karen posted to Facebook on her wedding morning, 

To do list:
1) get caffeine. 
2) get married.

Clearly, we also made time for jumping on the bed.

First look with mom!

documentary wedding photography Maryland

Guys?! THIS is why I LOVE window light for the bride getting ready. Seriously, all this is is (a) a gorgeous girl about to get married, (b) a hotel room chair placed by the window, and (c) all of the room lights off. 

Once we got to Patapsco Valley State Park, we met up with Matt and it was time for their first look. Normally, I do the first look somewhere secluded and private, but it was pretty rainy by this point, so I made an of-the-moment call and decided to kick the prep crew out of one of the two main picnic pavilions (where the ceremony would be held!) for Matt + Karen.

The next part of the day was probably my favorite! At my urging, Karen had Amazon-1-day-shipping purchased two clear umbrellas, so we could go play in the rain for portraits!

By the time the ceremony was ready to start, it was really pouring. Like, thunder and lighting. Between the sweet sound of the rain and the a cappella choir that sang the processional, I had shivers!

quirky artistic Maryland wedding photography

The rain did not dampen anybody's spirits one bit! The pavilions actually made for GORGEOUS light and the rain made for beautiful, saturated colors. So while I was standing in the rain to shoot quite a bit, I was in photographer heaven.

quirky artistic Maryland wedding photography

Then the rain stopped and the sky brightened just in time for speeches and dancing!

Not ones to hold onto tradition when there's something better, Karen + Matt dispensed with cake, instead opting for, in Karen's words, "Karen and Matt EAT A DONUT!"

Creative & vendor team
Bridal hair: Hugo Salon  |  Bridal gown: BHLDN's Cascada | Bride's shoes: TOMS | Catering: Old Blue BBQ | Doughnuts: District Doughnut

weddingsAimee Custis