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Wedding Registry Ideas for the Non-Chefs

Some of the most popular wedding registry items are slow cookers, glassware sets, standing mixers and gourmet knife sets. I love to cook, and at times consider myself a chef in training, I realize, many couples prefer to order takeout than test their abilities in the kitchen. Buying gifts for someone like me is easy but, for couples who do not spend hours recreating Food Network recipes, here are some wedding registry items that will make great gifts!

1.   Tool Kit

Many couples buy their first homes around the time that they get married. For this reason, many couples have been able to rely on maintenance men, property managers or landlords to make repairs and do not have their own tool kits. Cordless sets like these are a practical, relatively inexpensive registry item that you and your spouse will put to good use for years to come. 

2.   Soft Sheets 

If you get the recommended eight hours of sleep a night, you are spending ⅓ of your life in bed. Because of this, you and your soon-to-be spouse should invest in sheets with a high thread count so that you are excited to go to bed together every night. Registering for soft sheets will also ensure that you two start your married life with at least one fully-matching bedding set. 

3.   Vacuum

Many cleaning products for our homes can contain carcinogens, and it is very important to be mindful of what chemicals you and your spouse are using to clean your home. A way to keep your home clean without increasing your risk of inhaling or ingesting toxins is to vacuum regularly. Registering for a vacuum you and your spouse both like will encourage you both to complete chores at home. 

4.   Lighting

Light fixtures usually come with a home, but they are also one of the most telltale ways that a home is older than you may think or that it is falling into disrepair. Registering for new lighting for your house or apartment will instantly give any room a facelift and can easily add an air of luxury to a previously bland space. 

5.   Photo Prints

One of the easiest way to turn a blank wall into a reflection of your life and your love is to display photos in your living spaces. With The Wedding Photo Registry, you can register to have your wedding guests gift you and your new spouse with professional prints from your wedding or engagement photo sessions. 

Pay attention to the writings on the wall while you and your guests fall in love with your wedding day

I'm sure there is a lot to say about about each special wedding day couple. Brides.com features our photo in the article, “Creative Calligraphy Signs You Haven’t Already Seen all over Pinterest”. Check out these creative ideas for wedding signage that might inspire you, while possibly creating a photo op at the same time. The possibilities are endless! See full article here

Let's Get Personal! See our featured photo and how unique items can add a personal touch for your memorable day.

Huffpost features one of our photos in the article, “Easy Ways to Add Even More Personal Touches to Your DIY Wedding”. Some of the best favors are things that mean something special to the couple. Sometimes that may be difficult to determine. If you need some ideas on how to make your wedding feel personal, check out this article here.

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Thinking about a royal wedding? Us too. See a couple of our photos featured on InStyle.

Two of our photos were featured in InStyles article, “How to Plan a Whirlwind Wedding Like a Royal”. Click here to see the photos and read more on how to make your wedding more royal.

Winter is for weddings in the New Year!

Our photos of Sarah and Ryan’s winter wedding at The National Harbor were featured on the United With Love blog. Check out the photos here and see how this couple kept cozy with detail at their winter wonderland wedding.

Great gift ideas for your groomsmen!

Having witnessed hundreds of weddings over the last ten years, I have noticed that it is surprisingly difficult for grooms to pick gifts for their groomsmen. Most often, the go-to seems to be liquor, sunglasses, or watches. All of these are fine choices; but for those guys who want to step up their gifting game with something more unique, I suggest checking out Groovy Guy Gifts. They sent me a a sample of their personalized, wood handled razor (see picture below) along with a very cool personalized case. Their website is full of stuff like this ­–– flasks with faces, bottle bullets, knife and flask sets, decanters, suit sets, whisky stones, etc. They are all customizable, affordable, and perfect for any guy who wants to keep his gifts traditional but unique. Check them out here: https://www.groovyguygifts.com

Annapolis takes #1 for “Under the Radar Destination Wedding Locations for 2017”! See why I think Annapolis is so special.

One of our photos was featured in Popsugar. Popsugar rates, “Under-the-Radar Destination Wedding Locations for 2017.” See why Annapolis is #1 on that list and why Mike B. thinks Annapolis is one of the greatest spots for a destination wedding. Click here to see full article. 

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Mike B is featured in United with Love, Offering Special Photographer Advice for DC weddings

We caught up with one of my favorite blogs, United with Love, to share some advice and tips for navigating wedding day photos in the DC area. To see what advice I have to give and to see some of our special DC wedding photos, click here.

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Proud Contributor of The International wedding trend report 2018!

The wedding trends report is created by the International Academy of Wedding & Event Planning. It is put together by professionals from all over the world to help planners, brides and industry experts for future wedding planning. Some of the biggest names around the world in the wedding industry contribute to this report. The information is extremely valuable to those planning a wedding. Mike B was honored to contribute and to be featured in the International Wedding Trends report for the third year in a row. To access the full 2018 report, click here

Summer Wedding Themes, Which is Your Favorite? See what the professionals have to say in All Seated where one of our photos was featured!

AllSeated has featured one of our photos in their blog post, “Wedding Pros Spill on Their Favorite Summer Wedding Themes”. AllSeated asks wedding professionals what stands out most to them at weddings. These professionals might spark some ideas for your summer 2018 weddings. See the full article here

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Holiday Flare for this Cozy Winter Wedding Affair!

Planning a winter wedding? Borrowed & Blue has featured our photos from Sarah and Stephens winter wedding to inspire you for this year’s winter weddings. Check out the photos here.

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Elegance, Tradition and Maritime Decoration, see Our Featured Photos from this Seafaring Wedding!

One of our favorite summer weddings was featured on the United with Love blog. Newlyweds Sarah and Matt had a traditional naval wedding at the Maritime Museum. Unique décor included Annapolitian themed invitations, illustrated wedding signs, custom menus and more. Take a look at what inspired this beautiful wedding and how the lovely couple made this dream a reality here

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Our Photos featured in Mountainside Bride. Read Q&A from one of our favorite Fall Brides!

Fall is here, check out what one of our favorite fall brides had to say about her “Romantic Golden Barn Wedding in the Allegheny Mountains” last fall. She might have even answered some questions you have about planning a fall wedding. See Rob and Brits wedding here

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A Rainy Day Couldn't Keep the Happiness of this Proposal at Bay. See How Drew Proposed to Bianca!

One of our couples, Bianca and Drew, had their proposal photographed and they were featured in “How He Asked” by the Knot. Learn about how they met, how Drew asked, and the obstacles Drew overcame to finally ask Bianca to be his wife. See the full article here.

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Fall Family Portrait Mini Sessions 2017

A family portrait session is something that many of us regularly consider; and yet, that critical moment –– picking up the phone or sitting down the send the email –– never happens. Our lives in today’s world seem to fly by at an ever increasing rate, and before we have time to reflect, our children are grown, our hair has betrayed us (either making a full and silent departure or turning a shade we never thought we would ever rock), and the moments we reflect on with nostalgia –– Eddie’s awkward phase; Susan’s blonde stage; Dad’s dad-jean nightmare –– are gone forever.

Think for a moment about these transitions; think of them like the subtle growth of hair: the change is unrecognizable day-day, and yet profoundly different when compared over time. We may have albums of iPhone photos buried deep in the depths of our Photos app (or, even worse, gone forever after that “accident” at the beach), but how often do we really seek out these buried moments? How often do we have friends over for dinner and dig out our phones, search for a random photo taken on vacation five years ago by that elderly couple who cropped off little Eddie’s feet, positioned the sun in such a way that Mom has a halo around her head, and Dad is in what appears to be the throws of a sneeze? Never.

What is much more likely is that Grandma comes over for a birthday party and comments on that (beautiful) portrait hanging over the fireplace (no cropped feet, no awkward sun angle, nobody mid-sneeze); Liz from high-school stops by for a visit while she is in town and gushes over the perfect family you have.

In all seriousness, it’s those portraits that you take with you through life. They may help you through a bad day; they may become the center of conversation at dinner; and they will be the link your children have to their past (perhaps with laughs and grunts, but solid and never-changing). Catch the hair as it is; memorialize the dad-jeans; capture Eddie’s uninhibited, joyful awkward grin. We can say one thing with certainty, based upon our decade-long relationship with returning clients: It’s one thing you will never regret doing.


We are offering a limited number of fall mini-portrait sessions on October 29, November 5, and November 12 at our convenient and scenic Lothian, MD location. No procrastinating! This is the perfect time to start preserving your family memories!  Follow this link to schedule now: https://fallminisession2017.acuityscheduling.com/

First Look Tips

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When your big day arrives, we know that despite all of the planning you’ve done in the past year, some things get left out of the timeline. But the one thing that shouldn’t be neglected is the first look. Here are some wedding day tips on how to incorporate a first look into your day.

One of the most memorable moments of any wedding is the moment a bride and groom see each other for the first time. For some more traditional weddings, that doesn’t happen until the bride is walking down the aisle. For the less traditional weddings, there is time ahead of the ceremony where the bride and groom take a moment just for themselves. We tend to favor these “first looks” before the wedding, because we feel that this intimate moment is something that should never be rushed. This beautiful moment should be shared between just the two of you.

First looks allow you to share a private moment before facing hundreds of people and exchanging vows. We have seen it help tremendously with the nerves ahead of the big “I do”s. This moment is exclusive between the couple and allows for an exchange of emotions, hopes for the future, and sometimes even cards or gifts. The first look allows for you two to take a breath before the excitement of the ceremony, just the two of you.

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An intimate moment like this should never be rushed. So, if you choose to do a first look, we advise you to plan at least an extra 10 minutes for it. You can plan more if you would like to take your time, but those 10 minutes can make all the difference in seeing each other and settling nerves. It allows you to have a special moment outside of prying eyes. 

We also suggest that you schedule another 45 minutes for bridal party formals ahead of the ceremony. This extra time before the wedding can alleviate a lot of the stress of the transition from the ceremony to the reception. You don’t have to worry about those formal photos after you’re riding high from having just been married. That way, you have the opportunity to enjoy more of the wedding day that you otherwise might have missed—like attending your cocktail hour.

Your wedding day is incredibly important, and every moment should be preserved and cherished. We highly recommend scheduling a first look so that your reactions are perfectly captured and so that you are allowed to truly enjoy yourselves together. 

Tips for a Successful Family Session

Everyone wants their family photography session to go as smoothly as possible—including your family photographers. Because we want your day to go well, we’ve come up with a list of our top four best tips for making your family session successful. 

Family Photography Tip 1: Shoot During the Golden Hour

The “golden hour” is the hour after sunrise or the hour just before sunset. These two times of day create warm, perfect light that will illuminate you in the photos we take throughout your portrait session. This warm light, along with the rims of light that outline the subjects of the photo can create stunning images when your portrait session takes place in an open field or wooded area. 

Family Photography Tip 2: Be Comfortable and Confident

When picking out your clothes for the session, err on the side of comfort. You want to be confident in your clothing styles, but choose something flattering and timeless that will make you want to keep that family portrait up for years to come. Try to avoid trendy patterns and styles that might be outdated in a year. After all, you don’t want to run to the mantle to hide those family portraits taken when shoulder pads and yellow stripes were in vogue when friends come to visit five years down the road. 

Family Photography Tip 3: Listen to Your Photographers

This is especially true for families with small children. Often, photographers have methods of calming children and getting them to participate in the family shoot without a fight. These tried and true methods have been honed by plenty of years of experience. After all, Grandma might think little John’s crying portrait is adorable, but you might not want it framed. Trust your family photographer to get the perfect portrait of your little one for your wallet.

Family Photography Tip 4: Choose Your Location Carefully

When choosing a location for your family session, you may want to go with a place that fits your family style perfectly or has a significant story behind it. That’s a good idea, because it will make you more comfortable on the day of the shoot. With that said, it’s important to be flexible to changes. Many unforeseen circumstances can make a beautiful location less than ideal for pictures. Whether it’s the wind blowing your hair, or the sun shining in the wrong direction, it’s important to trust your photographer. We will work closely on the day of the session to find the best spot for your portraits. After all, our job is to deliver the best possible pictures to you. We might even surprise you and find a location better than the one you had in mind.

Family portraits can sometimes be stressful things as you plan and herd your family—but we want you to be as relaxed and happy as possible. Tips like these can save you time and stress down the line!