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I am SO excited to shoot Michelle and Eric’s wedding this fall and equally excited to shoot the pair’s Old Town Alexandria engagement photos.

These two met in HIGH SCHOOL.  That’s right; Eric asked Bob who asked Jane who asked Michelle out.

He. Was. Smitten.

Michelle agreed, and they made googly eyes at each other across the dance floor for a solid 15 minutes.  Eric explains word soon came back to him that Michelle was dumping him for another boy.  The brief romance of googly eyes and smiles was Eric’s first, but it made a lasting impression!

Old Town Alexandria engagement photos with Michelle and Eric. Images by Jalapeno Photography.

Old Town Alexandria engagement photos with Michelle and Eric. Images by Jalapeno Photography.

Now, years later, they are planning a fall wedding in Harper’s Ferry.  Eric is marrying his first love!

While Eric changed into outfit two of our photo session, and Michelle and I chatted, she let me know they dated again in high school, and her family loved him!  Eric and Michelle split romantically to move away and attend college, and in the eyes of Michelle’s family, subsequent boyfriends never lived up to Eric.  “He’s nice, but he’s not like Eric….” Michelle told me her sister would lament.

Old Town Alexandria engagement photos. Images by Jalapeno Photography.

Old Town Alexandria engagement photos with Michelle and Eric. Images by Jalapeno Photography.

And, I’m sure it’s true!  These two just “fit.”  They joke and play like young loves, and smile until their eyes crinkle.  Michelle said that it may sound cheesy, but when she kisses Eric, she actually feels butterflies or fireworks.  Not cheesy at all!  I can personally attest to magical power of a good kisser.

Old Town Alexandria engagement photos. Images by Jalapeno Photography.

Old Town Alexandria engagement photos. Images by Jalapeno Photography.

Michelle and Eric reconnected when Eric was working in the Washington, DC area and Michelle was working in Frederick.  Quickly, they fell back in love– if they ever stopped loving one another, which is highly doubtful!

They now live just south of the Beltway, and wanted to shoot Old Town Alexandria engagement photos because the mix of history, small town feel, water, and so many spots they love!  We even stopped outside of Ben and Jerry’s where the smell of sweet treats and bubbles wafted in the air!  Cobblestone streets were also a must.

Old Town Alexandria engagement photos with Michelle and Eric. Images by Jalapeno Photography.

Old Town Alexandria engagement photos. Images by Jalapeno Photography.

Old Town Alexandria engagement photos with Michelle and Eric. Images by Jalapeno Photography.

Old Town Alexandria engagement photos with Michelle and Eric. Images by Jalapeno Photography.

Old Town Alexandria engagement photos with Michelle and Eric. Images by Jalapeno Photography.

Michelle and Eric, thank you for letting me play stalker to your sweet love!  I can’t believe I am the lucky photographer who gets to photograph your wedding!  I can’t wait to see where the next 6-ish months will take you!

For more Old Town Alexandria engagement photos see here.

Before getting to the Ceresville wedding photos, let me share a little about Eric and Matt’s wedding ceremony at Grace United Church of Christ in downtown Frederick, Maryland.  After getting ready and their first look in downtown Frederick (you can see a blog post on that here), Matt and Eric waited for their ceremony to start while chatting with their handsome wedding party.

Matt and Eric

And then… it was go time!  Emotion ran high while everyone walked down the aisle.  Then, the doors closed, and everyone waited.  Though small windows at the back of the church, the couple scanned the crowd and wiped away tears.

Mom walking down the aisle at her son

Matt and Eric

During the ceremony, Eric and Matt sat on opposite sides of the aisle.  They made googly eyes at each other nearly every moment they were apart– totally solidifying their “awesome client” status in my book.  I LOVE couples who are undeniably in love.

Matt and Eric

Halfway through the ceremony, Eric sang.  At most weddings, yeah, it’s nice.  Maybe even in key.  Now, image that you are marrying a professional opera singer!  Like one that has performed at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Italy.  When Eric sang, it sent chills down my spine, and Matt reached for a tissue.

Eric sings opera at his gay wedding in Frederick, Maryland. Images from Jalapeno Photography.

Groom cries at his gay wedding in Frederick, Maryland. Images by Jalapeno Photography.

Then, Matt and Eric served communion to their guests.  I absolutely LOVE this tradition!  Plus… you get a few extra sneaks of this beautiful church and its stunning stained glass windows.

Matt and Eric serve communion at their gay wedding in downtown Frederick, Maryland. Images by Jalapeno Photography.

Eric and Matt serve communion at their gay wedding in downtown Frederick, Maryland. Images by Jalapeno Photography.And like that, all the planning and thinking and planning came to a head…. and they were married!

Eric and Matt were married at Grace Reformed Church in Frederick, Maryland. Images by Jalapeno Photography.

After the wedding, we shot until sunset around several Frederick landmarks before going to Ceresville.  Ceresville wedding photos are out of this world (have you seen their pond?!), but Matt and Eric are Frederick.  It was amazing to capture them by “the creek” and the covered bridge near Baker Park.

Eric and Matt

Eric and Matt

Eric and Matt

Eric and Matt

Eric and Matt

Eric and Matt

Eric and Matt

Then, as the sunset, we left for their reception at Ceresville Mansion.  The Ceresville wedding photos are so much fun!  It’s such a great venue!

Eric and Matt populated their decorations with simple blue accents and a fun cupcake tower which included a BACON cupcake!  It was banana, nuts and bacon.

Ceresville wedding photos of Eric and Matt

Ceresville wedding photos of Eric and Matt

Eric and Matt walked into their first dance.  These two!  Gosh!

Ceresville wedding photos of Matt and Eric

After dinner, the party started with roasts… I mean “toasts.”  Check that, I really mean ROASTS!  My cheeks were sore from laughing.

Ceresville wedding photos of Eric and Matt

Ceresville wedding photos of Eric and Matt

Then, Eric and Matt opened the dance floor by dancing with some of their dearest loved ones.

Ceresville wedding photos of Matt

 

And then EVERYONE danced.  The atmosphere was loving and just plain FUN.  A huge shout out to Matt of Shew-sical Entertainment.  Every wedding we’ve worked together has been VERY different, but he always has everyone dancing.

Ceresville wedding photos of Eric and MattEric and Matt

Ceresville wedding photos of Matt and Eric

Eric and Matt ended the night with cake and more and more dancing!

Ceresville wedding photos of Eric and Matt

Eric and Matt is was a honor to be part of your amazing day, even as an observer!  I cannot wait to see where life takes you two.

 

When I first emailed Matt about his Ceresville Mansion wedding, he asked me if I was okay photographing his gay wedding.  Okay?  After shooting Eric and Matt’s wedding, I feel honored to have been present for the day.  I responded to that first email with, “Who you marry is unimportant to me.  I cannot deliver good photos, however, for any couple who doesn’t truly love one another.”

And then I watched.  I watched as Matt’s gregarious personality led the conversation.  When conversation slowed or vulnerabilities bubbled near the surface, Eric’s calm strength presented itself.  Matt is the knight in shining armor while Eric is the solid night watchman.

When I arrived in Matt’s getting ready suite, the atmosphere was loud.  They guys laughed, and Matt paced.  He nervously bit his lip and paced.

Matt gets ready for his Ceresville wedding. Images by Jalapeno Photography.

Matt and Eric

Eric getting ready for his Ceresville Mansion wedding. Images by Jalapeno Photography.

Eric’s preparation suite was the opposite.  The room was calm, composed.  Even the room was immaculate.

Matt and Eric choose navy and gray accents for their wedding-day details.  Both wore J. Crew suits.  Matt’s in gray and Eric’s in navy.  The ties and suspenders are from The Tie Bar.  Matt and Eric were able to purchase bow ties, standard ties, and suspenders in the same fabric from The Tie Bar.

Many of the grooming supplies are from Citizen Frederick– a local Frederick clothing shop and old school barber.  I shot my son’s first haircut at this swanky, downtown boutique.  You can see that post here.

Eric getting ready for his Ceresville Mansion wedding. Images by Jalapeno Photography.

Gray and navy wedding at Ceresville Mansion. Images by Jalapeno Photography.

Eric

Eric getting ready for his Ceresville Mansion wedding. Images by Jalapeno Photography.

After getting ready, Matt and Eric met in downtown Frederick in front of a historic building.  The met to do their first look.  Adorable, right?

Wedding first look at Matt and Eric

First look for at a Frederick, Maryland wedding. Images by Jalapeno Photography.

First look at Eric and Matt

After their first look, we shot for a few minutes before arriving at Grace Christian Church.  I loved Matt and Eric’s suits and contrasting shoes.

Matt and Eric

Matt and Eric

Matt and Eric

I have so much more to share with you!  Check back next week when I share images from Matt and Eric’s wedding and their Ceresville Mansion wedding reception.

We recently signed a contract to begin our bathroom remodel!  While we have done a bunch of [expensive!] work that you can’t see– changing out nearly 49 windows, partial roof replacement, installing two heat and two AC units, adding and replacing doors to the basement, adding a structural support, etc… we are ready to start on the remodeling!  First up, changing a sleeping porch into a bathroom!

First, how did we select this project as the first up?  We have four bathrooms with varying levels of functionality.  Because we would like to start a bed and breakfast, it is important that the rooms have private baths.

As we planned construction projects, we were perplexed how to give our guest room a private bath, BAM!  We realized that we could kill two birds with one stone.  The reading room (a sleeping porch) needed to be framed in, the windows replaced, and insulated.  While the walls are open, it would be “easier” to change the room into a bathroom.

Easier.  Oh, “easier.”  First, if you watch HGTV and love what Fixer Upper can do for $40-$60k (i.e. completely remodel a house), know that isn’t reality.  Like AT ALL.

It is our plan to open up the kitchen just under the bathroom/ guest room because it also has an attached sleeping porch.  These sleeping porches are framed in with storm windows… so basically nice “sheds.”  With two doors each into the heart of the house, heat files out of this house like nobodies business.

Because we are opening up the kitchen, we have to install a header, vertical supports, and foundations to support the vertical supports.

Changing windows became a bathroom install.

… which became a partial kitchen remodel.

… which became the need to pour new footers.

Windows.  Easier.

So, installing this bathroom will cost about $30k (gulp!) in addition to the fixtures, tile, paint, and windows.  If you know me, you know that I’m not an off-the-rack kind of person.  This bathroom’s fixtures…. umm, wow.  Just wait!

So, here is the before— a reading room.

The shower will be tiled in 12 x 12 marble tiles.  I picked up these from Home Depot.  Aren’t these beautiful?  I just love-love the clean look and light veining.

I’m hoping to use this fountain (see the fountain in the lower left) to hold shampoo and conditioner.  It’s from Ekster Antiques.

I picked up these weathered gray wood-like tile for the floor.  We’ll lay it in a herringbone pattern.  This will be our first non-wood surface in the WHOLE house— 5,000 of heart of pine wood floors!  It will be heated tile.

After getting a quote of $1400 (what, the what?!) to resurface our skirted cast iron tub, we’re going with new tub.  It saddens me, but for nearly half the price, I get a new tub that is even longer.  So, I think we’ll go for this two-person claw foot tub.

So, generally keeping with the house’s farmhouse style with a little glam.  The vanity is an on-going discussion.  My husband would LOVE a “regular” vanity.  My parents would love a regular vanity.  Even my dog looks at me like- come on, chica.  Just scoop one up from Home Depot.

Ugh.

I love Home Depot, but there has to be a little punch in this bathroom, a little personality.  Let’s see if I win this discussion, or if it goes the way of the tub:)

Until then, once last shot of the floor and shower tile because it’s just so pretty.

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