Mary Beth and Brandon came to us via beloved clients Megan and Carly, so we already knew that we’d like them. Then we liked them more when we found out that they like Twin Peaks, and also cats. Then we liked them even MORE when their first dance was to the Twin Peaks song “Dance of the Dream Man” by Angelo Badalamenti – bonus points for them being totally illuminated by red lights via the Black Lodge, err, I mean, their DJ. Then we liked them EVEN MORE when we got to hang out with them all day at their wedding. They are two of the most thoughtful, kind, gentle people who I want to hug all the time. They had flower crowns and flower necklaces (!) and flower bracelets (!). They planted little popsicle sticks in flower pots for a seating chart. They walked down the aisle together, and planted a tree in a pot for their ceremony, with each of their parents watering it. They treated everyone with kindness and were two of the most gracious wedding hosts. All the vendors were able to sit at a table with the guests and eat (!!) and we were treated so very well. They’re just good people.

The day contained added bonus points for using taking pictures in a neighborhood that contained a friendly neighborhood cat who then, once befriended, we literally could not get rid of. He’s in like, every picture after that unless we cropped him out. He insisted on posing with them and stopped just shy of giving us suggestions and directions and taking over the entire wedding by himself. I know they say that rain on your wedding day is good luck, or pennies in your shoe and stuff, but I’m fairly certain that a cat who’s knowledgeable about photography and inserts himself into every posed picture has to mean SOMETHING, right? I’m guessing it’ll mean like 25 years of the BEST LUCK EVER and then after that just regular good luck. And I hope so, because Mary Beth and Brandon deserve it. So happy to have come across them and to photograph this beautiful wedding at The Cookery’s new space!

Date: June 23, 2018
Ceremony + Reception Venue: The Cookery // Durham, NC
First Dance Song: “Dance of the Dream Man” – Angelo Badalamenti
Brandon’s Occupation: Energy Specialist (Mechanical Engineer)
Mary Beth’s Occupation: Speech-Language Pathologist
How You Met: In farm school in Pittsboro, NC in 2008
Interesting Fact: We have crossed paths in many different avenues of life, even prior to officially meeting. Brandon still owes Mary Beth $3 which he borrowed from her at the thrift store in 2008.
Honeymoon: France (Paris, Provence)
Officiant: Michelle Johnson, LCSW
DJ: PlayPlay
Florist: Bluebird Meadows
Cake: Kelley G Cupcakes
Caterer: Snap Pea Catering
Hair/Makeup: Natasha Abe
Coordinator: Events by Emily

Guyyyys – nothing is better than Pittsburgh in the summer. The winter is a whole different story, but the SUMMER! The summer is so great. It’s even greater when a client asks you to shoot a wedding up there at the same time as your Pittsburgh Dad’s birthday, retirement, AND Father’s Day… all in the same weekend. My dad was so happy we were up there, and so were we. AND THEN! It’s even GREATER when that same client asks to have their wedding portraits taken in the Mexican War Streets neighborhood where your first apartment was, and you get all misty-eyed shooting there next to your former home with the badass fireplace in the bathroom. AND THEN YOU’D THINK IT COULDN’T GET ANY GREATER BUT THEN OUT COMES THE COCKTAIL HOUR PENGUIN AND THE TINY OWL. I cannnnn’t, you guys, with the tiny owl. The cocktail hour penguin, Disco, is my first love, and I’ve met him at previous weddings. This time he pooped on me (the love is clearly mutual!). But I HADN’T YET MET THE TINY OWL. I don’t know what his name was, but he was so tiny and so cute that I almost exploded. It took everything in my power to not pet him and this is an actual photo of me as he approached.

So anyway, for all these reasons and more, we are forever in Jessie+Dan’s debt. Not only are they sweet and kind and totally awesome but also for having us home to the ‘Burgh and exposing us to tiny owls. They’re also animal people and there was much discussion between Jessie’s parents and myself about cats. There’s just no better way to start your work day than that. And a phenomenal wedding day we had indeed – perfect weather and a perfect couple. Jessie and Dan fit together like a puzzle, and we love that when Dan first met Jessie, he immediately thought of his beloved childhood dog whose name was also Jessie… which is both adorable and hilarious at the same time. There were a lot of sweet, happy tears shed, followed by crazy, animated dance moves. ALSO PINK FLAMINGOS. This wedding was definitely not FOR THE BIRDS – ha haaaa! ::badum CHING::

Date: June 16, 2018
Ceremony + Reception Venue: The National Aviary // Pittsburgh, PA
First Dance Song: “This Magic Moment” – Lake Street Drive
Jessie’s Occupation: Application Analyst
Dan’s Occupation: Structural Engineer
How You Met: Through mutual friends at a bar.
Interesting Fact: One of first dates was to meet a penguin at the aviary! We will have a penguin at our cocktail hour.
Honeymoon: Aruba
Officiant: Rev. Susan Talbott
DJ: Pittsburgh DJ Company
Florist: Green Sinner
Cake: Prant’s
Caterer: Atria’s
Hair/Makeup: Be Salon
Coordinator: Your Big Day

Margaret and Bryan are singlehandedly responsible for nearly destroying our marriage by getting us hooked on the video game Overcooked. We first learned about this during their engagement session in Winston-Salem where Margaret described it as a video game in which “You’re a bunch of adorable characters working in a restaurant to fill orders really fast, but the restaurant is also haunted.” Immediately intrigued by this definition, we went home and downloaded it. And it is exactly as Margaret described:

I’m a little red fox wearing a chef’s hat. Geoff’s a guy who has a box for a head wearing a chef’s hat. We’re trying to make hamburgers, but we’re on different sides of a restaurant located in lava. He has the plates. I have the lettuce. I need to get the lettuce to him, but it needs to be placed on a rotating small rock in the lava. When it finally gets to Geoff, he falls in the lava, and we need to start over. Eventually Geoff falls in the lava so much that we lose entirely. Or – I’m a little raccoon wearing a chef’s hat, and Geoff’s a little black fox wearing a chef’s hat. We’re trying to make soup in a land full of ice. He has the onions, I have the tomatoes, and the kitchen is always catching on fire (nobody knows where the fire extinguisher is, or we dropped it in the lake). He sends the onions over to me, and I fall in the icy water and die. Eventually I fall in the icy water so often that we lose entirely.

Basically – this video game is impossible, but you’re always blaming your loss on your spouse’s inability to navigate either lava or ice, or the fact that they can’t chop vegetables fast enough. Of course YOU’RE chopping fast enough and YOU never accidentally send a plated order down the garbage disposal. There’s a lot of yelling. It’s like assembling Ikea furniture, but worse, and there’s no shelf when you’re done – just resentment.

We don’t resent Margaret and Bryan, though. In fact, we LOVE Overcooked, and actually beat the entire game, and are somehow still married (don’t hold your breath though, we still have bonus levels to complete and the holiday edition). And we’re grateful for Margaret and Bryan for introducing us to a game that we didn’t know we needed in order to hone our hamburger making skills. And it’s a testament to their own marriage that they, too, have played Overcooked and LOOK – they still got married! They must have good communication and the ability to make a mean pepperoni pizza peacefully together, and that’s what love is all about. They had a beautiful wedding with a stormtrooper ring bearer and a giant movie book for a guest book that I signed on the Temple of Doom page because that’s what Geoff would’ve wanted (he’s not dead – he was just across the room when I signed it). We’re so glad we got to work with these guys, and we will never forget them every time we yell at each other about vegetables.

Also, shout out to anyone who recognizes this ceremony’s fabulous cello player from a past wedding of ours! :D


Date: May 27, 2018
Ceremony + Reception Venue: Brier Creek Country Club // Raleigh, NC
First Dance Song: “I Love You” – Alex Clare
Margaret’s Occupation: Teacher
Bryan’s Occupation: Doctor
How You Met: OK Cupid
Interesting Fact: Love pugs
Honeymoon: Cartagena, Colombia
Officiant: Reverend Pam Carey
DJ: Jeff Simpson
Florist: The English Garden
Cake: Raleigh Cake Pops
Caterer: Brier Creek Country Club
Hair/Makeup: Brenda Van Benschoten
Coordinator: Shawn Shindler
Photo Booth: Shutter Booth
Ceremony Musicians: Elegant Ensembles