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Monday Mash-Up

And now, back to our regularly-scheduled programming! Yeah, that whole “going a week without blogging” thing? Sorry about that… sort of. Dan & Sarah’s wedding last weekend was out in the California wilderness (no, really- the area we were in is actually designated as wilderness), and the wifi + cell service out there was virtually nonexistent. At first, I panicked a little bit about not being able to post updates, but it was actually a huge blessing in disguise! Without email, Instagram, Facebook or my blog to distract me, I was really able to focus on the reason we were there in the first place- to celebrate my best friend marrying the love of her life.

This past year’s taught me a lot about loosening up and going with the flow. In the past, I’ve been the person that clings to a schedule and needs to know exactly what’s happening, well in advance of when it’s going to happen. But being in Europe earlier this year by myself was a huuuge lesson in spontaneity (I didn’t book my stay in Ireland until I was already in Italy), and it’s a quality I’m learning to love!

For example, it was on my calendar to head to San Francisco on Sunday morning after the wedding, and to spend a couple of days meandering through the Bay area. But after talking with Sarah the morning after the wedding, I decided to go out, buy a sleeping bag, and join the group going camping that night. And you know what? I had SO much more fun than I would have by myself in the city! I’m not a “nature” person, I’m definitely more of a city girl, but guys. California is STUNNING. Our campsite was right next to Lake Hume, and it was one of the most spectacular views I’ve ever seen. Almost enough to make me want to go camping again!

So, as always, lessons learned/things that transpired over the past TWO weeks:

  • I saw a bear! A REAL BEAR. We were shooting wedding portraits in the Giant Forest with these 2,000 year old Sequoias in the background when a momma bear ambled her way across the path behind us. And then, not a minute later, there came a little baby bear gamboling his way across the paths! It was SO CUTE!!
  • High altitude is no joke. We were at 7,000 feet and I was out of breath from climbing a flight of stairs. And going running? Ha. I’ve never felt so out of shape in my life.
  • One thing I will say in favor of the high altitude- it’s awesome for keeping my hair looking good! No humidity meant no frizz.
  • If you’re ever in San Francisco and you’re looking for good Thai food, go HERE. It was, hands down, the best plate of pad thai I’ve ever had in my life. No exaggeration.
  • Tip: try to keep your eyes on the road as you drive across the Golden Gate Bridge. Looking up at the architecture for extended periods of time *could* mean that you accidentally veer into the little rubber barrier things that prevent you from hitting oncoming traffic. (One of the scarier moments of my life)
  • I like that San Francisco-ans do whatever the heck they want. I’ve never seen such a high volume of people with neon hair in one place, and I loved it.

Some iPhone photos from my time on the west coast!

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If you’re in SF, I definitely recommend heading to Pier 39 to see the sea lions- they were hilarious. I’ll warn you, though- it smells something awful down there.

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Bi-Rite Creamery- so worth it! I had a mini-scoop each of Vanilla Lavender and Creme Brûlée. Thanks to everyone who suggested going there!

California wedding photography- Abby Grace

Sarah (newly) Brennan - August 25, 2014 - 10:24 am

Love this entry!!.. For obvious reasons. When I suggested you go get that sleeping bag I totally was just trying to help you out learning a life lesson… haha! Jk, it was totally for my own selfish reasons. I get Abby one more night?? YES PLEASE!! Glad you had an amazing time in San Fran. Love ya girl… and our selfie :)

Jason & Lindsay- a classic Georgetown black tie wedding

I’ve never seen a family carry joy the way Jason & Lindsay’s families did on their wedding day. It was this unanimous, infectious smile that donned the face of every bridesmaid, groomsman, sister, brother, mother and father. It was so obvious, so very crystal clear why these two decided on forever. He’s more relaxed, more himself by her side, both of them crazy in love with just being together. That kind of affection that’s so blatant that you yourself feel more in love after being around them.

Jason & Lindsay, words can’t begin to describe what an honor it was to document your wedding day! I arrived and left with a huge smile, and was just so blessed by the chance to photograph such an important day in your and your families lives! I hope St. Lucia was incredible!

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Georgetown, Washington DC wedding photographer- Abby Grace

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Georgetown, Washington DC wedding photographer- Abby Grace

Georgetown, Washington DC wedding photographer- Abby GraceGeorgetown, Washington DC wedding photographer- Abby GraceGeorgetown, Washington DC wedding photographer- Abby Grace

Details-

Dress: Nicole Miller, via BHLDN
Hair: Andrew Taylore Hair Design
Hake-up: Hair & Make-up Unveiled
Florals: Maryam Flowers
Ceremony: Cherrydale Baptist
Reception: Sequoia
Deejay: Taurus DJs

Jean - August 21, 2014 - 8:12 pm

Gorgeous pictures!

Shalese - August 21, 2014 - 3:16 pm

Beautiful!! I love that car! And the reception decor! And the portraits in the limo! :)

Jessica White - August 21, 2014 - 1:56 pm

Absolutely STUNNING wedding. What a beautiful couple- inside and out. Gorgeous pictures, Abby.

Muesday Mash-Up

This post was supposed to happen yesterday, but due to our internet service being AWOL, it’s coming today. Whoops!

I left on Saturday morning from our home in Reston to shoot Mike & Kayley’s wedding, and while I was working, Matt (and several of our awesomesauce church friends) moved us into the new place in Sterling! It was slightly strange leaving from Reston and coming home to a new house, but Matt had the bed assembled and made and a bottle of red wine waiting. God bless that man.

On a similar note, I’m not sure I’ve ever been that stressed out before. No exaggeration, either. Trying to prep for a wedding while simultaneously trying to pack your entire life into a series of cardboard boxes, both with the same deadline of 10am Saturday morning? Whew. StuhRESSFUL. But the move is [mostly] done, so now our biggest concern is unpacking. I’m still trying to locate my planner…

So! Lessons learned/things that transpired over the past week:

  • We closed on our house and moved. That’s pretty big, I’d say.
  • Lily’s finally stopped trying to follow me out the door every time I go. The first couple days she’d walk right alongside me as I departed with a look that said something like, “This is great… but can we go home now?”
  • She’s also found her new perch: right on top of our bed with a clear view of the street. So she can once again bark at anything audacious enough to move outside.
  • Fact: pink, sprinkled Dunkin’ Donuts make everything better.

Here’s just a taste of the gorgeousness that went down this past weekend at Mike & Kayley’s wedding! These two were so dang easy to photograph.

ArmyNavy Country Club wedding- Abby Grace Photography

Also, IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOOOWN!! My best friend Sarah is marrying her darling in California in less than five days. And I am SO excited for them! Remember their devastatingly beautiful Savannah engagement session? Yeah, I can only imagine how incredible their wedding is going to be.

Savannah, Georgia wedding & engagement photographer- Abby Grace

Jean - August 12, 2014 - 3:38 pm

Glad the move went well. Matt is such a great husband. Enjoy your trip to CA.

Jason & Kendra- a rural Maryland wedding

July weddings can be risky- if it’s not uncomfortably hot & humid, it’s often raining. But on Jason & Kendra’s wedding day, it was 78, partly sunny, and humidity-free- it was such a gift! The threat of rain wasn’t enough to dampen Jason & Kendra’s spirits, or the spirits of their friends and family as everyone began arriving. Their first look beneath the trees was such a sweet and tender moment, and and trace of nerves vanished the moment they laid eyes on one another. Their day was perfect from beginning to sparkler-bedecked end.

Jason & Kendra, thank you so very, very much for allowing me in on such a special day of your lives! It was a privilege to be the one present to document the beginning of this next chapter in your lives together, and an absolute pleasure to see your families’ joy as well. I hope Costa Rica was nothing short of incredible!

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Sarah Beth Tapanes - August 8, 2014 - 3:56 pm

So much sweetness <3 Love the light and romantic color scheme- and of course, how beautifully you captured the day <3

Jean - August 8, 2014 - 2:54 pm

What a gorgeous wedding. Love everything about it. Great photos!

Closing time!

Remember that song? It was on NOW volume 2. I know because it was one of the first CDs I ever owned. But I digress.

After 46 signatures (no joke, I kept tally), 23 days from offer letter to closing paperwork, and an hour at the title person’s office, we are officially HOMEOWNERS!

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We walked into the townhouse yesterday after closing and it felt weird- the only other times we’d been to the house were with other people- our realtor, a contractor, etc. This time it was jut us, and this time we didn’t need anyone else to key in for us. It was weird. I guess eventually we’ll get used to the feeling of not being on a January-December lease, that we won’t have to move until we want to.

The rest of this week will be devoted to packing, moving, and cleaning… and trying not scuff up our walls & furniture in the process! Matt & I are so grateful to you guys for being excited with us, celebrations are always more fun when you have friends and family to share the joy with.

I’m off to go begin the process of packing my office- wish me luck! And feel free to follow along on IG (@abbygracephoto) with the hashtag #springmannhousetohome- I’m not gifted in the interior design department, but I do love me a good can of spray paint to freshen up an existing piece of furniture!

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Thanks to our friends Terry & Flo for these images!

Evian - August 8, 2014 - 4:31 am

So excited for you two! Congrats Abby!!

Mary - August 7, 2014 - 6:51 pm

Your smiles say it all!! Huge congratulations!!! SO excited for you!! xo

Jean - August 7, 2014 - 3:48 pm

Congratulations you two! Enjoy!

Alicia Lacey - August 7, 2014 - 2:50 pm

Congrats you guys!!! I hope Toni was there to help you along the way — enjoy homeownership; it’s a crazy, but awesome ride :)

Janine Enold - August 7, 2014 - 1:37 pm

I totally thought of that song as soon as I saw the title and then immediately proceeded to add said song to Grooveshark collection! Congratulations on your new place!

Tina - August 7, 2014 - 11:58 am

CONGRATULATIONS!! I’m so excited for you guys, how HUGE is this!? What an exciting chapter of your life and so great you took these photos!! Can’t wait to see everything come together… and your first christmas at the new house! :) That’s always my first thought with a new place, sorry lol

Sarah Beth Tapanes - August 7, 2014 - 11:53 am

LOVE your big smile in that first pic- SO stinkin’ happy for you- and cannot wait to watch that new house of yours become a home! WOOOHOO!!!

Kelly Ewell - August 7, 2014 - 11:49 am

Welcome to the world of home ownership! I’m so excited for you two and you’re going to love it!

Natalie - August 7, 2014 - 11:46 am

CONGRATULATIONS ABBY!!! Welcome to this incredibly exciting season in your life!!! It’s going to be a roller coaster of love, life, and happiness! So happy for you!