As wedding photographers, we never get to pick the settings for our pictures. Because we’re based in Washington, DC, we usually get pretty lucky when it comes to wedding venues, but couples often choose a place for their nuptials for reasons unrelated to aesthetics. And it’s our job as their photographers to make brides and grooms look great in their pictures no matter what’s in the background. Frankly, that’s what makes the job fun for us and keeps things interesting!
We certainly don’t complain, though, when future spouses celebrate their summer matrimony in a spectacular indoor/outdoor setting like Rust Manor House. Located in a state park just outside Leesburg, Virginia, this historic site has hosted many marriage ceremonies. As soon as we turned into its driveway, we understood why. The road took us through lush green woods filled with brightly chirping birds and ended at a rustic mansion with a sprawling backyard surrounded by a lovely garden and stone wall.
Normally, the venue's garden is the ideal spot for couples to take their portraits. Posing newlyweds under some of the sprawling trees or having them sit on one of the garden’s benches leads to some fantastic images. But just like wedding photographers can’t choose the venue, neither can they decide when the ideal moment will strike.
So even though we took this bride and groom out into the Rust Manor House garden for some beautiful photos, this shot ended up being our favorite wedding portrait of the day. After many rounds of pictures with their parents, siblings and extended loved ones, the husband and wife stood back on the porch of the manor house and took a moment to catch their breath. That's when he pulled the woman he loves close in the most natural and unplanned way, whispered something in her ear and enjoyed the smile it brought to her lips.