Our mission as your Northern Virginia wedding photographers is to preserve the memories of your wedding day forever on film. In our experience, many couples do not get on an emotional level why it is so essential to do that. They might not understand how effectively a photograph can bring wedding-day feelings flooding back even years later. But we know from professional and personal experience how it can. That is why you will see us taking pictures of just about every moment that happens during your marriage celebrations. That includes all your interactions with your future spouse, obviously! And the moments you share with your family, of course, even the four-legged members. So if your pets are going to play a role in your wedding (no matter how small), we will get pictures of them. Wedding photos with dogs or cats will absolutely be a part of your photo album!
Before we talk about how we take wedding photos with dogs, cats and other pets, let us expand on why. In our time as Northern Virginia photographers, we have witnessed and recorded a lot of special wedding-day moments. We know firsthand how brightly memories of them blaze in your mind immediately after they happen. They feel like they are burned into your brain and heart forever. And in many respects they are. You will certainly never forget the moment when you married your soulmate.
The emotions you feel on your wedding day, however, do fade away surprisingly quickly. Again, not the love you have in your heart for your future spouse. That remains forever! The emotions specific to what you experience during your marriage celebrations do get harder to recall, though. You remember THAT you were there but perhaps not exactly HOW you felt. You know (again, on an intellectual level) that you were happy, excited or nervous. But you no longer feel those things viscerally when you think about your wedding day.
That is, of course, unless your Northern Virginia wedding photographer has given you visual reminders of everything that happened! As we said above, looking at pictures of your marriage celebrations can bring all of those beautiful emotions back to you. Seeing those moments again can trigger the same feelings that you experienced on that beautiful day.
Even more important is seeing how you and those closest to you reacted to those moments. For example, take a photo of your mother wiping away a tear as you and your future spouse exchange your vows. Looking at that can bring a tear to your own eye even decades later. An image of the best man’s pants splitting as he tries an ill-advised dance move during your reception? That will make you smile no matter when you look at it. A shot of your future spouse sharing a sly smile with you during the ceremony? It will always remind you of why you love them so much in the first place.
Those pictures, the ones of you sharing moments with friends and family, are perhaps even more important than you think. For some couples, their wedding is one of the only times in their adult lives when their entire extended family gets together. Having all those people under one roof invariably creates memories that you will want to remember forever. And the best Northern Virginia wedding photographers will make sure to capture those moments for you. Because we know from personal experience how much those pictures can matter when some of the people in them are no longer with us.
Recording moments shared with family on your wedding day is not just limited to the human members, of course. Pets are often as treasured a part of any family as anyone with whom you share DNA. As pet parents ourselves, we know how important our relationships with our furry friends can be. If it had been more practical, we would have had our cats participate in both our wedding and vow renewal! They are so special to us that we make sure to take at least one picture of them every day. We know that we will want to remember many years from now the time we spent with them. So if your pets are able to be a part of your marriage celebrations, you better believe that we will get photos of them!
Their three family dogs were so important to the bride pictured here and her groom that they made a special point asking us to get photos of them. The marriage traditions of their ceremony at St. James Catholic Church obviously did not allow for canine participants. (Very few religious wedding venues in Northern Virginia do, obviously!) So the couple arranged to take portraits with them before tying the knot.
The groom got ready where the dogs were staying. Once he was fully in his tuxedo, we went out to the back yard for some pictures. First we got some shots of him playing fetch with the two younger golden retrievers. Then we had him pose with Sandy, his bride’s family’s dog and a beautiful, 19-year-old retriever with the sweetest personality imaginable.
After the groom left for the church, the bride and her bridesmaids arrived at the house for their wedding photos with dogs. We got some incredibly touching shots of her and her sister cuddling with Sandy. The two younger dogs had, predictably, lots of energy and could not resist trying to jump on the bride and lick her face. Even though she was fully made up and in her wedding dress, the bride did not mind a bit. As you can see in this great shot we got of the two of them, she was very happy to receive a bit of canine love. She told us later during her reception at The Carlyle Club in Old Town Alexandria that a bit of dog hair on her dress was well worth the time she got to spend with Sandy and the others!Virginia wedding (39).
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