Wedding Reception at Woodlawn Manor
Potok's World Photography
Potok's World Photography

Wedding Reception at Woodlawn Manor

A Washington, DC, wedding photographer spends most of a marriage celebration focused on the bride and groom. They are the reason every one is at the wedding venue, after all. And more importantly for DC wedding photographers, they are usually the clients. Getting lots of pictures of bride and groom is usually the soundest business strategy. We have yet to have newlyweds complain that we have taken too many photographs of them!

Jokes aside, it is also important to capture lots of images of the couple’s friends and family. Every DC bride and groom wants to look back at their wedding and see those closest to them enjoying themselves. They want to reminisce about the moments they shared in Washington, DC, with their parents, siblings, other relatives and friends. So obviously, their photo album needs to have a lot of photos of the people they have invited to the wedding.

For that reason, we try to make sure to include more people than just the bride and groom in our photos. It is an approach that has benefits beyond just giving newlyweds pictures of their loved ones. The interactions among future spouses and those closest to them often makes for some beautiful wedding photography. Pictures of bridesmaids tearing up when they see their sister/cousin/friend in her wedding dress are hard to beat. Similarly, the moment when the father of the bride delivers his little girl to the altar can be a priceless photograph.

The reality of photographing a Washington wedding, though, means that the bride and groom our our first priority. This is particularly true during the getting-ready and ceremony portions of a marital event. Even when taking pictures of other wedding attendees, DC wedding photographers need to keep an eye on the bride and groom. A Washington, DC, wedding photographer needs to be ready to change their focus instantaneously should the situation demand it.
The need to concentrate on the couple diminishes a bit after the newlyweds tie the knot. Most wedding receptions in the Nation’s Capital are less structured than other parts of a marriage celebration. They are certainly looser that ceremonies, which generally follow a strict schedule. The only set events in a reception are typically the first dances, speeches and cake-cutting. Once those are finished, wedding guests are free to celebrate the newlyweds’ marriage in whatever way they would like.

The couple, by contrast, often spends that portion of their wedding day going from table to table greeting their guests. Getting pictures of that matters a lot, of course, and we always make sure to do so. It is a fairly slow process, though, so we often drift between that and the dance floor. Photos of the newlyweds are important, but the dancing is where all the action is.

That was certainly the case at this wedding in suburban Washington, DC. The bride and groom exchanged their vows at Woodlawn Manor, a lovely rustic wedding venue not far from the Nation’s Capital. After a charming outdoor ceremony, the wedding attendees went to a spacious tent on the manor’s lawn for the reception.

Loosened up by the freely flowing drinks, the fun-loving crowd shouted, sang and danced the night away. As you can see in this photo, even the groom’s mother joined in the party. She was all over the dance floor, celebrating her son’s nuptials with great gusto. When we took this particular picture, she was leading the crowd in a raucous sing- and dance-along. The wedding DJ was playing, “Shout,” a staple of many a wedding reception. She took the song’s exhortation very seriously and tried to be the loudest voice in the room. We watched her and took a picture at just the right moment.

Location: Woodlawn Manor, 16501 Norwood Rd, Sandy Spring, MD 20860.

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