Glamorous colorful wedding at City Winery DC and Hotel Monaco | Sam + Rob

I loved everything about this glamorous, fun, heartfelt wedding day, shared by one of the NICEST couples I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the past seven years. These two lawyers met in New York — both were working at law firms, and his officemate dated her friend. Eventually she moved to DC, and he followed. Fast forward to their wedding day, and we had so much fun. Sam had the prettiest bridal details — her GOWN had me SPEECHLESS — and we had so much fun in the gorgeous hotel spiral staircase and National Portrait Gallery atrium for portraits, before we headed to the venue in Ivy City. The two judges the groom clerked for officiated, and the reception was one of the most colorful, love-filled parties I’ve documented. Before the night ended, we headed outside for a few bonus portraits. They’re my favorite!

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weddingsAimee CustisChris
Suzanne Eden Natural Makeup Chic at Take Care Shop Georgetown | Washington DC branding photography

To make it onto my personal recommended vendors list isn’t an easy feat — I abhor the idea of ever recommending someone to a friend or client and not having them reflect anything but the absolutely top-notch service and experience that I try to give to my clients. Needless to say, my preferred vendors list isn’t very long, but the vendors who manage to land a spot on it are pretty heckin’ amazing, I’ve had a vendor crush on Suzanne Eden for AGES. Suzanne is a makeup artist, and has provided makeup for literally hundreds of weddings and a laundry list of corporate and commercial clients — I can almost guarantee you’ve seen her work in print in DC media… and if you’ve spent more than .25 seconds following me, you’ve seen it in my photos.

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Mt. Washington Mill Dye House wedding | Julianne + Phil | Baltimore wedding photography

A few seasons ago, I actually stopped asking my couples how they met… because the lovely souls who are drawn to hire me all seem to have met on a dating app. Which is great! Fine! Awesome! I’m so glad we’ve removed the stigma of apps! But needless to say, it’s not too often I get to photograph the wedding of two high school sweethearts! I was delighted when another of my favorite Baltimore couples, Amy + Alan, sent these two my way. Julianne went to an all-girls high school, and Phil to an all-boys school. Their schools held Senior Prom together… and well, this gorgeous day you could say is the result! The couple officially started dating on a college trip to visit Alan. Between then and their wedding last fall, Julianne + Phil have been together 7.5 years, 2.5 of that long-distance.

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weddingsAimee CustisMatt, Megan
Faithbrooke Barn and Vineyards wedding in Luray, VA | Michelle + Alex | Virginia wedding photographers

There’s no agreement among wedding photographers on this… but personally, I LOVE photographing the weddings of friends and people I know. I think it’s because I got my start in photography snapping candids of friends at parties, and because the thing I love most about photography is connecting with people through my lens… all of that’s amplified when I’m photographing for people I already know! Of course, I get to know all my clients, but it’s nice to skip ahead and really dig deep with people I love.

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weddingsAimee Custismegan
Intimate, patriotic sunrise US Supreme Court elopement | Elizabeth + Daniel

It seems timely to share this lovely, intimate elopement on the blog this week! When you get a call from a client in the Florida Keys… who’s planning to come to DC for the Independence Day holiday to elope in a city they love… and who proceeds to trust you entirely in visioning the celebration…. well, this is what you get! And I’m pretty pleased with it, if we’re being honest with ourselves. Elizabeth and Daniel, who you can follow online as the Florida Fishing Couple, are so sweet, so trusting, and so enthusiastic!

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Eastern Market North Hall wedding with US Supreme Court portraits | Erika + Jordan | best Washington DC wedding photography

When I met Erika + Jordan, I found out the sweetest things about them! They met their freshman year of college in Minnesota, and have been dating in the 11 years since… and for the last five yers before getting married, it was long distance, as they both pursue PhDs in history. “I knew I wanted to get married to Erika soon after meeting her,” Jordan told me. But the couple, who are pragmatic and realistic, decided to put their careers first until they were established. For all that they’re practical people, both Erika and Jordan said they’ve never met anyone else like each other, or had such chemistry as they had with each other when they met.

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Colorful urban Washington DC wedding at Crispus Attucks Park and Big Bear Cafe

I love all my clients… but sometimes the stars align and things get really special. That’s Lauren + Peter! They came to me through another of my favorite past couples, Karen + Matt. They joke that they met the old fashioned way… through OK Cupid. 😂 All I can do is laugh and laugh as a still-single gal who’s had to learn how to “swipe,” and who sees far too many groomsmen photos I myself have taken crossing the screen of my app. The couple met in October 2014, and got engaged a little over two years later. Fast forward to their wedding day, and these two introverts (another reason I love them!) hosted a heavily local-DC wedding day, right down to the DC flag-themed coasters that were their favors!

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Romantic, modern wedding at Toolbox Yoga + Pilates in Dupont Circle | Leah + Brent | Washington DC wedding photography

Talented guitar-playing boy meets talented, booking loving girl at a party thrown by mutual friends. Boy’s amp is too loud, and the police come by the party on a noise complaint. The amp gets turned off and guitar gets put away for the night, and boy and girl start talking. The rest is history! When I met this charming couple, and learned…

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Rachel + Ben’s rainy Kingman Island adventure engagement session

Rachel + Ben tied the knot this past weekend at City Winery, and I had so much fun with them! I should’ve known, after the time we had together for their engagement session last fall. Rachel + Ben met a few years ago playing kickball (apparently, Rachel “wasn’t very good, but made up for it with enthusiasm at the happy hours afterward”), and today they live over on Capitol Hill. We decided to stick close to home for their engagement session, going to one of their favorite neighborhood spots, Pretzel Bakery (did you know they do weddings? I recently spotted their pretzels as a late-night snack at another wedding) for a snack before heading over to the boardwalk at Kingman Island, one of my favorite hidden oasises in DC!

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Hilary + Mike’s Gaithersburg MD mini-golf engagement session | Washington DC authentic wedding photography

What happens when you combine a favorite childhood park, a summer thunderstorm, and one of my all-time favorite date night activities? As it turns out, a super-fun engagement session! Last summer, I headed up to Gaithersburg to meet Hilary and Mike for their engagement session. The skies looked a little ominous while we were at the park, but…

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Kelsey + Keegan’s cozy Saturday morning engagement session at home in Dupont Circle

Home is where the heart is… no, really! My couples ask me over and over the best way to have a unique, memorable engagement session. My answer is a no-brainer, but it usually surprises people — have your session at home! No, this doesn’t have to involve cleaning your place from top to bottom and hiring an interior designer for a swoon-worthy living room… all I’m saying is, you picked where you live for a reason, so let’s stay in the neighborhood! The streets, alleyways, nooks and crannies of your neighborhood have a magic that can unlock some really personal-feeling photos. On a rainy and relatively

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In which I went to Barcelona, and came back again (reluctantly!)

My last trip (which I still haven’t blogged! oy!) was a mini-vacation to Miami last August… and with it was wonderful, it wasn’t long enough or far enough away to really be restorative to me. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to travel as often as I do, but my last 18 months or so have been intense . Given that I hold down a demanding full-time job as deputy director of a nonprofit AND a full-time photography practice, I really needed a break! I started planning this trip, almost by accident

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Pinstripes Georgetown NYE wedding | Washington DC wedding photography

Happy New Year! I hope however you chose to ring in the new year last night/this morning, whether it was hygge at home in your jammies or with sparkles and a hundred of your best friends, that it was everything you wanted it to be! Congratulations to Katie + Jon on their first wedding anniversary! They threw a KILLER NYE party at Pinstripes (bowling + bocce!) in Georgetown on the C&O Canal, and oh hey, happened to get married while they were at it.

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weddingsAimee CustisKian
Best of 2018 | Year in Review

Hooooooooly wow, it’s been a big year! I’m incredibly grateful to all of the couples and clients who trusted me to capture meaningful images for them… being a wedding photographer is being trusted by complete strangers to capture a huge milestone in their lives… and hopefully somewhere along the way, for me, becoming friends. I shot the most-ever weddings this year, clocking in at 18! (I posted 17 to Instagram a few weeks ago… only to realize I had miscounted.) It’s been quite a year for growth, reflection, and figuring out exactly what I want this little business (that maybe isn’t so little anymore) to be.

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personal, weddingsAimee Custis
DC War Memorial surprise proposal | Washington DC wedding photography

What’s sweeter than a surprise marriage proposal? A surprise marriage proposal during a craftily-planned family trip to Washington, DC… so that your family and friends are at hand to celebrate with you after “yes”! When Brett reached out to me this spring to say he’d be taking a trip with his love, Kendra, and their family to DC, and he wanted to propose, and could I help… what is there to say but “yes”?!

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proposalsAimee Custis
Colorful and classy Annapolis State Circle and waterfront engagement session

Y’all, as my fall slows down enough for me to BREATHE and catch up on some blogging, holy cow do I have some great engagement sessions for you! Today’s couple, Julianne + Phil, tied the knot in August in Baltimore, but before we get to that, I’m super-excited to share their colorful and classy Annapolis waterfront and State Circle engagement session! I LOOOOVE working and living…

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Woodsy Ellicott City ruins engagement session | Maryland wedding photographers

It used to bother me that with the seasons, the color palette of my photos changed. These days, I try to embrace the changing temperatures and the impact they have on my photos. (Plus, I have enough photos from over the years to keep my Instagram grid looking balanced!) Cooler temperatures mean more earth and jewel tones in my photos, and more hikes and campfires in my leisure time. So I was intrigued when…

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