Preston and Tara - Wedding in Glen Echo, MD

"Wrap yourself around me
'Cause I ain't the way that you found me
I'll never be the same
'Cause you make my dreams come true"

Tara, her long blonde hair and even longer legs came whirling into Starbucks.  She looked wind blown, natural and happy.  She smiled introducing herself, smiled ordering her coffee, smiled drinking her coffee, smiled sitting at the red table - she basically just smiled.  Tara told a funny joke and gave my arm a little squeeze and rolled back in her seat, then continued to tell me about her wedding plans.

"It's going to be at a park near my parents house. We're trying to do a fun, elegant carnival theme."  My fair-loving-ears perked up.  Tell me more.

"We want it to be very colorful -- we are going to rent the carousal at the park! -- with good music, hopefully from a live band!"  She went on and on about her ideas for this splendid wedding at Glen Echo park and she reeled me in - hook, line and sinker.  I'm pretty sure I would have cried if I hadn't gotten this job because this fun-loving, ridiculously smart, smiling bride was going to have my dream wedding and I wanted to shoot it.

Hey guess what!  She thought I was alright and booked me!  Haha :D
When her lovely day finally rolled around, I met up with her at the house where she grew up, right outside Glen Echo Park.  It was so sweet to see pictures on the walls of her as a little girl, and there she was in her yellow J. Crew wedding shoes and Carolina Herrara wedding gown, looking exactly as an elegant lady aught.

She glided from room to room, smiling of course, and let everyone "Oooh" and "Aaah." It's probably how Princess Diana or Grace Kelly would work a room - delightfully warm and extremely pleasant with a sophistication you can't teach.

The chose to do a "first look" so that they could move seamlessly from ceremony to cocktail hour to reception.  And spend lots of time taking gorgeous pictures at the park.  Be sure to check out the slideshow for more of their first look :D

Before we get to that, though.  I'd like to brag about my bride some more.  Lets see... what else can we discuss?  Well, Tara was born in Paris but was raised in Brazil, Australia, America and various European countries.  She went to Yale Law (so did her dapper man, Preston - but don't worry, they didn't meet there.  That's much too Legally Blonde for this couple ;D)

But the most impressive thing about her is how she doesn't give you that any of that snotty-I'm-pretty-much-awesome vibe.  Nope.   She is as welcoming as they come and you can't help but like her!

"Oooh!  Wow!  This is just lovely!  What a day!  Ooh this is so much fun!"  She actually reminded me of a young Julia Child.  "Ope! [big laughs!] Ooooh! [sigggh]" Smitten with life - and her man.

Her friends were just as dear and sweet.  They are wonderful ladies (and very, very pretty!)

I've mentioned this before on the blog, but I still adore Glen Echo Park and I honestly got goosebumps as I was taking pictures.  I love everything about the venue!
Back in its golden years, it was an amusement park. It also boasted a swimming pool, candy shops and soda fountains, with swing dances held nightly. It was colorful, it was happening and was, I am sure, so much fun. Today the Spanish ballroom still has swing dances on Friday nights and the "1921 Dentzel three-row menagerie carousel" operates daily.

Many couples, I'm sure, have strolled hand-in-hand through this park.  Many nervous boys have asked cute girls to dance with them.  And today, a husband and wife strolled the grounds together.

One of my all time favorites. Of all time. Ever.  I love the styling, the colors and the simplicity.

Beautiful people alert!

Since we are enjoying these snaps of Tara and Preston, let me introduce the groom.  Tall, dark, handsome and smart, Preston is a very ideal match for Tara.

He is a very sincere man, with a gentle demeanor and strong but quiet presence.

He is a very successful and a very hard-worker.  It was neat to hear his family and friends talk about how loyal he is.  That's an incredible quality to have and I know will bless his lady!

And even though he wasn't jumping up and down in excitement about taking pictures, I'm pretty sure he secretly loved getting to pull his model moves ;D

:) :) :)
Preston has that "light her up" effect when he's with Tara.  
If I had to shoot this wedding, and this couple, for every weekend for the rest of my life, I don't think I would get tired of it.  I mean, maybe if I was 74 and in a wheel-chair, but other than that...
Glam!  Woooowie!
This has all been so exciting.  And we haven't even gotten to ceremony or reception yet!  The best is yet to come!
The church and guests fit perfectly with the theme of the  wedding.  I loved it :D
Tara's parents walked her down the aisle.  Her mom was especially emotional and it made me teary. 
The church had so much natural light!  Heeeeaven! 

Sharp groom alert!

And now they are off!  And married! Ready to conquer the world!  After their carnival reception, of course.
And now we arrive.  To the old bumper car pavilion and reception venue.  I probably shot just details for any hour, so bear with me.  There are a lot of detail pictures coming up!
Main Event Caterors headed up by their Senior Event Designer, Alison Bates Fisher, did a fabulous job with the decor.  Spot Floral Design also played a major role!  

Instead of a guest book, Tara and Preston had a wishing tree!  I would say at least half of the wishes included "lots of laugher together" :)
Speaking of laughter?  What can I say, I'm a hottie.
While I was running around, trying not to drool on the table settings, Tara came over and asked me to ride the merry-go-round with them.  Deal!

While we waited in line, as the sun shone it's last rays, Tara waved to her guests spinning by.  She leaned on Preston's shoulder.  She smiled, covered her mouth and her eyes glittered.  "This is such fun!"

I found the picture on the left in a room in Tara's house.  Little dancing Tara, with hair blowing and dress ruffles spinning.  I think she has probably danced through life just like this.  And now, as the picture on the right shows, she's still smiling and twirling but not alone. Someone in the picture.  A very important someone - who comes alongside her, cares for her, loves her.  And she loves him.

"Oh, this is such fun."