Elegance on the Potomac, a Spring Wedding in Old Town Alexandria

Hayley and Joe, a couple whose adventurous spirits match their deep commitment to each other, share a passion for the thrill of rock climbing and the serenity of biking through nature's landscapes. Joe, a dedicated Marine Corps officer and helicopter pilot, embodies discipline and courage, qualities that Hayley reciprocates in their adventures together.

On the morning of their big day, the couple chose two locations for their preparations. Joe and his party gathered at the Westin, while Hayley and her bridesmaids prepared at the gorgeous and eclectic Hotel Indigo in Old Town Alexandria. The getting-ready shots at both locations were crafted to highlight not only the excitement and anticipation of the day but also the intricate details. As both locations buzzed with activity, the anticipation built towards their heartfelt first look, set against the historic backdrop of Old Town Alexandria.

April Showers brings Beautiful Soft light for wedding Photos!

On their special day, under a sporadic drizzle, Hayley and Joe chose the historic Carlyle House gardens in Old Town Alexandria for their first look. Despite the occasional rain, the gardens remained vibrant and inviting, providing a lush backdrop that enhanced the emotional first moments they shared.

Weather can be unpredictable, and so can life, especially during military service. That's something Joe and I could both nod to from our time in the Marine Corps. As the rain played its tune, we found refuge under the embracing arms of Old Town's historic trees. These natural canopies provided not just shelter but framed a series of intimate moments that were both serene and strikingly beautiful. When the rain eased, it was our cue to take a stroll down the nearby cobblestone alley, capturing the couple’s playful and adventurous spirits in every shot.

The break in the weather was brief, but we made the most of it. We ventured into the Wilkes Street Tunnel. There, we captured a series of silhouette shots that were both dramatic and intimate, showcasing the strong bond between Hayley and Joe. These images, set against the rustic backdrop of the tunnel, not only captured the essence of their relationship but also the resilience to make the best out of every situation.

Preparing for the Elements

Handling a wedding day's weather challenges requires flexibility and a bit of creativity, qualities that both Hayley and Joe exhibited remarkably. Embracing the elements, rather than fighting them, often leads to some of the most heartfelt and spontaneous images. As we wrapped up the first look and prepared to head to Cedar Knoll, I couldn’t help but reflect on the day so far. Rain, often seen as a sign of good luck on a wedding day, brought with it an unexpected beauty and a test of adaptability. Hayley and Joe’s ability to smile through the sprinkles, to laugh at the gusts that threatened to topple over an umbrella, spoke volumes about their partnership. They were ready to face life’s storms together, making the best out of every situation, much like they did here in Old Town Alexandria.

The Ceremony

Initially envisioned beneath the sprawling branches of a majestic tree at Cedar Knoll, the unpredictable weather prompted a shift to the venue’s charming patio. This change, though last minute, captured the essence of military life—adaptability under unexpected circumstances. Hayley and Joe, surrounded by the intimate circle of family and friends, stood under the soft glow of the patio lights as they exchanged their vows. Each word resonated with the depth of their commitment, a scene that was both touching and emblematic of their journey together. Not just one, but three kisses sealed their vows, punctuating their union with joy and a bit of playful flair.

The smooth transition from an outdoor to a covered ceremony is a testament to the meticulous planning and teamwork, much like the coordination required in military operations. As a photographer and a Marine Corps veteran, I appreciated the precision and fluidity of the day's adjustments. It's these qualities that not only make military weddings unique but also deeply symbolic of the couple's life ahead.

Cocktail Hour and Reception

Following the ceremony, the celebration shifted gears towards a more relaxed yet festive atmosphere during the cocktail hour. The spread was impressive—artisanal charcuterie boards, vibrant appetizers, and a custom puzzle that playfully featured the bride and groom. Cedar Knoll’s staff, kept spirits high with their exceptional service, offering handcrafted drinks that were both refreshing and fitting for the occasion.

The games laid out on the lawn, including giant Jenga and corn hole with custom built boards by the Marine groom himself, definitely entertained. As the evening progressed, Hayley and Joe made their grand entrance, welcomed by the cheers of their loved ones. The first dance set the stage for an evening filled with laughter, love, and celebration. The dinner that followed was nothing short of spectacular, with dishes that catered to every taste. The night culminated with guests gathered around a crackling fire, roasting s'mores and sharing stories. The games continued, laughter mingling with the crackle of the fire, as desserts were served.

Wedding Photography: Benson Park Photography

Wedding Planner: All But The Wedding

Wedding Venue & Caterer: Cedar Knoll

Aidan Demolli | Owner of Benson Park Photography

Hey, I'm Aidan

I'm the owner of Benson Park Photography! I'm so happy you're here. As a professional people watcher, I observe and document about 40 or more weddings a year.

I've been capturing weddings since 2017 after ending my service in the Marine Corps and going full time as a photographer and filmmaker. It's been an amazing ride these past five years, and I am so thankful for all the beautiful couples that have trusted me with their perfect day.

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