October 24, 2019

Benny & Megan | Stone Tower Winery, Leesburg, Virginia Wedding Photographer

I’m Stephanie Messick, a wedding and lifestyle photographer based in Warrenton, VA. Whether I’m by the mountains in Virginia or the ocean on the Florida Gulf Coast, my soul feels right at home, surrounded by rural living and the raw beauty of nature. I genuinely love what I do, and feel so passionate to share the enthusiasm and joy of these celebrations with you!

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I’ve had the great privilege of getting to know Benny and Megan beyond the wedding day. I’m so glad that our passions for traveling carried into our friendship. πŸ™‚ We met earlier this year in Charleston, South Carolina for their engagement portraits and then later found out we were taking our honeymoons the same exact time in Thailand!!! Talk about a dreammmm! (You better believe there will be a blog feature about that! EEEPPP!) I love traveling and when you’re able to enjoy it with friends/loved ones, there’s something so special sharing those experiences with them and reliving the memories afterward. πŸ™‚ One thing I appreciate about Benny and Megan is their love for photography! If you know them, you’re probably laughing right now because YOU know how much they value a good picture!!! This was one of the many reasons why I was excited when Megan and Benny wanted me to be their photographer. <3 We have experienced so much and I am soooo looking forward to continuing the memories together in the future!!

Together, Megan and Benny are so much fun! In fact, so much fun that I don’t think I can keep up. πŸ˜‰ HAHA! One thing that I adore about Benny and Megan is how well they show love to their family and friends. Megan is also very passionate about her work and I love how it SHINES from inside-out! πŸ™‚ Be sure to check out her botox business in DC HERE (IG: @nursemegan_aesthetics)! It was also fun hearing how Benny works at Alex’s brother’s previous job. It’s a small world!!! Alex and I loved hanging out with them in Thailand. They are some of the most grateful people I know which should translate well in their marriage. πŸ™‚ Speaking of marriage, I still think it’s hilarious that Megan never thought she was going to get married until she found Benny! Clearly, he stole her heart just as much as she stole his. <3 If you missed their love story (how they met and how Benny proposed), be sure to check it out HERE!! I cannot wait to share the adventures we had in Thailand, but today’s post is all about their very special day because it was gorgeoussss!!!

BENNY & MEGAN’S WEDDING DAY

Prepping for Forever.

While Benny was down the road prepping to see his gorgeous bride, I met with Megan and the girls at Stone Tower Winery on one of the most beautiful fall days!!! In fact, it was so beautiful outside that the winery was slammed with wine tasters enjoying the sunshine. πŸ™‚ As much of a party it was outside, it was also a party in the bridal suite while the girls got ready. Megan was excited to step into her stunning one of a kind dress β€” AND WHEW! SHE ROCKED IT!!!! I had never photographed a dress with “wings” before, but now I’m a fan! πŸ™‚ She looked beautiful!!! After her Maid of Honor slipped on Megan’s last shoe, Megan opened Benny’s card that immediately brought her to tears… As you know from the introduction, they love photographs! So he compiled a collage of photos from their relationship. You could see how much it meant to Megan. <3 He also gifted her a pair of classic diamond stud earrings that she’ll be able to wear forever. Reminded me of my mother because she wears her diamond studs every day β€” So classic!!! After hugs with family and friends, it was then time to see her Benny! πŸ™‚

The First Look.

Oh man … This was one of my favorite parts of their day!!! Benny and Megan’s first look was dreamy! Benny looked so dapper in his ensemble, but he could not believe how gorgeous Megan looked!! West Virjeni put together the prettiest bouquet that tied in the fall colors so nicely without being too bold. The textures and long ribbon added so much to each photograph β€” Love them all!!! I have so many favorites, but enjoy some of my favorites of these two love birds!!! Also, one thing that I still crack up about is Megan’s enthusiasm for pictures; her saying all day long was, “Whatever Stephanie wants!!” HAHA! So flattering to have that much trust in my vision/work and she has no idea how much that meant to me. <3 She’s awesome!!!

Their Best Friends.

After returning back to the reception hall, we gathered their tribe to have fun in front of the camera!! πŸ™‚ Oh, and this crowd had fun… One of my favorite memories from the day happened during this time when I said I was going to count down to the wedding party for them to cheer for the bride and groom! With enthusiasm from one of the groomsmen, he brought his hands up to his mouth and yelled to the entire winery crowd behind us to cheer for Benny and Megan! HAHAHAHA! I’m sure they (B+M) were mortified, but it was one of my favorite highlights of the year because it worked!!! πŸ™‚ A roar of cheers and claps came from all over as Benny dipped his soon-to-be-wife down for a kiss! So fun!!!

The Ceremony.

After the countless times I had photographed ceremonies at Stone Tower Winery, this was my first pond ceremony. πŸ™‚ It’s a little bit of a hike to get guests there, but the views were beautiful with the rolling hills surrounding us. The men came from what we like to call, the “hobit doors,” and then Megan followed with the biggest smile on her face!!! Her father’s eyes filled with tears to see his baby girl grown up walking to her soon-to-be-husband. The ceremony was special because Megan’s brother officiated the wedding and added some fun stories to make the service relaxed and funny, while also finding a way to make Megan tear up at one point. πŸ™‚ After they were pronounced as husband and wife, they came in for a kiss and were whisked away around the pond allowing guests to soak in the beautiful view before heading to cocktail hour to start the party they would soon enjoy!

Benny & Megan’s Cherishable Moments.

While keeping the goal in mind for them to enjoy the cocktail hour with their guests, they also expressed that if there were any other photos I wanted to include in their gallery, to make it happen! After admiring the beautiful arbor West Virjeni during the ceremony, I knew we needed to have some pretty portraits with it! Holyyyyy moly. As soon as Megan stepped in front of it with her bouquet, my heart started racing because she looked INCREDIBLE. Like she belonged on the cover of a magazine… And of course, right when they were sent to cocktail hour, the sun began to show off the prettiest glowy light! With eagerness, Benny and Megan ran outside to catch a little bit of the sunset before the reception party called them in. πŸ™‚ I could have easily photographed these two for hourssss! I loved our time together!!

The Details.

Blush, maroon, oranges, and greenery color tones sprinkled the room in the ballroom. I loved seeing different tiers of flowers along the head table with the ceremony arbor behind the bride and groom chairs. πŸ™‚ In front of their seats, they had lit lanterns on the floor marking their spot in the room. The candles and lush centerpieces added so color and romance, and I loved hearing the guests in awe as they walked into the reception! Benny and Megan’s fall vision for the ballroom came to life!

The Party.

Stone Tower Winery was the perfect backdrop for Benny and Megan’s celebration. They had the room crowded with family and friends ready to PARTY. The bridesmaids came in dancing together while the groomsmen came marching in prepared to play football! Of course, when Megan and Benny came in, they showed off their dance moves, ready to get downnnn! Now all I hear is Kygo music playing when I look at some of these photos. πŸ™‚ HAHA! They are so fun! Before the dance floor was officially opened, family and friends came to the mic to share some words about the Bride and Groom that had everyone around the room laughing! But with much anticipation, everyone was ready to PARTY. Even some of the kids β€” They were showing off all of the dance tricks they can move and groove to (do I sound like a pre-mature mom? Gosh…). It was quite impressive and worth photographing!!! Haha! The evening quickly came to an end, and Benny and Megan grabbed a sparkler and ran through the sea of sparklers!! πŸ™‚ A great ending to a super fun day!

Thank you, Benny & Megan, for making this so much more than just photography! I’m incredibly grateful that my business brought you two into my life!!! I hope another adventure happens in the near future. πŸ™‚ Otherwise, I cannot wait to hang out again soon! Thank you for everything!!! I love you both! XOXO!

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Thanks to the vendors who made this happen!!!

Venue: Stone Tower Winery

Planner: Vida Events

Caterer: Shawn’s Smokehouse & BBQ

Videographer & Photo Booth: Nugen Media

Florist: West Virjeni

Ceremony & cocktail hour: String Poets Trio

DJ: DJ Antonio Ernesto

Officiant: Bride’s brother

Dessert: Dessert bar from Shawn’s BBQ

Cake: Copperhouse Bakery

Hair: PR at Partners in Shirlington

Makeup: Frances Ileana (Bridesmaid)

Transportation: Road Yachts

Rentals: Courtney Select Event Group

Dress: Made With Love, purchased from Lovely Bride in DC

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