Iā€™m Stephanie, a wedding + lifestyle photographer based in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Warrenton, Virginia. Whether Iā€™m by the mountains of Colorado or Virginia, my soul feels 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!

Enthusiastically capturing authentic connections
since 2012.


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September 1, 2021

Rob & Samee | Stone Tower Winery, Virginia Wedding Photographer

Rob & Samee | Stone Tower Winery, Virginia Wedding Photographer

I was going to publish this wedding on the blog tomorrow … But I couldn’t wait another day!!! This wedding is one of my favorite Stone Tower Winery weddings, as a photographer, for many reasons. Rob and Samee went through so much to get to this party. They fought through the 2020 craziness. Even though they didn’t get to have their Plan A wedding, I feel like this Plan C… or Plan Z … (Who knows how many plans they went through) worked out for the best!!! Rob and Samee tied the knot last May, despite all challenges they faced to even make that happen. And after trying to plan a celebration with family and friends, their postponement plans were ending up at a dead-end time and time again. In fact, Samee reached out to me last fall saying they were going to completely cancel due to Virginia restrictions.

After some time away from planning and restrictions were lifted, Samee and Rob decided to move forward with an August 2021 celebration! I was SO honored that Samee and Rob had me as their photographer at Stone Tower Winery, despite all of the changes. It was by far one of my favorite weddings this year!!!

Thinking back to when we first talked about their big day, it was about TWO years ago. We got together around Christmas 2019 for their engagement session with their adorable pup, Pheobe, in their charming (new at the time) Alexandria house! Since then, it sounds like they have enjoyed the married life together. šŸ™‚ One thing that cracked me up during their vows was hearing about their costume parties. HAHA! They are not only super cute but super fun!!! And if you see their party below, I believe you’ll see that too!

Check out their beautiful day through my lens!!!

Rob & Samee | Stone Tower Winery, Virginia Wedding Photographer


Prepping for the Ceremony.

When I typically arrive at the bridal suite, I usually find the parents of the couple and the bridal party. But because Rob and Samee didn’t have a traditional bridal party, she had all of her closest family and friends. Needless to say, the house was a big party in itself! It was a super fun vibe rushing around getting ready for the big day. Even though Samee and Rob already tied the knot, she wanted her original dress. šŸ™‚ And of COURSE, I was a fan since it came from my favorite bridal boutique, The Bridal Room! And she looked STUNNING, especially with her hair and makeup done by Jeanette Moore and Erica Basha!! My favorite part was when everyone saw her. It was like a cheerleading squad squealing when she revealed herself. HAHA! But when her father saw her, it brought tears to my eyes. Their bond is so evident, as you’ll see below. <3

Down the road, my sweet assistant, Alexis El Massih Photography, was photographing Rob getting ready. He seemed cool, calm, and collected. Yet, I’m sure it all felt SO different from their wedding day last year. I loved the classic, clean look he had going on… BUT … Wait until you see the print inside of his suit jacket! HAHA! So fun!

After Rob and Samee were all dressed, we gave them the go ahead to coordinate the first look. šŸ™‚

Their First Look.

When I met with Rob and Samee for their final meeting, we strategized a plan for where to take photos. Stone Tower Winery is so expansive with so many pretty backdrops! But when it came to the first look, they loved the wooden hobbit door. It reminded me of wine barrels which tied in so nicely with the winery theme. And the fact that we were there when the hydrangeas were in full bloom couldn’t have been more perfect!

When Samee gave Rob the cue to turn around, he had the look of pure admiration. All of their costume parties in the past, and even their wedding day last year, didn’t prepare him for this moment. Samee was the most beautiful bride!!! And I’ll admit, their wedding was a HOT one, but it’s funny how quickly I forgot that when I was looking through their gallery. The only thing that reminded me of the heat was when I had Rob take off his suit jacket for a few photos to give him a cooling break. HA! Men are such troopers when it comes to dressing up for a wedding on a hot summer day. šŸ™‚

Also, you might notice that because they didn’t have a traditional wedding party, there aren’t any wedding party photos. INSTEAD, they prioritized family and had pictures taken with immediate and extended family before and after the ceremony. It was very evident how much family means to them!

The Ceremony.

While Rob and Samee cooled off inside, their guests arrived with Stone Tower Winery‘s cold Rose waiting for them. What a nice touch!!! Their ceremony happened on top of the hill overlooking the vineyard and distant mountains (my favorite spot at the venue). I loved that they did a semi-circle set up so their guests were close to the altar from all angles. To make this ceremony meaningful, they had Samee’s mom officiate the wedding! The ceremony itself was a beautiful blend of traditional mixed with Persian traditions! A beautiful way to honor Samee’s Persian heritage. <3 When it came time for Rob and Samee to exchange vows, they managed to make it both hilarious and emotional. They are adored by many, but what I loved the most was how much THEY adore each other.

Mr. & Mrs.!!!

As if I couldn’t get enough of our time together before the ceremony, we got to play around the vineyard a little bit longer! šŸ™‚ And of COURSE, they didn’t disappoint… Thanks to Katie from Pure Whimsy Event for helping with some epic veil photos too!!! I’m so glad we had this golden light to photograph these magical portraits before the clouds rolled in. Also, isn’t Samee’s bouquet from Floral and Bloom just so delicate and beautiful?!

The Details.

I will say that my jaw DROPPED when I saw Stone Tower Winery‘s ballroom decorated by the super talented Floral and Bloom! They really transformed the space in a way that I’ve never seen before at this venue. In fact, everyone who I saw walked into the ballroom had the same reaction. šŸ™‚ I cannot imagine how many flowers were used, but I love the results!! And to make a big statement, Floral and Bloom draped greenery/flowers from the ceiling over the dance floor. It made a huge impact, as you’ll see below!

Also… Check it out! Even though Pheobe (their pup) wasn’t there in person, she was there in spirit ā€” Through the drink stirrers! Haha! I love how creative couples get when it comes to details with significance. šŸ™‚

The Reception.

As pretty as this all looks, the party was also top-notch! They had the talented Bachelor Boys band with a show that kept the dance floor crowded all night long!! The funny part was that the day prior, I had worked a wedding with them too. Haha! It was a busy weekend, I suppose. šŸ™‚ Not only was the entertainment superb, but the food from Occasions Catering was outstanding! In fact, I don’t think that I’ve ever felt so spoiled from a vendor standpoint. So I can only imagine how amazing the food was for the guests!

I loved seeing how much Rob and Samee enjoyed this part of the night. After everything they went through to get to this point, it was SO worth it to make this party happen. <3 I know I had the best time, and if that is coming from me “working”, I can only imagine how much fun it was for them! I also loved seeing the Persian heritage come out when they played some traditional songs during one of the band breaks. And to go from that to The Killers “I’m Mr. Brightside” with a special appearance of Samee’s sister singing the song… HAHA! Rob and Samee were up there as her biggest fans! And when it came time for the speeches… Don’t even get me started about Samee’s father. It was heart felt through every word. Over all, it was an amazing day for one amazing couple, and I’m so honored to have been there to document the joy, the tears… and Rob and Samee’s dance moves! šŸ™‚

Thank You!!

THANK YOU, Rob and Samee, for having me document one of your best days ever!!! <3 I’m so so sooooo happy that everything lined up perfectly to make this day happen after all. And I cannot tell you how HONORED I was to stand by your side as your photographer at Stone Tower Winery. You two deserve all of the happiness in the world, and it looks like you two were overflowing with joy!!! So happy for you both. <3


Thanks to the vendors who made this happen!!

Venue: Stone Tower Winery
Wedding Planner: Pure Whimsy Event
Photographer: Stephanie Messick Photography
Photographer Assistant: Alexis El Massih Photography
Hair: Jeanette Moore
Makeup: Erica Basha
Caterer: Occasions Catering
Florist: Floral and Bloom
Band: Bachelor Boys
Video: Paper Boys
Dress Boutique: The Bridal Room
Officiant: Samee’s Mom šŸ™‚
Transportation: Reston Limo



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