What do you do when you plan for a full wedding and then get hit with a pandemic? Elope.
April 24th 2020, Shireen and Ryan decided to forego the traditional wedding planning due to the virus and instead eloped together in a park close by to Shireen's home. A year later, April 24th 2021, they were able to have the wedding they wanted with their friends and family.
Shireen is a kindergarten teacher. Ryan is a manager of finance for a REIT. In normal times, they are both very social creatures and spend a lot of time with our friends and family. Lately, they've spent time solving murder mystery games.Their dogs are their pride and joy; they try to give them the best life ever. They really value spending time with each other and recently bought a home, so they've been working together to make it a cozy space.
Shireen and Ryan wanted these special moments captured through a unique perspective. They knew they wanted a film highlighting their joy, love, and excitement for the future. They were drawn to my work immediately, captivated by the detail and thoughtfulness of each sequence.
Ryan surprised Shireen with a tropical vacation to Punta Cana in April 2019. On April 24, 2019, Ryan proposed under the stars on the beach. Best surprise ever! Exactly a year later they would find themselves eloping in a quaint little park nearby and a year after that celebrating big time with their loved ones.
Ceremony was held at Donald Frady Park in Falls Church. A quick 10 minute vow exchange to remember the importance of the bond they share and then off to party at the reception!
Shireen and Ryan's Reception was held at Restaurant 2941. Have you tried their food???? It's AMAZING. The outdoor space is awesome as it overlooks the lake. The various lighting fixtures they have inside are striking as well. But really, they chose this venue because of the dining experience.
Shireen and Ryan wanted their guests to experience pure magic & ease. Their biggest concern at this point is everyone's safety. They wanted everyone attending to feel comfortable and safe. Beyond that, they wanted to make it absolutely magical. Lots of laughs and good energy all around, and boy did they not disappoint.
I asked them to describe their relationship, this is what they said..."To put it simply, we're a really great team. From the very beginning, it's always been an equal partnership. Our relationship is filled with silly, fun, awkward, loving moments. Both big and little ones. Ryan is laid back, generous, so unbelievably kind, patient, and doting. Shireen is (so) Type A, compassionate, thoughtful, creative, and loving."
Shireen got ready in her family's home in Falls Church. Walking into their home I was immediately welcomed and offered tea, sandwiches, mimosas and lemonade. Nothing like feeling like an honored guest from the very beginning. There was hustle and bustle as wedding mornings traditionally are with people running around in robes and hair and make up being done. There was something comforting about it, as this was my first wedding in 2021 to start the season off after having 5 months off during the winter.
Shireen's sister helped get her in her dress and prepare her for her first look with her Dad out in front of their home. This moment was special, you could see it in his eyes as he turned around how incredibly proud he was of his daughter. They pulled away in his vintage Mercedes.
As we arrive to the first look location, you'd never guess but it was at a lighting shop! Dominion Electric Surrounded by light fixtures of all kinds, we found an interesting spot to have the first look. Kudos to Shireen and Ryan for being creative and considering this untraditional approach and location.
The Ceremony was a jog over to Donald Frady Park where we found a quiet spot in the park to have the ceremony. This was the park where they eloped exactly a year ago. This time with all their guests exchanging vows. A quick 10 minutes followed by portraits and we're headed to the reception at Restaurant 2941 . A big thank you to Jen Bush Weddings for helping plan and coordinate the day. The reason why weddings can go seamlessly is because of the care and details taken care of by planners and Jen did an amazing job.
Remona (Hair By Remona), a industry friend over the years and relative of Shireen was styling hair while Demi Grant was handling make up. Shireen's hair was absolutely stunning complete with a hairpiece that caught everyone's eye. Quickly we grabbed details of the dress and shoes. The gown was incredibly detailed with lace and and a beautiful silhouette, Shireen picked it up from Love Couture Bridal Salon. The flowers throughout the day were flawless, adding in pops of color. The floral design was by Wander and Whimsy. Working alongside Shelly Pate Photography was a joy. Shelly is genuinely a kind soul who cares so much for her couples and you can see that in her photographs. Her approach to photography is one that really captures soul and emotion which is where true beauty emerges.