virginia wedding photography Archives - photographybyjo.net

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Everything you need to know about planning a Staunton Wedding, and all the vendors that can make your dream day happen.

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wedding portraits of couple exchanging vows at their home in harrisonburg virginia

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Emily and Heston hosted their closest friends and family for their wedding at their own property in the Harrisonburg VA area. They painstakingly cared for the landscaping, finalized the layout of their new garage for the reception, and made sure the property was wedding photography ready. Their hard work paid off! They pulled off their sweet and simple wedding ceremony with the help of lots of friends and family.

An intimate reception, with canine guests!

If you recall from their engagement session, they had promised their dogs would be in attendance. They were the highlight of the reception! They even snuck out on the dance floor for first dance, and had a seat at the head table for toasts. As an owner of four rescues myself, I was loving the way they roamed about the reception and made themselves at home.

Emily and Heston’s property is nestled in Rockingham county near Bridgewater. They have gorgeous mountain views, and an incredible front and back porch to watch the sunsets from. During the dinner break, we had a few horses on the neighboring property come close by to check out the commotion. They grazed on, unbothered by the reception music. On the way out of their property later, I had to pull over and snap a photo of the incredible sunset! We got so lucky with weather, location, and logistics all day. It was one of those flawless weddings that reminds me why I do this!

What I love about small weddings

I love weddings like this. Most photographers may cringe a little at the idea of a backyard wedding in the country, DIY details, or being one of few–if not the only–professional vendors hired for the day. Personally, I love it. With seven years’ experience, I put a lot of thought and effort into my clients’ experience with me. I know I’m not the cheapest option around or even close to it. Couples who book me are sure they want a great wedding photographer.

An investment in wedding photography is an investment in heirlooms, longevity of memories, and lasting documentation of a once-in-a-lifetime event. When a client on a modest budget books me over a low-budget photographer, I know just how much they value photography. That’s a lot of trust! I appreciate their trust and serve them just like I do my 250-person banquet weddings. After all, these memories and details are even MORE sentimental. They’re happening right in the couple’s first home together. Years down the line, I know they’re going to resurface these photographs to tell family stories, reminisce on their first home, and relive that wedding day. I’m going to do everything I can to appreciate their trust in me, and make sure every detail is crystal clear.

Trust me with your wedding photography

Does that experience sound like what you need? Ready for me to document your wedding day? You can inquire right here.

Harrisonburg Wedding Photography Gallery

Hair and Makeup by: The Studio in Harrisonburg, Va

Couple poses for engagement photos in pollinator garden at blandy experimental farm in front royal virginia

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When Carla and Glenn mentioned going somewhere with classic Virginia mountain views, field, or blooms for their engagement session, I had just the place in mind. Blandy Experimental Farm is a free, expansive, and gorgeous place for engagement photos! We caught the end of the summer season, with the pollinator garden still full of color. The location was a perfect reflection of what they love, and exactly what they’d opt for on a weekend off.

A candid-heavy, relaxed engagement session

These two, like most couples, had some reservations and nerves about dressing up and being posed for their engagement photos. Most people only hire a professional photographer a couple times in their life–senior portraits, graduation, engagement and wedding, family milestones. But we treated it like a date night, and just look at the results! Blandy farm was a place they were familiar with, and we spent the first part of the photo shoot just walking around and getting more familiar with one another. It took a dozen frames or so, but we figured out what worked best for them, and the rest of the session was a synch!

Love, laughter, pollinators, deer, and Virginia landscapes!

This session has everything. First of all, they’re adorable. Carla cannot stop laughing at Glenn! I mean, I get why. But they are too cute. And we had lots of precious animal guests along our session. First bunnies and pollinators in the garden. Then, turtles, birds, and even a deer friend that didn’t seem at all bothered by our presence! I had to include them in the engagement photos, of course. They were all part of the process, and it’s fitting they make the final gallery.

Ready for your own engagement photos?

Maybe you landed here looking for a photographer, or maybe you’re just looking for outfit or location inspiration. Either way, I hope you love the photos and get something out of this! If you’re searching for a wedding and engagement photographer, I’m here to help! Here are some helpful links.

Learn more about Photography by Jo’s wedding photography experience.

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Groom in modern black fitted velvet suit jacket opens a bottle of champagne for his new wife during modern virginia wedding styled shoot in downtown Staunton, Virginia

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Just steps away from the historic downtown Staunton Virginia courthouse, we assembled a modern wedding editorial photoshoot. The creative portrait session celebrated the grand opening of Virginia Creative Collective, a new photography studio and event space. Showcasing the elegant mantels, plentiful light, and striking features of the grand hall, we chose bold black and white modern attire with touches of gold and mauve to bring life to the monochromatic style. Bold rental choices such as modern glassware and ghost chairs by Argent Events brought the historic space to life for our first wedding editorial!

The newest wedding venue in historic downtown Staunton Virginia

I have had the pleasure of cleaning, painting, and restoring the old Echols building on Barristers Row with some good friends and a lot of community support! Although small, we intend to host small rehearsal dinners, offer bridal suite space to prepare for your wedding day, and hold intimate wedding ceremonies and micro weddings. Rent the studio for events.

Inspiration for the Modern Virginia Wedding style

The color palate was inspired by the building itself. Boasting white walls and original, black, iron fireplace inserts with decadent carvings, black and white was the obvious choice! We selected silk off whites with bold black textured elements throughout our décor. The florals provided by Ket with One Last Avocado florals were simple but stunning blooms. Most stood on their own in bud vases strewn across the dining table. The table was set with mauve silk napkins lightly tied with thin black velvet. The placements featured modern glassware and plates with crisp lines, and black silverware to echo the contrast.

Staunton Wedding Editorial Vendors

Of course, I must thank the special vendors who made this day possible! We had the best team! Not only was the work amazing, it was a joy to be in the same room, laughing and working together.

Venue: Virginia Creative Collective, Staunton Studio and Event Space

Photographer: Jo Mahaney, Staunton Wedding Photographer

Planner: Atlas and Ember Events, Charlottesville Micro Wedding Planner

Florist: Keturah of One Last Avocado, locally sourced wedding florals

Event Rentals: Argent Events, Waynesboro boutique event rentals

Models: Tevin and Alexis

Makeup: Libby Makeup Co

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bride and groom pose smiling by in the spanish corridor at morias vineyards in virginia

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Ramona and Mark’s wedding at Morias Vineyards in Virginia was one of the most special events I have ever had the pleasure of photographing. I got to work for Weddings by Hana Gonzalez for this event, which is always a blast! Ramona and Mark are such loving people with infectious joy! You can’t help but be happier in a room with them. They are so thoughtful, they even brought their vendors gifts on their wedding day.

They describe the path to becoming husband and wife as a fairytale come true. Ramona says Mark is her prince charming, and she absolutely looked like Cinderella on her wedding day! During her bridal portraits, everyone was commenting on how stunning she looked and her unique dress choice.

These two incorporated their family into their celebration at every opportunity. Ramona’s son got to walk her down the aisle, and several of their grandchildren and close friends provided readings and songs for the ceremony. They even had a shared friend officiate.

After the ceremony, a jazz trio greeted guests as they made their way to cocktail hour in the courtyard. It wasn’t long before couples were dancing! At their reception, Mark and Ramona had a choreographed first dance in store for everyone to show off the skills that first brought them together. The reception was extremely lively, filled with movement and dancing from many of the friends who had watched the couple fall in love in dance classes over the last decade. The live band kept this crew moving from before dinner was served to late that night.

This day was a long time coming, and their joy was felt by everyone! Celebrating with their friends and family was extremely important to them. They had taken special care to ensure they could safely enjoy the day, including quarantining together for several weeks. They prepared personalized gifts to show their gratitude for many of their cherished guests, wedding party, and even the vendors who worked to make their day special. This thoughtful touch made me feel so valued and appreciated. Their love and warmth is truly contagious!