Kristi + Lee | Wedding Photography at Patapsco Valley State Park / by Clarissa Villondo

 Kristi and Lee wedding at Patapsco State Park 06/24/17. Photo Credit: Nicholas Karlin www.karlinvillondo.com

Kristi and Lee's engagement was super fashion forward. It ended up being featured (post-wedding) to Capitol Romance! (Honestly, can we have Kristi's closet and team of stylists?) We knew Kristi and Lee's wedding was going to be spectacular. They chose to forgo a first look, so it was a sweet moment for them to see each other at the aisle. As Kristi said, there was a lot of ugly, wonderful crying.

 Kristi and Lee wedding at Patapsco State Park 06/24/17. Photo Credit: Nicholas Karlin www.karlinvillondo.com

What was your favorite moment(s) from the wedding?

Being pronounced as Mr & Mrs. Stewart for the first time ever.

How would you describe your overall wedding experience?

A blur and a lot of ugly crying.

 Kristi and Lee wedding at Patapsco State Park 06/24/17. Photo Credit: Nicholas Karlin www.karlinvillondo.com

What advice would you offer to other couples planning a wedding?

Do you! Seriously. So many people have opinions and they aren't shy about sharing them, but at the end of the day, it's all about you two and that's all that should matter.

What photography-related advice would you offer to a couple?

Identify a few family members to help wrangle other family members for group portraits - god that was such a pain in the ass!

 Kristi and Lee wedding at Patapsco State Park 06/24/17. Photo Credit: Nicholas Karlin www.karlinvillondo.com

Tell me about your dress. Where did you find it, how did you choose it, how did you know it was the one?

Betsy Robinson in Pikesville, Md. I honestly just want to browse because I wasn't sure I wanted a traditional gown. This was the first one I tried one and I found myself comparing every other dress to it and they just didn't stack up. Honestly, I was so sure so early on that I had to be encouraged to try on a few more styles just to make sure!

Did you see each other before the wedding? If not, did you like waiting or would you have rather done it differently? Tell me why or why not!

We did not see each other. We were untraditional in many things, but this was one thing we wanted to keep traditional. We said our goodbyes the night before and we didn't text, call or speak to each other until I made it down the aisle. It certainly builds suspense! I was a nervous wreck walking down the aisle, but seeing him at the end calmed me down and for a few minutes it felt like no one else existed - it's another one of those special moments that I'll always cherish from the day.

What was the first song you danced to as husband and wife? Father-daughter dance? Mother-son dance?

Our first dance was a combo song of Come Away with Me (Norah Jones) into the Golden Girls Theme song because we love the TV show.

 Kristi and Lee wedding at Patapsco State Park 06/24/17. Photo Credit: Nicholas Karlin www.karlinvillondo.com

Any tips that you have about preparing your wedding party for the photos? 

We didn't really tell them anything. We had a few group picture ideas in mind, but we left most of it up to Clarissa & Nick and we are glad we did. They were the pros in finding these amazing angles and the perfect lighting. My only complaint was how small the room was where the bridesmaids got ready - it didn't leave us much space but you can't even tell from the photos Nick captured!

Any tips on what to bring? What was in your wedding emergency kit, if you had one?

Baby wipes! I stepped in gum on my way out of the hotel (bright green gum) and it was on my shoes and stuck in the train of my dress. Luckily my sister-in-law had baby wipes and she and my bridesmaid Mel spent about 10 minutes picking the gum out of my dress and off my shoes.

 Kristi and Lee wedding at Patapsco State Park 06/24/17. Photo Credit: Nicholas Karlin www.karlinvillondo.com

Did you find a store/site that had everything you were looking for?

I was a bride on a budget and also a DIY bride. Etsy was a lifesaver! I purchased my flower crown, my jewelry and my belt from different shops on Etsy. It was also where we snagged some great gifts for our officiant and bridal party. My something blue were my Ballerina Pink Tieks with the blue bottoms. We also saved a ton of money buying all of our flowers from Trader Joe's - I created all of the bouquets and boutonnieres and my friend Lindsay created all of the bud vases that was used on the tables. We also collected wood cigar boxes from various cigar stores, purchased succulents from The Succulent Source and then planted all of our own centerpieces! For the Bridesmaid dresses, I was hoping for something summery and light since it was a June wedding in a park. I also didn't want something that would break the bank for my gals, so I chose this floral print dress from ShowMeYourMuMu.com and the bridesmaids all ordered the style of their choice and I'm obsessed with how they looked in pictures!

What were you most anxious, nervous or fearful about regarding your wedding day and what was the outcome?

Rain! Everything was outside and I was panicked about the weather for two weeks leading up to the event. It literally down poured super early the morning of the wedding and then the wedding was gorgeous! High 80s with breeze and sun. We were incredibly lucky! I was also totally panicked about walking down the aisle because there were 150 eyes all staring at me. How did it turn out? Well, I dry heaved twice before walking down the aisle, sobbed the entire way down and then snorted two minutes into the ceremony. So basically... perfect.

How was your experience taking photos/working with me on your wedding day?

Unbelievable! We still talk about how lucky we were to have found you guys. The shots you captured were gorgeous and the candids from throughout the day were everything we had hoped for and more.

VENDOR TEAM

Day of Coordinators: Bridal Day Britt
Bartenders: Oh My Gahs
DJ: Paul Boyer with P Wiz Entertainment
Cigar Bar: Dan Bazis & Davidus Cigars in Ellicott City
Caterer: Mission BBQ
Ice Cream Truck: The Cow of Reisterstown
Cupcake Truck: Iced Gems Truck
Stationary: Krista Feierabend Design Studio from New York
Makeup Artist: Justine Detloff of Detloff Makeup
Hair Stylist: Ashlie Kuhn of Ooh La Lal Salon

 Kristi and Lee wedding at Patapsco State Park 06/24/17. Photo Credit: Nicholas Karlin www.karlinvillondo.com