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  • Callie Riesling

DESTINATION WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER - Washington DC and Arlington, VA Wedding Photography

Phil + Emily

Arlington, VA and Washington DC WEDDING

Washington DC Metro Area

COLORADO DESTINATION WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER

I'm going to warn you now... this story is a little nuts.

Last year I photographed a wedding in Kansas City at the Weston Red Barn Farm, where Phil and Emily attended and Emily was a bridesmaid for Aubrey. Following that, Phil and Emily ended up booking me for their wedding on June 1st, 2019 in Arlington, VA. Almost right after booking them, my husband and I flew to DC to do Phil and Emily's Engagement Session around Georgetown and the National Mall.

I promise, ONE DAY I will blog all of these too!

Now, when I book a destination wedding... I ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS book extra time in case something catastrophic were to happen.

I always leave enough time to figure it out.


As we pulled up to DIA and parked the truck to leave 2 days before, I got a text from Southwest that our flight's connection was cancelled due to bad weather and flooding in the Midwest. We were already headed into the airport and I immediately called southwest and was on hold... so we figured it may be faster to go to the desk agent.


Well apparently there were A LOT of cancelled flights that day... pretty much the entire Northeast... and some flights to Phoenix too because we ran into some old baseball clients the Hollands who are now playing for the Dbacks. Anyway. We were in line (and on hold) for about 40 min and then spent about another hour and a half with the desk agent trying to get a flight to ANYWHERE within a ten hour drive. Everything was either completely sold out or cancelled. They could only get us on a flight the next afternoon... and I mean what if it just happened again. This weather pattern of bad storms had been consistent for quite a while at this point... and if it was cancelled again we would've just been out of luck. So instead of risking it, we went and loaded up a car.


We couldn't miss Phil and Emily's wedding... so instead my husband and I tag teamed it and drove cross country in 27 hours with traffic, flooding closures, food stops and restroom breaks. And literally made it to the rental car company with 10 min before they closed for the weekend to return it on a 24 hour rental (With the 3 hour grace period and early closing time). And I still had 16 hours of buffer room between when we arrived and wedding time... enough time for me to get a good dinner and a good nights rest!

1 cancelled flight

2 hours at the ticket counter

90+ min on hold

1,700+ miles driven

11 states visited

3 hours in my truck

27 hours in the rental car

2 amazing clients

1 amazing wedding














Phil came up with the most elaborate, funny and thoughtful gifts for each of his groomsmen. You might be thinking he got them signed jerseys and the batting helmet from their FAVORITE players. If you are thinking that, you don't know Phil. These signatures ranged from failed fantasy football picks to a player who got caught doping... and then he also got it signed by the journalist that re-voted for him anyway. This is Phil. This is why these guys are his closest friends.


Back over to the girls where Emily's sisters and mom helped zip her up. Emily is a girl after my own heart... she was gardening (something we both love) the week of her wedding and she ended up getting poison ivy all over her poor stomach! Totally something that would happen to me too! Thank goodness we don't really have the poison ivy/oak issue in Colorado.








THE WEDDING DAY - FROM THE BRIDE

The most important thing to us for our wedding was enjoying the day with as many friends and family as possible. We chose to get married at the church Phil and his brothers went to grade school at, and where he met many of our friends today. Our wedding planning was incredibly stressful between family health issues and starting a new job, and you know....planning a wedding. But day of - I couldn’t have been more carefree. I was marrying my best friend and someone I’ve built my life with over the past 6 years. The day was not perfect, but it felt it to me...the bus got lost - killing our time for couples pics, the DJ was literally awful, and you hopefully could not tell how sleep deprived I was - but when it came to it, really all that matter to us was being in one room with the people we loved. Our wedding was so special and truly unforgettable. From our ceremony to the after party, it was jam packed with family, friends, old memories, and of course, ozo. We’re so thankful for our family and friends who helped pull off our day - and to Callie for her sharing her talent with us and capturing our wedding.








CATHEDRAL OF ST THOMAS MORE - ARLINGTON, VA CEREMONY




































So the MVPs of the wedding were definently the Wittrys. Seriously they were so helpful- especially Conor since Audrey was busy with bridesmaid duties. Conor (who DOES NOT live in the area) chauffeured us around and made it possible for Phil and Emily to get the photos they wanted on the National Mall. He literally circled around until we were ready (even took a random bridge and had to navigate back lol!) But due to our very tight timeline the day of the wedding, we had about 15-20 min to get all the bride and groom portraits done! (I got them back early ;) lol!)


PATTON HALL RECEPTION - ARLINGTON, VA











Yes, of course they had to pause their first dance for a little Macarena rendition... I wonder who's idea that was! Cough, Cough - PHIL!





Emily then welcomed her dad onto the dance floor for his final father daughter dance. He's a dad of 3 WONDERFUL women. He and his wife did a pretty good job raising them!




Look at Phil grinning in the background of that last one...

I love how happy it makes him to see Emily happy!


Then Phil went and got his mother for the mother son dance.

Now that I am a boy mom, these always get me!





Both Emily and Phil needed a little bit of touching up... I mean mostly Phil. His hair needed something after that heat! Hahahahaha (Mostly Emily needed her hair fixed and the guys had to tease her... because they all have a pretty amazing sense of humor.

These toasts were impressive...

we had a lot of laughs, tears and even a celebrity appearance.




Okay, so remember how complex Phil's groomsmen gifts were? They kept telling me all day that there was something big coming. Well....



Yes, That is Brett Farve... giving a personalized speech for Phil and Emily.

Even though the speech was announced and given by Phil's Best Man... All the guys chipped in to make it happen for Phil. I just seriously cannot believe how similar and complex the gifts and the speech were. That right there is some insane friendship.

Next up was Emily's dad.

Like I said, he and his wonderful wife have raised some fantastic ladies. His speech was so sweet and Emily and a lot of other tables in the room had the tears flowing.



Onward towards the rest of the reception!










So after I did some extra family photos, this sweet woman came over, grabbed my cheeks just like this and said "YOU DROVE HERE ALL THE WAY FROM COLORADO TO MAKE IT IN TIME!?" Seriously, I love her. This is why I do what I do!



Phil and Emily's Mom were killin the dance floor all night! Hahahaha.




And of course... Phil's jam... the Macarena.

If you've ever been to a Greek wedding... YOU KNOW!





I need more Greek Weddings in my life!


You guys might remember Aubrey and Ian from last years wedding in KC. It was so good to see them again! And the Wittrys are in the top right corner... the MVPs for carting us all around (and not getting lost like the party bus! haha!)


After my coverage ended, the bride and groom kidnapped me and forced me to try Ouzo. hahaha I typically would never have a drink at a wedding, but after a 24 hour cross country drive and a bride and groom insisting that it would be an insult if I didn't... lol. I tried some Ouzo! Tastes like licorice flavored gasoline. Hahaha! Technically my coverage ended, but I stuck around for their exit and got some sparkler shots... since we are never allowed to have them in Colorado! Phil may have briefly caught his hair on fire (middle photo). Thanks for a great time in the DC area Phil and Emily! I am SO thankful you chose us and I would totally drive cross country to make it every single time!



Before we headed back, we spent the day showing our son around and seeing the sites. I was explaining to him who Lincoln was... and he goes

"Momma! Lincoln's my hero! He saved America!" (He's Four... proud mom!)

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Callie Riesling Photography is a Colorado Wedding Photographer

based in Colorado.  We specialize in mountain weddings + 

adventurous destination wedding photography worldwide. 

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