Intimate Destination Wedding

FILED IN: Destinations

The relationship between a wedding photographer and clients is always special, but there’s something really unique about it for an intimate destination wedding. Of course, sometimes it just clicks. When I spoke with Kristen and Josh, they trusted me so much. I knew it was a perfect fit. They clearly did too because they flew me to Maryland to photograph their destination wedding. The intimate day was focused on family, friends, and stunning fall colors!


An intimate destination wedding ceremony in front of a reflecting pool

A Wedding at Ceresville Mansion

Kristen and Josh chose to hold their intimate destination wedding at Ceresville Mansion in Frederick, Maryland. Honestly, the experience was a bit surreal for me because Frederick is my home town! Growing up, I even spent time at Ceresville Mansion. You can imagine that I didn’t expect to return there as a wedding photographer.


The bride puts on her lacy wedding dress for an intimate destination wedding


The bridesmaids react to the bride in her full wedding wear for the intimate destination wedding

Ceresville Mansion is a nineteenth-century estate that embraces an elevated vintage style. The grounds are sprawling with a rolling green lawn and lots of shady trees. It was so peaceful that it was easy to feel like we were tucked away in the countryside.


The couple has their first look in front of Ceresville Mansion for their intimate destination wedding


The couple holds hands and smiles at each other before their intimate destination wedding


The couple sits on a bench beneath a tree outside the venue for their intimate destination wedding


The couple walks across a wide grassy lawn before their intimate destination wedding

One of my favorite parts of the property is the terrace where Kristen and Josh held their ceremony. A reflecting pool holds lush peach water lilies. The water reflects the Greek Revival pillars of the pergola. Even in October, the water lilies and stately architecture made it feel like we were in Europe rather than suburban Maryland. It was ideal for an intimate destination wedding ceremony!


The terrace of Cereseville Mansion is set up for an intimate destination wedding ceremony


The groom lifts up the bride in a field at their intimate destination wedding


The couple walks through a field towards their intimate destination wedding venue

Ceresville Mansion’s interior design also honors the property’s history. The decor is very elegant with vintage furniture and fixtures. I loved how the gilded mirrors, candlesticks, and mantlepiece caught the afternoon sunlight. Even though the space had formal furniture, it felt inviting with the details Kristen and Josh added.


Intimate destination wedding venue Ceresville Mansion has vintage furniture


The bride looks over her shoulder at the intimate destination weddig

Bold Fall Wedding Details

Kristen and Josh really personalized their intimate destination wedding by incorporating bright fall wedding details. The colors brought energy and liveliness to the elegant venue. They especially brought deep red into the ceremony and reception design. The bridesmaid’s dresses were a romantic burgundy that even coordinated with the invitation suite. Even their guestbook’s cover tied in the red motif. 


Invitation suite and boutonnière in bright reds and oranges for the intimate destination wedding


The rings are nestled in a red lily in the bride's bouquet for the intimate destination wedding


Red signage at the intimate destination wedding reception

As lovely as those details were, the florals really increased the vibrancy of this intimate destination wedding. I always say that if you’re going to have a small wedding, you should use it to go all out on the small things that make an event memorable. Kristen and Josh achieved that with their autumn-hued florals. The fiery colors were as passionate as they are about each other. Of course, Kristen’s red, gold, and purple bouquet was stunning. They also thought to include floral installations for their ceremony on the terrace.This simple addition made it feel like the whole venue existed just for them on their wedding day.


Close up photographs of bride and groom's details for the intimate destination wedding


The couple walks with their wedding party towards the intimate destination wedding

Josh and Kristen’s Intimate Destination Wedding

Josh and Kristen’s love language is quality time. That was throughout their entire wedding day. At their intimate destination wedding, the couple focused on spending as much time as possible with their people. As a wedding photographer, I live for capturing  those sweet moments of connection.


The groom and groomsmen stand in a line wearing gray suits at the intimate destination wedding


The bride walks up the aisle of the intimate destination wedding


The couple exchanges vows at the intimate destination wedding

Despite their luxurious wedding venue, Kristen and Josh’s first date was somewhere much more ordinary – Chipotle! They spend a lot of time together, even if it’s just to run errands. In fact, they joke that they move in together without realizing it. The couple bought a house together, and Josh proposed the night they moved in. 


The couple faces the officiant during the intimate destination wedding ceremony


The couple kisses to end the intimate destination wedding ceremony and walks back down the aisle


The couple arrives at their intimate destination wedding reception

Kristen still teases Josh that Chipotle was his go-to first date spot. Josh has a good sense of humor about it, though. He proposed to Kristen by writing “Will you marry me?” on the lid of her burrito bowl.


A guest gives a speech at the intimate destination wedding


The first dance at the intimate destination wedding in black and white photos


The couple cuts the cake next to a cupcake tower at the intimate destination wedding reception

Throughout their wedding day, Josh and Kristen’s community showed up for them. Kristen’s bridesmaids were so sweet when they first saw her in her dress. At the reception, people toast the couple all night! Everyone enjoyed some time on the dance floor too. The reception space in the Ceresville Mansion was just right for their intimate destination wedding. Everyone got to talk to one another and connect with the couple. 


Guests cheers with cocktails at the intimate destination wedding


Guests join the couple on the dance floor at the intimate destination wedding

Are you interested in having me photograph your intimate destination wedding? Reach out, and let’s figure out the perfect package for you!

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