DC Elegance at Jefferson Memorial

Today we have this stunning editorial with a calm color palette of cream tones, sage green, apricot and soft pink. Christopher wore a bold black tux while Rachel’s tulle gown was romantically elegant. The beautiful architecture of the Jefferson Memorial was the perfect balance to their graceful yet sophisticated look.

We woke up on the morning of the session to a downpour of rain. As we drove, we kept our fingers crossed for some good luck. Amazingly, the rain stopped just as we arrived at the Jefferson Memorial in DC. Rachel looked perfect in the Peachy Flora from the Lillie Mae Collection and the flowers from Darling and Daughters accented it perfectly. The cloudy day added a romantic feel to the elegant shoot. Rachel and Chris, both members of the United States Air Force, shared their love story and that love can be felt through these images. -Alexis of By the Reese’s

How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another? Chris and I met in St Louis, MO after connecting on Tinder (I know, I get it, but that’s where we were in life at the time lol). We met up at the parking lot to my best friend, Ayana’s, apartment building—neutral territory for an initial greeting you know? We met there and then took an Uber into downtown St Louis to a restaurant called Mango that served Peruvian food. Once our Uber dropped us at the restaurant and we were seated the waiter asked us if we would like a wine list. Chris declined. I, in a confused daze, also said no. I certainly planned on drinking that night, as I had with every other date before Chris but in a crazy twist of fate I’d had my first sober date in about 3 years that night with Chris. I was vulnerable; I was honest; and I was amazed that he so easily brought that out of me. I think I knew in the back of my mind that I was going to be in a long term relationship with him at the end of that night.

What part of your wedding day was/is most important to you? Our vows. Hands down. We wrote our own and it was the most beautiful part of the ceremony for sure.

Tell us a funny story relating to your wedding day or relationship! Chris and I completed an assignment in South Korea when Covid was at its peak! We moved there in June 2020 before a ton of research had been done about how the virus spreads or the contagious nature of it. At the time we moved there was a regulation in place that said if you’d tested positive you’ll stay in quarantine until you test negative TWICE with a 24 hour period in between. Chris and I stayed in quarantine for 2 months waiting to get the two negative tests with a 24 hour period in between. We learned so much about one another! Like we definitely don’t do puzzles well together—we have totally different strategies! We also have different ideas of “quality time” together. It was a challenge but also hilarious looking back on being locked in a dorm room together for two months.

What is the best thing you’ve learned from one another? Chris has taught me so much about confidence and believing in myself. I came into this relationship with so much self-hate and disgusting negativity about my body. He has uplifted me so much! Chris says he’s learned patience from me.
What is your favorite thing about each other?
Patience. -Chris Chris’s ability to turn any bad day around instantly! -Rachel

Describe a hurdle you had to overcome in your relationship or during your wedding planning. At the time of our marriage, Chris and I were both in the US Air Force. We were doing long distance from the very start of our relationship. In fact, Chris deployed 6 months into our relationship and was gone for 8 months. We got engaged the day he landed back in the states. He’d been in Afghanistan and Iraq but while fighting for freedom he’d designed a ring for me, asked my fathers permission, and was ready to ask for my hand.

What was your favorite part about planning your wedding? Honestly, there wasn’t a part that I enjoyed most haha! It’s all a blur at this point but the event space had an event planner who was absolutely amazing—loved working with her and pulling all the final pieces together!

If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be? Your wedding day, while important, is a single day out your lives together. You don’t need to stress over the napkins not exactly matching the cream color you wanted. Nobody will remember those damn napkins anyway. Put your time and energy into what matters most—carving out quality time for one another, being vulnerable with your words and actions, and sharing your most intimate self with your partner.

Any special ways you incorporated your family or family history into your wedding day? Because Chris and I were both military at the time, we knew that we had a pending assignment for South Korea. We had a very small wedding, with only family around because we were in the midst of moving across the world. We got married in my home town and enjoyed a small family style dinner after. While it was small, the intimacy and special character of the day will never be forgotten!

What is the most honest thing you can say about love? Love is acceptance of the weird, quirky, and different parts of your partner. The parts you never seen on the first three dates—the parts that are slowly revealed to you after years of growing together, ie becoming comfortable enough with sharing your opinion openly, your most intimate thoughts because you fee the need to tell someone but you need to trust you won’t be judged for them, and being comfortable in who you truly are because your partner is your confidant—that’s love to us.

Photographer: By the Reese’s
Venue: Jefferson Memorial
Stylist / Planner / Designer: By the Reese’s
Floral Designer: Darling and Daughters
Dress Boutique: Lillie Mae Collection
Dress Designer: Lillie Mae Collection
Makeup Artist: RCD Artistry
Hair Stylist: RCD Artistry
Mens Formalwear: The Black Tux
Stationery: Kraft Wedding Papers

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