Madeline + Paul by Madi Pere

I knew from the beginning that he was the right person for me just from how comfortably and quickly we fell into a serious relationship.

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…

Hi! I am a wedding photographer, and my husband is an electrician. We live very separate lives outside of our life together and have always connected over travelling, food, spending time with our people, and overall just finding the relaxing moments in life together.

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?

Our meeting is a little different! My husband and I met each other through the Narcotics Anonymous program about 8 years ago. We initially connected through that shared path and have always influenced each other to stay together on this path. It took a few years of being in the same group of people before I decided to shoot my shot with the cute boy I had always seen around. Ever since our first date, we always joked that the first date never ended because we saw each other every day for over two years after that night.

When did you first realize that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?

Very, very quickly! We moved in together within the first 2-3 months of our relationship and have been the “old married couple” since then haha. I knew from the beginning that he was the right person for me just from how comfortably and quickly we fell into a serious relationship.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…

Being a wedding photographer myself, I was, of course, in a hurry to plan my dream wedding haha. I pestered Paul for a while, and he ended up proposing during a photoshoot I had set up with one of my photographer friends! He took advantage of the picture-perfect location and styling, and it was so nice to have had one of my closest friends there to take pictures and share that moment with us.

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding…

I aimed to create a distinctive wedding that stood out from the typical weddings I photographed every weekend. Initially, wedding trends leaned towards all-white or pastel themes, but I wanted to incorporate my favourite colours, which were rarely represented – purples and blues. My goal was to transport our guests from the Maryland Suburbs to a European garden. Our venue offered a unique ambience and ample space, perfect for achieving the “secret garden” atmosphere. As a dedicated purple enthusiast, I was committed to maintaining a soft, unique, and tasteful purple colour palette. The result was a romantic and elegant setting, beautifully executed by my team. For the reception, I dreamed of dining under the trellis on the porch, and luckily, the weather cooperated. To enhance the romantic ambience as the sun sets, I chose light-coloured and soft table settings.

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?

Our visual arts team was by far our most important investment. Being a wedding photographer myself, I knew I needed both to really capture how the wedding actually felt, and I made sure to hire a team that works together often, both focus on a more documentary approach, and they both happen to be my best friends!  Madi and Nate are two people I talk to in real life more than anyone else, and I had my full trust in my friends to capture the essence of our day.

Did anything happen on your wedding day that you laugh about in hindsight (even if it was stressful at the time)?

I was so prepared for things to go wrong but was pleasantly surprised by how smoothly the day went! I am so grateful for my planning team and would not be able to brag about having had a seamlessly run day without them.

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?

I instantly fell in love with my dress after trying it on, despite trying on around 30-40 others. My extensive exposure to the wedding industry as a vendor made it challenging to decide, so it took a few appointments. My Dress Designer, Alena Leena, won my heart after my best friend wore one of her gowns for her Positano elopement earlier this year. Named “peonies,” my dress featured my favourite flower, which I later got tattooed on my arm. Its A-line cut felt light and free as I ran barefoot through the mansion. The strapless corset bodice added a unique touch, revealing a glimpse of my skin. I chose a cape veil to maintain the dipped back’s elegance and avoid interference with my hair. I cherished my gold heart necklace, a gift from my husband five years ago, and never removed it except for these photos. Additionally, I proudly wore my grandmother’s heirloom sapphire ring and her wedding band atop my engagement and cigar wedding bands, which I wear daily.

CEREMONY + LOCATION The Liriodendron Mansion, @theliriodendronmansion / PHOTOGRAPHY Madi Pere, @madi.pere / VIDEOGRAPHY Nate Bittinger, @natebittinger / CELEBRANT Bride’s Grandfather / ENTERTAINMENT DJ Sal Flip, @djsalflip / PLANNER Arrow Bella, @arrowbella.taylor / FLORA Arrow Bella, @arrowbellaweddings / CATERING + BEVERAGES Liberatore’s, @liberatoresbelair / CAKE Bride’s Mother / STATIONERY Blanche Paperie, @blanchepaperie / REGISTRY Zola, @zola / SUIT Jos. A. Bank, @josabank / BRIDAL DRESS The Ivory Concept, @ticbridal / RINGS James Allen, @jamesallenrings / BRIDAL SHOES Loeffler Randall, @loefflerrandall / MAKE UP + HAIR Tasia Mitropoulos, @tasiamitropoulos / FRAGRANCE Clean Beauty Collective, @cleanbeauty_collective