Briana + Shawn: Married!

Briana + Shawn rock.
I knew after their engagement session that their wedding was going to be such a blast, and I wasn’t disappointed! Shawn and Briana were married on a beautiful day at the Historic Whitehall Manor in Virginia. I’m a big fan of this place because I can shot there a million times and never take the same photo. There are so many places to go and see, and it lets me and my couples get creative- major bonus!
Many thanks to Kristi Odom for 2nd shooting with me- she did a great job!
But, enough from me. I’m going to let two lovebirds take over from here:
From Briana + Shawn…

We searched for months trying to find the perfect venue. As soon as I set foot in Whitehall Manor, I knew it was THE place. It had everything we were looking for: a breathtaking wooded backdrop, gorgeous natural light, a secluded location, and rustic-yet-modern vibe. It just felt…right. We wanted our wedding to be a celebration of our love and all the people with whom we share it.

We are very fortunate to have such a strong, supportive group of family and friends, most of whom were there to witness the beginnings of our relationship. The day was not just about us, but about all of the people who had supported us along our journey. Shawn and I wanted our wedding to reflect our personalities – we’re really goofy and love to have fun.

We incorporated little details here and there that were unique. For example, instead of having a guest book, we asked each guest to fill out a Mad Libs-style card (many of which came back hiiiighly inappropriate, which was part of the fun). One of my favorite details that might have gone unnoticed to most guests was my ring bearer’s “pillow,” which was made up of two books. One was my late grandfather’s arithmetic book from the 1920s that still had all of his notes and calculations written in the margins, and the other was my grandmother’s Italian cookbook from the 1940s. I loved that we were able to include a little piece of each of them in our big day.

Another aspect that was very special to us was our ceremony. We worked with Reverend Julie Price to create a completely personalized ceremony that told the story of our relationship, and included funny memories of how we came to be a couple. Many of our friends and family had a hand in getting us together, so it was special to recognize them.

When we started planning we focused on two things: we wanted everyone to have an awesome time, and we wanted to document the awesome-ness. The first two vendors we booked were our amazing DJ (Michael Bell of and the very-talented Mary Kate McKenna. Everything else came secondary. At the end of the day we wanted our wedding to be a celebration of our love and FUN! No one will remember what color your linens were, what food they ate, what the cake looked like or what drinks you served…..but they will remember the love you shared and fun times they had. And that is all that matters! 🙂

All Star Vendors:

DJ: Michael Bell of
Florist: Barbara Von Elm of Growing Wild
Make-up: Amie Decker of Amie Decker Beauty
Hair: Sue Perez of Rainbow Salon
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

    Get in Touch


    If you'd like to book a project or have questions, you can reach me by email or phone. I respond to messages within 1 business day.

    About Mary Kate

    Mary Kate McKenna Photography is located in Downtown Frederick, Maryland. MK specializes in documenting families, business and events. This could mean a lifestyle session with your newborn, documenting a birthday party, or editorial photos of your business, including custom stock imagery or headshots. Our strength is in highlighting people and places in a natural, unposed way. Send a note to chat about how we can help with your photography needs.