This past September I had the pleasure of second shooting a wedding at The Commons 1854 for the lovely and talented Katherine Brackman Photography. You can see her blog post of their full wedding here.

Getting Ready & First Look

The Commons 1854 is a historical venue with gorgeous gardens and a private outdoor ceremony space, as well as a beautiful reception space with large chandeliers and tall windows. I started with the groom as he got ready with his groomsmen at a hotel nearby. They were a chill group and popped some champagne after getting ready. There was also some singing of Ja Rule – the groom knew every word by heart (and so did I – hey college – lol)! Then we headed to The Commons 1854 for these two love birds to do their first look and take bridal party photos prior to the ceremony. They were both so excited to see each other and instantly smiled and relaxed into each other’s arms during their first look. Their chemistry was obvious and they were so very sweet together.

Formal Portraits For A Wedding At The Commons 1854

This group was laid back and fun and easy to work with. The little ring bearer was such a cutie! He was a mixture of bold and shy but he was all about being a big boy and posing with the guys. Too cute! I absolutely love the lace, the veil, the soft barely blush florals and the gently swept up hairstyle of the bride! And the guys blue suits and pale pink ties gave a pop of color while tying in perfectly to the soft color palette of the wedding. Also, placing the pocket square in a straight line showing just a bit from the pocket is a great way to give a sleek modern look to a classic menswear piece – love them!

I spent some time with the guys while Katherine captured the ladies and then we came together for some full bridal party group photos. One benefit of a second photographer is that while Katherine was with the ladies, I was with the gentlemen, so we could be efficient and spend less time taking portraits, while still capturing a wide diversity of photos and ensuring we got all of the combos they wanted. This is exactly how I work on wedding days with my second photographers as well. Another benefit is that during the full bridal party photos while Katherine was getting the wide shot of everyone head-on, I was able to be over on the side, capturing up close shots of the smiles and laughter and people connecting as they posed. I LOVE getting these shots as a second photographer and I ALWAYS as my second photographers to get these for me on a wedding day. They are some of the best moments to show true personalty and give the bridal photos a more intimate feel when the couple looks back at the day.


The ceremony took place in the private courtyard just off the side of the Commons. It was a quiet and beautiful spot that gave the ceremony an intimate feel. How adorable is the little ring bearer in his dapper suit and fancy shoes with bout to boot!?! They were so sweet together as they held hands and locked eyes and smiled for the hundredth time that day. It was still emotional and meaningful and a testament to how great that moment during the ceremony can be, even if you have already done a first look. And the joy and excitement of everyone throughout the ceremony was palpable with lots of smiles and laughter and an eruption of clapping as they kissed and recessed down the aisle. I was able to sneak inside and head to the reception room upstairs to grab a unique overhead of the scene through the large windows before heading back downstairs for their vows.

See more bridal portraits and outdoor wedding ceremonies in my portfolio of featured weddings. XO

  1. elizabeth avery says:

    My fiance and I love your photography and would love to know more about your pricing and availability! We are getting married at The Commons 8/18/23. Thank you!


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