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Proud pup mom, type A creative, lover of the outdoors, Top Chef fan girl, and wedding and portrait photographer. Welcome to the blog!
HI, I'M RACHEL!
How do I even begin to tell you about how wonderful Cat & Parth’s Shalin Liu Rockport wedding was this past weekend?!
I’ll start with how I know Cat and how it came to be that this D.C. area wedding photographer traveled to Massachusetts to photograph her Shalin Liu Rockport wedding. I’ve known Cat since 2015 when I was a guest client at a life coach training program that Cat was participating in. We connected more when I went on a retreat with her and my business coach to the Dominican Republic. And that’s where I really learned how special Cat is and what an innate talent she has for coaching. (Read more about our trip through the many blog posts listed here.)
We’ve kept in touch and I got to take some brand photos for her thriving coaching business (Unbounded Potential; I *highly* recommend signing up for her newsletter) during last year’s cherry blossom season. We finished the session with some engagement photos for her and her fiancé, Parth (and their pup, Luna). It was so fun getting to know Parth and learning more about their love story. They were planning their wedding with a lot of intention. And one of their commitments was to have the majority of their vendors be people they already knew. I was the lucky one brought on board to photograph their big day!
Cat grew up in Rockport, MA, the quaintest little town on Cape Anne, about an hour outside Boston. Her vision for the day was to include as many of her fav hometown spots as possible in both the experience of the day and the photos. Cat and Parth love spending time outdoors with their dogs, Luna and Molly, and they have a few spots around town where they regularly take them on walks. Plus, their venue, the Shalin Liu Performing Arts Center, highlights what they love about the town: the views.
We started the day at Cat’s childhood home, where I got to meet her parents (who have been married for 47 years!), as well as Parth’s family. From there, we all walked to the Headlands for the first look, portraits, family, and wedding party photos. Cat has been dreaming of these photos for years, and once you see the photos – you’ll understand why! Once we finished at the Headlands, we walked through town to the venue. The best part of the walk was Cat & Parth running into multiple neighbors wishing them well on their big day! It’s extremely rare that you get to walk between locations on a wedding day, so this was a really cool experience!
I will be thinking about Cat and Parth’s Shalin Liu Rockport wedding ceremony for a long time. I mentioned they planned their wedding with a lot of intention, and that was most evident during the ceremony. It kicked off with a surprise for Cat’s dad: a bagpipe player playing as he walked her down the aisle. Cue the tears! (And get your tissues because the tears will keep on coming!) Cat’s good friend from college was the officiant. He did an absolutely beautiful job and definitely has away with words! They also had six friends/family, from all parts of their lives and from all around the world, do little speeches/personal testimonies about their love and friendship. (More tears.)
At the end of the final speech, a surprise was announced for Parth: Cat asked a childhood friend to play a piano interlude with music by one of their favorite performers. The song has special meaning to the couple and the look on Parth’s face was priceless! I’ll admit, it was challenging to keep it together for this moment! It was so emotional and beautiful to witness. Well done, Cat! And finally, there wasn’t a dry eye in the place for Parth’s beautiful vows speech. I’ve never cried so much or so hard during a ceremony in my life! I feel so honored to have been in the room for it, much less to have been able to capture the memories for them.
After the ceremony we walked to a little beach where 1. Cat and Parth like to walk their dogs and 2. Cat had done a polar plunge that morning! (You will never meet someone as full of life and adventure as this girl!) We took the most beautiful sunset photos where we got to highlight more of their smiles as well as views of Rockport. My favorite part of their reception (besides the delish Indian food) was their first dance (it was a bachata!). And hearing more speeches from their family and friends was a treat. Parth’s parents gave such a touching toast making it evident how proud they are of their son. What a loving family!
Cat and Parth, I know you two will have such a beautiful life together. Best wishes and congratulations to you both!
The boat driving by all the way down the cliff on the water cheered for them, so they all cheered back!
Sending appreciation to all of Cat & Parth’s vendor team for a beautiful day!
Ceremony & Reception Location: Shalin Liu Performance Center
Nicole Malone – N. Malone Events
Photography: Rachel E.H. Photography
Second Photographer: Justin Smith
Zuhair Nasher; Words That Last
Bouquet, Corsages, & Boutonnieres – Audrey’s Flower Shop
Reception Flowers from Flower Moxie
Bride and Groom Styling- KLV Styling
Kelly Faetanini – Phoebe
JHilburn via KLV Styling
Maya Indian Bar & Grill
Provided by Shalin Liu
Cake Ann (I love the pun!)
An extra special shout out to the planner, Nicole, the ladies working at Shalin Liu, and my second photographer, Justin. I lost my cell phone and they were super helpful in finding it! They all went above and beyond and I really appreciate it. Also to Cat and her mom, Liz, for hanging on to my phone and making sure I got it back!
Did this post get you excited to book your own wedding, micro-wedding, elopement, or engagement session?! If yes, send me a note and we can chat about what you have in mind: contact me
Hi – I’m Rachel! A wedding, engagements, and headshots photographer in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and northern Virginia. I love taking photos of elegant people who love to laugh, as well as of much in-love couples. If you’re a dog owner, that’s a plus! I’m currently booking 2022 portrait sessions, as well as 2022 elopements and 2023 weddings.
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Rachel is a wedding and portrait photographer
Serving brilliant, elegant couples in Washington D.C. + Beyond
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