When I first met Abigail we spent a few hours discussing her many wedding plans and ideas. One of the things we talked about was that she wanted to a bridal portrait session before the wedding. She asked me if I could think of a unique, historical place to do the shoot. Here in DC, we have a plethora of historical locations. And most of them, except for the most exclusive places, have been photographed time and time again. So as I gazed over the Washington Channel, I saw the perfect idea: The famous presidential yacht, the USS Sequoia, docked just blocks from where Matt and Abigail live. Commissioned in 1925, it has served every administration since, and hosted the most notable of history’s foreign dignitaries. The Sequoia may be the most important piece of Americana not owned by the government, with a large collection of presidential photographs and original memorabilia. My husband worked on the southwest waterfront for fifteen years, so we had a connection to the Sequoia’s captain, who graciously welcomed us aboard in the early hours of an April morning.
After some brainstorming, Abigail and I settled on a loose Edwardian theme to blend with the style and decor of the yacht. We each picked up props here and there over the months preceding the shoot, some of which made second appearances on the wedding day. We knew that we wanted to do a completely different hair and make up look for the shoot than was planned for the wedding. We took the same approach with the bouquet, requesting a cascading style, but otherwise letting the floral designer surprise us with her choices. We were blessed with a beautiful, sunny morning on the water, and a stunning yacht at our disposal. Admittedly, the shoot ran long because we kept stopping to look at the historic photos and artifacts on the ship. One just can’t help but feel the nearly 90 years of previous events all around you. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome, and many photos from the shoot were on display at the wedding.