David and Yuyu knew exactly what they wanted in their photography. A portal to remember the clink of glasses, the warmth of the sunshine, and the feeling of celebrating with loved ones in the European countryside. The couple shared their excitement for photographs of moments with feeling, light, motion, and artistic composition that feels a little otherworldly, a little different.
The quaint charm of Tudor Place was a perfect place for their vision. Walking down the crunchy gravel paths on their wedding day—the sun warm and painterly, the wind carrying the smells of lavender and fruit trees and the occasional sound of a bubbling fountain—you feel such a sense of calm that you might wonder if you've been whisked away to a magical realm.
We explored the mysteries of the Tudor Place grounds, having fun and experimenting with light and movement for portraits. Following that, was secret garden wedding ceremony, where they read their vows to each other and their family looked on, wiping away not-so-secret happy tears.
Following the ceremony, the celebrants wandered, talking and laughing in this magical place before departing for a very intimate dinner at Fiola Mare (a D.C. restaurant that is also magical for lovers of handmade pasta.)
Venue: Tudor Place Historic House and Garden
Dress: Made with Love | Boutique: Bella Bleu
Tuxedo: Suit Supply | Music: Samantha Hegre
Intimate Dinner Reception: Fiola Mare
Stepping into Tudor Place Historic House and Garden was like being transported to the European countryside, and was the perfect setting for Yuyu and David's intimate GQ meets French country meets secret garden wedding.
a secret garden summer wedding in washington d.c.
“The day you sent our photos to me, I sat in my living room and cried. It’s like you shoot glitter out of your camera. You felt like part of our story and made so much sense. You are our people.”
KELSEY + FOSTER
"I wanted a piece I could hang on our living room wall that would stop people in their tracks, draw them into the scene, and then leave them saying "wow that's you guys." Leah is an artist. She has an eye for beauty and originality that is profound. The tenderness and humanity of what she captured in our photo album is nothing short of extraordinary. Her work 100% speaks for itself, but the experience of working with Leah goes far beyond the masterpieces she creates."
EMILY + DEVON
Every photo she took of my wedding was described by everyone as an “art piece” they would see in a magazine. Beyond her work, Leah made our day so happy and eased my stress. She made the day magical and fun with her warm soul!
sARA + AMIR
that's how much of a legend she is. Leah did our wedding in Sonoma. It's hard to articulate how much she means to us – but know that she exceeded every expectation we had and has become a lifelong confidant in the process. She gets that you want something different. She gets that you can't explain what that is. I trust her to chronicle the rest of my life! Every second of our time together was positive-- her energy is infectious and she captures moments that you don't even realize existed until you see them through her lens. Leah is the most talented photographer I have ever seen. Hire her! You'll never look back.
Kelsey + Foster
I will openly admit that when my husband and I got the images back from Leah we cried re-living the day through her pictures. They are that incredible. Leah is super fun and can easily handle a large crowd. She will be out on the dance floor in-the-mix getting great photos, she clearly loves her job. Of all the vendors you hire, the photographer is the person you interact with the most, and Leah has such a bright and lovely way about her it was just like having another friend there.
EMMA + TOM
She will distill what makes you unique and through seeming alchemy generate not just incredible images, but an experience that is magical. After finding your narrative, she will create the world you have only glimpsed in your dreams. Her work is art. You and everyone else will love to look at it for that reason. More than that, she is an incredible person and you too will find yourself transformed by the process.
Genevieve + shaughn
I’m Leah, and I live in a garden house on a hill. I was raised abroad as a diplomat’s daughter and adventure is my heritage. I see myself as an ambassador of life. I love catching films in independent theaters, trying new foods, exploring old cities and dark forests, and so much more. I’m passionate about stories, art, life, and photography. I want you to be too.
An adventure or a date. We should find somewhere suited to you - something epic and dramatic, something fun and playful, or something romantic and chic. No cookie-cutter sessions. Together we develop the art direction for your shoot and come up with something beautiful and something uniquely you.
I have one simple motto for taking family photos, and that is - so long as the scenery and light are beautiful, to keep it as simple as possible. If you're doing your portraits in advance of your ceremony, we have more leeway in the choice of locations, but if you're doing your portraits after the ceremony, we don't want to move too far from the ceremony location. That's also the best way to ensure we can gather all of the family members in a timely manner.
I recommend a minimum of thirty minutes but up to an hour for the the couple. There are definitely circumstances where you'd want to add more time, including when it's really hot or really cold outside - then we have time to freshen up between shots. When you'd like to travel to another location (especially in the city), and when you're really excited about creative portraits. The more time I have for those, the better the outcome.
Over 12 years of wedding photography had enabled me to develop my own process to get to know you and your tastes, and really get to the heart of what matters to you in your wedding photography. We chat, we share Pinterest boards, I have fun questionnaires for you. This is really one of the most important parts of our relationship, so I love lingering with you and finding out who you are and what you really love.
Venues like Tudor Place sometimes offer multiple rooms to get ready in. When thinking about photography, whether you choose to get ready there or in another location depends on a few factors: do you like the look of your getting ready space? Is there enough window light? Will you have enough time to do your hair and makeup? Will the flow of the schedule improve if you get ready there? If your answers are mostly yes, then this is a great option for you.
Over 12 years, I've noticed couples who have first looks often have better experiences than those who don't. Here are some reasons I suggest doing a first look: So you look your freshest for photos, doing group photos before the ceremony means you get most of the formalities out of the way before the cocktail hour, and for stressed or anxious clients, seeing each other is often a great way to relax and enjoy the day.