Howard County Conservancy wedding

As a wedding photographer, I love being introduced to new wedding venue locations! When I met up with Lauren and Shawn to discuss their wedding, I learned about the Howard County Conservancy. Also called Mt. Pleasant, it’s a beautiful location in Woodstock, MD. This location isn’t considered a “wedding venue” per se, but they do allow weddings to be held here. 

This 232-acre piece of land is preserved by the Conservancy to educate people about our natural world while preserving the property and its legacy for future generations.   

Mt. Pleasant has everything a photographer would want from a venue, open space, beautiful unobstructed light, fields with tall grass, a large historic barn, paths lined with wildflowers, and much more!

Atalie Day Photography at Howard County Conservancy

Lauren and Shawn grew up near there, so the location was perfectly convenient in that regard, as well. 

As we photographers do, I was stalking my weather app for a week before the wedding, it called for rain. We had a back-up venue ready in case the ceremony needed to be moved indoors. It was still calling for rain the day before the ceremony, but Lauren had faith that it wasn’t going to ruin her day. And she was absolutely right!

After doing the detail photos and documenting the beautiful bride “getting-ready,” I headed over to Mt. Pleasant (Lauren, Shawn and I had met there a couple weeks prior to have our game plan secure) to document the gents near the ancient barn. 

Lauren and Shawn then had a private letter-reading ceremony at the barn, in which they confessed their love and devotion to one another…it…was..beautiful. We created a strategy to keep both of them from seeing each other, as per their wishes. 

I then walked over with the ladies to the garden path to photograph their bridal party as we waited for the cue to head to the ceremony. The path was lined with purple Cone Flowers and yellow Black-Eyed Susans.  

I was so excited for the ceremony, held in the midst of a mature grove of trees. The site was lined with white chairs and a large wooden cross was erected behind the altar. 

Lauren and Shawn told me their faith was very important to them, and both their family and church family rallied around them to make this day a success. Everyone pitched in to help. 

Their church pastor was the officiant, he had some amazing things to say about this young couple and their character. A friend from church played guitar and sang, scriptures were read, and a sand ceremony was held to symbolize the melding of two lives, now one. Lauren and Shawn later told me the kiss they shared at the altar was their very first, and I thought it very fitting now knowing these two amazing people. 

For bridal party photos, we used the old farmhouse, and then waltzed down to the historic barn for more bridal party photos and family formals. I love the texture of wood being used as a backdrop. 

The reception was held at the Conservancy’s Gudelsky Environmental Education Center conveniently located on the grounds. The head table was placed beneath large windows and natural light flowed in to aid in lighting the reception.   

We ventured out for golden hour couples photos, using the deck on the education center, and walking down to the old barn and open field next to it. Their sunset photos are still some of my favorites. 

Atalie Day Photography
Atalie Day Photography at Howard County Conservancy

The day concluded with a sparkler send off, and it was then the rain finally began. I quickly gathered my gear and ran to my car, so thankful the rain had waited for them. I was immensely relieved to have had such a lovely day with two incredibly lovely people. Complete with sunshine, laughter, and nearly tangible love. It’s an absolute honor to be chosen as a wedding photographer. 

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I’d love to chat with you about your wedding planning! Please send me an inquiry and I will get back to you soon so we can set up a virtual meeting at your earliest convenience. Wanna make it official? Place a non-refundable deposit of 25% to reserve your day on my schedule.

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