US Naval Academy Wedding: Etta + Brian

Etta and Brian first met in June 2010, at Pensacola, FL at the Flora-Bama bar. They then kept in touch ever since, and during Etta’s next trip to Florida in August 2010 to visit her friends, they went on a date. She was in college in Alabama at the time and he came to visit a few weekends after their first date. From then on they switched weekends driving to visit one another. After she finished school, a year after the first date, Etta moved to Hawaii with Brian.

In November 2013 during a weekend trip to Maui, they rose early to go see the sunrise at Haleakala mountain, where Etta almost ruined it all when trying to warm up her freezing hands in Brian’s pockets… where he had the ring. Once the sun came up and the tourists faded out, he got on one knee and popped the question. Of course, she said “Yes!”

Silhouette of Bride and Groom almost kissing on a historic American flag. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com

The Bride’s gorgeous laced wedding gown is designed by Galina.
Bride's gorgeous laced wedding gown from David's Bridal, designed by Galina. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com

Groom helping his groomsman, a Naval officer, fixing his uniform collar. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com Mother of Bride laughing while helping Bride wearing her wedding gown. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com Father of the Bride and Bridesmaids smiling looking at Bride wearing her wedding dress. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com Bride looking at mirror while having her veil put on. Mom smiling. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com

Etta is wearing her Grandmother’s pearl necklace.

Mother of the Bride helping her daughter put on pearl necklace from Grandmother. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com Mother of Bride helping Father of Bride putting on boutonniere. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com Naval officer Groom posing with Best Man in firemen uniform and groomsmen in Navy uniform. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com

The Groom and most of his Groomsmen are wearing Navy uniform, except Brian’s best friend who is wearing a civilian attire. The Best Man, Brian’s brother, is wearing a firemen uniform.

Groom and his groomsmen in Navy uniform walking down the street. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com

A fragment of Etta’s Mother’s wedding dress were made into a handkerchief and became a part of the Bride’s beautiful floral bouquet.

Fragment of Bride's Mother's wedding dress were made into a handkerchief and became a part of the Bride's beautiful floral bouquet. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com

The couple chose to have their wedding ceremony at the USNA Chapel for several reasons. Brian was from Kent Island, MD and went to the Academy for school. Moreover, their relationship started when he began his Navy career. Etta had been to Annapolis a few times prior and knew it was beautiful. Sited at a place they both love, the Naval Academy served as a special venue for their wedding, as well as provided a beautiful place for family and friends to visit and see each other again after many years of being apart.

Mother of the Bride holding her daughter's wedding gown train as she walks to the Chapel. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com Father of the Bride kissed his daughter while walking down the aisle during the ceremony. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com

I always love capturing the Groom’s reaction at the first glimpse of his Bride, the moment she walked down the aisle escorted by her father.

Groom's surprise reaction at the first glimpse of his Bride, the moment she walked down the aisle escorted by her father. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com Fish-eye view of the USNA Chapel during the wedding ceremony. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com The priest, Father Robert O'Flanagan, giving his speech to the Bride and Groom during the ceremony. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com Bride and Groom during the ceremony smiling listening to the Priest's speech. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com

I am always in awe with the exquisite details of the USNA Chapel’s interior. It sure adds grandeur to the wedding.

Grandeur interior of the USNA Chapel. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com Bride and Groom reciting their vows during the wedding ceremony. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com Bride and Groom kissing as they walk out of the aisle during the recessional. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com Groom embracing Bride after the ceremony in the USNA Chapel. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com

In US Military wedding traditions, arch of swords takes place immediately following the ceremony as the couple leaves the chapel or church.

Bride and Groom kissing under the first pair of swordsmen of the arch of swords. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com

The Bride and Groom must stop before each pair of sword-bearers who formed close swords by bringing the swords down to cross at waist level and request a ‘kiss’ for passage.  When they lift the swords, the Bride and Groom proceed.  This is repeated until the last two sword-bearers at the end. The person positioned at the bottom closest to the Bride would then welcome her to the military family, which in this case is the Navy, and give the Bride a gentle swat on her behind.

Bride and Groom exiting the USNA Chapel through the swords arch. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com

However, the swordsman responsible for swatting the Bride, swung quite hard. It sure hurt! Ouch!

Swordsman swat Bride's behind as they walk under the arch of swords. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com

But all is good. 🙂

Bride and Groom laughing as they exit the Chapel through the swords arch, welcoming the Bride to the Navy. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com Bride and Groom doing a goofy pose as they pass through the arch of swords after the ceremony. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com

The beautiful Bride with her Maid of Honor and Bridesmaids.

The beautiful Bride with her Maid of Honor and Bridesmaids. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com Bride and Naval officer Groom kissing in between the columns. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com

I just love taking pictures in Bancroft Hall. The details of the interior are phenomenal including the gorgeous chandeliers in Memorial Hall.

Silhouette of Bride and Groom kissing in the lobby of Bancroft Hall. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com Bride and Groom kissing in the Memorial Hall with the beautiful chandeliers. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com Bride cuddling with Groom whom is kissing her on the cheek. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com Bride sitting on Groom's lap cuddling. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com Bride and Groom embracing and smiling together. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com

Then of course for Navy weddings you get to see an extra ring, the Naval Academy class ring, besides the wedding bands and the engagement ring.

Naval Academy class ring along with the wedding bands and the engagement ring. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com Bride and Groom sitting on the bench in front of the USNA Chapel, pounding their fists. USNA, US Naval Academy military wedding at Annapolis Maryland, by wedding photographers of Leo Dj Photography. http://leodjphoto.com

Congratulations Etta and Brian!

May you both live happily ever after! 🙂

Leo Dj

 

Vendors

Church: United States Naval Academy

Venue: United States Naval Academy / Ogle Hall Alumni House for Reception

Officiant: Father Robert O’Flanagan

Hair and Make up: Allison Harper and Company

Dress: Galina at David’s Bridal

Cake: The Main Ingredient

Catering: The Main Ingredient

Flowers: DIY

Wedding favors: Compasses from Laura Hooper Calligraphy (LHCalligraphy on Etsy)

 

 

4 Responses to “US Naval Academy Wedding: Etta + Brian”

  1. Janet Parnell

    Those are awesome, Leo! Love the weaving of their story with the photos. Can’t wait to see more. Thank you so much for your professionalism and exquisite eye for detail. Then again, you had great subjects!

  2. Leo Dj

    Thank you so much, Janet! It means so much to me. 🙂
    You’re most welcome. My pleasure!
    Yes, Etta and Brian are great looking couple! I wonder who their parents are? LOL.

  3. Nanci Richards

    Magnificent Photography! Thank you for capturing the most beautiful day for our Brian and Etta. Your work reflects the joy and love they both share for each other and their sweet, playful nature. Well done Leo! Very well done!

  4. Leo Dj

    Aww… Thank you so much, Nanci. That means so much to me!
    It was really great working with all of you. I do love capturing their relationship and like you said, their playful nature!

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