Katie Stoops Photography

An intimate wedding in Sintra, Portugal

5 / 16

The moment I arrived in Sintra, I fell in love. I couldn’t believe how everything just felt exciting…the cars all fighting for the same one lane road, the overgrown paths that you take a chance to explore, the warm & friendly people, & that sun…that sun felt so good. While there is so much history in Portugal, it remains a part of their present by embracing it. Every place I went, I couldn’t help but dream about what happened within those walls, by those trees,  or down that path. It really was the perfect place for a wedding & I can’t wait to return!

From Karson Butler Events… We absolutely love destination weddings and this spring wedding in the historic city of Sintra, Portugal is one of our all-time favorites. Lush landscapes, rolling hills and historic estates tucked into the mountainside provided a romantic backdrop perfect for a wedding weekend! We planned the weekend’s events at FOUR different palaces – each very different in architecture and style!

Favorite details:

*Its not everyday that you get to sleep in a palace, and Tivoli Palacio De Seteais, does not disappoint! The incredible team there ensured the wedding group felt right at home throughout their stay.

*The culinary team at Penha Longa Catering (led by the talented Sara Gomes) is incredible! We worked with them to create one-of-a-kind dining experiences. Our favorite meal was the wedding dinner! Each guest was served an individual Portuguese cataplana (a cataplana is both the name of the copper vessel and the dish itself – it looks like a copper shell and steam cooks the ingredients in broth.) During our initial consultation with the couple, I had mentioned a cataplana cooking class I had planned during my last trip to Portugal, which started our conversation about Sintra as a destination, and the rest is history! So to see this dish ultimately served as their wedding meal was really special for me!

*The intricate walls at the wedding venue Palácio De Monserrate served as inspiration for the invitation suite design (a laser cut custom sleeve matches the pattern in the walls) and the incredible cake by T Bakes! We had custom postage made using an image from a vintage postcard of the palace.

*Working hand in hand with Sofia at Brancoprata was a highlight to this wedding. We had long admired her work from afar, and were so incredibly happy to work together in her home country. The flowers were absolutely wonderful!

*A horse drawn carriage transported our bride between the palaces for the wedding.

Event Design: Karson Butler Events / Floral Design: Brancoprata /Cake: T Bakes Atelier / Invitations: Luscious Verde Via The Dandelion Patch/ Catering: Penha Longa Catering of the Ritz-Carlton Penha Longa Resort/ Calligraphy: Meant To Be Calligraphy/ Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Quinta Da Regaleira/ Wedding Ceremony & Dinner Reception Venue: Palacio De Monserrate


Tim & Ali: A colorful Virginia engagement

4 / 10

NazFilms and I were so fortunate to both do an engagement session with Tim & Ali in Richmond, VA. They’re two of the most creative people I’ve ever met and I’m so happy they’re getting married. Tim helped with these murals so it was a pretty unique and fun location to do their session. Below is the film that Naz made and as always, it’s amazing. Enjoy! xoxoKatie

Tim & Ali :: A Colourful Virginia Engagement from NAZFILMS on Vimeo.

 


Elese & Ray: The Barns at Hamilton Station

2 / 27

Elese & Ray had one of my favorite weddings…everything seemed to happen & flow how it was supposed to. Lots of laughter, warm hugs, and the spirit of simply having fun & enjoying the day was on everyone’s faces. Unfortunately, a few days before the wedding, Ray broke his ankle during a big police training camp from one of those giant tires (400+lbs) falling on it. Regardless, it was such a time of celebration and I am so happy to have been a part of it. Elese-you are definitely one of the coolest Brides I’ve ever met! xoxoKatie

Venue: The Barns at Hamilton Station Vineyards / Bride’s Dress & Necklace: J Crew / Design & Rentals: Something Vintage Rentals / Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas/ Florals: Petals & Hedges / Catering: Kangaroo Boxing Club in DC / Cakes & Sweets: Vegan Treats 
Why we choose The Barns: We had searched and searched for locations that were not only vineyards but they also needed a rustic chic outdoorsy feel.When we arrived at The Barns at Hamilton Station that’s exactly what we found. We loved it! Another great thing for us was it was only about an hour or so from the city which meant all of our guest could make it no problem. On top of all of that, the staff at the Barns are absolutely wonderful to work with. We couldn’t have found a better place for our wedding.

Favorite part of wedding day: Well of course the whole day was my favorite, but two parts stood out. The first was me hiding in the farm house watching Ray get out of his truck looking all handsome in his kilt. I was so,so, SO excited that I was getting to marry my very best friend. The second was when Ray and I were standing outside of the dining area waiting to be introduced. We finally had a moment to ourselves to just be quietly together. He said some of the sweetest things to me in those 5 minutes before returning to the fabulous wedding whirlwind. Definitely my two favorite moments.

Favorite part about planning: This is a hard one! I am so, so grateful for my wonderful mother and our amazing wedding team. If it was not for them I probably would still be planning our wedding. I think my favorite part was dress shopping with my mom. She was a trooper! My sister lives in Illinois and all of my best friends are out of state. So she had to be like 6 people in one. I finally settled on the 4th dress I bought after months of searching (OMG that’s crazy to think I went through so many dresses!). I also really enjoyed the small things like wine tasting with my dad & step-mom and trying out different caters with Ray or even putting together our music for the dj. It’s fun to be able to spend time with loved ones while planning a huge life event.

Advice to couples planning: ASK FOR HELP. This is such a big day for the couple and I know every bride wants things to be perfect. I know for a fact that if I didn’t have my family and our wedding team I would have struggled through the planning. I went in with a plan to do a lot of things myself (flowers, cakes, take home gifts) and I am happy that I let other people take over those task for me. Working a demanding full-time job and having to find time to plan is next to impossible. I know I would have been such a wreck before the wedding if I was up all night doing flower arrangements or icing a wedding cake.


Alex & Jeff’s DC Garden wedding at the Textile Museum

2 / 18

What better way to welcome Spring (fingers crossed) than to show you this intimate garden wedding in the heart of DC. I could have photographed Alex & Jeff forever!

Event Designer: Events in the City / Venue: Textile Museum / Bridal gown: Judd Waddell / Hair & Makeup: Victoria Stiles / Cake: Fancy Cakes by Leslie / Catering: Windows Catering / Florals: Growing Wild Floral / DJ: DJ D-Mac / Day of Paper: Intrigue Design Studio / Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas / Furniture Rentals: American Furniture Rentals