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 On this page you will find tips and tricks on how to prepare for your session or wedding as well as stories of love, laughter, and exciting moments throughout my photography journey. In addition, I’ll be sharing details about weddings I’ve had the privilege to be a part of so that you may find some inspiration for your own wedding or, if you’re anything like me, just need to read about some love for a good, happy cry. 

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The Wedding Experience





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I’m a Virginia based wedding & portrait photographer, wife, and a fur-mom who believes that photographs are a great reminder of happy moments with the people close to our hearts.

Hi, I'm Lyn!

I meet Rachaell and Josh at one of the bridal expos I attended in Richmond, Virginia and when they told me they want me to be their wedding photographer, I knew I had it was an easy YES! When it was time for us to do their engagement photos, they knew they wanted something special. We brainstormed different ideas, and finally, we settled on an overlook location with a breathtaking view.

As we arrived at Raven’s Roost Overlook, we took a moment to appreciate the stunning scenery. The overlook is usually busy around sunset time, but we were so excited to see that we were the only one there which means we have the entire overlook to ourselves. We thought we won’t have any sunset moments since the weather forecast says it was going to rain, but the view was truly breathtaking, with the sun setting behind the mountains in the distance. Rachaell and Josh were already glowing with excitement, and it was evident that we were going to have a great session.

We started off with some natural, candid shots as they stood next to each other, admiring the view. Thank goodness they were both okay with heights because I was literally asking them to go close to the edge and they were doing amazing! They were both dressed in casual outfits, perfect for outdoor settings. Rachaell’s hair flowed in the gentle breeze, while Josh wrapped his arm around her waist. They told me they never had professional photos taken before but they were so natural and relaxed in front of the camera.

We then moved around the overlook, taking advantage of the various viewpoints. One of my favorite shots from the session was when Rachaell and Josh were giggling together. I can tell that the two of them were getting comfortable and just having fun together. It was a truly romantic moment, and I knew these would be a memory that they will treasure forever.

Throughout the session, I learned that Rachaell and Josh love to hunt and fish. They were so adventurous and willing to try new things. As were almost done with the session, we all agreed that it had been a truly unforgettable experience and they appreciate how much I make them comfortable in front of the camera.

I can’t wait to see them both get married next year. Photographing their engagement session got me super excited and I can’t wait to see them again!

Two people standing in a huge rock in an overlook with a tree to their right side behind them is a beautiful view of the blue ridge mountain

Capturing love stories like this is what I’m here for! Being able to freeze this moment for Crystal & William’s surprise proposal on Valentine’s Day was the best thing ever! These two are so in love and it truly shines through in every frame. I’m so grateful and lucky to be one of the few people who got to congratulate the newly engaged couple!

Stephanie the owner of C’ville Picnic reached out to me if I was available to photograph the surprise proposal she was planning. Of course! I had to say YES! Stephanie was one of the few reasons why I’m super obsessed with a surprise proposal – and to be given the chance to work with her again was just a blessing!

The day was so perfect, it was sunny and was just the perfect temperature. I arrived at Eastwood Farm and Winery with ample time to be able to prepare and plan how everything is going to happen with Stephanie when the couple arrive. It was really exciting seeing Stephanie again and seeing how beautiful and aesthetically pleasing her whole set up was, I knew this proposal was going to be AH-MAZING! The beautiful picnic table was set up on the covered veranda attached to the indoor tasting room at Eastwood. The balloon arch background was also super adorable – I mean can we get more red and pink from this surprise proposal?! HAHA!

Stephanie arranged everything and it was really nerve-wracking not really knowing the couple that well or talking to William before hand. But Crystal and William were so adorable and they were just the cutest with their outfit – it was mission success when Crystal told us she had no idea she will be a newly engaged after Valentine’s Day! They were both shaking after the proposal and it was so cute! They both looks so natural in front of the camera they made my job super easy! I left the vineyard smiling and my heart full of love and excitement from the both of them!

Let’s all CONGRATULATE Crystal and William!

Are you thinking of popping the question soon and not sure what to do? Reach out to Stephanie from C’ville Picnic and level up your surprise proposal plan with a private luxury picnic experience! Of course, shoot me a message if you need a photographer to document the moments!

Not sure what wedding venue to look for? Here are a few wedding venues that might pique your interest!

A guy kneeling down putting a ring on the left hand of a woman. The guy wearing a casual suit and the woman is wearing a brown long dress with a dark brown booties and close to them is a picnic table with full of flowers and a charcuterie board and a balloon arch background

Some couples radiate so much happiness that it’s impossible not to completely fall in love with them! Allyson & Andrew are that kind of couple, and being able to capture these special moments for them made me realize just how much I LOVE being a photographer.

I was so nervous we won’t be able to shoot their engagement session that day just because of how unpredictable the weather was – I mean that’s Virginia weather for you! But luckily Swannanoa Palace has a gorgeous covered patio and we were able to take most of their photos while waiting for the rain to stop. Allyson was wearing a beautiful flowy white dress with a light blue floral design that complimented Andrew’s stunning navy suit and brown shoes.

Despite how cold the weather was during their photo session at the beautiful Swannanoa Palace in Afton, VA – Allyson and Andrew looked absolutely stunning! Imagine wearing a beautiful flowy dress on a 40 degrees rainy month?!

My favorite part of the day was how relaxed and calm they were as I was taking their photos. During our discovery call, Andrew mention how they needed help with posing, but I didn’t have to do much for them as their love was radiating despite how foggy and cold it was. They looked so natural in front of the camera and they were basically just enjoying their time together as I capture the love that they share with each other.

Even though the weather didn’t turn out the way we expected it to be. We all had fun and make the best out of it. I’m obsessed with my 2023 couples and can’t wait to celebrate Allyson & Andrew in April! Let’s all congratulate the newly engaged couple and celebrate with them!

Not sure how you can use your engagement photos in your wedding? Check out my blog for more ideas!

Two people holding hands. The man is wearing a navy suit and brown shoes. The woman is wearing a flowy long white dress with light blue floral design

Yaaayyy! you’re ENGAGED! Now what? Planning a wedding is not an easy task, trust me I’ve been in that scenario already.

If you’re looking for the perfect wedding planner to help you plan your wedding check out these amazing wedding planner that I know will make your dream wedding come true!

Don’t have a wedding venue yet? Check out my blog about these amazing wedding venues near Charlottesville, VA.

There are so many wedding venues in Charlottesville it can be a bit overwhelming. Especially when you have a specific vision in your head it can become even more difficult to find that picture perfect fairytale land that checks off most of those must have boxes for the big day!

1. The Market at the Grelen

The Market at the Grelen is set on a gorgeous 1000-acre tree nursery. This venue is a magical wedding venue boasting rural simplicity at its most luxurious along with 360-degree views. This entire venue space was lovingly designed to emphasize its surroundings and the natural beauty that comes along with it.

Not only is the Market at the Grelen dreamy for any bridal party, but also picture perfect for the creative party planner. The Market at Grelen has a variety of event spaces: a greenhouse, a shade garden & berry field, a large bluestone terrace, a 4500 sq. ft. clear stargazing tent and a groomed pasture at the highest point of the nursery.  

​Located in Central Virginia between the sweet towns of Orange & Gordonsville, Grelen is only 35 minutes north of Charlottesville, one hour west of Richmond and two hours south of DC. The perfect location isn’t too far, but yet gives a whimsical feel that you could feel somewhere else entirely different! 

A huge plus to The Market at the Grelen is the LGBTQ+ friendly atmosphere in and out of the wedding scene.

2. Common House

Common House in Charlottesville is a social club designed by Derek Sieg, Ben Pfinsgraff, and Josh Rogers. It provides a physical housed space for members to dine, work, and socialize. This entity operates by four pillars of focus: Community, Intentional Design, Food & Beverage, and Programming. 

So do people have weddings here? Yes! From rehearsal dinners and wedding receptions to corporate events and farewell brunches! Their in-house catering allows them to custom tailor their dining, bar, and seating options for any need. Another plus… You would get to work with their Executive Chef to create a custom, locally-sourced menu. They also take care of all the additional details — service staff, event furniture, and even A/V needs, minimizing your cost and effort. For events large and small, Common House is there for you on your big day.

Common House Charlottesville first opened in 2017. Located in the historic Mentor Lodge which was originally a social club for the African American community of Vinegar Hill built in 1913. The Common House Charlottesville is very committed to honoring the history of the local community

3. The Wool Factory

If you have never heard of “The Wool Factory” before you’re probably wondering why the heck would I want to get married at a place like that?… Please trust me and just keep reading. I swear you and your guests won’t be rolling around in wool sweaters or learning about the history of the inventor of wool jackets which would bore anyone to tears.

The Wool Factory is located at The Historic Woolen Mills, a restoration of the 19th century textile mill in Charlottesville, Virginia. The original industrial aesthetic has been preserved to form the breathtaking backdrop for its showpiece event hall. Believe me or not, The Wool Factory is an unique collaboration between chefs, brewers, winemakers, and coffee roasters aimed at creating unforgettable experiences.

This venue is full of  historic architecture and modern amenities combined to make The Wool Factory a one-of-a-kind wedding destination. With a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces, this location can accommodate weddings of all scales and styles.

4. Madison at the Mill

Madison at the Mill is an industrial chic wedding and event venue in Orange, Virginia. This space is a mix of industrial history with modern glam. They have original 100+ year old hardwood floors and chandeliers, brick walls and custom built in bars.

This industrial yet glam venue is located on the top of the 100 year old Silk Mill. That’s right brides, any wedding photo near a window would be nothing but the blue sky! The most unique feature of this venue building  is not only getting married in the sky, but it also houses small businesses and restaurants. 

The owners of Madison at the Mill also happened to have gotten married at this very venue and run it lovingly together with their cute little dog Rory.

5. The Pavilion on Lakeland Farm

The Pavilion on Lakeland Farm is the perfect venue for those couples who love that  southern classic charm aesthetic. This venue can host a reception, banquet or other festive occasion. The stately two-story structure, boasts picture perfect gardens with views overlooking two of Lakeland’s ponds and rolling fields. 

This wedding venue in Orange, VA has much to offer. The Pavilion offers numerous locations for outdoor ceremonies as well as a striking backdrop for your wedding photographs. Inside the banquet hall, large skylights line the dramatically tall ceilings to embellish elegance. 

Whether it’s a warm summer wedding, a crisp fall wedding day, or one of those winter wonderland fairytale days, The Pavilion on Lakeland Farm would match any wedding aesthetic with its strong classic stature.

6. Inn at Willow Groove

The Inn at Willow Grove is far from a small inn you find on your Airbnb app on your phone. This grandeur establishment is made for luxury getaways in the glorious Blue Ridge Mountains…Talk about Glamping! 

When having a wedding at the Inn at Willow Grove they have multiple unique venues each wedding party can choose from that look stunning in both the day time and night time. The Inn at Willow Grove has an award winning events team which means the service at any event would make any event sparkle and shine more than it already will.

7. The Refinery

The Refinery is truly boujie on a budget and nobody would know. This unique venue comes with a modern twist yet, it is also a blank canvas for a couple to bring their wedding dreams to life!

Located in the picturesque town of Culpeper, Virginia, The Refinery is an industrial space, filled with clean lines, warm textures and situated in the center of the historical downtown.

With on-site accommodations available and full event coordination included, The Refinery is the perfect space for the couple who wants that show-stopper wedding, without lifting a finger or breaking that bank account!

The building was built in 1951 but it is kept in very good condition and the venue allows each wedding party to choose their own vendors. While also being located in the downtown area there are a plethora of spots for unique wedding photographs that are normally non-traditional for the big day if you are looking for that industrial and moody, yet warm and inviting aesthetic.

8. The Golden Horseshoe Inn

Once again, another weird name for a venue, but don’t worry reader this is not a venue where you and your guests have to learn about the history of why horses wear horseshoes or anything like that. #snoring

A fun historical fact: In 1827 The Golden Horseshoe Inn was built as a stagecoach inn for travelers crossing the Blue Ridge mountains. Hence building the name “The Golden Horseshoe Inn” 
This venue is designed as a warm and welcoming home for your wedding day, where everything you need is always a fingertip away. You can even take a virtual tour on their website.  You’ll be able to check out their cozy front parlors each with a stone fireplace, the bright and airy twinkle-light-filled reception room, and the upstairs dressing suites.

9. Boxwood Villa

Coming full circle, the founders of Grelen Nursery & The Market at Grelen renovated this lovely 1891 property to add to their event & lodging options for their Market at Grelen guests and area visitors. This gem is set on 13.6 beautiful acres and boasts modern amenities and a .5 walking trail.   

Named for its large boxwood circling the house, Boxwood Villa is surprisingly private with the big lush trees surrounding its property given that it’s within walking distance to town. Guests for a wedding party will get the intimate villa feel while being able to feel a sense of roam and freedom all at once.

10. The Clifton Inn

Last but not least welcome to The Clifton Inn! With historic charm, breathtaking views and modern yet elegant sophistication, The Clifton has become one of the most iconic wedding venues in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The Clifton can be yours for the day, or for a full weekend of relaxation. This venue is accommodating to all wedding parties no matter the size. They will allow you to come in Thursday to settle in, have all day Friday to gather with friends and family and have the rehearsal dinner, and then have Saturday be the big day and while Sunday there is no rush from the partying and celebrating that was done the night before! 

Experience Charlottesville’s heritage and elegance with a contemporary twist. Let us assist you in creating your exquisite Clifton Wedding, distinguished by impeccable service, lush surroundings and exceptional cuisine.

Didn’t find the venue you are looking for? Check out my other blog to know more of the stunning wedding venues in Charlottesville, VA.

industrial wedding venue in charlottesville, va

Charlottesville has some amazing wedding venues, but this three wedding venues are few of my favorite wedding venues.

Charlottesville, Virginia, and the surrounding towns certainly have a great selection of vineyards that host weddings (and they’re all so beautiful it can be hard to choose!). Located in Crozet Virginia, just 15 min from downtown Charlottesville, is one of my favorite vineyards for weddings: Kings Family Vineyards. As you could probably guess by the name, the 327- acre property has been owned by the King Family for over 20 years. ). “It is a very fun family-oriented business, they genuinely treat everyone here as their family” – Juan Delfin (Event Coordinator). A truer statement could not have been said, I’ve met quite a few staff members at Kings Family including the owner and they were all incredibly nice and welcoming.

One of the best things about this venue is the scenery. Being located at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this venue boasts stunning views of the vines and mountains (is there a better combination?!). And of course, in case of rain, the Kings Family Vineyards has a plan B & C so that your day can go on without a hitch. Another huge perk is the flexibility that they offer to couples. Couples are able to choose their own vendors with the exception of the caterers (those must be chosen off the preferred vendor list that the venue provides) and wine; since they are a vineyard they do require couples to use their wine for the reception, but it is at a discount. In addition, they do provide reception tables and ceremony and reception chairs so one less thing to worry about when planning!

King Family Vineyards offers you the perfect space for your wedding. The outdoor views stun and amaze. Indoors, you’ll find spacious rooms that feel both rustic and polished. The space can accommodate up to 200 people indoors with still having space for a band and generous space for a dance floor.

How lucky are we to live in Charlottesville, Virginia surrounded by historic places turned wedding venues?! The next venue on my tour is exactly that – a venue inspired by the industrious history of the property: The Wool Factory

As part of Charlottesville’s most famous mill complex, the Historic Woolen Mills, the Wool Factory occupies a site within the Historic Woolen Mills complex. This parcel of land was once an epicenter of industry and trade, formed by Moore’s Creek and the Rivanna River. Charlottesville’s original downtown was approximately one mile from the site, which was adjacent to Pireus, Charlottesville’s port at the time.

As part of Charlottesville’s most famous mill complex, the Historic Woolen Mills, the Wool Factory occupies a site within the Historic Woolen Mills complex. This parcel of land was once an epicenter of industry and trade, formed by Moore’s Creek and the Rivanna River. Charlottesville’s original downtown was approximately one mile from the site, which was adjacent to Pireus, Charlottesville’s port at the time.

One of the few best features of the venue is that they are “hyper-industrial, but have a touch of nature that comes through the space” – Mitchell (Event Sales Manager). The hyper-industrial feel is super unique compared to a lot of barns and fields and vineyards that are very popular in Charlottesville, but they also have a little bit of a touch of nature being close to the creek and trail. This venue is also one of the bigger ones in the area as the entire main hall can seat up to 300 people or couples can opt for a cocktail-style reception which holds up to 550 people (with ample parking space and bathrooms to accommodate such a large guest list as well!). Another great perk is that they are not just a wedding venue, but a multipurpose venue; they cater to weddings, but they also cater to micro weddings, rehearsal dinners, welcome parties, corporate events, birthday parties etc. With a lot of venues, they either provide just the wine or wine & beer, but with this venue, they provide all alcoholic drinks including cocktails – they’re a one-stop-shop! Not to mention all their beer is made in-house by their brewmaster and brewed fresh at their location. They offer wine, beer, and food tasting which comes free when you book a certain number of guests (events over 100) but if it’s a smaller wedding couple can still do the tasting but with a small charge of $95.

Nothing really beats the location of this venue. Though it’s considerably close to downtown which makes it easy for our guests in the area, you really are surrounded by nature and would never know how close you are to the city. Due to its location, couples often opt to do their first look on a public bridge nearby that runs over the creek, their ceremony on the venue’s lawn, and the reception in the main hall.

To have your wedding at the Wool Factory, they do require a full buy-out of the location which means couples must have a minimum of 150 guests. Food and beverage services are provided in-house and couples are allowed to use their custom-made long walnut table during their reception with a primary seating of benches, but couples are welcome to bring in their own chairs. All the furniture in the main hall can be moved and rearranged around within the hall to fit what the couple is envisioning for their wedding, but because the space does need re-arranging, they do require that couples hire a day-of coordinator to help facilitate the wedding day.

Wool Factory, Industrial wedding venue

The holiday season is upon us. Like most people, you know that deciding what to wear on the regular isn’t an easy task – let alone trying to coordinate outfits for your entire family for your holiday card. As a family photographer in Charlottesville, VA, I aim to always help my families make this process as painless as possible. I have put together some of my favorite tips and tricks to help you create a cohesive look for your entire family that will impress when it comes time to order your holiday cards or photos.

Mt. Juliet view at Grace Estate Winery with Fall colors
  1. Start planning early. Heading to the store the day before your session is not optimal for finding outfits that work together and will just lead to unnecessary stress. Give yourself plenty of time to assess what is already in your closets, what works, and what you may need to pick up. Go shopping with a game plan! Bonus tip – start planning around the person who will be the pickiest about their outfit and work around them!
  1. Pick a style that works best for your family. You want your photos to be authentic, so wear clothing that makes you feel like yourselves — not someone else! Don’t stray too far from outside your typical fashion styles.
  1. Choose clothes that you all feel comfortable in. If you or your kiddos are uncomfortable in their outfit it’ll show in the photos. We want everyone to be comfortable, relaxed and having fun during the session so wear clothes that fit well, aren’t itchy, and don’t require being adjusted frequently. 
  1. Use accessories sparingly! They add interest and personality to an outfit, but too many accessories can take away from the main subject and distract from the overall look of your photos instead of enhancing it!
Beautiful family photos with a beautiful mountain view during fall season

Overall, I think one of the most important things when it comes to the holidays is that everyone feels comfortable and happy with their outfits! If you need additional help coordinating your outfits feel free to reach out and send some photos and I can do my best to help!

Family Photos, Ravens Roost Overlook, Maternity session, Mountain view

Next stop on our Charlottesville, VA venue tour is another favorite of mine: The Clifton Inn! This seminal estate welcomes you with lush, rich interiors, offering a modern twist on this historic property. Overlooking the stunning forests of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this sprawling 100 acre property is home to The Clifton Colonial Revival Manor House. Though it’s common to find venues in Virginia that are rich in history, this stunning historical manor set on 100 acres was built in 1799 for Thomas Jefferson’s daughter Martha and remained a private residence until the mid 1980s. Renovations were made to the Clifton Estate in the late twentieth century, transforming historic dependencies into indelible Charlottesville landmarks. One of the most sought-after wedding venues in Virginia, The Clifton boasts historic charm, breathtaking views, and modern, but elegant sophistication.

Your wedding should be treated with the utmost care by a venue that doesn’t see your wedding as a transaction and you’ll find that at The Clifton. They only host one wedding a week because they want their couples to feel relaxed both before and after their special day. The venue also offers the newlyweds exclusivity of the property if they rent out all 20 rooms.

The Clifton Inn can accommodate up to 200 guests and all tables, chairs, and dinnerware are included in their wedding collections so no need to worry about bringing in additional vendors! There is no need to worry about rain either as they have a tent on their terrace as a backup as well as a large tent for the reception. In addition, they have an in-house culinary team led by Michelan Star chef Matthew Bousquet. Matthew is french-trained and focused on sustainability and local produce. Because of the restaurant on site, couples also have the option to host their rehearsal dinner or farewell brunch on the property. 

If you’re looking for a venue that is historic yet modern and provides impeccable service, look no further than The Clifton Inn!

Ohh and if you have a hybrid car or electrical vehicle – check out The Clifton Inn’s eco-friendly Blink charging station. You can relax and enjoy the property while waiting for your car to be fully charged – I say it’s a win-win situation!

I want to thank Phyllis Case the Executive Director of Sales at The Clifton Inn for touring me around the gorgeous venue and for sharing with me the story of this beautiful gem within Charlottesville, Virginia!

- connie j.

If you are looking for a photographer that has a great personality, experienced with attention to detail, and is fun to work with, then Lyn is your person! She arrived on time and immediately began to work. She was great at directing everyone on how to pose and had great patience dealing with my chaotic family! She took numerous photos and she was able to send me sneak peaks in less than 24 hours!"

"We loved the photos and we're glad we chose Lyn as our photographer!


When planning a wedding it is so scary to hire vendors and have all the trust in them that they will do a good job and from the second I met Lyn Waldrop I knew she would have my best interest in mind!"

"Lyn also did an amazing job at capturing our real emotions which I am so grateful for!


She was great at communicating so I wasn’t stressed about how I should dress, and when and where to go. I’m not very comfortable in front of a camera but I’d do another shoot with her any day! She had tons of poses and a plan of what we were doing so I was at ease knowing these pictures would look beautiful."

“Lyn was SO energetic and made the experience so much more fun