Anna & John | Northern Neck Wedding


She was all I could see :).  “I was standing in a very busy, constantly moving line with 2 massive suitcases, 2 carry-on size bags, and a handful of paperwork…and she’s all I could see :)” John said when asked his first impression of Anna.  Anna and John have this romantic love story that is fit for a movie.  They met while both working on Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and fell in love while traveling the globe.  I love that some of their favorite memories have taken place in the far reaches of the Earth in small intimate locations perfect for a movie!  Anna said that she noticed John at the ship’s disco which was a hangout spot for staff on the ship, she thought he was so interesting that she introduced herself twice, lol!  Anna is a professional dancer/actor in NYC and they call New York home when John’s not on board a ship traveling the globe.  Anna said she is lucky to be able to join him as often as possible checking out new destinations.

I met Anna last year when I photographed her sister Sarah’s wedding!  She was the maid of honor with a speech that brought everyone to tears.  As I walked around her parents house while she was getting ready my heart was flooded with happiness to see so many photos from Sarah & Matt’s wedding framed and on display in various rooms.  It brought back memories of so many great moments and I was thrilled to be working with this AMAZING family once again.  When Anna told me they would be having the wedding at her parent’s house on the river I was over the moon excited!  We actually sailed our boat down part of the way and then I borrowed my in-laws truck to drive the final distance.  I’ve been joking around that I might start specializing in weddings on the water where I can sail to work ;).  Anna’s mom told me to sail by and drop anchor anytime!  Talk about a stunning location Anna’s dad designed the house himself and the views were spectacular.  I don’t think you could have a more beautiful location for a waterfront wedding!

This Northern Neck Va wedding made my top 5 list of best weddings I’ve had the pleasure of photographing in fact they might be #1!!!  Everything was amazing from start to finish, I really could not put together a better recipe for a wedding.  Anna and John were so easy to work with I honestly felt like I was cheating because they were complete naturals in front of the camera!  I could go on and on about how amazing everything was but I’ll let you take a look and decide for yourself :).

Anna and John I cannot even express how much I loved working with you guys.  I wish you infinite happiness and laughter as you travel the globe and add more chapters to your Old Hollywood love story!  John you might run into David and I on one of your cruises as it’s something we’ve talked about doing forever and Anna I’m totally planning to come see you in a show in NYC at some point!  For now enjoy your wedding photos!


A little Flashdance inspiration!


So what happens when you have a wedding for a professional dancer and her dancer friends?  Why they break out into routine during the reception just for fun!  I took a little bit of video because it was so cool to watch.  No judging me, I’m not a videographer ;)!  The video might take a bit to load so here is the direct link on YouTube – Anna & John.


Thank you Camille for being an awesome second shooter!!!

To see more of Anna & John’s Northern Neck Virginia wedding check out the slideshow below! (Click here if you don’t see the slideshow below)

The following wedding vendors contributed to Anna & John’s wedding:

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Private Home
Photography: Melissa Arlena Photography
Florist: Diane Lewis
DJ: Stephen Burks
Makeup: Chris Morabito
Catering: Shelly Williams
Cake: Cakes to Remember
Gown: RK Bridal

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  • Cathie HudginsSeptember 15, 2014 - 5:23 pm

    Melissa, These sneak peak photos are wonderful and we can’t wait to see the rest of them. Thanks for doing such a beautiful job on both of the Hudgins’ girls weddings.

  • Cathie HudginsSeptember 15, 2014 - 5:23 pm

    Melissa, These sneak peak photos are wonderful and we can’t wait to see the rest of them. Thanks for doing such a beautiful job on both of the Hudgins’ girls weddings.

  • Joyce KangSeptember 18, 2014 - 3:55 pm

    beautifully photographed wedding! The bride is stunning!

  • Lindsay MaddenSeptember 19, 2014 - 9:34 am

    What a great wedding! You captured it beautifully.

  • Kristin SweetingSeptember 19, 2014 - 11:05 am

    Love this! I love her hair color and the gorgeous ceremony. Beautiful job capturing!

  • Kel WardSeptember 22, 2014 - 10:38 am

    So pretty! Such a classy and elegant event, with a gorgeous view. Bride looks beautiful and I love all of the details.

  • ValentinaSeptember 22, 2014 - 1:40 pm

    Such a beautiful and happy couple!

  • Kina WicksSeptember 22, 2014 - 5:18 pm

    Sweet looking couple!! Beautiful pics 😀

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Melissa Arlena is an award winning Richmond and Charlottesville photographer. She recently earned her Master Photographer Certification in the Maternity, Newborn & Family categories from the National Association of Professional Child Photographers. Melissa offers maternity, lifestyle newborn, and family photography in her relaxed, natural, and joyful style.


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