Real Wedding Guide
Wedding at Comus Farm
A wedding at Comus Farm in Montgomery Maryland from a Wedding Photographer's Perspective

Wedding at Comus Farm in Montgomery County, Maryland

Jess and Eric had the perfect combination of luck and skill for their beautiful winter wedding at Comus Farm. 

They definitely needed luck on the weather front (in Maryland, you never know!) because their wedding date was in January, and they had friends and family coming in from all over.

They needed it and they got it: 

  • It wasn’t snowing. 
  • It wasn’t raining. 
  • The sun was even shining! 

OK, the temperature was also in the 30s with the windchill, but more on that in a bit.

A key part of that skill—or maybe savvy is the better word—was reflected in their choice to have their wedding at Comus Farm: 

Even in winter, when the cold makes it difficult (spoiler alert: but not impossible!) to utilize the outdoor features and natural beauty of the venue’s 250+ acres, Comus Farm also has lots of—as some clever wordsmith once put it—the Great Indoors.

Lauren Huyser, who owns and operates the venue with her husband, is also an artist, and all of Comus Farm’s interior spaces—from the updated historic farmhouse to the purpose-built, double-height barn—reflect her fresh take on modern-rustic design that’s perfect for the setting.

The natural-wood interior of the barn and its loft were also a perfect fit for Jess + Eric’s wedding theme, which reflected their love for natural beauty and State and National Parks (we had done a beautiful Fall engagement photo session together at nearby Cunningham Falls State Park.) 

Getting Ready at Comus Farm

Getting Ready

Both the ladies and the lads got ready for the ceremony on site—and on different floors—at Comus Farm’s lovingly restored 1920s farmhouse, just steps away (a big bonus on a blustery day!) from the barn where the ceremony and reception would take place. 

And the farmhouse’s artfully minimalist interior is a photographer’s dream: The rooms’ muted palettes and tasteful furnishings keep all the emphasis on the people, details, and moments. Which is as it should be, since that’s what weddings are all about!    

For example, I was able to photograph Jess and her beautiful bridal gown—from J. Major’s Bridal Boutique in Charlotte, North Carolina—indoors with natural window light, highlighting its elegant simplicity. 

Maid of Honor Emily Stevens is a makeup master, so she did the honors for all the other bridesmaids, and two hairstyling pros from Heather Rea Style Studio did all the amazing dos on the ladies.

Eric and the rest of the fellas arrived more or less already in full-dress mode, but somehow the groom’s wedding tie had been left behind (it’s almost obligatory for SOMETHING to be left behind when prepping for a wedding). 

So—amid jokes that the tie had to be “specially imported from Frederick County”—an emissary retrieved it from the groom’s home, and the best man did the honors in holding the mirror.  

First Look from a Photographers Perspective at Comus Farm

The First Look

One of the other great things about photographing a wedding at Comus Farm is the availability of attractive settings—outdoors AND indoors—for any of the wedding’s moments.

Which becomes an extraordinarily important feature when it’s January. 

Case in point: For photographing a first look, outside is almost always best. The whole point of having a dedicated first look—the first time one of the partners (in this case the groom) gets to see the other (in this case, the bride) in their wedding dress—is to capture the emotions of that moment apart from the ocean of feelings at the ceremony itself.

At many wedding venues, that opportunity is difficult to achieve indoors: There often simply isn’t room to momentarily step away from all the wedding-party members.

Or if there is, that area may be insufficiently private or visually too distracting, diluting the concentrated emotions of the moment.

But I happened to know from photographing many a previous wedding at Comus Farm that one of the first-floor rooms in its restored 1920s Farmhouse has—along with its uncluttered walls and natural light sweeping in from the afternoon west—original pocket doors that I could use to beautifully frame the couple and the moment. 

That photo ended up being one of the couple’s favorites (and mine). 

Winter Wedding at Comus Farm in Montgomery County, Maryland--wedding photography by @scottcech

Portraits (Outdoors! Wedding at Comus Farm For The Win!) 

OK, I’ve mentioned that magical combination of luck and savvy that Jess and Eric brought to their lovely January wedding at Comus Farm. 

But it’s with true admiration for the bride that I have to add sheer physical fortitude to the list: 

One of the reasons that the couple chose to have their wedding at Comus Farm was that they fell in love with the venue’s unique stand of pine trees, which has a narrow clearing in its center. 

The resulting space makes you feel like you’re standing in a cathedral of trees.

And of course both I and the couple wanted, if at all possible, to take their picture in this splendor.    

But in scheduling their wedding for January, they knew ahead of time they were in a dice game with nature: 

  • It might well rain. 
  • Or snow. 
  • Or worse.

Then again, this is a hardy couple: Hiking amid the elements in remote areas is one of their favorite things to do together, and they’re not afraid of nature doing its thing.

But it’s one thing to go for a hike when you’re dressed for a hike.

It’s entirely another matter to brave the elements—including big gusts that sent windchill levels into the 30s—when you’ve just had your hair done professionally and your attire consists entirely of a sleeveless white wedding dress. 

The double stand of pine trees did serve as a natural windbreak—their original purpose, after all, for the surrounding agricultural fields—but I can tell you from my own experience that it was still seriously cold.  

And yet: Look at the photos and you can’t even tell that it’s dipping perilously close to the freezing mark. That’s some seriously dedicated love!

Of course, it helped that they could look forward to doing their wedding-party portraits INDOORS immediately afterward in Comus Farm’s barn. 

And beside the obvious virtue of being warm, the barn is purpose-built, so it’s spacious enough that we had sufficient room to do whole-group photos of the full dozen bridesmaids and groomsmen together with the bride and groom downstairs.

All without having to move a bunch of chairs from the ceremony area in the upstairs loft or disrupting the catering staff as they set up for the reception in the other parts of the barn—a big plus and time-saver for everyone!

The Ceremony At Comus Farm

Ceremony

The ceremony was beautifully done, with all the right kinds of free-flowing feelings.  

And as the newlyweds came back up the aisle, they did something I love and highly encourage couples to do: They paused for a quick kiss midway up the aisle. 

I definitely understand why couples don’t often remember to do this: They’ve just concluded one of the most emotionally heightened rituals of their lives, all at center stage in front of their closest family and friends. And the moments immediately following often feel like a happy blur.     

But here’s the reason it’s such a great move for your wedding photos: It allows me, as the wedding photographer, to gather all the elements of a great moment that are usually hard to see all in one view all together in one complete picture:

  • The couple in a tender moment
  • Their family and friends all around them reacting to the tender moment   
  • The wedding party behind them reacting to the tender moment   
  • Plus the ceremony backdrop and decorations, which usually coordinate with the bouquet and boutonnière, tying the whole package together.  

  Kudos to the couple! 

Cocktail Hour 

Another thing that Jess and Eric did that was a little bit different: They didn’t want to miss their own party.

At most weddings, newlyweds don’t even get to make an appearance at a wedding’s cocktail hour: The time is wholly taken up with large-group and smaller-group family and/or wedding-party photography, and they don’t rejoin their guests again until the reception proper. 

But because Jess is a very organized person, and had already provided me a concise Who’s Who list of all the family groups in advance—and because we had already taken all the wedding-party shots before the ceremony—we were able to do all the family photography up in the barn loft quickly and efficiently.

(It also helped enormously that Comus Farm’s barn notably has its own elevator(!), helping relatives with limited mobility save their steps for the dance floor.)

Which also left the couple time for a quick practice dip in the loft before heading down.

Being there for the cocktail party also meant that the couple was able to sample the tasty hors d’oeuvres from P.I.G.S. BBQ!

Wedding Reception at Comus Farm

Reception

As a wedding photographer, I’m passionate about what I do and dedicated to going above and beyond in serving clients, and I always like to highlight other wedding professionals who I see providing great service.  

And Jess and Eric’s reception provided ample opportunity to showcase such excellence.

Starting with the venue itself—yet another reason to have a wedding at Comus Farm!—not only was owner and operator Lauren there the whole time to oversee the big picture, she didn’t miss any of the small details either. 

I’ll share this illustrative vignette, which speaks volumes about the staff there:

Just after we had completed couple photos in the loft and they were about to head down to the party, Lauren noticed that the bride’s train hadn’t been securely pinned up in the back. 

Knowing that would make it difficult—and potentially dangerous—for the bride to dance, and not wanting to inconvenience any of the family or wedding party who had already gone down to the cocktail party, Lauren got herself on hands and knees to personally handle the situation so that the bride could fully and confidently enjoy herself on the dance floor.   

That’s going above and beyond!  

On the comestible side, Piece O’Cake Bakery, based in nearby Frederick, Maryland, showed off the freshness of their ingredients and their approach with a spread of cupcake perfection. 

Their delectable goodies were almost snatched up by the time I got a chance to photograph one!

And I’ve already mentioned P.I.G.S. BBQ’s great food and service, but their bartenders also obviously did an amazing job making the couple’s signature cocktails, including a Spiked Pomegranate Lemonade and a special Brown Sugar Vanilla Old Fashioned.

I say obviously because, while I had to forgo the offerings myself, I’ve never seen so many wedding participants and guests so unwilling to part with their beverages!

(At one point, while photographing the bride and and her father dancing, I managed to get a shot of him filching his daughter’s craft cocktail.)

And I’d be remiss if I failed to emphasize how good the DJ was. 

As someone who has worked a lot of weddings, I can tell you with the authority borne of experience that there’s a world of difference between a run-of-the-mill DJ and a truly great wedding DJ.

The former type will just sit there throughout the reception, firing off a platitude now and again into the microphone, but basically hiding behind all the equipment and just pressing a button here and there.   

Then there’s a really great wedding DJ.

In my experience, a really great wedding DJ:

  • Pronounces all the wedding-party names flawlessly in the reception’s introduction. 
  • Expertly treads the line on the microphone between too reticent and too cheesy. 
  • Plays the right mix of music.
  • Gets interactive with the crowd.   

To the couple’s credit, they hired Elon Eisenberg, head of Double E Entertainment, and Elon not only met all my criteria of a really great wedding DJ, he kept the party feel going and the dance floor packed—an especially vital skill when it’s a medium-sized wedding and the venue has as much space as Comus Farm’s barn does.  

To that end, he enthusiastically took song requests, and even waded into the crowd to show some new dance moves to the crowd.

But what really shone a spotlight on his expertise was this: He was able to draw multiple generations of friends and family members together onto the dance floor at the same time—oldsters and youngsters alike. 

If you’ve been to a wedding lately, you may have noticed how there are certain songs that—based on what decade they were released—tend to draw either an older or a younger set of people to the dance floor.

In fact, of all the weddings I’ve photographed, I can count on one hand the number of DJs who have managed—through their crowd work and expert blending of music—to successfully and consistently pull the full spectrum of folks together onto the dance floor!

The night ended with one last photo, taken from the loft upstairs, as the bride and groom gathered all their friends and family together. Which seemed altogether fitting, because that is, fundamentally, what weddings are all about.   

Photography: Scott Cech Studio @scottcech

Venue: Comus Farm @ComusFarm

DJ: Elon Eisenberg/Double E Entertainment @ee_entertainment

Caterer: P.I.G.S. BBQ @pigsbb

Hair: Heather Rea Style Studio @heatherreastylestudio

Cupcakes: Piece O’Cake Bakery @pieceocakecustom

Bridal Gown: J. Majors @jmajorsbridal

Bridesmaids Dresses: Azazie @azazieofficial