Oatlands Historic House & Garden Wedding

August 27, 2019

I’m Manali
Coach, editor & brand photographer based out of Cincinnati, Ohio. When I'm not behind a camera or teaching about systems, you'll find me at a vineyard or cuddled with my cat Keegan on our cozy couch!
Top categories
Tried & true business tips  and systems to save time
Behind the scenes of not just business, but LIFE as well.
My best tips for getting them ,most out of your brand session!
Watch This Free Class to Grow Your Photo Business! 
I Want To Tune In!



This week’s venue highlight goes out to Oatlands Historic House & Garden which is a great local venue in the Leesburg area to get married at! Getting to explore a new location on wedding days is  one of my FAVORITE parts! This might be weird or counterintuitive or even strange for some photographers to hear, but I generally never scout out a venue that I haven’t been to BEFORE the wedding day! Now hear me out!! I do STALK venues from other photographers’ blog posts, on Google Maps, make sure I have an understanding of the layout of a venue if there are a lot of different spots, but I PREFER to scout out locations at the venue for pictures ON the day of the wedding! Here’s a couple of different reasons why:

  1. I find that this lends to my creativity the best! It forces me to get more creative on the day which pushes me to be more creative with my shots as well!
  2. The lighting always changes from day to day!! What a certain spot looks like at 12 pm vs what it looks like at 5 pm is COMPLETELY different!!!
  3. I do get to the venue super early before my coverage officially starts to see what the place looks like on the particular day! I use this time to figure out where to hang the dress, where to have the first look, where to do bridal party pictures and family formal pictures and bride and groom portraits!
  4. For me, TIME, is the biggest motivator for me in my business! In general, all the venues that I shoot at are easily 1 hour away from my base location so to go beforehand and scout takes me AT LEAST 2 hours, only to probably end up with a different lighting scenario on the actual day of the wedding itself! Just isn’t the most practical use of my time!!
  5. Part of my job is to be able to make the BEST of ANY lighting situation that I could possibly run into on the wedding day! And honestly, I love the challenge! It keeps me on my toes hahaha 🙂

That being said, I DO have favorite spots at particular venues and I wanted to highlight some of my favorite spots at Oatlands today!

1 Getting Ready Space

There’s the CUTEST little cottage for the girls to get ready in!!


2 Best Spot for a First Look

Absolutely LOVED the beautiful light that comes into this area during the early afternoon! It made for a super private and beautiful location for their first look!


3 In Front of the House

OK, I did make the entire bridal party walk up like two flights of stairs to get them to here and felt terrible because, yes, it was August, and YES, it was a hot day. And yes, I know the struggle of walking up stairs in heels!! BUT!!!! I’m so glad we did make it up here and actually a super shout out to Caity confirming that we totally should because I always try to keep things AS comfortable as possible for the bridal party and family members on the wedding day in terms of locations.

That being said, I do realize that I am hired to be able to scout out the BEST possible spots that are going to MAKE your pictures as beautiful as you can possibly imagine them. And so I will be the rallying force to get your bridal party to a particular spot if I believe it’s going to be WORTH IT!!! I will also be the first to run and grab people water afterwards haha!

OatlandsHistoricHouseWeddingPhotography-StoneTowerWineryWedding-StoneTowerWineryWeddingPhotography-StoneTowerWineryPhotography-ManaliPhotography-009 OatlandsHistoricHouseWeddingPhotography-StoneTowerWineryWedding-StoneTowerWineryWeddingPhotography-StoneTowerWineryPhotography-ManaliPhotography-008 OatlandsHistoricHouseWeddingPhotography-StoneTowerWineryWedding-StoneTowerWineryWeddingPhotography-StoneTowerWineryPhotography-ManaliPhotography-007

4 Mountain Views!

Right on the other side of the house, you get some GORGEOUS views of the mountain in the background! We had so much buffer room in the timeline that we got to snag some extra portraits which turned out to be some of my favorites from the day!

OatlandsHistoricHouseWeddingPhotography-StoneTowerWineryWedding-StoneTowerWineryWeddingPhotography-StoneTowerWineryPhotography-ManaliPhotography-010 OatlandsHistoricHouseWeddingPhotography-StoneTowerWineryWedding-StoneTowerWineryWeddingPhotography-StoneTowerWineryPhotography-ManaliPhotography-011

5 Dancing the Night Away!

The perfect place to dance the night away after the perfect day! I love that Oatlands has a huge tented area for your reception to continue the celebration well into the night! Highly recommend having all your guests around your dance floor, having a table for your cake and either a sweetheart table or a head table for your closest friends!


If you enjoyed this post, you might consider following along on Instagram & binge reading these as well!

Stone Tower Winery Venue Highlight

Rust Manor House Highlight

101 Constitution Avenue Vibrant Summer Wedding


Start drafting a photography-friendly timeline & get to know the couple better so you can best personalize their experience with you from the start!


Photographers, tune in to this masterclass to learn how to quickly build your photography business and consisntely raise your prices.


Thinking of investing in a branding photography session? Read about branding sessions & how to get the most out of yours!

Browse By Category






Search by Keyword


How I Can Help

I help creative small business owners feel calm & confident in front of the camera or behind your business with brand photography, educational resources & online business management.


Want more support?

1:1 Coaching for Creatives

Helping creative small business owners overcome the perception of perfection & ditch comparison to generate momentum towards their goals - one week at a time!


Enneagram 4w3, cognitive & computer science major turned biz strategy nerd!

I went from charging $600 per wedding to over $5k & went full-time within 1 year of starting my biz! Now I help creative small business owners show up confidently behind the scenes with elevated brand photography, business strategy to build their dream biz & life and help managing all the logistics and details along the way! 



Weekly emails sprinkled in with business tips & psychology-backed sales lessons. The catch? The MP Email Fam gets first dibs on new offerings & sweet savings sprinkled in along the way!

Leggings, messy buns, and 3rd cups of coffee (or wine!) are *all* welcome around here

Swipe My Booked Wedding Questionnaire & Join the MP Email Fam

business tips dropped weekly

    Insta famous

    Latest business tips, BTS, travel & cozy life with Keegs 🐱 over on the 'gram! Have a question? Just wanna say hi? Don't be a stranger - shoot me a DM! 


    Do a happy dance & then personalize your wedding clients' experience with this questionnaire when they book! This has helped me build a client experience that has booked me $5k+ weddings!