Pennsylvania wedding photographer
I’m staring at this blank page, trying to figure out where to start and the only thing coming to mind is, God is so good.
Tree and Jon live in Pennsylvania. They drove to Atlanta for their engagement session, which you should totally check out if you missed it! (I also explain how we met each other in their engagement session blog!)
If you’re reading this and you’ve never met Teresa or Jon, I have a feeling you will feel like you know them by the end of this blog.
Getting Ready – Comfort Suites, Edinboro
well, to be fair, I’ve only had two Catholic couples… 🙂
Something nearly all of my brides enjoy is a bridal reveal with their bridesmaids. I love this because it’s a *super* special way to allow the bride to have a private moment with her mom, while also giving her best friends an intimate ‘first look’ of the bride in her wedding dress and a fun moment in the spotlight.
🙂 Down the hall, Jon was also getting ready… BOTH of these two were full of emotions. I think Jon was most anxious to get to the church to see (and wrap his arms around) his bride, while Tree was most eager to have her private moment with Jon before the ceremony…
As these two prepared to head to the church, their family left them alone for a private moment to exchange letters they’d written to each other. Jon was full of emotion; Teresa was just exploding with excitement. I really think this was the moment she had been anticipating all morning… She was so excited to stand next to her groom and read what he had written to her.
Ceremony – Our Lady of the Lake Church, Edinboro
Before the ceremony, Teresa’s girls took a moment to pray over her. They thanked God for their tight friendship, acknowledged the incredible blessings surrounding them on her wedding day, and prayed for their marriage. Tree just radiates Jesus’ spirit. I feel so blessed to be in her tribe.
(her dad’s range of emotions right here… Oh my goodness. 😭)
Liturgy of the Word
Teresa and Jon selected Genesis 2:18-24 as the first reading because it highlights the importance of human relationships. Namely, man was not designed to be alone; there is a natural, intimate connectedness and profound attraction– all by design. And when a man and a woman come together in the sacredness of marriage, the connection becomes life-giving. All other relationships are secondary, and the couple continues to ignite each other’s spiritual and worldly dreams.
Second reading – Colossians 3:12-17
Tree and Jon chose this reading because they wanted to highlight the importance of having heartfelt compassion, humility, gentleness, and forgiveness in their marriage. They chose this reading with an intention to regularly revisit the biblical image of love; it is not an emotion or feeling, but it is the glue and the motivator for each person to pursue a more Christ-like way of life.
Liturgy of the Eucharist
Eucharist means “thanksgiving”, and how appropriate the timing is since we’re in the month of November. The Eucharist is a sacrament that draws us into the Father’s free, faithful, total, and fruitful love.
Each wedding guest was invited to receive communion while Tree and Jon knelt before the altar. They shared tears, laughter, and heartfelt prayers while their loved ones received communion.
Dedication to our Lady
Catholics believe a relationship with Christ’s mother can deepen their relationship with Christ himself. After hugging their parents and new in-laws, Teresa and Jon walked together to Mary, kneel and pray. (I *loved* being able to see Tree’s reflection in the window while she prayed. Can you spot it?)
First Kiss as husband and wife
So up until this moment, everyone was quiet. Calm, collected, well-mannered. You, know… just hanging out, enjoying each other’s company, excited about the happenings of the day. But not overly excited..
Teresa, at one point (or maybe more than once…), had mentioned to me that she has a lot of rowdy siblings. But I have come to learn that ‘rowdy’ can mean a lot of different things to different people.
Tree’s definition of rowdy exactly matches mine, and I’m not mad about her siblings’ ‘rowdiness’.
Portraits – Asbury Woods, Erie
Look at the guys! hahahah
Sometimes it’s hard to organize a wedding party, and (I won’t lie) it becomes slightly annoying.
THESE GUYS, however, were a BLAST. Like, an absolute rowdy-hysterical-full of love-incredibly awesome BLAST. I’m pretty sure for the
circus pictures above, I just told the gals we were going to walk and just *see* if the guys could potentially follow suite. 🤣 They did. And they’re awesome. I love this group of people so much– I wished we could have had day light forever so that I could have kept playing with them.
Asbury Woods in Erie, PA is gorgeous. We didn’t even have enough time to walk anywhere, but the trees there are just picturesque and the lighting was to die for.
The average high in PA in November is in the 40s. On Tree’s wedding day it was almost 70! Clear skies, perfect light, gorgeous weather. Unbelievable.
Reception – Madline’s Dining and Events, Cranesville, PA
I looked up photos of the reception hall prior to flying to PA, and when I arrived I was blown away. The place is *so* much more gorgeous in person than it is online. The inside dining hall leads itself so perfectly to a couple’s first dance. I really love the shape of the fan blades and also the lights on the ceiling. Those little details really add to their photos!
Fun fact: I’m almost certain that Jon spun Tree one extra time for me to capture this moment. Between you and I, I think he noticed that I missed their spin just before he spun her this second time. (The extra spin surprised Tree, and her smile is perfect.)
Off camera flash
Sometimes I nail it, and sometimes I don’t! But I’ve made a commitment to myself to TRY more often than I have in the past. I’ve been studying techniques online and trying to train my eye to see things differently than the human eye naturally sees things so that I can eventually learn to create epic portraits. It’s tricky when it’s pitch black outside, like it was in the above photo, but with practice I’m positive I will eventually secure a technique to nail these shots!
I was told not to post a couple of the following photos online… Hopefully they were joking, because they’re way too funny not to post… 🤪🤩
Sparkler Exit (with surprise fireworks!)
Oh. My. Goodness.
So something I thrive off of is a solid plan. And something I’m used to is a solid plan coming unraveled, because weddings.
Something I’m great at is predicting where the solid plan will unravel, and plan for the unplanned. And everything goes well because I’ve already anticipated it! (know what I mean??)
Something I DON’T thrive off of is when my couple tells me something very specific that they want to happen, and something completely opposite has to take place in order to pull off a surprise that I *know* they’ll love.
The owner of Madeline’s Dining and Events had some extra fireworks on hand, and graciously offered to surprise Teresa and Jon. Problem was, we had to figure out a way to get them down on the lawn to enjoy the surprise. After a few miscommunications, we solidified our plan and with the help of Barb, the owner of Madeline’s, and myself, Tree and Jon got the exit shots of a lifetime. I’m obsessed, in particular with her reaction to the fireworks.
|Bride’s Wedding Dress
|Evaline’s Bridal https://www.evalinesbridal.com
|Millennium Sound https://www.msdjs.com
|A Floral Affairhttps://afloralaffairdesigns.com/wedding
|Sterling & Strings http://www.sterlingandstrings.com
|One Chapter https://chapteronephoto.com
|Emily with Bellezza Salon
|Father Daniel Hoffman https://firstname.lastname@example.org
|Father Adam Verona http://www.rockcatholic.org
|Our Lady of the Lake Church
|Madeline’s Dining & Events
|Bridesmaid gifts: The Knot Shop
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