Sean called me from work yesterday (he was in Ohio) and told me that it was snowing! SNOWING !!
I can't believe another year come and gone so fast! Since I'm headed to Lenape today for Jayme and Dave's wedding, I thought I'd share Jessica and Jaison's wedding from Lenape last year. And it has a snowflake theme :-)
We started the morning at Jess's parents house where everyone was getting ready. Jessica's dress had the most beautiful beading that picked up all the light in the room and made little rainbows.
Jess with her Dad :-)
The ladies wore a striking shade of irredescent blue. MAMOSAS! It's a wedding morning tradition.
You can't tell from the photos, but Jess woke up with the worst head cold the day of her wedding. She took some medicine and tried to relax as much as possible before the ceremony. It was one of those chilly November saturdays where if you had nothing to do you might stay in your PJs all day. But it was a wedding day!! She was a real trooper and looked beautiful :-)
Now there are several things I have to tell you about Jaison and the groomsmen. #1 They are a seriously handsome bunch.
#2 - Jaison bears a striking resemblence to a certain hardcore celebrity.
#3 - Jaison's last name is Norris.
Look closely.....distant relative perhaps??
Their ceremony was held at Jessica's family church, Holy Martyrs. They decorated with snowflakes and tulle!
Top right and bottom left images by Anna.
Afterwards a cozy limo ride to Lenape Heights Golf Course for the reception.
Lenape has the greatest tree out back at the top of the course. It's like a Lion King tree.
The new Mr. & Mrs. Norris
I love shooting with Anna, while I was catching the image on the left, she was standing by with the spy lens to get the image on the right !
Another favorite by Anna.
Inside, the room was decorated in the irredescent blue like the girls' dresses and every table had snowflakes and ice cubes! They used images from their engagement session to decorate their chocolate bar favors - they even had an ice sculpture in the shape of a snowflake which I used for the ring shot!
Image by Anna.
First dance :-) See that bridesmaid in the right hand photo? That's Jessica's sister - she just had her first baby a beautiful little girl, and I get to meet her in a few weeks !!
Super bouquet toss just missing the chandelier!
We busted out our case of sparklers for some romantic after dark shots :-)
It won't be long now and you'll be celebrating your one year anniversary!! Congrats !
Ceremony: Holy Martyrs Catholic Church, Tarentum PA
Reception: Lenape Heights Golf Course, Ford City PA
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Just over a week till daylight savings time and it's getting p-r-e-t-t-y chilly out. We were frigid tonight doing senior pictures in the wind but it was worth it! These shots are from last fall of Tori at Saxony Farms :-) Sean was along to help me out for this session and personally tested all of the old wooden boards on the dock to make sure we wouldn't fall in! He also collected ALL of the leaves in this photo and scooped them up from the field and brought them over. It was a great location!
Tori had a perfect cloudy fall afternoon for her session. Tori brought along her toe shoes and some other great props!
Including some seriously HAUTE suede purple stilletos :-)
Ya gotta love a girl who has fantastic shoes ;-)
Soon there will be snow sessions! If you need a session before christmas, please schedule it before thanksgiving to ensure everything is back in time for christmas eve !
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Christa & Zach were married on October 3rd on that very very rainy sunday! They didn't let the rain dampen their spirits though and when it stopped and the clouds parted for just a while, you can bet were out in the field! :-)
Just one shot to tide you over until I have your gallery finished this week :-) It's been crazy busy with weddings this month but I'm steadily getting caught up!
I can't wait to show off their wedding - here's a clue to the fabulousness - if you look carefully you can see there are peacock feathers in her bouquet!
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It was very cold and rainy last October 17th when Donna and Mike tied the knot at Lingrow Farm. With the weather being seasonably chilly and light drizzle falling, everyone had already rehearsed the indoor plan the night before. The upper deck of the barn at Lingrow is closed in with clear vinyl in the winter months and they have large space heaters that keep guests toasty whether they are there just for dinner or if you choose to host your ceremony on the porch!
I had a triple threat dream team with me that day including Anna Laero (now Salyers!) and Sandy Yetter - we were sooo covering the whole day from every possible angle. We found Donna and the ladies in the carriage house and Donna was so excited that she had already put her dress on even before we arrived! She was multitasking with a cell phone in each hand!
We took advantage of a rare moment of no rain to get the girls outside before the ceremony for a few quick shots - they were doing a pretty good job of pretending they weren't cold!
All too soon, the guests had all arrived and it was time to start! Donna's Dad walked her up the stairs and through the double doors while Mike waited for her with a big smile at the end of the aisle.
There was a hysterical moment during the ceremony - everything was going smoothly - guests were snuggled together in their seats, the lighting was soft and warm, the couple recited beautiful vows and made lifelong promises to each other. Everything was going smoothly - and then when Donna and Mike went to present their mother's each with a rose, one of Donna's totally haute high heels got wedged in a crack betweek the floorboards of the barn. And she was stuck. She tried to keep her composure and wiggle it loose, but it wouldn't budge. Mike's Dad, being an excellent new father-in-law, knelt down to help her. Now everyone was watching. After a few minutes of strained effort, even he couldn't get her shoe to come loose. Then Donna broke down into giggles and everyone in the audience joined in with laughter. Mike's Dad unbuckled her shoe so she could step out of it and then he proceeded to pull on the shoe with all of his might. And it still wouldn't move. By now everyone was in hysterics. Finally with a great heave the shoe came loose, and off balance he toppled over nearly backwards. That was it, the tension in the room was totally broken and when everyone finally composed themselves they were all wearing a huge grin. Mr. Ward replaced Donna's shoe on her foot and they finished the ceremony. It made for a great memory and a great laugh :-D
They went on to exchange rings and light a unity candle.
Top right image by Anna. Left top and left bottom images by Sandy.
Ring shot on a maple leaf.
The families and wedding party braved the freezing temperature to duck out for some photos by the lake. Anna caught some great candid moments while I ran through the list of family formals. We loved their acorn boutonnieres.
Group shots on the deck - the smiles are bigger when they are standing next to the heaters!
The barn sparkled and glowed with pumpkin colored silk napkins and silver jack-o-lantern centerpieces.
Now I have to talk about the food. You all know my deep deep love of food :-) Donna and Mike asked The SpringHouse market to cater their wedding dinner and it was so.perfect. They had Thanksgiving dinner. Roasted turkey and sweet ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, vegetables, and all different kinds of pies. But the best part that really sent me off the food-love deep end was that SpringHouse market is not only a caterer and a farmers market, but also a dairy. They make and bottle their own chocolate milk! They had big metal washtubs filled with ice, sweet chocolate milk in resealable bottles, and straws. HEAVEN :-) Everyone has cookies at their wedding but no one ever remembered the milk until now! Please look closely at their cake topper, it will set the tone and prepare for things to come later in this post.
After dinner it was time for a classy first dance :-) Donna and Mike also decided to put a little spin on the hold "everyone keep clinking your glasses until they kiss" routine. At each place setting was a card explaining that all the glass clinking in the world would do no good, that if you wanted to see a good newlywed kiss - you and your table had to all stand up and sing a song together that contained the word 'love'. This worked so well and was so fun that Anna used the same concept for her wedding last month! Center image by Anna.
They cut the cake and answered the age old question, to smash or not to smash? They chose to smash in front of a cheering crowd. Top right image by Anna.
**** WARNING **** THE FOLLOWING IMAGES MAY BE TOO HOT TO HANDLE !
Ok, you were warned. I just hope you can handle the passion.
Since it was still raining and there's only so much you can do for photos under an umbrella, we explored the front porch of the farmhouse where Donna and Mike were brave enough to work the camera resulting in this shot that I LOVE.
Meanwhile Sandy was capturing this KILLER detail shot!
Hiding out under the overhang on the carriage house. The leaves were so pretty, they were just so far away!!
Top right image by Sandy.
The light was growing dim so we headed back to the barn for dancing. Doesn't it look like the perfect evening to snuggle inside and eat turkey dinner? It was.
*** WARNING AGAIN ***
Remember when I said to look closely at the cake topper? Well before the night was over Donna and Mike wanted to attempt to reenact the cake topper scene as well as have it in the photo. It came out perfect, no photoshop necessary!
All the seriousness aside and back to outrageous fun - Donna's single lady friends showed off a stunning display of grace and athleticism during the throwing of the bouquet! Image by Anna.
It was all dancing from there. Don't you just love it when "that guy" comes to a wedding? He's a different guy everytime, but he's "that guy". I love that guy :-)
Congratulations on your one year anniversary!!! Hope you're loving every minute :-D
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Lingrow Farm
Catering Services: The SpringHouse Catering, Eighty-Four, PA
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It's here! This is it! The beginning of the peak of the fall colors here in western PA! This shot is from Kelley and David's wedding LAST october in Freeport. How great are those leaves?
There's actually a hilarious story behind this photo. Kelley's parents live near here and so while the wedding party took cover from a chilly rain shower at their house, Anna and I scouted the area for a perfect photo spot. We followed a narrow fisherman's trail down over the muddy river bank heading towards the waters edge. Unfortunately our standard wedding wear (dress blacks and black flats) is far from LL Bean. I slid on the mud and wet grass in my flat bottom shoes, arms windmilling wildly. At the last minute I made sure the arm holding the camera was pointed towards the sky and I majorly biffed it into the ground and then slid on my left thigh through the mud. Luckily the camera gear never made contact with anything and was fine. Mostly just my pride was injured along with a bruised knee. The worst part was having to wear dried mud all down my left side for the rest of the night. I learned to pack extra clothes in the car after that wedding!! The best part was that when we did make it down to the water, we found a perfectly level mowed grass path just a few feet downstream. That was the way we decided to have Kelley and David get to the creek for this shot. If only I'd seen it first - I would have saved myself the bruises and embarassment!
I wil be out of town and away from email and phone communication this weekend. I apologize for any response delays, I will be back in the office on monday! Also congratulations to Carol and Mark who were married 2 weeks ago and have just returned from their honeymoon in Mt. Zion - Congratulations to Christa and Zach married the next day on the rainy sunday who should be returning from their honeymoon any day now - Congratulations to Kari and Andrew who at the last minute had to cancel their honeymoon to be able to close on their new house 2 days before their wedding I hope you are enjoying your staycation :-) Also Congratulations to Laura and Sam married the next day who are on their honeymoon with their iPad, beware the Irish Mist !!
To those of you not on your honeymoons this weekend, get out and hike, take pictures, bake an appple, carve a pumpkin !
Also - big BIG shout out to the state of Colorado !!!!!!
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Since it's been a back to back to back quadruple wedding double weekend, I haven't sat down to write my planning post for this week. We just got finished with 5 solid days of rain in PA and now the sun is back out again. That brings up the question, what do you do if it rains on your wedding day? Everyone tells you it's good luck - and maybe it is - but I think that's just what people say because they want to make you feel better. What is lucky though is that if DOES rain on your wedding day - do it anyway! Accept the weather as it is and embrace it. Some of the BEST photos we've taken have been in the WORST weather!
I wanted to share this wedding with you from Sept. 09 out of the never-blogged-files. Kate and Mark were married at Green Gables in Stahlstown, PA. I attended their rehearsal to get a feel for the venue and the weather was gorgeous that day! This is where their outdoor ceremony was supposed to take place on the lawn by the lake under towering pines.
Just to shed a little spotlight on Green Gables, it truly is a one of a kind venue. They specialize in intimate weddings and afternoon gatherings. Kate and Mark's wedding was a mid day event with lunch instead of dinner! The building itself is an old stone and beam structure with the largest room having the roof supported by tree trunks. There is an area along a wall of windows that is built over top of the creek with beautiful views. The grounds feature a stone patio, trees and paths, a lake and more! If you are looking for the perfect spot for an intimate vintage or mountain wedding - this could be it ! They are open during the warm weather months of the year and have tons of great photo spots.
When we arrived at Green Gables the morning of the wedding, it was raining. Steadily. It had already been raining for hours. Kate was upstairs getting ready with her girls. Julie from Pittsburgh Makeup was on hand with her tool chest to help everyone look their best.
Kate specially chose the music for the ceremony - Thomas Newman's Meet Joe Black Soundtrack. Click the widget to listen. You'll see why I told Anna that with the rain and the candles if they kept playing that song I really was going to cry :-)
Kate was stunning, her dress looked like it had been made just for her.
First the steady rain ruled out the ceremony on the lawn since it was saturated so they hoped to be on the stone patio. However, fifteen minutes before the ceremony time - it was still raining steadily. We kept checking the radar on their office computer and it was showing rain for the next few hours. The ceremony was moved indoors into the reception area which turned out to be the best thing that could have happened!
The room was perfect, dimly lit by candles and skylights, it was warm and intimate and made for the perfect ceremony.
Image by Anna.
Kate and Mark stood in front of the huge window while the rain tapped on the roof and ran down the glass.
See what I mean??
I know you're thinking, "but how do you get outdoor pictures, amanda?" You get resourceful, you get creative, and somebody gets wet. Usually me! But I don't mind ;-) See these shots in front of the big glass window? There was an overhang at the edge of the building that kep the last 5 inches next to the building dry - you can see it if you look closely at the groomsman's foot in the top right photo. Everyone had to come outside and slide along the wall like they were scaling a ledge on a cliff and then hid inside that 5 inches of dry. Anna and I were huddled under a golf umbrella out in the rain shooting back at them!
When it was time to get shots of the just Kate and Mark, we took the umbrella - it was the only one in my car - and turned out to be the biggest one we had so I gave it to the bride and groom. Unfortunately it was rainbow colored. And it had a broken wing. But it made for some comedy :-) Kate held her dress up and Marked helped her across the lawn to the next building. ** Incidentally, it's a good idea to get some cool matching or coordinating umbrellas if you are passionate about outdoor photos and don't mind the rain. That way they become cool props in the event of inclement weather....or we will just use whatever is in my car. Da da dun !!
This shot was literally the fires of creativity at work - we found a fireplace behind the next building which was the mountain playhouse and decided that a fire would be a perfect backdrop. Luckily there was wood and some cardboard sitting nearby and we were able to get it going. It is my FAVORITE shot from their whole wedding and I can honestly say we would never have ever even thought to attempt it if it had been a nice sunny day. You've heard that necessity is the mother of invention - well inclement weather is the mother of resourcefulness - thinking outside the box and under an overhang - and awesome images. I couldn't believe my luck at finding a fireplace. (THANK YOU DAD for all of those campfire building lessons when I was kid - you're right - it will save my life one day ;-) We stoked up the fire, started shooting, and I. felt. like. a. rockstar.
More cool spots under the overhang using the floodlights for mood lighting.
Kate was so beautiful -
- and she and Mark go together like honey, so sweet :-)
Some of the details of the reception, she carried cala lillies and there were fresh flowers in the centerpiece. The room was glowing with candles and a live band played on the small stage. Their placecard/favors were small boxes of chocolates decorated with a fall leaf, but their cake topper was the best.
Some dancing a bouquet toss action - images by Anna.
While the front of the cake topper was a bride and groom standing innocently on top of three tiers of icing, the back was a whole different story and we couldn't resist spoofing it with a little reenactment.
Even though it rained, the rain only made the day better! Kate and Mark have celebrated their one year anniversary and are now in their new house! Here's to many more years of happiness :-)
Ceremony/Reception/Catering: Green Gables, Stahlstown, PA
MakeUp Artist: Pittsburgh Makeup
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Already it's October. I feel like yesterday it was February. The years really do start moving fast. I remember when I was a kid that summer vacation used to last F-O-R-E-V-E-R. Just days and days of warm sun and no school that never seemed to end. By the time September rolled around it seemed like a century since you'd last seen school mates and ridden the bus - like it was a very distant memory. Now it seems like summer went by in a blink. And although we did a ton of summer weddings and sessions, camped out, went fishing, watched the sun go down, made smores, etc - these memories don't seem to get as deep into your mind as the ones we made when we were kids. Maybe because the time seemed to move so much slower then, stuff had more time to sink in?
Yesterday I woke up in the fall state of mind. It was drizzly and rainy all day, kinda chilly. I made whole pot of chicken soup from scratch yesterday - raw chicken in a pot with broth for 5 hours until it's cooked and the whole house smells delicious. Add veggies and noodles...mmm. Also made a pie and a loaf of beer bread. All good stuff that can be put on to cook and then I can sit and smell it while I'm editing photos. So much editing. I've got 2
The October calendar shot is from a one lane road near home that sometimes is a dirt road and some years is paved - just to go back to a dirt road again. The trees are changing their leaves and the cornstalks are drying out in the fields.
This weekend is the Delmont Apple Festival <----- click for link) If you are anywhere near the area - DO NOT MISS IT! Delicious food, crafts, outdoor musicians, antique tractors, but the main event - is the apple cider press. It's in a big old wooden building and they fire it up every year for 2 days. You can stand and watch it squeezing the apples and filling the jugs and then buy them right after they're capped. It's the best stuff you'll ever taste in your life. There's also apple butter, apples by the bushel and bag, apple pie. If you go - the number one tasty treat is the Hot Apple Dumplings. You have to get the ones from the wooden booth on the corner made by the church ladies. Other stands sell apple dumplings, but the church lady apple dumplings are the best. You can get them hot with cinnamon sauce or with vanilla ice cream.
Happy weekend everybody :-)
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