Lena and Cole held their ceremony at St. Margaret Mary church in Lower Burrell. The weather was warm and everyone was in good spirits - the girls said a quick prayer after they stepped off the elevator, Jeff (Lena's Dad) gave the ring bearers a pep talk, and then they all lined up for the procession.
Beautiful 'backstage' images by Anna.
Lena was all smiles - even if the rest of us were emotional.
The church was bright and beautiful - I loved that they asked the wedding party to stand facing the congregation. Normally we only see the sides or backs of everyone's heads - this was great!
They exchanged their vows and left the church through a cloud of bubbles. FYI - if you are doing bubbles for your ceremony exit get the big bottles like these. The little tubes just don't do the trick. These bubbles were AWESOME!
Please indulge me in my attempt at being informative and humorous at the same time.
And now - I wanted to say THANK YOU to all the guests at Lena & Cole's wedding because they were great! And also talk about photo etiquette at other people's weddings. You'll see this is in the form of a football diagram. The green zone is a good place to be while taking pictures as a guest of a wedding ceremony. You can see all the guests here are AWESOME and made my job easier! You will also notice the yellow zone - it is not cool to jump out in the aisle to take pictures during someone else's wedding. I'm all about guests taking photos! But - this is my job - I'm at work here. Church guidelines dictate that the photographer needs to be stationed at the back of the aisle behind the guests. We do this out of respect for the service AND so we can respectfully not block the guests' view. So this is my shot - try to imagine if Uncle Bob or your mailman picked a moment to jump out and get that perfect shot - such as exchanging the rings or worse - the kiss! When this happens, we can't even see the bride and groom up there! I can't tell you how many times I've seen a really beautiful moment pass by and we missed it because instead of seeing the bride's father lean in to give her away - we had a great shot of Uncle Bob's good side while he crouched down to take his picture. During a ceremony, moments happen one time in a fleeting second and they're gone. We're working hard to capture as many as possible because I know how precious a memory can be. Next time you are at a wedding, remember - friends don't let friends whammy other people's photos.
Stay out of the yellow zone ;-)
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We haven't seen a wedding on this blog recently, have we? Just a short quick post to get the ball rolling again towards getting caught up! (We've had a family medical crisis for the past 2 weeks and have been very busy trying to get everything and everyone taken care of.)
Back to the good stuff - Lena and Cole were married way way back in August last year. I met Lena at her family's house after her hair appointment on the morning of. It was very sweet, her mom helped her with her make up and getting everything ready to go to the church while she sat on her bed in her little girl bedroom surrounded by her childhood memories.
Lena met the bridesmaids at the church where they all got dressed.
Lena's dress was amazing - possibly my favorite of the year. Anna and I were swooning over the delicate applique leaves and vines that trailed down the back of the train.
Lacing up this gown was no small task! Later - when it was time to bustle it was all hands on deck.
When the girls have to start at 8 a.m. get ready with hair and make up and then an hour or so to get dressed - some people wonder - what are the guys doing? The guys have it easy - they just have to shower and put on the rental tux and someone pins their boutonierre. Girl prep = 3-6 hours. Guy prep = 13 - 16 minutes. (Or 3-6 commercial breaks ;-)
Next post - the ceremony and sunset on the golf course!
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On another snowy february afternoon, we made our second attempt to get out and get some engagement photos of Derek and Kim. Sean and Derek were friends in high school and now he's getting married! (I guess we are too..!) Our first attempt was saturday February sixth A-K-A Snowmageddon Day 1. Kim was stranded in Freeport, and Derek was stuck in Vandergrift and Sean and I were trapped in the driveway. We decided to reschedule.
The second time around went much better! We met them near Kim's parent's home and they led the way to a train bridge over the river. An active train bridge.... hopefully posting these photos will not lead to criminal charges. We discussed the possibility of a train coming but felt it was unlikely. And the structure was just so cool.
We weren't on the bridge FIVE MINUTES and the little hairs on the back of my neck stood up and I got that funny feeling. Then I realized the wind sounded different. I turned around to see Sean behind me kneeling down with his hand on the rail. Sure enough - there was a train coming. We made a run for it and got safely off the side of the tracks into the woods.
Seriously, what are the odds?
"The closer you are to danger, the farther you are from harm." I remember that from a movie... it might have been from the gene wilder Willy Wonka. Or space balls.... ? Since a train just went passed we felt safe that another one wouldn't be along for at least half an hour and went right back to shooting.
I like Derek's smile in this one :-) I just got done yelling at him here to stop looking at the camera - especially when he's kissing Kim! "Ok cool if you two want to kiss, go for it - good good DEREK STOP LOOKING AT THE CAMERA! LOOK ANYWHERE ELSE - LOOK DOWN - SHUT YOUR EYES - ANYWHERE!"
Definitely one of my favorites.
Back in town and at a safe distance from trains, we hung out in front of the old storefronts.
One street in town is lined with cherry trees, these are last year's fruit. In about 4 weeks these will be covered pink flowers. Come on spring. :-)
It was great spending the afternoon with you guys! I can't wait for the wedding!
August 7th - Armstrong Farms - stay tuned!
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Who says snow days can't be fun? This was a fun session from last month during the big snowmageddon. You might recognize Bethany and Chad - they were married in October 2008 and we were there too !!! Recently they moved into a new house and wanted to take some pictures to commemorate.
We started out inside where it was warm :-)
Gavin showed me his new room with his plane and his telescope and his fish !
Then we bundled up and headed out into the yard to play in the snow. Gavin has a very cool snowball maker...
A very COLD family portrait with Danny the dog. It was super sunny that day and the glare off the ice was blinding!
Danny the dog guarding the bench.
Everyone worked together to make a snow man.
When fingers and toes were frozen, it was time to go back inside for hot chocolate. Thanks for letting me spend the afternoon with you guys, it was great!!
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I'm so excited to finally post these! Back in October my friend Sandy called to say she was shooting a wedding at Phipps Conservatory and wanted to know if I'd like to come along. Of course I said yes - how do you say no to a beautiful couple in a gorgeous setting and spending the day working with (and carrying on high ;-) with a good friend?
Sad to say it was not a pleasant sunny day, instead it was grey, chilly, and raining steadily when I pulled up to Phipps and met Sandy by the front door. Poor Bradley was out in the rain under and umbrella waiting for his bride to arrive. I thought in light of the rain that we'd move photos inside to the beautiful gardens that were under a roof and discovered that when you have your wedding at Phipps you are not allowed to be inside the building for any reason until fifteen minutes before your ceremony. Even if you are standing outside in the pouring rain in your wedding dress, they will not let you in.
I didn't think that was very neighborly. But we resolved to make the best of it.
Sandy stayed with Bradley at the front entrance and I went around the side to meet Jenny. I grabbed just a couple quick shots after she got out of the car. I loved her veil.
Hiding out under the only overhang we could find - luckily makes for good photos!
Once we had regrouped, I walked with Jenny to the top of the stairs where she and Bradley had decided to do a First Look and see eachother before the ceremony. I LOVE IT when couples do this :-) Sean and I plan on doing it too when we get married. I stood at the top shooting Bradley while Sandy stood at the bottom shooting Jenny and then when their umbrellas met Sandy had the better angle ;-) Darn that rain. To see more photos of the big moment check out Sandy's Blog.
We spent some time outside (since Phipps wouldn't let us in) shooting some bride & groom photos in the rain.
Can you see the raindrops? :-)
Since they had planned in lots of photo time before the ceremony and agreed to do a First Look, we had lots of options for photos and decided to explore across the street where the trail goes through Panther Hollow Bridge. I know I say it all the time but they had the magic formula: Lots of time for photos + trust in your photographer(s) = AMAZING images. I didn't even mind the rain.
With the rain picking up again, we hid out underneath the arched bridge and Jenny was working it with the grafitti. I hope with enough time on the ellyptical that one day I can have legs this hot! Her garter was exquisite.
Love this one too.
Since the ceremony time was approaching we were finally going to be allowed inside!
We headed back up the path towards Phipps. So romantic.
The Broderie Room was beautiful - a bright and colorful contrast of pinks and bright greens and purples. Very different from the fall colors outside. Live musicians played while guests were seated. That's the ringbearer in the top left. He had the sweetest little grin.
Their ceremony was intimate with about 25 guests in attendance. They exchanged rings at the bottom of the steps. Sandy is out there hiding in the garden - she is like a ninja - you will never spot her. I crouched behind the wishing well and we communicated with silent eyelash signals when to silently duck out of eachother's shots.
Just a few details from Phipps. There was a glass exhibit on display at the time.
Just a simple water color-esque ring shot. It reminds me of the rainy day.
After the ceremony we headed over to Regent Square to Legume. A place of outrageous delight. If you love food - I mean not like it a lot, but LOVE food - you need to get off the computer right now and start looking up this restaurant for dinner this week. I nearly injured myself by overeating their delicious meal.
The tables were decorated with small birdhouses for placecards and favors and they had a wishing tree where guests could answer prompted questions that had been written on the leaves.
Legume was clean and bright and homey and smelled delicious. Everyone was content to eat, drink, and be married.
And now I will tell you about the meal that was nearly the end of me. Food so scrumptious. MMMmm. The way that Legume works: each day the menu is different and is not chosen until that day based upon what fresh organic ingredients are available that morning. It's freshness you see, smell, and taste. Guests could choose one first course, I had celeriac with pears and walnuts. I had never had celeriac before and it was delicious. It made you think of a root vegetable cooked till slightly soft with a cool sweet sauce, pears, and candied walnuts on top for a little crunch.
Then the main course - I picked chicken cooked under a skillet. It came out resting comfortably on a bed of mashed potatoes with no fewer than 7 cloves of delicious garlic scattered around and under it. Even the parsley seemed to be reclining on top saying - you know I look divine. After the fruits and cheeses and breads for appetizer followed by the celeriac I was at my normal level of fullness. But this was the best (and biggest) chicken I'd ever encountered. The thought of leaving any of it behind seemed sacreligous. So I unhinged my jaw like a python and proceeded to eat almost the entire chicken and all of the mashed potatoes and few of the brussel sprouts. Then we circled the room shooting more photos.
Dessert was coming. You got to pick from three options just like the other courses. Molten choc cake, lemon and raspberry panna cotta, or apple crisp. I was on to them by now - they chose exceptional ingredients and took simple recipes and made them profound. I was beyond stuffed. But I chose the apple crisp because I wanted to see what the Legume version of apple crisp would be. O. Lord. You can ask Sandy, when it arrived I actually got a little tear in my eye. Tart, sweet, with crunchy oatmeal cinnamonybrownsugary goodness with real fresh whipped cream on top. I was far past stuffed and took a few bites. By this time feeling good was well on its way to feeling uncomfortable. And I did feel like the python that eats the antelope and then wanders around for a week with that huge bulge in its belly. I ate just over half of it and then my stomach informed me to stop immediately or there would be consequences.
Then the server came by and asked if I would like a box. My eyes went wide. A BOX? YOU CAN GET A BOX? You never get the option to box up and take home food from a reception. That's exactly why I ate so much because I couldn't imagine such special and perfect food going to waste! HAD I KNOWN I COULD GET A BOX - I would not have attempted to eat AN ENTIRE CHICKEN. But ohhhh it was good.
Jenny and Bradley chose a special panna cotta for their wedding "cake" and cut it together.
By the end of the night I was ready to go - (and desperately needed some air since all that food was probably compressing my lungs.) We left them at the restaurant after which they were going out dancing!
Congratulations Jenny & Bradley! I hope you've been enjoying lots of wedded bliss!!
Reception: Legume Bistro
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March - or so it should be ? Not here in PA - we just got another 5 inches over the weekend.
Normally - this is what the end of March looks like - here's to hoping!
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