Hannah and Erik’s French Creek Golf Club wedding was simply elegant and fantastically fun! We started the day at the Hilton Garden Inn where everyone was getting ready. Hannah and her bridesmaids were relaxing, listening to music and joking around when we arrived. They all had t-shirts on that said “after this we’re getting pizza”…I could tell they were going to be a fun group. Rachel Carbrey from Salon Nova had done the ladies makeup and Alyssa Gallen did their hair; they looked gorgeous! I started with the dress, shoes and other details. The bridesmaids’ sequin rose gold gowns made the perfect backdrop for my ring shot! Hannah would be getting ready at the venue so I got a few shots of the girls in their t-shirts before heading to meet the guys. Erik and his groomsmen were getting ready in a separate room at the hotel. They were looking very stylish in their navy blue tuxes and all very excited about their Penn State University socks. After a few portraits of Erik, I had him open his gift from Hannah. A very fetching rose gold watch; do you see a trend starting?
We arrived at the French Creek Golf Club wedding venue and found Hannah, her mom and sister in the bridal suite. While the ladies enjoyed a snack, we took Hannah’s Casablanca gown outside. The fit and flare gown made of beaded lace appliqués on Chantilly lace over soft tulle featured a sweetheart neckline and cap sleeves. It looked amazing hanging on the door of the beautiful cottage next to the pond. It was time for Hannah to get dressed so we figured we better return her dress. We stepped out of the bridal suite, along with the videographer from Abominable Productions, so Hannah could get dressed. When we stepped back in, she looked stunning. Hannah’s mom then helped put her veil in. The cathedral length veil was nearly 100 years old! Hannah was the 6th person in her family to wear it and the first wore it on the very same day (August 19th) in 1930. Once all of her jewelry was on, we asked Hannah to open her gift from Erik. He had a wooden box engraved with their names and wedding date and inside it were tons of love letters. He took the time to write letters for different times in their lives; she would continue to discover this gift for years to come. He also surprised Hannah with tickets to Frozen the musical. You see, Erik proposed during the movie Frozen! We then grabbed her bouquet from Flourish Flowers so we could get started on portraits. Hannah was excited to see a sweet surprise from the florist…a charm with the couple’s initials and wedding date. The bridal suite had beautiful light so it was great to work in. When we finished we brought Hannah’s dad in to see her and then the rest of the bridesmaids in and they all gushed over Hannah.
I found Erik in the groom’s suite and took him out to the courtyard to get ready for the couple’s first look. Hannah approached Erik from behind and they both looked ecstatic when they saw each other. Then we brought out Nala, the couples’ dog. My assistant, Katie, was so excited to work with a dog! She used treats and lots of praise to get Nala’s attention and I think it worked pretty great. After that we used the beautiful historic spring house and pond for portraits. The options were endless as the scenery was so lovely. I just adore the photo of Hannah and Erik across the pond with that antique veil flying in the wind. Next it was time to get the wedding party outside for group shots. We started with the full group in front of the barn, and then moved on to Hannah and her bridesmaids. Once finished, we sent them inside to relax before the ceremony. When it was the guys turn, they had lots of ideas. They were very excited to throw around the PSU football so I could get some action shots. My assistant even made a pretty great catch from the groom so I could capture him throwing a perfect spiral!
While we waited for ceremony time, I grabbed some detail shots of the French Creek Golf Club wedding reception space. The tables had white tablecloths with rose gold vases filled with baby’s breath and rose gold votives surrounding them. There was a rose gold piñata guest book for guests to leave notes and advice for the newlyweds. And I absolutely loved the copper mug favors that doubled as place cards. We head outside to the ceremony site when guests started to arrive. Hannah and Erik had a wine box ceremony where they locked a bottle of wine and love letters to each other in a wooden box. The box is to be opened on their 5th anniversary or if they are going through a hard time. After the ceremony we gathered the families for photos and then set off to cocktail hour. Guests enjoyed hors’ d’oeuvres and the signature drink, Moscow Mule, on the all-weather stone terrace room with candle-lit fireplace.
After cocktail hour the guests slowly made their way into the elegant ballroom. After the wedding party entrances, Hannah and Erik went right into their first dance to “Love is an Open Door” from the movie Frozen. They were so cute singing the parts to each other and having a ball. After Hannah danced with her father and Erik with his mother, it was time for toasts. Hannah’s dad started the night, followed by her sister and maid of honor who spoke of how the couple met in chemistry class in high school. Then the best man challenged Erik to make a free throw right on the dance floor in front of everyone and he made it! Now that’s something I haven’t seen at a wedding before. Erik’s dad closed out the toasts by announcing the winners of the golf outing earlier that day.
Dinner ended and the real fun was about to begin. We see lots of bands and DJs at weddings, but this was our very first dueling piano. The Philly Keys were awesome! The duo brought all the fun and good vibes of the dueling piano mentality such as song requests, sing alongs, crowd participation, and great musicianship. The crowd loved it and so did I. We practically had to tear Hannah and Erik away from the dance floor to cut their cake. The four-tiered Master’s Baker creation featured a rose gold silhouette of a bride, groom and their dog on top. After cutting the cake, Hannah threw her bouquet; Erik retrieved the garter and then put it on his Penn State football before throwing it out to the single guys. Then it was right back to singing, dancing and fun for the rest of the night.
Thank you Hannah and Erik for choosing me to photograph your French Creek Golf Club wedding day; it was truly such a unique celebration and I enjoyed every minute of it. Please enjoy the highlights and slideshow below.