I have been excited about Kelly and Joe’s Normandy Farm Hotel wedding ever since their engagement shoot at the Bethlehem Steel Stacks. I knew their location would not disappoint and boy was I right. Once one of America’s largest and most prestigious private estates, Normandy Farm is now a meticulously restored American landmark and it is beautiful.
We started off with Kelly and her bridesmaids. They were sporting Mermaid Bride and Mermaid Bridesmaid tanks so we had to ask. Apparently Kelly has a love for The Little Mermaid. Maybe that’s why she chose her gorgeous mermaid style dress from Provanias. Everyone had already had their hair and makeup done by Anita M Hair Studio and looked fabulous. We set off with Kelly’s dress and shoes while they enjoyed some snacks and drinks. There were lots of great places to hang her dress…it was hard to choose! I loved her shoes too. One had Mrs. O’Brien on the bottom and the other their wedding date. Once we finished with the details, we asked everyone to get dressed. The bridesmaids wore full length coral dresses and Kelly slipped into her Provanias gown. The floral lace embroidery details were almost as stunning as Kelly. We grabbed her bouquet and started on bridal portraits. She had an amazing array of flowers in her bouquet, including lilies, hydrangeas and roses. Tied to the stems was her grandmother’s wedding ring as well as her uncle’s. The room had a large window that gave us beautiful light so we made the most of it. We finished up with Kelly and then headed upstairs to find the guys.
Joe and the groomsmen were in a suite on the other side of the hotel. They were dressed in dark gray suits with coral ties to match the bridesmaids. Joe was looking sharp in his navy tie and sneakers. Kelly’s nephew, Michael, was clearly excited to be hanging out with the guys and to be part of the day. We found a few cool spots in the hotel to get portraits of Joe and then headed outside to meet up with Joe’s family. We found a shady spot in front of the hotel for family formals. We started with Joe’s family and then sent him inside so we could bring out Kelly and her family. Then everyone retreated back inside while we went to find the ceremony location. Normandy Farm has beautifully manicured grounds and it didn’t take long to find the ceremony spot. It was simple and green and the perfect day for an outdoor ceremony. Guests were greeted with fruit-filled water and found their seats.
It wasn’t long before the seats were filled, Joe and the groomsmen were in place and we were ready to go. Kelly was escorted down the aisle by her father, Bob. The ceremony was short and sweet and I loved the part where Father told them that marriage is HARD! He got a good laugh, but he also made a good point. Marriage takes hard work, compromise and love. After the ceremony we grabbed the families for a few more formals and then sent them off to cocktail hour. We had some fun with the wedding party before releasing them also. Then it was time for the bride and groom. You could tell how at ease Kelly and Joe are with each other and how very much in love they are. They were up for anything and I loved it! My assistant thought I was crazy when I asked Joe to lift Kelly up onto a 6 ft. wall, but they were game and the results are amazing. After dodging traffic in the parking lot, we let Kelly and Joe catch the tail end of cocktail hour.
While everyone enjoyed hors devours and drinks, we snuck into the ballroom where the reception would be held. The Normandy Farm Hotel wedding reception space embodied a modern farm-chic vibe. The huge wood beams overhead were covered in white lights and the rustic hardwood dance floor gleaned. Simple and chic centerpieces included wine bottles wrapped in lace atop slabs of wood. The couple’s initials and heart-shaped fingerprints shone on the dance floor and an awesome cupcake tower was lit up in its own private space. DJ Chris Marx was getting ready for entrances while guests found their seats. Parents and the wedding party were introduced, followed by Kelly and Joe. They went right into their first dance and surprised everyone! The couple had been practicing their first dance for months and it certainly paid off. This was the best first dance I have ever seen! Once the wedding party was seated and Kelly and Joe caught their breath, the best man and maid of honor gave toasts. During dinner Kelly danced with her dad to Loved Her First by Heartland and Joe danced with his mom to Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton. Then we stole the couple away for a few minutes to catch the last bit of light for the day.
Once dinner was done, DJ Chris got the dance floor bumping! He got everyone excited for the bouquet toss, garter removal and the garter toss. After that, the couple cut their cupcake and the catering staff filled the room with tons of amazing looking desserts. The rest of the night was a party! One of the most fun moments was when the DJ played S.O.B. by Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. Apparently this is a favorite of the groom and his groomsmen because they rocked the dance floor. We grabbed Kelly and Joe one more time to go outside for night photos. As usual, they were happy to come along. I took advantage of a perfect full moon as the background for a perfectly beautiful couple.
I have to say that this was one of my favorite weddings. Kelly and Joe are so fun to be around and their joy is truly contagious. I feel honored to have spent the day with them and I know they will continue to have fun together. Congratulation Kelly and Joe! Please enjoy some highlights and slideshow below!