Posted on January 29, 2018
Madeline and Maxwell’s Cairnwood Estate wedding was a snowy day adventure! When I picked my assistant, Katie, up at 7:30am on a snowy Saturday morning we both just smiled. The forecast did not call for that much snow, but we knew it would make for a picturesque day for Maddie and Max.
As we pulled onto the grounds of Cairnwood Estates, we were in awe. Created as an elegant sanctuary and private estate for 19th Century industrialist John Pitcairn; Cairnwood is an architectural masterpiece from the Gilded Age complete with lush gardens and grounds. We started in the Bridal Suite where Maddie, her mom and bridesmaids were getting ready. The team from Daneene Jensen and Associates was busily working on hair and makeup, so we grabbed Maddie’s gown and went to explore the mansion. Each room was unique, boasting incredible historic detail. There were so many areas that I couldn’t wait to shoot. After finishing up details, we asked Maddie’s mom and bridesmaids to get dressed. The bridesmaids wore striking red gowns and her mother looked just as great in her navy, lace gown. Next Maddie got into her gown and everyone lit up. She looked stunning! We grabbed her bouquet from An Enchanted Florist and took her for a walk for portraits. One of my favorite spots was the landing of the grand staircase where the window seat overlooks the grounds. The photo of Maddie gazing out that window at the snow-filled grounds is so elegant and classic; I just love it.
We then went back out into the snow to meet Max and the guys at the Bryn Athyn Cathedral located just down the road. This building was magnificent. Construction of this masterpiece began in 1913 and lasted for decades. We found Max waiting in the library in his Navy full dress white uniform. After a few portraits, we went to find his groomsmen and fellow Submariners. We took them outside for a few photos and they only complained a little about the cold. We then went inside to warm up and get ready for the ceremony. The hand-blown glass windows of the Cathedral looked breath-taking as Maddie’s father walked her down the aisle. Maddie and Max exchanged vows and a kiss in front of family and friends before heading back down the aisle to sign their names in the Bryn Athyn Cathedral book of records. Next came my favorite part of the day; the Arch of Swords. The tradition demonstrates a pledge of fidelity from the military to the new couple. Eight of Max’s fellow service men performed the custom as the couple exited the church. Maddie and Max passed under each arch, but only after following all commands given. As they reached the end of the Arch of Swords, the last two Submariners announced the couple and welcomed Maddie with a swat on the behind and a “Welcome to the Nuke Navy, ma’am!” Guests then head off to the Cairnwood Estate main house for cocktail hour. The bridal party was happy to endure the cold temperatures for group shots, before we took the newlyweds off for couple portraits. After exploring the Cathedral and its grounds during portraits, we head up to catch the end of cocktail hour.
Upon entering the main house and location of the Cairnwood Estate wedding venue, guests were greeted into the great hall with a ceiling two stories high, a massive carved stone fireplace and beautiful holiday décor. Guests enjoyed passed hors’ d’oeuvres from Feastivities and indulged in custom cocktails at the bloody mary and mimosa bars set up in the library. Maddie and Max enjoyed a few moments alone upstairs in the bridal suite when they arrived. When it was time for entrances, Jon and Joel from Jon Ardito Entertainment, brought the parents, bridal party and then the bride and groom down the stately staircase. Maddie and Max went right into their first dance to “Lucky” by Jason Mraz. The couple wowed guests with their graceful dance. Maddie’s father welcomed everyone, before handing it over to the maid of honor and best men for toasts. Brunch was then served in the dining and billiard rooms.
After the meal, guests were lured back into the living room where the dance floor was ready for action. DJ Joel had a daytime dance party, complete with a little swing dancing, going in no time. Maddie enjoyed a dance with her father and Max one with his mom. Then the couple enjoyed another military tradition where the bride and groom cut their wedding cake with a ceremonial military sword. Max presented the sword to Maddie and together they cut into the beautiful cake from Bredenbeck’s Bakery. More dancing and merriment endured the rest of the day. Before we left, Maddie and Max were willing to truck through many inches of snow to the front garden to get their photo with the historic Cairnwood Estate behind them. This photo really captures the essence of their day. Please enjoy the highlights and slideshow below.
Posted on January 18, 2018
Gina and Michael’s Desmond Hotel wedding fell on a cold and rainy Christmas weekend. The day was all about their nearest and dearest. They made sure that their children and grandchildren each had a roll in the occasion. The weather did not get them down at all. They were giddy with excitement the entire day. The rain even let up during the exact right times so that we could make it outside for portraits. This was particularly great as it got dark and the Christmas lights outside the Desmond were turned on. Gina and Michael made sure that their guests had an amazing time, complete with dancing led by DJ Jeff from Silver Sound DJ’s, and a caricaturist during cocktail hour. The elaborate dessert display by the Desmond Hotel truly topped off the evening. It was an honor to be a part of such a special and heart felt occasion. Thank you, Gina and Michael, for allowing me to capture your memories.
Thank you vendors!
Cake- Master’s Baker
Hair and makeup- Stephanie Karynik, Marty Zegstroo
Dress- Melissa Sweet
Flowers- Blue Moon Florist
Posted on December 28, 2017
Sarah and Daniel’s Chester county wedding day was full of joy and surprises! We started out at Sarah’s parents’ house where the girls, along with Sarah’s dog Macy were getting ready. The energy was light and fun. The hair and makeup team from Fabrizio Salon were putting final touches on the girls. The house was all decorated for Christmas which make for some great backdrops for photos. I also loved having festive small details to include with my ring and invitation shots. We took some photos of all the bridesmaids in a bedroom. Even Macy joined in on the fun! Sarah got dressed and looked gorgeous in her backless gown.
We then headed over to the Hilton Garden Inn in Kennett Square where the guys were putting on their final touches. Daniel was obviously extremely excited for the fun to start. We took a few quick photos here and then headed over to the church.
When arrived at Westminster Presbyterian Church in West Chester just a few minutes ahead of the bridal party. The church was fully decorated for Christmas and I knew it was going to be a gorgeous ceremony. Once the bride and groom arrived, I set up for their first look. Sarah and Daniel decided to do a first look to make sure that most of their photos were done before their ceremony. This was a smart decision, as their ceremony was taking place after sunset. Sarah and Daniel saw each other for the first time in the courtyard at Westminster. The stone facade of the church provided the perfect backdrop for a Chester county wedding. Daniel was giddy with excitement. We gave them a few moments to themselves before taking family and bridal party photos.
We then took Sarah and Daniel for a little walk for their portraits. Sarah had scoped out a pretty path across the street. This was perfect! There was even a small pond which made for some nice reflection shots. Sarah and Daniel were relaxed and natural together for their photos. They were great to work together.
The ceremony got underway with the church perfectly lit with Christmas lights. Sarah’s very talented bridesmaids even performed during the ceremony, one was a singer, and one played the french horn. After their sweet vows, they sealed the moment with a kiss, and Daniel even gave a fist pump. One of my favorite moments came next. Because it was already dark, Sarah and Daniel decided to have a sparkler exit from the church. These are some of my favorite photos of the day.
We then headed to Loch Nairn Golf Club in Avondale, Pennsylvania. The Great Room looked very festive with long tables and white floral arrangements from Le Style 25. During cocktail hour, we took some time for some lovely night photos with Sarah and Daniel. It was nice to get these done early on in the night. After cocktail hour came the bridal party entrances and Sarah and Daniel’s first dance. As they were going to sit down, DJ Binh from SilverSound Djs announced that Daniel had a surprise in the works. A keyboard was brought out and Daniel sang a song to Sarah that he had prepared. I think the entire room was in tears. It was very sweet. The tears kept flowing as Sarah’s dad gave a memorable toast, followed by the best man and maid of honor.
After dinner and cake cutting, DJ Bihn had the dance floor packed! I loved these photos from the end of the night. Katie and I had such a great day with Sarah and Daniel and their families. It was truly an honor to capture their amazing moments. Please enjoy the photos and slideshow below. Planning a Chester county wedding? Please contact me to capture your day!
Posted on December 20, 2017
A dreary day was no match for the love that lit up Valerie and Thomas’ Loch Nairn wedding.
We met Valerie and her bridesmaids at Shear Satisfaction where they had just finished up hair and makeup. We then head over to Loch Nairn to finish getting ready. The girls all wore plaid flannel shirts with their initials embroidered on them and they took a few minutes to grab a snack before getting dressed. I took some time to photograph Valerie’s David’s Bridal gown and the rings before asking her mom and bridesmaids to get dressed. We then had Valerie get dressed and she looked stunning! We grabbed her wooden bouquet from Etsy and got started on portraits. I was a little nervous about doing all portraits inside, but we were able to use natural light by opening the door and I love the way they turned out. I was sure to get a photo of the charm on Valerie’s bouquet as it had a picture of her father in it. He had passed when she was younger. We also got a special photo of Valerie with her dad’s military picture. I was happy to help Valerie find a way to include her father in her wedding photos. We then head next door to see Thomas and his groomsmen. They wore gray suits with emerald green ties to match the bridesmaids’ emerald green cocktail dresses.
The intimate wedding ceremony took place in the Greathouse Round Room in front of the blazing fireplace. This room is totally encased in glass, boasting two fireplaces and overlooks the tree lined golf course. I don’t think there was a dry eye when the couple exchanged the vows they wrote for each other. After the ceremony, we took some time for family formals and wedding party formals. Then while guests enjoyed cocktail hour, we spent some time with Valerie and Thomas for portraits. I enjoyed using the white lights hanging from the ceiling to capture their love. The reception took place in the Greathouse Ballroom, which features gleaming plank floors, adorned by tribal oriental rugs; gabled ceilings; huge overhead beams and museum pieces of local art. Valerie’s mom had created the beautiful bird cage centerpieces that twinkled with candles and white lights. DJ Dana McDonald got the crowd excited for entrances and Valerie and Thomas shared their first dance to Cross My Heart by George Strait; they were so sweet to watch. The best man opened the night with a speech where he talked about the hard work that goes into a marriage and that he know Valerie and Thomas will put in that work to keep their love alive and make their marriage last forever. Then the maid of honor, and Valerie’s little cousin, spoke about how she has always been best friends with Val and learned so much from her over the years. She closed by toasting the couple who are the epitome of love.
There were a couple more special dances after dinner. Thomas and his grandmother danced to Through the Years by Kenny Rogers and then Val with her mom to I Will Always Love You by Dolly Parton. Their special bond was beautiful to see in this moment. Thomas cut in part way through the song to dance with his new mother-in-law. Next Valerie and Thomas cut their exquisite cake from Master’s Baker. The three- tiered cake had gold icing cascading down one side and a nest with little love birds on top. The rest of the night was spent laughing and loving on the dance floor.
Valerie and Thomas were such a sweet couple to work with and I’m so glad that I had the chance to get to know them. Please enjoy the highlights and slideshow below.
Posted on December 13, 2017
It may have been chilly for Amy and Eric’s Grand Ballroom wedding at the Mendenhall Inn, but their love warmed everyone’s hearts.
We started at Mendenhall Hotel where Amy and her bridesmaids were getting ready. The moment we entered the hotel, we were greeted by an “Old World” sense of hospitality and charm. We made our way up to Amy’s room and found the girls relaxing and enjoying some snacks. Their hair and makeup by Salon Pasca was looking flawless. We had perfect light with all the large windows in the suite. I started with Amy’s Bridals by Sandra gown in the bedroom where I hung the dress in the middle of the large tub. Surrounded by mirrors, it took a few minutes to figure out how to get the dress without having my reflection in the photo, but once I did it looked great! I then moved onto jewelry and shoes. Next I asked the bridesmaids to get dressed; they wore beautiful deep purple dresses. Then it was time for Amy to get dressed; her strapless gown fit her perfectly. She started glowing as soon as she put it on! Once her shoes, jewelry and veil were on, we grabbed her bouquet from Frugal Flowers to complete her look. It was filled with red roses, purple carnations and almost black calla lilies. After a few portraits, we head across the parking lot to find Eric. He and his groomsmen were looking great in black suits. Once boutonnieres were in place, we took a few portraits and then head out to find the perfect spot for the couple’s first look.
Amy and Eric had their hearts set on the train tracks for their first look, so I did some research into this option to make sure it was safe. I set Eric up on the tracks and waited for Amy. Eric was so excited while we waited; it was really cute. Amy came up behind him and the couple lit up when they saw each other. They were so happy that they were giddy and it was really sweet. We took some time for couple portraits before asking the wedding party to join us. We then head over to the Grand Ballroom wedding location to meet the family. We took them outside for family formals before the ceremony.
Amy and Eric were married by Pastor Gary Langensiepen in the Mendenhall Inn Grand Ballroom wedding venue. They exchanged vows and said I dos in front of family and friends and sealed it with a kiss. While guests enjoyed cocktail hour in the outdoor terrace area, I was able to get shots of the beautifully decorated ballroom. The tables looked lovely with white linens and giant wine glasses filled with candles. Instead of table numbers, the couple had wine table names and corks for place cards. The sun was starting to set so we grabbed Amy and Eric outside for a few more photos. The light was gorgeous, but fading fast, so I was running through the parking lot to find the best light. We took advantage of every last second of sunlight before heading back to the ballroom.
After cocktail hour in the solarium, the guests were ushered back into the Grand Ballroom while the bridal party got ready for entrances. DJ Adam from Soundfactor Entertainment had everyone on their feet while he introduced the parents, wedding party and of course the bride and groom. Amy and Eric enjoyed their first dance to Roses by The Chainsmokers. They stared into each other’s eyes throughout the whole dance; it was one of the sweetest first dances I’ve ever seen. Everyone then took their seats and dinner was served after a blessing by Pastor Langensiepen. After dinner, Amy danced with her father to Daddy Dance with Me by Krstal Keith and then with her stepfather to Tiny Dancer by Elton John. Eric and his mom danced to I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack. Then the DJ invited all the married couples onto the dance floor for the anniversary dance. I love seeing couples at so many stages of their lives together. Amy’s grandparents were the last dancing with 65 years of marriage under their belts! Amy and Eric then invited everyone over to watch them cut their cake. The stunning creation from Master’s Baker was definitely one I’ve never seen before…the Stanley Cup! The silver cake was so realistic and everyone loved it. The rest of the night was spent dancing, laughing and loving.
I had such a great time getting to know Amy and Eric and really enjoyed capturing their wedding day. Please enjoy the highlights and slideshow below.