Happy Tuesday, everyone!
Two weekends ago, on May 18th, Kari and I traveled back to the BEAUTIFUL Irons Mill Farmstead in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania to photograph our third wedding of the year (and our second wedding ever at this amazing venue). There was a good bit of nostalgia for me going back because this venue was only the second place and wedding Kari ever worked with me (last year, of course). Now, she's done 15ish (or maybe more) weddings with me to date and I couldn't imagine photography life without her! Ahhhhhhh memories! I was so happy to be back!
Check it out!! It is a one of a kind venue and in Amish country! EEKK!
So, who got married?! I know you all already know! Danielle and Greg were the happy couple who tied the know this day. If you missed their engagement session, you can see it here! It was magical. Their wedding was even more magical if you can believe that! Leading up to the wedding, however, was extremely stressful. This whole week called for threateningly, crazy thunderstorms. I watched the radar like a crazy person and Danielle and I emailed and texted back and forth the whole week. This also happened to be my double header weekend (a wedding on Friday and Saturday). I was pretty sure if it thunder-stormed both days I was going lose it...for real. I had dreamy visions for this particular wedding and I was freaking out when looking at what the weather man was predicting! GAH! I was really stressed!
Won't you believe it though...SOMEHOW...not a drop of rain this day! It was so crazy! I even called my husband on my way up there and asked him to check the radar because I simply could not believe it wasn't supposed to rain after all the predictions earlier in the week! My husband tends to watch the radar and predict the weather better than any weather man or the news channel. He's my "go to" weather guy! He also said something about "northeast winds" or something to that extent. I probably should have paid more attention to that because the wind was NO JOKE this day! More on that later!
NO RAIN THOUGH! HURRAY!
Danielle is only the second purple wedding I've ever photographed. She and I always got super excited when we'd see Pinterest or IG purple wedding details leading up to her big day! This particular wedding was beautiful and dreamy and just whimsical...I think that's how I'd describe it. I loved the tones and the details. There were details everywhere, I tell ya! There were bubble send offs and sparkler send offs and blind folded first looks and regular first looks and bride/groom first dances and parent first dances and last dances...I could go on and on! I'll be honest. My photogrpher brain had a hard time processing it all until I got there. This couple (and their friends and families) executed every detail of this wedding...flawlessly. You just wait and see!
I love when the bride and the groom both have great details! I channeled my inner Kari and tried to fluff the veil around the details. She stood on the sidelines critiquing and coaching me. It's pretty comical when I think back to almost exactly one year from now when she was just one or two weddings in and still a little nervous. Now, I very much feel like she's my equal and we give and take and laugh and squeal (me) and boost each other up and joke...and rag on each other a bit (she recently told me I was "only" 75% tyrant). We were giggling. It wasn't a wholly serious statement (I don't think...now I'm wondering). HA! Anyway, if you've ever seen us together...you get it! It's definitely a team effort and we have a BLAST doing what we do! Anyway...here's my attempt to flush around a detail! HA! I love it!
The outside details were equally amazing! It just felt like a fairytale. Gosh. Somehow it was "Springy" and elegant but rustic but whimsical while feeling very "earthy" and romantic. Kari was definitely loving the details too. This was our perfect wedding. I've very much traditional, ballroom, elegant and she's very much nontraditional, "artsy fartsy" <--- her term, and earthy. We were both loving this wedding so much!
Ugh. THIS CAKE! THIS CAKE! THIS CAKE! I'm usually not a naked cake kind of girl but when I saw this...I wanted it. The frosted fruit just sealed the deal for me. It was.just.so.beautiful!
...and after I was done salviating over the details, it was time for the guys to start getting ready and for Greg to open his gift from Danielle!
We then ran back over to the bridal suite to try and not miss Danielle getting ready...and she was painting her nails. I 110% KNOW I had my "nervous hands" up for that moment! I did take photos of her painting her nails though and I thoroughly intend to showcase them in the end of year blogs! HA! At one point she said, "This probably wasn't my best idea." Too funny! You can't put a dress on with wet nails, people! It did give us all a moment to breath and chat and get to know one another even more though! These moments make great memories!
Nonetheless, these getting ready photos were amazing. Irons Mill Farmstead gives the ladies the best bridal suite to get ready in and it makes for amazing images! Just look! Kari and I had the same idea and we were just at different angles!
These are real (not made up) moments here and these are always some of my very favorites!
Then, it was time for the blindfolded first look! Danielle had stated she wanted to do a form of a first look mostly because her and Greg are very good at calming each other down. She still wanted that "moment" when Greg saw her for the first time while walking down the aisle so this was a great way to meet in the middle. Kari guided Greg (blindfolded) to this spot and I'm sorry I missed that moment! I caught the tail end of it and It was too funny. I did get these beauties though! Just look at their expressions! If you want to see fairytale, true love...you need to spend some time with Greg and Danielle. Later on in the night, I saw where they both got it from! They learned from the BEST!
THEN, it was time for a real first look...between father and daughter! Man oooOoOoo man am I glad I was ready for this moment! It was a "can't miss" opportunity and the tears were flowing and the emotions were pouring out of everyone! If you look closely, there is a tear running down Danielle's right check on the image on the right and you just can't make that up!
Troy, their ring bearer and fur baby, was behind the scenes, dressed, and ready for the ceremony. He really did carry the rings too! For real!! Not very many ring bearers carry the rings these days but he sure did and he did a GREAT job!
As I mentioned before, Danielle wanted "that moment" when the groom sees his bride for the first time. Well, holy moly...she got it! I just love these images so so so much!
Outtake moment alert! Let's play a little game, shall we?! What is present in the photo on the left that is missing on the right? Do you see it?
It's her veil! The wind was blowing like crazy at this outdoor ceremony and it blew her veil right out! Kari had some serious ninja moves and snatched it right out of the air. I missed it though because I had turned to get another shot of Greg! I did, however, get some photos of her running with the veil...up the aisle...per Danielle's request. HA! It's a good one!! So good I included it in the couple's gallery! ooOoOoo memories! That is what this is all about!
Their ceremony was seriously beautiful! Short. Sweet. But with no lack of stories or emotions and everyone was smiling!
They poured water from two of their favorite (and sentimental) places into one jar! Greg proposed on a boat (I saw the video at their engagement session). I'm telling you...they did NOT miss a detail at this wedding!
...and just like that they are Mr. & Mrs. Schmitt! Greg kissed his bride!
There was a bubble send off down the aisle! I'm impressed people blew them so well in that wind!
So, we had run a little behind earlier in the day (cough...she painted her nails...cough). I'm just kidding! That actually wasn't why we were running behind but it still makes me giggle! Many little things put the schedule behind a bit and, in all seriousness, I could have squeezed in some photos before the ceremony as originally planned but we decided to cut the stress, relax, and do them after! I'm SO glad we did! Check out how great they all look!
Here is Danielle's handsome groom in purple! GAH! These are all so good!
...and the beautiful bride who looked like a European, old world, princess!
Danielle wanted to sit for some of her photos so we snatched a bench from the ceremony (and forgot to put it back and I ran out during the reception dinner and had to pick it up and carry it myself!). Anyway, I knew I wanted to do photos by these trees! #1 - Because I wanted her pictures to be unique from my other wedding I did here and #2 - Because I knew the colors and what not were going to tie right in with the whole theme and feel of her wedding! I think I hit the mark!! What do you think?! I love them so much!
Seriously, this one below may be a favorite of mine! AHHHH!! Huge shout out to Kari for veil throwing in that ridiculous wind! I did have to photoshop her ponytail and foot out of the photo on camera right! HA! Her pregnant bum doesn't move so fast these days! I wonder if that baby will love weddings as much as we do after all this?!
Get ready...for an obnoxious amount of amazingly, dreamy bride and groom formals! WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Please note the Amish buggy in the bottom photo. I was snapping away and Danielle said "Make sure you get it!". Boom! Teamwork! HA!
I wish I could tell you who took what image because credit is definitely due to Kari but I really can't at this point. Kari's now shooting with my second camera body and therefore the same camera I use and even some of the same lenses. Usually we can tell by the angle but there was a little hiccup in the day which caused us to change up our normal system.
Here we go - I had had a serious PANIC moment during these formal photos when I had sent Kari back to my car for my phone and she couldn't get the doors open. I thought she was having pregnancy brain moments and went over myself. Sure enough...my doors wouldn't open and my battery was dead. Did you know that if your battery is dead on your 2012 Nissan Murano the back hatch won't open? Did you also know if you have two carseats in your car your camera bag holding ALL your reception equipment won't fit over the seats? Do the Math.
No battery = No Hatch Opening = No Reception Equipment
We were at T-Minus less than 1 Hour before reception start. That results in Hannah (me, of course) having minor (major) internal freak out which leads me back to who took what photo. I told Kari to just keep shooting and because she is so amazingly, talented, she did keep shooting and there was no break in coverage! I THINK I could decipher which images are hers because she didn't have a flash on her camera but the point is that even with that crazy, behind the scenes moment...we still managed to get more than my average amount of bride/groom formal photos! WOOOOOO!!! AND they are Amaaazzzzzinnnnnnggg!
Also, HUGE (and I mean HUUUUGGGGEEEE) shoutout to Danielle's brother Jimmy who bailed me out. I ran up to him and asked him if he could find someone to jump my car and tossed my keys at him so I could go back and shoot more photos! Not only did he get my car started, he also drove it around...which was another funny moment. Here I am...trying to remain calm and focused but thinking about how I'm going to shoot the reception if we can't get my lighting equipment out and I look over...and my car is gone. It's GONE! I looked at Kari and said "Well, great. Now, my car is gone. It must be running...but it is gone.". She calmed me down and reminded me that it needed run to recharge the battery. So, way to go Jimmy...I hugged him. A lot. He probably thinks I'm nuts but I will forever remember and be greatful for his kindness! He got the car running and we got my gear out and set up WITH time to spare!! WOOOOO!
So, check out more images Kari and I BOTH shot!
Well, heck....just one more! Why not?!
So, freak out moment is over! Lights are set up! Lenses, cards, and batteries are changed...let's get this party started! They were SO happy to be announced as the new Mr. & Mrs.! Can't you just tell?!
Here's some first dance magic. Believe it or not, their last dance magic was even more amazing! You will see! You just wait! Wait for it...wait for it!
You all know I usually showcase the party and people at this wedding were definitely having a blast!! We're three for three on age not being a factor in getting down to the beat! Heck, grandpa didn't even let the wheelchair stop him! That middle photo is definitely one of my favorites from the night!
Instead of showing lots of party pictures...I really need to show you the love that was glowing at this wedding. I mentioned it previously and it is really no wonder Danielle and Greg have the bond and love for each other that is so strong. Their parents also have the same love and respect for one another and they are also not afraid to show it! The newly, married couple asked for both parents to be allowed to have their own dance. Gosh...this was amazing to see!
Here are Danielle's parents!
Here are Greg's parents...who, by the way, dipped without even being coached!! I mean..COME ON! I can't make this stuff up! This dance was later in the night and separate from Danielle's parents' dance. It made it so special to see each couple showcase their love. I'd also love to note that both sets of parents made Kari and I feel very welcome! They chatted with us through all parts of the day, said sweet things and made us feel very much a part of Danielle and Greg's celebration!
Danielle had some Pinterest ideas for me too! This is my version with the barn element added!! Weeeeee! They're so awesome!! We took these in about 30 seconds...no kidding!
...and the party ended early but not before their had their last dance. I planted my feet and got ready for some magic. I knew these two by this point. They're so sweet and so in love and not afraid to display that love to one another (and that was actually a part of the best man's speech). It was noted they have no issues with PDA... so give me a camera and sign me up!
So, there I am. Feet planted. Arms up after about 10 hours of shooting. I've got my camera, a lens, and a flash. It's heavy. My arms were tired as they always are at the end of any wedding and I had claw hands (that's what Kari calls it when our fingers get stiff and stuck in the camea hold position). I held on though because I knew something amazing was going to happen...my arms were burning. Then, they started to spin and dance and it was amazing. Little did I know, people were standing behind me. So, when Greg picked Dannielle UP and started spinning around and I started squealing (serioulsy...I squealed)...everyone behind me started giggling. I had to giggle to and I'm telling you...it was probably the best way to end the night. Danielle had originally planned for a sparkler exit but those thunderstorms that held off all day were rolling in and she decided it was best to just ditch the idea.
One more becuase it was just so awesome!
Buttttttttttttttt...the thunderstorms didn't come and her cousin INSISTED she do the sparkler exit anyway. So, we hollered for the videographers to come back and they made it happen!! WEEEEEEEEEE!! And I can tell you, for sure, 110% that that close up sparkler photo is not mine. Kari thinks of it all...I tell ya! Seriously, I don't even know how she got that in focus! HA!
What a perfect wedding! Congrats to the Schmitts!
Danielle and Greg, I hope it was everything you wanted it to be and more! You both deserve it! Thank you for allowing Kari and I to be a part of it!
Of course, these amazing vendors ALL played a part in making this couple's day a fairytale come true! HUGE shout out to Danielle for helping this busy girl out and being ON THE BALL and providing all the links/info for these vendors!! She gets extra photographer brownie points for that! HA!
Bride’s Gown - Moonlight Bridal Salon & Alternations: Koda Bridal
Bridesmaids’ Gowns - David's Bridal
Men’s Attire - Top Hat Tuxedo
Bride's Rings - Orr's Jewelers
Groom's Wedding Ring - The Barefoot Forge
Wedding Day Hair/Makeup - Caviar & Curls
Hair Coloring - Amy Ellwood via Studio Raw
Wedding Planner/Coordinator - Irons Mill Farmstead/ Leah
Florist - Greensinner
Videographer - Light & Motion Media
Cake - Luscious Layers Cakery
DJ/Band - DJ Tyler Foister
Catering - Medure's Catering
Save the Dates - Mpix
Ceremony Venue - Irons Mill Farmstead
Reception Venue - Irons Mill Farmstead