wedding

Sarah and Bryan - A Manayunk Brewery Winter Wedding

Sarah and Bryan Wedding-217.JPG

When I saw the forecast for Sarah and Bryan’s day, I won’t lie, this girl squealed! It was in the mid 50’s and for a wedding that was on the last weekend of 2018, thats practically unheard of! And it was going to be sunny!! I started of their day at the Hilton on City Line Ave for getting ready photos and they both had such gorgeous spaces and light! Which is a photographers dream! Sarah decided to forgo the traditional white gown and had this stunning gold sequin dress custom made for her and it was gorgeous! And Bryan wore the most incredible Burgundy suit! Both of their looks were perfectly complimented by my girl Lauren’s florals (owner of Bloomsbury Floral Design) and those stunning, rich colors added that extra bit of glam every winter wedding needs!

Sarah and Bryan had their first look right outside their venue, the gorgeous Manayunk Brewery. Watching Sarah come around the corner, it was so sweet to see Bryan’s whole face light up! These two so clearly love each other and they couldn’t stop smiling and sneaking kisses all day long! We wandered around Manayunk for some portraits with their wedding party before it was time to make these two officially husband and wife. Sarah’s dad sang a beautiful song that was apart of his wedding with Sarah’s late mother and there were tears all around. There was so much obvious emotion for Sarah in that moment and watching her and her dad walk down the aisle was easily my favorite part of their day.

And then it was party time! The Manayunk Brewery provided incredible cocktails and food, the couple danced, speeches were given and the friends and family danced the night away. Right before we left though, I captured one of my favorite images ever of Sarah and Bryan dancing through the window while I blocked traffic on Main Street in Manayunk. Anything for that perfect shot though and it was the perfect way to end a perfect day!

Oh, and can I just say how much I loved getting to work with this venue? Their coordinator Paris did such an incredible job and was so easy to work with, which as a photographer, is a dream! The venue recently underwent a renovation and its safe to say, its just an incredibly stunning space now! And I really hope some more couples bring me back there soon!

Enjoy some of my favorites from my second to last wedding of 2018! And a massive thank you to Sarah and Bryan for allowing us to be apart of your day!

Florist - Bloomsbury Floral Design

Venue and Catering - Manayunk Brewing Company

Day of Coordinator - Paris Rose, Manayunk Brewing Company

Hotel - Hilton City Line Ave

Wedding Resources - How Long Should I Allow for Family Photos

Wedding Resources - where we are answering your questions about wedding planning!  If you are like most couples, you've never done this before, so it's totally understandable to have questions!  And we are here to help!  Today we are talking about how much time should you allow for family photos and we hope that this helps you plan a stress free wedding day timeline!  

Your wedding day is one of the few days of your life where you will have most of your friends and family around you, so of course, you will want pictures with them!  But how long should you plan for them?  When should you take them?  What if your venue or planner told you that 10 or 20 minutes is enough but your photographer tells you different?  Today we are going to unpack ALL of that and hopefully help you make the best decision for you!  

Regardless of what anyone tells you, family photos take time.  Depending on the timeline for your wedding you are either doing your photos right before or right after you say "I do" which means emotions and excitement are running high!  And you want it to be that way!  But that also means you don't want to be rushed or stressed too!  As part of what we do with our couples, we send out a survey before the wedding that asks our couples for any and all groupings they want in terms of family portraits.  Below is an example list we got from an actual couple!  

Bride with just her parents, bride and groom with her parents, bride with only her siblings, bride and groom with siblings and spouses, bride with grandma, bride mom and grandma, bride and groom and grandma, bride groom and aunts and uncles, bride and her aunt Shelly, Bride and groom and Aunt Shelly, Bride groom and all the cousins.  

That was only the bride's side, but that was 11 poses.  The groom's list was similar and had 10 shots on it and they also asked for 4 other group shots as well.  So that's 25 poses!  Which is actually quite a lot!  Even at a minute a piece (which is impossible!), right there is 25 minutes just for family photos!  

We typically tell our couples to allow 3 minutes per grouping and suggest that there is a total 10 groupings, so a half hour for family photos.  We typically can do it in less than 30 minutes but this is a great guideline!  And if your family/families are really large, we will often suggest doing just immediate family then and planning time during the reception for more family photos as well! 

Another option that a lot of our couples choose is to do a first look!  This allows you to see each other in a relaxed, personal experience prior to the ceremony AND allows for you to have a lot more options for photos!  With this kind of timeline, you can have a lot more time for photos before hand and even do a few bigger family shots right after the ceremony!  This also allows you to attend your cocktail hour!

If a first look isn't for you but you want a lot of family photos, another option is to do as many family photos with each of you before hand.  For example, photograph the brides family before hand and separately photograph the groom/other bride's family before hand as well!  This allows half of the poses to be done and cuts down time later!

So you have a lot of options!  No matter what you do, make sure you make a list of those must have family photos and give it to your photographer!  Family plays a huge role in your life and in your wedding day, but without knowing who is important to you, its hard for your photographer to make sure they capture the right people!  So make that list!  And then make sure you talk over what you want with your photographer too!  

And because who doesn't love a little inspiration, here are a few of our favorite family photos!

Wedding Wednesday - Who Walks You Down The Aisle

Today we kick of our new series - Wedding Wednesday - where we are answering your questions about wedding planning!  If you are like most brides, you've never done this before, so it's totally understandable to have questions!  And we are here to help!  

We got this question a few weeks ago from a bride who wasn't sure who should walk her down the aisle.  While normally this wouldn't be a question you would ask your photographer, she was curious what my experience had been in 6 years!  Was there a normal way of doing things?  Did just her dad have to?  What about walking herself down the aisle?  So this is what we emailed her back:

That moment when you walk down the aisle is a big one, so I can totally understand wanting to have it right, but sadly, there is no “right” answer! In 6 years, we have seen it all! Dads, Moms, big brothers, little brothers, uncles, sisters, The couple’s kid/s, friends, the bride walking down the aisle on her own or even two brides that walked down the aisle together. While the traditonal way of doing it is to have your dad walk you down the aisle, you can really do anything you want! Just do what feels right to you ok? That’s the most important thing!

And it really is true!  With so many options, the most important thing you can do is what makes the most sense to you!  When Jordan and I got married, her parents walked her down the aisle and I walked myself.  And it was something I struggled with as my parents didn't attend our wedding.  But at the end of the day, doing it myself made every single one of those steps mean so much to.  No one gave me away, but for me it symbolized that I was the one making that decision, no one else.  And for me, that was important!  But for other brides or grooms, having their parents walk them down the aisle could be something they had been dreaming about!  And that's ok too!  

Here are a few of our couples walking down the aisle and as you'll see, they each have their own style and way of doing it!  And that's what makes it personal!  

Have a question you want us to answer?  Leave us a comment and we'd be happy to!

Confessions of love, worth and it taking a village

Confession?  I don't do this job alone.  Sometimes it might feel like it's just me when the editing has piled up and there are so many emails to answer but this job is made possible by so many people who have believed in me.  And sometimes I don't thank them enough.  You see, several months ago I had the privilege of planning and photographing the wedding of two amazing ladies, Rita and Angela.  It was crazy, but it was something I had done before and I knew I would need a small village to pull it off.  So I pulled together a team, crossing my fingers that things would go as planned and the day would go off without a hitch.  

And that is the furthest thing from what happened.  From issues with the venue, making appetizers for 100 people, vendors showing up late and of course, the POURING rain, it was madness.  But every time I look at their wedding photos, I can't help but tear up because there were so many people that came together to make that day, inspite of the madness, utter perfection.  From Kristin, who was hired to do hair, cutting flowers and setting up tables because she got there early...to her sweet wife who just did whatever was needed...to Lesa for watching our dog and keeping an eye on our house while we were gone...to my best friend Ashley staying up late and waking up early and working all day long making things perfect....to my sister for cutting, popping, slicing, cooking and everything in between...to Simon for rolling with the punches and being the most amazing bartender and bringing in Jackson to help...to Heather for constantly giving me options, smiling and cleaning so much...to Emily for making everyone look amazing...to Sharon for being an incredible second shooter, a calm prescence and there to do whatever was needed...and last but not least, to Jordan who put up with all my craziness and worked her ass off that day, and really, every day.  It took a village.  And it took two people who believed in me to bring that village together to create the perfect wedding day.  

But isn't that the best way?  So often I find myself trying to do it all - and I know so many of you are right there with me.  We tell ourselves that we can do it!  That we are strong enough to do it all.  We are told that the best business are the ones who are able to do it all and do it perfectly.  Asking for help is often one of the hardest things we can do because it makes us feel as though we don't have it all together.  But here is a confession for you.  We don't.  We almost never do.  And when we allow others to help, to love us, and be our village, we can do SO much more than we can alone.  If it weren't for the help of all of those people...that wedding would have been a vision in my head, not an actual event that took place.  

If you find yourself struggling, in work, in things around the house, in anything really, ask yourself when the last time you asked someone to help you.  Have you admitted that on your own you aren't doing all that you want to?  Are there people who are around you who you would call your village but you haven't asked them for help in awhile?  I would bet that those that love you, want to help and that you'll feel better with them helping you achieve the things you want to.  

To my wonderful village...I love you all.  Thank you for being the best vendors, friends, family and team a girl could ask for.  And here are a few of my favorite behind the scenes photos of that perfectly unperfect wedding day!  

Stephanie and Joshua - An Old Mill Wedding Preview

As soon as we pulled up the Old Mill on Saturday afternoon, I knew there was no way I was going to be able to wait to blog this one.  The venue is one I have wanted to shoot at since I heard about it a little over a year ago and it did not disappoint!  Stephanie was a gorgeous bride, but more than that, she is the sweetest person.  Her first look with Josh was perfection, and their love was so evident all day long.  I loved all their blush and coral and lavender details and just you wait till you see their centerpieces!  So beautiful!  Fresh Florist did an amazing job! (Go check out more of their work HERE!)

Stephanie and Joshua, thank you for allowing us to be apart of your day.  I am so happy you loved your preview gallery and I can't wait to share the rest!  And thank you to the Old Mill for being SO amazing to work with!  To check out more info on all the amazing Vendors that were apart of this wedding see the vendor list at the bottom of the post!  

A special thanks to the amazing vendor team:

Photography - Swiger Photography

Wedding Dress - David's Bridal  (http://www.davidsbridal.com)

Bridesmaid Dresses - David's Bridal  (http://www.davidsbridal.com)

Groom's Suit - Men's Warehouse  (http://www.menswearhouse.com)

Groomsmen Suits - Men's Warehouse  (http://www.menswearhouse.com)

Cake - Sophisiticakes  (http://www.sophisticakespa.com)

Venue - The Old Mill Pa  (http://www.connercatering.com/oldmill/weddings)

Caterer - Conner Catering  (http://www.connercatering.com/oldmill/catering.htm)

Flowers - Fresh Designs Florist  (http://www.freshdesignsflorist.com/)

DJ - Brian Kania 

Cindy and Scott - A Doylestown Mercer Museum Wedding

I remember meeting Cindy and Scott at a Starbucks in Doylestown last fall and talking about their spring wedding like it was yesterday.  Cindy was a bundle of nerves and excitement, Scott ever as much her calm and cool other half.  The way they leaned into each other and talked about their wedding plans had me so excited for their wedding, but what I didn't realize then was that these two really understand what true love looks like.  

At their ceremony, the priest talked about who they both were as people.  They are both older and on their second marriage and they both have kids from those previously relationships.  Each of them had a great respect for the other, for the family they had created.  And they both believed full heartedly that God had brought them to this place and they were honored to call each other theirs.  It was beautiful.  He described them as kind, full of life and love people, genuine and joyous.  And that couldn't be more true.  All day long, Scott seemed in awe of Cindy, that she was his to love.  And what better is there?  They have a love that is based on faith, and trust and pure joy in who the other is and it was magic to photograph! 

They had the most perfect spring wedding, surrounded by their families and friends.  We loved getting to shoot at one of our dream venues, The Mercer Museum!  It's so full of history and grandeur and made for the perfect location for their day.  Their sweet little grand kids stole the show and I teared up more than once thinking about how sweet it will be for them to one day have these photos to look back on when they get married! 

So congrats Scott and Cindy!  May your love always be as sweet as it was that day!  And enjoy a few of my favorites!

Sophia and Lisa - A Philadelphia City Hall Lesbian Elopement

When these two got married, I was knee deep in redoing my blog and website and I didn't want to post them to the old site.  So I have been waiting to share this wedding with all of you for quite some time!  Sophia is feisty, sweet and oh so gorgeous and Lisa is her hilarious, little bit bad ass and so kind other half.  I've known these two for a while and when they asked if i would be free to shoot their weekday City Hall wedding, the answer was an immediate yes!!!

These two are so in love.  The kind of love that you see on facebook and in real life and know that its not fake or temporary.  They embody the idea of being partners, supporting each other and loving each others families.  They also keep each other (and me!) laughing with their adorable bickering and commentary on everything!  It was a great day and I am so happy that these two have joined the #marriedlesbianclub and are loving life as Mrs and Mrs Crespo!  

Lisa and Sophia....thank you for being such sweet friends and for allowing me to be the one to capture the start of this exciting chapter in your lives.  I adore the two of you to pieces and can't wait to see where life takes you next.  Thank you for being patient for this blog post!  And now, a few of my favorites!  

Ashley and Chris - A Del Fresco's Wedding

Every so often I'll get an email asking if I would possibly be free for a wedding that is quickly approaching, usually within 2 weeks.  Some might be so overwhelmed by the idea of being hired that close to the wedding date, but as someone who put together their own wedding in 74 days, I get it!  Sometimes you are so in love or life hands you situations that make you realize that waiting to plan that big wedding just isn't right for you!  When you know, why wait to get married?  And this particular one happens to be one of my favorites of this type of wedding we've done!

Angela and Chris had the sweetest wedding day!  From the moment I showed up at the hotel to take pictures of her getting ready, I knew it was going to be a great day!  Angela has to sweetest laugh and gave me a ton of time to photograph them around Philadelphia City Hall before getting married at the gorgeous Del Fresco's!  We had a beautiful winter day, warm and sunny and these two couldn't have been more in love!  And their first look ya'll?  Oh such perfection!  Chris was overwhelmed with how gorgeous Angela looked and can you blame him?  She looked stunning!  We made our way to Del Fresco's where we did family photos and then it was the moment they had been waiting for!  Time to get married!  When the judge announced that they were husband and wife, Angela squealed and that happens to be one of my favorite photos of the day!  She was so incredibly happy!

The newlyweds then headed for a private dinner there at Del Fresco's and I left loving that this is my job!  Intimate weddings are so sweet and focused on the things that matter most - each other!  Here are some of my favorites (it was hard to only pick a few!) and congratulations to this beautiful and sweet couple!!

Anna and Kevin - A Wilmington DE Wedding

There are brides who trust you and there is Anna.  This girl, despite pouring rain on her wedding day, trusted that I would make her wedding photos as perfect as could be.  And I think we accomplished just that!  From her beautiful details, sweet first look with Kevin, her emotional ceremony and a reception fill of joy and love, it was the most magical day.  These two are so madly in love and in was evident all day long.  

My favorite moment was when Anna saw her father.  There were tears all around!  Anna was a beautiful bride and its always so wonderful when the parents are excited for their daughter to begin this next adventure.  And that is exactly what her parents were.  

Anna and Kevin, thank you for being one of my favorite wedding ever and for being so insanely perfect!  We loved being apart of your day!