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Armstrong Farms Wedding | Hannah Barlow Photography | Pittsburgh Wedding Photography

Real Weddings

Holy crap!  HOLLLYYY CRAPPP!  I have no words for this wedding.  I mean…I have lots and lots and lots of words, of course…GOBS OF WORDS…but I can’t even begin to figure out how to put it all in just one blog without boring you to death.  I mean…maybe there’s no possible way I could bore you to death with this one…I have 94 collages of photos total coming up and I’m pretty sure that’s the most I’ve ever done.  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!  It was everything that is the complete opposite of my own taste and my own wedding but everything I could ever want in a wedding which made me question everything.  That’s a lot of “everything”.  I know.  It’s really just one big, giant oxymoron of a wedding for me!  Let’s see if I can describe it and help you understand.  And if I’ve done a good job making you “feel” like you were there at my past weddings…I REALLY hope I can nail this one and make you feel like you were at this one too.  This was one of the best wedding weekends EVER for me…Susan and Chad rocked it the day before on Friday and then Sam and Joe took the challenge and closed the weekend running off into the sunset (I’m not even exaggerating).  So, here we go!  Get ready…hide in your bathroom…do whatever you’ve got to do to get about 15 solid minutes (ok…maybe 30 minutes) to yourself.  I promise you will NOT regret it!

Fairytales are real.  Dreams do come true.  Life is good.  This wedding proved it.

Sam and Joe tied the knot and it was one of the most amazing experiences since I started this crazy journey!  Enjoy!

So, before I really get started.  I need you to really understand what I was walking into this day.  I’d met Sam and Joe a few times already.  I felt like I KNEW Sam well by the time her wedding rolled around and I felt connected to her.  Her hopes and dreams for her wedding were my hopes and dreams for her wedding.  Her and I just clicked from the beginning.  We texted and emailed all the time.  We talked wedding AND non-wedding things.  She shared every single detail (I swear) about their wedding and I loved every minute of it.  It was very much like Kari and I’s beginning.  Heck, as the wedding really started coming together, I even added Kari into our text message exchange because this wedding was RIGHT down her alley…and more so than my typical “big ballroom, satin gown, lots of diamonds” preference.  So, as you can see…all three of us girls bonded.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Sam is another HBP bride who eventually ends up behind the camera too.  Time will tell!  So, you can just imagine how REALLY excited I was for this wedding to come!

Now, let’s talk about Joe, shall we?!  After their engagement session, I knew Joe was a handful…and in a good way (you can see their engagement session HERE…and you REALLY do want to click that link and read it if you haven’t already…Do it!  For real.  Don’t miss that one!  It’s a story like no other).  So, yes…Joe…he’s high strung (like me)…can be loud (like me)…he was ALL about this wedding (I like weddings too, of course)…and he’s just a ton of fun.  With that being said, you have to imagine why I was a bit “nervous” about how I was going to keep Joe on task come the wedding day.  Weddings don’t wait and Joe gets distracted easily (you do, Joe, you do).  So, I joked with Sam I was going to have a code word for him I would use any time I needed him to focus.  She joked and suggested “whiskey” stating that word would DEFINITELY get his attention.  So yea…it started out as a joke but quickly (and not surprisingly) became something we had to use…and it worked! HA!  SoOoOOoO…just so we’re all on the same page and together here.  Here’s a preview of Joe on his wedding day.

…a little more of Joe.

…and my personal favorite…compliments of Kari (who could NOT stop laughing after she shot this one).

 

 

Ok.  So, you feel me now, right?  It really is amazing that I ended up their photographer because if anyone can handle Joe…it’s me.  I can match that personality – NO PROBLEM.

Alright.  Now that we got that out of the way, let’s make it a little bit more of an HBP blog and then we’ll move on to some more laughter and fun!

It’s no secret Kari loves anything “earthy”.  Her own wedding was that way.  She loves non-traditional things and weddings and GREEN too!  So, this was just the perfect wedding for her…and me.  Sam may have just changed my taste in weddings.  I don’t know how she did it…but I was loving every.single.thing happening at this event.  It’s JUST so well done and so pretty!  I also came to find out that Sam and Joe are DIY-ers just like Kari and David.  It was a match!  You all probably remember that Lacey was also kind enough to tag along with us this day too.  This wedding was originally supposed to be Kari’s first wedding back.  We had planned for everything that could possibly happen when making the schedule while she was pregnant.  Of course, we didn’t know how she would do away from the baby…how the baby would do away from her…etc.  So, having a third person there “just in case” was important to me!  JUST IN CASE!  As a result of Lacey’s presence (and serious hard word), Kari was able to shoot almost all the detail shots by herself because Lacey was running back and forth between us assisting (which is usually Kari’s job too)!  I’m telling you…I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Kari that “into” something!  She was there for over an hour, I think…I’m not even kidding…shooting these details.  I’m pretty sure she was in wedding photog heaven.  The top two shots are mine (below)…I’m pretty sure the rest are Kari’s!  LOOK HOW PRETTY!

Sam also read her checklist and saved some greenery for the detail shots.  It made a HUGE difference!  Don’t you think?  Kari did ALL the styling!

This shot is definitely mine (below) and probably my favorite dress shot I’ve ever taken!  I don’t usually take the dress outside…but this shot was calling my name.  The nail was already there.  It was meant to be.  Plus, the videographer, Dan, needed a shot too.  I mean, why not?!  Lacey helped too and we were extra careful!

We rarely get to do the groom’s detail shots so this was a fun change…even though Kari stole the show! HA!  I can say I edited them though!

Now, let’s meet Gracie.  She’s Sam and Joe’s fur baby and one of the most well behaved and calm dogs I’ve ever met.  I was running back and forth between the barn and where Sam was getting ready and saw her perched here so nicely.  I took it.  I love this shot so much!

So, after I snapped that…I snapped some of these getting ready photos too.  I also noticed a package sitting on the table and had to neb nose around (we were at a Pittsburgh wedding after all, so you all know that term).  I jokingly rolled my eyes…and made the fake “puke face” when I saw what Joe had written on the front of his gift to Sam.  I mean…COME ON!  This is the stuff you read about in books.  It doesn’t happen in real life, right?!  Well, apparently is does.

So, then I ran back to the barn.  I got to meet the DJ, Mike. <— (I seriously just typed Matt…because I’m the worst…Matt was the videographer the day before.  AND if I got that wrong still…Well, there’s no hope for me and names.  THE WORST).  Anyway, he was super nice.  He was also super energetic and I knew it was going to be an amazing day.  When all the vendors are feeling the wedding day and getting along right off the bat, it’s going to be AMAZING!

So, here’s a little disclaimer for those of you who did NOT read the engagement blog (seriously…just go back now and read it).  Joe’s last name is “Corona” so that explains the alcohol inspired (or not inspired…maybe just a play on words) centerpieces.  I’d love to say this group isn’t big into drinking…but I can’t even say that with a straight face! So, the decor actually has many reasons for being the way that it was!  HA!  Sam and her Granny also ripped and cut and created those banners.  I remember this time last year when Sam texted me photos of the room – fabric EVERYWHERE!  I’ll look and see if I can find them and share them at the end of the blog!  Can you imagine how long all this took?!  They are serious DIY-ers.

Yea…they may enjoy a drink or two.  Please view Exhibit A below to the left!  I have to wonder how long it took them to collect them those bottles and who had a hand in all of it!! I once made a decoration out of beer bottle caps and it took me a long time to collect them (and some help from some friends).  The decor at this wedding was all so well done and tasteful though and was perfectly “Sam and Joe”!  They seriously nailed it!

Every single detail was unique!  I mean…that sign…”love everywhere”…COME ON!! It even rhymes!


Details everywhere.  Beautiful details everywhere.  It didn’t matter.  We needed to photograph ALL of them!  We took WAY too many detail shots! HA!


Sam and Joe also did something unique at their ceremony!  More on that later!

Then, it was time for Joe to get ready.  Most men HATE this.  They hate doing it when it’s just me and a buddy let alone with people watching.  Joe had a whole crowd watching him from the adjacent room (best men, parents, siblings, family…friends…).  Of course, he made a show of it…with the most dramatic sock application I’ve ever seen.  I’d warned the videographer about Joe…he thought I was exaggerating.  I’m sure Lacey and I’s giggling had to be edited out of that footage. HA!

He followed it up with a dramatic buttoning of his shirt.
P.S.  There is absolutely nothing out there to look at…he’s just Joe being Joe.  “WHISKEY!”


Then, his dad, “Jethro”, came in to help with his son’s cufflinks.  I call him “Jethro” because that’s how he introduced himself to me early in the day.  I kid you not!  His real name is Al.  Kari says, “The gene pool is strong in this family”.  We immediately knew where Joe received most of the DNA in regards to his personality.

We ended the getting ready portion of the day with a dramatic moment of getting his coat put on.  He literally stood there for about 30 seconds before someone approached with the jacket.  You can’t make this stuff up!

…but here’s the thing about Joe.  He might be all kinds of energy and jokes, but he knows when to tone it down for the important moments…like moments with mom.  AND more moments with his bride you’ll see here soon.

Check out this good looking groom acting the gentleman that he really is deep down!  He can try and hide it…he can…but he’s a gentleman!  As soon as we got there in the morning, he ran over and gave me a big hug, welcomed me, and offered to grab all my bags and put them in the barn.  The same thing can be said for both of his best men.  They made it a point to stop what they were doing, come shake my hand, make introductions, and offer to help, as well!  AMAZING people at this wedding!

WHISKEY!

Bam…just like that…he’s back into formation.  That’s literally how the whole day went…HA!  That code word…it worked!

…but then…whiskey literally showed up.  Again, you can’t make this up!  I don’t know if this was actually whiskey though and I don’t know if it had anything to do with me yelling “whiskey”…but it showed up…and shots were consumed.

Speaking of the men, here they are!  Aren’t the outfits perfect for this occasion?!  And again…I’m not the plaid preferring kind of gal.  I’m the black tuxedo kind of gal (which never happens anymore…whomp whomp).  Sam and Joe…they did something to me with this wedding!  I was loving this so much!

WHISKEY!

So, earlier in the day, Joe asked Kari to photograph these details for him.  He was VERY specific in that they were NOT to be photographed with the rest of his details.  They needed to be separate.  I was off doing my own thing and only heard bits and pieces of the conversation but I knew they were important to Joe but they were NOT important to Sam (hence the request they be photographed separately).  So, just yesterday while preparing this blog, I texted Sam and asked her what was up.  This is literally how the conversation went…quote for quote…and I did get permission to post this! This was via text.

Me: “I am almost done with your wedding.  For clarification, what’s up with the wolf stuff?”
Sam: “Wait, what wolf stuff? lol”
Me: “The men had wolves on their necklace things (I don’t know what to call them) and they were literally howling like wolves during picture time.  And there was a hatchet.”
Sam: “Honestly, it doesn’t have a significant meaning hahaha Joe is just a weird guy.  His bolo tie (I wish I didn’t know the name of them) was a deer, then one best man had an eagle and the other had a bear.  Then, joe got each of them the hatchets with a wolf engraved on them.  You really can’t make this stuff up…and I married it.”

…and there you’ll have it.  I didn’t even know what they were called!  She also called Joe weird which made me giggle.  He’s isn’t weird.  He has a unique personality…that’s for sure!  I love it!

…and here’s what I was talking about.

What are friends for, right?  Joe was being Joe and squatted down really quickly at some point.  I kid you not…I saw his pants start to rip.  I yelled.  He stood quickly.  I mean…I didn’t want to see that much of Joe anyway but I definitely didn’t want him ripping his pants either prior to the whole wedding day.  I’m a nurse…so my eyes can handle just about any sight…I can’t fix huge holes in the crotches of pants quickly though!  His friends were kind enough to check for us.  I was NOT checking.  No rip.  Crisis averted. Whewwww!

Then, it was time for Joe to open his gift from Sam.  If I didn’t have my “puke face” on before because of the disgusting amount of love spewing from all directions , I did now (I give this same face to Kari and David all the time online…picture that little green man emoji).  I mean…I’ve said it before.  Joe might be a jokester…but his love for Sam is no laughing matter.  These two love like I’ve never seen love before.  Go ahead…just read what she wrote on not just the front of the gift…but inside the journal.  How is this real life?!  She DID give me permission to share this, of course!  GAH!  It’s so sweet!

…and now, after that, if you didn’t go back and read their engagement story…I bet you want to now!

Then, it was time to get the bride ready.  See that photo on the left (below)…that was NOT staged.  Sure…sometimes I see things on a table and I put them all together.  Not this time.  All of that was sitting there waiting for me to photograph it.  It was the perfect non-staged detail shot AND…now that I’m typing this blog…I realize I don’t know what Joe got Sam in that package I showed earlier.  AHHHHHHHH!! SAM!  Tell us…what was in the package?!

Then, Kari manages to snatch photos like this and I’m all jealous over here!

None of these were staged really…it just all came together so well!

All you dog lovers will love these!! The bride helped her fur baby get ready for the wedding…complete with her own collar!

Then, Sam’s Granny showed up who is probably one of the sweetest women I have ever met.  She’s so sweet that immediately after seeing her granddaughter all dressed up…she spent plenty of time saying “Hello” to Gracie (who I later found out is one of Granny’s biggest fans).

Then, it was time to photograph Sam and I’d been waiting SO long for this moment!  I couldn’t even stand it!


These beautiful ladies rocked it.  Sam had gone back and forth about her bouquets for well over a year.  She didn’t want flowers.  Joe wasn’t so sure.  I’m POSITIVE this was the right idea!


We did lots of photos with Sam’s mom, Brenda, who has been one of my biggest fans and loyal supporters.  I’ll showcase Brenda walking her daughter down the aisle here in a minute!  So, let’s check out some more super sweet photos of Sam and Granny!


Sam had sent me lots of photos of her loving on her dress…hugging her dress…so I told her to enjoy that dress and just swing it!


More of Gracie…because…why not?!


Then, it was time for the ceremony!  People were starting to arrive.  It was a heavily overcast day but there was no lack of happiness.  I had no hope for a sunset though and had to use flash already to fill in some shadows on everyone’s faces (you photographers know what I’m talking about).  I was a wee bit nervous what these ceremony pictures would look like after all was said and done (I can’t use flash there).


…but just like the rest of the day…it all worked out.  They’re amazing!  Hold it together there, Joe.


Seriously, Joe.  Hold it together.


There’s Sam’s mom proudly escorting her daughter to the ceremony.  I’m so bummed I didn’t get to spend more time with her but there was just SO MUCH going on!  Joe had already peeked over everyone and saw her coming.  I kept a close eye on them both because I could just feel the emotions flowing already!


GAH!  These moments!! I feel like I am there again!


He held on to those tears so tight.  Like I said, he might be a jokester…but he’s an emotional guy too when it comes to Sam.


The overcast day did not matter.  These photos are amazing!


Remember how I mentioned they did something unique for their ceremony?  They both wrote letters to each other to put in with this bottle of tequila.  They’re going to open them and read them on their first anniversary (and have tequila, I presume).  I’m pretty sure I’m going to need to be there to photograph it! HA!


…and in a non-joking fashion…Joe kissed his letter before he placed it in the box. *swooning over here*


…and in a joking fashion…he acted like he was going to run away with the box right then and there.


Then, they exchanged vows they wrote themselves.  I was tearing up.  It’s true!  I never really tear up but I couldn’t help it.  I thought maybe it was just me.


Then, I looked around and everyone was tearing up.  I can assure you these are the “nice” versions of the tears.  There was happy crying…ugly crying…dainty nose wiping…and then what Sam’s doing (sorry…I couldn’t help it…HA!).  So, I turned around so I could wipe (I didn’t have a tissue…use your imagination).  Then, I saw the DJ off in a distance tearing up too and he gave me the “What…I can’t help it either!” hands! HA!  Seriously, the words these two said to one another was like watching a Nicholas Sparks movie (but one where everyone survives in the end…does that ever even happen?)


We all gained control there for a minute and then rings were exchanged.  Their vows were so unique and memorable…they even copied each other’s lines without knowing it ahead of time (which is really what got me going).  Their ring exchange was just as sweet.  Then, they were announced Mr. & Mrs. Corona!


…and I braced myself for the confetti I had been warned about.


During one of our many…many…many…conversations…Sam mentioned she wanted confetti thrown.  I’ve been there…done that with birdseed.  It’s A MESS…and it takes away from picture time when we have to pick it out.  I gave her all my professional, photographer errs of caution and then told her to go for it.  “Do whatever you want!  This is your day!”  So, she did!  For the first couple of photos, it was exactly what I expected…a mess.  THEN, we got this bottom one and it was SO worth it!


BUT…I had to, of course, take a “I told you so” photo!  I mean…this is me we are talking about!  I kind of love it though!


Then, we moved on to formal photos.  Lots of loving and cooperative family.  The photos are beautiful and perfect for this location!  We had to get some of Gracie with her parents too…she even smiled for one!


That moment when all the elements come together.  The barn.  The outfits.  The friendships.  The love.  The AMAZING bridal party!


Then, it was time for their formal photos.  I walked down the hill to catch this moment that I did not pose.  I thought, “Awwww…how sweet!”


The moment quickly turned into something else.  Sam started it this time…I can’t even blame Joe for this one!  I’m not even sure what’s happening here!


WHISKEY!  It ended with a fun photo though!  Gosh…these aren’t even posed.  This is just how genuinely happy they were after the ceremony!


So, we walked down the hill.  I spotted some foliage I needed in my life.  Joe suggested a nice photo like this.  I love it!


While I was off doing that, Kari was off taking nature photos.  That’s what she does!


Then, we went right into walking and snuggling and they stole the show with a dip at the end.  That’s it!  That’s a wrap!  We were done…just like that!

Just kidding!  We got a TON more…you’re about to be blasted with lots and lots of bride/groom formal photo goodness!  If I haven’t said it before, the amount of time a couple gives us photographers makes a world of difference in the final gallery.  We had almost a full hour with JUST the couple for this wedding and their gallery shows it.  We weren’t rushed.  We did all the standard photos plus the extra fun ones plus some new ones.  We had gobs of time to just relax and walk around and enjoy all the moments.  It’s not just amazing for us…it’s amazing for the couple and they get lots and lots of lasting memories to top it all off!

…and then Joe does things like this without being prompted and I squeal with delight!

Seriously, I get all the good feels from these photos.  I should mention these are a mix of my photos and Kari’s photos and I can’t really tell you who took what or I would!  Kari and I’s style of shooting at weddings is very similar for the most part and because we had so much time…we were both moving and switching lenses and leaning here and leaning there…who knows who took what!

Those pants.  I can’t believe he didn’t end up splitting them.  As if he didn’t learn his lesson the first time earlier in the day, here he goes again.  If you read all my blogs, you know I had tested out the new HBP pose, “The Baywatch” which was originally intended for this couple.  Marissa and Chris were kind enough to test it out at an engagement session and Joe got ALLLLLLLLL bent out of shape about it.  I’m being sarcastic, of course, BUT he did text Sam about it who told me about it.  We all had a good laugh.  You see, we learn things as we go about what to do and not to do.  I had seen an opportunity at that engagement session with a couple who was more than willing and thought it was good to practice.  For example, I knew from that session to tell Joe not to jump too high or do the “marching band,” as we called it.  I prepped them.  We went for it!

It started out pretty good…

…and turned into this.  Are you laughing?  I’m laughing!  Ok…maybe those happened in reverse.  I think the below happened FIRST and then I yelled “WHISKEY” and they had to redo it.  Nonetheless, it makes for a funny moment in the blog AND I’m telling you…I’m photoshopping a dinosaur into this photo this winter.  I do NOT care that it’s been overdone…I can’t not do it.  RIGHT?!  RIGHT?!  Mark my words…during down season in the winter…you’re going to see it!  I can’t even imagine what their video is going to look like! HA!

…and just like that…he’s back at it again…being all sweet.  It was his suggestion to get up on the fence…I’m so glad he did!


I mean…they’re just different versions of the above…but can you get enough?!  I can’t!


Lacey even got in on it which is NOT easy.  There was me and Kari and Dan already fighting for space…she managed to get her own photos too AND with a Canon Rebel which is a hobbyist camera.  So crazy!  This just proves it’s not just the equipment but the photographer’s talent too!  She’s definitely going to be second shooting for me in the future with a professional camera in her hands.  You just wait!  So, let’s add in one of Lacey’s photos, shall we?!

There was a rope swing too.  That’s right.  A ROPE SWING!  WHATTTTTT?!


…and Kari wins the award for best rope swing photo! Jeesh!  She does it again!


Then, we went to the other side of the lake!  Here he goes!  He loves her SO MUCH!  SO MUCH!

Lacey got a good one too!  GAH!  No idea what is happening here but I’m sure you get the picture they really didn’t care that we were present and creepin’…they were having their own moments.

If you saw my IG stories, you know I photoshopped a TON of goose poo off that dock.  I had visions of putting them on it…going across the lake…shooting their reflection.  Nope.  No way.  THEN, I come to find out she got goose poo on her dress anyway.  My shoes were also soaked too.  It was quite wet down there!  It had rained the night before!

So, we headed back up to the barn to get the party started and because I’m never really done and I hadn’t really done anything too crazy…I hid behind the fern for one last one.  This was right before the jumping photo happened.  You know…the one you saw at the beginning of the blog?  Isn’t it amazing how he can go from this…to that…and back again?! HA!

Let’s get this party STARTED!  Mr. & Mrs. Corona, everyone!


In true Sam and Joe fashion, there was nothing traditional about their first dance!  They stole the show with a fast paced number.  Their song was “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” by Starship.  They, of course, showed off for me with a perfect dip!


Then, they went straight into speeches and Joe popped the champagne, literally, and warned us all before he did so.  Check out the look on some people’s faces! HA!

He almost got the coordinator too!  It worked though and everyone raised their glasses to the happy couple!


After an AMAZING BBQ dinner, the party got started.  Mike killed it behind the DJ table!


At some point, I went out on the deck to look for a sunset.  I knew it was a long shot BUT I always look at any reception where there is an opportunity…just so I know I did my best.  Sam had texted me this photo (below) that morning of the sunrise too.  I mean…the chances of having an amazing sunrise AND sunset are slim…especially on an overcast day.


So, there I was…looking to the west for a sunset.  No go.  Just a blue overcast sky (you can see it behind Sam in the photo below).  I was sad.  Sam was out there too doing her Sam thing and just being happy to be there.  I looked at her with my “boo boo” face and said, “No sunset for us tonight” and she just shrugged and danced around and said, “That’s ok!  It’s been an amazing day!”  Then, I turned around to the east and saw the most beautiful purple and pink and orange sky I have every seen.  It was like a movie.  My heart stopped.  I yelled.  I pointed.  Sam’s eyes got real big and she said, “ARE WE GOING?!”  I looked at her and squealed and said, “YES! OMG!  LET’S GET JOE AND GO!”  Seriously, this whole day was perfect.

So, let’s just all get together in the same frame of mind, shall we?!.  Click HERE to open a new window to play “When You Wish Upon a Star” in the background.  Make sure it opens in another tab…then come back!  Seriously, do it!  DO IT!

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That’s how I feel about this whole day!

“Anything your heart desires will come to you…dreams really do come true.”

THEY DO!

Ok.  You can turn the music off now. HA!  I couldn’t help it.  I seriously felt like I was living a dream when this was happening.  It’s also important to note I did NOT touch that sky in post processing.  I did not emphasize it.  Honest to goodness, if you saw the sunset on Sept. 22nd in Pittsburgh…you saw this.  Lacey had left and was texting me…Jenna was texting me…all the wedding photographers were FREAKING out this night…I promise you!  It was like Crayola crayon colors and Joe and I’s personalities really came out and we were SCREAMING…”JOE, JUST LOOK AT IT!”….”HANNAH, JUST LOOK AT IT!”…screaming it!  We were so excited and photo happy the videographer kindly asked us to stop taking photos (and yelling) so he could get some coverage without our cameras going out!  HA!  Too funny!

Ugh. Ok.  Moment over.  Back to the reception!  As if they aren’t sappy enough, they managed to snag a menu from the restaurant where they had their VERY first date…and then asked guests at their wedding to sign it.  COME ON!  HOW DOES THIS STUFF EVEN HAPPEN?!  I’m telling you…this wedding made me question everything I did for my own ten years ago! HA!


The party was hopping in the background…literally.  There was so much jumping and dancing the floor was moving.  Us sober people kept giving the side eye wondering if the floor would hold! HA!  I’ll admit…it was a little nerve racking! HA!  The dancers had NO IDEA though and all did hold tight!


The party went on and on and on!  You know…I’m always looking for a good way to end the blog.  Sam and Joe were kind enough to let us go early.  All the photos were starting to look the same anyway…you know…lots of dancing…lots of the backs of the heads…HA!  I was so happy to catch them dancing together before I packed up though.  I like “closure” so I like to end the photos with a bang or a photo that feels like an “ending” to the night.  I thought these would do.


Then, Kari had to go and do this.  Kari and I have a system, you see.  We didn’t even really plan it in the beginning of our journey working together…it just happened.  While I pack up, she always keeps shooting the dancing until the very last minute so we don’t miss anything.  She came up to me and showed me what she got…this shot…which seemed even more perfect than mine.  She does it again!  This seemed like the perfect ending to the night and blog.


…but then Sam showed up with these and I shot this and I KNEW this was the “final” shot of the night!  HA!  Take that, Kari!  Seriously, it’s perfect…isn’t it?!  I do believe this is the very last photo in their gallery…the last photo we took before the cameras went in the bags.  It’s perfect…isn’t it?!


…but before I go…here’s some behind the scenes.  Again, please never judge the quality of these types of photos.  It’s not easy holding a $5000 camera, lens, and flash over your head!  It’s HEAVY too.  We were having a blast, as you can tell.  Dan the videographer was great and we worked really well together (and later found out he dates one of the makeup artists we’ve worked with).  Mike (or is it Matt…I’m looking now…it IS MIKE! YAY!) and I just clicked and had a great time (he threw a great party too).  I, of course, got a photo with the bride and groom and someone photo bombed us! HA!  It was just amazing.  This was one of those weddings where we felt very much a part of everything.  We weren’t the hired help…we were “family” and while that’s not required, by any means, it makes the whole experience all the more better for everyone.  I was definitely feeling better at this wedding compared to the day before (even though my complexion says otherwise).  I was on cloud nine coming off this weekend.  I can’t imagine any other way it could have been any better…for real.  I drove home and called Kari.  I called my friend Kat.  I could NOT get over it.

Ok.  Still not done.  I know I’ve raved and raved about this couple.  I’m biased…yes…as I’ve gotten to know them on a deeper level but that just says how great they are.  They took the time to get to know not just me…but Kari too…and then Lacey.  They welcomed us all with open arms (literally) and to the point they wrote all three of us individual thank you cards – personalize, no less.  And what am I holding there in this photo below?  Well first, if you look real closely at the upper left hand corner…you can see the sunset.  That’s right.  After we were done taking the sunset photos, Sam and Joe stopped during their own reception to go inside and get a gift for me and thank you cards for all of us.  I insisted they get back to the party but they wouldn’t have it.  It was a bottle of rum for me!  If you know me well, you know I’m not a big drinker and if I’m going to drink…it’s going to be rum…always.  I don’t really drink anything else.  Not only did they get me a bottle of rum, they had it customized WITH a picture of the three of us they took at the engagement session last year.  Seriously, they’re amazing people.  I miss them already and that bottle of rum is going to allow me to see them again because I couldn’t find it when I left.  I was so sad.  It had gotten moved, I believe, BUT they found it the next morning so we’re going to meet up and have some drinks so I can get my bottle of rum back.  I might drink it..I might not.  I’m DEFINITELY keeping the bottle though!

I’m looking at this photo and realizing Joe and I almost look related too! HA!

Seriously though…I love these two so very much.  They are amazing people.  I hope we can all get together over and over again to have some fun…take some pictures…drink some rum…who knows!  I also know I gave Joe a hard time in this blog but he deserves it…he called me “Hannah Banana Ding Dong” in the thank you! HA!  I can’t even stop laughing about that!  Also, please note how he addressed each of our “thank yous”.  I mean…they took the time to do that leading up to their own wedding.  They’re one of a kind on the inside and out.  They care deeply for their family and friends AND vendors (I mean…I think I can graduate to just friend now but we’ll see).  I’m getting all the warm fuzzies again!

GIANT digital hugs to the new Mr. & Mrs. Corona!  What a positively amazing experience from the moment Sam first reached out until the end of this night!  Here’s to more memories with this couple!  CHEERS!

…because this blogs deserves a “KAPOW” ending…here is a photo of them literally running off into the sunset!

OooO but I’m still not done yet!  Check out their amazing itinerary they sent out to all the VIPs!  It’s so clever and unique!

…and because I promised…I dug out some of the cell phone photos Sam has sent to me over the last 1+ years.  WHYYYYYYYY?!  WHY does it have to be over?! I’m so sad!

 

Ok.  For real.  I’m done now.  I’m sitting over here pouting.  I’m so sad it’s over.  I AM glad I’m done editing it though! HA!  I’m knee deep in editing right now so another wedding is CHECKED off the list!  It’s just SO bittersweet for me!

CONGRATS TO THE CORONAS!

They left their Pittsburgh wedding and honeymooned in Mexico for 10 days with a butler present.  I’m totally jealous!! They sent me photos though!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Some absolutely amazing vendors played a huge part in this couple’s day!
Use the links provided for more info.!

Bride’s Gown – Maggie SotteroAbbott’s Bridal

Bridesmaids’ Dresses – Dillards

Men’s Attire – Jos A Bank

Bride’s Shoes – Rifle Paper Co. for Kids

Hair/Makeup – Megh Bradley – Beauty First, Cranberry, PA

Coordinator – Kristi Sherge

Venue – Armstrong Farms, Saxonburg, PA

Florist – Petal Pushers

Videographer – Isley Creative

Pies – Soergel Orchard

Cake – Bethel Bakery

DJ – Mike Dunn

Catering – Stephen’s Kitchen and Catering

Invites – Designed by 143 Calligraphy and printed by Erieview Reproduction Center

Officiant – Rev. Mark DeNuzzio from A Simple Vow

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done by only me is your doing,my darling)

no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true) and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a s n will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

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Here on the blog, every HBP couple gets to relive their day.

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