Happy Thursday, everyone! I’ve got Rebecca and Zach’s wedding on the blog today…it was a long time coming for SO many reasons and I’m so excited to show you their beautiful, summer wedding at The Atrium! You remember their engagement session, right? You can see it HERE! I met these two way back in 2017 when I photographed Zach’s brother’s wedding. I was so excited when Rebecca reached out and hired me! These two are seriously two of the sweetest and most kind hearted humans I’ve met so they deserved a wedding for the books. Enter 2020 and we didn’t even know what this day would look like but it ALL worked out and this couple deserved it! Just a warning, I’m going to use the work “perfect” and the phrase “meant to be” A LOT in this blog. Sorry…but not sorry! It really was PERFECT! Enjoy!
Last Saturday was beautiful! I met up with Ashleigh and we traveled the 1.5 hour journey up to Bakerstown, PA to meet the bride at Studio 11 to capture the gals getting ready. It was an easy morning even before we arrived. Ashleigh was early (and she’s NEVER early). I had already gotten breakfast (so no one was getting hangry) and the weather was BEAUTIFUL…yep, PERFECT! No rain in the forecast! YAY! Once we arrived to the salon (with about a half hour to spare), we were able to chat with the girls, confirm all the details of the day and get ready to go! I knew…JUST KNEW…after their engagement photos that Rebecca was going to be stunning. Her hair was only 1/4 of the way complete and I just pictured it all coming together! WEEEE! She was SO calm too compared to most of my brides at this point in the day!
So, at that point, Ash and I then headed over to the church to get the detail shots completed. It worked out perfectly too (there’s that word again). The salon was literally one minute down the road. Rebecca’s mom, Jane, was kind enough to come with us and give us the grand tour so we didn’t get lost. Then, it was alllll about the details! These details were simple, sweet and elegant and just perfect for this wedding and couple!
Rebecca and Zach make their faith a very large part of their lives. While it wasn’t a request, Ashleigh and I grabbed a Bible we saw laying in the room and made sure to get some ring shots.
Details shots were completed so easily! Just like that, we’d completed them and we felt so at ease. So, we headed BACK to the salon to finish up getting ready with the gals! This NEVER happens but with the salon being one minute down the road…why not, right!? Again, it was just working out already and we’d only been there about an hour!
…and then right back to the church! All of these ladies were easy going and we took soooo many getting ready shots (and then formal shots later) of them!
Then, the flowers arrived and the bold color gal in me LOVED them! So, while Ash was shooting Rebecca getting in her dress, I was shooting rings in the flowers!! That blue and red though…I love a good POP in my photos!
I just want to shout out to Ashleigh. She’s yet another one I’ve thrown to the wolves in the photography department! Yup! She’s done countless weddings with me as assistant but this was the first year she’s started shooting. This was her second wedding solo as second shooter and she absolutely NAILED it! Honestly? I looked at a lot of these photos and thought, “Hmph. I’m not sure I would have been able to do it this well at my second wedding”. I mean…just look!! The majority of these are hers! I’m such a proud Momma Bear and the fact that Rebecca looks like this?! ALLLLLL the Hannah excitement coming out!
So, it was at this point that we had to change the timeline. IF I had to choose one thing that “went wrong”, it would have been that Zach arrived later than planned so we had to change the timeline. No biggie. I know Rebecca was stressed about it but we made it work and I promised her it would be FINE (and I meant it…). I know she also thought I was nuts for this location but I could just picture the beauty that this little spot was going to give me. AND FUN FACT…it’s in the parking lot!! That’s right!! So, when I say to my couples, “Don’t worry…I can make a parking lot look good…” Well, THIS is what I mean!! I’m literally standing on the asphalt but the greenery and the light and everything was so perfect! THOSE are the things that matter in photography. Add in Rebecca? We made MAGIC!
Rebecca’s mom and sister are gems. It should be no surprise that all three of these ladies are amazing people AND Rebecca has a twin brother too! I got to meet him and her dad later plus all their significant others! They very much made us feel like family and that’s more than we could ever ask for at weddings but makes the experience all the more sweet!
We did some photos with Zach’s family too! Do you all remember them from May 2017?! I love seeing familiar faces!
Summer is definitely transitioning into fall and I felt it with these colors and I’m loving it SO much! SOOOOO MUCH!
Yes. We had to do those photos FAST! I think we were out there maybe 15 minutes? We didn’t want anyone to see Rebecca if we could help it so we did things a little backwards. Usually, I do the “getting ready window shots” before the formal photos but we had to get out, get photos done, and get back in before Zach FINALLY arrived (just giving him a hard time now…it was really no big deal that he arrived 50 minutes late…that’s right…). It made for good blog material…and again, I always say “every wedding has to have something go wrong”. So, I guess we’ll just say that we had to change the timeline. Isn’t that saying something about this day? I mean…I can’t think of anything else! But anyway, I did a poll on Instagram (you can follow me HERE) and there was no clear answer to which was better or which one people preferred more. Color or black and white? You tell me! I STILL can’t decide. I CAN tell you that Ashleigh took the majority of these though. I liked hers better and literally stole her spot to try and match what she was doing (which is the vertical photo below). I just love them all. Rebecca, I knew you’d be beautiful…but you were down right magazine worthy, girl!! AHHHH!
Everyone was talking about the arches and while I don’t normally shoot in harsh light like this…it was such a nice change and we got beautiful photos out of it. That dress though…as a fellow satin lover and wearer on my wedding day, I was loving this dress! We’ve never had one like it!
Alright!! So, we were about 45 minutes from the ceremony at this point and it was time for the guys to get their photo op! They didn’t disappoint!
THEN, it was time for the ceremony and Ashleigh was creeping in the back and caught this moment right before Rebecca and her dad walked down the aisle.
It was my first time at the First Presbyterian Church of Bakerstown! Mr. & Mrs. Kraus, everyone!
We definitely wanted to take FULL advantage of the beautiful reception venue (The Atrium) that I’d heard all about so we shot some bridal party portraits and then we were off!
Ooo wait…Nope! I did grab the couple for just a few more because I really loved this location so much! Seems so random…I know…but there was just something about it that called to me! Ash was doing her thing from the side and nailed it!
Off we went!! We had about a 30 minute commute from ceremony location to reception and then we arrived!! The Atrium was all I could have hoped for AND MORE! It’s one of the neatest venues I’ve been to and so beautiful to photograph!
I don’t know who made these cookies but you need a round of applause! I don’t normally eat cookies (I’m a low carber…) BUT I couldn’t resist and I did sneak a few and holy moly…I could have scarfed up the whole thing! Who made them?! I’m going to need that peanut butter cookie recipe with a surprise inside. Seriously, I’d pay good money for that baby! Ashleigh has worked in the service industry too when it comes to food and events and it was so funny when she came up to me and was keeping tabs on the cookie table (You know…it’s in her blood to make sure it’s always full). She said “that cookie table got annihilated” and she was right! BUT THEY WERE SOOOOOOO GOOOD. And this couple must LOVE sour patch kids and Swedish fish! I loved that addition!
I then got to meet Meghan (coordinator at The Atrium) and then Austin (DJ from ACE Entertainment) ANDDDD it was at this point that I realized I actually had 15 minutes LESS time that what I had planned. I only had 15 minutes TOTAL for formal photos…and yep, I was going to make it happen! I had a plan! We started at this spot! I’d usually be sweating at this point, but I wasn’t…and I still can’t figure it out…but I was totally relaxed…with only 15 MINUTES to spare!
…then we moved to this spot…Ooo my goodness ME! Ash and I tag teamed this so it’s a good mix of both our photos (gotta give credit where credit is due, ya know?). It’s also an overload of bride groom formals which is just simply a true testament to this day. With only 15 minutes, we got MORE bride and groom formals that we do at most weddings because it all just came together perfectly…PERFECTLY.
Then, we moved on to the gazebo!
Then, we moved over just a few feet to the right for some great variety. Ooo my goodness. These are some of my favorite ANDDDDD can we just talk about that photo through the grass? Ashleigh took that. I managed to get an epic good and hilarious photo of her in the grass too (for the behind the scenes blog, of course). ALL of my second shooters are amazing at “creeping” as we call it but this one took the cake. I can’t wait for you to see it and also…remember this was only her second official wedding and SOMEHOW she nailed focus. It’s NOT easy when there is something between you and your subject but she nailed it and it’s a favorite of mine!
We stayed in the same place but just shifted our positions and angles. That light though…AHHHHHHH!! IT WAS PERFECT! Do they not take the best photos together?! I never even had issues with glare on Zach’s glasses. WHATTTTT?! I mean, that’s just natural when you use flash and have glasses but somehow…it all just worked!
Then, we went just slightly to our right for some last minute ones. I had PROMISED Meghan and Austin I’d be done in 15 minutes. I don’t think they believed me. If I’m being honest, I wouldn’t have believed myself but there was just something about this day that said, “It will be ok…it’s going to be GREAT”…and it was! This is just a small tid bit of what is in their gallery. Crazy, right?! And Ash did it again…she creeped THROUGH that greenery again. Honestly, I’m not even sure how she managed it.
15 minutes…DONE! ON TIME…Whewwww! And it was time to introduce Mr. & Mrs. Kraus! Given it’s 2020, the smiles on my couples’ faces are all the more glorious during these times!
Both dads stood up to give a welcome and then say grace before dinner!
After the couple was done eating, we did some photos inside The Atrium while we were waiting for speeches to start!
We had to get a photo with the sign, of course. I did get so many of all varieties for this shot but when the light came around and literally pointed at them….yea…it was a sign! That was the one I was using for the blog!
Back in we went for speeches. Rebecca’s sister cried during her emotional speech…and Zach’s brother, Nathan, had us all laughing SO HARD!
Rebecca and Zach made it a point to go table to table to chat with their guests and they didn’t just say, “Hi”…Nope! You can see they were taking their time and enjoying their night with everyone!
You know you’ve got good vendors when the DJ (Yes, the DJ…) makes the executive decision to bring the cake outside. He got TOTAL brownie points in my book after this…
Becaussssssssseeeee…it led to some of my favorite (if not my favorite) cake cutting photos EVER!
I mean…THE LIGHT AND LOCATION WERE PERFECT. There’s that word again. I don’t know of very many couples who can say they cut the cake during golden hour with the sun behind them. Also, most “cake eating” photos are a lot of awkward open mouths and weird faces…Nope…not these two! They even make cake eating look wedding photo gallery worthy with those big smiles.
You loyal blog readers know all of us shooters have our “thing”. Over the years, I’ve been able to “see” what each of my assistants likes to shoot, how they like to shoot and what photos I can expect. Well, this is one of Ashleigh’s. She always makes sure to take a photo of the cake AFTER it’s been cut…WHICH is kind of brilliant and I can only imagine goes back to her server days. Yes! We want to see the inside too! AND this cake looked absolutely DEVINE!
…totally random photo but Ashleigh caught this and we couldn’t stop giggling. Little Nixon (Zach’s nephew and the son of a past Hannah Barlow Photography couple) tried to make a break for it! HA! Party is over, I guess! HA!
Alright! Back to the wedding! They got to dance their first dance under the lights…under the sky…on a PERFECT weather day!
…and you all know I love a good sunset. I was HOPING for one. It didn’t end up happening but I did see that color in the sky and decided to take advantage of it and make it look darker than it actually was outside!
Rebecca danced with her dad and Zach’s mom got emotional during their dance!
His brothers were sure to film the whole thing! I loved that Nathan saw me do this and gave me the “thumbs up”.
Talk about that cake being delicious? This guy thought so! He was the FIRST one out on the dance floor when the beat dropped. Ash came over later and said, “You know how we always have that “one guy”? Well, he’s that guy tonight. I’m here to tell you he was one of the most entertaining for us on the dance floor and we got so many epic shots! Thank you!
I mean, I couldn’t narrow it down to JUST a few photos of the reception so I threw a whole bunch together. It didn’t matter if you were dancing…or mingling…or sitting…I looked around and saw people smiling and enjoying each other’s company in all directions! I tried to make it around over and over so I didn’t miss anything! Between me and Ash, I think we got it!
We definitely wanted a night photo! I could not pick JUST one!
Nope! I really couldn’t decide so THIS is the one I chose to end the blog!
Ooo my goodness. There just are no words. I went back and reread this thing and realized there were less words here than normal…and that’s (guess what’s coming…) PERFECT! This couple is the epitome of kindness and gentleness and love. I’ve been waiting for their wedding for so long! I remember back when Rebecca booked me. I don’t usually work Labor Day weekend. I try and leave Memorial and Labor Day for family time (since I work every other weekend the entire spring, summer, and fall). BUT…when she reached out, I just knew…KNEW…deep down it would be amazing. I didn’t even hesitate to mark it off my calendar. Looking back, I think I somehow knew it would be a stress free day. I’m not sure exactly how I knew that…but I did…and now looking back…YES…it was just perfect. Everything the entire day just kept coming together with very little effort on our parts. Every time I took a test shot…it was essentially ready to go. Editing this wedding? It was a breeze. I can’t say enough great things about this couple and their families and their friends…the bridal party…the decor..the whole environment. It was amazing! I left my house at 8:45 AM and didn’t get back until 10:45 PM. After that? I didn’t even take a shower and go to bed like I usually do…nope! I was too pumped up to see these beauties!
Thank you, Rebecca and Zach for picking me! 2020 is hard. Couples like you and weddings like yours are keeping me going and giving me hope for all the other 2020 (and 2021) weddings coming up! You’re also giving my other couples hope! One last time…IT WAS PERFECT…AND IT WAS AMAZING!
Congrats to the Kraus’! They are on their honeymoon right now in the states and I can’t wait for them to see this and their gallery! Happy Thursday, everyone!
Bride’s Gown – Magic Moment Bridal Studio, Jasmine Collection
Bridesmaids’ Gowns – Azazie
Men’s Attire – Men’s Wearhouse
Shoes – David’s Bridal
Jewelry/Rings – Bruno’s Jewelers
Hair/Makeup – Diane Kingan (Studio 11), Makeup by Catherine Collins (Sephora Consultant)
Wedding Planner/Coordinator – The Atrium Staff
Florist – Hearst & Flowers
Cake – Tin Man Sweets
DJ/Band – Austin Eckhardt (ACE Entertainment)
Catering – Medure’s
Transportation/Limo – Star Limo
Save the Dates (Shutterfly), Invitations (Zazzle), Programs (Zazzle)
Ceremony Venue – First Presbyterian Church of Bakerstown
Officiant – Jim O’hara and Jeremy Collins
Reception Venue – The Atrium in Prospect, PA