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Fernstone Retreat Wedding

Hello, Everyone!  I’m working late today to get this one done!  This blog…and couple…and wedding…is super duper bittersweet for me.  I’m so happy to see this couple married but so sad to mark them as “past weddings” in my system.  Everyone, this wedding was beautiful – both in decor and people.  Please give Mr. & Mrs. Walter all your Hannah Barlow Photography love!  They got married nine days ago and their Fernstone Retreat Wedding is on the blog right now!

It’s literally impossible for me to really put all this in words, but I’ll try…because this couple deserves it.  I got to know Sam on a real real real personal level since she booked me (pre-COVID).  Over this time, we have had deep conversations about just about everything – politics, COVID, and world news and then we had light conversations about house plants (for real).  Then, we DID talk weddings, of course!  A lot went into planning this wedding.  It was originally supposed to be at Seven Springs but you know…COVID.  So, they opted for a completely outdoor venue…just a few months ago.  That’s right!  They re-planned their wedding with just months to spare.  And you know what I always say…”It was meant to be!”  You just wait and SEE!

So, I snatched Emily up Saturday morning on June 5th.  We grabbed our favorite Starbucks coffee.  You know why?  Not just because we need coffee on an early wedding day journey, but because this bride texted ME and sent ME a gift card to get some coffee.  Yep.  That’s the level we’re on now…and I could cry!  But anyway, we made the long trek up to Fernstone Retreat in Farmington, PA.  Right off the bat, we were laughing.  I passed this sign…slammed on my breaks (despite the fact that Jaclyn – wedding planner – had already warned me about getting to this place).  THEN, of course…I had to walk back and get a photo of the sign.  If you saw the funny Instagram video, this was the sign.  YES…I walked ALL the way back to get this one photo…because ALL details are worth it!

After we got that out of our systems, we found our parking spot and unloaded the car.  Then, we got our bearings straight, met the planners…and found the ladies!

BUT THEN…I got to meet Atit (owner of Weekend Project Studios).  SOMEHOW, he already knew who I was.  I have worked with his company at prior weddings…but not with him personally.  I still need to ask him about that! HA!  He was busy doing details and was kind enough to share space.  I got all the good vibes from him…and you know I’m always a little leery with new vendors.  I call it my “new vendor anxiety”.  I’m a people person…but I can be A LOT.  I know that!  Atit just rolled with it and together we got all these detail shots and HOLY CRAP…alllllll the color!

Even the invitation and ring shots had all the color!

This day went SO fast!  Just like that, it was time for informal shots so we could get the bride and groom ready!

Sam’s not a drinker so it was totally fun watching her take notes from her friends and Atit on how to pop champagne (I, myself, wouldn’t know either).

These black and whites…my goodness ME!  I love them so much!  Bryce, you did good…REAL good!

On our way back to find Sam to get her ready, Emily and I made sure to photograph ALL the details.  Holy crap!! Fernstone Retreat has all you could ever want from an outdoor venue, I tell ya!  I even told Emily this would make the PERFECT venue for a themed…let’s say…Alice in Wonderland wedding.

There is no stronger love than a mother and daughter, right?  JUST LOOK AT THESE!

First look with the ladies!

THEN, it was time for the big moment…the bride and groom first look!  Bryce tried to hold back…he did.  But how could you hold back when your bride looks like THIS?!  I can NOT wait to see the video of all these moments.  Atit’s killing me over here!

Bride and Groom formal time!  I simply can’t pick favorites.  Not only do I love the forest magic but I love this couple.  Sam is a dear friend now (doesn’t it seem like I make friends with all the Sams I have as brides?  Must be a thing!).

I needed some of that sunny glow!  It was HOT!  I have absolutely no idea how they managed but they did and it was so worth it!

The sweetness and beauty just oozes out of Sam, doesn’t it?!

Now, let’s break it up and bring on the bridal party!  Groom goes first!

Then, Sam got her moment…lots of them.  I took SO many…I just couldn’t STOP!

Some men behaved more than others for the personality shots!

Then, the beautiful ladies got their moment too!

Then, I needed jussssssssst a few (hundred) more.  Not even kidding!  If you saw the gallery, you’d laugh!  Also, huge shout out to Atit again for just rolling with me.  I was in a full blown Hannah photo FRENZY!  If you’re seen me on a wedding day, you know exactly what I was like in this moment!

Alright. Whewwww.  Time for just a few MORE details before this ceremony gets going!

Just when Bryce thought he’d gotten all the emotion out of the way during the first look, he realized how wrong he had been.  I tell people all the time.  First looks don’t necessarily take away from the emotion…sometimes it ADDS to it because all the nerves are gone.

Here she comes!  Emily and I were tag teaming the angles, of course!

SO CLOSE.  I absolutely love Cheryl’s (officiant) reaction during all of this!  Side note: I also love that outfit!  I need it in my life.  Cheryl, if you see this…tell me where you got it, please!

A beautiful ceremony…in a beautiful forest.  Sam did tell me it wouldn’t be hot (I was worried about those sleeves given it was 80+ degrees) BUT she was right.  It was perfectly cool down by the creek.  Yes.  They got married near a creek.  I can’t make this stuff up!

Sorry guys…I wasn’t letting Bryce get hit with the emotion bus.  I caught them tearing up too!  Friendship is a beautiful thing!

You may now kiss the bride!

Mr. & Mrs. Walter, everyone!

Then, we went right into family formals and I was blessed to be the one to capture not just the grandparents and other family members, but FOUR generations of women!

…and now that all that formal fluff is done…it’s time to PARTY with THE Jonathan Mihellis (who probably won’t read all this because he is used to ALL my words but it’s still fun to add this part in and see if he actually sees it! HA! Jonathan…did you see this?). I give him a hard time but love him!

Cake was cut!

Then, they got to dance their first dance as man and wife!

Lots and lots of people shed tears during the speeches.  And yes, that’s a TREE…a real TREE…they are sitting by!  It’s magical at Fernstone!

Sam’s mom’s pup dressed the part and gave his “congrats” to the bride.

Then, Sam and her dad had their moment for the father/daughter dance!

…and Bryce got to dance with his sweet mom.

Jonathan brought the couple back out for me before the party got started so I could have Bryce spin Sam!

Then, the party REALLY got started.  There is never…ever…a lack of party with Jonathan around!

YAY!  New friends were made.  Emily fits RIGHT in with the Hannah Barlow Photography team…right down to making friends with vendors!

OMG.  When I say we were having a BLAST, we were having a BLAST!  We got all the traditional stuff out of the way and I must say that the man who caught the garter was a PERFECT gentleman.  Even Emily looked over and said, “Wow.  He was so kind and a gentleman when he put that garter on!”  Sometimes that tradition can be a bit…awkward?  Nope.  Not at this wedding.  GREAT people at this wedding!

I, of course, had to jump in Jonathan’s booth and photobomb him!

I did get our usual selfie though!  I missed the selfies SO much in 2020!

…and the party just kept going.  AND GOING…to the point we stayed a little later.

I didn’t take off without giving the bride all my hugs and love AND getting a selfie with her too!

Now, I sit here and just wonder.  How can that be over already?!  I feel like I JUST met Sam over a year ago when she saw my work from another friend’s wedding.  But then, when I REALLY think about it…we’re so similar and i feel like we’ve known each other longer.  I kept telling her over the last year that we are “soul mates” in a friendship kind of way.  Sam and Bryce have been so easy going from the beginning.  Their engagement session (HERE) was a dream.  I can promise you.  You’re going to see these two over and over again…we’re even talking about getting lunch when they’re in town (Well, Bryce may have something to say about that but Sam and I will definitely meet up…no camera…HA!).  Give the new Walters all your Hannah Barlow Photography love!  OOo yea.  And what better way to end this than with their newspaper article!  Thanks for reading!


Vendors

Bride’s Gown – MB Bride (Kitty Chen)

Bridesmaids’ Dresses – David’s Bridal

Men’s Attire – Men’s Wearhouse

Shoes – Kaileep Etsy Store

Jewelry/Rings – Kranich’s (Wedding Bands)

Hair/Makeup – Emily Beck

Wedding Planner/Coordinator – Jaclyn Pheasant/Kristen Bauer – Dream Creations Event Planning

Florist – Linda Brown’s Floral

Atit Amin – Weekend Project Studios

Cake – Mountain Cupcakery

DJ – Finest Events

Catering – Stonehouse Restaurant and Country Inn

Invitations – Susan Prichard – Graphitti Creations (Design), Zazzle (Print)

Officiant – Cheryl Schrier

Restrooms – Mr. John

Chairs – All Occasions Party Rental

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