Oh my goodness ME! I don’t even know where to start with this one and that’s the honest truth. If you know me and/or if you’re a loyal blog reader or you’ve ever met me in person, you KNOW I never lack words AND especially not for the blogs…and I lack words right now…and in all the great ways. First, I’m going to have to give you a lot of background information about this couple especially the bride, Sydney, that way you can truly understand what an amazing this wedding was for both the Hannah Barlow Photography team and both the videographers of Penderville Wedding Films (Hey, JT and Buddy!). I also need to set the stage so you can all get a feel for what it was like going into this wedding day. I don’t normally start blogs out like this…but let’s do it!
So, Sydney hired me about a year ago and then we moved right on to plan her engagement session. That engagement session turned out to be right during hunting season (which I know well since I’m married to a hunter). I did not, in fact, know Brad was a hunter at the time (I probably would have talked her out of a November engagement session…which still wouldn’t have worked…but I would have tried!). I know what it’s like to ask an avid hunter to miss hunting season. (you just don’t do it…HA!) That was probably my first text of many that started with “BUT SYDDDNNEEEYYY”. HA! There were a lot of those between us in the last year. Brad rolled with the punches though and we made it through that session but not without a lot of stress on Sydney‘s part leading up to it. You see, anyone who knows Sydney knows she’s very particular about her hair and I understand (I vowed to be the hair fixer on her wedding day). So, we had some hair drama. Some weather drama. You name it. I proved to her we could make anything work and she loved her engagement photos! WIN! Then, about one million texts and a few panicked phone calls later…we made it to the beginning of wedding week. At that point, we compiled a nightmarish (and I mean…run for your life to get things done scary) timeline. I called JT…we tried to get a plan…we Zoomed with Sydney…kind of tweaked our plan…and rolled into this wedding day knowing that if ONE thing (just one thing) went wrong or just one person was late…we were in big big BIG trouble for wedding day coverage for photo and video. And as Hunter (Sydney’s matron of honor) said in her speech, “Once Sydney gets her mind set on something, there’s no going back!” And that’s true. Sydney and I got to know one another real well in the last year (to the point I told her I was just going to drag her around her wedding day real fast to get things done and she said, “OK!”). I knew her mind was set. And somehow, we were going to make it happen. SOMEHOW.
AND WE DID! I’m still scratching my head trying to figure out exactly how we did it…but over 1000 finished photos later…I’m smiling ear to ear and I can NOT wait to show you this wedding. Get ready. Buckle up. It’s a LOT of previews coming at you. Sydney and Brad’s June Rustic Meadows Wedding in Darlington, PA is live on the wedding blog right now!! You know what to do…give them ALL your Hannah Barlow Photography love and ENJOY!
This was an early day for me and a long day for us! We arrived at 11:00 am with ten hours of shooting time ahead of us! That’s right! This is when I started to think, “Ok…maybe it’s a fluke…don’t get too excited” BUT…every single person was already ready to go when I arrived. THAT’S RIGHT! WHATTTT?! I can’t believe it (I couldn’t believe it at the time either). Eleven bridesmaids, two moms, and a bride…all hair and makeup complete. That NEVER happens. It’s a SIGN! The wedding Gods were giving me grace…and the greatness kept on coming!
Shoutout to JT (owner of Penderville Wedding Films) for being on dress duty! I’m always so paranoid about taking dresses outside. JT thinks I’m nuts…but I don’t want to be the one who drops that baby (it’s happened…hence my paranoia…the wind is not always our friend). Lacey and I tag teamed these shots!
Then, we got right down to the detail shots. I promise. I’m doing my very Hannah best to keep it short right now because I’m going to get real wordy here in a bit! Seriously, look how cute this place is AND it’s actually very large on the inside!
…and the details!
Now, I’ll let you preview a little getting ready black and whites in Rustic Meadows’ perfect getting ready cottage!
After we got Sydney ready, we did a dad and daughter first look! My favorite part of that? That’s when Sydney’s mom went to pin her dad’s flower and I was being a total Hannah creeper and heard her say, “It’s like our wedding day all over again!” I MEANNNNN. I’m a sucker for love and a good story…statements like that make me swoon. And no… I didn’t keep my feelings to myself at the time. I was all Hannah “Awwwwwwww!!!!!!”
Then, we took these beautiful ladies out to a spot at rustic Meadows and did some bridesmaid photos.
I’m about to overwhelm this blog with beauties! Rustic Meadows has SO many places to photograph! At this point, my goal was to keep these ladies cool and in the shade (it was 90 degrees out). This tree was filtering the light just perfectly and just look how beautiful these turned out!
When I separated everyone out, I was about to move Sydney and JT stopped me. If you read my last blog, you know I was with JT all weekend. We had a wedding the day before that he was also a part of…what are the chances!? Well, we were definitely a well oiled machine at this point and when the wind grabbed her veil and the Wedding Gods said, “Let’s wrap her right up!” I squealed. YES! JT WAS RIGHT!
I did end up moving her after that to spread her dress out. Then, I took a positively obnoxious amount of bridal formals! How could I not though? New venue…perfect weather…beautiful light…beautiful bride. Snap snap snappppping my heart out!
I didn’t stop there though with the amount of photos we were capturing! Shoutout to every single one of these ladies. It was a large bridal party…and remember…tight timeline for me so we were moving FAST and they rocked it!
So, this is where the timeline got really tricky and I honestly didn’t think there any way this was going to happen. I’d even told Sydney the same thing and warned her. I’ve NEVER EVER told a bride I didn’t think I could get things done. We had to drive 40 minutes to the location where Brad and the men were getting ready (right next to the church). That’s a lot of people in a bridal party too. I didn’t think there was much of a chance a large group of men would ALL be ready. Well well wellll, they shocked me and I’m SO grateful. There were 11 groomsmen plus Brad and when I arrived at Sydney’s parents’ house, they were all dressed and ready to go. To say I was impressed is an understatement. What you don’t know yet is that I only had 10 minutes to photograph every single one of these men plus getting ready shots. That’s less than 1 minute per person. Buddy was JT’s assistant. He’d been well versed (thanks, JT) in the Hannah energy…the Hannah paranoia…the squealing. You name it. I’ll never ever forget him getting real close and saying, “Hannah…JT HAS to leave in 10 minutes.” and I’m all like “I know…we’ll get out of here by then”. He doubted me. I mean…I doubted myself. Also, we were supposed to go down the road to another spot for photos but with only 30 seconds to spare for each member of the groomsmen‘s bridal party (that’s literally what we were down to after these getting ready photos below), I decided to make one of the craziest executive decisions I’ve ever made.
I walked outside and looked around. Lacey was hot on my heels in an attempt to help. She often sees things faster than I do because I’m stressed…and it’s her job to keep my feet on the ground. I was channeling the wedding powers that are out there to give me SOMETHING…ANYTHING…and I saw this random tree. Yep. That’s a random tree in between the neighbor’s house and Sydney‘s parents’ house. There was just enough shade that it looked like I could horseshoe them around the tree, put myself on the side of the bank, and photograph from there. There was NO time to go ANYWHERE at this point. By the time we’d get everyone in the car, to another location (which I wasn’t even sure would work anyway) and back out of the cars…our time would be up! So, once I got the OK from JT and Buddy, we went for it. When I say this is one of the craziest ideas I’ve ever had… it’s definitely one of the craziest ideas I’ve ever had but time is of the essence. I had a goal and a long list of photographs to be checked off. JT needed to leave to get back to the church to set up for video. We’re doing it! And just because I know it’s a lot of words…and I’m not always the best at explaining…this is what was happening! I’m still laughing looking back. I WAS DETERMINED, I tell ya!
Would you have known I was on a bank and sliding down the bank? Nope! Even I the neighbors were peeking out the windows. AND LOOK AT THESE GROOM PHOTOS!! AHHHHH!!! BRAD! I could have never imagined! The black and whites are killer good too!
I’m sure the men thought I’d positively lost it. BUT they just rolled with it. We did have to get creative getting them down that hill because rented shoes have NO tread on them! Their personality shots did not disappoint. I particularly love the ones where they started to try and kiss Brad and you can see the progression of that! HA! Remember…less than 30 seconds per person…NEXT!
I’d like to note (ok…brag a little to give Buddy a hard time). We got those done in not 10 minutes…but 9 minutes. I looked right at Buddy and said, “I’d like you to see that it’s 1:59!” Then, I showed him my watch! HA! We needed to leave at 2:00 PM. I STILL can’t believe we did it. So, we raced off to the church like Curella Deville and got right down to the ceremony.
There were even some hilarious moments! When your officiant says, “Brad, do you take Lindsay…” AND THE BRIDE’S NAME IS SYDNEY! The people beside me were cackling because I said, “No he does NOT!” HA! WE ALL LAUGHED! I enjoyed this moment so much!
It all worked out and they were pronounced Mr. & Mrs. Eckman!
…remember when I said there were a lot of “SYDNEYYYY!” moments in my texts? Well, Sydney and her mom originally told me “absolutely no photos at the church”. And I grudgingly agreed. If you don’t know, I’m a stickler for doing family formals AT the ceremony location simply because, once people scatter, it’s very hard to get them back together and it sucks up a ton of time waiting (which we did not have). Add in the fact that we were on a really tight timeline AND it was a long drive back, I thought it was a bad bad BAD idea. But Sydney was insistent and I do not say “no” to my brides…nope! They are ultimately the boss in the end! So, then, when Sydney says to me “Let’s get a photo at the church!” In my head, I was saying, “SYDDDNEEEEYYYYY!!!” all over again. I told JT and he was like “Wait. What?!”…because our original plan was to literally run out of the back of the church, to the party bus, and back (40 minutes remember) to the venue for family photos, bridal party photos, AND bride groom formals. Man, I’m tired all over again reliving this timeline. HA! But again, photographers simply do not say no to the brides…and this bridal party lined RIGHT up and we made it happen. I’m SO grateful. With a bridal party this size, I would have NEVER thought it possible. Their officiant even photobombed one so I included it (below). I did get others too! Unless you were there, I don’t think anyone can appreciate the speed at which this group moved!
Alright. Deep breaths! HERE WE GO! Again, bridal party ROCKED IT! AND we had everyone we needed for photos!! I STILL can’t believe it! There was another text I received from Sydney on the way back about drinks being spilled on dresses (SYDDDDNEEEYYY!) but I knew with the size of the bridal party, you’d never see it!
Then, we got right down to family formals. CHECK! And then, allllllllll the bride and groom portraits. We were ALL feeling these photos (ok..maybe not the bride and groom who were so hot in the 90 degree weather) but me, Lacey, JT and Buddy were selfishly taking alllll the shots we needed!
…and some more!
…and MORE! I’m telling you. Rustic Meadows Farm has lots and lots of options!
AND SOME MORE!!! OMG! I can’t believe these two kept letting us take more…and more!
Let’s go in the field. I mean…why not?! All the Hannah squeals coming at you!
Then, we HAD to go to the car. JT found champagne. They popped it! You’d think we were done, right!?
Nope! I thought for sure one of them would throw in the towel and be done. Brad positively took the lead here. He lifted her right up and we got all the magic we could have ever wanted!! These are, by far, my favorites!
One last kiss and dip photo for the grand finale! I’m still scratching my head. We got ahead on the timeline and ended up with more time than I’ve had all year with a couple! HOW?! Just how?!
Off to the reception we went! Air conditioning has never felt SO good! We actually took most of these photos earlier though!
The wedding just kept getting better and better! I couldn’t have possibly included them all so I chose a bunch at random. The introductions of this bridal party were top notch! I even looked over at Buddy at one point (he was filming next to me) and were both shaking our heads with the biggest smiles on our faces! I think I even got a behind the scenes of him!
The cookie table went on forevvvveerrrrrr! And I’m so thankful Lacey caught the cheesecake table! Somehow I hadn’t even seen it!
Group hugs on the dance floor before this party got started…and it GOT STARTED!
The dance floor was PACKED!
Lacey’s angle of the bouquet toss had me cracking up!
Then, the DJs (who were positively amazing) had a conga line competition. I knew where this was going…
…it was going into a dance off! That’s right! Some of the photos are rated R so I’ll share the PG-13 versions! HA!
Grandma and Grandpa weren’t about to miss this! I caught them enjoying the dance floor off to the side (don’t worry… I caught them ON the dance floor, as well).
Round one went to the men! Round two? Well, this lady didn’t hold back. She tossed her sweater and positively left the men in the dust!
Now listen, us wedding vendors see a lot of “dance offs’. THIS…was a true dance off…like the kind of thing you see in the movies and probably my favorite ever! These people went ALL in. Sydney’s dad has suggested his friend…and his friend looked REALLLLLLLL confident. He hit the floor in a SPLIT and the crowd went wild. They were neck and neck! I have it all on video too! Sydney sent it to me!
…and when she went into a full back flip and hit the ground LAUGHING…HOW!? Just how?! I was so impressed. DJ Dickie called is a tie (they deserved it)…”before someone gets hurt”…HA! This group was NOT going to give up. So, that’s how we left them…to party and dance off the rest of the night! It was one of the highest notes we’ve left on. Lacey had been packing the car and when I walked out smiling and laughing she said she could hear the crowd going wild clear on the other side of the parking lot!
What an AMAZING day…for real. I don’t know how one of the most stressful and crazy timelines with one of the biggest bridal parties I’ve ever photographed ended up being one of my biggest galleries and one of the BEST days with MORE time than we’ve had in a long time…happened. HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?! I guess Hunter was right. When Sydney puts her mind to something…there’s no going back. I see it now. Sydney and I bonded over all the chatting and texting messaging so it doesn’t feel weird at all to be so candid in this blog. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hoping to do a timeline like that again anytime soon, let’s be honest here. I was WORN OUT! Looking back on the photos and video (go over to Penderville Wedding Films to see it)…TOTALLY worth every single second.
Sydney is one of those brides I’ll always reference in the future for all the reasons! She had a plan (ok…she had a “plan”-ish and many of them). There were MANY plans in those texts, I tell ya! HA! And if you know Sydney…you know. Her ladies showed up and made it happen for us too. Brad pulled ALL the groom-ness out for us to the point JT, at one point, said, “Can you just come to all our weddings and show grooms how to do this?!” His friends? Total gentleman AND fun! The families? Totally showed up for photos (which I didn’t think could happen so efficiently with a 40 minute commute). Rustic Meadows is just BEAUTIFUL. You see what happened here? It just all came together perfectly…and it was amazing.
I have so many people to thank in this blog…first and foremost, the bride and groom for trusting me to be their wedding photographer in a world where there are thousands to choose from. My vendor friends…especially the videographers! I couldn’t have done it without the teamwork we put into this wedding before and during this wedding day. Sydney’s mom who cheered me on the whole time when I was taking photos and Lacey was furiously crossing things off the list (it was long remember). Sydney’s mother in law and new in law family and dad and brother and all the family who just rolled with the punches…all the bridal party…the kids…I could go on and on and on and ON! I’m at almost 3000 words and I still have so much more to say. I mean…it’s fitting…Sydney and I had a lot to say leading up to this wedding…and I passed a lot of the wedding info off to JT who also had a lot of say (and he’s not really a talker). It was definitely a memorable wedding. Heck, Lacey and I were looking through the photos on the back of my camera at the reception and BOTH squealing…and Lacey’s not an excitable squealer usually! This might sound crazy…but I changed my mind. I’d totally do it again…crazy timeline and all! YEP! Totally would! I’d also fix Sydney’s hair one million more times for her to make sure it’s JUST right! 🙂
CONGRATS TO THE ECKMANS!
Mic drop. Now, I need a nap.
THANKS FOR READING!
Bride’s Gown – One Enchanted Evening
Bridesmaids’ Dresses – David’s Bridal
Men’s Attire – Ziggy’s
Hair – Blaire Eskew
Makeup – Cassie, Whittney, Francesca
Florist – Patti’s Petals
Videographer – Penderville Wedding Films
Cake/Desserts – Mom and Grandma 🙂
DJ – 2nd II None, DJ Dickie
Catering – J&J Catering & Fundraising
Transportation – Shamrock
Invitations – Zazzle
Officiant – Michael Joyce