It’s the FIRST Hannah Barlow Photography wedding blog of the year! That’s right…2023 wedding season has officially begun and isn’t it just fitting that the moment I stepped out of the car at this wedding, I met the maid of honor (Hey, Sierra) and she said, “I already can’t wait for the blog!” HA! That’s right…those were some of the first words out of her mouth when we met, and talk about getting me excited…so here we go! Year after year, I keep thinking “maybe I’ll ditch the blogs” and year after year the wedding Gods and universe keep reminding me that the BLOGS are what really made my company stand out and became a core focus for many clients…so…here we are…MORE BLOGS! AND…THIS one is a great one. Can you feel the energy? If you’re new here, WELCOME! You’re about to relive Angela and Dakon’s wedding day with us. If you’re a loyal blog reader, thanks for coming back! You know what’s coming…so, please give Mr. & Mrs. Moore all your Hannah Barlow Photography love! Their intimate wedding in Georgetown, PA followed with a huge celebration at The Willows in Industry, PA is on the blog right now! ENJOY!
I was highly anticipating this wedding day. Not just because it was the first wedding of the year but also because I just knew it was going to be SOMETHING…something special, something fun, something beautiful. And you know what? It ended up being all those things and more. But let’s start at the beginning…the beginning of the week. It was rainy…and cold…and just miserable out. I was getting nervous because this was a farm wedding (I hate that term…because that’s not what this wedding was…bear with me). It was outdoors…on Dakon’s family’s farm. It was supposed to be BEAUTIFUL in my head. I had VISIONS. Well, wouldn’t you know it…in the last 10 days…last Saturday was the most beautiful. Not too hot…not too cold. Sun was out…but not crazy out, if that makes sense. Everything was greener than normal…and it was just a vibe! Take all that goodness and add it in with all the people who welcomed me the moment I stepped out of my car and it was already a perfect day. I got to meet lots of new faces this morning (and some I got to see again after their engagement session HERE last year (Hey, Paige!)) and then they helped me get all set up for details. Shoutout to Dakon’s mom (Biv) for letting me steal and use her flower pot…upside down! Look at all these leather details. It all came together so nicely!
Purple is my favorite color but that’s not why Angela picked it. I had actually forgotten about our early conversation until she brought it up recently. We had talked about color palettes and themes and all the wedding things early on and I told her to go with dresses and options and what the florist recommended would be in bloom this time of year and that’s how she decided. I also bonded with Angela even before her session but I think her engagement session was really where we solidified our photographer/client now friend relationship. You see, her and Dakon are two of the most easy people to be around. Dakon is very calm and go with the flow. Angela was a tad bit worried about being in front of the camera and if you add in the dead grass and old barn I decided to photograph…I’m sure that anxiety skyrocketed. But she got her photos back and we laughed and giggled and chatted and she loved them so all was well…we developed a good trusting professional relationship right down to that barn which comes into play later here too!
So, back to the wedding! We had some makeup time and then these ladies (who I chatted with all afternoon) were down to crunch time and ready to get ready!
Kind of going in reverse here…but look how much fun we were having!
Talk about going in reverse. The “getting ready” photos you’ll see in a bit were actually mock photos and here’s why…I really can’t say anything went wrong on the wedding day and THAT is saying something. I always preach at my pre-season workshops that “no wedding goes without blunders” but I really can’t put my finger on anything super specific (maybe a few bridesmaid dress mishaps…but that’s normal) SO if I had to make something up…we did get Angela in her dress a little later than I would usually find comfortable. One thing led to another and the next thing I knew, it was 30 minutes until ceremony START time and we hadn’t zipped the dress. So, with the help of Angela’s mom, Sandy, we got her dressed REALLY fast in the basement and then Zac (best man) was waiting for us upstairs to do a shot with the bride. When I say we were moving fast at this point, I’m NOT kidding…she’s basically walking as this was happening and it’s the only point in the day I kindddaaaaa got a little nervous sweaty. Also, another thing about the blogs? I don’t lie…I don’t make it up…I’m telling you as it happened and I don’t think Angela or Dakon would want it ANY other way. Welcome to wedding day madness!
So, I had gotten some photos downstairs but we wanted some more photos and with the videographers so we finished getting her ready out front of the Moore’s home before we left for the ceremony.
So, I sent Ashleigh over with the wagon to get all the things prepped for the ceremony and I stayed back. We spent some time with her and her brother, Harry, by her late father’s truck. This was going to be her method of transportation to the ceremony location which I LOVED so much!
Then, the best man, Zac, gave me a ride to the ceremony and I FINALLY got to see Dakon. I literally saw him out of the corner of my eye at the beginning of the day and then…he was gone. THEN, I walked over later to see him and he had just left to get his clothes. So, yep…right before the ceremony was the moment I finally got to say “HAPPY WEDDING DAY” and he grabbed me for a big hug and I pulled him off to the side to get some “getting ready” groom prep photos!
And just like that…time to get these two married! I want to shout out to these two ladies who took their job as door openers VERY seriously…and I mean that genuinely. They asked me if I could see them. They wanted to make sure they were out of the photos. They were worried it would be a blunder…but it was ALL perfect. Talk about great friends and families!
Here comes the bride!
You see?! No door openers can be seen! It was PERFECT! Ashleigh and I tag teamed these angles for the win!
This ceremony was just beautiful (the amount of times I’m going to use that word is obnoxious) and their friend, Poe, did an absolute fine job marrying these two. He told a story of being “put on the wagon” when Angela started coming around and this is referring to putting up hay. I had to giggle. The women in our friend group are also always the drivers while the men have to do the heavy lifting and bale throwing so I could totally appreciate how they knew when Angela started helping out around the farm…it was probably a done deal…and it was! Mr. & Mrs. Moore, everyone!
We went into family formals and I wanted to make sure I got a great photo of the pins in Dakon’s jacket. One of the pins was “dancing” in the wind, so we had a little giggle and Dakon pointed.
After the ceremony, guests were greeted with an area to have some cocktails and mingle. It just felt “different” and different in a great way. I’m a country gal and our favorite way to hang with our friends and family is to be at home after a long day of working around the house/farm and then standing around chatting and having some drinks. It felt the SAME…even though it was a wedding day and I didn’t know most of these people…it just felt more special. I DON’T KNOW…I’m not explaining it well. But it didn’t feel fabricated…it felt natural. Does THAT make sense? I need to move on…HA! But you get the picture…if you’ve met me, you can probably hear me rambling.
Also, can we just appreciate, for a moment, the work that Angela’s mom did to help us move around and keep the dress clean?
If you saw their engagement session or clicked that link above…you’ll see we did photos with three of their horses with the help of their friend Paige (who was mentioned earlier and also a bridesmaid this day). Well, Angela had the AUDACITY to suggest we NOT do horse photos on the wedding day….WHAT?! No, Ma’am. Nope. That’s not acceptable and even though I know next to nothing about horses (don’t spook them…don’t walk behind them unless you know and own them…make sure their ears are forward because that’s how you can tell their emotions…feed them with your hand flat…you know…the lay person’s knowledge). I did ask if she thought the horses would be spooked by her white dress…she was more worried about the horse stomping on it…SO…into the gates we go. We’re doing it! Why do my couples listen to me? Sometimes I really wonder…. Shoutouts to Ashley (AMP Photography) and her husband for getting Maggie ready for us!
This sweet girl was so nervous. There were so many people around she didn’t know and her momma was wearing a big, white dress. So, they brought out another horse, Ducky, to make her feel more “at home” despite all the newness. Isn’t she a pretty girl?! She was probably out a whole five minutes but I’m SO glad we went for it! She smiled and posed when it counted!
Full bridal party pictures! They were troopers…I had pointed them RIGHT in the direction of the sun for the “good light” (which isn’t so good on the eyes…esp. if they are blue) so we played the 3..2..1..open game and wouldn’t you know it…they ALL went for it, no questions asked!
Bride and groom individual portraits!
Then, we moved on to the men…WHO…I was so SHOCKED were actually pretty into photos. They can try to deny it ALL they want but I turned them loose and they came BACK for photos…with requests. You’ll see those here in a bit! I NEVER EVERRRR have men COME BACK after I’ve completed their photos especially when there are drinks involved!
We photographed the ladies and my goodness…my photographer eyes were love love LOVING all the color and beauty happening.
Here are the men’s requests and suggestions. I’m giggling just looking at these. The fence idea was 100% theirs…they wanted to “stand inside the fence behind the ladies”…well, alrighty!! HAVE AT IT! Then, they wanted to hold the groom…HA!
At this point, Angela said, “Hannah, we haven’t used the barn”. Nope! I was saving that for the bride and groom portraits…that’s right! Here’s the barn story… this barn was going to be torn down. That’s it. That’s the story but we saved it! I GET IT…I do. Without photographer goggles on, you can’t see the beauty that a building like this can have…I know I know. BUT, when I saw this last year at their engagement session, I LOVED it. I remember them looking at me like I was nuts and then Angela and I got SO excited with the finished results. Well, Dakon’s parents (Hi, Biv and Jack!) were going to tear it down before the wedding. I heard rumor there was even the idea of parking a bus in front of it when Angela convinced them their crazy wedding photographer NEEDED it to stay up. Well, here you go! I seriously love it! Talk about rustic photos, right?!
Then, we went down to see Blue…Angela’s favorite cow. This was another photo she didn’t know if she wanted and while we didn’t pose or anything…it’s still special. I’m an animal lover myself so I’m all about including them!
You know you’re comfy on a farm and one of the most laid back brides EVER when you offer to let the cow smell (or maybe taste?) your flowers!
Then, fence photos…because I have SO many favorite spots on this farm! They’re a beautiful couple, aren’t they?! You should meet them in person!
We relaxed a bit and just let things be at this point…but still taking photos, of course!
You know…I usually skip right over the black and white photos as a lover of all things color BUT GOODNESS GRACIOUS…these black and whites just POP, don’t they?!
I don’t know…but THIS is the photo that really calls to be for some reason (below)! Just two people, recently married, gazing out on the farm.
…and right before we took off for The Willows of PA, I had to get JUST a few more AND we were AHEAD of schedule!! I still can’t believe it!
Angela sent me sneak peeks the day before when they were setting up and she said it was all coming together so beautifully and perfectly that she could cry and I told her to absolutely let all those happy tears flow! I also ran through this reception hall like a nut getting these photos before I went down to find the bridal party.
Talk about your 180 turn…right?! We went from country elegance to classic ELEGANCE. The Willows of PA has not one but TWO absolutely stunning staircases!
Ashleigh and I tag teamed the angles and introductions! Nailed it! I love Ashleigh’s by the windows…pure joy!
They did speeches and then we had dinner. After that, it was time for dancing. So, here’s some black and white first dance photos! This was immediately followed by Angela dancing with her brother and now father in law and Dakon dancing with him mom.
Cake cutting was fun and gave us all a good laugh! Also, if you know the Hannah Barlow Photography team and have been following along with us over the years…you know we all have our quirks. And Ashleigh’s “quirk” is that she MUST get a photo of the inside of the cake after it’s cut (she likes the details and feels like couples will want to know in 50 years what flavor their cake was…) and she will fight you to get that photo if someone tries to take the cake away too fast (I’m being dramatic…but you can picture it, I’m sure).
After all the traditional shenanigans, open dancing started and I really didn’t expect Poe (family friend and “officiant” for the day) to be the first one to jump up and BUST A MOVE…but he did…and I couldn’t stop smiling (then and now). This was the whole vibe the whole day – excitement!
Then, the party REALLY got started and HUGE shoutout again to Ashley (AMP Photography…for all your maternity and newborn needs) who is pictured in the center. She is great friends with the bride and groom and was the one who referred me for this wedding. She’d like to avoid weddings…I’d love to avoid newborns so it’s a great “working” relationship…and now that I think about it…this may have been the first time EVER in 8 years of “knowing” one another that I got to see her in person! HA! Crazy how things happen! But anyway, look at this packed dance floor and if you zoom in on each photos (which is just a small handful of well over 200 in their full reception gallery), you can see the fun and joy that was was being had! I really didn’t think this crew would dance a whole lot but look at them go!
OOoooooOo man…what a WAY to come into the 2023 wedding season. This wedding filled me RIGHT up…but I knew that’d happen after meeting Angela and Dakon (and Paige) and the horses and the cows and the kitties and allllll the animals at their engagement session last summer. My husband always asks when I get home, “So, how was the wedding?!” and I always give him the details. It’s kind of a debrief for us. Well, I said…”You’d love these people! Good, down to earth, country people…big, beautiful farm…hard workers, great friends…we could TOTALLY hang out with them.” It took me a while to get to the ACTUAL details of the wedding…which looking back…I’m not sure if I really did because I was more focused on the people and the experience this day. It was definitely something!
Years ago, mentor photographers would say “you’ll attract your target market” when you’re doing all the right things and year after year lately, I keep thinking…”Yep. These are my people”. It didn’t feel like I was with clients…it felt like I was with friends, even the people I had JUST met that morning. I was definitely greeted with open arms (literally) and welcomed over and over and just LOVE that everyone was so excited about “reading the blog”. I’d like to ALSO point out to my mentor photographers that they were wrong about one thing…wrong that people wouldn’t read my blogs. They said they were too many words (over 2000 on this one)…too many photos that weren’t technically “perfect”…just too long, typo full and random. Welllpppppppp. Here we are! If you made it to the end of this blog…THANK YOU! THANK YOU for reading and being another big supporter! Thank you for letting me ramble and be excited and share all my post wedding memories and photos with you! I hope you feel like you were there this wedding day if you couldn’t be…or I hope you are reliving it if you were there. To Biv and Jack, thank you for welcoming me to your home and allowing me to do my thing. Sandy and the Dykes family…I couldn’t have gotten over 10,000 steps and over 1000 photos in this day without all your assistance and support! Angela and Dakon…thank you for embracing my crazy, absorbing my energy and trusting me over and over. To everyone, thanks again! This is what weddings should be ALL about…a laid back couple makes for an amazing day AND we really didn’t have anything go wrong. MEANT TO BE!
Ok, I MUST stop rambling here…Happy Friday, everyone! CONGRATS TO THE MOORES!
Bride’s Gown – Essense of Australia from Bridal Beginning
Bridesmaids’ Dresses – Azazie
Men’s Attire – Ariat Jeans, Wrangler Shirts
Hair – Plush Salon
Makeup – Esthetics by Tara – Tara Davidson
Florist – Fonta Flora Flower Co.
Videographer – One Night Only Films
Cake – Kretchmar’s
Cookies – Ivy Pastry Co.
DJ – DJ Jiehlz
Reception Venue/Catering – The Willows of PA, Industry, PA
Ceremony Chairs – 31 Event Rentals
Stationary – Zazzle
Officiant – Family Friend, Poe Reese
Favors – Etsy
Signs – Just Write by Ashley Calligraphy
Bridesmaid Jewelry – Lanie’s Leather
Guestbook/Bride’s Bouquet Wrap, Ring Box, Garter – Grindstone Leather Co.