Ooooo my goodness ME! First of all, happy Friday, everyone!! Second of all, I sure hope you are ready for ALL the Hannah (and Lacey) wedding excitement for this one! It was our first time at Shady Elms Farm and it was EVERYTHING! You just wait until you see the absolute BEAUTY that is Miranda and Chris’s wedding! When I tell you we were positively SCREAMING from the mountain tops…it’s a 100% accurate and literal statement. You will see! ENJOY!
You know, when a lot of couples interview me before booing, they won’t consider hiring me if it’s a venue I’ve never photographed and that couldn’t be MORE of a mistake! Miranda, thank goodness, was not one of those brides. She embraced the fact that I get excited about new venues and absolutely trusted I would give her beautiful photos on a fresh canvas…AND…that is exactly what we did…well over 1100 photos worth, to estimate! As soon as I pulled up, I was greeted by Kelly (or maybe…Kelley….look, you all know I’m the WORST with names) and I couldn’t have felt more welcome! She showed me around and showed me all the popular spots and my wedding photographer gears were spinning!
BUT WAIT! There’s even more beautifulness on the inside of this venue!! BY FAR, one of my favorite getting ready spaces to date! How is it possible this is my first time at this venue? It’s less than a half hour from my house! MADNESS!
Miranda wanted to do “different” when it came to her dress shot…that’s right!! No Marge the Mannequin. No dress in a tree! My photographer heart wanted to explode. Lacey’s too! We came back to this dress on this mirror SO many times! And, of course, we took SO many photos of it!
We also really honed in on the details. This was JUST stationary shots! Can you believe it?!
These were the absolutely beautiful bridal details!
Iris was a star flower girl for photo time!! I hope she gets to see these and relive these moments if she gets married one day! She is precious!
It was all hands on deck for getting ready photos! You’ll see another familiar face in there! Hannah Barlow Photography brides unite!
Then, we went outside for some formals. It was very chilly (and windy) at this point so we made the best of our time! My goodness…there’s no location at this venue that’s not photography worthy. Add in these dresses and these ladies and these flowers and it’s all one, big, beautiful, photography gallery!
Some of these flowers were picked directly from Shady Farms’ flower garden (which I LOVED) BUT…Miranda’s necklace (seen from the back) may be one of my favorite details! Ugh…I keep saying it but I had so many “favorites” for this wedding because it was all new and so unique!
Lacey has been extra excited at weddings lately (I keep telling her to run her own business) but being a fall lovin’ kind of gal…she was REALLY feeling this wedding AND loved this swing!! She snapped this one, in addition to mine, and I think it’s my favorite! There I go again! Favorites all around this day!
We were waiting on the men at this point so we took full advantage of getting all the reception details done now that it was complete. Me being Hannah…I chatted with the staff (who didn’t seem to think I was nuts…or they just hid it well). This venue has been here almost 11 years. They’ve done updates over the years (including an addition where the bridal table now sits). They said it’s grown and grown and I’m already so excited to go back!
Then, the men arrived…but a teenyyyyyyyyy bit later than expected. So, we poked fun at Chris for who made them late!! Ironically, they got watches as groomsmen gifts and that was on the list of things to photograph so being Hannah…I took the opportunity for an outtake photo!
We got right down to business, as usual, of course!
We had groom details too!!!!!! WOOOOOO!!!
Ceremony time!! Miranda had a long walk. We found out later she had to time it juuuussttttttttt right according to DJ Brian Oliver! I didn’t know but was really enjoying this angle for her grand march!
Chris’s reaction was amazing and everything a bride would want. I kept those photos private BUT here’s a sweet moment right before. Here comes the bride!
At this point, the Wedding Gods showed up and said, “they’ve suffered enough with the wind and overcast skies”….it warmed right up and that sun just poured right at us! When I saw the light, I KNEW we were in for some Hannah Barlow Photography Miranda and Chris photo amazing-ness! Mr. & Mrs. Nestor, everyone!
We had to do full bridal party, of course!
Let there be LIGHT! And when I say I was squealing in my Hannah way….well, I was actually screaming! Like, I’ll be shocked if people still hire me SCREAMING…with absolute wedding photographer delight!
Brace yourselves. Buckle up! Between Lacey and I (who both really…really couldn’t contain our excitement), we took more photos for bride/groom time than we have in a long long long time. We also were ahead of schedule and had about 45 minutes which is UNHEARD of for couple portraits. I had so many ideas in my head and while I usually try to stay in one spot….it just wasn’t possible. I needed it allllllll! ALL OF IT!
I kept screaming, “look at that LIGHT”! Miranda and Chris are such great sports they literally kept looking at the light for me. I just generally couldn’t believe how beautiful it was! There was a little spot at the top of the hill that I was told most photogrpahers use. Miranda and I wanted to give it a go and check it out (it was also super fall-ish up there). So, we went up for a while and took some fall leaf photos. But I knew…in my deep photographer heart….we could do better!
SO, back down we went! And do better we did! Holy moly! I can’t get over these!
…or this little spot!! Lacey was obsessed. Lacey never pushes for anything…but she kept mentioning this. So, we went…because I knew she saw something in her photographer brain. And it was beautiful…bees and all! (There was a bee’s nest in those stones). These two are absolute champs for hiking around with us!
We stopped for a kiss at this little happiness trail!
Then, we went absolutely MAD in this location! This….THIS is what I pictured when I thought of “Miranda and Chris’s wedding at Shady Elms Farm”. I could FEEL it in my photographer bones! You never see my assistant’s and I fighting for spots…and we were fighting in a GREAT way!
The only thing Chris requested all day was dock photos! He was right…we needed dock photos! I can NOT get over this! I CAN NOT! They’re so beautiful….all of it. The couple…the dock…the venue…the light! It looked like a pretend wedding, styled shoot. I can’t even tell you the amount of texts I got about these photos when I posted the sneak peek!
THE REFLECTION…..OOOOO MY GOODNESS ME! At this point, people were coming to watch to see what the photographer was scremaing about. Chris loved the “moo cows”…that warmed my heart. Lacey was yelling (across the lake), “HANNAH! COME HERE! THE REFLECTION AND THE COWS!” So, we actually had them go back on the dock because I needed some reflection and cows in my life.
That reflection….I mean…come onnnnnnnnnnn…..It’s like ART!
You get a photo…you get another photo…you get a photo! Can you hear me squealing and screaming it? It’s Oprah style! If you know…you know! The Wedding Gods said, “you’re not done yet!” and gave us the most beautiful, hazy, golden light EVER…which would become ironic later because Miranda had requested sunset photos but then it rained (more on that in a few seconds). So, we were given this. And at the time, I didn’t realize we were getting a sunset/golden hour kind of light…at the wrong time of day…because it was all meant to be! I’m getting all sappy over here!
Then, Heather (I believe it was Heather), picked us up and gave us a ride to the top of the hill. This was one of those weddings I’ll always use as an example in the future. There was no rain in the forecast. If you know me and my history and my husband, he’s the ultimate weather man. He texts me based off the radar and can give almost an exact time I have until rain will arrive. I had no texts. The radar looked ok. Heck, Lacey even said quietly, “Hannah…that looks like rain…” and she pointed to a very hazy sky ahead of us. That wasn’t stopping me though! Nope! What rain?! I couldn’t get over the beauty!
OooO my goodness me! They’re walking in a field. Miranda wanted fall. It was an early fall. Her and I talked about it over and over again over the last year…year and a half…”the beginning of October is hardly ever “fall””…..and here we are! MEANT.TO.BE!
We had them dance. We had them dip. We had them spin…..and then we realized that haze was, in fact, rain!
TIME TO GO! LITERALLY!
…but that didn’t stop us! Nope! We had more photos to do! AND…that’s when my husband texted me. It was a pop up rain storm that even he didn’t catch (which is very unlike him but he doesn’t read these so there ya go).
….I mean…why not?! Miranda said, “let’s do fountain photos…” YES! Let’s do it!
As we were running through the photos we still needed to do on the list, I realized we needed just a few bridal party photos and since they were coming through the front door anyway, it all worked out!
Mr. & Mrs. Nestor, everyone!
Choreographed first dance….UMMMMMMM….yes, please!
Once again, more favorites for this wedding! This has never happened before in almost a decade of doing weddings. Miranda chose to dance with her dad to the song her parents danced to on their wedding day. AND THEN….wait for it…they brought her mom out to take her spot so her mom and dad could dance together….again….to their wedding song. If you could see my face right now!! I was and still am a pile of wedding photographer mush on the floor.
They did the same for Chris’s parents too! MY HEART!
The couple mingled with their guests and even watched their live painter paint their ceremony and then DJ Brian Oliver opened up the dance floor and it was a party from then on out!
…and before I left…I HAD to finish up their gallery with some night time shots!
…and that’s it! That’s a wrap on Miranda and Chris’s absolutely STUNNING wedding! AHHHHHH!!! Thank you both for embracing my craziness and bossiness and letting me drag you all over the property for some of the most beautiful photos! WHAT A DAY, indeed! This will be a wedding I also reference for unique ideas and favorite moments and pop up rain showers that didn’t even slow us down!
Venue/Catering – Shady Elms in Hickory, PA
Bridal Gown/Bridesmaids Dresses – Sorelle
Men’s Attire – Liberty Men’s Formals
Hair – Ashley Hood
Florist – Shady Elms Farm
Cake/Desserts – Alyssa Morris and Family/Friends
Custom Made Signs – Samantha Harper
DJ – DJ Brian Oliver
Officiant – Michael Palmer
Live Painter – Lisa Marie Paints – Lisa Sligar