Shanon + Brian | Intimate Fall Backyard Wedding | Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

A few weeks ago, I joined Shanon, Brian, and a dozen of their loved ones to celebrate their wedding day. This was one of the most intimate weddings I have photographed, and I definitely need more of these casual, laid back celebrations in my life. Weddings like this are my JAM! Don’t get me wrong, I love the fun and excitement that accompanies large, chaotic weddings. However there’s something about low-key weddings that just pulls at my heartstrings. I love when my couples are able to take some time to just enjoy each other and breathe each other in, savoring every moment of their Day #1 as husband and wife. And, that is exactly what Shanon and Brian did.

So, without any further ado, here are some of my favorite images from their day. (You may notice that these edits are a little different than what I normally post. I recently began giving my clients a choice between two editing styles - my traditional vibrant style, and my moodier style. Shanon requested moody and I was thrilled to edit these images in that style for her!)

(P.S. I wish I could have brought that vintage couch home with me!!)

Anna + Wiley | Pocono Lake Preserve | Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of joining Anna, Wiley, and their loved ones at one of their favorite places, as they celebrated their wedding in the Poconos. (We were also joined by a few million mosquitoes, but no one really seemed to mind.) All of the festivities took place at various locations around the Pocono Lake Preserve, a place that is near and dear to their hearts. This was my first time visiting the preserve, and I instantly fell in love with the venue - I can tell why they love it so much!

I would describe their wedding day vibe as casual, rustic, and fun (emphasis placed on fun)! Their wedding party had just as many dogs as humans, which added a nice personal touch to their day. Anna’s theme color was black watch plaid, and the flowers and table decorations complemented her colors perfectly! Wiley had two wedding bands - one made of plain white gold, and the other made of elk horn, whiskey barrels and gold (it was so cool!!).

The speeches brought me to tears, the dance moves had me smiling big silly grins. I was so honored to document this celebration for them and with them. I truly have the absolute best job ever. I hope you understand why when you view this selection of photos from their Day #1 as husband and wife. Thank you again for trusting me with your memories, Anna and Wiley!


Big thanks to the following people (among others) who helped make Anna and Wiley’s dream wedding day a reality:

Wedding Coordinator: Elika Almeida

Florist: Leigh Florist; Denise Herker

Cake Artist: Kitchen Chemistry

Band: The Hoopla Band

Hair Artist: Virginia Slonaker (aka Bunny)

Makeup Artist: Lexi Vidal (Bride’s daughter)

Wedding Dress Boutique: David’s Bridal

Bridesmaid Dress Boutique: David’s Bridal

Groom’s Suit Boutique: Brooks Brothers

String Ensemble: Penn Strings

Officiant: Journeys of the Heart; Susanne Wilson

Patsy + Michael | Alvernia University + Heidelberg Country Club | Berks County Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

I met Patsy and Michael at a wedding that I photographed last summer. I was thrilled when Michael contacted me a few weeks later, asking me if I was available to photograph his own upcoming wedding! When I met him and Patsy at my studio to discuss their wedding day in person, I knew we were going to make a great team.

I wasn’t wrong!

Their wedding day was overflowing with excitement, energy, and LOVE! Their decorations (many of them DIY) were so colorful and full of textures - it was truly a photographer’s dream. Their wedding day vibe was an amalgamation of tradition and romance, with a touch of rustic shabby chic thrown in for good measure.

I began my day photographing the final bridal preparations that took place at Patsy’s home. (I was supposed to begin at the guys’ hotel - but that’s a story for another day. A wedding just isn’t a wedding without some last minute chaos - and believe me, we had it! Luckily, I’m great at going with the flow…)

Next, I headed to the Sacred Heart Chapel to photograph their traditional Catholic ceremony. The chapel is located on Alvernia University’s campus, and is absolutely breathtaking inside! Their ceremony was beautiful, and included mariachi music, readings, prayers, the vow exchange, the bringing of gifts, blessings, and communion - and then Michael and Patsy were officially pronounced husband and wife!

We spent some time taking bridal party portraits around the Alvernia University campus, and then boarded the trolley to head to the reception. The reception took place at the Heidelberg Country Club. Once we arrived, we took a few more photos around the trolley, and then noticed that we were in a race with Mother Nature. We finished our final bride and groom portraits seconds before the skies opened up and poured down rain.

At the reception, Michael and Patsy wowed us all with a choreographed first dance. Afterwards, many of their guests joined them on the dance floor as they celebrated their Day #1 as a married couple. Patsy and Michael went all out, adding their personal touches to their wedding ceremony and reception. It really was a beautiful day, and was perfectly reflective of their love for each other.

Here are a few of my favorite images from their wedding day. I hope you enjoy them!

Big thanks to the following people (among others) who helped make Patsy and Michael’s dream wedding day a reality:

Florist: Mary, Sycamore Springs

Cake Artist: Mother of the groom, Lizzette Rodriguez

DJ: Billy, friend of the family

Photographer: Carrie Kizuka

Second Photographer: Adam Naples

Band: Mariachi Flores

Hair Artist: Vanessa New

Wedding Dress Boutique: Pocadiz Bridal (Aime Couture and Pollardi Fashion Group)

Bridesmaid Dresses Boutique: Pocadiz Bridal (Jovani Fashion and Faviana)

Groom’s Suit Boutique: Pocadiz Bridal, Jim’s Formal

Groomsmen’s Suits Boutique: Pocadiz Bridal, Jim’s Formal

Ceremony Venue: Sacred Heart Chapel, Reading, Pennsylvania

Reception Venue: Heidelberg Country Club

Dan + Ricky | World Cafe Live | Philadelphia Wedding Photographer

I don't even know how to start describing Dan and Ricky's wedding day... but I'll try my best!  Dan and Ricky were referred to me a few months ago by another photographer.  (Quick off-topic squirrel moment - I am always honored when other photographers trust me and value my work enough to refer me to potential clients!!  I'm so fortunate to have a supportive network of colleagues in this business!)  Back to Dan and Ricky - I never met Dan and Ricky in person, and all of our consultations happened via email and Skype/Facetime.  However, we hit it off immediately, and never doubted that we would make the perfect team on their wedding day.  Our instincts were correct!

Their day in Philly was filled with so much emotion, energy, and color - it really was a photographer's dream!  Mother Nature tried to throw us off by scheduling torrential rains during much of our planned outdoor photography time, but we were flexible and creative and made some pretty fantastic photographs together in spite of the weather!

Dan and Ricky began their day at The Study at University City, in Philadelphia.  That hotel is one of the coolest venues I have ever visited!  I love the architecture and landscaping, and it perfectly complemented Dan and Ricky's semi-formal, romantic, and modern vibe.  Dan and Ricky got ready in separate suites, then met outside The Study for a quick first look.  After their emotional private moment together, we squeezed as many portraits in as we could before the rain started.

Their wedding and reception took place a few blocks away from The Study at World Cafe Live.  I have never been to this concert venue before, but I have heard great things about it and was excited for this chance to combine my wedding portrait and concert photography passions!  It can be tricky to properly expose photos in concert venues, especially one like World Cafe Live where all of the walls and ceiling are painted black.  Lucky for me, I always overpack gear, and had everything I needed to create beautiful and fun photographs for Ricky and Dan and their loved ones.

After their quick and emotion-filled vow exchange on the stage (that included a sentimental handfasting ceremony), we snuck outside for a few more portraits (just as there was a brief pause in the rain).  Then, it was time for the reception.  I don't think I've ever taken as many dancing photos as I have at this wedding, and I had a blast doing it!  I smiled taking them, I smiled editing them, and I'm smiling again as I share them here.  My face was sore from smiling so much all day, and my body ached in places I didn't even know existed from trying to keep up with this crowd all night!  This wedding was so much fun, and I am honored that I was the one asked to capture these memories for them.

Congratulations again, Ricky and Dan!  I hope you enjoy this selection of moments from your Day #1 as husband and husband. 

 

Big thanks to my daughter, Kaiya, for assisting me all day, and to these amazing vendors for coming together to make Dan and Ricky's wedding day a success:

Florist:  Teleflora

Cake Artist: (the cake was AMAZING!!)  Floured Hearth Bakery

DJ:  DJ Bishop

Hair & Makeup Artist:  Allyson Jones at Contempo Cuts Salon

Suits:  Men's Wearhouse

Centerpieces:  Created by Ricky's mother

Hotel:  The Study at University City

Venue:  World Cafe Live, Philly

She Said Yes! | Outer Banks, NC Proposal | Destination Engagement and Wedding Photographer

I met Victoria and Dmitriy this past snowboard season at a race at Roundtop Mountain Resort, in Harrisburg, PA.  We hung out a few times throughout the season, and were fortunate enough to end the season together at USASA Nationals at Copper Mountain, in Colorado.

A few weeks ago, Victoria and Dmitriy reached out to me to set up a photoshoot while I was going to be spending some time in the Outer Banks.  Victoria was hoping for a couple's session, but Dmitriy had other plans.  He had been waiting for the perfect time to surprise Victoria with a proposal (and a stunning engagement ring)!  The ring was already purchased and was just waiting for the rest of the plans to fall into place.

When they arrived in North Carolina, we met up at my rental house in Waves.  While Victoria was distracted, Dmitriy passed off some champagne and glasses to my husband, so we could bring them to the photoshoot the next day without Victoria suspecting anything.

If you live anywhere along the east coast, you know how rainy it has been the last few weeks.  The day of their photoshoot was no exception.  The forecast looked promising all day - the rain was supposed to clear out around noon, and our evening photoshoot looked like it would go off without a hitch.  Well, as soon as we arrived at our intended location, Mother Nature decided to defy the weather forecasting technology, and the rain started falling.  We decided to wait it out, because the radar showed that the weather would clear up again in about 30 minutes.  30 minutes later, another rain cloud formed, and there were more following behind it.  So, we decided to get back on the road and drive south until we found a dry location.  I was looking forward to this photoshoot for weeks, and was determined to hold their session that night!

We eventually found a non-flooded place near Rodanthe to pull off the side of the road and park.  I ran up to the adjacent beach area and scouted the location, and it was incredible!  There was only one other couple in sight, and the skies and dunes were picture-perfect.

So, my husband grabbed the bag with the champagne and glasses, I grabbed my camera gear, and the rest is history.  You can see how the session unfolded for yourself right here...

(Big thanks to my husband for helping, and to my daughter and dog for helping distract Victoria while Dmitriy was getting ready to propose!)

 

Colleen + Chad (+ Lola) | Reading Museum Engagement Session | Wyomissing, Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

This past weekend, I met up with Colleen and Chad at the Reading Public Museum for their engagement session.  This was our third attempt, due to Mother Nature gifting us with torrential downpours and extreme heat and humidity on our other previous dates.  They brought along their newly adopted puppy, Lola, and I couldn't have been more thrilled!  I love animals, especially dogs, and Lola has just the right amount of sweetness and sass to make anyone's heart melt!

I love how their photos turned out, and I can't wait to photograph their wedding next summer.  I have the most amazing, laid back, fun couples, and I am so thankful for that!  Colleen and Chad patiently navigated through some record-breaking crowds at the museum grounds that evening... including a zombie film-making crew!  In spite of the crowds, zombies, and uninvited gnats, we made so many great photos together.  Scroll down for a few of my favorites!

(Big thanks to my mom for assisting me on this one!  It's an added treat when my own loved ones can be a part of my sessions!)

Jan + Ian | GoggleWorks Center for the Arts Wedding | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

Jan and Ian recently got married at the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, and I was lucky enough to capture their memories for them.  I would describe their wedding day as romantic, semi-formal, and fun!  Jan grew up in the United States, and Ian grew up in Northern Ireland.  As a result, their day was an amalgamation of US and UK traditions, and it was perfectly reflective of Jan and Ian's unique relationship.

I started my day off with the ladies at an amazing Airbnb rental in Reading, Pennsylvania.  I just don't have the words to describe exactly how fabulous that home was!  I had never been there before, but I will definitely be checking out that hidden gem again in the near future.  (It would make an incredible venue for a day of photoshoots, both indoors and out!)  Meanwhile, my second photographer was hanging out with the guys while they were finishing their preparations at the nearby Doubletree by Hilton.

As soon as everyone was ready, we met up at the GoggleWorks for Jan and Ian's wedding ceremony and reception.  The ceremony and reception decorations were simple, elegant, and fun, consisting entirely of personalized elements.  In fact, Jan created all of the ceremony and reception decorations herself!  Jan threw, glazed, and decorated all of the vases that were used as table centerpieces.  She dyed and arranged the sola wood flowers that were used at the ceremony site and as reception centerpieces.  She made the guest book, table cards, and ceramic tile table numbers.  She even made hundreds of atom-like hanging orbs, to honor Ian who is a physicist!  She painted the wedding arch and arranged the flowers and vines that covered it.  She painted the chandelier that hung in the reception room.  She needle-felted the adorable penguin and bear cake toppers.  She even baked the delicious macarons that served as wedding favors for all of the guests!  She is one of the most talented and creative individuals that I have ever met, and I am truly in awe of her skills (and patience)!  To top it off, the girls even made their own bouquets.

Jan and Ian began their Day #1 as husband and wife surrounded by over 120 of their loved ones.  No one was actually local to Berks County, except for me - most of the guests and bridal party members traveled from places such as Philadelphia, Northern Ireland, and other places in the UK.  As an engineer-turned-teacher-turned-photographer, I felt right at home surrounded by so many other academics and creatives.  I hadn't actually met Jan and Ian prior to that day, but by the end of their ceremony and reception, I felt like I knew them for ages.  The (numerous) speeches had me laughing and crying and laughing again, and the dancing was fabulous!  The food looked and smelled absolutely amazing.  (I didn't actually remember to take a break to taste any - I was having too much fun taking pictures and forgot to take my dinner break!)

Between the ceremony and reception, we managed to sneak outside long enough to capture some great photos of the bridal party, and then of Jan and Ian alone.  We made it back inside just minutes before the sky opened up and poured for the next few hours.  (I tried my hardest to play it cool while texts of tornado warnings kept blowing up my phone...)

Jan and Ian's wedding day was perfect.  I'm so thankful that they asked me to photograph their celebration for them.  And, their celebration isn't quite over yet - they are doing it all over again in Northern Ireland this month!  Oh, how I wish I could join them.

I hope you enjoy this selection of photos from their (first) wedding day.

 

Big thanks to the following vendors for helping make Jan and Ian's wedding day a dream come true:

Photographer:  Carrie Kizuka Photography, LLC

Second photographer:  Adam Naples

Venue:  GoggleWorks Center for the Arts

Hair and Makeup Artist:  Daneene Jensen

Bride's Wedding Dress:  Sabrina Ann, Ardmore

Bridesmaids' Dresses:  BHLDN and other various shops from Philadelphia and Northern Ireland

Groom's Suit:  Men's Warehouse

Groomsmen's Suits:  Various shops in the United Kingdom

Cake Artist:  Jennifer Low, Frosted Fox Cake Shop

Catering:  Farm Truck Philly

Chairs:  Wolfe's Rental Company

Lisa + Collin (+1) | Hershey Gardens Engagement Session | Central Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

Last week, I met up with Lisa and Collin for their engagement session.  I was so excited to see them again, since we actually first met a little over a year ago at one of my favorite weddings ever!  (I'm talking about you, Jackie and Dustin!)  Even though I only live an hour away from Hershey Gardens, this was my first time visiting.  I can't believe it took me so long to go, and I'm definitely planning on making another trip in the near future.

I'm so glad that Lisa and Collin chose this location as the backdrop for their photos.  We got there as soon as it opened (on one of the hottest days of the year), and we practically had the place to ourselves!  They were so much fun to photograph, and I could tell right away how absolutely head over heels in love they are with each other.  Their engagement session also doubled as a maternity photoshoot, since they will be welcoming a baby into their family in a few short months!  I'm so excited to photograph their wedding next year, and I can't wait to meet their little one the next time I see them!

Here are a few of my favorite photos from our time together.  Big thanks to my husband, Mako, for assisting me.

Jes + Chris + Ronan, Part 2 | St. Peter's Village Session | Chester County Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

Jes, Chris, and Ronan are lucky enough to have two blog posts dedicated to their love story!  Since it poured all day long on their wedding day (see that blog post here), I offered to meet up with them for more portraits on a later (and much sunnier) date.  They happily agreed, and a few weeks later they dressed up in their wedding outfits all over again (plus a floral crown!) and met me at St. Peter's Village.

Luckily, I brought my husband along to assist me.  Without the extra set of hands and eyes, I know I would have ended up falling on boulders and into the water - with thousands of dollars of camera gear attached to me.  I can be extra clumsy at times, especially at awesome locations like St. Pete's.  I'm extra impressed by Jes' and Chris' bouldering skills while donning formal wear!  We all escaped bruise free, and with great photos to memorialize our evening together.

Here are a few images from our adventures at St. Pete's.  Enjoy!

Jes + Chris + Ronan, Part 1 | Kula Kamala Ashram Wedding | Reading, Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

Jes and Chris exchanged vows in an intimate ceremony at the Kula Kamala Ashram in Reading, Pennsylvania.  They got married on Earth Day, which is pretty appropriate considering how prominent nature and spirituality are in their lives.  This was my first time visiting the ashram, and as soon as I stepped inside I fell in love with the colors, the smells, and the overall sense of calm that existed there.  This was the perfect place for Jes and Chris to be wed in the presence of their loved ones - including Jes' son Ronan who played an important role in their celebration.

Their decorations were simple yet beautiful, and created a romantic backdrop for their very personalized celebration.  Because the reception was taking place inside the ashram, strict rules had to be followed regarding the ingredients and preparation of the food.  In addition, no alcohol was to be served.  That didn't have any impact on the celebration, though, and I witnessed some of the best dance moves I have ever seen.

Mother Nature decided to bless them with ample amounts of luck (i.e. rain) on their wedding day, so our outdoor portraits were kept to a minimum.  These were rescheduled for another day, which is shared in Part 2 of their blog post.

Without any further delay, here is a selection of photos from their wedding day.  Congratulations, Jes, Chris, and Ronan!

 

Big thanks to the following team of people for working together to pull off this amazing wedding celebration:

Photographer:  Carrie Kizuka Photography, LLC

Videographer:  Brian DiRenzo, Artistic Hands

Venue:  Kula Kamala Ashram

Florist:  The Rustic Bunch

Cake Artist:  Amanda Blake, Savory LLC

DJ:  Greg Nyce

Hair Artist:  Iris, Salon EveLeila

Makeup Artist:  Alisha, Alisha's Spa Euphoria

Wedding Dress Boutique:  Adrianna Papell, Macy's

Groom's Tuxedo:  Men's Warehouse

Officiant:  Sudha Allitt, Ashram Co-Founder

Henna Artist:  Yenna Hill

Harmonium Player: Charles Feenstra

Readers: Sam Watson, Felicia Walk

"Lord of the Rings": Ronan Ayres

Jeni + Mark | Intimate Wyomissing Park Wedding | Berks County Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

A few weeks ago, Jeni and Mark exchanged wedding vows in an intimate ceremony at the Wyomissing Park.  This is one of Jeni's happy places, and I was thrilled with her idea of getting married here!  She asked me to accompany them on their stroll through the park that would culminate in them becoming husband and wife.  We started our walk at one end of the park, while their loved ones waited at the other end.  One of my favorite images (and memories) of this day is when Jeni and Mark crested the hill and saw their loved ones waiting for them at their ceremony location.  Their smiles were huge, and their excitement, joy, and LOVE were palpable.  It is obvious that family comes first in their lives - I'm guessing that is one of the things that they love most about each other.  Jeni and Mark compliment each other perfectly - Jeni is spontaneous and high-energy, and Mark is calm and pensive.  Those are my impressions at least - you can form your own opinions after you check out a small selection of my favorite images of their day.

Jeni and Mark, thank you for you inviting me to be a part of your celebration.  I'm so happy that your hearts found each other, and I know that you're enjoying your time together as husband and wife.

Jill + Steve | Reading Museum Couple's Session | Wyomissing Pennsylvania Portrait Photographer

The majority of my time is spent photographing engaged couples and their wedding celebrations.  It's not often that I get couples in front of my camera that have been happily married for years.  My time spent hanging out with Jill and Steve at the Reading Museum a few weeks ago showed me that I need more of these sessions in my life.

Jill is a fellow photographer, so my anxiety was a little higher than usual at the beginning of our session.  (I always get nervous before a session - it's just how I am wired.)  I brought my husband along to assist that evening, because he's known Jill and Steve for a while and I knew we would make a great team.  As soon as our session started, my nerves dissipated.  The four of us had amazing chemistry together - sparked by our mutual love of snowboarding, and solidified by our light-hearted silliness.

The entire session, Jill and Steve looked at each other as if they were newlyweds.  Their love is palpable and inspiring.  Everyone needs a couple like Jill and Steve in their lives to remind them that true love is real and possible.  This may sound cheesy, but I really am a better person after spending time interacting with them at our photoshoot.  If you know Jill and Steve, I'm sure you understand.

Jill and Steve, thank you for asking me to capture these moments for you.  I had such a great time, and I'm looking forward to making more memories together (both off and on the snow)!

 

 

Jessica + Laura | Cecil Creek Farm Wedding | Mickleton, New Jersey Wedding Photographer

Operation "Catch Up On Blogging" is in full force this week!  Up now are Jessica and Laura!

I met Jessica back in the 90s when we were students together at Lehigh University and rushing the Delta Zeta sorority.  We ended up becoming sorority sisters, and Jessica was always the girl we would go to if we needed a good belly laugh.  I don't know how she does it, but her happiness, positivity, and energy are contagious - more so than anyone else I have ever met.  I'm guessing those are some of the things that Laura loves about her.  I could tell how hard Jessica had fallen for Laura through her emails, wedding consultations, and periodic Facebook posts, but I actually didn't meet Laura in person until the morning of their wedding.  As soon as I did, I saw for myself how perfect they are for each other, and how much their personalities compliment each other.  Laura is just as fun and positive as Jessica - but she has a sensitivity about her that has a calming influence on Jessica that is very hard to describe in words.

I am so fortunate that they asked me to photograph their wedding celebration for them.  More than that, I'm fortunate that I was able to be surrounded by all the love they have for each other.  This was one of my favorite weddings to date!  I was laughing and crying and smiling with them all night.  Plus, their personalized decorations, bright colors, and a rendezvous with some super sweet horses made my heart sing.

I hope you enjoy this small collection of photos from their wedding day.

These awesome vendors made this amazing day possible!

Photographer: Carrie Kizuka Photography, LLC

Venue:  Cecil Creek Farm

Cake Artist: Sweet Eats Bakery

Hair Artist:  In The Village

Wedding Dress Boutique:  David's Bridal (Laura's); Claire's Fashions (Jessica's)

Jess + Sean | White Chimneys Wedding | Lancaster Wedding Photographer

During my busiest months, I often fall behind in blogging so that I can dedicate as much time as possible to making sure my amazing clients get their images delivered quickly.  Jess and Sean's incredible wedding is one that I haven't blogged yet - but that's all changing now!

The first time I met Jess and Sean in person was when we shot their engagement portraits at Longwood Gardens.  (You can see those pictures by clicking here.)  They have so much love for each other, are incredibly kind and full of joy, and are so much fun to be around.  We hit it off right away, and I knew that their wedding was going to be one of my favorites to photograph!  When their wedding day rolled around last fall, my prediction was accurate - I had a blast!  Their ceremony and reception took place at White Chimneys, located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  Their DIY decor was a combination of romantic, casual, and rustic.  Their personalized vows and rope braiding ceremony reflected not only the strong love they have for each other, but also their strong faith.  I found myself giggling at the adorable "ring bears" that made their presence, and then I broke down in tears when I witnessed Sean's reaction as Jess walked down the aisle toward him with her dad.  (Give yourself a high five if you got that How I Met Your Mother reference!)

The fun continued throughout the portraits and the reception, too!  There was no shortage of toasts, laughter, or dancing... and a few special guests made their appearance on the dance floor as well!

Jess and Sean, thank you so much for asking me to capture your Day #1 as husband and wife.  You both deserve this Happily Ever After, and I'm honored that I was able to celebrate with you.  I hope you enjoy this selection of photos from their day.

 

This day wouldn't have been a success without the collaboration of these vendors:

Photographer:  Carrie Kizuka Photography, LLC

Second Photographer:  Bill Johns

Venue:  White Chimneys Estate

DJ:  Levi McCurdy, Sparxx Entertainment

Florist: Greta Bomgardner, Lace and Peonies Floral Design

Cake Artist: Patty, Cake Creators

Hair Artist: Lizz Maldonado

Makeup Artist: Marked by Tiffani Rose

Wedding Dress Boutique:  David's Bridal

Photo Booth:  Shining Star Photo Booth

Megan + Nate | Trexler Nature Preserve Engagement | Lehigh Valley Wedding Photographer

I recently met up with Megan and Nate to create their engagement portraits.  They chose the Trexler Nature Preserve as their backdrop.  Not only do they enjoy spending time there as a couple, but it is also the spot where Nate proposed!

Mother Nature has been playing tricks on me all year, and this session was no exception.  It was a hot afternoon, and the winds were a bit challenging; however, Megan and Nate were troopers.   We drove around to some of their favorite spots in the park, including the bench where Nate popped the question (and Megan obviously accepted).  We even spied a few bison during our time there, but they were acting a bit camera shy that evening and wouldn't join Megan and Nate in any of their photos.

Here are a few of my favorites from our sunny evening together!  I can't wait to photograph their wedding next spring!

...And if you ever venture to the Trexler Nature Preserve to check it out yourself, note that the gates close at sunset (and not a minute after).  We found out the hard way.

Tara + Joe (+ Delaney + Darla) | Blue Marsh Engagement Session | Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

Wedding season is in full swing and I've been so busy that I've slacked on blogging lately.  I am determined to get caught up, so be prepared to have your newsfeeds filled!  Now starring on my blog are Tara and Joe and their fun-loving (and incredibly well-trained) pups Darla and Delaney!  We met up at the Stilling Basin at Blue Marsh Lake, one of their favorite places to hang out together.  What was supposed to be a warm (or at least mild) spring session ended up being unseasonably cold and windy!  They were such troopers, though, and I love how their photos turned out.  I can't wait for their wedding this fall!

Here are a few samples from our session.  Enjoy!

Liz + Phil | Macoby Run Golf Course Wedding | Montgomery County Wedding Photographer

I've been keeping a secret for the past week, and I'm finally allowed to share!

This amazing couple got married in a very intimate ceremony last Saturday before heading to Florida to do it all over again on the beach!  They asked me to photograph their church ceremony here in Pennsylvania, which I was honored to do.  After they exchanged vows and officially started their Day #1 as husband and wife, we headed to Macoby Run Golf Course for a few more photos.  (Phil golfs there pretty frequently, and I could tell he was in his element driving the cart around to a few of his favorite spots!  Liz was glowing the entire time - I don't think she cared where we ended up for photos, as long as she was by Phil's side.)

Congratulations, Liz and Phil!  I'm honored to share an anniversary date with you.  (Big thanks to my husband, Mako, for taking time out of our own anniversary celebration to assist me!)

I hope you enjoy this sample of photos from their (first) wedding day.

Columbia Station Wedding | 2nd Shooting | Chester County Wedding Photographer

When I'm not busy photographing my own weddings or portrait sessions, I can often be found assisting other photographers.  I really enjoy the freedom (and lower stress level) that comes along with second shooting!  A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of second shooting a wedding for Jessica Lynn Photography.

We met our couple, Danielle and Dan, at the Courtyard Marriott in Collegeville, PA where they were making their final preparations.  After a few detail shots and candid photos, we packed up and headed to The Columbia Station, where their first look, wedding ceremony, and reception were going to take place.

Here are a few of my photos from the day.  I'm always grateful when the photographers I work with allow me to share my work!  Thanks, Jes!

 

 

Liz + Phil | Berks County Engagement Session | Penn State Berks | Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

Last weekend, I met up with Liz and Phil to photograph their engagement session.  Liz is my cousin - and one of the biggest Penn State fans that I know!  Choosing the Penn State Berks campus as the backdrop for their photoshoot was a pretty easy decision.  This location has a lot of meaning for Liz, and I personally love it because there are so many incredible little nooks for portrait backdrops.  And, I'm pretty sure Phil is happy anywhere that Liz is by his side.  So, Penn State it was!

Liz and Phil had hoped for a wintry backdrop for their photoshoot - and even though the temperatures were definitely winter-appropriate that day, there was no snow to be found.  We were, however, gifted some pretty incredible golden light.  At the end of our session, we even happened upon an amazing field of yellow flowers.  That was a pretty great consolation prize for being denied the snow that we were hoping for.  Mother Nature is unpredictable, just like so many aspects of life.  At the end of the day, all that matters is how you spend your time and who you spend it with.  Everything else is just noise.

That being said, I LOVE how their photographs turned out!  I hope you enjoy this little preview from their session.  Congratulations, Liz and Phil!  I wish you both a lifetime of happiness together.

(Disclaimer - Liz and Phil brought the empty champagne bottle along that they celebrated with on the night of their engagement!!  Awesome, right?!  They toasted to their engagement - but they used ginger ale this time.  We wouldn't want anyone to get scolded for an innocent, alcohol-free toast on Penn State grounds.)

 

 

Nona + George | Everly at Railroad | Icona Golden Inn, Avalon | New Jersey Wedding Photographer

On Saturday, I had the incredible honor of photographing Nona and George's wedding.  Their engagement session at Longwood Gardens is still one of my all-time favorites - click on the link and you will see why!  While their engagement photoshoot happened to take place on one of the hottest days of summer, their wedding day was just the opposite.  Once I arrived at their hotel in Avalon, however, I didn't even notice the below-freezing temperatures outside.  Just seeing Nona and George instantly warmed me up.  They were absolutely stunning - seriously, they both took my breath away.  But more importantly, the love that surrounded them was palpable.  Anyone in their presence can instantly tell how head-over-heels in love they are for each other, and their friends and family very obviously share in that joy.

Nona and George's final preparations took place at the Icona Golden Inn, in Avalon.  This hotel is amazing!  The rooms were completely white, and gorgeous natural light just poured in through all of the windows.  (Oh, how I wish I lived closer so that I could schedule some sessions there!)  After getting ready with a few of their closest friends and family, Nona and George snuck away to a staircase for their "first look".  Their reactions were priceless, and George shed a few tears at the sight of his stunning bride.  (I have such a soft spot for my grooms who cry!!)

After a few bridal party portraits, we packed up and headed to the wedding venue - Everly at Railroad, in Tuckahoe, NJ.  I hit the venue jackpot today!!  Everly was so unique and full of character, and was the perfect place for Nona and George to exchange their wedding vows.  Nona and George made their marriage official surrounded by their loved ones and a few thousand super cool antiques!  After Nona and George became husband and wife, we snuck outside and braved the cold for a few more portraits across the street at the Tuckahoe Railroad Station.  Then, we came back inside and the girls kicked their shoes off - and replaced them with Eagles socks and glitter sneakers!  When they scheduled their wedding, they had no idea that it would also serve as a pre-Super Bowl party for their favorite NFL team!

What a celebration this was!  The food was delicious, the drinks were flowing, the band was so talented and full of energy, and the bridal party and guests were so much fun.  Everything was as perfect as Nona and George had planned it, and more so.  I have to take a moment to praise Nona in this blog.  She is such a talented artist and created so many of the wedding details herself, including the dip-dyed bouquet and boutonniere flowers, the centerpieces, the invitation suite, the hand-painted chalkboard sign easels, and more!  Nona's father built the arbor that they used in their wedding ceremony, and their bridal party created their own wedding version of the "Guess Who" game you probably grew to love as a child!

Nona and George, thank you for including me in your Day #1.  I'm so glad that I happened to be online and came across your Facebook post last year when you were in the hunt for a wedding photographer - and out of the long, long, long list of photographers who threw their names into the mix, that you both chose me.  I'm so honored that our lives are intertwined, and the love that you share for each other inspires me.  I hope that you have an amazing time on your honeymoon!!

I would like to thank all of the incredibly talented people who poured their hearts and talents into Nona and George's wedding day!

Getting Ready Location:  Icona Golden Inn, Avalon, NJ

Wedding Venue:  Everly at Railroad, Tuckahoe, NJ

Wedding Coordinator:  Emily Moulder

Florist:  None!  Nona created the arrangements herself with flowers made of sola wood!

Cake Artist:  They bought their wedding cake and one for every guest table from their local Acme grocery store!

Hair Artist:  Kate Bryan

Makeup Artist:  Micaela Vibanco

Wedding Dress Boutique:  Tesi Bridal

Bridesmaids Dresses Boutique:  David's Bridal

Groom and Groomsmen Tuxedo Boutique:  Express

Officiant:  Nona's cousin, Jack Poole

Shoes:  Marc Fisher

Catering:  Shore Side Catering

Band: The Red Hotts

Videographer:  Sia Koletas

Lead Photographer:  Carrie Kizuka

Second Photographer:  Olga Hinchman (Olga, you are a rockstar and it was so great working with you!  Thank you for sharing your passion and talent with me today!)