Carlisle Ribbon Mill Wedding Photographer: Maggie & Nick

A resilient bride who is able to literally fall down on her wedding day and pick herself right back up again, an incredibly touching father-daughter dance and sweet, heartfelt vows that leave the bride and groom wiping each others tears in the middle of the ceremony…

Musician, Nick,and teacher, Maggie’s rustic, bohemian wedding was held at the Carlisle Ribbon Mill in Central Pennsylvania.  They are down-to-earth people with huge hearts and deep souls.  They live lives of passion and support each other wholeheartedly and have deep roots with family and friends.

Music plays an important role in Nick and Maggie’s life.  Nick is an amazing musician (you can listen to his work here) and Maggie is his biggest fan.  For that reason, I photographed their rings on a piece of sheet music 🙂

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Nick and Maggie’s wedding was rustic and bohemian and their colors were rust and moss green.  There was a strong deep-rooted, downtown vibe as well and involvement from many local small businesses.  I love this rusted letter “s” (for their family name, Staver) against the green steel door framed with rust, lace and green ribbons, it really gives you a strong feel for their aesthetic all in one image.  

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Maggie’s stunning lace gown is from Taylored for You Boutique in Mechanicsburg, how gorgeous is she?   The tatoo on her foot was a birthday gift from Nick and spells out her last name since she decided to use Nick’s last name after the wedding.  The script is a nod to her parents Irish background and written in a form of ancient Irish used before the Gaelic Alphabet was developed.

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Nick, you are so handsome!!!!  This portrait shows just how confident and strong he is and somehow he manages to balance that with being completely laid-back, humble and comfortable in his own skin…

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Nick and his brother, Derek have always worn Chuck Taylors, and chose to wear them to the wedding as a icon of their brotherhood and past.  The suspenders really added to the rustic theme as did the wheat and twine boutonnieres.   The groomsmen, Derek & Matt were definitely the life of the party and so much fun to be around.  Look at that energy!  Love the bow ties, dudes!

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Nick and Maggie’s “First Look” was a very emotional time for them.  Nick said he knew Maggie would be beautiful, but when she slid open the door he was in complete awe and literally speechless.  Maggie was just as taken by seeing Nick as you can see in the image below where they are both tearing up, so sweet!

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Nick has been playing gigs at local venues like Gingerbread Man since he was in highschool so meeting their bridal party at the G-Man for a quick pre-ceremony toast was definitely in order.   Years ago this same group would go to Nick’s shows and hang out together, but now with work and kids it so rarely happens that the entire group is in one place.  This was really a cool moment for them!

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It happened…Maggie fell in her wedding dress 🙁 !!!  it is probably a fear that brides have, but how these two handled it was AMAZING!!!  First off, all that gym time paid off as Maggie completely saved her dress by catching herself in a perfect yoga plank, she was awesome– unfortunately this bloodied and wounded her hands.   Nick helped her up and joked about “officially being a Staver.”   Kris and I keep a first aid kit in our car, Kris grabbed that and Nick used the alcohol wipes, band aids, etc from the kit to take care of her wounds. Nick shared that Maggie’s resilience is something that really attracted him to her.  That Maggie is joyful, strong and able to roll with the punches.  Maggie gave him a kiss on the cheek, appreciative of his caring, protective nature.    I know it’s not the sort of thing anyone wants to have happen on their wedding day, but it was a truly a beautiful moment as it showed their strength as people and devotion to each other.

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Nick’s family watched Nick as Maggie is escorted down the aisle to meet him– you can see how much love they have for him and that they are right there with him in that moment.  Nick and Maggie’s vows were hand-written and extremely personal.  Here Maggie is drying Nick’s tears as he reads his promises to her, it has to be one of the sweetest acts I have ever seen in a ceremony.

Nick – …”Any good thing in life is worth taking the time. Time, is our story. I’m here today to tell you thank-you for making us take the time, to be sure, what I see in front of me is something worth going for.  You didn’t have to move to Philly, but you did and you saved my life.  You don’t have to come to every gig, but you do and that saves my soul and sanity.  You have certainly showed that your time is willing to be shared with mine… I can’t guarantee us fortune as much as I’d love to promise today, but my time is something I give you and vow to you today.  I love you more.”

Maggie – …”You are my muse. You inspire me to do my art and be creative.  You make me laugh and smile, even sometimes when I don’t want to because I’m mad at you!  You can bring me out of a bad mood with your funny antics.  You help me find a balance between work and play.  You always let me be me in my own unique way.  I love the way you like the natural me.  And I love how I feel safe when you are by my side.  I support and believe in all that you do.  Your dreams and goals that you have a reality are so inspirational and I know that the future holds so much for us.  Were ever our travels take us I feel like home when I am with you.  I vow my continued support and love as long as I live. And I always, I love you more!”

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Their first dance was to “In My Life” by the Beatles and is where their “I love you more” was from in the vows.  Derek’s best-man speech was heart-felt and in it he shared “Maggie take good care of my brother, he’s the only one I’ve got.”  He talked about them as kids and wanting to be there for Nick the way he was there for Derek.  He mentioned later that Nick’s wedding day was the best day of his life to date.  🙂

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Maggie’s father was an amazing athlete– all-star basketball, football & baseball player, but was injured at work and after over 20 back surgeries remains wheelchair bound and in constant, chronic pain.  He knew that he wouldn’t be able to dance with his daughter on her wedding day and asked Maggie’s brother, Patrick, to dance with Maggie in his place.

He watched from the sidelines, coaching “Spin her!” “Twirl her!”   Maggie found this very amusing as he had coached their sports teams growing up and would do the same from the sidelines when Maggie & Patrick were kids.  Maggie chose “Thank You” by Led Zeppelin as the song, to tell her dad thank you for everything he has done for her and that he means the world to her, that he is her hero.

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Danielle Bailey of dlb Bakery made a vegan cake for the couple and delicious cupcakes for all of the guests.  She is amazing!    Nick and Maggie only hired vendors that they had a personal connection to for their wedding.  They used Solid Ground Entertainment for music because Lynn Witmer worked with Nick and Maggie at Knutes Pub & Grille, where they met.   One of Nick’s first jobs was at Kathy’s Deli, so he hired Kathy for catering (her food is sooooo good, I’ve used her before, too), even their bartenders with Sarah & Justin Baum, who worked at Knutes too with Maggie & Nick.

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After a little training from his uncle, Patrick, this little ring bearer knew exactly how to get down on the dance floor!

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Nick and Maggie took a moment to escape away into the moonlight to take a deep breath and let the idea sink in, they were actually *married*!!!   They had done it!!!  It was a whirlwind but somewhere between the morning alarm and the moon rising they had become family… Stavers.  🙂

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PS: One of my very favorite parts of a wedding reception is seeing couples from previous years that worked with me and have recommended me to their friends.  I photographed Angela & Sean in 2013 (to the left), Kristine & Chris in 2010 (Kristine is on the right, Chris was unfortunately unable to attend) and now Maggie & Nick in 2014.  Maggie shared that after seeing Kristine & Chris and Angela & Sean’s wonderful photos,  that she knew I was definitely the best person for the job.  😉

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