Bear Creek Mountain Resort Wedding Photographers: Ashley & Joe

Firefighter+teacher=LOVE!!!   A modern, elegant, red-hot wedding at Bear Creek Mountain Resort

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You may remember Joe’s proposal from 100 feet in the air in the bucket of a firetruck from their engagement photos, firefighting has been and will always be a part of Joe and Ashley’s relationship and lifestyle.  Bear Creek Resort, has also been an important place for them whether they visit for snowboarding, date nights or just a weekend getaway.  Aesthetically, the venue and the theme meshed– the reds and metallics were a perfect fit!

Speaking of perfection, look at Ashley’s lovely bouquet!  Ashley worked very closely with florist, Jackie Bodor of Pondelek’s Florist to create this colorful, elegant, dramatic look.  The bouquet included freedom red roses, purple dahlias, yellow billy balls, orange coxcomb, white double bouvardia, and Tampa orange alstroemeria.  I pumped up the drama with this shadowy background.

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These Michael Kors nearly 6″ heels helped Ashley overcome the massive height differential between she and Joe (who is 6’5″).  I wanted to keep the drama high and the image sleek, so I didn’t allow much light into the background of this photo but did allow a few embers from the fireplace to show, just to add to the theme.  😉

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I moved from photographing details in an editorial way to capturing candids of Ashley dressing.  Ashley’s garter was decorated with a Maltese cross which is a world wide symbol for fire service and signifies courage bravery, loyalty and protection.

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Joe said that Ashley makes him a better person, everyday.  That she is his other half, his best friend, and that he can count on her to do anything (except turn the lights off, haaaa).  He said he couldn’t imagine a better mother for his children.

He was impressed at how Ashley was able to embrace the firefighting lifestyle from the start.  She is supportive and accepting of the fact that he may have to leave in the middle of dinner to answer all call, be away for long weekends of training or wake up in the wee hours of the morning to help others in need.

I asked him why they work so well together, and he said that they both work hard at communicating, that it isn’t always easy, but in the end it keeps them on the same page.

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Ashley said that she knew Joe would be the man she married from the very first date.  They bonded over country music, matching soaps and their similar five-year plan.  They were able to finish each other’s sentences from the beginning.  She said she thinks they work because they both remain open and honest with each other.

Ashley appreciates Joe’s selfless, loving, caring, supportive nature.  He is her best friend and the person that she counts on for anything and everything.  She has loved watching Joe transition into a “father” role with training thier puppy, Jake.  Here is Joe at the firehouse.

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The firehouse plays an important role in Joe’s life as he is there everyday in one way of another, so the groomsmen met there for their photos.  While Joe is Assistant Chief, and his lieutenant, Tyler, play important roles at the fire company, the other men (his friends from high school and Ashley’s brothers) are like brothers to Joe who is an only child.

Firefighters or not, everyone had a blast getting up on the truck!

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Ashley and Joe began attending Saint Thomas Moore Church together early in their dating relationship.  They became members together and plan to raise their family there as well.

Ashley was excited to see what I would be able to do with thier 360 degree stained glass window, natural light and interesting architecture.  Here is a wide view that I photographed of Joe’s entrance with his parents…

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Ashley shared that throughout her life, she has always admired her father for his hard work and dedication to their family and that it was such an honor to have him walk her down the aisle.  She could tell that he was proud of her and thrilled to welcome Joe into their close knit family.

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Check out those dimples(!!!) and the twinkle in Joes eye as he looks over at his bride to be!

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Rose to Mary– a Catholic ceremony tradition is to give a rose to Mary.  She is the symbol of faith, charity and motherly love.  It was important for Ashley and Joe to do this together with thier mothers in honor of all they have done to teach and instill those qualities in their children.

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The kiss!

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Ashley is also very passionate and dedicated to her profession– teaching.

When Ashley commits to something she gives it 100%, she doesn’t cut any corners and does all the extra work (even if it requires staying in on weekends).  She would do anything for her students and goes above and beyond whenever she can.  She even organized a “Girls Run” club after school.

She has worked with this same group of students for two years.  They were in her class when Joe proposed to her and graduated right before the wedding.  Ashley invited all of them to the wedding and loved seeing their smiling faces as wedding guests.

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Time to head back to Bear Creek Mountain Resort for the reception…  We had plenty of time for photos with the bridal party and for time alone with Joe and Ashley to explore the grounds of Bear Creek before cocktail hour started.  Here they are striking a pose in front of the lobby– Vogue (Ashley’s brother is totally rocking the umbrella)!!

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The bridesmaids– how cute are they?!?

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Ashley and Joe said that they loved having that “downtime” between the ceremony and reception– they liked getting a bit of a break from being the center of attention and just relaxing and enjoying spending time together as husband and wife :).

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They said that being at Bear Creek really brought everything full-circle for them.  They were able to take some time to reflect on the memories that they had made there, make more memories and dream about their future.

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On the FIRE escape, hehe. 😉

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This is probably visually my favorite image from this set.  I wanted to play up all of the elements of bear Creek from it’s modern lines and architecture to it’s vibrant colors.  I shot through the fire escape and photographed all the color, lines and shadows and framed Ashley and Joe on the other side.

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Guests were met with vibrant color and stunning contrast when entering the Mountain Ballroom for the reception.  The look came together as Ashley’s vision and required several key vendors to come together.  Florals were by  Jackie Bodor of Pondelek’s Florist, chair covers/sashes by Dream Events, pin-spotting and up-lighting by Mittman Entertainment.

You can also see the guest favors here– bottles of “Firehouse” red wine, especially made by Ashley & Joe…

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“Uptown Funk” was the perfect entrance and the perfect time for Joe to break out his fire gear.  Lyrics talk about “Too hot” “a fireman”… they really got into it 🙂

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Thier first dance was to “faithfully” by Journey and was choreographed by Madeline Moore of Your First Dance.  They surprised all of their wedding guests with this choreography– it  blew everyone away.

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A candid moment with all of the couples dancing…

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Party time!!!  Mittman Entertainment did an excellent job of creating an amazing atmosphere and playing songs that kept the dance floor packed all night.  Everyone definitely broke it down 🙂

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Ashley and Joe ended the evening on top of the mountain with a firetruck and hose.  The minute the water hit the pavement steam billowed up as water shot back.  It was kind of perfect 🙂

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Ashley and Joe, it was such a pleasure to work with you two!  Thank you for taking the time to open up to me and share your passions, personalities and just for being so much fun to work with.  It was amazing to see your theme come together so beautifully and to capture all of these memories for you two for years to come!!!

[…] photographed Ashley & Joe’s Lehigh Valley engagement  and Bear Creek wedding and was thrilled when they contacted me to photograph another milestone in their lives, the start […]

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