Philadelphia Wedding Photographers: Kayla & Ryan

The quintessential Philadelphia wedding– Loews Hotel, the city skyline, Cira Center, Union TrustBroad Street… you won’t want to miss this modern, elegant wedding:

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Kayla & Ryan contacted me looking for elegant, natural wedding photography with a “wow factor.”  They wanted unique, images that capture their love for each other and for Philadelphia.

Kayla did her research– she read our reviews online and blog and loved the photos– they were beautifully composed and people always looked comfortable and in their own unique element.

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Preparations for their wedding day began in Philly’s Loews Hotel.   It had the perfect modern aesthetic that Kayla was looking for.

Here Kayla and her mother reach for her wedding dress together:

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Ryan fell for Kayla’s warm heart and caring attitude, as time went on his love for her became more about her tenacity and grinding mentality.  He knows that when the chips are down she will be there to fight along side of him.

Here she is looking absolutely stunning in her Marie Gabriel Couture gown with hair and make-up by Daneene Jensen.  She chose the purple bouquet in memory of Ryan’s grandmother…

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I absolutely love this image of Kayla.  She wanted timeless images and I think that this high-contrast black and white photograph makes me think of Grace Kelly, another iconic Philadelphia bride.  😉

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Kayla’s bridesmaids were so excited for her.  Here is a candid photograph of them trying to fit Kayla’s gown into an elevator at Loews Hotel.  It fit.  😉  I love little moments like this that come together to tell a story.

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From Princess of Monaco to queen.  I love her poise and confidence here.  You can totally see that strength that Ryan was talking about!

I can’t begin to tell you how much I enjoyed photographing Kayla’s bridal portraits– what a treat!

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Kayla wore a cathedral length veil– here her bridesmaids are providing plenty of assistance.  🙂

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Kayla loves Philadelphia and had hoped to visit the Art Museum steps and Independence Hall.

While the rain prevented us from visiting those Philadelphia icons, we were able to see the skyline outside of Loews Hotel:

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A more traditional photo of the bridesmaids, with a bit of a modern twist.  You are gorgeous, ladies!  The lovely bouquets were provided by Fabufloras.

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Despite the fact that we had to go with her Plan B photo locations, Kayla remained cheerful and up-beat.  As we traveled from Loews to the Cira Centre she was absolutely beaming.

I really like this photo for several reasons– the slow shutter speed conveys the motion of the vehicle, you can see raindrops on the windows and city streets in the background and Kayla’s cheerful smile and all of that fluffy tulle!

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Here Ryan waits at the Cira Centre for Kayla, he couldn’t be more smitten:

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The modern look of the buildings with all of the glass (and perfectly positioned overhang to keep the groomsmen dry) couldn’t have fit this elegant, modern wedding or rainy say any better.

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Their first look was pretty incredible.

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Kayla shared that she was first attracted to his charm and good looks, but what she loves about him is the way that he treats other people.  He is great at building others up, weather it is his best friend or a clerk ringing up his groceries.  Recently he encouraged a guy at a food truck on his “wrapping skills.”  It makes him a great coach and will make him an amazing husband and father.

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The entire 16 member bridal party met in the atrium of the Cira Centre for their group photograph.   I love using natural light and there is plenty of it in that wedding venue.

I am inspired by the large group spreads in Vanity Fair, GQ and Vogue and thought that that sophisticated, modern feel fit the aesthetic of Kayla & Ryan’s wedding well.

The bridal party did a fantastic job bringing out their inner model:

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Union Trust was absolutely breathtaking and reminded me a bit of the art deco style that you saw in the 1920’s– it felt very “Great Gatsby” to me.

The team at Courtney Space Events was absolutely amazing.  Here Courtney and Brooke quickly straighten her veil before using their ninja skills to disappear in to the background.

They deserve a huge shout out for all of their work on and leading up to the wedding day.

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Ryan shared that watching her down the aisle towards him was impossible to put into words, but that he felt like he hit that jackpot be was simultaneously excited and grateful.

I love the emotion in this image as well as the glowing candles and the shadows cast by the Cherry Blossoms in the background.

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So you probably realize by now that I like artistic, creative images.  I noticed this really cool reflection at Union Trust and thought that it kind of captured all of the emotions and thoughts running through your mind as a key player in the wedding ceremony.   The same sort of emotions that Ryan was just describing.

It is abstract, but you can just barely make out a few of the bridal party members and minister as well as the bride and groom.

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Their most memorable part of the wedding day was seeing one another at the ceremony knowing we were about to become husband and wife.
When I asked them about what makes them work, they quoted Rocky, “We fill gaps… She’s got gaps, I got gaps, together we fill gaps.” They went on to elaborate that each of them strives so hard to be a good or better person in our environments (whether at work or with family or friends) that in moments of weakness we look to one another to up our game and match the other’s effort.

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The unity candle is a popular wedding tradition.  If you are not familiar with it, I’ll explain a little bit about it for you.

In the photograph below, Kayla and Ryan take their individual candles (which were lit by their mothers earlier in the service symbolizing their birth) and light the center candle together as they unite from two individuals into one new family.

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I love reflections– they bring those surreal emotions from a wedding day to being visible and tangible.  There are several reflections here: one of the wedding ceremony, another of a photo of Kayla and Ryan playing on a slideshow and another of the blue skies that opened up during the ceremony.

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Aside from all the cool lighting and reflective surfaces at Union Trust, I also really enjoyed working with the balcony.  It allowed me to get a bird’s eye view of the ceremony and later of the dance floor.

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The rain stopped just long enough for Kayla and Ryan to take a celebratory, post-ceremony ride down Broad Street and cheer as husband and wife.  It was such a classic Philadelphia thing to do!  I love that view of City Hall.  I actually photographed and engagement there recently, but that is another story ;).

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Meanwhile the guests were enjoying all sorts of treats at cocktail hour.  Here is just a tiny sampling…

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The ceiling at Union Trust is stunning.  Here you can see it along with the guests enjoying cocktail hour from the balcony as the venue staff transforms the ceremony space into an elegant ballroom.

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I noticed the bride’s sister and her husband with their newborn tucked away in a quiet corner during the reception.  What a sweet photo– look at those tiny fingers!

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For Kayla and Ryan’s reception introductions, Kris stayed at the bottom level while I stayed at the top.  Here is my view of the announcement:

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…here is Kris.’ I love the framing of it from the inclusion of the reflection to the cheering guests below.

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Thomas Fowler of Findley Catering was fantastic to work with and kept everything running without a hitch.  Their first dance:

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The dance floor was filled as soon as it opened!  Blue Root did a great job keeping everyone out on the floor  :).

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More wedding traditions– the bouquet toss and cake cutting.  Get it, ladies!!!

Ryan was really impressed with the cake topper that Kayla had custom made. Wrestling has been and always will be a huge part of Ryan’s life and now Kayla’s life– his passion for it is one of the many things she loves about him!

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I asked Kayla if she had any advice to give other brides and she said:

“Choose Rhinehart Photography ; ) and remember to dance and eat your cake!” 🙂

At the end of the night Ryan and Kayla took a few moments to be alone in the bridal suite overlooking the festivities below.

I took the opportunity to showcase the stunning architecture– wow!!!

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One last dip!  While their wedding day was spectacular in a number of ways, what Ryan and Kayla are looking forward to most in married life is starting a family, supporting each other daily and lazy days at home.

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Kayla & Ryan, it was such a pleasure to work with both of you on your wedding day!  You both are beautiful on the inside and out.  your upbeat, positive attitudes and perseverance will get you far in life!

I hope that these photos creatively capture your wedding in an elegant, natural way and that they do make you say “wow!”  I am so excited to hear what you and your friends and family think!

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