A romantic love story and an intimate wedding at the beautiful Fallen Tree Farm Bed and Breakfast…
Gillian is a professional photographer, so finding the right photographer for her wedding day was a big priority for her. She wanted someone who owned top of the line equipment and knew how to use it, someone who understands lighting and composition and creates high quality, colorful images.
This vibrant photo shows Gillian’s wedding bouquet– it contains roses and Gerbera daisies like the arrangements he would send to her when he was working overseas.
While she wanted a few traditional portraits she wanted most images to capture candid emotion and moments of the day as they unfolded. She wanted wedding portraits that we creative, artistic, and interesting to view. I’m very happy that she decided to spend her wedding day with me by her side ;).
I love this silhouetted view of Gillian as her dress is tied. She is framed in the doorway below intricately detailed glass aside the “his” and “hers” robes hanging patiently on the wall of the bridal suite.
Ray and Gillians love story is romantic and interesting– it involves love letters and flying across an ocean to be together.
Ray said that he “just knew” that he had found the one in Gillian from the beginning of their relationship. They share the same outlook on life, their values and morals are perfectly matched.
Ray fell in love with Gillian because she is a good-hearted, beautiful woman inside and out.
Gillian and Ray chose to have an intimate ceremony with roughly twenty guests in attendance.
It was perfect for the two of them because both are more quiet and easy going, so they liked the idea of keeping things simple.
Here are just two of those honored guests: her grandmother and her son (who was also her man-of-honor).
Gillian and Ray grew up together and were friends in high school, Gillian thought he was “cute” haha, but they were so different at that time.
Ray joined the Marine Corps and had a 20 year career serving his country, then he spent several years overseas working in Beirut, which is went they found each other– on Facebook ;).
They sent messages back and forth all day long, which is how they initially got to know each other. Here is his final message to her before she walks down the aisle with him to be joined as husband and wife!
Gillian warned me that Ray is a tough guy, Marine Corps all the way, and would not be likely to smile for photos. I captured several more serious photos of Ray and am happy to say that I caught him laughing here. 🙂
Gillian and Ray love the outdoors and natural settings; Fallen Tree Farm Bed and Breakfast was the perfect venue for them.
They first found out about it several years ago when I blogged a Carlisle wedding whose preparations and “first look” took place there. Gillian loved the ceremony space and the stunning mansion and grounds.
Here Gillian is escorted out of the mansion towards the ceremony space by her father, ready to walk down the aisle.
Gillian and Ray wanted to hold fast to the tradition of not seeing each other before meeting at the altar on the wedding day.
Gillian said walking up to Ray, she could see no one else but him. She joked that she couldn’t recollect who attended the ceremony or where they sat, but only his face and thinking that she couldn’t wait to be his wife.
In this next photo, Gillian and her father approached the altar. Ray’s face says it all, Gillian is respected and absolutely adored– wow, this man’s love runs deep!
The wedding altar at Fallen Tree farm stands on the ruins of the old barn’s stone foundation. They installed a stained glass window that hangs behind the couple as they exchange their vows.
It gives the space the feeling of an outdoor chapel and was really a perfect touch for this wedding.
I’m not sure, but I believe Gillian may have been wiping away a tear here– I love seeing Gillian & Ray’s best men and minister in the photo too. It gives a nice symmetry and balance to the composition.
Here Ray is stating his wedding vows. Gillian shared that he is an honorable man who is trustworthy, caring and smart.
She said that he is a hard-working man of integrity and that she is incredibly proud to be at his side.
Kiss the bride! Nice dip, Ray!
I think both of those sentiments come across in this photo:
On the way in for dinner they stopped for a quick smooch– I caught the candid moment along with all of the ornate porch detailing here:
The dining room at Fallen Tree Farm was lovely and Gillian’s decor was so sweet! (They had initially planned on an outdoor dinner, but because of the unseasonably chilly weather moved everything into the dining room).
She wanted a soft, romantic feel that incorporated the outdoors. Ray cut slabs of wood and Gillian decorated them with florals and birdcages and nests, a nod to a bit of a “love birds” theme.
Gillian’s mother shared a sweet toast that had all of the wedding guests laughing and smiling…
Following dinner, Gillian and Ray spent quality time alone together as their guests socialized.
Gillian beamed as she and Ray explored the grounds together. The spring buds were in full bloom and new growth sprang from every direction. The day almost felt more like it was in April than in May.
I was able to see even more of the sweet, loving side of Ray that Gillian had shared about.
They were both so happy to be together. Gillian said that this moment almost felt like a dream after spending years in a long distance relationship with Ray.
She had even traveled to Beirut twice to spend time with Ray there and he woudl travel to the US to see her as well.
Gillian shared that he has a silly side and makes them laugh a lot. I think you can see a bit of that here:
She said that she trusted him despite the distance because she knew that he loved her like she had never been loved before.
He always made their relationship a priority and makes her feel like the most loved woman in the whole world.
She says that she truly admires him and feels incredibly proud to be his wife.
Ray shared that he is looking forward to his future with Gillian. He is eager to make a home and spend their time together.
I like this photo because you almost get the sense of them moving out from the shadows of the unknown and looking forward to the bright future ahead of them:
Visually I really liked the way the sunlight was skimming off of the stable doors as it set in the background.
As a photographer, Gillian loves the “golden hour” and scheduled her romantic photos alone with Ray to be during that hour. It is a period of time shortly after sunrise of sunset with soft, vibrant lighting.
During this time of day, the light is very romantic and gentle, it also brings out the gold hues as you can see from the image above and below.
Being a photographer Gillian also chose to wear a gown that would be comfortable and easy to move in. It gave us a lot of versatility– we transitioned seamlessly from the mansion to the woods to the stables to the gardens. 🙂
I love a wedding dress with sleeves– so pretty!!!
Gillian shared that she believes that she and Ray work so well together because they treat each other the way they want to be treated.
They respect each other and communicate and overall just want the other to be happy, and are willing to compromise on their own desires from time to time if need be.
The “golden hour” ends with sunset, and the sunset was absolutely breathtaking on their wedding day.
I love how Gillian is laughing in this next photograph and Ray is smiling, happy that she is happy. 🙂
The gold tones faded and the sky was completely pink and blue for a few minutes.
Night was falling, but it almost looked like surgery puffs of cotton candy loomed above them.
I snapped this last photo at the end of the evening and love how you can see them, the incredible pink clouds and the dramatic silhouette of their venue all in one shot!
Gillian & Ray, it was an absolute pleasure to get to meet the two of you and hear your story. I hope that these words and photos do it justice and provide you with the creative, artistic, well composed high-quality photography that you were looking for.
I wish you both all the very best and am so happy to have your story on my blog. Please feel free to share it with your friends & family. 🙂