Lehigh Valley Wedding Photographers: Erica & Jay at Bear Creek & Lockridge

A bride whose surprise literally left her groom speechless at the altar, a maid of honor’s speech that made everyone laugh-out-loud and a beautifully decorated, rustic-romantic wedding– all on a nearly 100 degree day…

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Erica and Jay’s wedding day was as unique as them.  They wanted a rustic, romantic setting and chose a ski lodge for their reception and outdoor stone ruins for their ceremony.  Their day was personal, emotion-filled and fun.  It was nearly 100 degrees outside, but if I didn’t mention it, you’d never notice it in their photos. 😉

Erica & Jay reached out to me because they were looking for a professional whose photos felt natural and organic while being unique.  They appreciated the moments that I was able to capture in camera as well as the composition of my photographs.  They wanted someone who could tell their personal story and capture all of the emotion of their day in a beautiful, creative way.

I’ll open their set of photos with an image of Erica moments before she pulls down her wedding dress to put it on.  I like the intimacy of the shadowy light, her sweet expression and the crisp, clear reflection.  It is almost hard to tell which is the “real” Erica at first!

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Here Erica’s flower girl looks up to her, literally :).  It was too cute not to post!

I love the way the light just bounces of their features and the beading of Erica’s gown and the flower girls’ tulle.

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Jay shared that he didn’t fall for Erica in one moment, but instead through a long succession of time as he saw first hand that she is open minded, adventurous, talented, organised, intelligent, strong and shares his sense of humor.

This next photograph was snapped in a moment as she was passing through a set of arches, but I think it kind of provides a visual for what Jay was saying about it not being one moment but many moments that revealed Erica’s character, values and personality.  I also like her golden glow– she looks angelic!

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Jay went on to explain that he can tend to plunge into new experiences and challenges with great enthusiasm but little foresight, haha.   Erica tends to be more cautious and provides direction and planning in all of their endeavors without being opposed to taking on new challenges and experiences.

I think you can get a sense for Erica’s open-mindedness, transparency and wisdom in this next wide-eyed image.

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Erica and Jay love the outdoors and wanted the lush greenery to take center stage throughout many of their photos.  Erica chose a soft, muted pink to compliment the green.

Wow ladies, you all look stunning :).

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Jay wore a tailored gray wool suit and vest adding to the natural earthy vibe.  It was their love of travel and the outdoors that brought them together initially.  Both had traveled around the globe and exchanged stories about their adventures in the beginning of their relationship.

Erica shared that Jay challenges her to step out of her comfort zone.  He is the most genuine person she has ever met, he’s patient even when she’s being irrational (haaaa!), he is great with kids and will be a great father someday.

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As I mentioned earlier– it was nearly 100 degrees outside and here these men are in full suits looking completely cool and un-phased!  You rocked it fellas!

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Erica’s brother and Jason’s sister both play incredibly important roles in their lives.  Erica chose to have her brother as her man-of-honor and Jason chose his sister to be his best-woman ;).

I like how all of the men are gathered in the background of this next image while Jay’s sister in in the foreground giving him a big, cheek-smashing kiss.  🙂

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TIME for the first look, hehe 😉

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Erica and Jay chose Lockridge Park for their wedding ceremony, first look and romantic photos.  They fell in love with the worn, rustic stone buildings and thick forest.

Here Erica throws her train behind her and walks up to meet Jay…

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I don’t think it would have been humanly possible for Jay to be more happy to see his bride.  He said that he was thrilled to see Erica and that she looked incredible. Erica said DANGGGG!  They both cracked up.

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They kissed, surrounded by tall trees and almost seemed to be at one with nature.

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Jay shared that they work so well together because they fit naturally and compliment each other.   I think that really comes across in this next photograph:

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While I spend most of the wedding day capturing candid moments as they unfold, I do take time to take a few posed photos as well.

Here is on of the happy couple.  I really like how the trees in the dappled green background really bring out their eyes.

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From serious to totally playful.  Jay can make a mean shadow puppet!

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I love playing with reflections and caught this one in the water that had gathered on the path that they were walking along.

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A different perspective of that same path…

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The bridal party gathered together and it was time for the ceremony to begin.

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One of the most appreciated wedding details with the heat of the day were these lovely bamboo fans:

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The ceremony began and Erica’s father walked her down the aisle.  I have some more traditional shots of that.  But this is the moment that stands out to me.

I like the light and the textures in this image– you can almost feel the love that he has for his daughter.

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This is Lockridge.  Yes it is amazing.  Yes you should book it for your outdoor ceremony if you are getting married in the Lehigh Valley.  😉

These are the stone ruins of iron works built in the 1800s, over time the roof and walls wore away but the stone arches remain.

Getting the back arch in a photo was relatively easy, but I really wanted to include both the arches, ceremony and blue sky and accomplished it here:

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Jay listed Erica’s beautiful voice as one of the top reasons why he fell for her.  When the officiant passed her the microphone he didn’t think anything of it, until she began SINGING her wedding vows!!!

Jay was totally blown away!!!  He couldn’t believe that Erica had created a song that contained her wedding vows to him!!!

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Everyone in the audience was incredibly touched as well and applauded.  I love how you can see the reactions of the bridal party as well as Erica– Jay looks so proud!

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 Here Jay’s mother fan his father as he wipes away a tear.

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When she finished singing and it was time for Jay to speak he could hardly put a sentence together– it was adorable.

Here Erica holds his hand and the bridal party smiles while the officiant looks back to her readings to finish the ceremony.

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The kiss…

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Meanwhile, back at their wedding reception venue, Bear Creek Mountain Resort, Jay was already busy sweeping Erica off her feet!  Erica loves Jay’s spontaneity…

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They chose Bear Creek because they wanted something with mountains (Jay loves mountains) and they wanted a place that would have a rustic, relaxed atmosphere.

Erica & Jay both spent a good amount of time skiing and snowboarding when they were growing up, so ski resorts have kind of been their happy place.  They loved all of the stone and wood architectural elements as well as having overnight accommodations for their wedding guests.

While I spend a good deal of time capturing moments and emotions, I also really enjoy capturing space and architecture as well.

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Erica and Jay’s details were so personal and even symbolic.  They had a vintage suitcase for guests to leave their cards symbolizing their love of travel.  Their centerpieces incorporated books to show one of thier life goals to never stop learning:

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The Polaroid camera station showed Erica’s love for photography and was a lot of fun.  All of those little touches defined who they are as individuals and how they work together as a couple. How cute are these?

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Their first dance…

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The mother-son dance…

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Then it was time for one of the most clever and unique maid of honor speeches I’ve experienced to date!

I’ll start with the backstory…  a few years ago, Erica and Jay were at Jay’s mom’s house.  They were looking through old photo albums together.  Erica & Jay had lived only a few blocks away from each other and Jay had been in Erica’s brother’s cub scout troop.

He pointed to a photo and said, “Hey, there’s Ross!” and Erica said, “OMG THERE’S ME!!!!”  She was literally standing in the background of the photo!!!

Jay’s sister brought it up in her speech and had a slideshow with clever hashtags, she included this one– so funny!

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Everyone hit the dance floor…

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Erica & Jay stepped out for a moment and cooled off in the rain…

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Erica & Jay, thanks so much for inviting me to be a part of your day!  I hope that these photos captured your unique wedding day story in a creative, natural, beautiful way as you had been looking for from the beginning.  I hope they allow you to re-live your love for each other and your wedding day for many years to come.  🙂

If you haven’t seen enough of Erica and Jay, you might want to check out their Brewery engagement session HERE.

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