Creative Pennsylvania Wedding Photographers: Katie & Patrick

A rustic, romantic family-farm wedding with a bridal party of twenty, surrounded in autumn brilliance!!!

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While most couples reach out to me looking for creative, high-quality photography Katie and Patrick’s rationale for choosing Rhinehart Photography was unique.   They had worked with several different wedding photographers as guests/family members and their experience working with us on Pamela & Jose’s wedding stood out to them.

They realized their bridal party and family were large and wanted someone who could be professional (organized, timely) and creative while displaying friendly leadership when it was needed.  They were also at Pamela & Jose’s house as their custom-designed wedding album was delivered.  Katie shared, “The album was so well thought out and absolutely stunning.  We liked how it really showed their love of family.”

They mentioned that photography was a huge priority for them and they wanted to make sure to get it right.  They liked my attention to detail and enjoyed the creativity of my work that incorporated interesting perspectives and an eclectic mix of candid and posed photos.     A tall order, haha!   I’ll begin with an image that captures Katie’s wedding dress.  😉

I knew how much they loved fall and the natural aesthetic of their rustic, outdoor wedding, so I brought her dress outside for a few minutes to photograph it against the vibrant autumn color palette.

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Boots were Katie’s wedding shoe of choice.  Getting married on a family farm definitely made them sensible, but Katie also loves country music (her bachelorette party was in Nashville).

Here she is slipping on her boots.  I love the way the window back-lit her veil and how the detailing on her dress and boots really stands out in this high-contrast image as well as her mega-watt smile…

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Patrick shared that he fell in love with Katie from the moment that he met her.  He quoted their wedding song by the Zac Brown Band, “She’s got whatever it is.”

He shared, “Her beautiful smile caught my eye, but her other attributes will make us last for a lifetime. She is a loving person and takes care of everyone around her. She is driven personally and professionally to be the best she can be. She has an innocence about her that lets us have fun like kids. She makes me a better man and truly gives my life meaning.”

While I spend most of a wedding day taking candid images, I set aside time for portraits as well.  Here is one of Katie’s more traditional photos.  I captured her beautiful smile as well as those bright blue eyes and the delicate lace detailing on her dress.   Katie you are stunning!

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Katie has a very close bond with her mom.  Her mom was her loudest cheerleader at sporting events, and has always been there to listen, advise and support Katie in all of her adventures (personal and professional).

Katie’s mom was very busy, helping behind the scenes, but  avoided the spotlight (and getting her picture taken), but I snuck her in a photo here, as she adjusted Katie’s veil:

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The bridesmaids were just as taken-back with her revealin their matching monogrammed robes.  I like how the open bedroom doors frame them and give you a sense of place…

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These ladies have range and I wanted to show it all.  Here they are ready for a spread in Modern Bride ;).   Katie’s favorite color has always been pink.  She had a bubblegum pink room with a raspberry rug growing up and left the shade of pink up to Patrick’s sisters (three of whom were bridesmaids).

They chose a bold fuchsia as they thought it would look best against an autumn color palette.  I chose this yellow-green background to compliment the fuchsia and really make it pop.  The lighting was perfect and their confident expressions are priceless.  You are totally rocking those boots, ladies!

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Katie shared, “I always cherish handwritten notes from Patrick, so he writes them to me on special occasions. I am old-school, and still love sending snail mail.”  Patrick wrote her a note for her to read on her wedding day.

I focused on his hand-written lettering and allowed the intimacy of this moment to show through my use of close perspective and the dramatic side-light adds to the emotion and makes her engagement ring stand out…

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Katie went on, “His note touched me because it talked about when we met, what we have been through, and why he knew we were going to be amazing as a married couple.  It was him saying that having me officially by his side forever would make him always be happy.”

Her expression says it all…

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To the farm!  Oddly enough, while Patrick and Katie met in Los Angeles they both had family living *very* close to each other in Pennsylvania.  So close that Katie was able to begin her wedding day preparations at Patrick’s parent’s home in Newtown, PA and exchange vows twelve miles away at her family’s farm in New Hope, PA.

It is a working farm and absolutely gorgeous.  The inside of the farm house is beautiful and so artistically decorated.  I wish I could say that it was a public venue, but right now they are holding family members weddings.  Though I do know of a similarly amazing venue outside of Harpers Ferry  that is open to the public, if you are looking for this sort of place.

Here are two of the family farm residents…

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Patrick shared, “I see Katie everyday, so I thought, “what’s the big deal about a first look?”

The time for the first look arrived and Patrick was beginning to understand…

He’s smiling already behind his covered eyes, haha!

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Patrick went on, “When I saw her on our wedding day, I just couldn’t help myself…. she was the most beautiful bride.  I couldn’t stop smiling the entire day.”

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Showing off her dress and boots…

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Katie shared about seeing Patrick for the first time– “I fell for Patrick the first night I met him and thought that I was crazy for thinking that. He had an electric smile with the cutest dimples.  He was wearing casual clothes which is not common in LA where everyone takes their appearance so seriously, so it was refreshing and showed that he was relaxed and down to earth.”

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Katie continued, “We talked non-stop for 5 hours on night-one, despite being in a bar for an orientation gathering that my class was supposed to be running!  I tell him absolutely everything…. He is my best friend!”

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I’m going to take a brief pause from this love story to talk about something you have probably noticed– Katie’s dress.  It is probably one of the most unique and perfectly-suited gowns I have photographed to date.  It was custom-designed for her by Cocoon Silk who took several dress concepts Katie liked and wove all of those ideas together cohesively and beautifully.

For example, she wanted a long, flowing dress for the ceremony, but didn’t want to be stepping on it all night, so they made her dress two pieces to solve the problem– a short sheath dress with delicate lace detailing was worn beneath a satin-belted, long, flowing silk skirt.  It really showed off her boots!

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Wearing a comfortable gown, shoes and hair style not only allowed Katie to enjoy herself, but it also allowed me to do so much photographically!  She was able to move anywhere worry-free and really get lost in the moment and fully experienced and appreciated the connection and commitment She and Patrick made together on their wedding day, without being uncomfortable or worrying about ruining her shoes or hairstyle.

Here they are in the middle of a field.    I was able to capture their outdoor, active  lifestyle and that playful spontaneity that Patrick loves.  I was crouched low in the grass at this time (yes I wore boots, too haha) which gives this photograph a sense of intimacy and captures the light-hearted freedom that makes their relationship fun!

No my camera lens isn’t dirty, the hawks were migrating heavily over the weekend and several soared above them ;).  I can’t get over the vibrant blues and yellows in this photograph!

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Katie shared, “Living in California, we do not get the typical fall with leaves changing colors. We both missed fall the most and were so excited to be back just in time for the fall leaves.”

Hello fall!  Here you can see dozens of fall leaves in the foreground and background…

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She continued, “Our love for the outdoors and being healthy and active brings us together for many workouts, camping trips, hiking, biking, beach volleyball, etc.”

Katie articulated, “We work so well together because we always have the other person’s best interests at heart.   Patrick challenges me to be more spontaneous and plan less, which helped us to have many more unplanned adventures during grad school. I challenge Patrick to step out of his comfort zone in his career and in nature.”

While I captured much of the autumn foliage and landscape throughout, I really wanted to take a moment to capture that vibrant blue sky!  I love photographing fabric that has ease and movement.  It really gives images such a romantic, swept-off-your-feet sort of feeling…

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I take time to understand the priorities that are important to my couples and try to keep an eye out for those throughout the day.  One of Katie and Patrick’s was that they love their family and getting nice photos of them especially the cute kids would be something that they would love.

I have a few different photographs that capture the kids.  Here their ring-bearer straightens his tie, what a handsome little dude!  The tie is almost bigger than him!

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Here Patrick’s sister Pamela and her husband Jose (whose wedding I photographed a few years ago) play with their little girl, Sienna.

This has to be one of the most rewarding elements of my job– being at people’s sides as they exchange their wedding vows and then seeing them start families of their own!

I can’t believe it has been four years already!!! What a pleasure to see you two and your family :).

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This was a really unique moment as well– wedding guests walked through a path in an open field from the farm house to the wedding location.

Here you can see them dwarfed by the tall grass, surrounded by fall foliage…

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Their ceremony began with a traditional procession which was lovely, but this blog post is only my “highlight reel” so I’m going to jump to a candid shot that shows a natural moment and an adorable kid!

I’m not sure exactly what is happening in this moment but it looks like this flower girl is being instructed to stay put  while also considering her mother’s ability to chase her down given the current circumstances…

I like the way you can see the finger point and the little girls sweet expression, even the lone petal floating to the ground.  It almost looks like there is a piece of candy in her mouth (bribery? haha!)  It is all just so sweet!

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Katie shared, “My dad has always been there for me, from spending an entire weekend watching my volleyball tournaments, to surprise visits in college, to participating in my entire summer training program with me, to all our outdoor hiking and camping adventures, to welcoming Patrick into the family when he first met him.”

She went on, “I am my daddy’s little girl in every sense of the phrase–  his first born and the last to get married.”  His face says it all, such a beautiful and very sweet photograph…

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Katie elaborated, “It was an emotional moment… I was ecstatic because I was walking toward Patrick, but sad because it wouldn’t just be my daddy and me against the world anymore.”

I think that both of that can be seen as they walk through a clearing in the woods together towards Patrick.

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This next photograph speaks volumes of Patrick– first off you can see him fully engrossed and lost in the moment as he watches his beautiful bride approaching, but you also see the two men he has chosen to have at his side during his wedding day.

Jose (the groom I photographed a few years ago) is the officiant and Patrick’s father is in the place of honor as his best man.

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I really like the interaction here– it is especially apparent when you know all of the interconnected relationships involved…

Katie smiles at Jose, her wedding officiant and soon-to-be brother-in-law.  Patrick hugs Katie’s father as his own father looks on standing in a place of honor.  What a moment!

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Katie shared, “Our favorite part of our wedding day was staring into each other’s eyes while holding hands and being in our own little world, fully in the moment together.”

She may be reffering to a time earlier in the day while we were exploring the property together, or it may have been here.  She looks very happy here, so I’ll go with that for now :).

I focused on Katie’s expression but like how you can see her bridesmaids blurred but visible in the background.  I like how one of Patrick’s sisters is holding her child.  It gives you a feel for the relaxed family atmosphere that Patrick and Katie created on their wedding day.

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When we initially talked about the ceremony site, Katie shared that it would be in a clearing in the woods beside a pond and beneath the boughs of an immense tree.  I sought out to capture it all!

I used an extremely wide angle lens to capture the entire tree in one frame.  I like how the image itself is framed by the branches of nearby trees and if you look closely you can see the pond behind them.

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I try my best to get several different perspectives of the ceremony.

I move around a lot yet  try my best to be quiet, respectful– I don’t stay in any one place for too long.  I have been told by several officiants and couples that I’m a ninja, haha!  I also have a range of lenses that allow me to stand relatively far away, but capture close-up images.

Here is a photo similar to the one of Katie smiling, lost in Patrick’s eyes…

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I like this laugh-out loud moment during the ceremony!  Jose went out of his way to gather personal stories and weave them into the ceremony, even interviewing Katie and Patrick’s parents.

I like the symmetry of this photo and the way that Katie’s sister and Patrick’s father flank either side of the photograph and seem to understand Jose’s reference as well!

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The big moment!  I like how you can see five hands in this photo– they form a diagonal line from the top left to bottom right corner of the photo and draw your eyes from the wedding officiant’s hand to Katie sliding on Patrick’s ring to Patrick delicately grasping Katie’s ring, ready to slide it on her finger!

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Husband and wife…

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Katie and Patrick really prioritized spending quality time together on their wedding day and set aside time alone at the beginning of the day during the first look and some more again as the sunset following their wedding ceremony.  It gave them time to stop and smell the roses and take it all in.

Katie shared, “We absolutely love the outdoors so having a chance to celebrate our whole day in nature was an opportunity that we couldn’t pass up.”

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Katie reminisced while simultaneously thinking of the future– “Our relationship thrived during grad school, which was one of the most stressful times in either of our lives, so I know we will be able to make it through any future challenge.”

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It was getting dark, and I wanted to keep the soft, organic look for their farm wedding.  I also wanted to show their fun, active lifestyle and the movement of Katie’s dress.  All of those elements came together for me in this photo.  I used a slow shutter speed and panned along with the couple as they walked  through the field.

I like the depth of the image with tall grasses as they wave in the wind in the foreground, while streaks of high-contrast golden light create visual interest from my open shutter.   I also like the way Katie and Patrick are in focus as her flowing dress is caught by the wind.

It is a tricky shot to get, but they were comfortable, had the time and were up for anything and so was I, the result was some pretty unique imagery…

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Using the vanishing light, I caught one last romantic image.

I had to really max-out camera’s capabilities, but it worked!

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Katie shared, “This is the 100th year celebration of the National Parks and they are running a campaign called #FindYourPark. Glacier National Park is our favorite one we have been to with Arches as a close second. The other parks we have been to include: Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Grand Teton, Badlands, Yosemite, Sequoia, Redwoods, Crater Lake, and Joshua Tree.”

Patrick was actually the one who created the concept for thier table numbers.  Katie explained, “Patrick came up with the brilliant idea to name our tables after parks and he wrote the blurbs about us in each one. Then, he shared his idea to have our sign for the name cards say FIND YOUR PARK, which I thought was genius and perfectly described us and our love of the outdoors.”

Here are two of their National Park table numbers, I am blogging the two that are their favorite– Glacier and Arches.  Great photography skills, guys– wow!

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During cocktail hour, guests enjoyed time together playing yard games.  Patrick’s cousin made them and they are amazing!  Here one of their flower girls gets a high five for her corn-hole success!

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There were so many great moments during their reception that it was hard to narrow it down.

Patrick’s mom shared that whenever she heard Tim McGraw’s song “Humble and Kind” on the radio, it makes her think of Patrick and the way he sets out to live his life.  A week later, Patrick’s family joined him in Nashville and explored the city while Katie and Patrick’s sisters participated in the Bachelorette party.

Patrick shared, “We were eating breakfast at the hotel when NPR set up for a live recording and brought in Lori McKenna for an interview and live music. We wondered who this was, so we quickly Googled her to find out that she was one of the writers of Humble and Kind! We were able to get a picture with her and talk to her about her family roots that inspired her to write the song, which gives it even more meaning than we ever expected.

I used the string-lights to create bokeh and add some magic and visual interest to the photos.

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Several touching speeches were given, the one that Norman, Patrick’s father, gave particularly hit home for him.

“My father pushed me in sports and in academics but also was always there to show me a good time. He has supported me in every one of my endeavors, whether simple or crazy. His speech brought up a lot of memories from my past and the way he described them, while it was comical in nature, touched me emotionally. The way he spoke about Katie and hearing his side of our story (how I ditched him for a date) made me laugh but also took me right back to our first week together on the beach in California where we fell in love.”

Time to get the party started– Katie’s bridesmaids were among the first to hit the dance floor!

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I love the expressiveness of their hands in this photo!

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Another cute kid photo, I couldn’t resist!  It shows you how genuine and down-to-earth the groomsmen were.   This groomsman extended himself so far to reach out to this little man and give him a high five.

I braced myself to capture him toppling over or splitting his pants haha, neither of which happened but either of which had potential to be quite comical!

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Patrick said, “I have always been very close with my grandmom, Rita. One of the reasons we chose to have a local wedding was so that she would be able to make it (and so that all my sisters and their babies could make it too!)”

He continued, “She has been in and out of the hospital over the past few years and is now living in a nursing home. I was so grateful that she was able to make it to the wedding and I was so thankful that she was able to dance with me, standing up from her wheelchair, because it meant so much to both of us and to all of the family.”

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Photographers reading this blog post may have caught this earlier– the sun was setting and I didn’t silhouette the couple, despite the fact that I love silhouettes.  I did capture one, but I wanted to save it for the end as it is a great “happily ever after” moment!

Being surrounded by forest and mountains, it was incredibly difficult to silhouette Katie and Patrick against the sky, I could barely manage it with a wide lens and the lens distortion bugged me.  As I pondered my options I was well aware that the vibrant colors of sunset were quickly fading.  I really thought creatively with this one– I had to be quick.

I was able to silhouette their reflections in the pond without having to deal with the mountains or forests blocking the light behind them while also being able to avoid the distortion created by a wide lens quick enough to manage to capture those rich blue and gold hues which wouldn’t last if changing locations.  If you look closely you can see some of the ripples in the water, the the water was quite still where Katie and Patrick stood.

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Katie and Patrick, thank you so much for reaching out to me to photograph your wedding!  You were a pleasure to work with and it was such a joy for me to get to see the O’Rourke family again!   This time with so many more members!!!  I am so excited to hear what you think of these photos!  Feel free to comment here on the blog and/or on Facebook & share away!

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