LVC wedding photographers: Brianna & Mike

A colorful, “autumn fairytale” wedding for two incredible Lebanon Valley College grads…

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Brianna & Mike reached out to me looking for vibrant, crisp, bright wedding photos.  They wanted a pair of  innovative photographers who would capture a mix of creative and traditional photos while photographing all the details.

We  notice the little things and opened with a photo of their wedding rings.   The background is actually leaves from outside of the Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey.  The leaves bring in the autumn feeling while the sparkling diamond ring says “fairytale.” 😉

I wanted to capture the vibrant yellow leaves of a tree just outside of the hotel.  Here Brianna and her make-up artist are silhouetted at the end of the long hallway.  I like the leading lines and yellow lighting on the wall.  Patricia Solis was fantastic!    She was professional, timely and wait until you see her work, just stunning!

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Brianna loves bling, so I went for a very dramatic look in this next photo utilizing light and background to really make her jewelry stand out and sparkle…

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With her hair and make-up complete, it was time for her to put on the dress, but her dress had to go over her head, potentially effecting her hair and make-up…

It was a moment of team-work, all of the ladies played their part to make sure Brianna made it though unscathed!

I like this photo as you can see everyone helping her and her look of concentration, haha…

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Brianna’s mom was at her side throughout the wedding day, always ready to help.

Brianna shared, “My mom and I are fantastic friends and she and I had so much fun planning the wedding. She worked hours upon hours on the wedding and would stay up until 2 am researching…. She and I shared the exact same vision. I cannot thank her enough for everything she did to give us the wedding of our dreams.”

You can see how happy she is helping Brianna with her earrings…

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Brianna had mentioned, “I was looking for a photographers whose photos were so crisp that you could perfectly see every detail.”  I think both of these fit the bill :).

I was overjoyed with the intense sunlight that day.  That combined with the dark walls of the Sheraton really gave me an amazing work-space.

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Mike shared, “Brianna is caring and very supportive of me. She is cute, smart and funny.  She is truly my best friend.”

Brianna, you are stunning…

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Brianna’s wedding gown was from Exclusively You in Bloomsburg.  She mentioned that the bridal boutique made her feel like a princess each time she visited and created a custom train for her that was over six feet long!

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Since Brianna & Mike met on campus at Lebanon Valley College, they knew they wanted their photos and the ceremony to be on campus.  The fall foliage was absolutely amazing and the royal blue dresses really popped against the rainbow of vibrant leaves.

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The majority of the bridesmaids met Brianna at LVC, so it was really special to have them all on campus together again!

Brianna’s mom checked the weather the weekend before and realized that the temperature was supposed to drop.  She purchased shawls for all of the women, which they gladly wore :).

Here one of Brianna’s bridesmaids holds her bouquet of ivory and burnt orange roses…

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While Brianna had her heart set on a autumn fairy tale wedding from the start, she wanted to incorporate Michael’s interests as well.  He loves boating and spent lots of time at the lake, so the blue color palette was a nod to all things nautical.  You will see more at the reception as well.

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Speaking of Michael.  It is worth mentioning that this man is intelligent, kind and has a heart of gold.

He shared, “I loved Brianna’s note… my favorite line was ‘I love you to the lake and back infinity times.’ I also had written ‘I love you to the lake and back’ in my note to her so that was really special.”

Here he reads Brianna’s letter– you can almost feel his emotion…

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Michael shares a very close bond with his father.  He coached Mike’s football and baseball teams and has taken him skiing ever since Michael was 18 months old!

I think the look in their eyes says it all…

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Family is extremely important to Michael and Brianna.  It is one of the reasons they work so well together as a couple.

Family portraits are generally something that we provide for every couple.  I don’t often post them on my blog, as the blog is more of a “highlight reel” of sorts,  but I thought it would be nice to post this one of Michael’s family…

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While Michael was pretty laid-back about the wedding and planning process as a whole, he did mention one thing being very important to him– getting photos with his groomsmen on the LVC field.

Michael played football for LVC and the majority of the bridal party attended Lebanon Valley College as well.  Michael obtained special permission– here they are sitting in the stands…

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Lined up on the 50 yard line…

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showing off their socks…

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In a huddle…

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Mike shared that is favorite football memory was winning the game against Albright and participating in “The March to Kreiderheim.”

Haha, a fun reflection in Mike’s glasses…  Kris did a great job on these!!!

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The ceremony was held in Miller Chapel on campus at LVC.  Live music really set the stage as guests arrived.

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Brianna was escorted down the aisle by her father.

I love candid photos that capture the moment– here you can see guests’ reactions…

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Michael shared that he was incredibly happy watching Brianna walk down the aisle towards him.  He said that she was absolutely stunning and just as beautiful as he had imagined…

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From a photographic perspective, I really like having a balcony to work with– it is almost like giving me the ability to hover during a wedding ;).

I move a lot during a wedding day, I have been called a ninja haha.   I like to offer different perspectives on the same scene.

For example, I was standing at the front of the church near Michael as Brianna walked towards him, then moved to the balcony for this photograph:

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Here I am close to the bride and groom again as they exchange vows.  I know this photo looks like I was standing a foot away from them, but I was actually using a telephoto lens and was standing in the aisle several rows back from the altar…

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Michael shared that he is very close with his grandparents and that he and Brianna go to their house weekly.

They typically meet on Thursday for “pasta night” when they all get together and eat pasta with homemade sauce and meatballs.  🙂

All day, I keep an eye out for anything interesting.  Here Michael’s grandmother wipes a tear from her eye during the ceremony.

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The candelabras were from Brianna’s Mom and Dad’s wedding.  Brianna’s grandparents restored them so that they could be used for Brianna’s wedding, too!

The kiss…

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Brianna shared, “Leaving the church as husband and wife was a long time coming.  I was so excited to call Michael my husband!”

Here is their ribbon send off, I was able to get all of Miller Chapel in the photograph:

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It was very windy (25 mph+) but Brianna braved the wind and cold to explore LVC with Michael.  I compensated by shooting more frames than I usually would.  There would be a shot where the veil was in front of her face, straight up in the air and a perfect on like the show below where it is elegantly blowing behind her.

The peace garden was a very sentimental place for Brianna & Michael and the place where they chose to capture the majority of their wedding photos.  It was where they met for Brianna’s Alpha Phi Omega formals and it just seemed fitting to be there on their wedding day.

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Brianna shared that she fell for Michael because he is loving, supportive and has a great work ethic.

She explained that they balance each other out and have really grown throughout their relationship together.

I thought about the “fall fairytale” theme throughout the day and did my best to capture that aesthetic.

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Brianna shared, “Lisa really kept our theme in mind– she even climbed a tree to get a birds-eye view of us for our portraits (holding a yoga pose) which absolutely exceeded my expectations!”

It was something that the videographer, Matt Stambaugh and a few of the groomsmen helped me with, haha.   It was fun and I think this shot was totally worth it…

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I was able to photograph so many colorful leaves from above and slowed down the shutter of my camera to capture the motion of a few leaves…

I showed Brianna the back of my camera and she was like, “Wow!  Yes!  This!”  haha…

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Here is a more traditional photo of the whole bridal party…

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And a fun one…

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Speaking of fun, it is time for me to introduce all of you to Joey.  He has been Mike’s best friend since kindergarten and is known for his crazy, fun, unpredictable behavior.  He did not disappoint!

I was stilling at the far end of the party bus, as bridesmaids pored champagne and saw Joey leap and captured this photograph a split second later!

It is fun to see everyone’s reactions.  I was using a wide angle lens and the angle really makes it look like he is popping out of the photo.

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Brianna & Mike’s cake was beautiful and created by Sweet Confections Cakes of Harrisburg.

If that name sounds familiar to you, it is probably because they were just on Halloween Wars on the Food Network, which aired a couple of weeks prior to Brianna & Mike’s wedding.

While a cake shot is pretty standard, the shadow of this cake caught my eye…

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The speeches were amazing and it was really the only time Brianna cried all day.   Brianna mentioned, “My dad’s speech made me cry… it was a perfect mix of funny and sweet/serious.”

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Brianna’s sisters were her maids of honor.  They both gave excellent speeches.  One of her sisters created a video that interviewed key people, while the other had written her speech a year in advance and memorized it for the wedding day.  Both were very emotional.

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Brianna shared, “Mike’s brothers speech was exactly what he was expecting. It was very funny and one of the greatest, best man speeches we have ever heard!!”

Everyone gave their speeches from the dance floor, which really allowed me to play with light and color and give all of them an interesting “look.”

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Brianna wanted a unique surprise for the reception at the Harrisburg Hershey Sheraton.  She had quite a few tricks up her sleeve, but the most visually stunning was probably her bananas foster flambe.

It was created in front of all of the wedding guests as a form of entertainment, something I have seen in New York and New Jersey, but this was a first for me in Pennsylvania… wow!!!

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Mike’s love of football was incorporated into his garter toss.  He actually put the garter on a football and threw it into the crowd of eligible bachelors…

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Funny, the couple to catch the bouquet and garter were already an item!  I have several (kind of hilarious) photos of the garter going on, but will leave you in suspense and show you a show of them on the dance floor…

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I told you Brianna’s mom is her best friend– I think that really comes across here…

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The party was high-energy and everyone had a blast.  Brianna shared, “Our favorite part of the wedding day aside from seeing each other at the altar, was dancing with our friends and family at the reception.”

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Brianna shared, “At the end of it all, we are looking forward to simple married life– cooking dinners together, setting up our new apartment, taking time to travel & hang out with family and friends, and starting a family.”

You can’t have a fairytale without a happily ever after moment, there were so many throughout the day, but this was probably “the moment” that will be the perfect last page to their wedding album…

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Brianna & Michael, thank you for choosing me to photograph your wedding day.  I wish you all the very best and cannot wait to hear your thoughts on these photos!!!

If you haven’t seen enough of this adorable couple, you may want to check out their LVC engagement photography blog here.

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