An elegant, classic fall fairy tale wedding for a unique family with a beautiful story…
Melissa was open with me from day one– at our first meeting she shared, “I’m very particular about photos. I’ve been looking for a long time and haven’t found a wedding photographer who can capture flattering portraits, candid emotions, beautiful settings and also have an eye for detail. I really want to find a professional who is able to capture those elements as well as an overall “fairytale” feeling on our wedding day.”
Following her wedding day she wrote, ” I knew I chose the perfect photographer! You find the beauty in any situation and bring it out in every photograph! You helped me get through all my stress and keep me on track with time, when I’m always late for everything. Thanks a million!”
It was very important for Melissa and Jason to be married in a church. One of their favorite elements about this church, Saint Mary’s UCC in Westminster, in particular, was the stained glass. When I was trying to figure out the best place to photograph Melissa’s dress this came to mind…
The colors from the stained glass were just lovely, here you can see the pinks and blues (Melissa’s favorite colors) shining through the window and onto the wall, highlighting her beautiful bouquet.
Melissa’s dress was ornate, a couture gown that she found at Simone’s, a local bridal boutique in Hanover, Pennsylvania. She had an appointment scheduled at Kleinfeld’s (yes the famous New York City Boutique from TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress), but fell in love with this dress, and even after trying on many gowns in NYC, she came back to find this one.
Melissa has always loved dresses with sleeves and wanted the dress to have fully beaded sleeves, which the designer added for her here. You can see some of the intricate beading and embroidery work here during the end of her preparations…
Melissa wanted a fairytale look that was very soft, feminine, elegant and romantic. Gettysburg Day Spa did a phenomenal job on her hair and make up. Melissa has known Siarra Long for years and only trusts her with her hair.
The combination of her hair, make-up and gown came together beautifully, and I really wanted to capture it. We had the church basement to work with, as she didn’t want anyone to see her before the ceremony. I found this wall in a nursery with some light coming in through a window. I knew it would make the perfect bright, minimalist background and really show off Melissa’s beauty and make her the focus of the photograph.
Melissa you look absolutely stunning!
Jason has a tradition of buying her flowers every Friday, so Melissa wanted her bouquet to come from the same florist. Melissa’s soft pink and ivory bouquet of roses is from Country Hearth Wreath.
Roses are her favorite flower– she wanted them wrapped in pearls to make them appear even more soft, romantic and add a timeless feeling…
“Jayson is obsessed with brief cases and is also very protective and a vital member of our fmaily. To give him this case and “Ring Security” role in our wedding was just a perfect fit.”
Time to meet Jason! Melissa shared, “I was raised with traditional values that may be considered old fashioned in this day and age. I met Jason and he shared the same goals and ideas about living and raising a family. He was a true gentlemen (opening doors, bringing me Friday flowers), hardworking, loyal. He really is the love of my life!”
I like this traditional portrait of Jason. He comes across as strong, kind and an overall “good guy.”
Jason and his groomsmen are a solid bunch. Melissa’s brother, Jimmy grew up with Jason’s neighbor, James so they have deep roots and are connected in one way or another :).
One of Melissa’s favorite qualities in Jason is his ability to have fun wherever. After witnessing him with his groomsmen, I can totally see how this would be the case.
While he can have a light, friendly side, Jason can also be really serious, too. Here he watches Melissa escorted down the aisle by her father.
He shared, “In that moment I was holding back tears. She was the most gorgeous woman I had ever seen. I felt like the luckiest man alive.”
While I have several lovely photographs of Melissa and her father I really wanted to post this photo– Jason’s expression says it all…
Saint Mary’s UCC was a beautiful setting and I really wanted to capture its stunning architecture and the entire scene. I have photos taken from a closer perspective but I really like the grand feeling of this image:
Their Christian faith is very important to Melissa & Jason. Melissa shared, “My favorite moment at the church was lighting the unity candle.”
St. Mary’s UCC has a strong German heritage, and continues to have a piece of artwork above the alter of Christ that is inscribed in gold in German. It is roughly translated, “All to the Glory of God.”
I like the balance of this image– that it layers the wedding guests, bridal party, bride and groom and shows Christ arms extended proclaiming the glory of God. A very sweet moment for these two:
Jason always wanted children, but was told that he’d never be able to have children of his own. Accepting Jayson as his son was monumental and adding Maddison was nothing short of a miracle.
Jason shared, “They are both miracles for me really. Our children mean everything to us. Enjoying them and growing old together and loving each other for the rest of our lives is what I’m most looking forward to.”
Daddy’s little girl…
Jason explained a few of the reasons why he loves Melissa so much. “She is classy– charming and witty while also being down-to-earth and fun. Melissa is absolutely gorgeous and has such a kind heart.”
He went on, “I had eyes for Melissa long before I ever introduced myself. I didn’t want to mess anything up!” Luckily he made a great impression and the rest is history.
I think that affection that he has for her can be seen in this next photo along with her beauty and elegance… I liked the rust-colored fall foliage in the background as well:
We had such a vibrant and colorful autumn this year. I noticed this tree immediately as we pulled into the church!
It was a stunning gold maple and positioned perfectly for a very bright, clean background, displaying a carpet of leaves.
Jason kissed Melissa’s hand which really captures his gentlemanly personality…
Family means everything to Melissa and Jason and as I shared earlier, they view it as a true miracle.
I knew capturing a family portrait of the four of them together would be important and I really wanted that photo to not only be a flattering image where they all looked their best, while also bringing in that royal, fairytale feeling as well.
I saw this gold detailing on the wall at Martin’s and saw it as the perfect frame and backdrop for them….
This was another real fairy tale moment. Here Melissa plays with Maddison. It could be straight out of a Disney movie!
Aesthetically I like all of the bright whites and golds in this photo and the joyful expressions of these two:
I have literally hundreds of gorgeous photos of this wedding, so I am temped to move on to the reception, but Maddison is so cute that I think I need to post a few more of her…
I love the last one, it made me laugh out loud as she looks like a total baller, haha!
Melissa chose Martin’s in Westminster because she always wanted a ballroom wedding. She blames it on watching Cinderella hundreds of times as a child, haha.
Ironically, Jason’s favorite moment of the wedding was the first dance. Here he twirls her beneath a gorgeous crystal chandelier– talk about a Cinderella moment!
I knew Melissa loved the chandeliers at Martins and I really wanted to incorporate them into her photos. I also love how happy they look in the image below.
Melissa shared, “I just couldn’t get over how handsome he looked. I kept thinking that he was the one.”
The dance floor opened and was immediately filled with happy relatives. Melissa noted, “My family LOVES to dance and sing… it really brings us together!”
Jason is dancing with Melissa’s grandma on her 80th birthday in the first image. The bottom-middle photo shows Jason’s mother dancing with the woman who was the flower girl in her wedding! I especially appreciate the creativity of the woman singing into her “spoon microphone” in the last image, haha!
I knew I wanted to create a photograph like this for Melissa and Jason from the very beginning. I understood their classic, elegant aesthetic and heard all about the chandeliers and staircase at Martin’s.
I knew I wanted to add some dramatic lighting that would illuminate the couple, showing a bit of the staircase and allowing the dark night sky to show through the windows of Martin’s.
To me, it says that they lived happily ever after ;).
Melissa and Jason, thank you for choosing me to capture you wedding day. I was thrilled to recieve your note about how much you liked working with me. It was a pleasure to spend the day with you and your beautiful family and I am so excited to hear your thoughts about these photos! Please feel free to share away. There are many more to come :). All the best, Lisa