“I love her, and that’s the beginning and end of everything.” –F. Scott Fitzgerald.
This Gatsby-inspired wedding had it all– a first look that brought tears to *my* eyes, a romantic candle-lit ceremony, a real-life *rainbow* and I can’t believe it, but yes, even The Spice Girls, haha!
You won’t want to miss Chelsea & Matt’s classic, elegant, dramatic wedding day at the famous Gettysburg Hotel….
I clicked with Chelsea and Matt right off the bat and they booked me on the spot! I understood their style and relationship and knew that I could deliver the crisp, vibrant, emotion-filled photos that they wanted from details, to portraits, to natural shots in their style.
Chelsea shared, “We chose Rhinehart Photography because we wanted the ABSOLUTE BEST!! After looking at many different photographers, we knew Lisa fit our style and would capture our day exactly the way we envisioned it. We met Lisa and the search was over!”
She continued, “Lisa captures both candids and posed photos in a way that allows you to feel how the people in her shots felt. The photos are both fun and elegant. They capture the very best of you and your moment.”
“The day of the wedding, Lisa and Kris came early to scope out great locations for our first look and bridal party photos. Lisa made the day flow so easily (which for my Type A personality was amazing)!! They were so fun to hang out with on the most important day of our lives. We could not have even imagined a better choice for our wedding. They went above and beyond all expectations!!”
Matt shared, “I fell for Chelsea right away. She is intelligent, beautiful and carries herself with class and grace.”
Matt shared, “I actually had no interest in marriage until I met Chelsea and grew to know her more and eventually fell in love with her.”
I was really impressed with Gettysburg Day Spa— the ladies hair and make-up was incredible and they were also on-time! It allowed me time to capture some incredibly beautiful portraits!
Chelsea and Matt’s wedding was inspired by the Great Gatsby and had art-deco, vintage-glam touches. I wanted to bring that feeling into Chelsea’s bridal portraits. Chelsea, you are stunning!!!
Chelsea explained, “I wanted the bridesmaids’ gowns to be elegant, classic and easy to dance in!!!””
Now it is Matt’s turn to be in the spotlight! Chelsea shared, “Matt is always so calm, cool and collected. I fell in love with him almost instantly!”
She continued, “Matt is a true gentleman. He is loving, kind and the most generous person I have ever met. He always sees the best in people and every situation. He helps me see and appreciate the beauty in everything around me.”
I like the classic black and white window-lit portrait– it fits that timeless, dramatic look that Chelsea and Matt wanted while also capturing Matt being his gentlemanly self.
I figured you would really appreciate a very orderly portrait like this, Chelsea! Kris captured it perfectly!
Matt looking super dapper and ready for his “first look” with Chelsea.
Matt shared, “The first look had to be one of my favorite if not my favorite moment of the day! I was literally overcome with emotion!”
He continued, “I surprised myself by crying more than I have since I was a child. I didn’t think I would react that way but as I looked at her standing in her wedding dress, she was so beautiful, there was a realization that everything we have done and been through has led up to this point and it was incredibly overwhelming and exciting.”
He went on, “There seemed to be a weight lifted as this was a day we have been waiting for and looking forward to for over two years when we began the planning process. I was so happy in that moment and I don’t think I knew how to react other than break down.”
Chelsea shared, “The first look definitely tied for first place as my favorite part of our wedding day! I loved Matt’s reaction. Matt is always so cool, calm and collected and seeing his reaction was so heartwarming. All my nerves for the day instantly disappeared because he was by my side.”
She continued, “He looked so incredibly handsome – I couldn’t believe he was mine!! I wouldn’t change that moment for anything!”
While I love capturing authentic, natural moments, I give my couples a good variety of photos including more traditional portraits as well. Here is one of those spots that I found prior to starting photos.
I knew the weather was going to be hot and that Matt would be in a classic tux. I also knew that Gettysburg has a lot of tourists especially during this time of year, so finding a place that would be private and give them some space was also on my mind.
Here is a formal portrait of the Mr & Mrs there 😉
They shared, “We work together really well because we have the same mindset and expectations when it comes to our relationship. We understand that we will not always agree on everything and we will often have differing views on any number of situations.”
They continued, “Compromise is something we learned very early in our relationship. We are both understanding and trusting of one another. We are simply there for each other no matter the situation and we know we can rely on each other.”
Chelsea shared, “He is my breath of fresh air. He is everything that I am not. My weaknesses are his strengths. We truly compliment each other perfectly. We support each other, challenge each other, encourage each other and have grown some much together that I could not picture my life without him by my side.”
Matt carried Chelsea’s train for her and she walked and she leaned over and kissed his cheek.
She said, “Matt holding my train is – Matt just being himself. He does it without thinking. He wants to make things easier for me and to make me happy. It is second-nature to him. How lucky am I(!?!) To have such a thoughtful and caring partner that trying to make my life easier is second-nature. I could not imagine my life without him.”
I love to capture unique vantage points throughout the day and wanted to have an aerial shot that captured Matt and Chelsea (especially the train of her dress) as well as the lush, summer foliage. Here I shot through tree branches, framing the couple.
Chelsea shared, “Our favorite Gatsby quote is, ‘I love her, and that’s the beginning and end of everything.’ by F. Scott Fitzgerald.”
She continued, “We love this as we think it is so perfect for our relationship. We love one another and no matter what happened in the past or what happens in the future, that will never change. Everything will start and end with us loving each other.”
Matt shared, “My favorite part of the wedding day, other than the first look and ceremony, would be seeing all of our guests having such a great time. It was incredible to have all of the people we love together, having such a great time and being so happy for us!”
It brought in that cool, 1920’s vintage vibe, even if all we were doing was walking from point A to B.
I’m inspired by images in Vogue GQ and Vanity Fair. I love that chic, sophisticated timeless style of posing and it fits the feel of this wedding so well!
I have a smiling version as well but I really love this serious one!
When I first talked to Chelsea about her wedding plans, she mentioned really wanting to keep things simple by having everything at one location– the ceremony, reception, guestrooms, etc.
She mentioned being a little nervous about getting married in a conference room, but felt like with the right decorator she would be able to transform it from being sterile to romantic with candlelight.
She shared, “The Party Peeps and The Collective were absolutely amazing to work with. They instantly saw my vision, offered their own ideas and worked so hard to make it just as we wanted. They are a wonderful family and truly care for their clients. I don’t think our vision would have come to life without them. “
Chelsea shared, “My mom and I were always talking about and planning my wedding. Before she passed, she wrote me a letter. In it she had mentioned how much she wished she would be able to be by my side on my wedding day.”
Chelsea laid a purple bouquet (her mother’s favorite color) on the chair where her mother would have sat and reserved it with a sign in her memory.
Chelsea shared, “I had to control myself to not run down the aisle. I know people always say it was like they were the only 2 people in the room and I never believed it until that moment. It was like the entire world disappeared and it was just us.”
I wanted to emphasize the candlelight in these photos and used camera setting and angles that would really let them shine!
I love it when people show emotion on their wedding day! Her Matt wipes a tear during his vows…
Matt laughed, “I was so nervous during the ceremony that I couldn’t really hear anything that the minister was saying! I completely forgot everything that we practiced the night before, I blanked and just started trying to blow out the unity candle! Maybe it’s a sign that even though I tried, the flame never went out! … I was so nervous!!”
Chelsea weighed in, ” I couldn’t help but laugh when Matt almost blew out the unity candle and I had to say “no, not that one.” It is so classic to our personalities. Matt is so easy going and I can be so uptight – he can always make me laugh, no matter how serious I am trying to be.”
Their faces say it all, hahaha!!!
Chelsea shared, ” I knew that no matter what happened that day or in the future – I was going to be okay because Matt will be there by my side. We are officially one!”
I don’t think they knew I captured these photos, it is just the two of them alone for the few moments that it took for the bridal party to filter out of the wedding ceremony space. They are just taking it all in…
They shared, “We chose the Gettysburg Hotel because of the vintage, elegant space that it provided with its high ceilings and original chandeliers.”
Chelsea elaborated, “We chose ivory gold and black as our colors as we wanted something classic and elegant. White callalillies are my favorite, so we mixed those with white roses and hydrangeas to add a vintage feel and volume.”
She continued, “The candelabras were the perfect vintage piece for the tables and decorating those and the gold chairs with pearls just felt right. We added sequined runners to add a little bit of sparkle.”
In this photo I really tried to bring out the Great Gatsby feel by showing layers of the Gettysburg Hotel vault and the gold chiavari chairs draped with pearls.
She recalled, “Getting the right amount of pearls was a challenge, but I think it worked out.”
Chelsea shared, “The gold charger plates, menus and bow-tie napkins played into our colors and the overall look we were going for.”
And how sweet is this cake?
She mentioned, “The blackberry in the champagne glass was a little extra detail to bring out that gold and black look.”
Here you can see those classic chandeliers that Chelsea swooned over as well as the detailed high ceilings and elegant draperies. What a lovely first dance!
Chelsea shared, “I am finally the wife of the most amazing person I have ever met. I could not be happier to have the love of my life by my side. I would not want it any other way.”
I used a special lighting technique to try to capture just how extraordinary this moment was. Chelsea looks like she feels so safe with Matt by her side…
I promised you a Spice Girls appearance at the beginning of this blog post, and here it comes…
Chelsea’s co-maids of honor surprised her by singing their own version of “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls complete with customized lyrics pertaining to them and their relationship.
Chelsea shared, “That song blew me away!! It is so out of their comfort zone and they put that together for me – it was so humbling to have your friends say such wonderful things about you but then to sing about it! I have THE BEST friends!!”
Chelsea shared, “Seeing the rainbow was such a touching moment!!”
Chelsea’s mom passed before the wedding and rainbows make Chelsea think of her mom. When she saw it, it meant so much to her! She shared, “It made me think of her and I felt like it was definitely her showing me that even though I could not see her, she was still there!”
I don’t believe I have ever seen a rainbow on a wedding day before and I’m not sure if I ever will again– such a cool moment!
The sunset that followed was just as epic and surreal…
Seriously the sky glowed, just unreal…
Scott Albin from Great Scott Productions was professional and great to work with as always. He was the DJ and also created all of the unique reception lighting from their custom monogram on the wall to the club-style lights on the dance floor.
Here you can see the monogram and lighting that I mentioned and guests getting down on the dance floor. I wanted to capture all of those vibrant colors!
Matt shared, “I’m looking forward to enjoying our lives together as husband and wife. We have so many plans and ambitions now that we have passed this monumental stage and I’m really looking forward to facing those with my wife by my side.”
She continued, “We are now officially one and I could not be happier to have the love of my life, my husband, by my side!”
Chelsea and Matt, it was such a pleasure to get to know the two of you! You are one of a kind and such an amazing couple!
I hope that we were able to capture all of the joy and emotion of your wedding day and your elegant/vintage/glam style in the crisp, polished way. I’m thrilled to hear that you had as much fun as we did and can’t wait to show you hundreds more photos of your day!
If you want to see more of Chelsea and Matt, you can check out their Hershey Engagement here.