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Say & Kelli {Wedding}

Vendors:

Ceremony Site: Race Street Pier 

Cocktail Hour & Reception Site: Pier 19 Ballroom/Hibachi 

Florist: Oleander Botanicals 

Cake Designer: Juanita Colon

Hair Stylist: Lauren Stefan

Makeup Artist: Betsy Hernandez

Trolley Works Philadelphia

DJ: John from Eclipse Entertainers 

Ceremony Chair Rentals: The Party Center

Dress: Vera Wang 

Suits: Vera Wang

“I fell in love with her courage, her sincerity, and her flaming self-respect. And it’s these things I’d believe in, even if the whole world indulged in wild suspicions that she wasn’t all she should be. I love her and it is the beginning of everything.” F. Scott Fitzgerald

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The Benjamin Franklin Bridge was strung up against a bright blue sky, framed with cherry blossoms and 150 beaming faces of loved ones dressed in their black-tie best. Say and Kelli planned true Philadelphia wedding, complete with a stop at the Art Museum steps and a pose with the Rocky Statue. Kelli was stunning in her ruffled Vera Wang gown, cascading blonde curls, and perfectly pink lips. Surrounded by her 8 bridesmaids in formal black gowns, groomsmen in classic black Vera Wang suits, and in the arms of her handsome groom- the look was timeless.

After meeting while playing on opposing teams at their church’s co-ed flag football tournament, a clotheslining incident, and a lot of smack-talk, the two developed a relationship that quickly caught fire. They found themselves leading a life group together, taking teams on missions trips, partaking in each other’s hobbies (she took Muay Thai classes to get to know some of his MMA Fighting world, and he took a few salsa dancing classes to know hers…that’s love), and desiring nothing more than a life lived side by side forever. On this beautiful May afternoon overlooking the Delaware River, the pair stood faced toward each other and read their own handwritten vows to each other with a beautiful confidence and ease.

Cocktail hour and the reception continued at the nearby Hibachi. The walls were made of windows with yet another stunning view of the river, and everything was decked from top to bottom in romantic pinks, whites, and candlelight. Kelli brought her salsa dancing crew everyone danced deeply into the night. After a gorgeous and most likely illegal parking garage sparkler exit, Say and Kelli Tea drove off to an African safari honeymoon- come on now, can they get any cooler?!

To say that we loved this day was an understatement. Congratulations, Say and Kelli!

-J

Engagement Session: Say & Kelli {Engaged}

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Telly & Lindsay {Engaged}

“… love is the light that dissolves all walls between souls.”

~ paramahana yogananda

The harsh winter days are now just a distant memory as it seems we have almost bypassed spring and gone straight to summer. Thankfully, the cherry blossoms have not gotten the memo and have hung on for weeks on end. The sun was shining matched with a slight breeze and blue skies as Telly, Lindsay and myself met for their engagement session.

I knew within moments that this was a special couple. It is Telly’s quiet strength that pairs perfectly with the bubbly personality of Lindsay. They describe their relationship as loving, caring, fun and trusting. The two plan to wed at The Stoltzfus Homestead and Gardens in June 2016. Cannot wait!!

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Burnie & Erin {Engaged}

 

“… love is the light that dissolves all walls between souls.” ~ paramahana yogananda

10Burnie and Erin’s story is a special one. Burnie is my first cousin and Erin a close friend from High School. A few years after graduation Erin and I stood beside our dear friend Brittany as she married her love, Cameron. Burnie DJed the event and immediately became smitten with Ms. Shirk.

Shortly after the evening wrapped up I received a text from Burnie. He asked about Erin, if she was dating and spoke about how gorgeous she was. I told him to go for it! A few hours later I recieved a FB message from Burnie saying how he had gotten the courage to ask her out and hopefully in the least, it had made her smile.

The older I get the more God’s timing is becoming evident and once again it played out in this relationship. At the time that Burnie first contacted Erin she was still in college, busy with school and in a different place than Burnie was. Over the years, periodically Burnie would check in and see how Erin was doing, asking if I thought she’d be interested in a date.

January 21st, 2014 I received a message from Burnie, we chatted a little and landed on the topic of the lovely Erin Shirk. He asked about her once more, but this time I had a good feeling she would be interested in a date.

Erin was in her 5th year post-bachelor degree program, busier than I had ever seen her, but at a really good place in her relationships and trust in God’s plan. With her permission, numbers were exchanged and after a short phone call they decided to meet for coffee. It was a cold day in early February. Burnie showed up to her house with a single, yellow rose and they headed to Prince Street Cafe in charming downtown Lancaster. Erin recalls their hours of conversation and how the rest of the world seemed to fade away. He was kind and sweet and captured her attention. He continued the evening by surprising her with ice skating, snatching their table number from Prince street before they left, hoping that it would be lasting sentiment for years to come.

Their relationship unfolded naturally. Although the two were in very demanding stages in life they supported one another’s dreams, even amongst decisions about moving and schooling. Over this next year they became best friends and soon realized they wanted to experience life with one another for all their days to come.

New Years Eve 2014, almost a year after Burnie asked Erin on that first date, he got down on one knee as the Georgia Peach dropped and asked Erin to be his wife.

The two plan to marry in September at Burnie’s parent’s gorgeous beach house. It will not only be a celebration of their love for one another but a testament to all God has done. I couldn’t be more happy for the both of them! A HUGE congratulations to two of my favorite people!

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Alex & Jen {Wedding}

“In the flush of love’s light, we dare to be brave. And suddenly we see that love costs us all we are, and will ever be. Yet it is only love which sets us free.” –Maya Angelou

She has a quiet strength, beautiful and reserved. A pretty smile on her face with a gun on her hip. He was “the one friend they thought would never get married,” but he is sweet natured and wears his love for her on his sleeve. Between the country blues, cowboy boots, and cheery sunflowers, this day was riddled with lots of big personalities and laughter, precious moments, and love.

Old Zion Church amongst Lancaster County farmland was a first for us. We did not know what we had been missing out on as we all approached the 200 year old structure; small, but with enough character to last a lifetime. High ceilings and an antique chandelier were enough to make all in attendance step back and appreciate the simple things in life. With a sweet and sincere ceremony, Alex and Jen vowed their love to each other for the rest of their days.

The reception was bright and cheery, complete with mason jar wine glasses, country music, and the best homecooked barbecue possibly ever!

We are excited to share Alex and Jen’s country wedding with you on the blog today!

-J

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Daniel & Jenessa {Wedding}

It is still difficult for me to articulate my feelings about April 11, 2015. But I’ll do my best.

It was a perfect Spring day in Lancaster County. As I was driving from Philadelphia I noticed how the grass had finally laid its drab, brown covering aside and in its place, a vibrant green blanketed the earth. Color we all have been longing for throughout this seemingly endless winter. Although the weatherman was calling for gusty winds that Saturday, with each passing hour the air settled and became a simple spring breeze.

I have had the honor of being involved in many weddings, either in the bridal party, as a guest, or in my career as a wedding photographer. This event though, held even more significant meaning for me. My lovely assistant at Tessa Marie Images and second-shooter for weddings, was the bride on this day!

Jenessa’s story is bitter sweet. Four years ago, her mother was taken suddenly and unexpectedly as a result of cancer. Lill King was one of the most vibrant women I had ever met. A good friend of my mothers, I saw how people were drawn to her energy and the life she exuded. When she passed it shook the community, and devastated her close-knit family. Jenessa was just 17 years old.

Through their pain the King family held to one another and to their faith in God. They focused on family and rather than wallowing in their loss, they chose to embrace the blessing they had in the years they got to have Lill as a mother and wife. Their goal was to be just like her, to emulate her strengths and honor her legacy.

On Father’s Day 2013, Jenessa stood with her brother and sister in front of their church family and together they honored their father for continuing to support and love them through the deepest pain of losing his wife and their mom. Jenessa, in typical fashion, lit up the stage as she shared.

In the audience that day was Daniel Seiz. He was so completely taken by the life and spirit in this beautiful girl that he literally looked her up on Facebook right then and there as he was sitting in the church service!

Daniel decided that day that he wanted to marry Jenessa. And he took it upon himself to win her heart. On their wedding day they read letters to one another and Daniel wrote about how he never thought he could have so much love for “someone he never even met.” He spoke of his prayers to Jenessa’s mother in those letters, promising her that he would do everything in his power to take care of and love her daughter. I can honestly say, it was one of the most moving things I have ever heard.

To anyone who saw their relationship unfold it was as if Daniel awakened the parts of Jenessa that she had hidden. He walked beside her, embraced her flaws and built up her strengths, and she –reluctantly at first– opened herself to the idea of someone pursuing and loving her.

The day was about so much more than a legal contract being solidified among witnesses. It was a celebration of life, of community and of the love of Jesus. Many of the people in attendance have walked through this journey with the King family and have supported Jenessa and Daniel during their dating relationship. Tears were shed in remembrance, but more importantly laughter and joy filled every part of the day.

From a photographer’s perspective, Jen and Dan were such fun subjects to capture through a camera’s lens. They are both expressive by nature and wear their feelings “on their sleeves” and their emotions throughout the day were vibrant, alive and genuine.  Pure joy!

It was a dream wedding and a great honor to be a part of the celebration. It is a day that I will hold in my memory for years to come. Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Seiz, so unbelievably happy for you both!

To view their proposal story click here: Daniel & Jenessa {The Proposal}

To view their engagement session click here: Daniel & Jenessa {Engaged}

And to view their UNBELIEVABLE wedding video by Cinema Four 40 click here: Daniel & Jenessa {Wedding Video}

The AMAZING wedding day vendors:

Dress: In White
Florist: Petals With Style
Wedding Planner: Schumaker PDT
DJ: Burnie Smucker with Portable Soundz
Videographer: Cinema Four 40
Catering: John Wright Restaurant
Ceremony: Stumptown Mennonite
Reception: John Wright Restaurant

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