I am so honored that you stopped by today! Whether you are planning your intimate oceanside ceremony, eloping in the mountains, or traveling abroad for the wedding day of your dreams, I can't wait to hear all about it.
Beyond the Vows began just a little over two years ago, but has made a huge impact in just the four events we have held since then. What started out as a calling felt by myself and Hannah of Sparrow and Lace Photography to invest in couples beyond the wedding day, grew into providing an experience where they can come take a break from the busyness of life in a safe and relaxed space. A place where they can focus on themselves and their marriage no matter what season they may find themselves in.
With each Beyond the Vows event, we have learned so much about love, life, and the ebbs and flows of what it is to be married. We have been able to touch couples who were struggling with their relationship and were giving it one more try to make it work. We have celebrated with a couple married for 35 years and entering an exciting new phase of life. We’ve been able to encourage newly married couples as they navigate the early years. We have provided priceless keepsakes for a couple that was preparing to say goodbye to one another as cancer was taking over his body. We have shed tears for a couple as they tried over and over again to conceive and were lead to the journey of adoption. And now we pray for them as they continue to wait for God to place a child in their path.
Yes, you can guarantee there will be delicious food. Yes, you can guarantee you will be leaving with our new Beyond the Vows Monthly Marriage Challenge book. And yes, there will definitely be a photo session involved. But the most important detail we provide is the overall therapeutic experience, love, and support. We are genuinely interested and invested in each couple that walks through that door. We want to know how you met. When did you first know you were in love. How can we pray for you. How can we celebrate with you. Ultimately, what can we do to serve you and your marriage in the best way possible.
The other week we hosted several couples for Beyond the Vows at the relaxing River Nook Airbnb in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Located right along a peaceful stream, the home was cozy, warm, and inviting sprinkled with a few unique pieces (check out the hanging bed!). The property itself was beautiful with large trees, fire pit, beach area, and tree swings.
We welcomed each couple and took some time to either get to know them better or catch up with them over food and drinks. Then we transitioned into the session part of the day. With each session we try to get you connecting on a deeper level. We start out light and simple. Perhaps in an embrace or holding hands synchronizing your breathing. And with each push of the camera button we talk you through carefully curated healing and inspiring prompts and direction. By the end of your session it is our hope that you feel that much closer to your spouse. But ultimately your experience isn’t over yet.
This year’s Beyond the Vows event was so heartwarming. Couples stayed long after their sessions and joined us all in conversation around the charcuterie board. Or hung out in the living room where they pulled questions from a bowl that ignited unique conversation. Or they ventured down to the water and simply took in the peacefulness that it provided. Others continued their date day as they headed off to dinner or made their way home for a date night in. It is always our hope and prayer that as each couple leaves, we have reignited their passion and inspired their spark.
In the coming weeks I will be sharing exactly what Beyond the Vows means to me. If you want to learn more or become part of the movement, check out www.beyondthevows.org and follow along with us on Instagram!
Earlier this year we had the honor of joining Hannan and Mia for their marriage celebration at Hotel Hershey. Hannan grew up in Hershey and Mia and her family were from Chicago. They met in Philadelphia and the rest is history.
Family traveled from all over the world to be a part of their days long celebration. It began in Chicago where Hannan and Mia officially tied the knot and ended with a huge valima reception a week later at the Hotel Hershey where Lilly and I got to join in on the fun.
There was glamour from Mia’s stunning jewelry to the gorgeous sea of colors worn by the ladies in attendance. The decor and details were amazingly coordinated by David of Mx2 Event Design as he transformed the ballroom into a room fit for royalty. The Hotel Hershey also provided the stunning outdoor backdrop for Hannan and Mia’s portrait session just before the celebration began.
One of our favorite parts was when Hannan’s mother and sisters were joined by ladies from their family for a traditional dance. And as they pulled Mia into the mix with them the crowd swarmed to the dance floor and the seats at the tables were all left empty. This group new how to celebrate and we couldn’t help but move to the music, too.
Not only were they all the sweetest family to work with, but it was such an amazing experience to immerse ourselves into their culture. The vendor team were rockstars, too, and we could not thank them all enough (scroll to the bottom to check them out!). What a truly beautiful and inspiring day it was at the Hotel Hershey!
Venue | The Hotel Hershey
Design & Planning | Mx2 Event Design
Florals | Blooms by Vickrey
Linens | Special on Queen Street
DJ & Reception Lighting | JP Entertainment
Lighting | Klock Entertainment
HMUA | Philly Hair
Videography | Complete Weddings & Events
It’s no secret I love the outdoors. Give me a day on the lake with a boat, sunshine, and good company and I’m set. When Lauren and Chris came to me about their spring wedding at Lake Raystown I was more than on board (pun intended).
And then last fall I met up with this adorable duo for their engagement session at The Winery at Hunters Valley. Not only was I super excited as this place is very special to me (it’s practically in my back yard with the most beautiful view of the Susquehanna River and it is where Ryan and I got married ten years ago!), but the more I got to know Lauren and Chris, I knew they were my kind of people. Relaxed. Funny. Up for anything I suggested. And in love. So in love.
I left that session refreshed. Lauren and Chris are just the kind of people that make your heart smile. I knew their spring wedding on the lake could not come soon enough.
Que the angels because their wedding day was an absolute dream. Nestled amongst the mountains, family and friends gathered at Lake Raystown Resort at a lookout point for the wedding ceremony. It was full of lush, soft florals (perfect for spring!) and beautiful violin music courtesy of the groom’s cousin. And as Chris’s daughter and Lauren made their way down the aisle to him, there was no hiding his contagious smile.
Fast forward to the reception and we were wow-ed! Lauren’s vision was a dream come true from the golden arch covered in dreamy florals that framed the bridal table to the stunning golden centerpieces that gave the whole room a modern, yet whimsical touch. And the best part? Chris and some of his friends made the golden pieces especially for Lauren so that her dream could become their wedding day reality.
As we enjoyed the spring weather in the resort’s indoor/outdoor reception space, we captured their romantic and heartwarming first dance as husband and wife. We witnessed tear jerking dances with their parents and their daughter (oh and for more of that make sure to check out Lauren’s first look with her dad below!). We enjoyed a delicious dinner and decadent dessert. All the while documenting the fantastic time Lauren, Chris, and their guests were having. This was a fun group of people for sure!
And to top it all off, we got to sneak away for a few moments with just the bride and groom right before the last of the day’s light left us. Not only do Lilly and I get excited for more time to photograph our couples at sunset, but these times can also be a welcomed break for a bride and groom to have a few private moments connecting together amidst the business of the day.
Overall, I cannot be more thrilled to share this beautiful spring wedding with you all! Thank you to everyone who took part and helped make Lauren and Chris’s day the magical moment that it was. Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Maines!
Venue | Lake Raystown Resort
Florals | Deihl’s Flowers Inc
HMUA | Beautiful Dream Team
Bakery | Maddie Cakes
Invitations | Minted Weddings
Suit | Men’s Wearhouse
Watch | Luminox World
This gallery of images is super personal for me. As a budding film wedding photographer, I attended a workshop with the oh-so-talented Lauren and Tim Fair of Lauren Fair Photography. Not only was it amazing to meet these two photographers with similar passions as my own, but a whole room full of them as I met other attendees from all over the United States and oversees.
If you’ve been following along for a while, you know my passion for film photography runs deep. And over the last few years I have worked hard at perfecting my craft in hopes of incorporating film as my main medium. The dreamy, painterly look you get with film just can’t be duplicated. And the challenge of having to know and read the light before I even push the shutter button has pushed me creatively and inspired me so much.
It is with that love and passion that I share these images. Not just because they’re beautiful, but because they artistically fill my cup and fuel my fire.
Thank you to all of the amazing vendors who gave of their time and talents to create such a stunning space for us to work with and create art with. And thank you Lauren and Tim for putting the workshop together and sharing your wealth of knowledge.
Creative Direction/Styling | @eastmadeco
Floral Design | @fayeandrenee
Hair & Makeup | @truebeautymarks
Stationery & Calligraphy | @shotgunningforlove
Cake | @trouvaillebakery
Shoes | @bellabelleshoes
Rings | @susiesaltzman
Earrings | @jenniferbehr
Rentals | @whitegloverentals
Linens | @bbjlinen
Styling Surfaces/Sponsor | @locustcollection
Styling Props/Sponsor | @curatedbehavior
Ribbon | @eastcoasttrimming
Ring Boxes | @voeu_du_coeur
Venue | @cairnwood
Models | @reinhardagency
Sponsor | @photovisionprints
Sponsor | @renaissancealbums
Sponsor | @honeybook
One of our last weddings of the 2018 season was a Cork Factory Hotel winter wedding with this amazing duo in Lancaster, PA. When Hannah first reached out to me about photographing her wedding I was honored as I always am, but really honored this time as we went to college together. And as I got to know Shawn and Hannah a bit more it turned out we had so many things in common. Shawn graduated from Millersville – Brooke’s alma mater and Hannah and I grew up just miles from one another without ever knowing it!
Hannah and Shawn met in 2014 after they both relocated to Philadelphia for work. Little did they know this City of Brotherly Love would come to meet so much to them and be their first of many cities they would call home together. When they found themselves in Florida for Shawn’s job they also found themselves engaged a few months later. Planning a wedding from a different state can be tough, but these two were pros with their laid back attitudes.
They were going to need those relaxed vibes more than they could have realized as they then found themselves packing up and moving to Chicago for work mid wedding planning.
Amidst all the craziness, Hannah and Shawn (with the help of a rockstar friendor team – see below!), planned out a beautiful winter wedding day where their families and friends melted together in celebration. Their colors of burgundy and navy blue were the perfect fit for the warm indoor atmosphere of the Cork Factory Hotel. And can we please talk about Hannah’s stunning faux fur shawl and golden details?
But the absolute best part was getting to witness two people so deserving of love become husband and wife. From the private moments in their rooms reading one another’s love notes before seeing each other for the first time. From the celebratory moments with their bridal party that had us laughing just as much as they were. To the beautiful ceremony and words spoken aloud as they gave themselves to each other. To the lively and fun-loving moments of the reception where the dance floor was packed all night long.
Congratulations Hannah and Shawn! May your love continue to grow as you adventure through marriage together!
Venue & Coordination | The Cork Factory Hotel
Photographer | Mallory McClure Photography
Officiant | Rev. Reenie Panzini
Florist | Petals with Style
DJ & Photobooth | Top Hat DJ
Hair & Makeup | Salon 717
Bakery & Catering | The Cork Factory Hotel
Bridal Boutique | In White Bridal
Dress Designer | Sincerity Bridal
Suit | Men’s Warehouse
Shoes | Belle by Badgley Mischka
If you know me well, you know I love authentic things. Things that stem from “let’s do it the way it was down back in the day” kind of things. I love the history and knowing where the things I am interested in came from. It’s no surprise that I have fallen in love with wedding film photography.
When I took a deep interest in photography it was right in the middle of the popularity and affordability of the digital age. I knew of film. I grew up having used many, many point and click film cameras that I would excitedly drop off at the local store to have sent away and be developed. Then patiently wait at least a week for the photos to return and the surprise of images that awaited me. In college I developed my own film in the art department’s dark room and loved seeing my images comes to life as I moved the photo paper from bin to bin.
When I started my business fresh out of college, those memories somewhat evaded me as I was focused on the best digital camera and learning how to use that as my main medium to join my fellow photographers in the working world. As time moved on, though, I started to remember my love for film and the creative process. I started to yearn for that authenticity and the artistic look you get when shooting film that just can’t be perfectly replicated with digital photography.
So I dove in. I got myself a Canon 1V, some Fuji400 film, a light meter and started shooting away. Easy right? Wrong. There is so much knowledge that goes into creating a film photograph that reflects exactly what you want. It’s one of the other aspects of film photography that I just absolutely love. You have to have all your settings just right and shoot for perfection each and every time you click that button. It challenges me and pushes me to be the best wedding film photographer I can be.
I love incorporating film photography into every wedding and couples session I photograph. My love for this medium cannot fully be expressed in words, thus, my favorite photographs from 2018. Thank you to every couple who understands the time it takes to create such art and for trusting me when I pulled out my light meter and you innocently asked, “What’s that for?”. My heart and soul continue to be filled with happiness through working with couples and especially now as my creative soul is fulfilled, as well.
When these two mentioned that they wanted to meet up at a local winery for their fall vineyard engagement session I was excited. When they told me they wanted to go to The Winery at Hunters Valley I jumped for joy! This very vineyard is not only minutes from my home, but the very place Ryan and I got married ten years ago! Needless to say, it holds a very special place in my heart and I was more than thrilled to go there with Lauren and Chris to celebrate their engagement.
Wow, the weather could not have been more perfect for a vineyard engagement session. Beautiful clear sky and warm sunshine paired with the amazing view of the Susquehanna River and Lauren and Chris’s infectious laughter. Their photographs say it all as they were all smiles and you could just feel the connection between them. Lauren and Chris are those wonderful types of people that just put your own soul at ease and allow you to be in the moment enjoying every second of it.
These two lovebirds will officially kick off our 2019 wedding season later this year when we travel to Raystown Lake for their wedding day. We’re counting down the days, but for now these sunshine filled images will definitely do!
These two. When they mentioned they wanted a fall Washington DC engagement session so they could include their current hometown, I was 100% down for the road trip and visiting one of my favorite places. The architecture, the history, the food, the art. Add that it’s one of my favorite places to photograph and I could go on and on.
Marissa and Eric are truly the sweetest and I have really enjoyed getting to know them over the last few months. They were pros during their engagement session! And now I am impatiently counting down the days to their September 2019 wedding at Riverdale Manor.
What started off as a summer romance for them easily transitioned into a strong relationship. They both agreed that things just felt so right and they couldn’t deny it any longer. Fast forward almost five years, a move to Washington DC, and adding their golden-doodle, Reggie, to their family. Marissa and Eric are both strong, intelligent, and hard working. Their hospitality, kind words, and the way they balance one another is a match made in heaven.
With the United States Capitol and the Jefferson Memorial as our backdrops, that dreamy fall sunset poured in and we were transported to what felt like another world. It was a perfect day and a wonderful reminder that I am blessed with working with fantastic people that warm my heart. You could see the tenderness in the way Eric held Marissa. And you could see her eyes light up when she looked at him. They are true relationship inspiration and I am so honored to be able to call them friends.
Oh where to even start with this beautiful couple?
The other weekend Lilly and I braved the Philly traffic and met up with Natalie and Tyler at their home in downtown Philadelphia for their Old City Philadelphia engagement session. The young couple is passionate about their careers, their first home in the heart of the historic district that they brought back to life, their adopted cat, the city’s spirit and most of all, each other. The Temple graduates met in Italy while studying abroad and were not only dazzled by one another, but also by the fact that their paths would have most likely never crossed back at home. Talk about destiny!
We had so much fun trekking around the city at sunset and learning all sorts of fun facts and backgrounds thanks to the worlds best tour guide, Natalie. Getting to know them a little more and what a day in their lives looks like was truly such an honor and is always one of our favorite parts of our “job”. The highlight of the night (besides taking photos of these stunning humans) was the goodie bag of Philly’s best candy and coffee they sent home with us (Shane Confectionery and La Colombe coffee from the local Fishtown Cafe!) and dinner and dessert at their favorite Italian Restaurant, Capofitto.
We ate. We reminisced over how they met and how they will return to Italy during their honeymoon. And we laughed, a lot. Their December wedding at Wyndridge Farm cannot come soon enough!
A few weeks ago, we spent our Labor Day weekend celebrating the new Mr. and Mrs. Gray in Gettysburg, PA! ⠀
These two lovebirds have known each other since middle school and Tim knew he wanted to make their engagement as special as their history together. With their love and blessings, he collected rings from a few of Kristin and Tim’s closest family members and had them melted down to create the most special ring for his bride to be.
Meanwhile, he hand carved a wooden box for it to sit in until the moment came when he would get down on one knee. Due to Tim’s love for history, the moment came while they were visiting the Gettysburg Battlefield on the anniversary of the day they began dating. It seemed only fitting to return to Gettysburg for their wedding day surrounded by friends and family; especially those family members that had so thoughtfully contributed to the engagement ring. And the rest is history!
The Lodges at Gettysburg is a super cool venue with the cutest cabins for guests to stay in, an amazing view of the battlefields, a pond for fishing, and a fire pit to retire to with your family and friends after the reception (Kristin and Tim gifted their loved ones with smores!). As a result, it is perfect for any outdoors loving couple.
We also loved all of the personal touches and thoughtful details that added to their beautiful love story. Kristin and her bridesmaids were up to the wee hours of the night on the eve of the wedding to create their own stunning bouquets. Each bouquet was adorned with at least one copper rose that paid homage to the one that Tim had given Kristin long ago in the early stages of their relationship (anyone else remember those from the Renaissance Fair?). And on the wedding day you could find several wooden decor pieces that were handmade by Tim himself!
Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Gray! Thank you so much for allowing us into your relationship and giving us the honor of photographing your wedding day!
Venue | The Lodges at Gettysburg
Officiant | Rev. Sandy Lynch
Music | Great Scott Productions
Bridal Boutique | Diamonds and Lace Bridal
Bakery | Karen Rodkey Cakes