Brandon and Megan...Married | An outdoor romantic wedding | Francis Slocum State Park | Pennsylvania
What a beautiful late September day these two had on their special day. I traveled up the Pennsylvania turnpike to photograph these high school sweethearts get married. They fell in love while in high school and Megan has been planning her wedding day ever since.
I met Megan and Brandon when I photographed Megan's brothers' wedding and knew of them from my daughter, who went to the same high school. I immediately knew they were a fun couple when I met them and I could tell that they were crazy in love too!
Their engagement session was so much fun. I met them at Hillside Farms in Shavertown, Pa. I have done many sessions at this location and love the farms, grounds and old greenhouses. I thought it would be a great place to take their photos. They wanted to include their dogs in some of their photos so the location was perfect for them. Check out the blog post about their session that ended with a little ice cream!
I started the day at Megan and Brandon's home. The girls had just returned from getting their hair done and were putting on their makeup when I arrived. I used that time to get some photos of Megan's gorgeous dress and do some detail shots of her bouquet, jewelry, shoes, rings, etc. This time can be a little crazy if things aren't organized. I ask my brides to gather all their important items and put them aside ahead of time so that I can get them without interrupting everyone getting ready.
After the girls finished with their makeup we got the bride into her dress. I love these moments. It is usually the point at which the moms start to cry and in this case, there were tears. Megan's mom helped zip up her dress and pin the veil in her hair. Her future mother in law helped her with her jewelry. Her bridesmaids were dressed and ready to help too. We were all laughing as they were trying to help with Megan's shoes and garter. Her bridesmaids all looked gorgeous in the teal blue dresses.
The guys arrived in the limo right on time. I was able to get some photos of Brandon and his groomsmen in front of the limo. We got their boutonnieres on, which took many a try. I got some photos of Brandon and his mom before they had to head to the ceremony site. The guys blindfolded Brandon because they were all sharing the same limo. You can't see the bride till the first look!
𝓣𝓱𝓮𝓲𝓻 𝓕𝓲𝓻𝓼𝓽 𝓛𝓸𝓸𝓴
Brandon and Megan had decided on doing a first look. I was excited about this because the first looks are such a special moment for the couple. When we arrived at Francis Slocum state park I walked around to find a great location that would be perfect for the first look. Once I was all set they brought Brandon over to the spot, still wearing his blindfold.
When Megan called his name, he took off his blindfold and his reaction was priceless!! He bent over crying! The love they have for each other was just beaming from both of them! While I was photographing this moment I was thinking to myself....this is why everyone should consider doing a first look!! They hugged, kissed, cried and savored the quiet moments they had to see each other for the first time on their wedding day. We even had time to do some photos of the two of them as well as some bridal party photos. When we can take some of the desired photos before the ceremony we aren't trying to hurry and do them later. Most couples even get to enjoy some of their cocktail hour when we do a first look because we have many of their photos already done.
The other day I had asked Megan for her thoughts on doing a first look. The idea of doing one or not doing one is some times a big decision for a couple. Hearing what other wedding couples thought about their experience may help future couples with their decision. Here is what Megan said.
"We were so happy that we trusted Maria and went with the first look. Having that intimate moment to connect before walking down the aisle makes a huge difference. The raw and unfiltered emotions we had for one another will forever be burned in my memory as one of my favorite moments from that day! I strongly recommend! ❤" -Megan
The ceremony was just perfect. The weather was perfect. The location was perfect. Even the dogs were perfect! Megan and Brandon chose to have their ceremony outdoors alongside the lake at the park. We were nervous a few days before the wedding when the weather forecast started to change but thanks to praying to the weather gods they ended up with a sunny, warm day.
The two hand wrote their vows and read them to one another. Their dogs were the ring bearers. Megan's sister and Brandon's best man did the readings. Their mom's participated in the sand ceremony with them. The officiant did a beautiful job celebrating their union. And they sealed it with a kiss! Everyone blew bubbles as they walked down the aisle.
They were married!!
I asked Megan to describe her wedding day.
" For a long time, I imagined my wedding day with my now-husband. I used to imagine walking down the aisle. I imagined holding his hands while saying I do. I even would write practice vows now and again because of how much I loved this man. To me, my wedding day would be my most magical day on this earth. And it was, it fulfilled all of my dreams! Everything about our day was so magical! In fact most of the time I forgot any one else was even there, it felt like it was just me and him. The love we have for each other was palpable, exactly how I wanted it to be. Everything was perfect. Nothing could ruin my day. Even when my dogs barked during the ceremony I didn't care because I was marrying my soulmate! ❤" -Megan
This reception was a party!!
The reception was at R and D Memories in Hanover, Pa. I had previously photographed a wedding at this venue so I was comfortable with the lighting and layout. Megan and Brandon chose a rocking DJ. Those DJ's knew how to get the party started.
After Megan and Brandon's first dance, the parent dances, dinner and toasts everyone started dancing. I don't think Megan and Brandon left the dance floor too often.
The food was delicious and the signature drinks were good. Everyone was enjoying themselves. Before I left they wanted to do the sparkler exit. The DJ had just started playing "Sweet Caroline" which naturally meant the sparklers would have to wait till that song was done. Everyone loves dancing and celebrating with that song. Megan and Brandon kissed their way through the sparklers and I got the last photo of the night as the two relaxed for a moment!
Megan and Brandon went on a honeymoon cruise where they enjoyed the VIP beach day and just relaxing. They had no wifi and were unplugged the entire vacation. It was just the two of them, in love, husband and wife in the middle of the ocean!
I enjoyed getting to know these two. I loved their engagement session and just knew that their wedding was going to be special. When I say a truly love what I do I am not exaggerating. It is days like this that I feel lucky to be a wedding photographer.
Congratulations you two. Continue adding pages to your love story and keep me in mind when you need to a photo or two!
𝓐𝓭𝓿𝓲𝓬𝓮 𝓯𝓸𝓻 𝓯𝓾𝓽𝓾𝓻𝓮 𝔀𝓮𝓭𝓭𝓲𝓷𝓰 𝓬𝓸𝓾𝓹𝓵𝓮𝓼
Some of best advice for couples planning their day comes from those that have just been through it. Here is some advice from Megan.
Dresses: David's Bridal
Hair: Maria at Zzoli Studio and Larissa at Larissa Marie Styling Studio
Rehearsal Dinner: The Cafe
Getting Ready Snacks: Weis Deli
Ceremony Venue: Francis Slocum State Park
Reception Venue: R&D memories
Officiant: Rev. Ann Marie Acacio
DJ: Tony Piazza
Limo: The Limo Guy
Cake: Minooka Bakery
Memories by Maria
Every photo has a story and every story will have many photos.