We love working with locals because chances are the places you have fond memories, we have a few there as well. This was definately the case for Sam + Ryan’s session because they decided to recreate their first date ever and for us at a few North East staples. Their date was basically that picture perfect 1950’s first date where they they met for mass then followed it with a movie then dinner over milkshakes. Nifty Fifty’s which was my favorite spot of the day. The pair ordered a couple shakes and we took some super cheesy but totally classic photos. Ryan + Sam have absolutely no problem showcasing their authentic personalities in front of the camera and we can tell these two are very loved by their circle for that uplifting energy they seem to carry with them everywhere we go. There’s a lot of people really excited for them to tie the knot next March, including us! We’re really happy to have spent this time with them on and get to know all their adorable quirks. We’re excited to have befriended them + be a part of their journey!
Love isn’t always picturesque. We want the fairytale romance. Love is supposed to be gentle and understanding and never causes doubts. It’s supposed to feel like coming home and never having a single worry again. We think love should always come as soon as it’s called. It wakes up every morning the exact same, dedicated and patient. But love, real love, is never perfect. Love means showing up. It means fighting through the hard parts + it means compromise. Love is seeing ugly parts in a person and still not wanting to run away. Love is commitment. Love comes with messiness. It comes with frustrating days and learning to love someone even when you’re angry. It comes with flaws, hard decisions and nights where everything feels like its falling apart. Love isn’t always easy but love chooses to stick around even when life gets rough.
The North East is one of my favorite parts of Philly, not only because I grew up there, but because the people who live there are zero-filter + 100% real. So don't be fooled by how spiffy our friends Jeneane + Tim look in these photos because these two are nothing but authentic, no-hold-barred fun. Their love story is a NE Philly fairytale having met at the original Chickie + Pete's on Robbin's Ave off Frankford and years later tied the knot at Saint Tim's Parish off Levick. Through their SnapChats we watched pre-wedding and by their toasts during dinner we could tell Tim + Jeneane are pretty serious about partying but we still didn't know as to what extent until the lights went out and the dance floor turned into a full blown rave. I'm pretty sure at one point Jeneane was twerking + Tim was dancing in his underwear. All partying aside you can tell these two are going to keep each other young for a lifetime and they without a doubt have the support of all those around them. We can't wait to see where life takes these two, cheers Mr. + Mrs. Walsh :)
Sometimes wedding planning can incur a lot of stress because everyone has their version of what your perfect wedding day should look like. The biggest piece of wedding advice I could give anyone is to stay true to yourself and do what you want because it's your celebration. I feel like Chelsea + Andrew is are great example of "doing what you want." These two are super quirky and envisioned a traditional wedding with lots of twists to make it their own. The bridesmaids wore all white, the groomsmen got ready in the gym taking super goofy pictures because they wanted to. They scripted their first look then explored the city in the snow for 4 hours taking photos and chillin' with their friends on the party bus. Their ceremony was 8 minutes and 30 seconds long with no formal vows -- short, sweet and perfectly them. Their reception...oh, where to start? First, Chelsea made a grand entrance with her head in her hands, "crying", until Macho Man (Andrew) made an appearance to sweep Chelsea off her feet to the song "Kiss the Girl." During their formal first dance you could see how awkward these two felt in front of all their guests so they made light of it coming up with their own dance moves and theatrics that had us all cracking up. The rest of the night was filled with good vibes, dancing, mis-behaving + lots of "what the...?!?" moments. The coolest thing about their wedding? NO ONE will ever have the same wedding as them. When it comes to your wedding, bring your personality to the table + don't be afraid to be a lil' weird because I promise you'll create a day you and your friends/family will never forget!
Find someone who makes you realize three things: one, that home is not a place, but a feeling. Two, that time is not measured by a clock, but by moments. And three, that true romance are those little things you do everyday to show that you care. Our life is comprised of these little moments, and some pretty big ones too, like your wedding day. Stephanie + Todd tied the knot in front of some of their closest friends and family members on the 17th of March, also Saint Patricks Day, one of Stephanie's favorite holidays. They certainly weren't shy about infusing lots of green into their wedding day between the bridesmaids dresses, the flowers, Irish river dancers and even some Philly Eagles references during their reception (because you can't NOT dilly dilly at your wedding when you're a die-hard Eagles fan.) There was an overwhelming theme of family + tradition in their wedding day, even Todd's brother's had a hard time keeping it together during their toasts later in the night. The smiles on Steph + Todd's face basically say everything we can't put into words + we're feeling pretty darn lucky to have been apart of such a fun couple's wedding day.
Sam + Mike have been together for quite a handful of years now and I know I wasn't the only one secretly rooting for their engagement. I first worked with these two when I first started out shooting engagement photos and I remember thinking how easy they were to work with because of the exuberant giddiness they had when they were together. A few years later and nothing has changed! From the moment they walked in the doors at Starbucks (our designated meeting place) they made ME feel instantly comfortable and ready to have some FUN! We explored Main Street and some of the side alleyways finding some remarkable lighting and unique backdrops for their images as we talked nonstop about life and wedding planning! The images are effortless and I can't wait to see what adventures their wedding day has in store for us!
I love couples like Sam + Dan - the young, bright, hardworking DIY millennial couple. These two have already been through it ALL together between growing up together as teenagers, graduating high school, raising their son, establishing their home and starting careers so when they tied the knot back in the beginning of March it really felt like the "cherry on top" of what they have worked so hard to build so far. Their wedding was simple; there wasn't much to distract away from the pure love these two shared. This wedding day was so much less about the dress, decorations and other frills that compliment the wedding day and ALL about friends, family and good vibes that they would take with them into their continued life together as husband + wife.
At one point in their life, Danielle + Kenny were just passerby's in each other's lives in during their high school years and later down the line they met each other again in their later 20's through a group of mutual friends. Their love grew + grew and it wasn't too long until Kenny got down on one knee at a winery the day before Danielle's 30th birthday. In February 2018 they threw their dream wedding on a venue off of Broad Street called the Vie by the Cescaphe Event Group. Some of their favorite moments of the night were the best man's speech that got a *little* out of hand, drunkenly dancing on the stage together in front of the whole crowd and the overall good vibes + love they felt from their family members that night. Cheers to our friends Danielle + Kenny! :)
This couple is beyond cute with their very adventurous life - they went from the East Coast to the West Coast together which definitely takes a proper mixture of guts and love! Five years ago John + Stephanie's energies became connected at a bar called Public House (now City Tap House) There was definitely an instant clicking that happened with these two. They began talking through some mutual friends and John will never forget those heart eyes that Stephanie kept darting at him all night!
And now let's fast forward to their wedding day at The Columbia Station on the 29th of December! John, "loved seeing Steph smiling ear to ear as she walked down the aisle, especially knowing how stressed we both were leading up to it & seeing our closest friends/family walk down the aisle, including the flower girls and ring bearers who were the cutest! And during the ceremony, Steph mentioned she was sweating, and when our first kiss happened she said to me, "sorry I had a lot of sweat on my upper lip" He also loved seeing all of their family and friends from different parts of the USA. They EVEN had someone fly in from Japan for this magical day. What was Steph's favorite part? "The ceremony itself, walking up the aisle feeling so happy and seeing John waiting for me. I was just so happy. I like that we choose the readings and hand fastening reading, so there were parts in the reading where I was like, 'this is so us' or 'oh I love this line' and I felt like just standing there looking at John, listening to the readings and the vows was our time to be with each other and looking back it was kind of the calm before the storm....and by the storm I mean the craziness of the dance party!" Both Stephanie and John had a favorite memory that is in sync with each other, "That moment when John was able to get the wrist bands to work after some technical difficulties and in that moment everyone was like, "OOHHHHHH"...and the dance party got STARTED!
There's nothing more romantic than simply being adventurous dorks together - in my opinion! That's exactly the kind of love John + Stephanie share: playing games, traveling the world and loving each other immensely, most importantly.
Steakhouses: bringing people together since we realized we can make a profit off of cooking food for other people! Joking aside - fancy restaurants have this air about them that make you want to dress up to the nines, drink some fancy cocktails and have stirring conversation. Upscale steakhouses can be very romantic too! This leads me into the story of Denny + Katie. These two cuties met all the way back in 2009 through some mutual friends so they're almost at the decade mark of being in each other's lives. How many people outside of those blood relatives we are stuck with have been in your life that long? It took about five years for Katie + Denny's romance to blossom - in 2014 they began dating officially.
Once Barclay Prime opened up in the city these foodies just knew they had to check it out. They made a reservation there a MONTH in advance! This gave them a little something to look forward to as well. As most things go with being an adult - Katie was sick the entire week leading up to the reservation. Unsure if she could even make the reservation, she said screw it because they made this RSVP so long ago and got ready. After primping - Katie actually began to feel a bit better seeing herself all dressed up and lookin' good. Dinner comes to an end and these two walked around Rittenhouse Square. Suddenly Denny pulled Katie aside and said, "Katie, I love you and want to spend the rest of my life with you..." Katie interjected saying, "You're not proposing are you?!" Denny followed up with, "Yeah, don't ruin it." and asked Katie for her hand in marriage. Katie later discovered that during that week she had fallen ill - Denny went to Katie's parents and requested permission for them to get married. What a little sneak!
Katie + Denny's wedding will be in September of 2018. They really are aiming for an easy going day and want it to simply be as fun as possible! Their main goal is to have everybody they love celebrating their once in a lifetime day. This laid back couple seem absolutely perfect for each other!
Is Tinder made for more than just hook ups? I wouldn't believe it but apparently soulmates can find each other through Tinder nowadays! Call that the future. A prime example is Kalyn + Collin. They were on Tinder before it was cool anyway - in 2014. To specify even more in depth under the magnifying glass, they had a lot of mutual friends so it wasn't too bizarre! Let's flick forward a bit to Rehoboth Beach. This is where Collin dropped that, "L", bomb to Kalyn. No, he did not drop thousands of lollipops on her - but told her he loved her!
Let’s jump to July 2, 2016 - two years after that event. Colin + Kalyn went back to Rehoboth Beach to apparently celebrate Kalyn landing a new job. Collin made reservations for dinner and everything! The whole kit and kaboodle. This set off a tiny red alarm in Kalyn's brain only because it seemed a bit extravagant to do all of this for solely her new job. Dang. That woman's intuition is intense. They arrived at Stingray -- a Sushi bar and Asian Latino Grill. Not only was a section of a restaurant reserved just for the two of them but there were flowers and champagne too. Before Kalyn could even comprehend what was going on and was putting her purse down - she turned to see Collin bending down on a knee! He had a ring and even had a photographer there to capture this unforgettable moment. Upon "swiping right" (metaphorically! aka saying, "Yes") the waitstaff cheered and began serving the four course meal Collin had also planned for this beautiful evening. After dinner - Kalyn noticed her parents sitting at the wine bar so they were present for this magical moment too! Crap. Collin thought of everything!
Collin + Kalyn's wedding day finally happened as of late. They adored seeing each other dressed to the nines for the first time. A lovely surprise for Kalyn was that her parents brought in a bagpiper for the end of their ceremony. I mean how much more epic can a wedding get? Well - it can get a little more epic actually. Kalyn and her crew left the venue during cocktail hour to do the epic Broad Street picture (see their gallery for how that turned out!) While they took this picture - a majority of passerbys stopped to congratulate this couple and Kalyn says it really felt like, "The City of Brotherly Love".
Collin + Kalyn are really looking forward to their honeymoon to the south of France in May of 2018. After that? They are wanting to start their family! They are thrilled to see where life takes them from exciting places to travel to just fun in general.
I can't believe this all stemmed from swiping right.....Kalyn + Collin definitely have made me see dating apps such as Tinder can be more then just a one night stand or fling!
How many of us have had friends that tried to set us up with someone they "just know" would be great for us? 🙋🏻🙋🏻🙋🏻 Well - that's how Jessica and Brian met...sorta! For the longest time, Jessica's friend just knew she had to meet Brian. But, Jessica being like most of us, wasn't down for that. What did Jessica's friends do - got sneaky of course! They planned an informal bowling night that was absolutely NOT a date! Both Brian and Jessica hit it off INSTANTLY and did not even realize this was a setup for them to meet. I guess friends really DO know who works for us. Brian and Jessica did not even become aware of this little scheme until months until finally dating when they reminisced on that night. +1 to your friends, Jessica!
Did Jessica and Brian get an engaged at a bowling alley? That's where I thought this was going but nope! Brian popped the question on the glorious Appalachian Trail at the Pinnacle lookout. Jessica had been wanting to do this hike for a very long time so eventually they both took off of work so they could conquer this trail. It was also the three year anniversary of these two meeting at the bowling alley - so I guess you could say that bowling had a part in their engagement. After about two hours into this hike - Brian wanted to take a selfie. Most men never say this, so Jessica thought it a bit strange. But as they snapped that selfie Brian whipped out the ring and went on a knee. Jessica says she has never seen Brian so nervous and excited at the same time! If your S.O. does not have that combo of emotions when proposing - I think something's wrong! With this new energy from the proposal - these two completed their hike. They were metaphorically preparing for the hike that is life as husband and wife!
What have Jessica and Brian learned from being a married couple so far? It's not how to get a Turkey in bowling but much more intimate. They say there's the power of truly living everyday together as a team and seeing one another not as people living separate lives but rather as two that are living just one life together. Jessica says, "A partnership and best friend type of relationship that is always striving to put the other person first selflessly."
The takeaway from this love story is don't shoot down your friends if they want to set you up and won't leave you alone about it! Sometimes our friends know what's best for us - in this case Jessica's friends knew she was missing out on her soulmate. Who knew bowling could help you find the one?