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Riverdale Manor Wedding Photographer: Sami & Jon

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Soul mates, united among vibrant colors at the beautiful Riverdale Manor in Lancaster, PA…
Sami & Jon are undeniably soul mates. Sami shared about first getting to know Jon, “It was like we already knew each other before we even had our first conversation, we just clicked.   We used to joke that we could read each other’s minds because our connection was so intense.”
Sami and Jon wrote each other letters to read in the morning before the ceremony, and Sami’s was on the table near where I was photographing her rings.   I circled the words “soul”, “mate” and “love”:)
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Haaa I love seeing creativity in all of its forms… not enough room in the closet– why not use the shower curtain rod to hang up the bridesmaids dresses?  It might even help to steam out wrinkles hahaha.
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Wedding dresses can be incredibly tricky to get on and everyone seems to have their own strategy.  For Sami it was to preserve her completed hair and make-up by stepping into her gown.  Sami’s mother and grandmother held her gown for her while she stepped in.  I think her toes popping out of the taffeta is absolutely adorable 🙂  Nevermind adorable though, Sami, you are stunning:
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And speaking of stunning, check out these beauties!  And what unique wedding colors too– lime green (Sami’s choice) and royal blue (Jon’s choice):  riverdale-manor-wedding-photographer-111riverdale-manor-wedding-photographer-113riverdale-manor-wedding-photographer-114
I *love* this portrait of Jon… it captures something about him that is abstract and intangible– it might be his witty sense of humor, his strong sense of self , his intelligence, optimism…  or the fact that he is completely unique and a total character!riverdale-manor-wedding-photographer-115riverdale-manor-wedding-photographer-116
The big moment, the “first look”… Sami and John knew from the beginning that they really wanted to enjoy spending time with their friends and family during the cocktail hour, so a first look was in-the-works for some time.  Jon said he was initially feeling a nervous, but at the moment he saw Sami, all he could think about was how beautiful she was and how lucky he was.  They laughed, they cried, they smiled wide smiles and the wedding day stress melted away.
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I love the timelessness of the image above–  it could be from a month ago or a hundred years ago.  Part of that is Sami & Jon and another part is Riverdale Manor– it is soft, organic, simple and elegant all at once.
Time for the ceremony!  I was first drawn to this image because of Sami’s smirk, then I noticed all of the other emotional expressions, those on Jon, his mom, Sami’s dad, etc.:
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Sami, Jon & their parents worked together to create a unique seating chart.  It displayed photos of Sami & John at age one for table one, age two for table two and so on.  Sami decorated it with lime green and royal blue accessories and displayed it during cocktail hour.  It was a huge hit with the guests!
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Another unique detail are the royal blue glass bottles that were used as centerpieces.  Sami & John actually unearthed them (quite literally) while visiting Johnstown and cleaned them up and added some fresh florals:
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Sami’s brother, Jonathan, was unable to attend her wedding– he was in Officer Candidate Training School for the Marines and his family missed him very much.  His Aunt Beth made a print-out of his face and glued it to a popsicle stick and brought it to the wedding.  He showed up in family photos and even during dinner– here he is peeking out from behind a centerpiece, hehehehe…
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Sami  grew up with her father and grandfather smoking cigars and the scent always reminds her of them.   Sami and her dad created a cigar bar together for the reception.  Here they are enjoying a celebratory cigar together:
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Sami & Jon, soul mates, united as one today!!!  And yes, I was completely tickled to keep the lime green royal blue theme going 😉   It was such a pleasure to be a part of your wedding day and I wish you guys all the very best!  Want to see more of Sami & John?  You can view their engagement photos (which involve a vintage bike that Jon has been restoring) here.

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