Central PA Wedding Photographers: Camp Nawakwa with Sarah & Michael

Summer camp sweethearts, an outdoor chapel, homemade wedding gown & cozy fire…
Sarah and Michael met on staff at Camp Nawakwa, so to come full circle at the same location and exchange vows and rings was an incredible experience for them!
They both love nature and particularly fall, so the timing was perfect.  Also their faith is deeply important to them– they are always shaing about “God moments,” times when they just know God is all around them– many of those moments have happened at camp.
Sarah’s dress was handmade, by her mom!!!  It was absolutely stunning and fit Sarah like a glove.  Sarah’s mom started sewing as a young girl, and has kept on sewing ever since.  She made all 4 of Sarah’s prom gowns and was the perfect choice for seamstress of Sarah’s wedding gown.  Wait until you see it on her!
Maddie Kuhn was Sarah’s make-up artist.  Sarah is an English teacher and taught Maddie in high school several years ago, so it is powerful for Sarah to see her succeeding in her goals.  Maddie was actually also a senior portrait client of mine, that I hired to do my make-up for my headshots and has done make-up for Amanda’s Leola Village wedding which I photographed, too.  She’s great!
Sarah and Michael enjoy creative photographs taken from unique perspectives and angles, so I knew they’d appreciate this aerial view of Sarah’s wedding preparations.   I like that you can see how pleased she is by the expression on her face in the mirror :).
Sarah you are absolutely captivating, what a stunning bride– and wait until you see her gorgeous eyes!!!!  The dress is amazing, too– I was so impressed by her mom’s talent!
Sarah’s bridesmaids chose their own short, navy dresses.  The gold sweaters were added due to the temperatures, but were so functional and would be easy to wear again after the wedding.  I love the color pallette of these photo and how well the gold and navy pop against the green of the Arts and Crafts building…
When my assistant photographer, my husband, Kris, arrived on the scene with the men, Michael’s father was presenting him with a special handkerchief to wear on the wedding day.  It was embroidered with an F for his grandfather’s last name, Fleming.
Hello Mr Blue Eyes!!!  That blue gray suit was the perfect color for him without a doubt.  I like how the colors and lines in the family kerchief  go with the colors and lines in his tie and boutonniere as well.
The scenery at Camp Nawakwa is absolutely unbelieveable.  Compound that with the bright blue sky,  fall foliage and dapper groomsmen and you get this:
Michael made all of the signage for the wedding using old fence pieces from his backyard.  He had recycled the fence for garden use initially, cucumbers were climbing up them when Sarah initially spotted them, haha.  They were such a perfect touch and very helpful, too!
Decor lining the aisle for the ceremony was simple and elegant.  White candles and the subtle confetti of the damp, fall leaves.  It was lovely…
Sarah’s father had two roles to play that day– father of the bride and minister!  He was so joyful and loving and it was beautiful to see.
The processional began from a simple white tent and opened to an awe inspiring canopy of trees…
I can’t imagine what it might be like to give your daughter away, but the expressions on Sarah’s father’s face were priceless.  You could see how much honor and love he has for these two and how bittersweet something like this must be– his little girl is all grown up. He gave a very heart-felt message…
The wedding bands were actually passed to each of the guests to be blessed.  It was a unique tradition that perfectly fit Sarah & Michael’s wedding.
Sarah & Michael had no idea what the other was going to say during their vows, which left a real element of surprise during their ceremony in Fischer Chapel.  Their vows were completely personal and though they said it in different ways were written in the same spirit.
Sarah said she felt like they were the only two people there, as if they were whispering their promises to just each other….
A tradition at the camp and youth ministry is to raise hands together.  Sarah sees it as a reminder that they each have each other and God with them as they go through life.
Sarah and Michael took time to be alone and walk on the camp grounds together.  She said it was nice to be able to just be in the peace and quiet of the woods that they love…
The pavillion was strung with Christmas lights, decorated with hand-made centerpieces and over flowing with cookies and cakes.  It provided such a joyful ending to an incredible day…
Sarah’s father surprised her with a beautiful heart necklace at the end of their father-daughter dance.  Ever since she was a baby, her father has bought her jewelry on special occasions, it was so beautiful to see him continue that tradition.  It surprised her and was one of Sarah’s favorite moments in the wedding.
This little flower girl sure could dance!  I love that you can see her sister, mother and father in the background.
Sarah had a sign next to dozens of warm blankets that said “keep cozy.”  Guests certainly utilized them through the crisp, fall night.  My favorite image of the blankets is Sarah and Michael snuggled up in one by the fire.  The blanket they are wrapped in is a Mexican blanket that they brought back from a misson trip.  This beautiful blanket in particular was from the same village where Michael’s brother’s children were adopted (the same could and kids in the photo above).
Michael shared that when he was first “wooing” Sarah he would sit around a fire on his back porch talking for hours and hours.  It happened just about every night for two months, so Sarah said she thinks they will always be drawn to camp fires.  They even sat at one on thier honeymoon 🙂
Sarah & Michael,  Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your wedding day!  I wish you all the very best and for you to continue to experience those treasured “God moments” together throughout the rest of your lives.
If you just couldn’t get enough of Sarah, Michael and Camp Nawakwa, you might want to check out their engagement photos, here.  There are even *smores*

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