A wedding celebrating “all things brewed” with an unbelievable ceremony space and Backstreet Boys serenade, you won’t want to miss this blog post:
Brigid shared, “Photography was one of the most important things to us! I have always been known as the photographer in every group of friends and my family. On my wedding day I wanted someone with a great eye that took beautiful and creative photos. I came across Rhinehart Photography while doing an extensive search and nothing could compare!”
She continued, “Lisa’s photography style was exactly what we both were looking for and after talking to Lisa we knew we had made the right decision. In our engagement photos, also done with Lisa, our personalities and love really shined through. We are hoping to see more of that in our wedding photos.”
I started out with a creative sunset silhouette shot of the two throwing back a beer during their “all things brewed” themed wedding. Here I incorporated two vibrant ferns, bringing in the woodland aesthetic into the photo of their wedding bands…
The wedding was held at Rolling Rails near State College, Pennsylvania. Chris loved the idea of a lodge, but they hadn’t even built it yet. They went on the promise of a lodge being built (it was only a frame at that point on a muddy lot) and the spectacular views, more of those to come…
Brigid shared, “I love my dress! I knew I wanted something that was not white or at least not fully white. I ended up with a Hayley Paige dress from her Blush collection the gown was named Pepper.”
I liked how the window light illuminated details on the dress from the ribbon edged taffeta to the dainty, embroidered lace detailing.
Brigid continued, ” I went with lilac peep toe shoes with blush flowers on them. I am a fan of all things colorful, beautiful and unique and really liked my shoes.”
I put them in a woodland background and brought in a little greenery in the foreground, too– I wanted the forest to shine through here, as well.
Once Brigid’s dress was on, she gave a twirl, I quickly adjusted my shutter speed to capture her movement. I used a wide lens, capturing the lodge decor and her mom and sister’s expressions.
Brigid smiled, “My something borrowed was my grandmother’s ruby and diamond ring that my aunt brought for me to wear and my mom surprised me with it the morning of the wedding. My grandmother was such an amazing woman and not your typical grandmother, so it was incredibly special to have her with me in some way throughout the day.”
Brigid explained, “In Germany Hochzeitsauto Schmucken (car decorating) is one of first things thought about after someone gets engaged. My cousin’s husband, Tobias, contacted my siblings and family and orchestrated decorating our car the morning of the wedding. It was such a fun thing! It was such a surprise and we absolutely loved it!!!”
Lol, my favorite car decoration was in the rear view…
My assistant, Jim, did a great job capturing Chris’ wedding day preparations as I photographed Brigid. Here he has everything laid out and is starting to get dressed with a photo of the real Rolling Rails in the background.
Chris laughed, “We had some whiskey and looked in the cupboard for glasses, but all we could find were teacups. We drank with our pinkies out in honor of Brig who loves tea!”
Way to keep to the ‘all things brewed’ theme! Cheers!
Brigid shared, “Chris and I started out as friends. At one point he was working three jobs, going with his mom to doctors and chemo treatments, and finding time to drive two and a half hours to visit me. I honestly do not know when he slept but he rarely complained and once again just showed how amazing he is.”
Brigid shared, “I also snuck in another Irish Wedding Tradition Lavender is an ancient symbol of love, loyalty, devotion, and luck. It is often mixed in with the brides wedding flowers to help insure a happy and long-lasting union. I had fresh lavender in my bouquet and it was mixed throughout my entire wedding party and tablescapes. I also wore it later my head in my flower crown.”
Here you can see lavender pinned above the succulent and floral pocket square…
Chris shared, “I was excited for the first look– getting to see Brigid in a more intimate setting before everyone else meant a lot to me.”
Chris continued, “My mouth literally went dry when I turned around and my heart raced. Wow!!!”
Chris concluded, “I was absolutely floored with how beautiful she looked! She was absolutely perfect– there must be a better word than perfect?!?”
While I love to capture candid photos of moments as they unfold, I also make sure to get a few more traditional portraits as well.
Brigid’s bouquet was breathtaking! She shared, “Our look was Modern Romance with touches of boho. Our colors were a coral/peach, purple mostly a lavender, navy, and a mint/succulent green. I am such a visual person I went to the paint store to pick out the exact shades of each of the colors I had known I wanted.
She noted, “My boquet included: Lavender lisianthus, Lavender larkspur, Coral/peach ranunculus, Coral spray rose, Peach Juliet Garden rose, Lavender echeveria, Peach stock, Fresh Lavender, Gunni Eucaluptus and Silver Dollar Eucalyptus.”
And that veil, wowza!
Brigid got a bit more somber and shared, “We have also gone through serious family health issues. Chris mom with Cancer and I personally have epilepsy which at times can be frustrating. Although all of these things can be taxing knowing that you have the other person there to lean on and talk to makes the world of difference! Chris is an amazing partner.”
I used my camera’s aperture to bring in the cool texture of the bark of the mature trees surrounding Rolling Rails Lodge…
Chris shared, “We both enjoy being outside. Whether Brigid is enjoying a cup of tea in the morning or being able to get outside for a hike or some other outdoor activity together.”
The stormy skies made for an interesting background for this silhouette:
Kris greeted his parents…
Brigid shared, “Family means everything to me. My mom is the most bubbly and loving person you will ever meet. I feel so blessed to have the parents that I have.”
Brigid continued, “I am the oldest of four and I am so lucky to have all my siblings. Each sibling is amazing in their own right and when we are together it is always the best time. Our family has countless inside jokes and funny stories and often talks in movie quotes.”
She went on, “The night of the rehearsal my siblings played a video that they had made for Chris and I. The love and thoughtfulness that my family put into this year and our life together was more than I could ever ask for. I am so grateful to have a life full of love and laughter, and amazing memories with my family.”
High five from her bro:
Brigid shared, “The bridesmaid’s bouquets were wrapped with leftover fabric from the floral dresses and mine had both the floral fabric and sequined fabric all which draped down.”
Brigid mentioned, “Argyle socks were something I wanted to do from the start. It was a fun way to show a bit of personality.”
Brigid commented, “I fell in love with the flowy boho style of the Show Me Your MuMu dresses early on. The floral dresses may have been long but they were sheer from the knee down so they were still short at the same time. My Co-Maids of honor wore iris colored short dresses with dark purple lace and a keyhole back.”
She continued, “I let all my bridesmaids pick their own shoes and jewelry. The groomsmen wore either coral and navy striped ties with a paisley pocket square in the same colors or purple ties with navy diamonds and a purple and navy floral pocket square.”
Haaa love this one and this tradition, it’s one of the very coolest wedding ideas I’ve seen to date! I’ll tell you more about it in just a bit…
Brigid explained, “The Woohoo flags were started by a cousin and then all of us had them each with a different phrase. I was lucky enough to have wonderful family both related and not to help me sand, cut, glue, and tie ribbons. It was so exciting to see people waving them and hear the jingling of the bell.”
You’ll see them in action during the ceremony– so fun!!!
The backdrop at Rolling Rails Lodge is unlike any other I’ve seen! It has an incredible! And we were given the perfect day for it with puffy white clouds and a vibrant blue sky with sunlight illuminating the ceremony space and the treetops…
Brigid smiled, “Brigid-Having my brother as the wedding officiant was so special and added such a personal touch to our special day. During the start of the ceremony a mention of gazing into each other’s eyes brought up an inside joke and we both broke into laughter!”
Here are those sweet flags! He told everyone they were supposed to wave them to voice their praise and approval and gave them a test run– here you can see two flags waving in the foreground:
Chris shared, “Seeing how happy my family was to see me become the happiest I have ever been!”
Chris’ family was all smiles!
Run away veil…
I was like a ninja, haha, moving all over the ceremony space to get different vantage points and perspectives opt really capture the stunning environment.
The lighting was so cool, that even though the colors were stunning, I gave them some black and white options as well! I find the tone and richness so beautiful as well as their joyful expressions:
Brigid shared, “We are both Irish and we wanted to incorporate a traditional ceremony in our wedding. We chose to do a Handfasting which is a Celtic tradition in which two partners join hands and their wrists would be joined by cord symbolizing the binding together of their individual lives. From this practice we get the expression “tying the knot”.”
She continued, “Chris and I also wanted to incorporate family into our wedding so we used the Handfasting as a place to do so by choosing our seven most important virtues of a relationship and defining them. We then had two relatives read those while other family members came over to us and tied our hands with different color cords and ribbons. I loved this part of the wedding. It was so meaningful and wonderful to have family to be a part of our special day.”
Brigid’s brother stated, “Brigid and Chris knew each other for 9 years before even having a first date. That’s patience. But sure enough they started hanging out more and more until they had an official first date: the true classic dinner and a movie.” This is an excerpt from the ceremony and for those nine years before we dated we were friends and we created a solid foundation for the relationship that was to come.”
Here they exchange rings and vows…
She put a ring on it 😉
Another super creative and cool tradition– rather than lighting a unity candle they poured a unity beer! They called it a “beer poring”
You can check out the frosted inscriptions on each class with their names and wedding date…
Brigid explained, “We used two different Otto’s beers that we liked, a nod to State College, toasted and poured them into one glass to symbolize two people becoming one.”
She continued, “It was a unique and authentic to us and still showed the symbolism we both really liked.”
She continued, “We used our custom-made glasses from our engagement photos and I surprised Chris with a McHodges glass that we used to pour our combined beer into. We had everyone collect a little glass of beer on their way to the spot we did the pouring and we gave a thank you toast to them before doing our beer pouring.”
Following the beer pouring, everyone enjoyed a mini glass and toasted the couple then headed back on to the porch for the incredible view…
And lots of laughs:
Brigid shared, “I am pretty darn proud of the table names with our all things brewed theme. We made them ourselves and then one of our friends, Kim Jackson, did all of the calligraphy. We really do love all things brewed.”
She continued, ” I just knew from the start I wanted to do it this way no pinterest board or prior wedding helped me with that, haha. I just really loved idea of not only your table being called Oolong, latte, or IPA but then when you arrive it also displays a coffee mug, beer glass or tea pot!”
Another element I loved about Rolling rails was that I was able to get a unique perspective, almost a birds eye view of the wedding guests gathered watching the dances!”
Chris shared, “The mother son dance was quite special, especially for my mom. My mom and I danced to Edelweiss from The Sound of Music soundtrack. We picked this song because she would sing this song to me as a baby.”
Father daughter dance…
Brigid shared, “My dad gave a speech and in it, talked about how I have faced difficulties and adversity and called me his hero. After that I was unable to speak because I was in tears. He ended his speech by toasting HIP HIP WOOHOO!!!”
Brigid shared, “My siblings gave a joint speech each giving a quote and then talking about it and adding a funny line and ones that related to Chris and myself. ‘Exploring and expanding your horizons is one of the best things to do both as individuals and as a couple. To quote a great father figure in my life, “Everything that the light touches is your kingdom.’ Those are the wise words of Mufasa telling a young Simba that horizons are endless, much like this speech. Nah I’m kidding. Explore your horizons together, expand your comfort zones, and do one thing every day that scares you.” The fact that they quoted the Lion King is amazing!”
If it’s something they are interested, I love to take my couples out for a few photos during sunset. Brigid was a real trooper and trekked to the edge of the forest in her gown, confessing, “I will do anything for a good picture.” To me, this looks like a fairytale!
Here was a heavenly shot during Brigid and Chris’ sunset:
Dancing began and Nittany Entertainment was awesome…
Guests got into the shades and glow sticks…
There are so many ways to wear a glow necklace 😉
You can even get creative and make your own jump rope!
They were such a great group and had fun with everything, even cleaning up spills, haha!
Brigid shared, “I thought about getting a photo booth, but my sisters created an amazing 90’s photo booth for my bachelorette party that I felt should not be missed by others. There was a neon backdrop fun props like I love Kelly Kapowski, a Tamagotchi, Furbie, tons of masks, hats, and sunglasses just to name a few. The 90’s really came alive and it was so much fun! Fun fact, the McHodges balloons were held up with dental floss found in Chris’ car, because we forgot string. Chris really is my own personal MacGyver.”
Chris shared, “My groomsmen and I heard Backstreet Boys come on– being 90’s kids we pretty much agreed we needed to get back downstairs. As we were walking down we all began singing. Collectively we realized this is a perfect goofy moment to take the spotlight. So, we gave a little impromptu performance to “I Want It That Way”. It is a moment that we won’t forget.”
Haha, a perfect ending show for a wedding themed “all things brewed”!
Brigid and Chris thank you for inviting me to photograph all *thirteen* hours of your wedding day and for sharing your story and introducing me to all of your incredible friends and family members!
This is only a peek at the photos, I have hundreds more, but if you want to see more of Brigid and Chris *now* check out their two part engagement blogs here: Boxers Pub and McCann School of Art.