A romantic winter wedding, for a couple, brought together by their loving families– what an amazing story…
Nicole and Shane’s parents were friends. When Nicole’s father became sick Shane’s parents were at his side, when her dad passed away they were there to support Nicole’s family. Nicole’s brother also played an integral role in them getting together, you won’t want to miss their story…
Nicole started, sharing about why she chose Rhinehart Photography, “You came highly recommended by Bedford Springs and also photographed my friend Brittany’s wedding and engagement. When I reached out to her, she said she was “obsessed with you” so that was a good sign.”
She stated, “Your creativity really sets you apart from other wedding photographers. I knew you had worked at The Omni before, and with so many unique, romantic spots there, I knew you’d have lots of creative ideas and be able to pull them off, even if the locations were a little hidden!”
She added, “Throughout the day and even prior to the wedding you helped us feel comfortable to be ourselves. The timeline and talking ahead of time helped to ease our minds and helped our day to run smoothly. We trusted you and all of our vendors and were pretty relaxed about the whole process. Our biggest priority in terms of photography were photos of people, but we wanted a mix of other things and moments thrown in there, too.”
Thank you so much for trusting me to do my thing it means so much to me and a huge thank you shout out to Brittany and The Omni for their kind referrals. I opened this blog post with a creative portrait, no photoshop, I actually played with the winter lights for that shot. Below is one of the super pretty elements of your day, your wedding bouquet:
Nicole’s wedding preparations:
Here Nicole’s mother and maid of honor help her with her dress…
Nicole shared, “I never thought I’d feel so relaxed on my wedding day as I did. I really felt at peace.”
Here Alyssa, Nicole’s maid of honor, and best friend since she was *three years old* helps to adjust her delicately beaded veil…
Feeling like a bride…
Nicole added, “I had a moment for sure one my veil and dress were on and I peeked in the mirror for the first time. I couldn’t wait to see Shane.”
I knew that portraits were most important to Nicole and Shane made sure to fit them in throughout the day.
Nicole explained, “Alyssa and I have been through so many big life events, happy and sad. She might as well be my sister. I couldn’t do life without her and I wanted her right next to us on our wedding day.”
Nicole explained, “When I was only 15 years old, I bought my first gown from Celestial Brides. I returned back there for all of my Christmas dances and prom dresses, too. Finding my wedding dress there made everything feel complete.”
Nicole shared, “Ivory, navy, and neutral bridesmaid dresses that complimented my gown were the main color palette.”
She added, “There was lots of greenery in the flowers. The florists suggested adding in that blue to give a winter feel and we all loved that!”
Ruby, you are beautiful:
Shane smiled, “First off, Nicole is gorgeous. But when I came to know her sense of humor, that was probably her most attractive feature to me, she is hilarious. Also up on the top of my list, the way she loves her family, connects with my kids (especially Ruby), really her looks are just a bonus to all of those things…”
Nicole shared, “It was important for us to incorporate my dad however we could. I included a locket with his picture on my bouquet. I felt his presence there throughout the day.”
Nicole smiled, “I really value my relationship with Shane’s daughter, Ruby. We have so much fun together and I knew that the wedding would be no different. She was so excited for all the girly fun – nails, hair, dress fittings, planning, etc. I loved having her by my side through it all.”
Nicole shared, “Shane and I credit my brother, Adam with “bringing us together.””
She continued, “Shane was close with my mom and brother first. When I saw his love and care for Adam (and Adam’s obsession with him), there was no going back.”
Nicole’s “first look” with Adam:
Nicole smiled, “We couldn’t have done this wedding without my mom. My best friend in the world. She is the most organized person in the world and the best planner. She made everything run so smoothly and she is for sure Shane and my number one fan.”
She continued, “It was definitely hard not having my dad there… so having her next to me every step of the way was extra special. My family is and has always been the most important part of my life.”
When I talked to them about their favorite places at the Omni in Bedford Springs, income immediately mentioned the spa hallway and pool as being “relaxing and romantic.”
She walked down the long tiled hallway to head to the wedding ceremony, such a good time to be somewhere she considered relaxing and romantic ;).
Nicole shared, “We knew the second we visited The Omni in Bedford Springs that it was the right spot for us. It was gorgeous but still had this really intimate feel.”
She continued, “We originally were thinking destination wedding, but that wasn’t doable with our families. Bedford Springs gave us the relaxing, destination vibe *and* allowed guests to make a fun full weekend getaway out of it, while only having to drive an hour or two to get there…”
Shane’s Wedding Preparations:
Nicole explained, “Like I shared earlier, I could see Shane’s heart in the way he interacted with my brother, Adam.”
She added, “Shane is so compassionate. He also had a great sense of humor and his laugh and smile are contagious.”
As I photographed the bride and her entourage on the morning of the wedding, my second photographer, Jim, photographed Shane and his. I love this playful perspective that shows one of the many interesting details of the Omni, the carpet and hardwood flooring…
Here Shane stands with his two sons:
Nicole added to the list of things she loves about Shane, “The fact that he’s extremely handy and cooks is just an added bonus. I have felt content and at peace ever since he’s been a part of my life.”
The Wedding Ceremony:
Nicole shared, “We definitely wanted a live band and instrumental for the ceremony!”
It was definitely a beautiful addition, very elegant, way to go Bachelor Boys Band:
Nicole shared, “Interestingly, Shane’s father and my dad were friends. My dad actually adored Shane’s dad and thought he was the coolest guy. Shane’s parents were by my parent’s side when my dad was sick and at my mom’s side when he passed away.”
She smiled, “It only made sense for Shane’s father to walk me down the aisle, but in this case, it just so happened to be to marry his own son!!!”
Shane shared, “When I saw her walking down the aisle, I did all that I could to compose myself and not sob like a baby. She is incredibly beautiful, inside and out.”
Here he stands with his sons with tears in his eyes…
Nicole smiled, “The only time I got nervous that day was right before I walked down the aisle. But all my nerves went away when I saw him.”
Shane admitted, “I definitely shed quite a few happy tears during the ceremony.”
They explained, “Our favorite part of the day was our personal vows for the ceremony, which included blending our families. We are pretty laid back people, but that is something that we took very seriously.”
Nicole shared, “My brother, Adam, blew a kiss to me during the ceremony! He adores Shane and there is nothing more important to me.”
I love this moment– Nicole looks at her brother and Shane looks at Nicole, a cool family moment, I’m so glad we had two photographers so we could capture both parts of this story…
The Omni is a stunning venue and a place where I am proud to say that I am a preferred vendor. Their ceremony was held in Constitution Hall:
Nicole explained, “Shane and Pastor Chris have been best friends since they were 12. It was an honor to have him stand next to us and marry us.”
So happy together…
The rings– now it’s getting real 😉
Nicole shared, “Faith is always been an important part of both our families and part of what brought us together. We definitely wanted to make that an important part of our wedding day and continue to in our marriage.”
Kiss the bride:
The Romantic Getaway:
Nicole shared, “One of our favorite times of the day was when we were alone and taking photos with you, exploring inside and outside of the Omni together.”
Something I noticed throughout the session was how much care Shane took of Nicole. He would help her hold her flowers or the train of her gown. He was so attentive and thoughtful:
They explained, “Our love and commitment to one another is really what makes our relationship work. We are both easy going, we make each other laugh, trust each other and have the same values.”
Nicole smiled, “I always knew I needed to marry someone who wasn’t afraid to be weird and goofy… and he sure isn’t. We are always joking around and making each other laugh.”
Nicole shared, “He respects me and loves things about me that I have always been self-conscious about. He has made me a better person. We complement each other.”
Shane explained, “Nicole has so many positive qualities. Her love for her family, seeing how patient and compassionate she was towards Adam and the close relationship she had with her mother helped me to see how important family was to her.”
He continued, “Also just the way we can be ourselves and laugh and have fun together is the best.”
He went on, “Seeing the way she connected with my kids was also important to me. She has made me a better person and taught me to love myself. All of the above was exactly the reason that I was hoping she would be my wife.”
Shane got a little sentimental, “I look forward to building a life together, the many laughs that we will have together, growing old together and building memories. And hopefully expanding our family.”
I love having different elements to play with– there were so many interesting colors and lines to play within this skyscape with the trees etc.
More fun stuff to play with here– reflections and lights, again no photoshop.
I know their spirituality pays an important role and for me, this provided a really interesting visual for that idea…
The Wedding Reception:
Husband and wife…
Holding hands during the prayer:
Nicole laughed, “I thought that my husband would try to be a gentleman so I figured why not go for the cake smash? I knew that no one would expect it, which is exactly why I did it!”
Laughs and smiles dominated the reception– everyone had a blast…
Nicole explained, “The flower girl, Thea, and her mom, Alyse, is a huge part of my life. We have been friends since we were 14, lived together after college, our families are all very close.”
Dancing the night away…
An inside joke…
Letting their inner rock stars out…
Nicole smiled, “Adam loves nothing more than love, people and a party… so he was in his glory!”
Here one of the wedding guests wheeled him around the dance floor surprising others:
High-fives all around:
I wanted to capture the motion of it all, so I used a slow shutter speed and light speed flash to pick up the movement and detail:
Adam even got out of his wheelchair to walk… I love that Shane’s dad is holding one of Adam’s hands!
Again to the surprise of all the guests:
Someone used their belt as a limbo pole:
Awww Shane and Nicole talking to guests…
Nicole smiled, “So now that we are married, I’m looking forward to retiring at the beach together! Just kidding. Everything and anything is better now. I’ve always hated grocery shopping, but even that is fun together!”
Something about this made me think of the beach, the round warm sunny area above and the blue moving water below, even the white sand-colored tile and molding:
Nicole mentioned earlier that she wanted me to creatively capture some of the interesting hidden spaces in the Omni.
I’m obsessed with this staircase atrium combo and had an idea to creatively light it, giving it a sleek, sexy vibe.
My assistant, Jim, is always such a champ, but especially for this. He is a rock climber (in real life, yes we’ve gone climbing together before). He got in a very crazy position with my lighting equipment in order for us to pull this off.
Nicole & Shane, thank you so much for sharing your beautiful love story and story of your family with me and allowing me to capture it in pictures and words. Thank you to Brittany & Chris for your thoughtful recommendations and to the Omni Bedford Spring for welcoming me back again.
- Venue: Omni Bedford Springs Resort: Unique, historic, romantic, expansive yet intimate, it gave us a destination resort wedding feel
- Florist: Cambria City Flowers They pinned our vision and style instantly and made it all come to life. They are so fun to work with and their work is stunning.
- Band: Bachelor Boys Band: We definitely wanted a live band and instrumental for the ceremony, they did not disappoint!
- Wedding planner: Omni: Jayne did an amazing job at making everything run seamlessly from planning to the day of the wedding.
- Gown: Celestial Brides: *I’ve shopped at Celestial Brides since I was 15 for all my Christmas dances and prom dresses. Shopping there again for my wedding made everything feel complete.
- Photographer: Rhinehart Photography: Highly recommended, creative and caring, you helped our day to run smoothly and made us feel comfortable in front of your camera