An outdoor wedding for a nature-loving couple with lots of joy, laughter, and an incredible support network of family and friends:
Why Rhinehart Photography?
Alex shared, “We chose Rhinehart Photography after seeing the amazing, creative photos from my cousin’s wedding! I love how Lisa thinks outside the box and tries new things. Lisa built a relationship with Garrett and I ahead of time, so that on our wedding day she already knew exactly what we were looking for without having to ask! She was such a godsend on our wedding day!! I was so anxious, I couldn’t even think straight– I swear she was my brain for the day. She helped keep us on time and made sure every part of the day was photographed.”
Garrett added, “Yeah, I saw the quality of Lisa’s photos and knew I wanted that for our wedding. In fact, after we chose our wedding venue, the first thing we did was make sure Lisa was available to be our wedding photographer. I’m pretty sure we wrote to her from the airport, we were *that* into working with her, haha! Working with Rhinehart Photography was really great, they were both so organized and knew exactly what they wanted us to do. I liked how they wanted to experiment with a couple different shots and lights to get the perfect photo.”
They summarized, “We both appreciate Lisa’s dedication, that she cared enough that she was willing to get to know us months beforehand, so she could see what was important to us. When we look at our photos, we just really want to see the emotions captured in the moment in a beautiful, creative way and there is no doubt in our minds that Lisa will have done that for us.”
Thank you so much! I appreciate your trust in me and cannot wait to show you your wedding photos, I opened with an outside of the box shot– we went back to the ceremony space when the sun was setting and all was quiet. It was such an intimate time. Here is another shot of mine taken during their first look. I have so many, but this one was particularly unique:
Embracing the Outdoors During Covid-19
The wedding bands on a wooden table, because some parts of a wedding really are just that simple. Most of Alex and Garrett’s wedding planning was not simple. It happened during a pandemic while Alex was busy as a nurse on the front lines. They love nature and decided to embrace the situation and make it work.
They tied the knot outside, in the Woodland Chapel of Stroudsmoor Country Inn. They danced in a pavilion with plenty of room to spread out, and ate outside, too. It wasn’t what they had initially planned, but they both knew they didn’t want to wait another year and had faith that they could make it work…
Preparing in Purple
Alex shared, “My two best friends, actually my co-maids of honor, my cousin Calli, my mother, and I got ready in one room. The best way to describe it would be organized chaos! My maids of honor Lauren and Olivia are truly the two most uplifting people I know. They knew exactly what to do to help calm my nerves by having music playing and mimosas for everyone! They helped my mom and cousin with their makeup and made sure everyone felt confident, beautiful, and ready for the day!”
She added, “Purple has always been my favorite color, and we were able to incorporate it in our colors with lavender flowers to match the bridesmaids’ dresses.”
I love to play with visual elements like cool reflections and unusual composition as well as elegant lighting. I love how everything came together here with such a lavender vibe:
First Look with Dad
Alex explained, “It was really important to me to have a first look with my dad!”
She looks stunning and it 100% ready!
She continued, “His reaction to seeing me all dressed up was so cute and I’ll always cherish that memory. Seeing him tear up made me start tearing up as well! I’ve always been really close to my dad. He’s always been super active and involved in my life. He’s been my softball coach from the time I was eight years old until high school.”
Her dad’s tear-filled eyes and beaming smile say it all…
She added, “Both my parents have always pushed me to be the best I could be in school and life. I definitely wouldn’t have been able to get to where I am now without both of their help and dedication. I feel fortunate to be so loved and supported.”
There were plenty of love, hugs, and support for Alex throughout, but this hug was one of my favorite captures of the day:
The Tie Challenge
Garrett laughed, “Getting ready for the guys was filled with pure humor. I knew everyone would get along, I just didn’t think it would be that well. Everyone was laughing and making jokes.”
Garrett explained, “Half of my guys came mostly dressed and the other half came over not dressed at all. Most could not tie a tie so I helped most of them, teaching them 2-3 times just to get the length right. The first attempt was always too short and the second was always too long, haha!”
He laughed, “The hardest part was putting on the boutonniere – none of us knew how to do it. We literally started yelling “We need a woman here to help us” so started making calls to all the gals we knew there and much to our surprise they didn’t know how to put one on either. We ended up googling and YouTubing how to do it and we got it figured out, crazy!”
Garrett groomed his beard, “The Thursday before the wedding I went and got my hair cut. Talking with Alex, I knew how I wanted it and my beard to look.”
He added, “I got my first ever straight razor shave on my neck which was awesome.”
So Important to Have My Dad There
Garrett shared, “I’m glad my dad could be there from the beginning of the day to the end. We always joke that he likes Alex more than he likes me, I still hold strong that it’s not a joke, and it’s true.”
He added, “I think this day was just as important to him as it was to me, so having him there and seeing the first look was incredible and I’m really appreciative of that. He doesn’t like to venture out at all and he was willing to do whatever was needed. I learned how to have a good work ethic from him, he is a big reason that I am the way I am and that I am with Alex.”
Straw Hat Fireball Shots
Garrett smiled, “The straw hat with my best man is a funny story. He got married about a year and a half before us and I was at his wedding. We wore dress pants and suspenders. My beard was way longer then, so his dad made a joke that I looked Amish, and it stuck throughout the wedding. So when it came time to do the introductions, his dad gave me a straw hat (the same one worn at my wedding) to walk in with. The fact that he remembered it and brought it shows our friendship.”
Two Photographers at this Large Pocono Wedding Venue
I love working at the Stroudmoor Country Inn. The Poconos is an important place for me, as I love the outdoors and have so many memories of going there throughout the years. The Inn itself is a sprawling property with so many different landscapes to play with.
My second shooter for this wedding, Jim, took Garrett to this cool rocky area, while I photographed the ladies not too far away. It worked really well because we could both get great outdoor photos, it just took a little coordination, which was no problem for Jim or I, we have photographed dozens of weddings together.
Alex had mentioned, “I felt like the charcoal gray suit really made his hazel eyes pop.” I have to agree, they sure do!
Their First Look
Garrett smiled, “Standing there waiting for her to tap me for our first look might have been a couple seconds, but it felt like hours. Everything about our day went incredibly fast, except that short moment where we were doing our first look. I don’t know what it was!”
Alex agreed, “Garrett was facing away from me, and Lisa said to tap him on the shoulder when I was ready for him to turn around. Afterward, I was talking to his dad about it. He was watching from a distance, and he just paused and said ‘What are you talking about? It was just a few seconds you were standing there before he turned around.’ Those few seconds seemed like an eternity to both of us apparently.”
Here she wipes away her tears, Garret smiles with tears in his eyes, too.
Garrett smiled, “Alex looked absolutely stunning. I fell for her because of several things: her sense of humor, her determination to do/get what she wants, she’s such a hard-worker, and a good-hearted person. I don’t know if I can really signal out one single thing I like about her best because they all make her the woman that I love.”
Alex smiled, “Garrett has such a big heart, he’s kind to everyone, not just to friends and family but to complete strangers. I trust Garrett with all of my heart, and I feel safe and protected with him. I know that he will never let anything bad happen to us. He is extremely hard working and he is a man of integrity. He will do the right thing, always. He doesn’t take shortcuts, and he doesn’t stop until the job is done and meets his standards. Garrett is my biggest fan in life, and he’s there with me through the good and bad.”
Garrett shared, “I realized I wanted to marry her after we moved halfway across the country and she stayed by my side. She is always by my side for the good and the bad. Her willingness to be there and push through everything is incredible. I think I’m just looking forward to adventuring and taking on new challenges together.”
Here he is clicking his heels, literally 😉
Alex shared, “I feel like Garrett and I are very similar. We are both old souls with senses of adventure. He really pushes me to try new things and grow as a person, and he’s always there to help and support me along the way. I love Garrett’s sense of loyalty. I’ve pushed his buttons in every way possible, and he’s never stopped loving me. He’s forgiven me for my mistakes, and he’s always stuck by my side. He truly has shown me what unconditional love is. He will literally do anything for the ones he loves.”
She added, “I knew I wanted to marry him when he asked me to move with him across the country to Kansas. I feel like that move really kick-started our love for adventure and travel. That was definitely the biggest and best decision I’ve ever made.”
A Few Traditional Shots, too
While I specialize in creative photography and capturing moments to tell a story, I make sure to get plenty of traditional portraits, too. Here is just one.
I think they both look absolutely stunning in this one:
Garrett Highly Recommends a First Look
Garrett shared, “I loved that we did the first look. I think doing that allowed us to get a lot of pictures taken care of early and let us have more time at the party. Being at other weddings when they didn’t do the first look I feel like the bride and groom were never seen, so I would definitely recommend other couples do the first look. I will add that it doesn’t take away from the moment the bride starts walking down the aisle.”
Alex shared, “Having all of our wedding party together for photos was comical. Getting everyone to listen and stop talking was a challenge!”
Haaa they were great– mission accomplished on that one!
She added, “I loved that everyone got along so well and became friends instantly.”
Alex laughed, “I can’t imagine that everyone was even able to keep a straight face for our “Vogue shot,” though it was something I hoped for.”
Girl I got you, bringing out their inner supermodels in this one… thanks to Alex’s cousin, Calli, a former bride of mine, who was willing to sit on the ground for these!
Woodland Chapel Ceremony at Stroudsmoor Country Inn
Alex shared, “From the first moment I saw it, I absolutely LOVED Woodsgate, the woodland chapel with the oak and maple trees surrounding it, and the cobblestone path and waterfall leading up to it.”
She added, “I will never forget walking up those steps with my dad, seeing the ceremony site for the first time. I remember seeing the waterfall and the beautiful decor and I immediately started crying. My dad asked me if I was okay, and I just couldn’t believe how perfect everything was. I really couldn’t have asked for a more perfect wedding venue.”
Off they go…
My Focus, Capturing Emotion
While my second photographer, Jim captured the processional of each bridesmaid walking down the aisle, I stayed back with Alex and her father. I knew how important this place and moment was for them and I wanted to capture it all, from the waterfall and the two of them interacting with this epic view of the oaks and maples and all of the guests standing at attention.
During this shot, I let the sunlight in and it almost has a spiritual vibe to it, I think…
Garrett shared, “I loved how our venue was, with the stairs leading up to the ceremony site. It made it a bit more dramatic because you can slowly see Alex start to appear coming up the steps. Even though we did a ‘first look,’ it did not take away how special it was to see her appear and start making her way down with her dad.”
Garrett shared, “I thought Alex’s dress was perfect and amazing. She looked incredible.”
Alex: “I was so incredibly happy to see Garrett smiling at me! I felt like the dress really sparkled in the sunlight.”
Awwww, love her expression, and her dad looks so proud, too!
Roses to the Mamas
Alex explained, “It was really important to us to incorporate a way of thanking our mothers for all of their help and support throughout our lives, so we really wanted to incorporate a rose ceremony during our wedding ceremony.”
Personalized Wedding Vows
Alex explained, “Before our wedding ceremony, our Pastor had asked us to each privately share with him the three things we love most about each other, and he revealed our answers during the ceremony. Garrett’s answers really surprised me because he’s usually a pretty shy person, and doesn’t really talk about his feelings with most people.”
She added, “His answers were really in-depth and I felt like he really expressed his feelings not just to the pastor but to all of our friends and family who shared that moment with us. That really meant a lot and made our wedding ceremony extra special.”
Their Faith Is Key
Garrett shared, “We definitely prayed about it for a long time before deciding to push through with our original wedding date. We were so lucky to have a venue that was able to move every part of the day outside and to have a day where the weather cooperated, too. It really was a test to our faith, but everything worked out according to God’s plan. That would be my advice for anyone else going through this situation: Just have faith and trust in God.”
Seriously, one of the prettiest ceremony spaces, ever and so close to the Lehigh Valley, too:
Why they Work as a Couple
Garrett shared, “We both challenge each other to be better. We push each other to get out of our own comfort zones.”
Alex agreed, “Yeah, Garrett can usually talk me out of a panic when I’m scared of trying something new, and after the fact, I’m always grateful he pushed me past my comfort zone.”
Garrett shared, “We work well together because we share a lot of the same interests. We both love to be active. We love to fish, kayak, hike, and just try new things.”
Alex added, “We also have the same values. We both value family more than anything. We also have the same spiritual beliefs, and we value our time together.”
Husband and wife!
It’s Finally Official– You Made It!!
As soon as it was official, they gave each other a huge hug— I was so proud to have anticipated and captured this one and I love that the trees appear to be hugging in the background, too, haha! During this time, Jim was capturing the recessional (the wedding party filing out of the ceremony space).
Garrett explained, “My sister actually made our Koozies for us, she really kept the theme with colors and the outdoor feel.”
Alex explained, “When it came to wedding favors, we really wanted to give everyone something practical but still cute. The Koozies were a huge hit! They turned out absolutely amazing, and it was really special for us that family was able to make them.”
Garrett agreed, “We’ve always loved to go on adventures and so the Koozies saying ‘And so the adventure begins’ just seemed to perfectly describe our life together.”
The co-Maids-of-Honor speeches:
Garrett shared, “We have been best friends for as long as I can remember. We used to live right next to each other and truly were inseparable. Our parents have baby pictures of us just looking at each other.”
Touching words from the best man:
The wedding blessing:
Garrett smiled, “Our first dance was so incredibly special. I remember being so focused on Alex that if nobody else was there it wouldn’t have mattered, because my bride was and that’s all I cared about and focused on. It was like everyone else disappeared for that moment.”
I like to play with different elements in the frame and in this case, it was the string lights in the background combined with Garrett’s smile as he danced with his mother:
Garrett shared, “I like how the venue made the pavilion the dance floor, there was plenty of space for everyone and it was a wide variety of what you saw, which made it that much better. In one section there would be an older couple dancing, then you look in another and you see a couple people going absolutely crazy. That was awesome.”
I love when the DJ brings some fun lighting elements for me to play with, it really brings out that party vibe:
Garrett shared, “The anniversary dance was something that Alex and I really wanted to do, we were interested to know how long people were married and hear their advice. We wanted to celebrate with the winner by giving them a bottle of wine because your wedding day is special, but being married for almost 40 years is something special that takes a lot more work than just planning one day.”
Alex added, “The couple that won are actually my Uncle Lou’s brother and sister-in-law, John and Donna. Although they’re not technically family, they’ve always been there growing up and we’ve spent a lot of time with them through the years at the lake on family trips and during every holiday party. It was fun getting to surprise them during and give them a special shout out!”
Awww, look how excited he is! I wanted to tell the full story in one shot, and in this one, you can see the DJ acknowledging the winners and pointing to the couple, and explaining the wine giveaway and the look on everyone’s faces…
The straw hat was a real hit and made its rounds on the dance floor!
Wedding Cake- How Sweet It Is!
Garrett said, “We talked about not smashing each other’s faces with the cake, so when we cut the cake we didn’t – at first.”
He laughed, “I guess I should have gotten that in writing and read the fine print because Alex was sneaky about it and said not the “First” time, which apparently meant the second one was fair game to smash the cake in each other’s faces, something I didn’t know because I got a cake in my face and was shocked. I still haven’t gotten my revenge on her for that but it is coming, haha!”
Getting a Creative Perspective!
While Jim was inside with the couple getting the more traditional shots (the one above in black and white for example) I was hunkered down outside watching through the windowpane trying to get everything just right to avoid the glares and capture the golden light and beautiful cake while also focusing on their expressions and quick movements– challenging and fun for sure!
Re-visiting Stroudsmoor’s Woodland Chapel at Sunset
Alex shared, “At the end of the day, we chose Stroudsmoor because it felt like home. We’ve always loved to be out in nature, and we love the cabin feel, and this venue had it all.”
I wanted to really capture that vibe and re-visited during sunset and loved the soft, romantic light I had to work with then.
The Photographs and the Love Remain
Garrett shared, “At the end of the day, it all passed in the blink of an eye and was literally the best day of my life! We are so excited to have your photos to enjoy for the rest of our lives.”
Alex agreed, ” The moments were priceless, and knowing that we had photographers by our side who cared, knew us, and were so dedicated and made everything so easy, that was a great feeling!”
I hope that these are just the sort of photos to bring you right back to the moments with those people and places that mean so much to you!
- Attire: All Things Bridal
- Venue/Catering/Decor/Hair: Stroudsmoor Country Inn
- Wedding Coordinator: Cathleen Fillman (with Stroudsmoor)
- DJ: Frankie Carll Productions
- Florist: Janet Kucharczuk (family)