Historic Acres of Hershey Wedding: Jess & Chris

Highschool sweethearts, Jessica and Chris’ fairytale wedding at Historic Acres of Hershey was filled with love, laughter and tears of joy.  Adorable kiddos, *two* first looks (one with Chris and one with Jess’ dad), and having their high school principal officiating the ceremony, are just a few highlights from this beautiful day.

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Senior Portraits to Wedding Photos!

Jess shares, “Lisa photographed my senior portraits in 2012, so I already knew her talent behind the lens and how personable she is. Because of this, I followed her on Social Media through her Instagram and Facebook pages where I frequently saw all of the beautiful wedding photos she’s taken over the years.”

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Why Rhinehart Photography?

Jess smiles, “After already working with Lisa, this made booking her for our wedding perhaps the easiest choice of any of our vendors. Working with Lisa on our wedding day was stress-free and allowed us to get all of the photos we hoped for without missing any of the celebration.”

She continues, “If there’s one thing Lisa does better than anyone else, it’s having the ability to capture beautiful photos without making everything feel staged. She offers the perfect balance of giving suggestions while allowing us to just be ourselves in front of the camera.”

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Junior Bridesmaids

It was so special for Jess to include family members in the bridal party. I love the way they’re looking at her dress here. 🙂

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Intricate Lace Details

The lace and button details on Jess’s wedding dress were absolutely stunning. I think the black and white really shows them off!

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The Beautiful Bride

It was an honor that Jess reached out to me so many years after photographing her senior portraits to photograph her wedding:

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Tears of Joy

Jess shares, “During the first look with my dad, there were a lot of tears. My dad is a very quiet, keep to himself type of person. It’s a rare occasion to see him cry, so when he does, I often do too.”

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A Full Heart

Jess smiles, “I imagine since my dad does not like to be the center of attention (I guess that’s where I get it from), he probably asked my mom to walk in with him. The doors opened, we saw each other, and the tears started flowing. My dad and mom quickly wrapped their arms around me and we hugged for a few minutes and my heart was full.”

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The Luckiest

Chris shares, “Jess and I are both strong and incredibly independent people.  The fact that she did cross my path is seriously the luckiest thing to ever happened to me.  Separately we are strong people, but together, we’ve become more than I could ever imagine. ”

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Kind, Loving & Patient

Chris says, “Jess has the ability to be kind, loving and patient despite anything she may be going through. I will always appreciate her ability to make me feel like a kid even as we’ve grown up together and helped each other overcome many obstacles.”

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Historic Acres of Hershey First Look

I love this photo of Jess walking down the steps to meet Chris for their first look. Keep scrolling to see their special first look.

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Pure Excitement

Chris smiles, “Despite all the talk of nerves before a wedding, the only emotion I felt was excitement. Excitement to marry my best friend after being together in love for so long. Excitement to celebrate one another with our closest family and friends, and excitement to begin the next chapter of our lives together.”

Love this shot taken by my second photographer, Justin!

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Our “Some Day” Finally Arrived

Chris shares, “When Jess and I went to different colleges, one of our favorite things to talk about was the “Some day” when we were no longer separated by distance and would never have to worry about the next time we would see each other in person. During our first look, one of my first thoughts was that our “Some day” had finally arrived and the feeling was even better than all of the times we had talked about it.”

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Kind-hearted Groom

Jess smiles,  “Chris and I met when I was in 10th grade at track practice. I noticed he was the more reserved person in his group of friends, which drew me to him immediately. After talking with him at several practices I found out how mature and kind-hearted he was (which for a high school boy is pretty uncommon, haha). The next year, we started dating.”

She continues, “Chris’ love for his family, and his concern for others is very apparent when you meet him.  He is a very careful and decisive person, but gives 100%  of himself to whatever he does in life. He’s got the biggest heart of any man I have ever met and only wants to see me happy.”

“When I am sad he’s always there to listen or talk me through it – whatever I need from him in that moment. He reminds me how much I am worth when I forget it and is my biggest advocate.”

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Distance Didn’t Separate Them

Chris shares, “Jess and I started dating in November of 2010 and are still going strong. After high school, our career aspirations took us to different colleges more than three hours apart; Jess in VA and myself in PA. We never let the distance get in the way of our relationship, making trips back and forth on weekends and spending every possible moment together when classes were out.”

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Teamwork Makes the Dream Work 🙂

Chris shares, “Something unique about the two of us as a couple is that we are high school sweethearts who dated for more than a decade before finally tying the knot. We knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, and agreed early on that getting our careers and lives established before marriage was important. After graduation, we were lucky enough to find careers in our field relatively close to one another.”

He continues, “We are both fairly introverted people. While opposites often attract, Jess and I are both the type to want to stay in and watch a movie rather than going out on the town. We see ourselves very much as a team and do everything in our power to support one another in every situation.”

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Sharing Every Victory

Chris smiles, “Despite all of the changes throughout our lives, I never get tired of sharing victories with Jess or turning to her when facing a problem.”

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Cute Kiddos

These two were always popping in and out of my line of sight throughout the day.  I think they really add to this photo here.  I love how it tells a story.

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My Sister, My Best Friend

Jess shares, “My older sister and I grew up sharing a room, and not always getting along. When we grew up we became so much closer and now she’s one of my best friends.  We can pretty much read each others minds, all it takes is one look for her to know when I am stressed, sad, anxious, content, etc..”

She continues, “Throughout the whole day she was great at anticipating what I needed, and taking care of things so that I could relax and enjoy my day.”

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Fam’s All Here

Jess says, “We are very fortunate to have so many great friends and family who wanted to support us and experience such a wonderful day with us.  Due to the size of my immediate family, our wedding party was a little large. It was important to me to include a junior party so my younger siblings could be a part of our day as well.”

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Just Another Thing I Love

Chris says, “Jess grew up around young children whereas I was the youngest of two siblings. Until we started dating, I was almost never around kids younger than myself. Seeing how caring and patient Jess is with her younger siblings and niece and nephews is just another thing I love about her. She handles all the trials and tribulations of young children with ease.”

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It’s Almost Time!

Here I peeked in as Chris and the ret of the wedding party lined up, you can feel the anticipation….

groom with hands clasped and groomsmen waiting for ceremony to start

I think everyone was just as excited as Jess & Chris for them to finally be getting married after postponing and being together so long.

emotional candid black and white photo of bride's sister wiping tears from her face during wedding ceremony

Historic Acres of Hershey Ceremony

Historic Acres of Hershey is such a unique wedding venue. It has so many beautiful photo opportunities, and I love every chance I get to work here. 🙂

historic acres of Hershey wedding ceremony bride escorted by dad with wedding Dress train trailing behind her

Happy Tears

Chris shares, “If there’s one thing that will make me cry, it’s Jess (in a good way). I had to tell myself to keep it together throughout the ceremony and just focus on repeating back my parts correctly without breaking down in front of the person who makes me happier than anyone else in the world. ”

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A Significant Officiant

Chris shares, “Having Mr. Levy as our wedding pastor and officiant was a really special part of our wedding. Mr. Levy was our principal back in high school and having that connection to the place where our adventure started was the perfect addition to our big day.”

joyful emotional wedding ceremony bridesmaid laughs at officiant

Don’t Fret Over the Little Things 🙂

Jess shares, “The morning of the wedding Chris and I had to make the decision to move the ceremony inside as the weather was going to either be too hot, or rainy all day. Chris reminded me it didn’t matter where we were married, as long as we did get married and enjoyed the process. After that I was determined to not fret over the small things.”

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Marrying My Best Friend

Chris says, “No matter where we were getting married (inside or outside), I was marrying my best friend and the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. Looking back on the day, I think we truly got the best of both worlds. We enjoyed the beautiful weather for pictures while being able to keep all of our guests comfortable during the ceremony.”

bride and groom share first kiss with blue and white flowers behind them indoors during historic acres of Hershey wedding ceremony

Husband and Wife – Finally!

Chris shares, “Being introduced as husband and wife felt like a major life event had just commenced while also feeling relieved that we had finally made it after all of the extensive planning and postponement it took to get to the big day.”

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Historic Acres of Hershey Reception

Jess shares, “One of the things we liked most about Historic Acres of Hershey was that we had the ability to do everything on the property. From me and the bridesmaids getting ready in the farmhouse in the morning, to the photos with Lisa, then our incredible ceremony followed by a reception that I couldn’t have imagined would be more perfect. The venue provided absolutely everything we needed in one location to completely take away the stress of travel from our big day.”

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Father-Daughter Dance

I wanted to really show the magic of this moment and got down low and used the glasses and candles to amp up the creativity in this wedding photograph.

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The Best Person to Share Life With

Jess shares, “When Chris and I toured the reception hall, the first thing that caught my eye were the massive chandeliers. They were large enough to make an amazing first impression for our guests and perfectly blended in with the classic look we were going for.”

Chris shares, “The wedding venue was never as important to me as getting the opportunity to marry my best friend. Upon leaving Historic Acres of Hershey (which just happened to be the final venue we had on our list), I knew Jess had fallen in love with the space and that was all I needed to hear. We called them back and booked the venue on the car ride home that same day. The space was wonderful, but the person I got to share it with was the best of all.”

historic acres of Hershey reception bride and groom first dance with chandelier hanging above them

The “Toast-Toast”

Chris shares, “Asking my cousin Michael to be my best man was an easy choice. We grew up vacationing together, spending holidays together, and even travelled the world together during college. His “toast-toast” was the perfect encapsulation of our style of humor. What made it even funnier to me was his ability to deliver such a heartfelt and sincere speech without even so much as mentioning it.”

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Second Time’s a Charm

Jess shares, “One of the unique things about our wedding day was that we had to postpone once. Our original wedding date was set for April 18th, 2020, and then Covid hit. The deciding factor in postponing was that we wanted everyone to feel safe, and enjoy themselves at our wedding. We also wanted everyone to be able to come who wanted to. So we postponed, and the new date was chosen based on when Lisa and our venue were available.”

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Guests From All Over the US

Jess shares, “Chris and I were blown away by the number of people who came to celebrate with us from all over the US. We had people from California, North Carolina, Colorado, Louisiana, Florida, New York, Kentucky, and many other states.”

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Dancing the Night Away

Jess shares, “Chris and I decided early on that we wanted as few interruptions as possible to the reception to allow our guests to celebrate in their own way. We decided to take out events like a bouquet or garter toss to allow our friends and family to dance the night away uninterrupted. I think this was the best decision! So many of our guests let us know how much fun they had at the reception.”

guests dancing inside during wedding reception at historic acres of Hershey

Someday is Now

Chris smiles, “The end of the night once again felt like our “Someday” had finally arrived. Everything we had talked about doing and planned for for so long had finally happened. The feeling that our next adventure would be here soon enough was the perfect end to a perfect day. ”

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Jessica & Chris’ Wedding Slideshow

See even more photos from Jessica & Chris’ Historic Acres of Hershey wedding set to music in the slideshow below!

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