This vibrant Civic Club of Harrisburg wedding in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania had classic Hollywood vibes and a fun twist! Not only did their pup, a boxer-mix, Layla, make a few guest appearances, but so did their favorite Stephen King novel… you don’t want to miss this unique, inspiring wedding:
Why Rhinehart Photography?
Giuseppe says, “It was really important to us that we got a dynamic photographer who would go beyond the obvious, staged photos you see in weddings. It was important to get the candid moments of family and friends in addition to bringing out our personalities and overcoming the photographer-subject relationship and capturing our intimate moments.”
Giuseppe continues, “I had an art teacher in high school who was probably my favorite teacher I ever had, and he worked as a professional photographer and I asked him who in the local area would be a good choice for our wedding and without hesitation, he said, ‘Lisa Rhinehart, and if I were getting married I wouldn’t settle for anyone else.'”
Kate adds, “Some of my favorite Rhinehart Photography photos were ones where you could really see the personalities of the subjects coming through. It’s almost like you’re there in the moment. Those were the kind of photos I wanted, because I knew it would be the best way to remember our wedding day. I was totally blown away by the results!”
Kate’s Preparations for her Civic Club of Harrisburg Wedding
Getting creative, incorporating shadows, glass, and one of her hobbies (yes, she’s a pianist)!
Giuseppe’s (and Layla’s!!) Groom prep for this Civic Club of Harrisburg Wedding
Kate & Giuseppe’s dog Layla was an important part of their wedding reception!
Gus smiles, “It was really important to me when things started to get serious that she jumped into a life not just with me, but with Layla too. She was on board with that from Day One. It also helped that Layla and I both fell in love with her at first sight.”
Kate says, “Honestly I don’t think I could imagine Layla not being at the wedding. Everyone adored her, especially all the little kids, and I know she had fun too. It would’ve felt like someone was missing if she hadn’t been there.”
Giuseppe adds, “It was really important for us for Layla to be at the wedding because before, we were individuals, and then we were a couple, and then we were a family, and there’s almost nothing we don’t do together. There’s no way we could celebrate our formally becoming a family without a member of our family.”
Let the Civic Club of Harrisburg Wedding Ceremony Begin!
Giuseppe comments, “We walked by the Harrisburg Civic Club literally for years while walking Layla along the Susquehanna River and loved how pretty it was. Once, Kate said, I wonder what a wedding would be like there. We literally considered nowhere else, we loved the vibe and the Tudor architecture.”
Kate continues, “I used to see weddings and events there and I loved the garden overlooking the river and the Tudor architecture — I’d always had this fantasy of getting married in a beautiful garden like that and I loved the classic architecture of the venue. We weren’t interested in traditional wedding venues, we wanted something with character that appealed to our sense of style while meeting our needs for the day.”
Kate adds, “Everything about this day was intentional: my bridal bouquet was a remodel of the very first bouquet Giuseppe sent me when we first started dating, orange tiger lilies and all.”
Giuseppe says, “For me, one of the things that stands out about the day is how all our friends met each other for the first time and how well they all got along. Seeing them form this incredible mix of personalities, interests, and energy made the day that much more fun, to see strangers become friends in the course of a day.”
Giuseppe adds, “Carmen (the officiant) is the indefatigable punchline and master of ceremonies for our family and we knew he could take something meaningful and beautiful and lighten it up with a joke and a smile and it was important to us that people could have fun with an easy-going celebration .”
A Romantic Susquehanna Riverfront Walk
The Civic Club of Harrisburg is a charming three-story Tudor-style manor that features a dramatic upper-level ballroom and formal entertaining rooms on the first floor. The Civic Club of Harrisburg can have a capacity of 150 to 200 guests and you can enjoy both the dramatic ballroom and the formal, half-acre garden. The first floor of the building offers four rooms with easy access to the porch and garden areas. You can also admire the historic, handcrafted woodwork throughout the building. The large powder room can be used as a bridal suite if so desired.
Giuseppe shares, “It feels like couples rarely share all of the same interests. Life is all about experiencing the world, and we have the same passion for every one of those experiences whether it’s a board game or a walk in the park, or a concert from Alanis Morissette to the Grateful Dead. It’s great to experience all the things you love with someone who appreciates all the same things and is good-looking to boot, haha!”
All about Kate & Gus!
Giuseppe says, “We met at work in Washington, D.C., an entirely to career-obsessed town. I think what set it apart for us was we connected about literally everything else, and connected at a time when both of us were walking away from significant portions of our previous lives. It was the perfect time to start new lives together!”
Kate continues, “I would often miss my train back to Baltimore the first summer we met (I commuted to D.C.) and Joe would always drive me back and I think we fell in love on those car rides. Once, he almost made me miss my train because he was talking my ear off about which Batman is the best Batman: Michael Keaton or Christian Bale??”
I love to play with light, color, shadow, and more during your wedding photography session!!
Giuseppe explains, “What I appreciate about Kate is she is always willing to be her nerdy, irreverent, retro self right out of the gate and is always open to new things and is the most unwaveringly supportive and selfless person I’ve ever met.”
All the Personality!
Kate shares, “Giuseppe is the kind of guy who will always do the right thing no matter how hard it is. He’s got the most integrity of anyone I’ve ever met, and the way he cares for and looked out for me and Layla and his extended family is truly unparalleled.
She adds, “He’s also one of the only people I’ve ever known who not only gets me and my whacky, button-pressing personality, but loves all those weird quirks about me and celebrates them. I think it’s rare to find someone who makes you feel so seen and appreciated for who you are.”
Kate continues, “We’re both playful antagonizers and are constantly teasing and bantering with each other and making jokes with each other all the time. We’ve had that dynamic since Day One. We have a lot, and I mean a LOT, of fun. I remember having so many sweet moments with Giuseppe that day — we’d both been running around like crazy working to make the wedding happen and we hadn’t gotten a lot of 1:1 time in the week or two leading up to the day.”
The Overlook Ballroom & Nod to Stephen King
The Overlook Ballroom is the main feature of this Civic Club of Harrisburg wedding. It stays true to its name and offers panoramic views of the Susquehanna River and a lovely private garden. The ballroom features tall windows, elegant chandeliers, and a 300-square-foot stage.
Giuseppe adds, “After we found out the name of the ballroom — The Overlook — that sealed it for us. Stephen King novels are one of the first things we connected on, and “The Shining” reference made it feel like it was meant to be.
Lol guests signed a copy of The Shining book and there was a typewriter and other props from the movie at the welcome table as well!
Kate & Gus’ Infinite Playlist 😉
Kate states, “Our first dance song, “One Year of Love” by Queen, is from the 1986 movie, “Highlander,” which Giuseppe lent to me the summer we met because I’d never seen it and he thought that was practically a crime given my Scottish heritage. Giuseppe and I also created the enormous wedding playlist that ran all night long — every single song we chose was intentional and represented our feelings towards each other in some way or at one point in our relationship. Everything about the day felt very us and tailored to our love story and I loved that.”
Desserts and Dancing at the Civic Club of Harrisburg Wedding Reception
Giuseppe says, “Weddings come with a lot of stress and expense and we wondered leading up to it whether it would go smoothly and whether people would get along, but we came away with nothing but happy memories for a lifetime. I went into it just wanting to survive it and came out of it with nothing but really fond memories.”
A nod to their Favorite Novel
Giuseppe laughs, “Haaa, incorporating The Shining into our wedding day probably sounds pretty unexpected. I mean, I’m not sure how many people would base some of the aesthetic inspiration of their wedding on a story where a husband tries to axe-murder his wife! But it was a fun nod to one of our favorite novels and movies and one of the many things that brought us together. Plus with getting married at the Overlook Ballroom, how could we not?!?”
Kate adds, “This wedding was a whole family effort, we did everything ourselves from planning to execution. I was so nervous about realizing my vision for the day but together with help from the whole family and our friends, we made it happen. That was part of the reason for “The Shining” photo at the end — it was supposed to capture everyone who helped make the wedding happen and who came and supported us, and we wanted to commemorate that with an homage to the famous 1920s-era black-and-white photo in “The Shining.” It felt like the perfect way to remember such a perfect day.”
Thanks, Kate & Giuseppe! I had such an incredible time photographing your wedding and getting to know the two of you! Thank you so much for entrusting me to capture such a special time for the two of you. Also thank you for being your authentic, creative selves!
Venue: Civic Club of Harrisburg @civicclubhbg
Food: Layla’s Catering & Event Planning @LaylasEvents
Decor: Layla’s Catering & Event Planning @LaylasEvents
Wedding Dress: BHLDN @bhldn
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Another Movie Themed Wedding (it included a red carpet, Oscars, and a drag queen!)