Aerialists serving cocktails from the ceiling, a drag burlesque show & nods to Jurassic park— this wedding was an absolute dream come true for me, an LGBT wedding photographer!
Chris and Frankie’s wedding was out of this world! When Chris first explained the look he said, “think Hunger Games Capitol combined with Steampunk” and boy did they deliver!
Their wedding party rocked a gem-tone rainbow theme that complemented the breathtaking October day.
Why Rhinehart Photography?
Chris eagerly answers, “We booked Lisa to photograph our wedding even before we had a venue! We knew we wanted to get married on 10/22/2022, and the moment we got engaged we reached out to Lisa. Both of us had seen her work for my sister’s wedding, and then a few years later at my best friend’s wedding. We knew we needed her eye for bold color and dramatic reflection work.”
Click Your Heels Three Times…
Chris says, “One of the courier stones of their relationship is their ability to quote nearly any musical or gay cult classic, like the wizard of oz above. Rarely do we find ourselves watching ‘new’ tv/movies, you can often find Golden Girls or Will and Grace on in the background while we bounce around the house. I’m so lucky to find someone who matches my energy.“
Airing some dirty laundry 😉
Frankie recalls, “On our wedding day, we had a loose plan for what kind of photos we wanted, but I relied heavily on Chris’ goldfish brain as I call it. He has this weird way of looking at the world around him and seeing everything as a prop. Literally, a ladder became a set piece for a few photos and when I watched him lock eyes with an unattended laundry cart – I knew I was getting in it!”
BTS with Their Rainbow Wedding Party
Chris says, “When we sat down to pick a color pallet for our wedding we knew we didn’t want it to be SUPER GAY, but like, GAY LITE. So we talked about ways to bring the rainbow into our wedding party, without it being over the top/saturated. Frankie being the designer said, what if we do jewel tones and the rest was history. The fact that every member of our party was a different color led to some amazing photos with Lisa having these fantasy ideas of having our party create blur effects in front of us. To loosen up our party she told them to dance like dinosaurs, which worked two-fold because it made me smile so hard.”
If you are wondering if I love being an LGBTQ+ Wedding Photographer, I do!!
Frankie smiles as he thinks about their moms, “Our moms have been such a huge part of our lives, for me specifically. My mom raised me (and my brother and sister) primarily on her own and I never felt like anything was missing. She loved me unconditionally. I wasn’t even nervous to come out of the closet. I knew she would be radiant in gold and I was thrilled to have her walk me down the aisle.”
Chris didn’t want to miss a beat to mention his mom (and dad… and sister… and brother in law… and nephew). Chris smiles, “I was more than eager to share my special day with my family. They’ve literally been my rocks through it all!”
LGBT Wedding Photographer Dream Ceremony
A ceremony timed with golden hour photos in mind is always a plus, add to that unplugged, emotion-filled, and with a Jurassic Park surprise. Ummmm I was in heaven. Love ya Chris & Frankie!!
Stop the Press!!
Frankie shares, ” I remember seeing this trend on Tik Tok where grooms (and brides) give their wedding guests the opportunity to snap photos for a select amount of time before the ceremony. It helps the guests get it out of their system so they can be present in the actual wedding itself while also giving the photographer some really good shots. What made this moment super special was our officiant, Heather Steinmiller, unbeknownst to us wrote prompts for us and our bridal party to perform. Being theatre people, performing was something we’re very familiar with.”
Unity Martini (Unity Candles are so last year) 😉
Frankie smiles, ‘The unity Martini came about while we began to write our own ceremony. We’ve seen combining sands, tying ropes, and clasping hands, but we needed a drink/liquid courage to make it through our vows. So why not write it into our ceremony?! Although adding lines like ‘once the vodka and soda water are combined they can’t be separated, just like Frankie and Chris post marriage, made us seem less like alcoholics.”
As an LGBT wedding photographer, I have seen so many vows and I have to say these were so creative, heartfelt, and unique!
Chris laughs “I struggle to remember my vows without watching a video of me reciting them. I emotionally was so invested in Frankie and truly meaning the words I was reading, I don’t really remember them. I know I promised to love him even when he gets sad that I forget to unload the dishwasher… Frankie’s vows were better, like when he said ‘I promise to always come from a place from us and we, instead of I and me…’ — can you even top that?!”
Surprise Diamond Wedding Band!
Chris says, “Frankie might have won when it comes to the verbal part, but I show love through gift-giving. When Frankie and I started talking about rings, we both ‘agreed’ to just re-use our engagement rings as wedding bands, after all, what were we gonna do with all these rings? But I listened, as he not so subtly mentioned multiple times that while he loves his single row of black diamonds engagement ring, as we get older he’d like 2 or 3 bands on the ring. So behind his back, I purchased a 2 band ring and hid it on my pinky (you can actually see it in some of the ceremony photos). He had no idea, but at the end of my vows I surprised him with a new ring!“
Signed, Sealed, and Delivered!
Goodness this whole ceremony was so much fun! Everyone was so present and in the moment and just having a good time!
Like Pop Pop like Grandson
Frankie remembers, “Looking at my Pop Pop growing up, I have always been lucky enough to live with him. He was like a father figure to me. Seeing photos of us together is sort of like a glimpse into the future because I see so much of him in me!”
Aerialists Serving Champaign from the Ceiling
The cocktail hour was unreal!! The entire day, but especially the cocktail hour was an absolute dream come true for me, an LGBT wedding photographer!
Chris says, “When we first stepped into the venue and saw the 50-foot ceilings, Frankie made an off-hand comment about ‘how cool would it be if we had like, aerialists hanging from the ceiling.’ The foundry said ‘we can do that you know’ and the rest is history. Our fabulous wedding planner, David Snook of MX2Designs, connected us with Philly Circus School and brought in 4 artists to pour champagne from the ceiling as our guests walked in!”
First Dance Intros by a Drag Queen
First dance love in the ballroom at Phoenixville Foundry.
Frankie says, “Once Chris settled on the date and photographer, we toured the Phoenixvielle Foundry first, Chris told me it would be our venue, but I wanted the experience of touring other venues before making the decision – 5 venues later and I knew in my heart he was right, nothing could match the Foundry. Its opulent vibe paired with the warm and masculine retired steel mill energy was a perfect fit for our wedding. We were excited to get married with a backdrop of fall foliage, and the Foundry’s grounds provided what we needed. Combine that with the sheer drama the nearly 50-foot ceilings offered, we were hooked.”
Frankie shares, “Our first dance was a big point of contention (with love). Chris wanted all these songs he liked, but didn’t scream ‘love.’ So I had to introduce him to song choices that would mean something to us and we settled on ‘Bones’ by Marren Morris.”
Chris smiles, “It all works out thought, because I got to keep my mom/son dance of ‘True Colors.’ When I first came out of the closet, that song was on the radio and I was moved, so moved we got it tattooed on us! Being ‘extra’ meant I wanted a reveal during our number. So we hid gorgeous 15-foot rainbow fans in my sleeves that could be dramatically pulled out at the climax of the song! The fans became proof for the dance floor all night long. It’s been a tradition since my sister’s wedding that my entire family joins us for the mother/son or /daughter/Father dance. We’re one big happy family!”
Burlesque in Drag
Frankie says, “When we started laying out the timeline for our wedding day, we knew we wanted to keep our guests moving all night. We both loath sit-down dinners, so we had this idea to go from cocktail hour right into a burlesque show (we really wanted to see our uncle’s faces when the clothes started coming off at 7 pm in bright lights). We didn’t have to go far to find entertainment. Everyone who performed at our wedding were long-time friends. We’ve been attending their shows for years in Philadelphia!”
Frankie says, “All this talking is making me hungry. I’m wishing we saved a bit of our wedding cake from Bredenbecks. We had it hollowed out on one of the layers to look like a stage with curtains of fondant pulled back to show off exposed cogs and gears. Since wedding cakes are so ‘typical’ we decided along with our cake cutting, we’d also do a tastykake toss, to really drive home the ‘Made in Philly’ vibes.”
Party of a Lifetime!
Frankie gets nostalgic, “I’ve been with Chris for 10 years now, and our wedding was always a ‘when’ never an ‘if.’ So this party has been in the making for so long and we’ve amassed so many friends. With 250 guests I knew we’d have a good time!”
Walking on Broken Glass (or not)
Frankie continues, “DJ Wired Up was someone we found on TikTok and we told him he wasn’t allowed to play songs for more than 60 seconds so the party kept moving and it worked! Nobody left the dance floor to drop off empty cups, which meant a lot of dropped glassware, so much so the mop/clean-up crew became part of the party!”
Party People embracing the atmosphere– again I love being an LGBT wedding photographer!
Cue the Confetti!
Chris says, “THE LITERAL ONE PHOTO I wanted was a picture of confetti. It’s very nostalgic of our engagement photo and I wanted a full circle moment. The venue originally denied our request (they didn’t want to clean it up). When we compromised on streamers, I was able to get the same effect. Lisa was able to photograph the moment PERFECTLY.“
Lol Frankie’s reaction to the booze-soaked streamers, also perfect 🙂
Chris continues, “Which is why she became our go-to photographer for all of life’s major events! We’ve even booked her to take family photos of us in the Summer!”
The biggest compliment I can receive, is you telling your friends and family about me as a photographer! What started out as Jen & Tyler’s Philly engagement session, turned into their wedding, Bethany & Jordan’s wedding and after session, and now Chris and Frankie’s wedding (and soon-to-be family portrait session!). Love you all! Let’s keep this group growing!
- Wedding Cake: Bredenbecks
- The Cozy Cart
- Women’s Hair & Makeup: Meraki Beauty
- Men’s Hair: Ryan Fahrenheit
- Cabaret Host – Eric Jaffe
- DJ WiredUp
- Shumaker PDT: JoAnn Reisinger
Hungry for More?
Are you or someone you know looking for a photographer for their weddings, portraits, branding, etc? I’m your girl! Contact me here, I’d love to hear all about it!