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Margartias + Love = the Ultimate E-Sesh

Seeing as it’s the last day of August, we thought what better way to celebrate summer than with a margarita fueled engagement session? Thankfully Alexandra Elise Photography was behind the lens to capture every delicious sip and we’ve got it all waiting to quench your thirst in The Vault!

From Alexandra Elise PhotographyA few weeks ago I had the chance to travel to Scranton, PA to photograph Ashley and Justin’s engagement session to celebrate their upcoming wedding. I love traveling to new locations to shoot because it is incredibly inspiring– from the playfulness in the creek to the downtown romance, this session is truly beautiful. Captured solely on medium format film, the emotion and movement are intimately captured.

From The Bride…Justin and I met in college. I was finishing up my under grad in nursing school and he was completing his masters in administration. We hit it off immediately and spent every day of the rest of the semester together.

Justin proposed in Ireland at the Cliffs of Moher 2 years later at the top of a castle. (Ireland is very special to me because my grandma is from there and I have lots of relatives living there). That day, it was cold and drizzly. We got to the cliffs and I had told him and our friends to go ahead, I had already seen the cliffs and didn’t feel like trekking up the cliffs in the chilly, rainy weather. He somehow dragged me out of the car, got me to the top of the cliffs and he got down on one knee! I was in complete shock and immediately forgot about the weather and how cold I was.

Our life has been an amazing adventure together so far. We have lived in three different states and have seen so many things. We have learned through this that it does not matter where we are, or what we have, but rather being with the one that matters the most, no matter where life takes us.

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Photography: Alexandra Elise Photography

It All Started with an Instant Message

This couple? They’re kind of everything. Because not only did John and Amanda’s love story start when they were just youngsters, but the beginning of said romance? Downright cinematic. Fast forward a decade later and this sweet pair proves that their love is stronger than ever. With Maria Lamb behind the lens capturing every second of their celebration, we’ve got it all waiting for you in The Vault!


“To officially ask me to be his girlfriend, he named a star
after me and filled up a spiral notebook with letters

From The Bride…My husband was 16 and I was 15 when we first met. We were playing tennis. He saw me on the other side of the courts and walked up to say hello – “Hey, you’re Abby’s friend Amanda, right?” That was the beginning of late nights instant messaging on AOL (AIM), sending mail on MySpace (pre-Facebook), and leaving notes for each other in between our high school classes. To officially ask me to be his girlfriend, he named a star after me (Walk to Remember?) and filled up an entire three-subject spiral notebook with letters. We then went to Prom, where we had our first official dance.

We are each others’ first-and-only. But like all couples, we’ve also had our struggles. 26/25 year old John and Amanda are very different from their 16/15 year old selves. For eight out of our 10 years together, we were doing long-distance (Los Angeles, New Haven, Maine, New York, Boston). For 1.5 of those years, we took a break (without seeing other people). Our first time as adults in the same city was only two years ago. We are thankful for our journey, a testament both to what God has done in our lives and also our continual perseverance.

John proposed in Napa on December 18th, 2015, by reading me a letter which he wrote in 2006, hardly half a year into our courtship. Although it was only a few months after we met, John wrote that he loved me and wanted to marry me. I think he was smart to never give me that letter 9 years ago, as he might have scared me away! But luckily he saved it, and I will cherish those words forever.

Maria did a great job capturing the vibrancy of our excitement, disbelief, and joy that this day was finally happening. We chose the Poconos because I spent every summer there growing up. We loved the camp theme as it offered our guests the chance to take advantage of the beautiful Pennsylvania outdoors: guests stayed the entire weekend and slept in cabins, while spending free-time zip lining, canoeing, hiking, etc. What sold the place for John was the lack of noise restrictions and that the party could last until sunrise (as opposed to strict 10pm cut-offs at other venues). Also, how gorgeous are the trees! There’s a reason it is called Camp “Timber Tops.”

The weekend started on Friday with a traditional Korean “paebek” ceremony, honoring John’s heritage and our beginnings as both an American and multi-cultural family. The dress is known as a “hanbok” and my favorite element of the ceremony was when John gave me, his mom, and my mom each a piggy-back ride, to signify his responsibility to uphold his future family. Also, family members threw us dates (girls) and chestnuts (boys), and how many we caught symbolized our future children – 2 girls, 1 boy! Finally we ended the night with delicious Korean BBQ and libations.

Saturday was the traditional black tie wedding. The decorations and planning were a collective labor of love led my my mom, along with her team of friends/family who worked hard to make the day special. I can never repay their time and energy, whether crafting the cross for our ceremony, tying hundreds of goodie bags with s’mores, setting the tables with logs and candles, hand-painting our bark signs, etc. My mom saved one surprise for coming back down the aisle – not rice, but rainbow marshmallows!

After we were pronounced husband and wife, we entered the camp dining hall for the reception; this was when it became real, as all of our friends and family who flew in from around the world cheered for us as we danced to “Must’ve Done Something Right.” If there was one thing that surprised me the most about our wedding, it was the realization that it is not all “your” day but where you can celebrate God, family, friends who were there with you every step of the way.

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Photography: Maria Lamb | Floral Design: Fox Hill Farm | Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Cake: Sweet sensations | Invitations: Groom - Printefex | Bridesmaids' Dresses: BHLDN | Catering: Peter’s Europa House | Hair: Renee’s Hair Studio | Officiant: Redeemer Presbyterian Church | Ceremony Music: AVIVA Strings | Venue: Camp Timber Tops | Bride’s Shoes: Tess Harriss Designs | DJ + Photo Booth: Mike Walton Productions | Day-of-Coordination: Megan Gustafson ( | Dinner Rentals: Scranton Rent All | Korean Ceremony Gown: The Hanbok | Veil: David's Bridal

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This Couple First Met When They Were Just Four Years Old

You guys, this adorable couple first met when they were just four years old…I mean, how incredibly sweet is that?! Fast forward 25 years later and these toddlers are now totally in love and married in one of the prettiest ceremonies ever. With Eva Lin Photography behind the lens capturing every moment to share, we invite you to witness their new beginning in The Vault!


From The Bride…Would you believe me if I told you that the first time I met my husband is when I was 4 years old? Neither would my 4 year old self! But, fast forward 25 years and here we are…married! RK and I grew up together hanging out at our swimming club in the summer. Between pool games like running bases, sharks and minnows and red rover, we’d see each other from time to time at the club until we were 15…then our lives took different routes. I went to public school, he went to private school. I went to PSU for college, he played lacrosse at Hobart, I lived in Austin after graduating, he moved back to Pittsburgh. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I saw a picture of him at an old friend’s wedding and decided to reach out. A few weeks later, we met at a bar (I took my sister and brother-in-law for in-case-of-emergency-backup) and we ended up having a blast! From that moment on, I realized RK was incredibly special. He’s thoughtful, smart, funny, and his dapper looks definitely don’t hurt either. I truly felt happy being around him and I realized that I never wanted to lose that feeling…or him.

A few months (yes months!) RK and I were sitting on a beach in Cape Cod. He proposed on Little Beach, my favorite spot in the entire world and that day was something I’ll never forget. The sun was out, our emotions were high and he surprised me by flying our family and closest friends to Chatham for an engagement party! We laughed, drank and celebrated the day away and decided that May 14, 2016 would be our wedding date.

I’d like to think of myself as romantic with a healthy dose of flower child so for our wedding I wanted to create a theme that felt feminine, elegant, earthy and traditional. We picked Longue Vue Country Club for the ceremony and reception. Something about the drive through the lush and windy road that led to a beautiful stone building on top of a hill spoke to me. The mossy stone, the perfectly constructed archways, the beautiful blooming dogwood trees…it felt so right for the theme that we wanted to create. For my gown, I chose a silk chiffon skirt made my Antonio Gual and a custom halter top created by Jen Rocket studio. Because the skirt was such a standout piece, I wanted to create an elegant and classic silhouette for the top and decided to go with a low back halter. Jen saw my vision perfectly and produced a beautiful piece to wear. We kept the colors of the bridal party traditional with black Aubrey Hepburn-inspired Alfred Sung dresses and black suits for the men. Then, for pops of color I included pinks and golds to create a softer look. Flowers for my bridesmaids were leafy green floral with hints of white. My bouquet was bursting with parrot tulips, Iceland poppies, coral charm peonies, anemones, hydrangeas and soft trailing greenery. My flower crown was mostly greenery with hints of baby’s breath throughout. I kept my hair half up but incorporated lots of braids for texture adding a bohemian touch. The juxtaposition of traditional, feminine and bohemian detailing was what created the look that I was going for.

The ceremony was supposed to take place on a stone patio outside but as Pittsburgh weather goes, it rained so we said “I Do” inside the ballroom. We placed giant urns (two at the beginning of the aisle and two at the altar) filled with flowers similar to my bouquet and transformed the dining area into a beautiful floral space. Gold Chiavari chairs lined either side of the aisle and a sturdy gold chandelier hung above us. Music is a big part of my family so for the ceremony, I recorded and walked down to “When The Right One Comes Along” by Clare Bowen and Sam Palladio with my father. I remember feeling so nervous and excited as my bridesmaids headed towards the alter one by one. Seeing RK standing there was the best thing and reminded me how lucky I was at that very moment to be marrying such an amazing guy.

To create a more personal feel, I enlisted the help of Jessi Evans from Orchard Made to design a flag that emulated the monogram on our invitations and hung at the archway where our guests were greeted. Inside, she also created a floral photo backdrop, a banner with one of our favorite quotes and two “here comes the bride” pennants for the ring bearers. These additional pieces truly transformed the space into that soft, romantic and bohemian feel that I was going for.
RK and I decided to do the tradition of cutting our 4 tiered cake before the first dance. The cake itself was stunning! Each butternut cream layer was given a different texture to produce a unique vision for our guests to enjoy. To add something a little extra we placed mini gold and white donuts around the cake. I have a thing for donuts so really this was just a personal request for me to enjoy even more sugar on the big day. Ha!

As the night went on, toasts were given by my father, Max, RK’s best man and my amazing MOH and sister Callie. One of my favorite parts of the speeches were how heartfelt each one was. Love is an amazing feeling and to celebrate with the people you care about most is something so special! As a gift, my father, a talented singer and songwriter wrote me my very own song…it was magical!

After guests enjoyed their meals, our band Jason Kendall Productions got the dance floor moving! I loved laughing, singing and generally having a great time with my best friends, RK and family. My skirt was perfect for dancing, so most of the night I was making myself dizzy by spinning it around!

After hours of fun, it was time to go. Our guests lined up under the stone archway and lit sparklers as we walked to our getaway car, a Rolls Royce Phantom. An overwhelming sense of joy and love filled my entire body as we said goodbye to our closest family and friends. Our wedding was a fairytale and although it was one of the best days of my life, I know there will be many more with my amazing husband RK.

To all of you future brides out there. Enjoy every second of your wedding day! It’s a reminder of how lucky we are to know what it feels like to love and to be loved.

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Photography: Eva Lin Photography | Cinematography: ShoFilms | Floral Design: The Farmers Daughter | Cake: Vanilla Pastry Studio | Invitations: Nota Bene | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Alfred Sung | Makeup: Hannah Conard Beauty | Hair: Studio Booth | Band: Jason Kendall Productions | Groom's Attire: Men's Wearhouse | Venue: Longue Vue Country Club | Bridal Boutique: Glitter & Grit | Calligraphy + Signage: Jessi Evans Orchard Made | Donuts: Bella Christie & LiL’ Z’s Sweet Boutique | Halter Top: Jen Rocket | Silk Chiffon Skirt: Glitter & Grit

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