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Snowy Winter Wedding In Pennsylvania at the Cork Factory Hotel

This little snowy soiree at the Cork Factory Hotel is so darn lovely, I almost couldn’t believe it was real. It’s as though the perfect amount of snow fell just in time for this couple to say I do, and then stopped just in time for the sun to shine over this couples’ gorgeous day. Caroline Frost was behind the lens to make sure every magical moment was captured beautifully, and you can see them all here.

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From Caroline Frost PhotographyThese two Naval officers and their gorgeous snow-covered wedding will make you gush. Plus it was set in Lancaster, such a romantic town with so much lovely red brick everywhere, it was made for a winter wedding! And I just adored their pinecone cake on a wooden “snow-dusted” cake stand.

From The Bride…Alex and I were not originally planning for a small winter wedding. In fact, we thought we were going to have a large garden-party gala in late spring. Since we are both naval officers, some of our closest friends are in the military and in talking with a few of them, we realized three of the groomsmen would not be able to make our originally-scheduled May wedding date because of deployments/training/other military obligations. One of the most important aspects of our wedding day was who we would share it with, so without hesitation, we moved our date up to January. The new date was a little over two months away so we really had to hustle with the planning. (We also changed the location from Long Island, NY (the middle-ground between our hometowns) to Lancaster, PA (where I grew up) for feasibility.

Though we were having some issues deciding on details about the May wedding, events flowed flawlessley once we moved the date up to January, as if it were meant to be. We realized having a cozy, intimate affair was so fitting, so… us. We wanted a rustically elegant celebration and the Cork Factory Hotel, a historic site turned boutique hotel, with it’s antiqued wood floors, cork-lined walls, and picturesque chandeliers was the perfect spot for it.

Though some grooms may not get excited about the details of the day, Alex did. Being quite the literary intellectual, he added his own personal touch to the decorations with naming the tables after book titles by a few of his favorite authors. He went even further by printing first edition covers for the table cards and bringing part of his library along for added adornment.

The last thing we hoped for was something we could not plan for… snow. Our wishes were answered with a few inches falling the day before the ceremony. (Luckily, the accumulation was not significant enough to keep our friends and family away!) The snowfall, in its peaceful beauty made for a magical landscape at the Rock Ford Plantation, the site we chose for our “first look”.

It’s exciting, planning a wedding, and Alex and I had such a fun time doing it. What we didn’t plan for, however, was how much the day would mean to us after it was all over. I find myself reflecting on our wedding more than I would like to admit, and each time, I hold the day’s events closer to my heart. For all the brides and grooms to be- may the outpouring of love on your special day carry with you both for the rest of your lives together… because that’s truly the best part of it all.

Photography: Caroline Frost Photography | Floral Design: Petals With Style | Wedding Dress: J. Crew | Cake: The Baker's Table | Ceremony: St James Episcopal Church | Reception Venue: Cork Factory Hotel | Brides Shoes: Nine West | Bridesmaid Dresses: After Six | Hair: Luxe | Groom's Attire: J.Crew | Assistant Photographer: Jaine Kershner | Portraits: Rock Ford Plantation

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Cork Factory Hotel

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Americana Wedding from Brooke Courtney Photography

I have my own special Veteran at home; my dear, sweet husband. So I know all too well how important and special this day is and in honor of all the service men and women who have so bravely served for our country we wanted to celebrate you in true SMP style; with a wedding that embodies all things Americana. It’s a red, white and blue extravaganza captured by Brooke Courtney Photography and you can see even more right here in the full gallery.

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From the Bride… At Temple University, Kyle & I made what seemed like a simple decision that had a huge impact on our lives. We decided to take a dance class. It filled some University requirements and Kyle thought he would be able to meet girls in a dance class. Kyle Burns is a smart man. At first, I only noticed Kyle a little bit. Kyle spent the first few weeks ruling out all the girls he didn’t want to dance with. I was obviously in his “to dance with” list. After a few weeks, it was time to study swing dancing and we needed partners. Most students had friends in the class, but we looked around in search of an adequate partner. Our eyes met, we pointed at each other and with that silent agreement, something divine happened.

We danced, and talked, and may have flirted a little bit. At one point, the professor instructed everyone to switch partners, but Kyle & I looked at each other and shook our heads at the same time. We were perfectly fine where they were. As we walked out of class at the end of the night, we were talking about where we lived. I was a junior and Kyle was a freshman. It was definitely a surprise to me. As I biked home, I couldn’t get Kyle out of my head. It was the beginning of something amazing.

There were 2 main reasons we chose this venue. The first reason is that we were only going to have a 6 month engagement. The second was that I was looking for a big open beautiful barn! The loft at the Country Barn has beautiful hardwood floors, lovely farm tables, exposed brick, beautiful lighting & was a big open space.

When Kyle & I started talking about when we would get married and narrowed down the timeframe, we chose red, white & blue because we, particularly Kyle, just love America. I always knew I wanted to create a unique & personal look for our day. I didn’t want any “cookie cutter” wedding decorations and had a lot of fun designing each table to be unique with the items I had found at thrift stores leading up to the big day. We wanted everything to be fun, unique, personal, cool, vintage, Americana.

We did our best to add special touches everywhere. Our wedding program was one of my favorite aspects of our day. It had a lot of information about Kyle & I, our bridal party, and the day including a Q&A section and “random facts that you might find useful.” As I designed each table, I thought about who was sitting there to connect something to them. For example, at my Popou’s table, there was a photo of him and my Yai Yai from their wedding day. At a table full of Temple friends, there was a Philadelphia bell & vintage postcards from the city.

I remember the nerves and excitement I felt leading up to our first look. Kyle knew I designed my own dress, but had no idea what it looked like, so I was pumped for him to finally see it! We were so excited to see each other and it is captured so well in our photos.

Photographer: Brooke Courtney Photography | Cinematography: Brooke Courtney Photography | Event Design: Bride + Brooke Courtney Photography | Flowers: Splints & Daisies | Dress: Karen Chow | Shoes: Volcom | Ceremony + Reception: The Country Barn | Paper Goods: Brooke Courtney

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Lancaster, Pennsylvania Wedding from Brooke Courtney Photography

Let’s talk about DIY for a minute. It’s a great way to save a little money when it comes to your wedding, so you can allocate those funds to something you can’t do yourself. But it’s also an amazing display of love. This bride made just about everything for her wedding. So on the big day, not only were she and her betrothed displaying their love to everyone, but she showed her friends and family ones just how much they meant to her by providing a decor so personal and heartfelt. Every pretty little detail, along with all the love, was captured by Jeff Frandsen of Brooke Courtney Photography, and we’ve put it all right here for your viewing pleasure!

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From the gorgeous bride … It’s safe to say our wedding day was a long time coming. Luke & I have been together for almost four years- he’s in the U.S Army and the majority of that time has been spent apart. A month after we got engaged in November of 2011, Luke was deployed to Afghanistan for 12 months. During that time, I poured my heart and soul into planning our wedding. It was the best day or our lives!

Before Luke left, we were able to choose the venue together and decided on Landis Valley Farm Museum in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. We took a risk for an early March wedding; they usually do summer weddings due to inclement weather. But as soon as we saw their gorgeous property, we knew it was the place for us. We chose to have the ceremony in their small firehouse, and the reception in their gorgeous 100 year old yellow barn. I fell in love with the old wooden beams, brick floors, and twined white lights.

I found my dress at David’s Bridal, and decided to add the lace pearl buttons down the back. I had an amazing seamstress who made the dress fit my body like a glove- and made it look exactly how I imagined. I wore my mom’s veil- which matched perfectly with the lace on my dress. Luke’s & the groomsmen’s suits where custom made through a company that Luke’s cousin owns. The color of the girls dresses contrasted beautifully with the creams, purples, and minty colors of their bouquets. I loved the succulents that were incorporated!

So much about our wedding was DIY, which I loved. I took it on myself to design our invitations, programs, and menus. It saved us so much money, and although it was tedious at times- it was so much fun! We chose to use small airmail envelopes as our table seating cards, and we wrote a personal letter to each guest. We wanted a personal touch to our reception, and wanted each guest to know that we appreciated them and their role in our lives. I also found my old stamp collection from when I was a kid and we were able to add vintage stamps to the envelopes.

Early on in our wedding planning I saw a picture of mix and match china, and knew I had to do it! I spent so much time at thrift stores collecting dinner and salad plates. It was a huge feat, but I had so much fun with it! It came out beautifully and added so much to our table settings.

My mom and I spent countless hours making burlap roses for our centerpieces. I also collected vintage books, teacups, lace doilies, and mason jars. A friend of mine let me borrow table numbers her father had cut out from an old metal barrel that hung from the mason jar vases. One of my bridesmaids made burlap and lace table runners and a good friend of our family dried hydrangeas to set on the tables. They were a perfect touch of color, and the dried flowers were great for a winter wedding. We also did a dessert table with homemade desserts from friends and family! The fact that so many people were involved in helping and collecting things made our wedding feel even more like a culmination of love & community.

One of the my favorite pieces at our wedding was our guestbook table- I rented an old sewing table, and found a vintage typewriter at a local thrift store. The guestbook was ordered off Etsy and was handmade with our colors and favorite quotes. It looked like an old scrapbook, and guests could grab any piece of paper to sign. Guests loved it and it looked stunning!

I also loved our lace wedding cake, and we decided to hang an American Flag (that belonged to one of Luke’s great grandfather’s) behind the cake table, which made for awesome pictures. We also decided to cut the cake with a military saber. Even though we didn’t have a formal military wedding, we wanted this part of our lives reflected throughout the night.

Our wedding day was truly amazing. From the ceremony, to dancing the night away before exiting through a path of glowsticks! We were in awe of how blessed we are, to be surrounded by so many people we love- and the feeling of their support was overwhelming. We’ve never been happier!

Photographer: Jeff Frandsen of Brooke Courtney Photography | Venue: Landis Valley Museum | Cake: Bella Manse | Caterer: Hess’s Barbecue | Bouquets: Petals with Style | Dress: David’s Bridal, alterations by Mia’s Alterations | Shoes: Etsy | Earrings: Anthropologie | Jacket: Forever 21 | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan | Hair Clips: Anthropologie | Suits: Aspetto | Wool ties: The Tie Bar

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Brooke Courtney Photography

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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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