The last time I photographed a wedding at Holly Hedge Estate, I had a medium format Hasselblad strapped to me, alternating color and black and white film every 24 exposures. Needless to say, that was a while back. When Amanda reached out to tell me she was planning her wedding at Holly Hedge Estate, I was ecstatic!
I met Amanda while working for Pryde Brown Photographs in Princeton, NJ, when she decided to intern for the summer. Amanda’s family had been going to Pryde for family portraits for years, so when she joined the team, I felt like I had known her for years already! One of these days we will sit down so she can tell me what her experience was as an intern there. For me, it was a blur and another life time ago. Fast forward almost a decade later, I met Amanda and Alex under the row of trees in front of Princeton University, where we met almost every one of our clients when we worked together. This time, it was her turn to be in front of the camera, alongside her gentleman of a fiance, Alex. They were coordinated in outfits, Amanda in a burgundy dress and Alex with his burgundy bow-tie, foreshadowing the themes of their future wedding.
I saw the chemistry between Amanda and Alex immediately, and we effortlessly retraced the steps we would take for the best shooting locations Princeton University has to offer (which are a lot!). When we reached Prospect House, the sky opened up into a torrential downpour, so we took refuge under Prospect House’s porch where we got to know the couple so much more.
After 20 minutes of reliving their meeting and proposal story (which is epic, involves a radio station and Amanda’s favorite performance artist…) we decided to go with the rain, and capture some portraits under that porch, with the raindrops in front and behind them. And those were my favorite pictures from their session.
Some would say, “what are the chances that it would rain at their engagement session and wedding?” but I would say the chances were high. We have had the rainiest two years I have ever experienced. My husband says it happened once we moved into our little cottage in the woods, which we painted the same color as Eeyore, so perhaps it was an omen.
When I arrived at Holly Hedge Estate, tucked into the woods in quaint Bucks County, PA, I looked around at the fog and mist and could not have imagined this beautiful place looking any other way. The old stone buildings, mossy-roofed cottages and brick pathways could not have been better displayed.
Amanda was just finishing up her hair and makeup when I arrived. I collected a box of her belongings for pictures, and took them to the stone barn where her ceremony would take place and realized that it was the perfect location for her to get ready. Perhaps it’s Amanda’s go-with-the-flow personality, or her having worked with me before, but she trusted me enough to run through the rain with her bridesmaids to this beautiful location (huge windows and florist decorating and all!) to get into her dress and take her portrait. Silk, pearls, lace, veil and Hunter boots later, we had an elegant, yet practical bride ready to find her groom.
With umbrella in hand, she charged through the mist to find Alex, under a row of evergreens waiting for her. The moment Alex turned around to see his beautiful bride standing there, the mist let up and the rain disappeared for everyone in that moment. After a few moments alone together, we charged toward the fountain outside of Holly Hedge’s Inn. When I say charged, I mean charged. Have you ever seen a determined bride move in Hunter boots? Girl got speed.
These bride and groom portraits are some of the most romantic moments I’ve had the privilege of capturing, and I could not have imagined them any other way! They were quiet, reflective, seemed to stand still in time. Once we met with the bridal party, it was all energy and laughter, which continued after the ceremony, with the entire wedding party outside for one large group picture before cocktail hour.
Before the reception began, I asked Amanda and Alex if their 1st dance was choreographed, they said no. I should have known, though. Amanda was a dancer, and Alex is a gentleman. They’re not-choreographed dance was beautiful, flawless and so well coordinated, you would never know they didn’t choreograph their dance. When these two are together, the noise becomes static and they in another world where #desterresalign.
Congratulations, Amanda & Alex! We loved being part of your wedding day and wish you all the best! Thanks to Barb for the King size Snickers and awesome assistance!
Photographers: Lauren Kearns and Barbara Wentzel
Venue: Holly Hedge Estate, PA
Wedding Planner: Michele Stulpin
Hair/Makeup: Fresh Breath of Hair
Wedding gown: La Belle Mariée Boutique
Wedding Bands: Hamilton Jewelers
Engagement Ring: Marshall Asnen
Bridesmaids Dresses: Sugar Bits
Florist: Pod Shop
Transportation: Paradise Transit
Rentals: Bucks Mont Party Rentals