Train Wedding

Strasburg Railroad Wedding with Red Caboose Motel Reception

Getting Ready at the Red Caboose Motel

Lerin and Brian’s sweet train wedding wasn’t exactly what they’d planned. Their original reception venue cancelled due to Covid and the two were left scrambling trying to come up with an alternative for their vintage inspired, Strasburg Railroad wedding. The ceremony was to take place on the train after a ride to Paradise, Pa. The Red Caboose Motel stepped up and was able to provide cars for everyone to get ready in, as well as providing an open air tent for the reception. The Strasburg Railroad, the Red Caboose Motel and the couple did a fabulous job at keeping everyone as safe as possible. Why a train wedding, you ask? 

The Proposal

BWR: How did Brian Propose?

Lerin: Brian had planned to propose to me at his family’s vacation home in the Thousand Islands, right near the water.  He had arranged for a time when no one else would be there. When we were about a half an hour away, his aunt texted him to say they were headed to the house too. Brian sped up to about 90 mph to get there in time for us to have privacy. I, of course, was oblivious. I was so confused why he rushed me down to the water the second we got there, but I went along with it. Then he got down on one knee and asked me, “Will you ride all the trains with me?” Being the lady that I am, I responded with, “Choo CHOO motherfucker.” (All just moment before his aunt showed up!) 

Strasburg Railroad Train Ride and Ceremony

The Strasburg Railroad was a suprisingly great way to keep guests as socially distanced as possible. The entire train, which has open air cars, was reserved for wedding guests. There were plenty of individuals cars, so guests could stay in small groups of close family. The cars were large and spacious. After a ride to Paradise, Lerin’s walk down the “aisle” was from the back of the train through each car to the front. Then guests all got off the train to watch the ceremony. 

Couples Portraits at Strasburg Railroad

It was such a treat to have a few minutes for portraits at the Strasburg Railroad. It is America’s oldest continuously operating railroad, and a really unique background for portraits.

Red Caboose Motel Reception

The Red Caboose did a FABULOUS job keeping everyone as Covid safe as possible. The most important factor in guests staying safe and responsible is the couple setting a great example. Brian made a speech asking guests to please wear masks if they left their family’s table and the couple really modeled that behavior. I’ve never seen so many guests masked on the dance floor. It was really wonderful. They also had seats set up outside the tent, for people who wanted to stay farther distanced, and as a vendor, I really appreciated a spot to go sit away from other guests for some fabulous BBQ.

Advice from the Bride

BWR: What tips would you give to other couples planning a wedding during covid?
Lerin: If I could give advice to couples planning their wedding during the pandemic, the biggest tip is to plan ahead for the safety of your guests. We went out of our way to make everything as safe as possible. This way, there were fewer last minute surprises. And FLEXIBILITY! My wedding was perfect, but definitely not what I had initially planned. 

Vendor List

Reception: Red Caboose Motel 
Dress: Agnes Edmunds 
Tent/table rentals: Ace the Party Place 
All the decor was made or created by family or myself. 
 
 
Awbury Arboretum Wedding

Micro Wedding at Awbury Arboretum

WEDDINGS DURING COVID

The last time I blogged was back in the beginning of the pandemic with a Race Street Pier vow exchange. It was the beginning of a very strange year for wedding photography. At first, the only weddings allowed were emergency licenses issued by zoom meetings. Pennsylvania is one of the only states that allows self-uniting marriage ceremonies. Since then, I’ve photographed every kind of wedding from safe, mask wearing private elopements, to WAY too many guests croweded indoors and pretending Covid doesn’t exist. But those are stories for future blogs. Today’s blog is about a local Philly venue that’s really getting it right, Awbury Arboretum

MICRO WEDDING AT AWBURY ARBORETUM

Kareemah and Damien’s micro wedding at Awbury Arboretum was a romantic event at a hidden gem in Philadelphia’s Germantown. The couple’s original plan was to have a private ceremony with no guests, but eventually opted for 11 close family members. The venue features a beautiful area to get ready in, with large windows for stunning views of the changing fall foliage. The venue co-ordinators gave every bit of attention to this intimate 2 hour wedding that they do for full scale events. The staff and guests were all masked and everything except prep was outdoors. The venue has lots of options for covid safe(r) weddings, including a large, opened sided tented area. 

Kareemah’s dress was so sweet and effortless and made an elegant combination with the muted colors in her bouqet. I loved her chic hair and pearl details. Damien’s mask matched his tie and handkerchief for a fashionable pandemic look. The couple jumped the broom after their beautiful ceremony, which is one of my favorite wedding traditions. Then I took a photo walk with the couple in Awbury’s “Secret Garden”. 

No matter what the size of your Awbury Aboretum wedding, I suggest leaving LOTS of time afterwards for photos. There are so many beautiful areas around the grounds and gardens for photos, we barely scratched the surface. It’s also a beautiful spot for engagement or family photos. I’m already dying to go back for another shoot there. (hint,hint, haha)

WORDS OF ADVICE FROM THE BRIDE

BWR: How did Damien propose?
Kareemah: December 25th, 2018 in our christmas PJs on Christmas morning! It’s my favorite time of the year and also my favorite holiday!! Quite simple, but very romantic and just the two of us!

BWR: What was your favorite moment of your wedding?
Kareemah: My favorite moment of my wedding was jumping the broom. I love the meaning of jumping the broom and Damien and I have been together for 10 years. He’s my high school sweetheart, and jumping the broom was a fresh start to our forever!
 
BWR: What tips would you give other couples planning a wedding during covid?
Kareemah: My biggest piece of advice for planning a wedding during COVID would be focus on your marriage and don’t stress too much about the wedding. Just because your wedding may be on a smaller scale doesn’t mean you have to have a low-end/inexpensive wedding. I pulled out all the stops for my elopement with our 11 guests and it was nothing short of amazing.
 

Vendors:

    IG: @awburyarboretum   
    IG: @upgradehair    
    IG: @sheenamarie.mua    
Decor/Florals: Event Loft PA   
    IG: @eventloftpa  (wedding arch/decor, florals, and wedding broom created by Eilena)
Dress: The Bridal Shop from Lulus.com
    IG: @lulus
Bride’s Shoes: Aldo
   IG: @aldo_shoes
Bride’s Mask: Katie May Collection
    IG: @katemaycollection
Damien’s Tux Rental: The Black Tux
    IG: @theblacktux
Groom’s Shoes: Cole Haan
   IG: @colehaan
Groom’s Mask, Pocket Square, Bow Tie: Dazi
    IG: @daziusa