Winter wedding at French Creek Golf Club

First dance at a winter wedding at French Creek Golf Club

It’s no secret how much I detest winter, so it’s a bit ironic how much I adore winter weddings. Catherine and Brendan’s romantic winter wedding at French Creek Golf Club, was the perfect example of why. Surrounded by friends and family, bridal prep is super cute when the girls are in warm, cozy flannel. Black, white and deep reds are a favorite winter color scheme of mine, and perfect for the French Creek Golf Club’s holiday decor, with lovely Christmas Trees, and fireplace mantles decorated with poinsettias and candles. I love the challenges of winter weddings. Days that too cold for a bride to brave the outdoors, makes finding interior shots that will work, encourages creativity. I loved the sunny rooms that we found for Catherine’s detail shots. I always love Badgley Mischka bridal shoes, and Catherine’s silver pair was unique and stunning.

The French Creek Golf Club has several lovely rooms that we were able to use for portraits of the girls while Paul was outside braving the cold with Brendan and the guys.  It took a little co-ordination to keep Brendan from seeing his lovely bride, but having his moment to see Catherine for the first time as she walked down the aisle was too important to miss. After a romantic ceremony and a few minutes alone with the couple, they were ready to hit their cocktail hour and dance the night away. Back lighting a couple during their first dance is a favorite lighting style of mine, and the Christmas Trees in the background made that sliver of light absolutely gorgeous. We were able to pry them off the dance floor (but it really wasn’t easy!) for a few quick night portraits that I hope they treasure forever, ’cause I think Brendan missed his favorite song. Ooops!  Sorry guys!


As an artist who provides a service, it’s often difficult to separate your own life experiences from the clients who have invited you into the most intensely personal day in their lives.  When your art requires you to open your heart and feel things as deeply as possible, sometimes the feelings that rise aren’t always what you’re prepared for.  I’m prepared for the feelings that well up when I photograph sisters having moments of pure love and pride and of sharing joyous moments together.  I know that father/daughter dances are going to make me silently cry behind my lens.  I’m ready for these moments.  I know they’re triggers for me.

I wasn’t prepared for all the feelings that Megan and Brendon’s sweet rustic wedding at White Chimneys in Gap, Pa would trigger in me.  My dad was a cowboy.  I cannot see a horse without crying.  I should have realized it when the Brenden told me that one of his must have photographs was of the newlyweds with the famed “hairy cows” that live on the White Chimney’s property, or when I saw that Megan and her bridesmaids all had beautiful cowboy boots, or the feel of the rustic old tobacco barn, carefully decorated with old barn windows, mason jars of wildflowers, welcome signs on pallets, and towers of frosty pink cupcakes.

While getting ready in the cozy bridal cottage, Megan surprised her mother with a piece of her grandfather’s military uniform with his name, which had been carefully sewn into her dress.  Photographing this moment: a mother, her daughter the bride, and her sisters, tears flowing, hugging, simultaneously grieving while laughing, was one of the most beautiful moments I’ve ever had the privilege of photographing.  Thank you, Megan and Brenden, for allowing me to live in my heart, and photograph yours.

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