Hooray for the first wedding of 2018! Life has been beyond crazy in the McClain household over the past year (and more so the past couple of months) so we were totally stoked to get back to shooting weddings! Ashley and Aldrich had an amazing wedding day filled with laughter and love. My favorite part had to be during the ceremony when the bride’s 3 year old nephew treated his father’s head like a tootsie roll pop. Curious? Keep scrolling;-)
Ashley and Aldrich’s kick ass vendors:
Venue: Historic Acres of Hershey
Catering: The Kitchen Table (formerly Uncommon Caterer)
Most couples we meet months if not years in advance of their wedding, Mate and Jess.. let’s go for two weeks before their wedding day! We met Mate & Jessica through former bride and kick ass coordinator, Dana M. McGinley. With ties to the Hershey community, a Purcell Hall wedding was perfect for these two which featured an amazing, if not the best weather day in July, Duck Donuts, and a beautiful sunset.
I love small weddings.. not just love but LOVE small, intimate weddings. I also adore back yard weddings and definitely love week day weddings. In case you’re still keeping track of the love list, Kellyn and Blake had a red letter wedding day in my book.
Kellyn contacted me about an intimate wedding planned for their Mechanicsburg home on a Thursday in June- jubilee day to be exact which also happened to fall on the same day the two met years ago. Thankfully we were a few blocks from the craziness, so no major traffic issues but you could hear the music in the background a bit.
Along with their 7 guests, Daisy, an amazingly gorgeous rescue Pit was in attendance for the boho inspired wedding vibe. The couple even chose to drive over to their old office… aka where they met.. for some heartfelt images and a coy (see fish pond picture below) party!
It’s been a May of rain. Every wedding weekend has had some form of precipitation this year so in short.. we’ve been soggy. Thankfully our couples have embraced mother nature while having fun for some creative images.
This was our first visit to the quaint and serene Pleasant View B&B, located just outside of New Cumberland. Nancy the Innkeeper was a doll and so welcoming to use areas inside the B&B due to the rain which was so appreciated! Amber and Ed chose to hold their ceremony inside the barn with their intimate reception following at the newly renovated Stable venue. Mad props to these two for keeping huge smiles on their faces and laughing constantly through out the day.
Can I tell you how much we LOVE having pups along to photography sessions?! Virginia and Tim chose the most perfect spring day for their downtown Lancaster engagement session and brought their fur-kiddos, Milton and Hugs, along. Don’t these two look incredibly snuggly?! Check out more images from Virginia & Tim’s Engagement session here 🙂
So a little thing happened about two weeks ago for our family whom we like to call Miss Finley George Sutton McClain. She came screaming into the world at 12:59pm on February 11th weighting 8lb 10oz and 19.5″.
Thankfully everything went relatively well with our scheduled delivery by comparison to when her brother joined the family. I did sadly have to make an unplanned visit to the ER the day after we were discharged (which I didn’t take well at all) for a spinal headache, something I would never wish upon anyone for how painful that was. We are counting our blessings for two happy, healthy children which have made our family complete (insert our no more kids happy dance here).
I’m slowly getting back to my day to day routines and finding our new work/life balance but also very much looking forward to getting my camera out of the bag in a few weeks for the kick ass wedding season we have in store this year. I’m also chomping at the bit to get back to physical activity asap- Bring on the dead lifts and kettle bells!
Circa early 2000’s, I remember sitting in a college course discussing the sociology of everyone’s favorite topic- themselves and self reflection. In 2005 when I graduated, social media was just starting to gain popularity (OMG I feel old typing that) and picking the right song to play on my MySpace page was a really big deal. People started hopping on social media like it was free coffee day at Starbucks, creating even more of a release on personal information sharing… which over the years I started to shy away from to a greater extent. I never really liked talking about myself- opting more for getting to know others instead. We’re talking to the extent that Jason and I often say “Really? We’re not that interesting?” in light of certain social circumstances.
This past year, I fully admit on clamming up a bit more, especially after the spring when we learned about the very untimely and unexpected loss of a favorite client we’ve had over the years. Her news was highly publicized, with lots of speculation and hurtful comments around her disappearance. We had reporters contacting us for wedding and session photos which became locked down and hidden. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain and heartache within her family but it took me back a little from getting more personal as we had in years past, keeping our circle tightly wound and offline. Seeing how people speculate on very little information that someone might share, or blow out of proportion, was disheartening.
Late spring we had another surprise, a planned one, but never the less a very happy moment in learning we were expecting our second (and final) kiddo in February 2017. Although sharing the news would have been spectacular, we kept things under wraps as a personal choice. The only snafu is our network of friends and family is so spread out that sharing our moments online is almost easier.
Have we had experiences in our life that we’d rather not share- of course! Everyone does- but my main goal this year is to step a little outside of my sharing comfort zone. I’m hoping to keep both friends and our client family more in the loop of our day to day that makes us who we are (without being this guy), which I guess makes us somewhat interesting?
I’m all about change. I like change- it brings a fresh new perspective, no matter how scary the forethought might be. Every year, it seems we’re embracing some sort of new change. Last year it was a new office location which is amazing and we LOVE being able to service our business and boudoir clients in a gorgeous new space. This year.. hell, let’s add a new member to the family:)
In about 20 days we’re expecting the arrival of our second kiddo, completing our own little McClain clan family of four. I say kiddo as we have no idea the gender of the babe but did make a friendly bet between the two of us. A damn fine bottle of scotch if it’s the girl Jason thinks it is and a Spa day for Mel if it’s a boy. This pregnancy thankfully has been a bit easier than our first and we’re remaining hopeful the delivery process will be completely different given it’s scheduled. We are counting our blessings though that kiddo’s due date is between events and thankfully won’t affect any wedding clients:)
For the next 20 days I’m staying crazy busy (and REALLY missing my workout time) catching up on our website and social media, plus we’re hitting up one more bridal show this weekend before the delivery. Feel free to creep our Instagram pages for baby updates and a peek in our day to day lives outside of the business (Melissa/ Jason).
Could you imagine a world of people who all like the same things, believe the same things, wear the same things.. so on and so forth? Yuck! Not just yuck but “What the F, Yuck!”. I’ve kept pretty mum on politics and societal expressions that have emerged and I promise this will be my only public comment but seriously, why can’t we appreciate that people in this world are beautifully different. Let’s stop getting offended by the smallest things that might be contrary from the so called “norm”. Stop bashing others for their choices, political or not and just be decent to one another. Maybe realize that we’re sharing this planet together and the age old rule that many are taught, ‘Live and let live’, should apply.
One of the best things about what we do photographically is meeting so many diverse people from various beliefs, backgrounds, and views- many of which become friends we aim to keep in touch with through the years. Have prospective clients judged us by showing images from these so called “non-traditional” weddings or couples? Oh yeah! I’ve been told a few times that we were passed on because we support or show a certain type of client, wedding style, or belief. I’m usually pretty thankful on the passing as I want to work with clients who are and appreciate that we’re all created differently from one another.
One of my favorite things when I walk into our office/studio is our wedding client wall- all amazing, all gorgeous, and all have their own unique story.
In closing, be thankful for one another; be kind to one another; and respect everyone’s beautiful differences not just around the holidays but every day.
Trends are changing constantly in weddings with more focus on couples representing their personal interests, passions, and heritage. I may have a soft spot for anything Celtic (last name of McClain might be a dead giveaway) so when Lauren and Alex contacted us about their wedding, we were smitten in the details, especially Lauren’s mint green gown. Learning their story individually and as a couple, we simply knew these were two amazing people who we were ecstatic to work with on their wedding day.
Alex and Lauren were both super hands on in planning their wedding day, which from a photographer standpoint, it’s awesome and appreciated to have both perspectives on photographic needs and opinions:) Weather wise, it was a simply perfect early fall day- perfect for posed creatives on the battlefield and around their venue, The Gettysburg Hotel.
I normally try to mention a favorite moment from wedding days but the whole day was fantastic, filled with so many great moments- like the smile on Lauren’s face during the first look; the bridal party fun in the Limo and on the battlefield; hand-fasting during the ceremony; the couple’s first dance (awesome song choice too guys); and the cake topper- ’nuff said;-) Wishing warmest congratulations and blessings to Lauren and Alex in their many years of wedded bliss!
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