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The Lodge at Liberty Forge Wedding Photographer Mechanicsburg PA The Altland House Psycho Cupcakes Blooms by Vickrey Chelsea Nolan Salt Salon Men’s Wearhouse {Lauren & Mark}

08.24.18 Weddings

Lauren & Mark

How they met:

Mark & Lauren knew each other for years before they fell in love. They both worked at Pizza Hut where Lauren was a server and he was a delivery driver. At first, they were just friends. Since Mark was 5 years older than her, there was no love interest at first. As Lauren and Mark made their way through college, they realized that their relationship could be more than “Just friends.” Mark offered to take Lauren out to lunch, and soon after they started dating. Just a few months into dating, Mark and Lauren both knew that they were meant to be together. He actually introduced Lauren to his Mom by saying “This is the girl I’m going to marry, as long as she lets me!” (What he didn’t know was she already knew she was going to say yes) After about a year of dating, they decided to buy a house and move in together.


How he Asked, The Proposal:

At this point, they had already talked about getting married, so it wasn’t too much of a surprise when he proposed. One day, Mark took Lauren to the Senator’s game (telling her that his company invited them). She suspected that he might propose, but she wasn’t positive. When the kiss cam came on during the middle of the game, there was a camera right in front of them. He got down on one knee and proposed in front of the entire crowd. He then said, “Let’s take a walk.” They got up walked around a corner, and there was all of her family and friends who watched the proposal on the big screen. Lauren couldn’t help but shed a few tears of joy.


Wedding Planning:

It took them about a year to plan their wedding. About a week after the proposal Lauren and her mom started looking for at venues. She immediately fell in love with The Lodge at Liberty Forge. She really enjoyed working with Tad from Liberty Forge. She knew that she wanted Bri from Salt Salon to do her hair.  When she met with Elaine, she recommended Chelsea Nolan for makeup. Chelsea and Bri did an amazing job! Mark’s brother is a DJ, so he was an obvious choice. Tad also recommended Caleb Stelle and his string trio to play for the ceremony! They were an amazing addition to her wedding. As for the wedding cake, she decided to go with Psycho Cupcakes.  All of her guests were raving about how tasty the cake and cupcakes were! For the flowers, she used Blooms by Vickry and they did a fantastic job. She used Zola and Wedding Wire to help her stay organized throughout the planning.


Advice for a new bride:

The main piece of advice she would give a new bride is don’t sweat the little things. Hair, makeup, cake, music, food, etc. All of this stuff really doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is you are going to spend the rest of your life with someone you love. Lauren remembers when she went to do her hair trial a few weeks before the wedding. Her hair stylist asked her if she was nervous. She replied, “I don’t really care about all that stuff, the only thing I care about is that my fiancée shows up!” Lauren’s mom would get annoyed with her because she didn’t care about pleasing anyone. She was as far away from a bridezilla as you can get! So with that being said, don’t worry about every little thing that comes along with planning a wedding. Just have fun and enjoy your day!



The wedding was perfect. Everything went as planned and she couldn’t be happier with how it all turned out. She is loving married life! The thing Lauren loves most about Mark is that he is very supportive. She is now starting her own business which is a huge risk, but Mark is 100% on board. Lauren says he will also do absolutely anything for her, and she would do the same for him. She asked Mark what he loves most about her, and he said “Well, obviously your gorgeous!”. She laughed and told him to dig deeper. He said that he loves her personality because they are so similar and always on the same page.


Cheers Lauren & Mark. Wishing you years of happiness and love!!

Thanks to all the fabulous vendors who helped make this wedding so amazing!

Photographer: Elaine Gates Photography

Reception: The Lodge at Liberty Forge

Ceremony Site: The Lodge at Liberty Forge

Wedding Coordinator: Tad Cruise

Ceremony Music: Caleb Stelle

Caterer: The Altland House

Officiant: Lindsey Melnick

Cake: Psycho Cupcakes

Florist: Blooms by Vickrey

DJ/Band: MacGyver Frank

Stationary/Invitations: Etsy / CCPrints by Tabitha

Makeup: Chelsea Nolan

Hair: Salt Salon (Brianna England)

Tuxedos / Men Suits: Men’s Wearhouse

Engagement / Wedding Rings: Kay Jewelers


Peter Allen House Wedding Photographer Dauphin PA JDK Amanda Shofford Honeybee Floral Design Chelsea Nolan Candy Laughman Gowns by Design Men’s Wearhouse Pronovias Leitzel’s Jewelry {Kristen & Scott}

08.15.18 Weddings

Kristen and Scott planned their wedding to be held at the Peter Allen House in Dauphin which is the perfect location that includes the charm of a historic home and property with all the modern amenities and details. Their wedding was on May 6, 2018. The trees were in perfect bloom and lucky for the couple, the rain which was forecasted held off so they were able to have their ceremony outside. They planned a gourmet brunch menu, catered by The JDK Group. They were surrounded by their family and friends and it was a wonderful celebration of their love.

Kristen & Scott, Wishing you many years of love and happiness!

Thanks to all the fabulous vendors who helped make this wedding so amazing!

Photographer: Elaine Gates Photography

Reception: Peter Allen House

Ceremony Site: Peter Allen House

Ceremony Music: Malaysia Billman (Cellist)

Caterer: JDK

Officiant: Brock Kerchner & Judge Curcillo

Cake: Amanda Shofford

Florist: Honeybee Floral Designs (Melissa Klippa)

Makeup: Chelsea Nolan

Hair: Candy Laughman

Bridal Gown: Gowns by Design

Tuxedos / Men Suits: Men’s Wearhouse

Bridal Gown Designer: Pronovias

Engagement / Wedding Rings: Leitzel’s Jewelry

Harmony Forge Inn Wedding Photographer Bellefonte PA Dutch Haven Restaurant Reverend Bruce Wallace Karen Bitner Sweeney’s Floral Shop Event Excellence Evolve Studio David’s Bridal Men’s Wearhouse {Carly & Dillon}

08.13.18 Weddings

Carly & Dillon met their sophomore year in college after a mutual friend got them both in the same place at the same time (on his birthday). They love adventuring together and have already moved cross-country twice. Carly says, “I think the fact that we survived a cross country trek in a U-haul together proved that we could get married. “:)  When asked to tell me more about them, Carly also mentioned that she loves that they continuously push each other both in their personal and professional lives. She said Dillon continues to make her laugh and smile every day and that he’s her rock and she doesn’t know where she’d be without him.

Carly and Dillon currently live in Maryland but planned their wedding near her hometown in Bellefonte, PA. They had their wedding at the Harmony Forge Inn where their ceremony was in the front lawn of the beautiful farmhouse and reception was in the barn on the property. Carly’s bridesmaids were in purple short dresses and groomsmen in gray suits with purple ties. You could really see how comfortable Carly and Dillon were in front of the camera. One of my favorite things at their reception was Carly’s maid of honor put together a video of well wishes from people who loved them. So sweet!

I asked Carly the following questions which I thought would be helpful to planning brides!

What resources did you use when planning your wedding?

I used the Knot’s wedding checklist; it was really helpful for organizing what needed done at what times!

Wedding wire has an amazing tool for seating charts that lets you enter the exact dimensions of the room and the size of the tables so you can see how the room would plan out.

If you could tell a new bride who is planning their big day a piece of advice or word of wisdom, or even something you wish you had known…what would it be?

It’s okay to consider eloping, we did 500 times.
Amazon and Etsy has been my best friend through this whole process! You can find unique/custom made items at really reasonable prices! Physical stores helped for inspiration, but then I always ended up on Amazon or Etsy!

It’s your day and the small things you were thinking about won’t even matter because the day of is so magical and fun.

Thanks to all the fabulous vendors who helped make this wedding so amazing!

Photographer: Elaine Gates Photography

Reception: Harmony Forge Inn

Ceremony Site: Harmony Forge Inn

Caterer: Dutch Haven Restaurant

Officiant: Reverend Bruce Wallace

Cake: Karen Bitner

Florist: Sweeney’s Floral Shop

Lighting/AV: Event Excellence

Makeup: Evolve Studio

Hair: Evolve Studio

Bridal Gown: David’s Bridal

Tuxedos / Men Suits: Men’s Wearhouse

Two Harts Barn Wedding Photographer Spring Grove PA pink gray Moore Music Boneyard BBQ Steph King Cakes Top Notch Studios Twice Upscale Resale Jos. A. Banks Alfred Angelo David’s Bridal Farley Jewelry {MaryKate & Gary}

08.06.18 Weddings

MaryKate & Gary met at Temple University where they lived across the hall from each other. They met the second weekend of freshman year and have been together ever since! After MaryKate graduated she moved back to Hanover, PA and got her first teaching job and Gary stayed in Philadelphia and worked at Temple. After two years of long distance, Gary got a new job at Johns Hopkins University and moved to Hanover where they bought their first house. Finally, we were settled and ready to get married!

MaryKate & Gary were married on June 9 at Two Harts Barn in Spring Grove PA.

MaryKate had planned an outdoor ceremony and lucky for her, she had one of the only rain free weekends in central pa this past spring. Her color scheme was light pink and gray and she tied these colors throughout the wedding in all of her details.  She decided to have antique doors in the front of her ceremony with pink flowers and lots and lots of baby’s breath. They chose to do a first look which we did in front of the barn. They were super sweet and ended seeing each other for the first time with a high five. Love when couples keep it real! Gary is of Jewish faith and at the end of the ceremony he chose to break the glass and at the reception they did the Horah which is where they were lifted in the air on chairs by their guests.

Many of the people in the bridal party also attended Temple where they fell in love! Gary also chose to include his sister in the wedding by having her on his side. Loved this! They ordered wood flowers from Etsy which were a perfect touch and had a wood bark inspired wedding cake as well as lots and lots of delicious cupcakes.

MaryKate comes from a blended family and one of my favorite things she did was honor her step parents by having her stepmother and stepfather walk her half way up and then her mother and father walked her down the aisle.

Oh, and don’t forget to check out their adorable pup who made an appearance to get a few pictures with her mom and dad!

MaryKate’s advice for brides: For any new brides planning their weddings, I recommend choosing a venue that you absolutely love and creating an atmosphere where everyone can be relaxed and have fun! Also, enjoy the day because it really does go by so quickly!

Congrats MaryKate & Gary! Wishing you lots of love and happiness!

Thanks to all the fabulous vendors who helped make this wedding so amazing!

Photographer: Elaine Gates Photography

Reception: Two Harts Barn

Ceremony Site: Two Harts Barn

Ceremony Music: Moore Music

Caterer: Boneyard BBQ

Officiant: Jan Lucht-Baer

Cake: Steph King Cakes

Florist: Etsy

DJ/Band: Moore Music

Stationary/Invitations: Shutterfly

Makeup: Top Notch Studios

Hair: Top Notch Studios

Bridal Gown: Twice Upscale Resale

Tuxedos / Men Suits: Joseph A. Banks

Bridal Gown Designer: Alfred Angelo

Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal

Engagement / Wedding Rings: Farley Jewelers


Liberty Forge Wedding Photographer Mechanicsburg PA Complete Weddings & Events Altland House The Flour Child Lincolnway Flower Shop Extreme Beauty Make-up Renaissance Bridal H&M Mountz {Kelly & Anthony}

08.01.18 Weddings

I don’t know about you but one of my favorite things to find out about my wedding and engagement couples is how they met, and then how he proposed. Take a peek at how Anthony proposed to Kelly and you will fall in love with this couple as much as I did!


Being with someone for 6 years, there are little-to-no secrets. The idea that we both wanted to get married was, in fact, one of those “non-secrets.” We’ve talked about it countless times before and nearly 3 years of long distance dating post-college & months of having an apartment together only solidified the notion. Unfortunately for me…that only made the proposal that much more difficult to figure out.

It had to be perfect. It had to be a surprise and the ring had to be unique. After months of trying to design the perfect ring and attempting to crack the code of a perfect proposal, I settled on the only thing that made sense; a proposal at Penn State, the place that led to us meeting and the one similarity and passion that we will always share. The only question was when should I do it?

I’m not usually one to say “hey let’s randomly go here” so I needed a good excuse to get Kelly to Penn State without her being suspicious. Luckily for me, her birthday and the Christmas holiday season were right around the corner, so I had options. At the expense of Kelly’s preference to not have a proposal on a birthday or major holiday, I decided to pull the trigger on her birthday, November 30th, 2016.

Despite the intermittent rain showers, we still decided to take the day off of work and head up to Penn State. We began the day at Mount Nittany Winery, sampling some wine, snacking on meat & cheese, and of course…buying a few bottles to take home. We then drove to downtown State College, grabbed a quick bite to eat, and proceeded to do some early Christmas shopping. It was around 3pm when the butterflies started and a nervous vomit feeling hit me. At this point, it was impossible for me to continue shopping, but I had to keep it together for a few more minutes.

The time was coming. We decided to walk back to the car around 4pm. Little did Kelly know I had been texting a long-time family friend of mine for weeks, Kaylee Blasiak, who still went to Penn State. We agreed for her to “bump into us” in front of the Christmas tree at the intersection of Allen Street and College Avenue. Despite the subpar weather and Kelly’s last ditch effort to unintentionally ruin my proposal plan (aka she realllllllly wanted to go to Chipotle), we had made it to the tree.

Earlier in the day, I had mentioned to Kelly that I wanted a picture in front of the tree for Christmas and that we would simply find someone to take it. Coming across the street we happened to see a “random student” and asked her to take a picture. As planned, it was Kaylee! At this point, Kelly thought it was just pure coincidence that we bumped into our only friend that was still attending Penn State. Of course, she eventually realized it wasn’t :).

Naturally, Kelly’s phone ran out of picture memory, so after scrambling to swap phones with Kaylee it was happening…I was doing it. After getting down on my knee, fumbling to get the ring out, unsure if I was actually saying words, grabbing the wrong hand, and being shaky enough to nearly put the ring on the wrong finger, I asked Kelly to marry me. Thankfully…she said yes! (though not 100% confirmed, as it all turned into a blur).

Once we got back to Harrisburg, we celebrated the only way we knew how….Chipotle.

Okay back to their wedding. They planned their ceremony and reception at Liberty Forge in Mechanicsburg PA, which is a favorite location of mine. My husband Matthew and I actually were married there ourselves in 2003. Their colors were light purple. They had fill your own bags with lavender as their favors. You totally have to check out how beautiful her bridesmaids were… Stunning! Their day was full of sunshine, smiles, tears of joy, laughter and one of the best dance parties I have been to in awhile!

Thanks to all the fabulous vendors who helped make this wedding so amazing!

Photographer: Elaine Gates Photography

Reception: Lodge at Liberty Forge

Ceremony Site: Lodge at Liberty Forge

Wedding Coordinator: Tad Cruise

Ceremony Music: Complete Weddings & Events

Caterer: Altland House

Officiant: Kait Verkest

Cake: The Flour Child

Florist: Lincolnway Flower Shop

DJ/Band: Complete Weddings & Events

Makeup: Extreme Beauty Make-up

Hair: Extreme Beauty Make-up

Bridal Gown: Renaissance Bridal

Tuxedos / Men Suits: H&M

Bridesmaids Dresses: Renaissance Bridal

Engagement / Wedding Rings: Mountz

Wedding Photographer Gettysburg PA Simply Events Inc. All Party Starz Entertainment Altland House Gateau Monique The Flowershop Koons Florsit Minted Bombshell Brides David’s Bridal Jos. A Banks Robbins Brothers Event Central PA {Katie & Michael}

07.27.18 Weddings

Katie and Michael planned their special day from over 2500 miles away in Michaels hometown of Gettysburg. They envisioned a laid back affair in the backyard and property of Michael’s family home with lots of laughter and a relaxed vibe. Katie and Michael were very interested in capturing the day as it unfolded. They didn’t want moments staged. They opted to see each other before the ceremony but without a formal first look in hopes to complete their wedding portraits all before the ceremony so they could spend their cocktail hour mingling and spending time with their guests, many of which flew in to central pa from California. Their bridal party was filled with their closest friends and family and you couldn’t help smiling when you saw them see each other for their first time. Family was super important to them and they sat both sets of parents and siblings art their head table with them. One of my favorite things I learned was they both have PhDs from Stanford and spent their first date doing an equation together.

Best Wishes Mr. & Mrs. Barako!


Thanks to all the fabulous vendors who helped make this wedding so amazing!

Photographer: Elaine Gates Photography

Reception: Private Residence

Ceremony Site: Private Residence

Wedding Coordinator: Deb Erb, Simply Events Inc.

Ceremony Music: All Party Starz Entertainment

Caterer: Altland House

Officiant: Buz Meyers

Cake: Gateau Monique

Florist: The Flowershop Koons Florist

Lighting/AV: All Party Starz Entertainment

DJ/Band: All Party Starz Entertainment

Stationary/Invitations: Minted

Makeup: Bombshell Brides

Hair: Bombshell Brides

Bridal Gown: David’s Bridal

Tuxedos / Men Suits: Jos. A Banks

Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal

Engagement / Wedding Rings: Robbins Brothers

The Barn at Silverstone Wedding Photographer Lancaster PA Allie Wagner Mixed Up Productions John Serock Catering Whimsical Poppy Men’s Wearhouse David’s Bridal Mountz Jewelers {Krissy & Tyler}

07.06.18 Weddings

Thanks to all the fabulous vendors who helped make this wedding so amazing!

Photographer: Elaine Gates Photography

Reception: The Barn at Silverstone

Ceremony Site: The Barn at Silverstone

Wedding Coordinator: Allie Wagner

Ceremony Music: Mixed Up Productions

Caterer: John Serock Catering

Officiant: Pastor Brand Eaton

Cake: John Serock Catering

Florist: Whimsical Poppy

Lighting/AV: Mixed Up Productions

DJ/Band: Mixed Up Productions

Makeup: Nancy Fazio

Tuxedos / Men Suits: Men’s Wearhouse

Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal

Engagement / Wedding Rings: Mountz Jewelers

Cortland Mansion Wedding Photographer Hagerstown MD RS Entertainment Stephanie Meyers Sagittarius J&B Bridals Men’s Wearhouse Morilee Ludwig Jewelers {Bekah & Aric}

06.18.18 Weddings

Thanks to all the fabulous vendors who helped make this wedding so amazing!

Photographer: Elaine Gates Photography

Reception: Cortland Mansion

Ceremony Site: Cortland Mansion

Ceremony Music: RS Entertainment (Ryan Stahl)

Caterer: Hempen Hill

Officiant: Pastor Frank Duncan

Cake: Nancy

Florist: Stephanie Meyers

DJ/Band: RS Entertainment (Ryan Stahl)

Makeup: Sagittarius

Hair: Sagittarius

Bridal Gown: J&B Bridals

Tuxedos / Men Suits: Men’s Wearhouse

Bridal Gown Designer: Morilee (Madeline Gardner)

Engagement / Wedding Rings: Ludwig’s Jewelers

Historic Shady Lane Wedding Photographer Central PA Uncommon Catering Fosters Flowers Newman & Moore Chris Lee Salon NoTi Taylored For You {Taylor & Zach}

02.26.18 Weddings

Thanks to all the fabulous vendors who helped make this wedding so amazing!

Photographer: Elaine Gates Photography

Reception: Historic Shady Lane

Ceremony Site: Historic Shady Lane (Rose Garden)

Wedding Coordinator: Taryn Blake Events (Deb Ayers)

Ceremony Music: Newman & Moore

Caterer: Uncommon Caterer

Officiant: Dr. Reverend Jack Groce

Cake: Uncommon Caterer

Florist: Fosters Flowers

DJ/Band: Newman & Moore

Videographer: Christopher Lee

Makeup: Salon NoTi

Hair: Salon NoTi

Bridal Gown: Taylored For You 

Tuxedos / Men Suits: Designer Suits

Bridesmaids Dresses: Taylored For You

Engagement / Wedding Rings: Zales / Kay

Wedding on Memory Lane Wedding Photographer Hershey PA Melanie Haldeman Muddy’s BBQ Radiance by Ry Victorian Bridal Salon 50/50 Tuxedo Helzberg Diamonds {Maggie & Jon}

02.19.18 Weddings

Thanks to all the fabulous vendors who helped make this wedding so amazing!

Photographer: Elaine Gates Photography

Reception: Wedding on Memory Lane

Ceremony Site: Wedding on Memory Lane

Wedding Coordinator: Melanie Haldeman

Ceremony Music: DJ Nugget

Caterer: Muddy’s BBQ

Officiant: Tina Yarnall

Florist: Melanie Haldeman

DJ/Band: DJ Nugget

Makeup: Radiance by Ry

Hair: Radiance by Ry

Bridal Gown: Victorian Bridal Salon

Tuxedos / Men Suits: Fifty-Fifty Tuxedo

Bridesmaids Dresses: Victorian Bridal Salon

Engagement / Wedding Rings: Helzberg Diamonds