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Mechanicsburg Central PA baby photographer one year old standing walking grass boy chair stone wall {Liya H.}

08.20.18 NEWBORNS & Babies

Back To School Accessory Guide


August has begun, the school buses are starting up and before we know it, class will be in session! Now that summer is coming to a close, let’s talk about some accessories to keep you looking stylish while you’re holding back the tears of waking up to that alarm again! Looks for going to class vary from preppy to cute and comfy so here are some staples to add to every school day look!


Recently, backpacks have replaced the need for purses which is convenient for those packing up their bags for school! So many retail stores are selling trendy leather backpacks and I love this one from Target for under $30!



These shoes look super cute paired with every outfit from shorts and jeans to leggings! They are extremely comfortable and you will seriously never want to wear any other shoe! You can find them at TJ Maxx and Marshall’s but these are at DSW for under $50! Adorable, right?!



Why is buying a new planner so motivating? Having a cute little book to write down all of my to-do’s makes me feel so put together! ! You can basically find a trendy planner anywhere but if you’re too busy to go out then you can shop right on, you can find adorable ones for under $15! If you’re willing to spend a little more, check our Erin Condren’s personalized planners. They are super cute, customizable and will definitely be complimented by your classmates!

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Starting another school year can be a stressful time but remember to enjoy each day and work hard! Everyone is rooting for you and these are the best times of your life! It’s looking like an “A+” year to me!

Mechanicsburg Central PA high school senior portrait photographer guy male outdoor road field trees water creek stream rock {Alex M.}


A Mixed Gendered Wedding Party: Most Common Questions Answered

08.15.18 Weddings

Recently, one of the largest trends in weddings, I have noticed is having both genders on one or both sides of the wedding party. A lot of people still have a lot of question about this trend and the logistics behind it. Below are some of the most common questions as well as answers!


What is the title you would give someone who is taking the role traditionally held by someone of the other gender?

It’s easy, anything you want to! You can keep the title the same or you can change it up. Groomsmaids, bridesman, best woman, man of honor, or really anything works! Just make they are comfortable with it.


What do they wear?

You can have them wear anything you want to! In recent years, it has become more and more trendy to mix and match what the bridal and groom’s party attire looks like. A lot of brides choose to have all the bridesmaids wear the same color but all wear different dresses. This can be incorporated in when you have a male supporting the bride as well. They can wear either the same or a similar suit as the groomsman. Instead, he could wear the bridal color for the accessories instead of the groom’s color. The same philosophy can be applied to having a female stand up on the groom side. Instead of her wearing a suit, she can wear a dress similar to what the bridal party is wearing, except her dress could match the groom’s colors.


How would they walk in?

This is completely up to you. Some people will have everyone walk in individually instead of in groups. Otherwise, you could have a few people from each party walk in together instead of the opposite party. You could also just do it the traditional way!


Will people think this is awkward?

No! Society has moved away from defining what strictly men and women can do. It would be more strange for you to think that this was weird! Girls and guys can have friends of the opposite gender. It’s your wedding! Do what makes your happy!


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

Things You Miss The Most Once You Leave Central PA

08.10.18 Uncategorized

Central Pennsylvania, the place I proudly call my home. Back in 2015, I left the area for a mountain town in Virginia. Leaving was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done and I dearly miss my home. There are four key things I miss the most about Central PA:

Major cities are never far away- You cannot deny how nice it is to have Philadelphia less than 2 hours away, Baltimore 90 minutes away, and Pittsburgh roughly 3 ½ hours away.

Friends and family you leave behind- One of my favorite sayings is “Home is where the heart is”. Even though you may leave the area, your heart may still be planted in PA with your loved ones.

Our local favorites- We all have our favorite places; it could be a park, coffee shop, or even a little café. These places make it worth the trip back.

Memories that are associated with the area- Whoever said leaving the area was easy? It truly isn’t! That’s why the best part about leaving Central PA is coming back to make even more memories.

I cannot wait to move back in less than one year and continue my journey in Central PA.

~Morgan Cunningham

Marketing, Class of 2019

James Madison University


Mechanicsburg Central PA high school senior portrait photographer female girl outdoor formal indoor rustic bridge wooden swing bench road wooden pillars covered bridge water creek stream {Kara W.}


What is and Why you should have an unplugged wedding?

08.08.18 Weddings


Imagine this: Today is your wedding day. Everything has been planned for months and your guests are sitting waiting for you to walk down the aisle. The music starts playing and now it’s your time to go. Then you see it; people are on their phones! To walk down the aisle, you will need to avoid 10 phones, a few iPads, and even some child’s gaming device. Not only are people taking pictures but multiple people are texting and someone’s tacky ringtone goes off.


Believe it or not, this problem is becoming more and more common at wedding ceremonies in recent years. Luckily, unplugged weddings are becoming popular and actually trending among 2018 weddings! An “unplugged wedding” is a return to more traditional times: the couple will request from the guests that no phones are to be used during the ceremony and even sometimes this is even requested during the reception. With this request, there are to be no exceptions. Guests are not to take pictures, FaceTime a family member, text updates on the wedding, live stream the ceremony on Facebook, or anything else! All the guests have to do is sit back and enjoy the ceremony.


With an unplugged wedding, the couple receives far more benefits than simply removing extra noise. One major problem that has been noticed in weddings is that people are not connecting to the ceremonies. Couples truly spend lots of time writing out their vows and planning out the ceremony to make it memorable and also meaningful for them as well as their guest. By removing the phones, it encourages the audience to get more involved not only with the what is being said by the couple and the officiant but also with the people around them. People are more willing to interact when they do not have the distraction of a phone in front of them. Another wonderful benefit is that your guest will not feel the need to be your photographer. We all know who these people are in our close group. These are the people who will follow the wedding party around to take their pictures (especially when the pictures are not wanted). By unplugging your wedding, this problem is removed.


I understand that unplugged weddings are not for everyone, I do believe that in 2018 they will continue to climb to the largest wedding trend.


Happy wedding season to all of the happy couples out there and best of wishes!

Mechanicsburg Central PA high school senior portrait photographer guy male outdoor formal indoor rustic bridge road trees covered bridge brick wall stone wall guitar musician water creek stream {William Y.}