Kayla & Matt’s Wedding 5.28.17

So this blog post has been a long time coming!  I’ve been busily second shooting, photographing families, and packing for Japan which I leave for in the AM… today now, I guess lol.  But these two love bugs, Kayla and Matt, are clearly two peas in a pod.  Not to mention, their family and friends really knew how to throw a party!  They had to reschedule the venue unexpectedly THREE DAYS before the wedding took place.  And holy cow, did they all come together as a family to pull this event off! We started off the day with the women getting ready at Kayla’s grandmother’s house. Everyone enjoyed subs and chit chat, as everyone’s hair and makeup was done.

After the lovely bride was put in her dress, I headed out to the groom’s mothers home to get shots of her with the men.  She sadly was unable to attend, so the couple wanted to include her in photos!  Everyone piled in their cars and headed to the lovely Banana Factory in Bethlehem.  Family members and friends showed up with cookies and desserts in hand for a dessert cookie bar (which was also served with gelato, yum!) after dinner.  Soon, the family was all hands on deck to put together the stunning arbor for the ceremony.

With everything put together and decorated, the go ahead was given for the ceremony to start.  Guests were seated as the groom and groomsman walked in.  Kayla, being given away by her father, led to chuckles as they circled the sign post a few times before heading to her soon to be husband.  And let me tell you, Matt was beaming as soon as he caught a glimpse of his stunning bride headed down the aisle for him.  The ceremony was lovely, and guests looked on as these two got hitched. Rings were exchanged, a sand ceremony (where sand wasn’t exactly ‘combined’ like it was supposed to haha!), and a first kiss were had!  The couple was announced as husband and wife for the first time and headed down the aisle and right into their couple pictures.

With two super handy bridesmaids to help, we went all around the Banana Factory property, capturing these two in the scenery.  You couldn’t ask for a more photogenic couple, could you?  And both are so clearly in love with one another in every single photo!  With couple photos checked off our lists, we all headed inside to prepare for the party’s entrance.  First dance and father daughter dance commenced, followed by all guests joining in on the dancing festivities.  There were some winning dance moves by some for sure, and I caught a butt grab or two 😉

The best man and maid of honor stood up and toasted the couple in two sweet speeches. Glasses were raised and clinked, while guests blew on noisemakers to signal that the couple should kiss!  The bride’s father followed up with a thank you speech as guests were then asked to make their way to the dance floor for the garter and bouquet toss.  There were some awesome dive bombs from both the men and women for these and the reapplication of the garter left the room in stitches!  A touching ‘longest married couple’ dance began and the winner’s were presented with a plaque as they gave marriage advice to the newlyweds.  Cake was cut (and smashed in faces) and guests were served gelato and tons of yummy homemade cookies before we headed out for some lovely night photos.  These two rocked it, even though it was raining outside.  They win some of my favorite photos ever!  Just look at how in love these two are!  The night wrapped up and I headed out, but not before exchanging some hugs and congrats.  So three cheers for this lovely couple and to many, many more years of happiness.  Now enjoy, Kayla and Matt’s wedding:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photography and writing by:

Alysha Yoder Photography

(b) www.alyshayoderphotoblog.com (w) www.alyshayoderphoto.com

(e) alyshayoderphoto@yahoo.com (p) 610.762.7810

Venue: The Banana Factory

Flowers: Flower Essence of Easton, PA

As well as the expertise of Aunt Shelli and bridesmaid Melissa.

Cake And Catering : Simply Smooth of Allentown, PA

DJ:  Laser DJ of Bethlehem, PA

 

Rachel and Josh Wedding – 4.30.17

A Sunday brunch wedding with a doughnut tower, spin art, piñata, and lego place holders! Yesss!! It’s not every day I get to shoot a wedding as awesomely unique as Rachel and Josh’s wedding!  These two certainly had some wonderfully unorthodox components to their wedding day.  The day started off with these two getting ready in their perspective corners of the lovely Stone Mill Inn.

Let me tell you, an awesome set of bridesmaids and groomsman surrounded these two. Just picture four groomsman all getting knives as party gifts. Now picture posing them with said knives.  It was awesome!  They even pretended to do a little barber work on the groom!

Guests then began to arrive and file into their seats for the ceremony!  As the party walked to the altar, a string quartet (missing one member, who happened to be the bride’s mom!). The bride’s parents walked her down the aisle as the grinning groom looked on.  The ceremony began, and was being performed by the groom’s sister.  It was lovely!  And then, after some heartfelt personally written vows, these two donned full body smocks and began to do a unity spin art.  Not only was that awesomely unique, but the groom himself built the spin art machine! Talk about being a handy-man to have around!

The ceremony ended with a ring exchange, lovely kiss, and everyone exited to be led into family and couple photos. I mean seriously though, could you ask for a more beautiful place to do wedding photos?  The estates at the Stone Mill Inn were just stunning.  I think the couple’s photos look like they are in a woodland fairy tale.  Those wooded areas are the places wedding photographer’s dream about for couples photos! It also helps when you have a couple so plainly in love that it shines through in their photos!

Following a lovely brunch cocktail hour (with mimosas, of course!), everyone headed into the reception area, grabbing their Legos place cards as they went.  The guests certainly enjoyed those, as much as the bride and groom enjoyed putting them all together!  The groom’s best man introduced the couple and they danced their first dance as husband and wife.  Speeches were had, guests were greeted and thanked, and an epic doughnut wedding dessert tower was cut!  The groom had a special dance with his mom before everyone headed outside to SMASH A PINATA, of course!  Guests took turns spinning and swinging until finally the piñata was obliterated!  Guests scrabbled with their candy gift bags to get some tasty treats.  The day slowly came to an end as everyone posed for photos, said their goodbyes, and exchanged hugs and well wishes. There was even a guest cheerleader pyramid at one point.  These were some great people, guests, and a couple to spend the day with!  So here’s to many more years to this fun couple! And without further ado, Rachel and Josh’s wedding:

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Photography and writing by:

Alysha Yoder Photography

(b) www.alyshayoderphotoblog.com (w) www.alyshayoderphoto.com

(e) alyshayoderphoto@yahoo.com (p) 610.762.7810

Venue and Catering: The Stone Mill Inn

Flowers:  Moonchild Floral Designs

Doughnut Cake: Centercut Doughnuts

Nish and Hamza Wedding – 4.21.17

Take an elegant wedding with a modern twist, add in a wonderful couple, lots of bright colors, and a stunning venue and you have Nish and Hamza’s wedding!  A wedding for the photo books for sure!  Not only did I have a great couple, but it was held at the beautiful venue, The Waterfall.  The Waterfall, decked out in purples, golds, and reds, with fresh flowers draped throughout, two exquisite stages, and dreamy outdoor spaces for photos provided a lovely backdrop for their big day!

Nish was surrounded by her closest friends and family throughout the day.  Her two aunts, who are like second moms to her, flew in from India to share in the celebration with her!  You could tell by all their love and support throughout her day that Nish is certainly cherished by all who know her!

These two lovely people came together to create a truly memorable wedding day!  They have quite the back story too!  While both vacationing in Florida, fate collided and these two met! Nish went back home to Pennsylvania and Hamza went back home to Texas.  These two continued to talk and spent a year flying back and forth between the states to see each other!  Soon after, it was clear that these two were meant to be!  Hamza came with his family to formally ask for Nish’s hand in marriage!  Nish accepted and they had a traditional formal engagement.  This leads up to their beautiful wedding day!

Following the lovely traditional ceremony, everyone gathered for photos, while guests sipped on drinks and enjoyed appetizers. With Grecian columns, fountains, and waterfalls, there were certainly TONS of great photo opportunities.  The couple was then led to the reception area, where they were formally introduced and shared their first dance as husband and wife.  The maid of honor, Valerie, gave a beautiful speech, to be followed by professional dancers preforming for the couple and their guests.

Dinner was served shortly after as guests wandered up to take photos with the couple on stage, and others headed to the photo booth.  Once everyone had their fill of all the delicious food, the couple headed to center stage to cut the cake!  The DJ began the music, and the dancing began!  Everyone headed to the dance floor to dance the night away! I snuck away with the couple to take some night shots (which ended up being some of my favorite shots of the night!). As guests slowly began to call it a night, the couple was presented with gifts, adorned with flowers blessed by their family, and the couple and groom’s family headed out for the night in the luxury car waiting for them.  A stunning end to a beautiful day!  So without further ado, Nish and Hamza’s wedding!  Congrats to the happy couple!

Photography and writing by:

Alysha Yoder Photography

(b) www.alyshayoderphotoblog.com (w) www.alyshayoderphoto.com

(e) alyshayoderphoto@yahoo.com (p) 610.762.7810

Venue: The Waterfall

DJ: DJ Ravi Jackson

Flowers:  

Bouquets  Patel Flowers 

Sweetheart Table and Sign-in TableRhoads Garden

Cake: Isgro Pasteries

Decorator: Wedding Design New Jersey

Catering: Palace of Asia

 

Nicole & Jim Wedding – 12.17.16

It’s not every day that one of your best friends gets married.  It’s also not every day that you have the honor of photographing their wedding.  But this is exactly what happened with Nicole and Jim’s wedding!  First, let me say, that I love these two to death and this wedding has been a long time in the making.  I’ve known Nik since I was young.. like… awkward brace face, acne, middle school young.  We’ve been through a lot together, from breakups and heartache, to becoming coworkers, to being roomies who share a love of Taco Bell and pizza.  I have so many memories with this lady and I’m so happy for her in her marriage to Jim.  It was hard walking in at the beginning of their wedding day and NOT crying when I first saw her… and that’s saying something as I’m not a cryer.

But seriously, could you ask for a more wonderful person both inside and out? Nik is truly the bestest best friend a person could ask for (and Jim’s not so bad himself either!).  Not only did she make a stunning bride, but she made almost every single decoration!  She even hand wrapped and wax sealed all the favors for the guests!  She was a serious DIY warrior for this winter wedding, working into the wee hours of work nights to pull it all together.  There were so many wonderful touches placed throughout their wedding, from the HUGE Christmas ball wreath Nik made to the stunning centerpieces. Wyndridge Farms and Winery could not have been a more lovely venue for this winter wonderland wedding.  Not only was the barn a beautiful place to get married, but the staff made the whole day flow wonderfully.  From start to finish, this was a magical wedding to shoot.

When I arrived and valiantly composed myself to avoid tearing up, all the ladies and gentleman were getting ready in two separate rooms downstairs.   Everyone looked stunning.  The red colors, lights, and wreaths everywhere certainly emulated the holiday spirit.  Now the day was a bit of an ugly one weather-wise. It had iced and snowed overnight, so roads were a little hairy and I gracefully glided on concrete more then once trying to photograph shoes and flowers.  But it definitely helped to give the photos a little “White Christmas feel.”  I only wish it had been snowing big fat snowflakes when we were doing some couple shots, but a photographer’s dreams can not always be met, haha!

The morning went off smoothly with hugs and greetings to be had with all family members.  Nik’s mom and mother in law helped her get in her dress, while bridesmaids helped button her up.  The dress was stunning!  A flowing, strapless dress, with a gold highlighted waistline, and a sweetheart neckline, it was beautiful!  Nik looked incredible and again…. photographer waterworks threatened to occur. The bridesmaids all gathered around to ooo and aww, and I headed over to the groom’s room to see the gift exchange of sports themed shoes.  Not as amazing as Nik’s sparkly Christian Louboutin stilettos, but hey, can you tell these two share a love of shoes too?

And with that, the ceremony was officially ready to begin!  Now, as many of you may or may not know, my mom and I have actually ‘worked’ a few weddings together.  She is a Dr. Rev. and occasionally, when the stars align, we actually get to work together.  She marries them and I shoot them!  All we need is a caterer and a venue and we could be full service organization haha! My mom led in the groomsman, to be followed by the bridesmaids, and then Nik and her dad.  The moment Nik walked down the aisle and Jim saw her was one of those moments that make a wedding.  So many happy emotions and just a truly beautiful moment to witness.  This was it!  Game time.  The ceremony went off swimmingly and ended with two happily married people grinning at each other as they walked down the aisle for the first time as husband and wife.

The rest of the night flowed by.  Dances were had, speeches were given, and laughs were exchanged.  One of my favorite moments was when Jim gave a little speech, thanking everyone and Nik for everything they had done to make their wedding day so special.  And then he said, “Everyone kept asking me today if I was nervous, and I can honestly say, I am not, because I have never been so sure of anything in my life.  I am so happy to be married to Nicole.”  And that folks, is true, happy, butterflies in the stomach, love.

The rest of the night was filled with dancing and a LOT of it.  This was a dancing crowd!  Everyone was out on the dance floor at least once.  Even grandma was a dancing machine! Garter and bouquet were tossed (and there were battles for both)!  And the night wrapped up with a lovely dollar dance.  Nicole’s dad was the last to dance with both of them and that was a precious little moment.  All in all a truly wonderful wedding. I couldn’t be happier for these two and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them!  I wish you two nothing but the best!  So with lots of love, I give you Nik and Jim’s wedding.

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Photography and writing by:

Alysha Yoder Photography

(b) www.alyshayoderphotoblog.com (w) www.alyshayoderphoto.com

(e) alyshayoderphoto@yahoo.com (p) 610.762.7810

Venue and Catering: Wyndridge Farms and Winery

DJ: Klock Entertainment – Josh Wagner

Flowers:  Wildflower

Cake: The Couture Cakery

Videography: JKM Productions

A Food Tour of Denver

I do a lot of travel (if the blog didn’t give thhatt away).  I have been to a lot of cities both in the country and out of the country.  Denver, in all it’s wonderfulness, has now made the top of my lists.  From the start of my trip to finish, it was just an amazing place to be.  If you read my last blog post, I was down in Denver to spend a long weekend with my sister and celebrate our birthdays.  Also, one of her residency interviews was here buutttt I mean sister’s birthday weekend is definitely the most important thing here haha!
From the moment I arrived in Denver, I felt at home.  The place is filled with art, food, photographic landscapes, and all around pretty wonderful people.  It has a bit of that Southern Charm but with that crunchy granola, ‘we care about what we put in out bodies’ vibe, plus, it’s a super friendly dog city. These were my people!  And this was my foodie mecca!
Kate and I crammed as much as we could in the four days we were there.  I’m sharing mostly our favorite adventures and highlights but there was so much more we enjoyed that I’m not sharing. If you can go there, do!  You won’t be disappointed.  Especially if you’re a foodie.  Or a hiker.  Or a photographer.  Or you really enjoy delicious fresh mountain spring water.  There’s a little something for everyone here!
After a little debate, coming in at the top of our Denver adventure was a food walking tour with Taste of Denver.  This is a fun, locally owned business, run by sisters Lindsay and Chemae.  Not only were we lucky enough to get Chemae, as our wonderful guide, but we also were the only two on the tour that day.  Seriously, that never happens!  It was a one on one experience and Chemae and all the restaurants we visited made it truly a wonderful experience.
We started our day by arriving in Downtown Denver and meeting Chamae at Milk and Honey.  It’s an upscale restaurant, hidden between two shops.  You walk through their entrance and it opens up into a beautiful courtyard (which I’d love to visit in Spring and Summer).  The inside is stunning and the food was delicious! We got to sample Blistered Shishito Peppers, Balsamic Glazed Ribs, and House Cut Fries.  The balsamic glaze was so good I was licking my fingers!  The bar was also nice enough to let me shoot some of the drinks they were making which were just stunning.