Matt and Renee have one of the coolest introduction stories I’ve heard. It’s partly a mutual friend blind date setup, partly internet dating algorithm, and totally divine intervention. According to Renee’s words, they actually met through Christian mingle, but many months before that, her friend Kristin called her and told her she needed to check out this guy...well, long story short… without even knowing it, the same guy she was talking to on Christian mingle (and about to meet) was the same guy Kristin called her about! They met right outside Tomato Pie Cafe and walked around our lovely small town of Lititz. And the rest is history.
I’ve actually known Renee pretty much my whole life, as our families have been friends from church for as long as I can remember. So when I found out that she had met her Mr. Right, I was so happy for her. And then when I heard they got engaged, I was super excited for them. And THEN, when she contacted me asking me to photograph their wedding, I was over the moon! When we did their engagement session, I got to meet Matt and get to know him a bit. And after talking to him and seeing the two of them together, it was obvious that he is simply perfect for Renee.
The day of their wedding arrived and Renee was all smiles and cool as a cucumber. The weather was looking beautiful and everything was in place. The ceremony was at the beautiful First United Methodist Church in Ephrata, where Matt has attended for years. And the reception took place at Fair Acres Farm, which is owned by Renee’s friends, Tim & Laura Shultz. Fun tidbit, this gorgeous place sits along a country road that I drive all the time, so I’ve passed it many times and had no idea that this stunning venue was sitting there, only 10 minutes from my home!
It was such a pleasure to witness Matt and Renee’s beautiful wedding. We loved being able to capture all the special moments of their day, from the bridal party portraits (including a special four-legged friend), to the emotional ceremony, to the gorgeous outdoor reception, and all the lovely details in between. Enjoy my favorites from their beautiful fall wedding!!
One of Renee’s requests when we talked about her wedding photography was that we take some pictures with her four-legged buddy, Tristan. He is one of her friend’s horses that Renee’s been riding for a long time, and we joked that Tristan was really her first love. That is, until Matt came along. So of course, we needed to include this sweet guy in some pictures on this special day! One thing I didn’t realize though, was how much horses like fresh flowers. As you can see below, he tried to grab a little snack. Fortunately, Renee’s quick reflexes saved her bouquet from getting devoured.
Meanwhile, Matt and the guys were getting ready and hanging out in the church game room, eating leftover pizza, joking about old times, and whatever else guys do while waiting for the ceremony to begin. ;) But they did get to sneak outside for a few pictures after the girls went back inside the church, and Matt got to test out the classic Corvette Stingray that he and Renee would ride from the ceremony to the reception venue.
The ceremony opened with Matt’s string quartet playing the prelude music as the guests were being seated. I give him major props because I’m sure he was probably a bit anxious leading up to the big reveal of his beautiful bride, but he appeared calm and confident as he showed off his skill on the strings. He kept his composure the whole time up until the processional where Renee’s dad walked her down the aisle. Just looking at his face as he watched his stunning bride approach was enough to make me get choked up too. And as if that wasn’t emotional enough, he also picked up his guitar for a special song where he sang How Great Thou Art, one of his and Renee’s favorite hymns. He said at the beginning that he wasn’t sure if he would make it through the whole song without getting choked up, and I’m not sure how he did it, but he made it through! I, on the other hand, was feeling all blubbery, trying to hold back the tears as he sang and Renee watched on. The music during weddings gets me every time. :)
Once we arrived at the reception venue, we took advantage of the gorgeous glow of sunshine for some golden hour portraits. The timeline was tight, and we had limited daylight, but we still managed to get some lovely portraits of this beautiful couple, followed by cocktail hour with a unique toast setup.
Their outdoor reception was simply stunning with string lights overhead and the gorgeous head table positioned so that the sun would set behind them. And my, what a sunset it was! It was such a fun reception, with delicious food, a hilarious bride and groom shoe game, and lots of laughs on the dance floor. Oh, and I found out that Matt’s about as big of a Stevie Wonder fan as I am, which makes him even cooler. :)
Matt and Renee, thank you again for having us capture your beautiful wedding, we had so much fun, and we wish you all the best!!
Reception Venue | Fair Acres Farm
Dress Store | Bella Rose Bridal
Dress Designer | Morilee
Groom and Groomsmen Attire | Central PA Tuxedo
Florist | Jen Salvador
Planner | Laura Schultz
Catering | Plum Street Gourmet
View their engagement session Here!