Lara + Patrick’s Mount Hope Estate wedding was long time coming! But not due to Covid, due to how many times these two must have crossed paths in the past 15 years. Yes, roughly 15 years!
Lara and I go way back to Penn State. We were a part of the same group of friends and thankfully have kept in touch over those years. Patrick is also a Penn State alumni, who was on main campus the same years as us. Lara even knew Patrick’s roommate – with a campus of 40,000 undergraduate students the possibility of their paths crossing so closely is low. But Lara said she did remember Patrick from a friend’s party but they didn’t really meet and they went their separate ways.
Enter online dating! The two of them matched and she “instantly noticed his Jeep in the background of a photo and his Penn State alumnus status.” Even though it was during Covid they went out for dinner. As he was walking her to her bright green Jeep she noticed that it had been “ducked,” meaning that someone else with a Jeep had left a yellow rubber duck on her windshield – a good sign! It was of course from Patrick and his bright green Jeep. And in case all of that wasn’t all serendipitous, they both work at Hershey Medical Center. She’s a nurse in pediatrics and he’s a pharmacist. Lara says she’s sure she sent medication orders to him in all the years they’ve both worked there.
That is why I say their wedding has been a long time coming!
Lara + Patrick’s Mount Hope Estate wedding in November was a cold one. I know it’s cheesy, but these two really warmed up the whole day in so many ways. They were both so happy, especially once they saw each other at the ceremony. They just wanted everyone to share in their joy and it really did spread to all their guests. During a more barren time of year they chose teal, burgundy, and pinks to add color and warmth to their day. Plus the actual grounds of Mount Hope has a unique setting with the estate, winery, brewery, and the PA Renaissance Faire ground so there were plenty of areas to choose from that had full backgrounds and not just barren trees.
I knew with Lara’s DIY skills and her creativity that they were going to have great details! And she did not disappoint!
Patrick and Lara were attracted to Mount Hope because of the castle-like and other “fantasy” details on the grounds. Lara likes Harry Potter so she had a couple “nods” to it, like the gold seal, their one ring box, and the castle towers around the faire grounds.
Lara sent me texts throughout their engagement of different things she was buying or making. It was fun to see it all come together. She texted me two dress pictures when she was trying on dresses and I picked this one. Not that I convinced her to buy this dress, but I really do love being a part of the planning process!
When Lara told me that she and her mother were making all the flowers for the wedding I was a little skeptical. I’ve seen enough silk flowers at weddings to know they’re not like the real thing. But they took the time to make each of these “wood flowers” and arranged them with other dried greenery so that each piece was beautiful. I can only imagine how much work they were, but now they get to keep all the flowers and not worry about drying them.
Getting Lara dressed turned out to be all bridesmaids’ hands on deck since we were running a little behind. But I love that now she has a moment with each lady as they helped her get ready to get married.
Do you notice anything different with the wedding invitation on the left? Patrick’s parents are from Poland and so they sent some invitations in Polish to their family.
Lara and Patrick decided not to see each other before the ceremony, but Lara wanted to have a first look with her father.
Since Lara + Patrick didn’t see each other before the ceremony we had to be strategic and try to get as many portraits with Lara and her side of the family and bridesmaids.
Ben helped by 2nd photographing the wedding so he went to be with Patrick and capture him getting ready.
After we finished the portraits with Lara we hid her and strategically brought out Patrick and his family and groomsmen for their portraits.
I loved their wedding programs!
Lara had really wanted an outside wedding all along even though it was in November. One of the reasons she wanted a Mount Hope Estate wedding was because of all the locations that she could have a ceremony. She knew it was going to be cold for everyone, but Patrick, the bridal party, and their families encouraged them to go for the wedding ceremony they wanted. So outside it was! They texted the guests to bring their coats and had blankets which were all used.
Lara’s nephew carried a cute wood box that had a Jeep and outdoor image on it. (The image was also used on their favors!) He did not carry the actual rings, but Lara’s “cheap CVS ring” was included. (The heart ring on the burgundy flower.) Early on when Lara + Patrick were dating they were doing some shopping and Lara made a comment about the cheap rings that are sold at CVS. Patrick made a special note that if he did ever propose he would propose with one of those cheap rings as a joke.
As Lara says when Patrick proposed, “Through the tears I looked at the ring he put on my finger. And I tried to understand how he picked out such an ugly ring. It was so different from what we had looked at together. But I was so happy that I just accepted it!! As we drove home I called my mom and sister and told them the good news! All the while not believing that I had to wear this ugly ring for the rest of my life! Before we got home he [Patrick] cracked, and admitted it was a joke ring, but the proposal was real! He had the real ring waiting for me at home… It was beautiful! I was just so excited, ugly ring or not!!”
Lara’s father not only walked her down the aisle but also preformed the ceremony and married them!
Off in the distance Lara + Patrick’s green Jeeps watched over the ceremony.
Ben and I made Lara + Patrick these wedding ducks so I could take pictures with their rings and then “duck” their Jeeps. Although then I was too afraid they’d not see them on the windows and they would get lost so just I gave them to her.
Married!! Mr. and Mrs. Gut!
After the ceremony we had limited time to get all the family and bridal party portraits with Lara + Patrick, and Lara + Patrick’s portraits. It was cocktail hour and the sun was setting early.
If you have a cathedral length veil we will play with it in pictures! 🙂
Lara + Patrick had already got capes for the two of them, but Lara was smart and got her bridesmaids faux fur shawls. Since it was so cold I tried not to keep anyone outside more than 30 minutes, but the shawls and capes really helped. Plus I love how the shawls and cape looked with the dresses.
Lara + Patrick looked like a winter queen and king in their capes.
I love this picture and am thoroughly impressed by Lara’s dip!
Lara’s dad brought his vintage truck that he had refurbished to the venue so Lara + Patrick could get some portraits with it. They even had signs made for the sides of the truck that said Congratulations Lara + Patrick.
This is one of my more creative photographs for the day that I’m pretty proud of.
When we got to the reception there was so much more that Lara had DIY’d. Lara and her sister made all of the signs that were around the venue.
Lara’s uncle cut out the Mr. & Mrs. letters and her dad cut out all the live edge wood discs for each table. Plus Lara and her mom made even more wood florals for each table and the reception.
One of the things Patrick was most excited for, besides seeing Lara walk down the aisle, was the dancing. And they danced!
There was a dance off between Patrick and his mother.
And a Conga line up the stairs to the seated part of the reception.
Side note, Lara’s older sister, Sara, is also a past bride of mine!
I loved the light-up flower crowns that Lara got for the dancing!
Lara + Patrick, it was such a joy to capture your big day! I loved being a part of everything that day and seeing all your plans come together. I hope you are enjoying settling into your life as husband and wife!
A few behind the scenes because John the videographer from Unite Creative Company is a friend of all ours and it was fun working with him! It just really felt like being with friends all day, not work 🙂
MOUNT HOPE ESTATE WEDDING VENDORS:
BRIDAL SHOES | Badgley Mischka
BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES | Azazie
HAIR & MAKEUP | Haven Hair Salon – Rudy & Zeidy
GROOM ATTIRE | Men’s Wearhouse
GROOM SALON STYLIST | A Razored Edge – Liz Keller-Gates
VENUE | Mount Hope Estate & Winery
DAY OF WEDDING COORDINATOR | Sapphire Road Weddings – Jenn Creighton
PHOTOGRAPHER | Cassady K Photography
VIDEOGRAPHER | Unite Creative Company
CAKE | Rosie’s Creative Cakes
CAKE TOPPER | The Confetti Home
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