Denis and Tatiana's love story is one for the ages.
It's one that makes you understand the threads of fate a little better - or maybe even start to believe in them, just a little.
Tatiana is from Pennsylvania, and Denis is from Ireland. Their love story started many miles away, when they were both on separate global backpacking adventures. After traveling together and apart, the eventually landed back in Ireland together and got married right in the midst of COVID. Getting married during the peak of the pandemic was difficult enough, let alone factoring in every aspect of an international wedding (travel, family dynamics, visas, etc.) From their first celebration, which was incredibly intimate, to their second with Denis's extended family in Ireland, to (finally) their third celebration here in Pennsylvania with Tatiana's family, these two made each and every celebration of their love a perfect reflection of their relationship.
I was smiling ear to ear the entire time Denis told me their story. Though they had already held two celebrations, they never had any formal wedding photos taken, and they wanted to have a formal session before seeing Tatiana's family for their "third wedding" (which also doubled as Tatiana's brother's birthday party, and her sister's basic training graduation). They wanted photos outside in nature and I can take no credit for the wonderful location they found near Hamburg, PA.
We met at Lake Luxembourg on a Thursday afternoon in December. The sun was bright, the lake still had ice all over the surface even though it was nearing 50 degrees outside, and we got to play in the sun together for an hour or so before heading to their family gathering.
I love elopements and smaller weddings for many reasons, but the part that always stands out the most is just the level of intimacy that can be incorporated throughout the day. I so enjoy getting to know my couples so closely in these environments, but also getting to know their families. After our time at Lake Luxembourg, we went to Tatiana's uncle's farmhouse to spend time with her family. Her uncle is an architect who specializes in restoring and renovating old farmhouses and stone homes, in particular, and his beautiful property held a rich character and wealth of history that was just tangible. Many stories falling together in this grand cacophony of voices, gathered together in the kitchen. A coming home, to this beautiful farmhouse and to all the people filling it.
They caught up, we played with their dog, and we celebrated her brother's birthday and sister's graduation from basic training all together, with light streaming in the windows and enough sun that it felt like spring.
The light later in the afternoon was some of my favorite I've ever gotten to work with. Winter light is sharp and crisp and cool, and even photographing in such direct light for most of the afternoon I was just so thrilled with all that we were able to create.
Denis & Tatiana, thank you for allowing me to make these images for you. It was such a pleasure getting to know you and your family, and being able to provide you with these memories. I hope this "third wedding" was everything you dreamed it would be.