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Philadelphia Family Photography: The Reddy Family

Do you hear the crickets? Yea, I know it has been a lot of silence around these parts. GUILTY AS CHARGED. But, rather than harping on that, let’s talk about what fun I have to share instead:

Getting ready to pack their bags for Chicago, the Reddy family contacted me for some portraits capturing the essence of Philadelphia before they left. And, what says Philly more than the art museum!? We picked a June morning and were fortunate with no rain amidst weeks of thunderstorms [what was that, by the way!?].

Though, I must admit, it was sweltering in the 90s, even at 10AM. So, kudos to them for making it look easy. I assure you: I was a much, much sweatier mess than they were!

 

Old Mill Wedding: Halle & Dave

 

We worried about rain all week long, e-mailing back and forth about a tentative Plan B. But on the day of, as the dark clouds passed above, we completely and totally lucked out and thanked our lucky stars… because my favorite part about The Old Mill is the amazing grounds to shoot on! Halle & Dave had a gorgeous gray & blush wedding with amazing details planned and carefully crafted by Halle. Oh yea, and let’s not forget one of my favorite “first kiss” moments ever.

Enjoy the images! xo.

 

Alyssa Andrew - Love all of the details from the YAY flags to the flowers, & what a gorgeous venue!April 3, 2013 – 10:32 AM

TGA - YOU ROCKED THIS OUT! Totally helps that she’s DROP DEAD gorgeous and dress/hair is styled to perfection. BOSS!April 8, 2013 – 9:14 PM

Cait - What a gorgeous venue! And a PERFECT couple! This is just stunning Amanda – swoon-worthy :)April 11, 2013 – 3:58 PM

Julia - SUCH beautiful photos!! what a gorgeous weddingApril 21, 2013 – 8:45 PM

Melissa DiStefano - Awesometastical! Seriously, feel like I was there. Funnest.Night.Ever! You captured the awesomeness perfectly!May 23, 2013 – 1:27 PM

DreamDay Invitations - What a great wedding, there are so many designs and photos that made me go “Wow”! I love the setting, its so natural, I figured that was the gist of the wedding theme here, that you can see in the wedding invitations/stationery too. The table settings, decor and the cake toppers (especially! So cute) are delightful. Beautiful and fun! What a wedding should be! Congrats to Halle and Dave!June 13, 2013 – 3:12 AM

Brisbane Wedding Stationery - Pretty! I thought all the photos were beautiful. The greatest moments all captured! Wow!April 8, 2014 – 5:23 AM

Tequilas Restaurant Wedding: Lisa & Juan

I have been writing and re-writing this post over and over again in my head for the last week. I’ve said it before but never meant it as much as I do now: I truly don’t know where to begin. You see, telling Lisa & Juan’s story perfectly is really important to me. And, though I may not do a perfect job at it, the best I can do is try.

As Father Sam said in his homily at their ceremony, Lisa & Juan’s tale could truly be a Lifetime movie. So, please bear with me as I attempt to recount the details. And, though this might be text-heavy, I assure you that you will want to read the whole thing. The story begins about 2.5 decades ago, when Lisa was a child. At age 10, she was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma. After a year of chemo, radiation, and an eventual bone marrow transplant, she miraculously survived. Nine years later, she was in nursing school at West Chester University when she was diagnosed again. This time with osteosarcoma of the right leg; it had to be removed. As Lisa said herself, “Friday nights, while most students went out to parties, [she] would receive [her] own cocktail of chemo in the dorms.”

After recovering and staying in school, she went on a trip with her church group to volunteer at an orphanage in Mexico. And while she was there, she just so happened to meet the love of her life, Juan. He had been a former orphan at the home and, as an adult, returned there to help mentor the orphan boys still in the program. It’s no surprise she was able to steal his heart with her stunning blue eyes and eventually convince him to move to Philadelphia. Despite all the roadblocks, Lisa stayed in school and went on to graduate  – committed to dedicating her life to children of cancer. She went on to become a pediatric nurse at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) – the same place she was treated as a child.

Several years later, at age 32, she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer from the TBI (or total body radiation) she received when she was 10. Again, she survives. Somewhere in there (I’m not sure of the year), she finds out she’s PREGNANT, though she was told that she was not physically capable of becoming pregnant from all the radiation she’s received over the years. Their joy over the miracle of their child doesn’t last long, however, when she is rushed to the emergency room finding out her uterus has burst. Their son, Rylan Cruz, didn’t make it.

Today, at age 38, she was diagnosed with either metastatic pancreatic cancer or metastatic cholangiocarcinoma (doctors still aren’t sure which). After 15 years together, and since it was always in their plans to eventually wed, Juan decided to move things up and asked her soon thereafter to be his wife (she said yes, by the way!). And so, in two weeks, they planned one of the sweetest, most thoughtful days I’ve been lucky enough to capture. Make sure to read the text between the images for explanation of all the little details from the day.

Lisa & Juan, thank you for allowing and trusting me to capture such a special day in your lives together and to share your story. No words can describe what an honor it has been!

This blanket is a family heirloom from Lisa’s grandmother’s wedding. They traveled by boat to the US many years ago and, allowed only 2 pieces of luggage, she brought this along as one of their pieces. So, it only made sense that Lisa & Juan have some images in front of it as well. Don’t you love the colors? By complete coincidence it matched their wedding colors perfectly!

And then it was on to the Waterworks!

After portraits, we headed to the nearby (stunning!) St. Francis Xavier Church.

During their vows, Lisa surprised Juan and said hers in Spanish as a tribute to his heritage and where they met. So thoughtful!

Oh yea, did I forget to mention that they had a GOSPEL CHOIR? So cool!

Lisa’s bridesmaids were her four sisters. I loved how intimate and special this made it.

Lisa also surprised Juan with the adorable cans-on-car attachment. I think we were all quite impressed by the noise they made AND how well they held up across town. Such a cute little detail.

And then it was party time – we headed over to the reception at Tequilas Restaurant, to be greeted by a MARIACHI BAND. See, I told you this day was full of amazing details!

Please go see Lisa’s blog for yourself – Little Lisa Lollipop – for more about her story, her journey, and her updates. Also, I’d be remiss not to point out the “tip jar” in the upper right of her blog page. She is tithing 10% to Father Sam (the officiant who married her and who has been a major influence in her life) and giving 25% right back to CHOP.

Lastly, so many of these vendors and professionals provided their services at a rush and/or at no charge, and for that I cannot say enough. I couldn’t have been more impressed with every aspect of the day – in particular Tequilas Restaurant (it’s amazing and if you live in the area you simply must go!), Mariachi Flores (these guys were so talented and so full of energy – the perfect way to kick off a party!), and Jeff & Lauren from 55 Pictures (a total pleasure to be around). But truly, each and every one of these people deserve applause for contributing to such a perfect event.

Ceremony Venue: St. Francis Xavier Church
Officiant: Father Sam
Reception Venue: Tequilas Restaurant
Videography: 55 Pictures (Jeff & Lauren)
Wedding Coordinator: Erin Lavelle
Florist: Flowers & Co. (Nadine & Katy)
Hair & Makeup: Beautiful Brides Philly
Nails: Rittenhouse Nails
Tux: Black Tie Philly
Dress: La Bella Moda
Cake: Potitos Bakery
Band: Mariachi Flores
Transportation: Uber Cab

Nicole - Absolutely loved this wedding and their story. Beautiful!April 1, 2013 – 8:29 AM

Tina - Beautiful story, and amazing images! Love this one:)April 1, 2013 – 8:41 AM

Isabel - LOVE that you were able to capture their day so perfectly for them.April 1, 2013 – 3:11 PM

Kelly - That final picture, in particular, is so sweet. Thank you for sharing their story. It’s a reminder to all of us about what is truly important about a wedding – two people who love each other.April 1, 2013 – 3:30 PM

Becki - Really wonderful and touching. Can’t believe their story. They are so lucky to have each other. Just, what a story.April 1, 2013 – 5:52 PM

Becki - Pics are great, of course. I agree: last one is just magical, a TRUE moment in time. Captured. Lisa’s blog is flippin’ awesome. Check out the “scandalous” CHOP picture. Ha!April 1, 2013 – 6:01 PM

Margaret - Thank you so much for sharing these amazing pictures! Their story is truly tear jerking, but Lisa’s fighting spirit will help guide them through this challenge. They are a true definition of what LOVE is. :)April 1, 2013 – 6:16 PM

Jyotsna - Such a touching story.. I am in tears…Pictures are just great Amanda.. Thanks for Sharing. Love.April 2, 2013 – 12:50 AM

Lillian O'Connor - Amazing couple …. Amazing story. I wish them much happiness!!April 2, 2013 – 5:47 PM

Mario Valencia - Hey, carnal muchas felicidades, les auguro abundantes bendiciones, y sobre todo mucha salud. Les deseo lo mejor para siempre. Cuidense muchoApril 3, 2013 – 4:28 PM

Chendo Sibaja - Soy hermano de formación de Jose Juan, nos criamos en la misma Casa Hogar. Conocí a Lisa hace 15 años. Les deseo a los mucha felicidad 😉April 3, 2013 – 6:33 PM

Cait - This story just melted my heart. What an incredible story and a gorgeous day! Truly amazing Amanda!April 11, 2013 – 4:04 PM

Philadelphia Baby Photography: Lucas’s 6-Month Portraits

Ahhh, little Lucas. Absolutely, positively one of the cutest babies I have ever seen and, as if that weren’t enough, he’s so incredibly sweet. Cooperative, never fussy, and loooooves to smile. EVERY PHOTOGRAPHER’S DREAM! You may remember him from his newborn session, or his adorably pregnant momma at her sister-in-law’s wedding. His parents, Laura and Michael, are two of the kindest, warm-hearted, genuine people – and, after this session, I’m going to say they’re pretty darn coordinated when it comes to planning a photoshoot. 😉 It’s the perfect example of how a little pre-planning for your shoot can go a loooong way (one of the 4,927,561 reasons why I love Pinterest).

To start, Lucas donned his Valentine’s outfit (check out the hearts on the knees! OMG)!

He even performed his ever-impressive planks while reading some of his favorite literature.

Or how about him chatting with his friends (Laura and Michael saw this idea on Pinterest… Lucas executed it flawlessly, don’t you think?!)?

But my favorites are these next few… who could resist that giggle!?

Rachel - He is so yummy!! Too gorgeous, Amanda!March 29, 2013 – 9:47 AM

Kelly - omigosh! The tie pictures are just too much!March 29, 2013 – 11:36 AM

Laura - Thanks Amanda we are in love with these pics and your work xoxoMarch 30, 2013 – 11:58 AM

Laura B - Absolutely ADORABLEApril 1, 2013 – 6:04 AM

BONNIE - Amanda, you have outdone yourself, absolutely adorable, Great picsApril 1, 2013 – 11:45 AM

Alyssa Andrew - Oh my goodness look at those gorgeous blue eyes! He is one of the cutest babiesApril 3, 2013 – 10:30 AM

Desmond Hotel Wedding: Brittany & Wilton

It was one of those strange overcast days where the sun would peek out for moments, and then immediately disappear. But, nothing about the weather would damper Brittany & Wilton. Their genuine happiness radiated from them both all day long, making my job easy!

Many years earlier, these two met working at the Desmond Hotel. So, when they decided to tie the knot, it only made sense to do it at the same place where their love began. So, on one lovely July afternoon, Brittany & Wilton made things official and celebrated with their friends and family into the late hours of the warm summer evening. My wish for every couple is that they could be as happy as these two!

Enjoy the images! xo.

Oh yea, this car? Totally belonged to some random couple driving by who stopped to say “congratulations!” Brittany & Wilton responded with “can we borrow your car?” AND THE COUPLE LET US! So, thank you again, random strangers, for your generosity and trust. We loooooved your car. 😉

Fabulous cork placecard holders by Little Pretty Designs on Etsy! See her shop here.

Absolutely loved the reaction from Brittany’s mom and siblings during the father/daughter dance. Isn’t this so sweet?

And, what’s not to love about a bride who can rock her JELLIES. Seriously, how awesome are these?!

Venue/Catering: Desmond Hotel
Florist: Ami Trost (at Desmond); Mary Moyer (for wedding party)
Hair: Dani at Roseann’s Hair Studio
Cake: Eileen Gray at Cake Art Studio
Band: Flamin’ Caucasions Band

Wedding Invitations - What a fantastic wedding. Loving the pop of red. Beautiful!March 28, 2013 – 6:34 AM

Dee Nikolaidis - Soooo very gorgeous !! Love these pics !!March 28, 2013 – 7:30 AM

Becki - Omg, the little blond boy, the b+w in the trolley(?) car, the car story, and the pic of the family during father-daughter dance … solid. So much joy at this wedding!March 29, 2013 – 9:16 PM

Melbourne Invites - Looks like you really had lots of fun during your wedding. The father-daughter dance’s so sweeeet. :)March 18, 2014 – 4:37 AM

Brisbane Invites - I love all the photos featured, especially the photo inside the tram-via.April 8, 2014 – 4:54 AM

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