When I first started working with Jen + Chris last year, I knew their wedding would be one I’d remember forever. Not only are they two of the most wonderful people, but their wedding day faced some unusual challenges, namely the Coronavirus pandemic. These two didn’t let that spoil their wedding at The Lodges at Gettysburg though!
Thankfully, Jen + Chris’s big day occurred before recommendations to cancel or postpone large events, including weddings. However, the current health crisis did mean that Jen’s grandparents were unable to make their wedding. While heartbreaking, Jen’s cousin Angie surprised her with a locket to pin to her wooden flower bouquet that included pictures of her grandparents. Even though they couldn’t be there in person, Jen was able to carry them with her all day. This small but thoughtful gesture meant the world to her.
After sharing endless laughs with their wedding parties while getting ready, it was time for Jen + Chris’s first look. I recommend a first look to all my #JFcouples and it’s one of my favorite moments to capture on your wedding day. With The Lodges beautiful natural stone building in the background, Chris started to get teary-eyed the moment he knew Jen was behind him. It was one of the sweetest moments from their day.
From Jen: The first of my favorite moments was the First Look – even though I had to talk him into it as we were planning, I was so grateful that we did it. It felt like one of just a few moments of the day that we were pretty much alone. A moment to breathe, a moment to see what we had worked so hard to put together, and the moment that almost was delayed due to coronavirus. It really was a moment that told me, if we got through everything that week – all the changes in the world, all the stress, the obstacles – as a team – then we’ve got this!
My second was watching Chris actually hit the dance floor – to watch him really let go and enjoy himself with me and his friends.
Since the wedding, instead of “Day 2 of Quarantine” or “Day 2 of Corona Virus” he’s been leaving me sweet notes about the wedding and life in general. I truly am a lucky woman. I have never had someone who has ever made me feel so truly loved, important and beautiful. He’s truly my partner and without a doubt – my better half.
One of the benefits of doing a first look is getting to take the majority of your wedding pictures pre-ceremony. This allows for more celebration time with friends and family during your reception. With unseasonably warm temperatures, we were able to capture most of Jen + Chris’s pictures outdoors taking advantage of The Lodges’ beautiful property. Chris even remembered what a big fan of tall, wispy grass I am from their engagement session and knew we’d be capturing some of their photos in the field as soon as he saw it!
While Jen + Chris’s two dogs made a guest appearance during their engagement pictures, they decided to leave their fur babies at home for the big day. However, their pups were still represented at the wedding as their two nephews carried stuffed dogs that looked just like their real-life counterparts. These little details from their day are one of the cutest and most unique I’ve ever seen!
After honoring their moms with roses during the ceremony and exchanging ‘I Do’s’, it was time to celebrate the night away. Chris could not stop smiling at Jen the entire day and his pure joy rubbed off on everyone around him.
From Chris: To describe Jen, I’d use confident, caring, and beautiful. She’s so organized that she had a wedding binder filled with ideas to plan our wedding. Jen found all these little items that I loved. I loved our wooden flowers. They are now flowers we can keep and our guests could keep the centerpiece flowers. Jen’s bouquet is now a nice display in our house that will last forever like our love.
The whole wedding ceremony and reception were great. It’s really hard to pick just one. I was so against the first look because I felt it was bad luck. I’m glad Jen convinced me to get the first look photographs. The first look got the nerves out by being able to see her and it let me hold it together better when she made her entrance.
One of Jen’s attention to detail moments was including our dogs in a creative way since ours, mainly Scout, are a little hyper and excitable. Since we couldn’t have the dogs join us, Jen got stuffed animals that looked like Remi and Scout. Our nephews, the ring bearers, carried the stuffed animals when they walked down the aisle. I’m not sure how many people noticed but it was a special moment to me.
A co-worker told me to enjoy every moment because the evening flies by. He was 100% right. The night went so fast. Enjoy every moment!
I love that Jen and I are moving forward with our lives together now. I love wearing my ring that represents my commitment to Jen. I love that things are settling back into the normal now too! All the planning is over and it feels like we can start looking ahead.
I’m so glad that we got married before more restrictions were set in place even though we had to postpone our honeymoon to Jamaica. The COVID-19 virus definitely worried us leading into our wedding day. Everything was changing and we didn’t know if we would be able to have our wedding. We, unfortunately, had 10 people who couldn’t travel due to the virus. It will be something we can tell our kids about how we got married right before the pandemic shut down parts of the USA.
Jen + Chris, thank you for choosing me to capture your beautiful day. The weather could not have been more perfect and your smiles more contagious. It was an honor to celebrate your love with you and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you both!
Vendor Shoutouts from Chris!
Jamie and Jen (our second photographer) were great. I knew you two were running around getting the best pictures but you did it in a way that it wasn’t a distraction. I felt like you blended in the crowd as we went through each step of the ceremony and reception.
You were there when people got group pictures too! I’m so glad you were getting those photographs as people tried to do phone pictures. They’ll have some better quality photographs when you publish them.
The pictures from our “Sneak Peek” are amazing and I cannot wait for the rest. Jamie, you had a great timeline for us. Your timeline and Rachel Zajac’s, the officiant, were helpful for me to review one last time while I was waiting on the wedding day.
Rachel Zajac made the ceremony smooth and gave us the great idea of having our families sit on opposite sides so my family would see my face and Jen’s family could see her face. I’m so glad she recommended those seating arrangements because it was a great idea. I’d highly recommend using it to anyone with an upcoming wedding.
The Lodges of Gettysburg and our coordinator Beth made our venue perfect. I never had to worry about the venue making everything we asked for happen. The food was amazing, cabins on-site were great, and the bar stayed open after the ceremony for the party to continue. It was the perfect place for us.
Thank you so much!
Photographer | Jamie Fisher Collective
Venue | The Lodges at Gettysburg
Florist | Stella Designs Shop
Cake | Stone House Cakery
Make-up Artist | Gettysburg Day Spa
Hair Stylist | Alter Ego Salon
Bridesmaid Dresses | David’s Bridal
Tuxes | Men’s Wearhouse
Uplighting | Great Scott Productions
Officiant | Ceremony by Rachael Zajac