• Emily Wilkerson

Christmas Tree Farm Intimate Microwedding

Last November, an actor, Bryson, proposed to an actress named Kelsey on a bridge in downtown Lititz Pennsylvania where they'd had their first kiss. When Bryson called me to ask me to photograph the proposal, one of the first things he said about Kelsey was that she loved animals so much that she might actually die of happiness because there are hundreds of ducks that sit on the river under the bridge where he was going to propose. That was my first peek at how lovely and kind-hearted Kelsey was: the kind of woman who dies of happiness if there are too many cute ducks around. Yes, she is as adorable as she sounds.

They planned a wedding in the springtime and even had the lovely privilege of being the first ever couple to get married at Elizabeth Barn Christmas Tree farm! Kelsey had gotten her Christmas trees here her whole life and last Christmas when she was cutting down the tree with Bryson and his family she suddenly realized this was the perfect place ever to get married. How fortunate that this is the first ever year that Elizabeth Barns is functioning as a wedding venue!

Kelsey did a first look with her dad behind the trees then they made their way toward the aisle.

Bryson stood with his back toward Kelsey, chatting with his dad who would be the one to marry them.

Bryson and his dad are quite close.

Here comes the bride!

Bryson stands beside his brother and his dad as he waits for his bride.

Kelsey is one of the most radiantly beautiful women inside and out. Here comes the bride! Kelsey wore a classic tulle and lace gown of a soft white and had on a special necklace that her dad gave to her mom on their wedding day!

Bryson's reaction to his bride as she walked down the aisle was the kind of reaction every girl dreams of. He couldn't stand still, he couldn't take his eyes off of her.

...and he cried. A lot.

Everyone bowed their heads to pray before Kelsey's dad handed her over.

I can't decide if this is more evocative in black and white, or in color. We'll just let the bride decide!

Conducting the wedding ceremony of your child must be the highest honor a parent can have.

One of the most precious times of a wedding day for me is standing behind the officiant to watch the couple during the message. Usually, they have their backs toward the guests and the guests don't get to see their faces except for the photos I deliver.

The weather could not have been more perfect. There were supposed to be thunderstorms but instead there was a gentle drifting cloud coverage, which makes afternoon lighting soft and gorgeous!

Before we were five minutes into the ceremony, everyone was already crying. That's the groom's mom in the back. She was so serious and teary the whole time and it was so beautiful.

The groom's grandma really loved the ceremony.

The bride's parents held hands the entire ceremony and the bride's mom seemed to be holding back tears the entire time.

Grandpa prayed over their marriage and over the few family members that could be there.

I love watching the parents of the bride and groom and imagine what they must be imagining. Maybe they're thinking about all the trouble Kelsey caused as a kid. Maybe they're thinking about the first time she slept over at a friend's house. I always watch the parents of the couple, because this is their day too.

Kelsey's best friend was beaming the entire time. She didn't stop smiling for even a moment.

The way Bryson looks at Kelsey is out of this world. She is his treasure, and she adores him with her whole heart.

They exchanged rings and said their vows.

Mr & Mrs! Man and wife! He can kiss his bride.

They set a whole new bar for "joy" on their wedding day. I have to take breaks editing their wedding because the emotions were so strong, they love each other so much, their families love each other so much, and the happiness brought everyone around them to tears.

They're married!!!

They walked to the bottom of the aisle then turned and stood this way, and told everyone they just needed a few minutes with cracking voices and teary eyes. What a perfect celebration!

The best man, Bryson's brother, graduated from college the same day as the wedding! He is the jolliest, happiest, most pleasant guy and he always has the most well-timed comedic comments for every situation. Congratulations to Colin for finishing college!

Bryson and Kelsey set up a livestream of the ceremony as is typical for modern weddings and took a moment to address their viewers and thank them for their support and love.

When Bryson and Kelsey hugged their families, they never once let go of each other's hands.

Kelsey and her mom have a very special bond. Though her mom hadn't yet let the waterworks flow, in this moment when she hugged her daughter, she lost it.

Bryson hugging his dad, and Kelsey in the corner hugging her mom.

They literally did not let go of each other's hands during hugs.

One of the best parts of Christmas at the Barns at Elizabeth Tree farms was always the horse drawn wagon. You'd go, cut your tree down, and ride home through the snow towed by two massive horses. What a dream! So of course, it was absolutely necessary for the horses to make an appearance and bring the guests home after the ceremony.

As soon as the guests pulled away and it was just the bride and groom and I, they turned to me and screamed together "we're married!!!"

The bride and groom headed back to the trees to have some portraits taken and spend some alone time soaking in that they are now married, and for the rest of their lives they belong to each other.

Bryson was very helpful with Kelsey's massive dress. We tried our hardest to keep it clean and did very well thanks to Bryson's carrying it everywhere over dirt and wood chips. Kelsey's train was very long and fragile and it needs to be in impeccable shape for their full sized wedding in October!

Kelsey as a little girl would look forward to this day and be so, so excited that older Kelsey married someone like Bryson in the most magical place in Pennsylvania.

Not only were there gorgeous Christmas trees, but there's a gorgeous textured skyline right when you walk out of the trees!

I've photographed this lovely and fun couple several times over the past year and they are always this full of joy!

What. a. gown. That wedding dress is the dreamiest!

I mentioned the special necklace Kelsey was wearing before, here's a better view of it. It's a simple pearl-drop and it hangs so delicately. What a precious gift to receive on your wedding day!

The horses came back to take us through the farm.

I think Kelsey might like horses as much as she likes ducks.

This picture always stops my scrolling. The horses, the giggles, the perfect spring weather, this will definitely be a long-time favorite photo of mine.

We hopped into the horse-drawn wagon just for fun and to soak in the moment then we stopped at the pond so Bryson and Kelsey could take a stroll and just breathe and be together on their wedding day.

Back on to the wagon to head out for their mini-moon!

Congratulations, Bryson and Kelsey. You aren't ordinary people. You aren't ordinary wedding photography clients. You aren't an ordinary married couple. Who you are and who you serve shines through you and I know you'll be a beacon as you walk through life together.


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© 2018 by Emily Wilkerson because she is too fussy to let someone else do this. Proudly created with Wix.com

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Lifestyle photography, documentary videography. Authentic, unposed storytelling.