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Maria and Brian are having a busy year! They’ve graduated from college, bought a house, got a puppy, and are busy planning their wedding for a very popular date next May. Even though they are having a busy year, they are still making time for their families and spending lots of time together. For their engagement session, they brought their new puppy, Ruby, to take a few photos in the first moments of our shoot.

When we scheduled their engagement shoot over the summer, I didn’t know I would be the one who had to ask to reschedule their session. On the original date, I was summoned to help a great friend photograph a wedding and Maria and Brian were kind enough to move the date. Even better for them, they traded a windy and gloomy day for a perfect fall afternoon.

I can’t wait to celebrate with them next May and see their fabulous guest photos from ShotBox! Best of luck, Maria and Brian!

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Can you be high school sweethearts with someone you met after graduation? Jessi and Justin are high school sweethearts. They did attend the same high school, but they didn’t know each other until they were both working as teachers at a different high school on the other side of Pittsburgh. They met at a teacher conference and discovered they lived in the same neighborhood and had the same 45-minute commute each way every day. Carpooling lead to dating, and suddenly their wedding is scheduled for next year.

For their engagement shoot at Hartwood Acres, Jessi and Justin brought two amazing outfits and beautiful smiles. I have known Justin for a long time and Jessi joked that he already came with a wedding photographer. I am honored to be their wedding photographer for their wedding next summer at Armstrong Farms.

Congratulations, Jessi and Justin!!

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  • Rachel MachenOctober 18, 2013 - 10:52

    Beautiful pictures!

  • WinnieOctober 18, 2013 - 11:34

    J&J. These pics are absolutely beautiful. If anybody doubted your love for each other all they have to do is look at you two in these photos *****your love comes across so clearly. Thanh you so much for including me in your memories. I love you both.

  • Jan SchusterOctober 18, 2013 - 22:25

    I love EVERY one of them…..

  • Holly MillerOctober 19, 2013 - 07:49

    I LOVE them all Jessi! So excited for the two of you!! Xoxo Beautiful pictures!

  • GloriaOctober 19, 2013 - 12:31

    Beautiful people! Everlasting Love!

    Love to YOU!

Josh and Stephanie both have a background in professional theater. They actually met because their mutual friend, Mark, had worked with each of them and thought that they would be great together. Having a lot of experience in the performing arts might have made their wedding feel a bit like a theater event itself. When I spoke with them about planning their wedding photography, Stephanie even referred to their wedding as a “a performance” and designated one area of their ceremony space “backstage.”

When it came to the actual wedding day, I’m sure all of their stage and performance experience helped them to be prepared, but they exhibited a range or emotions so powerful and real that it was hard to find anyone who wasn’t swept away in excitement. When they saw each other for the first time on their wedding day in a First Look ceremony, they shared an “ugly cry” and a few private moments alone. We then took some time for some portraits around lower Manhattan before moving to their even more personal, emotional wedding ceremony and reception at Battery Gardens Restaurant.

Their gorgeous outdoor ceremony was bathed in sunshine and happy tears. Their ceremony was performed by their friend, Chris, and there they exchanged beautiful wedding vows. After a gorgeous sunset, they joined their guests for their reception where everyone had a great time dancing and celebrating. At the end of the evening, they gave a speech to thank everyone, including their many out-of-town guests and moved to to an after-party (wrap-party?) celebration.

Their wedding as special for me in so many ways. Both Stephanie and Josh are great friends of mine and I would have been at this wedding no matter if I was photographing it or not. I was honored to see so many parts of the day that I would have not been able to experience if I were a guest. I felt privileged to be a part of their First Look and I felt a level of comfort and joy that only friends can share. Ryan was shooting with me all day and we had a great time both with cameras and without.

Congratulations, Stephanie and Josh!

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  • Rich DembskiOctober 3, 2013 - 05:51

    In a word ……..Breathtaking.

  • Joyce MaszleOctober 3, 2013 - 08:09

    Stunning, absolutely stunning!

  • Kari MaszleOctober 3, 2013 - 08:51

    So Beautiful and so very emotional. I am in tears. I cannot wait to see the rest. xxoo ~Kari

  • Jamie BoyleOctober 3, 2013 - 11:29

    Beautiful. Congrats, josh. So good to see you and to see you so happy.

  • Liz RestivoOctober 3, 2013 - 12:33

    My little girl – I have NEVER EVER seen any two people look so happy. And your dad looks great! Congrats!

  • KrisMcOctober 4, 2013 - 08:06

    OMG I love the “ugly cry” photo so much I started to tear up myself! This was such a beautiful day and you captured it perfectly, Randi. Congratulations again Josh and Stephanie. I am so, so happy for you! xoxo <3

  • Ted BrownOctober 13, 2013 - 12:30

    I think I short circuited my ipad tearing up over some of your pix. What a glorious couple on an equally glorious day. We all wish we could have been there but thanks to these emotion packed photos we actually felt we were! Big hugs and much love from the Hamaca bunch!

Another wedding from my future associate shooter, Nicki Dembski. Since I wasn’t there for this wedding, I’m going to let her tell you about it.
“Rain Rain Go Away!  It poured down rain on Sarah and Chris’s wedding day.  It was one of those Pittsburgh rain kind of days.  Sometimes, it looks like it’s going to rain all day, and it does.  Most couples fear rain on their wedding day, but smiles never left Sarah and Chris’s face.
I first met Sarah and Chris when I photographed Sarah’s best friend’s wedding earlier this year. Like their friends, Sarah and Chris are adorable together.  They were married in a Catholic ceremony at Saint Vincent Basilica Parish on St. Vincent’s College campus in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.  This beautiful church was home to Chris when he went to college.  It may have been rainy outside, but inside the church was dry and full of happy wedding emotions. After they exchanged vows and rings, the skies dried for a short moment while we took a few wedding portraits. The rain began again as they traveled to rejoined their wedding guests to celebrate their marriage at the Comfort Inn in Monroeville.

Sarah and Chris gave us lots of smiles to capture. Sean Means joined me to help photograph this celebration.

Congratulations Sarah and Chris!!” –Nicki

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  • The Best FriendOctober 8, 2013 - 12:16

    Absolutely stunning! Great job again, Nicki!!!!

  • KaylaOctober 8, 2013 - 13:54

    AMAZING! These totally captured the energy of the day! Nice job!

Are you like me? Did you plan your wedding while living in a different city? If you did, you’ll know how challenging this can be. All of your visits to your wedding city are jam-packed full of appointments, meetings, and there’s never enough time to relax and enjoy your time off of work. Well, imagine that you’re planning your wedding from another country! That’s what Meghan and Raphael just did. They planned their wedding in Meghan’s hometown from their home in Switzerland. Not only do they have to contend with the normal rigors of out of town wedding planning, but also a huge time zone change, an international phone number, and a day-long flight with customs to get to your wedding destination.

I can’t speak for them, but their hard work seemed to be worth all of the trouble. Meghan and Raphael were married on a perfect September day in an outdoor ceremony at the beautiful Longue Vue Club in Verona, Pennsylvania. While much of Meghan’s family was traveling from the Pittsburgh area, Raphael’s family and many of their friends traveled from Switzerland for this momentous occasion. I don’t think there were quite as many Swiss guests as there were American guests, but there were probably about 40 people who had crossed the Atlantic to be there. Since Meghan and Raphael have different mother-tongues, they each gave their wedding vows in their birth language. Meghan’s vow was beautiful, but I have no idea what Raphael said since I don’t speak French. I can assure you that it sounded very romantic.

After the ceremony, Meghan and Raphael spent their cocktail hour with their guests before sneaking away for a beautiful 5-minute sunset portrait shoot. When they entered their reception, Cityscape played their first dance song and started the party with a quick dancing set before dinner was served. Meghan and Raphael chose an excellent set of top-notch wedding vendors, hopefully leaving them little stress. Bouquets and table decorations were by Rachel and her lovely group from HepaticBella Christie provided their beautiful layered wedding cake.

Photography by yours truly and my excellent second photographer, Amanda Steen. Amanda and I had a great day and we hope that we captured the perfect photo memories for Meghan and Raphael.

Congratulations, Meghan and Raphael!

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  • Etti BaranoffOctober 2, 2013 - 12:23


    Loved the wedding photos…. glorious!!!


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