Posts in WEDDINGS
Patrick + Krista | Fall Themed Wedding at the Masonic Temple, Johnstown PA
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com

Patrick and Krista’s fall wedding at the Masonic Temple in Johnstown featured just the right amount of fall wedding decor without being overdone, and the sunflowers with burgundy dresses was equally elegant and rustic. October weddings are almost as popular, if not more so, than June weddings, especially in Western Pennsylvania!

The newlyweds were so excited to tie the knot this October after a long dating relationship of 6 years. Back in 2013, they both met at a bonfire and made the relationship official a month later - and they’ve been together ever since! They both shared that they enjoy watching movies and cuddling their pup, Piper. When I met Krista in 2018, I was immediately impressed with her get-it-done attitude (a girl after my own heart) and her attention to detail. I function in the same exact way, so it was awesome for both of us to walk away from our first meeting with all questions answered, decisions made, contracts signed, and transactions done! I love love love a bride who knows exactly what she wants.

We had a great time last fall taking engagement photos at Wilmore Dam, and even though waiting ANOTHER year for the wedding seemed to be so far in the distance, it came in no time! We started the day at the church the two would be married in, and it was no surprise to me that Krista had everything gathered up and waiting for me to knock out detail shots right away! Her burgundy shoes matched the bridesmaids dresses perfectly, and the sunflowers in the bouquets (that the bride made herself!) were a great nod to both late summer AND the approaching fall season! The two shared handwritten notes to each other before the ceremony started, which was one of my favorite moments as Patrick teared up over Krista’s sweet words.

After the ceremony we headed to the Forest Lawn Memorial Cemetery, a favorite spot of mine for wedding portraits in Johnstown, for some portraits of the bridal party and the couple. The spot is great for rustic yet elegant photos, and the bright red door at the stone chapel in the back of the lot was perfect for the fall theme Patrick and Krista were going for. It was so fun, too, working with lots of familiar faces, friends I went to high school with, and former JGP brides and grooms that made up the bridal party! Everyone was so polite and respectful, but still able to have fun and let loose!

Speaking of - the reception at the Masonic Temple was absolutely perfect, and with the breath taking uplighting provided by DJ Jack Labarko, the room was transformed again with fall inspiration with minimal clutter and decor. We snuck out for some epic night portraits after special events like a song dedicated to Krista’s grandpa. He enjoyed being surrounded by all the beautiful bridesmaids as he listened to his favorite song. Krista and Patrick did an amazing job making sure everyone was taken care of and that all details were though tof (including a seat for me at a table!!!) I hope you enjoy some of my favorite moments of this beautiful wedding (and be sure to scroll to the end for that epic night portrait I mentioned earlier!)

Vendor Team:

Venue: The Masonic Temple

Gown: Pine Ridge Bridal

Hair: Shades Salon

Makeup: Beauteous Esthetics - Lisa

Bridesmaids Dresses: Pine Ridge Bridal - Christina Wu dresses

Tuxes: Pine Ridge Bridal

Rings: Kay Jewelers

Invitations: Ann's Bridal Bargains

Cake: Lambcakes Bakery

Caterer: Anthony's Restaurant

DJ: DJ Jack Labarko

Videographer: Alex Liu

 
 
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Colby + Hillary | Mountain Top Summer Wedding at Laurelville Retreat Center and DiSalvo's Station
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com

Hillary and Colby’s wedding at the Laurelville retreat center was everything you could ever want in a summer wedding with its breathtaking mountain top views, peaceful surroundings, plenty of parking, and lots of seating for even the biggest guest list.

These two like to joke that they met when they were 5 years old at Al's Pub after a conversation when they realized they were both there for the dinner with Barney (the dinosaur from the kids show). In their adult lives, they met through mutual friends. After 5 years of dating, Colby proposed by making a photo video their first date (a pirate game), all the places they had visited, and pictures of all the weddings they had been to together. The last slide said, "Maybe it's time to start planning our own?' Then he got down on one knee and proposed!

I started the day with the girls, much like every wedding, where Hillary was sweet enough to have all of her details ready to go! Her beautiful Badgley Mischka’s gave just the right amount of sparkle next to an incredible summery/fall bouquet by Red Punch designs. Her invite suite, I later learned, was designed and made by her sister Gretchen who is also a graphic designer! With the help of her circuit, the invites were set off by an intricately cut sage green jacket and gold belly band. Shortly after the details were documented and we squished everyone together on the couch for a robe picture, Hillary stepped into her gorgeous Essence of Australia dress. Her sister and mother were close by for the final touches like jewelry and perfume.

When I arrived at the Laurelville Retreat Center, I met up with Colby who was busy pinning the boutineers on the groomsmen. That was definitely a first for me - usually I’m the one that steps in and gets everyone pinned! He also shared with me a very special pair of cufflinks featuring a 16 year old Colby with his mom Wanda who had passed. He said he got them made on Etsy! I was so impressed not only by this sentiment of honoring his mother with his wedding details, but that fact that he even knew what Etsy is!

Soon guests began to arrive on the hay wagon/tractor shuttle, and Hillary walked up the hill with her father to meet her groom! The “aisle” was lined with geometric hanging planters made by the bride’s brother-in-law. The ceremony took place under a wooden geometric arch that the groom made himself! Talk about a talented family! Red Punch Designs took it over the top with TWO mind-blowing flower arrangements on the arch featuring sunflowers, dahlias, roses, thistle, and eucalyptus. It was truly the stuff of bridal magazines! The couple planted and watered a fig tree as a symbol of their growing relationship, and after rings and vows, the two were husband and wife!

We were fortunate enough to have amazing skies, shade, long grasses, and changing leaves for family photos and photos of the bridal party. We finished up at the retreat center with some bride and groom portraits on top of the mountain and by that incredible floral arch.

DiSalvos’s station was just a short drive away, and honestly one of the most unique venues I’ve shot at. The train-station-turned-restaurant was equally romantic and rustic with railroad decor, string lights, and red brick and green architecture. We took some portraits near the tracks at the top of the restaurant, highlighting the old train station awnings, benches, and brick walkways. The wedding decor was just as special with so many hand-made elements that looked very high-end and not DIY at all. Hillary grew the mini white pumpkins in her garden, and the couple made their hexagonal tile seating chart out of copper pipe. All in all, the decor for this late September wedding was a perfect blend of modern minimalist and elegant rustic with geometric metals, beautiful florals, and white pumpkins.

We ended the night with an epic night portraits showcasing HIllary’s second gown, a white sequin flapper style dress, and then later a cozy shot of the two lovers at a private table for two in the cigar bar downstairs. I hope you enjoy the highlights from this beautiful and unique day!

 
 
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Erin + Paul | Police Officer Wedding at the Blair County Convention Center
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com

Erin and Paul had the most beautiful weather ever for their wedding this past weekend as they celebrated their love at their Police Officer wedding at the Blair County Convention Center. We started the day in Colver where we were greeted with a flurry of activity and bridesmaids in the living room of their family’s home. Each member of the bridal party was so helpful, accommodating, and sweet to us the entire day. We were especially smitten with the little ring bearer who was the happiest, most cooperative little boy literally ever. I enjoyed photographing the gorgeous bouquet fromPeterman’s, laid next to some of Erin’s prettiest details like her invite suite from White lace, shoes with pearl accents, and her very special Virgin Mary pin that belong to her grandmother. Her sister also used this pin at her wedding too! Grandma was with Erin in another special way, too, when her mother placed her grandma’s engagement ring on her finger after she zipped the dress.

The guys shared some laughs, brews, and shots in Paul’s garage before walking to the ceremony at the church just right up the road. It was so nice to be so close to everything! After a beautiful Catholic mass ceremony, Erin and Paul stepped out into the world as Mr. and Mrs. with silk ribbons and bells on sticks being wagged in the wind by their closest friends and family.

After some quick and organized family sessions (these are law enforcement officials, after all! Everyone listened well! hahaha), we got some photos near the historic Lemon House in Gallitzin. Erin and Paul especially liked the civil-war era type wooden fence, and Jackie and I especially liked the tall wildflowers and winding path through the field. A few puffy clouds against the dark blue fall sky made their portraits they stuff we dream of! Just right down the highway was an old stone bridge/archway that we stopped at for some more portraits. The Laurel Highlands truly have the best little hidden gems if you know where to look - like right in the middle of the highway!

It was just a short drive from there to the convention center, where guests mingled outside of the ballroom for cocktail hour. We were lucky to have the whole stunning room to ourselves to photograph before guests entered, and the crystal candelabra-style centerpieces and stunning ruffled cake form Maddie Cakes took everything to another level of elegance. We even got to encounter Erin and Paul experiencing the room and decor for the first time, too!

Erin and Paul started the night of dancing off by their first dance to “Eyes on You” by Chase Rice. She shared with me that it had significance to them because the first concert they ever went to together was to see Chase Rice at Stage AE. In fact, Paul proposed that night in Pittsburgh. She said this about the night:

” We first went to the melting pot for an early valentine’s dinner. We then went up to the top of the incline and he proposed on the overlook at the top of Mt Washington. One of the groomsmans was there to film it, and both of our families knew about it, but I was completely surprised! After we had plans to go to a concert at Stage AE. The concert was for a country artist we both love ... Chase Rice. It’s why we chose Eyes on You for our first dance! It was the first concert we had ever gone to and it was from the night we got engaged.”

We ended the night with a truly epic shot showcasing the stunning architecture of the convention center and highlighting the “thin blue line” that Erin and Paul both dedicate their lives to protect. Thank you both for your service, and thank you for an amazing opportunity to capture your perfect day!

Photographer: Jill Gearhart Photography

Second Photogrpaher: J.Jae Photography

Venue:  Blair County Convention Center

Gown: Stella York at White Lace Bridal

Hair: JC Penney

Makeup: JC Penney

Bridesmaids Dresses: Sorella Vita at White Lace Bridal

Rings: Leo Diamond by Kay Jewelers

Invitations: White Lace Bridal

Florals: Peterman’s Floral

Cake: Maddie Cakes

Caterer: Blair County Convention Center

Favors: totallyweddingkoozies.com

DJ: DJ Boomerang

 
 
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Natalie + Cody | Greenhouse Park Wedding in Johnstown, PA
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com

I was so excited when a friend of mine from church, Cassidy, contacted me at the end of April to see about photographing her brother’s wedding last weekend! It’s always so exciting when you can look forward to seeing some familiar faces during the wedding day, and by the time it was all planned, I got to add a few more friends to that list as well! Natalie, Cody, Cassidy and I met at the Commonplace Coffee House, where I do a lot of my client meetings, to talk about a lot of different things concerning their special day! It was really a unique opportunity for me to teach and guide them through the world of wedding photography, and it was so honoring that they leaned on my expertise for so much of their day including the timeline, photo ideas, the DJ and reception events, and more!

I arrived at the Greater Johnstown Fellowship Church early on their big day to ensure I had enough time to capture their sweet details while Natalie was away getting her makeup perfected! Her sweet lace tennis shoes were the perfect choice since she and her groom are about the same height, and her homemade bouquet and boutonnieres matched perfectly in their elegance and simplicity. When it came time to photograph the rings, Cody informed me that Natalie had never seen her wedding band, and it was a surprise!

During the ceremony, emotions were high as both families expressed excitement and so much love for Natalie and Cody. They chose some beautiful Christian music as a background for the candle lighting ceremony and presentation of roses to their parents. After the ceremony, we gathered up family members and got some great portraits under a beautiful archway decorated with tulle and twinkle lights. Everyone seemed to like my goof-ball tactics of getting the kiddos to laugh (and it always works on adults, too!)

From there, we headed to Greenhouse Park in Johnstown where the rock formations, greenery, open sky, and rushing river made for some unique and breathtaking backdrops. Everyone was so patient and accommodating as we worked to find the best light! I had the honor of driving the bride and groom to their reception at Anthony’s Restaurant in Johnstown where my husband Brandon and his business partner Corydon did a fantastic job of keeping the dance floor packed all night. We kicked things off with a sparkler exit and a killer sunset photo - I say killer because Cody dipped Natalie right into traffic on Scalp Avenue (hahahah just kidding! Kinda ;) )

I hope you enjoy the highlights of their special day!

 
 
 
 
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Molly + Nooch's Laid-Back, Outdoorsy Indiana PA Wedding - Planned from Across the Country
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com

Would you ever plan your wedding at venue across the country that you’ve never seen and book vendors that you’ve never met all based on the trust you have in your husband to be and his connections? That’s exactly what Molly did. This super-busy and ever-so lovely pediatric physical therapist contacted me months ago from Texas where she and her fiancé Nooch (Dom) were planning their late August wedding. Nooch hand picked their officiant, Nate, a long-time friend from his high-school years. Nate just happened to have some beautiful farm property where the couple planned to have their super laid-back, mountains and adventure themed wedding. The ceremony was private to a few dozen family members, and then the newlyweds were joined by 250 friends and family at The Backyard event hall just a few minutes away.

Dom likes to spent a lot of time in the woods, so the theme seemed really fitting. In fact, sometimes when Dom is out in the woods, he will put a turtle in his pocket and carry it home for Molly to see. He always prefaces this with "I brought you a present!" Even though they tried to stay true to themselves, Molly shared that she actually wanted the wedding to be WAY more laid back and casual than what it turned into, but having their families there turned out to be a bigger priority than some of the other details they originally wanted. Molly said that “It was stressful planning a wedding all the way from Texas! I promised my mom I would wait for her to go dress shopping, so when she visited for Christmas we went and picked it out together. It was my first official wedding purchase.” She was actually so excited about the dress that she showed it to her future hubby (in the bag, at least!) as soon as she got home!

When I asked how they met, Molly shared that they met on a (surprise) blind date. (Surprise because she didn't know it was happening, she thought she was just going to a friend's house to hang out.) Her family actually didn’t know Dom existed until 3 months later when she totaled her car leaving his house late one night and her parents had to come pick her up. Talk about an awkward conversation!

“Getting the ring and getting engaged was a whole saga”, she said. “He told me when he bought the ring because he was too excited to keep it a secret, but I didn't know *when* he would propose. Then the ring was held at customs and the government called saying it was under investigation, which is a whole story in itself. Then Dom was going to ask for my hand from my Dad while they were working on the car but my Dad's hand got accidentally crushed...it was a whole fiasco. In July 2018 when I was waiting for a ride to the airport I texted him that I just really wanted to be engaged to him, so he drove home on his lunch break and proposed in the living room. I left for the airport to fly home 10 minutes later. Dom doesn't like our engagement story - I guess he had big plans that didn't work out and thinks the real way it happened is ‘blah’, but I'm glad he proposed when he did.” I think their story, just like their day, was absolutely perfect and so “them.” Hope you enjoy some of the highlights!

Ceremony: Wood Crest Point

Reception: The Backyard

Gown: Melissa Sweet from David's Bridal

Hair: Main Street Hair Design

Rings: His- Renaissance Jewlery Hers- Doron Merav 

Invitations: Hobby Lobby DIY

Florals: Michaels DIY

DJ: Maximum Music DJs 

 
 
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WEDDINGSJill StifflerComment
Brian + Elizabeth | Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall Wedding in Pittsburgh, PA
 @Jill Gearhart Photography | www.jillgearhartphotography.com

Brian and Liz’s elegant wedding at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Pittsburgh offered some of the most stress-free and accommodating benefits that an upscale wedding couple could hope for. The wedding coordinators made everything effortless for not only the vendors but the bridal party and guests as well. With it’s incredible architecture and dynamic, flippable rooms for large groups, it truly was one of the best venues I had the pleasure of working in.

The day started with the girls getting ready in the Board Room on the 3rd floor, right next to the ballroom where the reception was. The big benefit of this was that the bridal party could leave their things in this room for the day and easily retrieve them when they were ready to leave for the night because it was right beside the reception area. The Board room was also stunning in itself for some great portraits. The rich browns and leather furniture gave everything a painterly look, and the stained glass made for a great backdrop against Liz’a beautiful dress. Besides her exceptional strapless lace ball gown, Liz also wore pearl earrings that her husband-to-be bought her, her grandmother’s pearl necklace, and a very special bracelet. A few months into Brian and Liz’s relationship, he bought each of them matching anchor bracelets when they knew things were getting serious. Functioning as a promise ring of sorts, the anchors symbolized their loyalty to one another as well as their foundation in their faith and their God that anchored their journey from the beginning.

Their beautiful ceremony, held in the first floor auditorium, featured meaningful scripture readings, the sweetest hand-written vows to one another, and a special time of worship songs. From the very first time I met Brian and Liz, I knew their faith played a very important role in their lives, their relationship with each other, and happily, also played an important in their wedding ceremony.

Other than their steadfast faith in the Lord, when first meeting Brian and Liz, the interesting fact that Brian is Canadian is sure to come up shortly after! Brian was born in Canada and Liz grew up in Pittsburgh. Brian ended up moving to Pittsburgh just as Liz was leaving for college, so it would still be some time before they met. Liz had dreams of teaching internationally, but God had other plans. After some time traveling, Liz eventually moved back to Pittsburgh and started teaching at a local school, where one day her coworker told her about “this cute, kind Canadian” she needed to meet. So it ended up the international came to her, instead!

When I asked them about the early days of their relationship, Liz shared that for Brian, it was love at first sight. For her, though, it took a little longer. Brian was certain she was going to fall in love with him, and after a while into our relationship he even told her so! She told him she'd just have to wait and see... but then about 6 months in, told him he was right. :) Since then, Brian and Liz enjoy time together between their busy schedules and always tend to end up grocery shopping when they are together. Or eating chips and salsa, Liz says!

I hope you enjoy the highlights of this amazing day at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial hall!

Vendors:

Lead Photographer: Jill Gearhart Photography

Second Photographer: Becca Dietrich

Venue: Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall

Gown: Beloved by Casablanca Bridal  at The White Orchid

Hair + Makeup: Caruso Hair & Esthetics

Bridesmaids Dresses: David's Bridal

Tuxes: Men's Warehouse

Rings: Trinity Jewelers

Invitations: Minted

Florals: Pete Donati Florist

Cake: The Pie Place

Caterer: The Chef and I Catering

Favors: Etsy - A Gift with a Smile

DJ: Royal Heir DJ

Videographer: Dylan White