Erin and Alex
Besides the fact that I knew Erin since high school and we share a love for the arts; I fell in love with Erin and Alex right from the beginning of our journey together. I mean, their favorite thing about being engaged, they joked, was “the prospect of us becoming the proud owners of a KitchenAid stand mixer is a real possibility at this point.” I knew right then and there we were going to have not just tons of fun early on, but their big day at the Cork Factory Hotel in Lancanster, Pennsylvania would be a roaring success! These two are very passionate about many things…including their alma maters. So naturally, their pride was included on the big day! Keep reading to see this dynamic duo!
Erin and Alex are so funny and totally in love – and it shows through in everything they do. They were such a joy to work with, as they were so hands on from the beginning, and really made their big day “their own”. From putting together so much of their decor on their own, to making sure each of their alma mater schools was represented not just with a group picture, but the flag of the alma mater as well, their wedding day was absolutely them.
I love shooting at new venues: I learn so much not only about the food, beverage, light, and great places for different aspects to capture the day, but how each venue comes about. The Cork Factory Hotel located in Urban Place in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, used to be home to multiple cork and bottling companies. It is now a Historic Hotel of America, and I can see why! From its original buildings, renovated with brick and Edison lights, to still preserve that time and essence, you walk in and you immediately know you’re in a magnificent location!
P.S. Did I mention how adorable their first look was? CHECK IT OUT!
Cheers to Erin and Alex on their becoming Mr. and Mrs! Thank you so much for allowing me to capture your big day! I can’t wait to see what comes next for you two lovebirds!
Venue: The Cork Factory Hotel // Stationery: Basic Invite // Hair & Makeup: Khara Williams // Cake: The Bakers Table // Florals: Petunia Bergamot // Wedding Atelier: i do..i do… Bridal Studio // Bridal Gown: Blue by Enzoani // Brides Shoes: Journee Collection // Groom’s Attire: Prima Tuxedos // Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux // DJ: 3 West Productions // Engagement Ring: Heidi Gibson // Bride’s Wedding Band: Tiffany & Co. // Brides Earrings: Kendra Scott // Groom’s Wedding Band: Jewelry by Johan // Lighting: Shumaker PDT //
What was your favorite memory from your wedding day?
My hands were shaky and I was full of nerves before our first look, but as soon as Alex turned around and our eyes met, all of the pressure of the day melted away. Having the chance to hug, kiss, cry and joke around was a special moment of connection that allowed us to be fully present with each other and truly enjoy our ceremony and reception.
How did you two meet and fall in love?
After a matching on a dating app and messaging for a few weeks, we met at a bar for the first time on a snowy January Monday. We talked for hours over a giant plate of appetizers and never looked back 🙂
What made you choose your specific venue for your wedding day?
So many people have asked if Alex or I have a family connection to Lancaster, or some other reason that we chose our venue, but the truth is that we just really LIKE it! The Cork Factory Hotel is a “Historic Hotel of America,” and was built in 1865 as a cork and bottle manufacturing plant. It was recently converted to a boutique hotel, but it maintains its’ original character: high ceilings, wooden beams, red brick walls, fireplaces and large windows. All of these features are especially prominent in the ballroom where we had our ceremony and reception. When decorated with Edison bulbs, greenery, florals, lanterns and candlelight, it became a warm and joyous space despite the crisp and rainy weather outside the hotel walls on our November wedding day.
Was there a theme behind your wedding day? What colors did you choose? What ‘feeling’ were you going for?
Our colors were burgundy and navy with gold accents. The feeling of our wedding was largely informed by our venue – if I had to put it into words, I guess I think of it as a “warm industrial elegance” (words that don’t typically go together, I know).
What was most important to you when planning your wedding?
We wanted this celebration to “feel like us,” so we chose a good friend as our officiant, wrote our own vows and hand-made many decorative details. Of course we also wanted our guests to have a blast, so we chose great food and drink options 🙂
What piece of advice would you give to future couples planning their big day?
There is SO MUCH pressure surrounding wedding planning these days – in the moment, it almost feels like our weddings are the yardstick with which we will be judged for the rest of our lives! Of course, this isn’t true, but here’s what I would tell future brides and grooms:
– Choose your vendors carefully! Make sure to read reviews, look at portfolios, and take in-person meetings with them when possible. Talk to them early and often about your wedding day vision to build a rapport and make sure you’re both on the same page – don’t be afraid to speak up about what you want, NOW is the time to make changes. Then on the day of your wedding – LET GO and trust their expertise.
– Always remember who this wedding is for – you and your partner! You will hear a lot of surprising opinions (often from the people closest to you) and be tempted by a lot of trends (don’t just do it for the ‘gram!), but when making decisions, always consider whether or not it makes YOU happy above all else.
– Know that things will go wrong. No matter how prepared and detail-oriented you are, not everything will be as you imagined. And that’s OKAY!
Most likely, these will be small annoyances that no one but you will notice – take a deep breath, ask family and friends for help, and don’t let these worries take over your day.
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Cork Factory Hotel wedding photos by New Jersey wedding photographers, Jaye Kogut Photography