It’s an incredible honor when friends call upon us to capture their wedding day, especially when one of those friends is a fellow martial artist and black belt. Lily and bride Kira trained together until Kira left for medical school in NYC, where she’d first lay eyes on classmate and future groom Vince. We had the pleasure of meeting him a few years ago when we photographed Kira’s best friend (and future matron of honor) Kelly’s wedding. Little did we know that we’d all reunite so soon for another joyous occasion!
Our thoughtful, fun-loving couple planned an amazing two-day getaway for their family and friends over Memorial Day weekend. The location? Trail’s End Camp in Beach Lake, PA, a lush, 450-acre retreat surrounded by the Pocono Mountains and outfitted with log cabins, giant tepees, a sandy beach, outdoor activities galore, and curious wildlife (hello, Mr. Fox!). We couldn’t believe it was roughly two hours from NYC by car.
Dressed in traditional garb, Vince and Kira kicked off the festivities with a touching tea ceremony for their parents, grandparents, and siblings. Our bride turned heads in her mother’s red wedding dress, which her mother and grandmother had made by hand. During the lion dance at dinner, Vince delighted everyone when he commandeered one of the colorful beasts and cavorted through the dining room. His grandmother, of course, made sure that his lion was well-fed.
Although the forecast called for rain, we lucked out with a windy but temperate wedding day. Pre-wedding activities included yoga, a treetop obstacle course complete with zipline, and an eggtoss contest. Before getting ready for their first look at the lake, our athletic couple flew through the obstacle course as if it were something they did every day (they didn’t). Vince cleaned up nicely in a gray suit with yellow tie while Kira dazzled in a white strapless gown.
Before we knew it, Vince was furiously wiping away tears as Kira walked down the aisle with her parents. This triggered a flurry of eye dabbing among the guests that was relieved somewhat by an unruly veil, hungry bees, and their officiant Sarah’s humorous, heartfelt words. Adding to the list of the weekend’s sweet surprises, Kira hopped on Vince’s back after their first kiss and they exuberantly trotted down the aisle for their first piggyback ride as newlyweds.
The celebration continued with a whirlwind of belly laughs, more tears, and an incredible outpouring of love that culminated in a sweaty, fantastic dance party. While we marveled at the fancy footwork of their guests young and old, Vince’s grandmother, in particular, was a force to be reckoned with.
A brisk, invigorating rain fell early the next day, and we were grateful for a lovely weekend shared with a wonderful group of people. Here’s a visual recap of this one-of-a-kind wedding.
Bride’s white wedding dress: San Patrick by Pronovias
Bride’s shoes: Lifestride
Groom’s suit: Alfani
Groom’s shoes: Apt. 9
Groom’s tie: Perry Ellis
Bride’s rings: Brilliant Earth (wedding band, engagement band)
Groom’s ring: Blue Nile
Bridesmaids’ dresses: David’s Bridal
Caterer: Trail’s End Retreat
Red velvet cake: Two Little Red Hens (NYC)
Bouquets: Blooms by the Box
Boutonnières & corsages: Honesdale Greenhouse (Honesdale, PA)
Coordinator: Sara Fetterhoff from Trail’s End
Salt-and-pepper shaker wedding favors: Peas in a Pod, Apple of My Eye
Wedding programs: DIY printing and embossing by bride and friends using cardstock from Cards & Pockets
Cherry blossom branches: DIY by bride and friends