Not so far from Philadelphia’s city limits, the little town of Bryn Athyn boasts the magnificent Cairnwood Estate: a mansion frozen in time with tremendous presence. The absolute perfect place for Amanda and Michael’s stunning June wedding.
Getting Ready at Cairnwood Estate
The bridal suite at Cairnwood was a photographer’s paradise. The big windows, neutral walls, charming antique decor, and special dress hanging chain (yes!) all lent themselves to incredible photos. To top it all off, Leigh Florist left us a special box of extra flowers for styling Amanda’s details with. Score! After photographing the details Amanda had brought, including her exquisite Valentino heels, she opened Michael’s present. Inside the box was a lovely silver bracelet with a rolling script that said, “love you”. Queue tears. As she struggled to keep her makeup intact, Amanda choked out, “oh, I love him”. This moment landed like a ton of bricks and in the same instant lifted everyone to soaring heights of joy. This was true love at it’s finest. And it was time to get these two together forever.
The First Look and Exploring Cairnwood Estate
Out on the terrace, Michael stood looking dapper in his navy blue suit. On his face, a wry smile as he heard his bride getting her instructions for their first look. You could see him strain to keep it together, he just wanted to see her. As she made her way towards him, the smiles grew. And when he turned to see her, his heart melted all over again.
Once they’d had a few moments to soak in the beauty of their meeting on their wedding day, we explored the grounds and mansion. There was so lack of inspiration. The only damper was some light rain that began to fall more than halfway through. We didn’t know that it was not going to stop for days. And it didn’t matter. We found spot after spot for portraits and were more than ready when it came time for the ceremony.
The Ceremony at Alverthorpe Manor
Alverthorpe Manor is part of the Abington Arts Center, where we’ve had the pleasure of photographing Kelly and Rob’s wedding in 2016. The ceremony was full of love and laughs, but nothing topped the moment that Amanda and Michael exchanged their vows. They were entirely focused on one another and we’re pretty sure everyone else disappeared. After the conclusion of the ceremony, we hung around for some family portraits before getting back to Cairnwood for the cocktail hour and reception.
The Reception at Cairnwood Estate
One of the best things about Cairnwood is how many angles and unique perspectives there are. The dance floor was in the great hall, and the bridal party was announced in grand fashion down the huge staircase. What an entrance for our newlyweds to make! With the dance floor lined with windows and leading to a beautiful mantle, the old world elegance was in full effect as they shared their first dance. After a few more formalities, everyone adjourned into the parlor room where dinner was set. We loved the warmth and family gathering feel of their reception room. This was only solidified as the bridesmaids shared the responsibility of making a toast to the couple and Michael’s brother spoke about the wonderful groom. The conversation and joy that was shared centered on the newly married couple and carried the party well into the evening. Dancing and dessert were the only things on the docket for the remainder of the night and too soon it was time to say goodnight.
Amanda and Michael, you both are amazing and we are so happy you’ve found the one in whom your soul delights. We wish you many years of joy and soul invigorating love.
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