Archive for January, 2015

Jessie and Jeffrey @The Gables ~ mkPhotography, Chadds Ford Wedding Photographer

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Jeffrey was hanging out with mutual friends across from where Jessie lives when she walked in and he observed for the first time the mysterious girl with the black eye! Jessie, who was studying to be a veterinary nurse at the time, had gotten a black eye from loading a dog into her car and accidentally getting head-butted by the excitable pet. Jeffrey and Jessie would inadvertently meet again a short while later when they actually saved a puppy together! From there, the mutual friends arranged, without telling the other, for the two of them to attend a Flyers hockey game with them and, from there, Jessie and Jeffrey have been nearly inseparable since. They bought a house together almost two years later and on their first night in their new home, heart bursting with love, Jeffrey proposed to Jessie.

The two of them compliment one another wonderfully. “My weaknesses are his strengths, ” Jessie told us, “For example, he is patient and I am very, very Impatient!”

Initially, Jessie wanted their wedding to be very laid-back and outdoorsy. She envisioned picnic tables and food trucks. Jeffrey, on the other hand, envisioned a slightly more formal affair- a sit-down dinner with a nice cake, so they decided to compromise.

They took their vows together outdoors in a special, woodsy ceremony at Brandywine Creek State Park framed by a beautiful wooden arbor built by one of Jessie’s best friends, Pat, who, by request, also excitedly got ordained specifically to be able to marry them! Jessie and Jeffrey had a tender unity ceremony which consisted of them planting a tree using soil from the house of each of their parents and soil from their own home. Their enchanting nuptials were sealed in song as the bridal party thumped tambourines, played harmonicas, and sang the Lumineers song, “Ho, Hey!”

“I belong with you, you belong with me
You’re my sweetheart
I belong with you, you belong with me
You’re my sweet…”

Their nuptials were celebrated at the rustic-chic venue The Gables at Chadds Ford, an artfully restored 1897 bank barn, where the upstairs banquet facility boasts open beams and original wood floors and opens to a small deck with steps down to a newly constructed grassy courtyard area. Guests arrived through the courtyard and were greeted with butler-served hor devours and platters of Chadds Ford Apple Wine, heated and served in mason jars with cinnamon sticks. A large wooden board was staged beside the entryway into the great room; on it along with guests’ names and table seating arrangements, were original wedding photographs from each Jeffrey’s and Jessie’s grandparents, parents, siblings’ weddings.

Inside, round tables were lovingly decorated by the Bride’s talented mother with handmade table runners, ferns and moss centerpieces, candles, and table numbers carved into small wooden slats by a friend of the couple.

A big hit at the reception, aside from the dance floor which stayed packed all night, was the “Naked Cake”. This was a cake without the typical icing that encases a standard wedding cake, and it was topped with Jeffrey’s grandparents’ wedding topper!

One of the most poignant and memorable moments of the reception happened when Jeffrey danced with his adorable new stepdaughter, 2 year old Juniper, to the song “Angel” by Jack Johnson.

Guests then enjoyed a delicious meal of their choice of french chicken or NY strip steak, followed by dancing, and ending with a crackling marshmallow roast in the courtyard outside complete with snuggly wide flannel scarves that reception attendees could cozy up to ward off the evening’s chill.

Jessie and Jeffrey used bottles of wine for their guest book; on a table they had situated bottles of wine for each major anniversary and quests were invited to sign the labels and write their well wishes for the couple to read as each bottle gets uncorked in the future!

Some details:
Venue: The Gables at Chadds Ford
Hair and Makeup: Claudia Seyler
Cake: Cakes by Kim
Dress: Watters, purchased at Jennifer’s Bridal
Invitations: Wide Eyes Designs on Etsy
Flowers by: handmade by the Bride’s mother – Claudia Seyler
Jewelry: Haute Bride
First Dance: Louis Armstrong’s “When You’re Smiling”

Barben Family ~ mkPhotography, Pennsylvania Family Photographer

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Take a gander at the image set from this clean and cozy wintry belly shoot at the studio. We have worked with this family since mommy and daddy’s engagement session and their wedding in 2008! Baby sister is expected to join big sister and Belle the dog in February. We just love seeing our wedding clients’ families grow over the years!

2014 IN REVIEW ~ a love letter from mkPhotography

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

One of the great things about January being so long and unencumbered with the sort of holidays that require planning and energy is having a little bit of time to take a step back and reflect upon the previous year. With that, we lovingly post this message from the founder and owner of mkPhoto, Mr. “mk” himself, Mike Kehr:

“With 2014 behind us and 2015 just starting, it is time to reflect and appreciate the great experiences, the importance of our valuable clients and the special new relationships we made in 2014.

Lets start with experiences. We traveled near and far, exploring new places, capturing beautiful imagery. It has always been our goal to challenge ourselves but in 2014 we pushed our creativity even further.

Every time Jana and I picked up our cameras we made a conscious effort to make sure the shot was different, creative, and most importantly moving, even though it may have been the same venue or location. We were lucky and very grateful to be a part of your lives! We cherish it. It keeps us motivated. We thrive on bringing together the emotion of you and the life of all involved. We together transformed the life events into sheer joy and celebration! That is what it is all about- positive documented experiences that will always be remembered the day of and every day that follows.

The importance of YOU….
We could not, of course, accomplish any of this without you: our valuable clients. You not only invested with us but you put your trust in us 100%, something that we take very seriously. We are passionate about our work and want to make sure we exceed your expectations. Thank you for believing in us. We surely believe in you!

The most important and fulfilling part of the entire experience is the amazing relationships we made with you! Relationships that we hope continue well into the future. The wedding day is just one of many important life changing events that you will want to remember. Your lives will evolve and families will grow (and have grown!) and we want to be there with you capturing these special moments that will be remembered for a lifetime. This relationship is what we strive for- long term. We were able to begin new relationships through engagements and weddings and continue past relationships with baby shoots, Mitzvahs, family sessions.

As you watch our images and associated memories from 2014 we hope you will feel emotion coming upon you, a smile, a laugh upon your face and that tear of joy from your eye. That is all the satisfaction we need- knowing we moved you and made a difference in your lives, that we were able to provide some tangible evidence of all the beauty and love in your hearts and homes.

Best of luck to you and your families in 2015!

Peace + love + Happiness

mike + jana

Here is what a year of mkPhoto looks like! 2014:

Richard and Steven @Grounds for Sculpture ~ mkPhotography, New Jersey Wedding Photographer

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

Sage, insightful words from Richard on their loving, special Day:

“The best advice I can give couples planning their wedding– especially a same sex wedding like ours– is:

1. Pick a place that you feel comfortable and welcome from the very start. It’s your big day; we finally attained in the hard-fought battle the right to legally get married and you deserve all the special treatment without any hints of prejudice from anyone! Rat’s Restaurant, Grounds for Sculpture and mkPhotography were the perfect choices for us!

2. Pick a Venue that speaks to you and showcases what you are about as a couple. We love travel and especially travel to ancient places in the world. Choosing The Nine Muses garden location at the Grounds for Sculpture brought the Ancient World into the Modern World and allowed our guests to have an experience! They felt like they were at a destination wedding without the travel!

3. Craft a ceremony that also reflects exactly who you are! We were lucky to find a celebrant, Dorry Bless, who was such a great listener she created a one-of-a-kind unique ceremony in collaboration with us so genuine that all who attended said it was like nothing they had ever experienced. So loving and intimate!

4. Attend any open house events your venue may offer. We found our photographer, tasted our food and found our celebrant all in one place! And the fact that all of them had previous experience working that venue, all of them guided us and made the stress level lower in all regards!

5. Don’t let the theme overwhelm you! Make it simple and elegant. If the venue is already beautiful or the setting for the ceremony stunning, let that be most of the backdrop. Add a few larger flower arrangements and simpler displays on the tables and you are all set!

6. Consider a Cocktail Reception instead of a more formal sit down! Everyone loves the Cocktail Hour so why not extend that for three hours? We did and everyone loved being able to mingle with each other without assigned seating and we got to roam around too spending more time with family and friends! The pressure of not having to do table charts etc, was perfect! We had a Sunday afternoon wedding and this suited the occasion perfectly!

7. Pick a photographer that coincides with your artistic side! mkPhotography shot every picture from several angles giving us shots from formal to candid that brought the day to life in pictures! They were unobtrusive and were not a hindrance during the day at all. They were well-prepared with photo options and set-up from their years of experience and we are totally overwhelmed in the work of art they captured!”

Some details:
Venue: Rat’s Restaurant at Grounds for Sculpture
Flowers: potted Geraniums
Music: Mason Gross School of the Arts

See the Photographer’s Picks slideshow HERE

terri - a most beautiful rendering of a perfect day~ as time in a bubble, looking once again through these photographs, the grand emotion of that uniquely special day returns.

Eileen - Looking though the photos again brings me back to that Oh So Perfect day! These photos capture the loving atmosphere, the joy and emotions of the day, as well as the playfulness and happiness of the guests and grooms. Venue was stunning-and the photographers captured it all.

Alex and Michael @The Gables at Chadds Ford ~ mkPhotography, Pennsylvania Wedding Photographer

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

From the Bride:
“Michael and I met through mutual friends and we really hit it off because I work at the Ski Bum [winter apparel and gear shop] in Newark, Delaware and we both love to snowboard!

I was the one who actually asked Michael out, asking if he wanted to hang out after work one day. I remember being really nervous because I wasn’t sure if it was a date or what we should do, drinks, coffee, dinner? But as soon as he showed up, I was immediately relaxed because he made me laugh right away. Next we found out we both love mexican food and went to Santa Fe [restaurant] right down Main St. [in Newark]. It is still our weekly date night spot!

I knew pretty early on that someday I would marry Michael: we had a immediate connection. It was something I had never experienced before and the way he could make me laugh and how much fun we had- I just knew we were meant to be! We got an apartment together in North East, MD and an awesome rescue dog, Bo-Bo. A year later we bought a townhouse together and obviously needed another dog.. not really but we got one anyway! So we rescued Rusty.

After a long three years of happiness and pestering, Michael proposed on June 2, 2013. It was very sweet; he asked me to go downstairs and get the iPad from the kitchen. When I went to get it, he had left a message on the screen made out of refrigerator magnet letters, asking me to marry him! Then, shyly, Michael and our two goofy dogs awkwardly raced down the stairs, and he got down on one knee! I said yes and was overwhelmed by the gorgeous ring he designed all by himself!

Luckily that night was Shannon (my best friend) and Matt’s reception to celebrate their destination wedding, so all my family and friends were together and were very excited to hear about the proposal and see the beautiful ring.

Even before Michael proposed I was wedding planning! Having worked with mkPhoto for a short while and being completely obsessed with all the fun and beautiful details that make up weddings I was just too excited! Since I have some insider experience in weddings I knew a few things right away: I didn’t want a ‘traditional’ ballroom space, I WANTED snow, I wanted good food and a huge dance party! Also for better or worse Pinterest is a great planning tool and I went to work, pinning and sorting through all the wedding craziness. Loving skiing and snowboarding and ski ‘culture’, I started to plan this party with a ‘winter wonderland’/ski lodge coziness theme. I’m from the Kennett Square area and I went on a hunt for a rustic/ski lodge-y location and found the perfect fit in the Gables of Chadds Ford. They had just created a beautiful outdoor garden space and the party space! It was rustic with exposed wood beams and christmas lights- it was perfect!

Next I set to work on all my DIY, I was an art major in college and love doing crafts- even when they don’t come out perfect. I knitted the groom and grooms men’s bow ties and pocket squares, I made all the favors- hot cocoa and marshmallows, I embroidered the Mr. and Mrs. signs and helped make the flag garlands that dressed up the ‘party’ room. As well as all my DIY projects, I had a lace piece of my late grandma’s dress- the same dress she wore to my parents wedding- attached to the back of my dress to honor her. I also wore for some photos and the ceremony my mother’s fur coat that my dad had given her as an engagement present.

I don’t know what the ‘most’ memorable moment of the night was but a few definitely stand out:
– When Michael and I saw each other as my dad was walking me down the aisle- even though we had done a reveal and already seen each other- that was a big moment.
– During the ceremony PJ (my best friend’s little brother and officiant) asked Michael to repeat a line when giving me my ring and Michael tripped over his words which made everyone laugh!
– Seeing my 92 year old grandmother crying while giving Michael a hug and welcoming him to the family
– Lastly, but certainly not least, my 16 year old cousin Sammy dancing in my mom’s fur coat… funniest thing EVER!!

I have to say planning a wedding is way more work then I ever expected and I’m so thankful for all the love and support I received when the day finally came! There were definitely times the stress was so much I wasn’t sure if I would make it! I absolutely chose the best bridal party to keep me calm and the best vendors that helped make everything work and go off without a hitch! I’m so super thankful!!!”

Some details:
bride’s earings: Parisienne Girl on Etsy
bride’s shoes: EleHandmade on Etsy
dress: Vera Wang from David’s Bridal
invitations: bride designed
fur coat: mom’s engagement gift
bow ties: bride knit
groom’s watch: Nixon
photo location: Springhouse Antiques
grooms shoes: Converse
reception location: The Gables at Chadds Ford
photographer: mkPhoto
bride’s maids dresses: Donna Morgan
groom’s suit: Jos. A. Bank

See the Photographer’s Picks slideshow HERE
Don’t miss Alex and Michael’s sweet and cozy outdoor engagement session with us HERE

Walters Family ~ mkPhotography, Pennsylvania Family Photographer

Monday, January 12th, 2015

We caught up with the big beautiful family that makes up the Walters while everyone was together on the family farm for the holidays last month. The kids were so much fun! It was a GREAT winter session!

Katelyn and Michael @Nassau Vineyard ~ mkPhotography, Delaware Beaches Wedding Photographer

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

It was all very simple, actually. Katelyn and Michael met at a happy hour function at work. The two hit it off, became fast friends, and started dating a few months later.

They were enamored with each other and soon started talking about a future together. Once Mike made up his mind that he would propose he also decided to make it a surprise. He went to great lengths to make Katelyn think that a proposal was very far off in their future. Mike did this to such an extent that Katelyn thought he was implying that he may never want to get married!

She was on vacation with her family in London and he flew out to surprise her! Her parents knew he was coming and they all kept it a surprise. They were walking through a park and they turned a corner onto a beautiful flower garden where Mike stood, waiting – imagine Katelyn’s shock and excitement!

“My jaw was on the ground when he walked up and dropped to his knee, ” recalls Katelyn.

The Wedding
Says the Bride: “I am from the East Coast and Mike is from Kentucky so we wanted to infuse a sort of coastal/southern theme into our wedding reception via our food and drink options. Our hit hors devours were mini crab cakes, and our two entrees were short ribs with cheese grits a shrimp puttanesca. Hours were spent making our homemade favors – bourbon balls (a KY classic) and crab-shaped chocolates. Our cake was even of the chocolate-bourbon variety! Our favorite feature was that we had our two specialty cocktail drinks- 1 from each of our local areas – Bourbon Slush from KY and Orange Crushes from DE!

As far as a ‘perfect wedding vision’, I’m not sure we had one specifically. We just wanted good weather, a beautiful reception, and most importantly: we wanted to have a big wedding so we could invite all of our family and friends! We loved having our reception at the vineyard and it worked out well because our crowd might not have fit at many other venues.”

Some unique details about Katelyn and Michael’s wedding:
1. Their cocktail hour was outside in the grove, and their reception was inside, so gave them an opportunities to have two “themes”. They had a more rustic/vineyard themed cocktail hour and then a more traditional/clean look for their indoor reception. “I loved doing it that way because it gave us opportunities to play around with two different styles, ” says Katelyn.
2. Katelyn and Michael had a table set up as people walked in with pictures of their parents, grandparents, and other family members on their respective wedding days. The couple looks up to them so they chose this special way to acknowledge their respect and love for them.
3. They had their meal served family-style to get everyone at the tables interacting and talking. Katelyn says, “It wasn’t necessarily a decor choice but I think it gave the reception more of a warm feel.”

In the DIY category:
From the Bride: “We made all of the welcome bags. My uncle handmade and painted a huge frame to look like a polaroid picture which said “Katelyn and Michael” and our wedding date on it – people had a blast taking pictures with it! Also my mom spent hours making homemade bourbon balls as our favor – she’s officially become a chocolatier!”

special Bridal attire choices:
Shoes – Pink Badgley Mischkas. “My wedding band was handed down to us from Mike’s great-grandmother, a woman who wore so much pink, everyone called her the ‘pink lady’! Although she has passed and could not be with us on our day, I wanted to wear pink to honor her, ” explains Katelyn.
Dress – Romona Keveza. “I wanted something that looked classic but was still unique. The dress was a new design and I actually was the first person to buy it at Kleinfeld’s in New York! I loved spinning around in that dress on the dance floor.”
Jewelry – “I wore the same pearl earrings and bracelet that my mom wore on her wedding day – that was really special to me!”
Garter – “I wore the same garter that my grandma and her six daughters (my mom and 5 aunts) all wore! It has become both a silly and sweet family tradition.”

Advice for future brides:
“For as much time as you spend planning the material details of your wedding, once the day comes, its the people who are around you that make it what it is. Don’t get me wrong – it was a blast to plan everything! But the love of our family and friends around us is what I remember most.”

Some details:
Nassau Winery and Vineyard
Coordinator: Elevee Events
Caterer: Blue Moon
Cake: Carolina Sugar Fairy
Flowers: Theresa Floral
Hair and Makeup: Bad Hair Day
First Dance: Fly Me To The Moon – Frank Sinatra
Bridesmaid dresses: Bill Levkoff
Invitations: Crane & Co

See the Photographer’s Picks slideshow HERE
Don’t miss this Central Park engagement session! See HERE

Christine and Zach’s Engagement Session @ University of Delaware campus ~ mkPhotography, Delaware Engagement Photographer

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Christine and Zach met at the University of Delaware and it has a picturesque campus on top of its significance to the couple so they decided to have their engagement session with us there! We lucked into a gorgeous day with brilliant colors and textures as the backdrop to this picture perfect young couple.

We photographed Christine’s sister Gail’s wedding a few years ago. We are looking forward to capturing Christine and Zach’s special day at the end of the year at one of our favorite venues, the Hotel duPont!

The Tisdel Family ~ mkPhotography, Pennsylvania Family Photographer

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Warm up with this recent outdoor family session we had with the warmth of this happy family, the Tisdels : )