Shannon and I have been texting off and on since her wedding to Tommy in late October, and mostly we just talk about how much we miss this day! From the time we first discussed her wedding photography last January, through their Old City Philadelphia spring engagement session, through location scouting at Philander Chase Knox, and for every moment of their wedding day - the whole process and every special moment were such a joy. The three of us have shared chips and salsa at Lolita, a sunset picnic and wine in Valley Forge Park, cuddles with their puppy Bo in their apartment. It's safe to say I've been a third wheel many times, and I'm so here for it.
When their wedding day finally arrived, it was a warm and sunny day. The leaves were turning bright red and orange. The church was filled with light. Tommy and his groomsmen got dressed at their apartment (between rounds of baseball pong) while Shannon did hair and make-up with her girls at the Fairfield Inn. When asked what she was most excited for on the wedding day, Shannon told me: the music! As we arrived at the church her soloist was practicing at an empty altar, a clear voice echoing across every pew that would be filled with friends and family. She had the most amazing voice and I knew I would cry during the ceremony - I was right.
After their ceremony the wedding party piled into the Philadelphia Trolley Works to be shuttled to the venue. Things got a little interesting here as the trolley (a) didn't play music and (b) hadn't disclosed that they had to go on Route 30 through Wayne to I-76 to Route 202 to Chesterbrook bypassing all of Valley Forge Park before doubling back to the venue... at 5pm on a Friday. If you're local you'll know what that means. The journey took over an hour rather than the 20 minute ride we were anticipating. I immediately saw the strength of Shannon and Tommy's relationship as realization dawned on our beautiful bride that we were in standstill traffic. Tommy spoke in a calm and friendly way to the driver before expertly easing Shannon's nerves. Honestly, one look between them was all she needed. She graciously dropped her attachment to her previous plans and went with the flow. All was well, drinks were passed around, and when you look through those images you can tell that they were truly happy on their extended ride from the chapel to the reception.
Our 30 minutes of photo time in Valley Forge was not to be, and we were losing light fast. When we arrived at the Philander Chase Knox Estate with 30 minutes of daylight to go we all piled out of the trolley and began orchestrating wedding party and extended family portraits. I don't think I've ever worked so fast in my life because I was dying to take the newlyweds for their photos together. To their credit, you cannot tell that there was any wedding day mayhem - their bright smiles and big hugs and sweet kisses throughout all of their photos together speak to the unshakeable happiness they felt at being MARRIED!
From there, everything was a joyful blur. There were toasts that struck all the right balance of hilarious and heartfelt. There was a cake smash. There was dancing - so much dancing. Their live band had everyone in the tent on their feet, and on the dance floor. I am so happy for these two, and while I wish we could relive this day, I know that once was enough for everyone to enjoy happy memories for a lifetime. Congratulations again, Shannon and Tommy!
Reception Venue | Philander Chase Knox Estate
Getting Ready Location | Fairfield Inn and Suites
Church | St. David’s Episcopal Church
Caterer | Robert Ryan
Baker | The Master’s Baker
Florist | Jen at Willow & Thistle
Invitations | I Do! Invitations and Announcements
Hair & Make-Up | Avante Salon
Groom’s Attire | The Black Tux
Officiant | Reverend W. Frank Allen at St. David's Episcopal Church
Band | Bachelor Boys Band
Lead Photographer | Dylan Crossley Photo
Second Photographer | Amanda Jane
Videographer | GT Cinematics