Chrissy and Anthony
wedding at St. Gabriel Parish in Hazleton, PA
portraits at Eckley Miners Village
reception at Eagle Rock Resort
Hazleton wedding photography
Chrissy grew up down the road from us and we were touched and honored that she invited me and our daughter to her bridal shower. It was a great way to get to know Chrissy and Anthony and their families (at least the female members) better. We had halupki and pierogies, both savory dishes inspired by the coal region's eastern European ancestry. I learned that Anthony is a foodie (he insisted on preparing one of the dishes for the shower even though he wasn't there) and I got a preview of the yummy desserts this family can turn out! And Chrissy sent me home with a baby spider plant as a party favor. So sweet! Her mother had meticulously nurtured maybe two dozen of the offspring of mama plants for a few months prior to the party. They wrapped them nicely and included a little info about the magical air cleaning qualities of this hearty, low light loving plant. I am totally stealing this idea for Christmas this year:-)
The wedding day was beautiful. Chrissy and Anthony were gifted a lovely fall day- 72 degrees and sunny, not a cloud in the sky. This was great because we had a trip to Eckley planned and if it rained, it may have been too muddy to consider going. Eckley was founded in the mid-nineteenth century as a coal company-owned settlement. It has been preserved and exists today much as it was then. But I am getting ahead of myself...
St. Gabriel's church in Hazelton is a hidden gem. It is a well kept thriving church in a city struggling to regain its former prosperity. The church is tucked away on a side street in a residential neighborhood near the downtown business district. I suspect there are many grand old churches like this throughout the region, nestled in communities that are still full of life but have seen better days.
Eagle Rock Resort is an upscale yet rustic wedding venue in Hazleton. The lodge features a central stone fireplace and wall of windows allowing for panoramic views of the mountain side. Guests were delighted to spot deer grazing through the field around sunset. Chrissy and Anthony love the outdoors (they honeymooned in Banff National Park in Canada!), so the resort was a good fit for them.
My favorite moments from the day:
I've already raved about the church, but seriously- check out this church!
I had a panic attack when the videographer ran in front of me for the recessional. It's one of my favorite moments to photograph. I was all set up for it, then he came in front of me and got in really close to the couple to walk backward about 5 feet in front of them all the way down the aisle. I had to run up to him and shoot over his shoulder. I hope I wasn't too pushy:-) Maybe not one of my favorite moments at the time, but kind of funny in hind sight.
After the ceremony, send off and formal portraits, the wedding party was a bit hungry. They sent a groomsman on a mission to pick up some chili dogs from Jimmy's and bring them to Eckley. Josh and I were invited to chow down and I got to have my first ever chili dog!
LOVED shooting at Eckley. So glad the weather cooperated. It was a really cool location for photos that helped tell the story of the region. It also had special meaning since Anthony worked there for several years and his father is still involved with the place. At one point, we were photographing the couple on a porch outside a building and Anthony said, "I built this porch." So cool.
The reception was great, full of many touching moments and lots of fun dances. But the thing that stands out most in my memory was the desserts. Chrissy and her mother worked for days ahead of the wedding to bake their favorite desserts. It was quite a spread! You'll have to forgive me for including so many photos of the desserts, but I have never seen anything like it. Everything was delicious! Check out Anthony's snowy mountain grooms cake. Guests were supplied with little monogrammed paper bags to take some treats home. My only complaint is that the bags weren't bigger;-)
Thank you Chrissy and Anthony for including us in your day! We are so glad you found us!
Credits: Wedding flowers by Still Creek Inc., Luzern, Carbon, Schuylkill county wedding planner. Wedding cake by Janie Lou's Cakes. Wedding gown by Emerald. Catering by Eagle Rock Resort. Entertainment by Hazelton DJ, Adam Skuba.