They met on the dance floor and danced into each other's hearts. This may sound cliche, but it's not. They literally met on Penn State's Ballroom dance floor and fell in love, but didn't know it until years later. Once they decided to get married, they knew that there was only one location that was the most meaningful and would be a great addition to their love and their journey. For those who don't know, State College is a destination wedding location. One of the largest attractions is Penn State University. They have not only the largest alumni base in the country, but in my opinion, they are also the most prideful. So it wasn't a shock to me that Jenny and Chris, two competitive PSU ballroom dancers, would want to share their love for each other and their alumni with family and friends. However, Jenny and Chris didn't just plan any wedding celebration, they had a few gems in store.
The first gem was their intimate Chinese Tea Ceremony. This was such a lovely moment that they shared with just a few friends and family. From the vibrant red colors of their traditional attire to the reverence and words of wisdom granted upon them from their parents, this ceremony was just a joy and an honor to witness. I absolutely love it when couples include their traditional customs into their weddings. Afterwards we headed to the beautiful Penn State Arboretum for their larger wedding on the terrace. What a gorgeous day at such a picturesque location! Between the amazing backdrop of trees and vibrant colors of the Terrace, getting great pictures was effortless. This is also where they introduced their second gem, a llama and a cow. No, this is not a typo. They literally had a llama and a cow at their wedding. Included in their lovely personalized vows, they each presented one another with a gift of a stuffed animal that most resembled the qualities that they adore in each other. Jenny received the llama while Chris was gifted with the cow. Now, I'd be lying if I told you I knew the meaning behind each of them, my memory is not that good, but it was definitely a lovely surprise. Most vows include lovely sentiments followed by an exchange of rings, but when couples go the extra mile to add a little more personalization, it's always an A+ in my book. I love everything about it. This is just one of the many things that makes their wedding that much more unique.
After a lovely ceremony on the terrace, amazing photos throughout the gardens, and of course a "must-have" stop by Old Main with their furry family member (who had his own black and white cuff links on his paw, yes yes and YESSS, gem #3 if you're keeping count), we headed to the amazingly scenic Above the Valley for the reception and a treat. Yes we took some great pictures overlooking the breathtaking views of the valley. Yes they enjoyed some great food and conversations with their lovely guests. But this final gem is what stole the show for me. Jenny and Chris danced their hearts away. They gifted us with two well choreographed and amazingly executed ballroom performances. They floated across the floor seamlessly like a stream of flowing water. The lifts, dips, and spins were done with such grace and elegance that I felt like I had front row tickets to a professional dance performance. While I knew beforehand that they were ballroom dancers, I was blown away by the quality and artistry of the dance. My only challenge in photographing their dances was that I really wanted to just put my camera down and enjoy the show.
Jenny and Chris, thank you for sharing your culture and talent we us. It was truly a joy and an honor to document your wedding. I wish you many years of happiness and hope you can relive your special day every time you gaze upon your wedding pictures.