And This Makes Four | Happy Anniversary

I lay wide awake, staring into the darkness of my roommate’s bedroom. I just couldn’t stop thinking: “This time tomorrow I will be married!”

I had a habit of thinking about time like that–especially during finals week in college. “In 24 hours this will all be over” would sometimes be the only comfort had to get me through the end of the semester.

Well, I never could have imagined that in four years from that sleepless night I’d be where I am today. I can honestly say that I love Jay more than I did on August 20th, 2005, but that is only because of the grace of God. Being married to him is truly a blessing–and I need to remember that more often!

So, happy anniversary Sweetie! I hope we have 40+ more anniversaries together.

And now you may be wondering about my wedding photos. Well, ironically, that’s one of my biggest regrets about my wedding–my photos.

You’re probably asking, what happened? Well, for starters, I was only at the hobby stage of my passion for photography, so I didn’t know then what I know now.

Mostly, I blame myself for not planning ahead more–for not THINKING more about what I wanted. I really regret not allotting any time for photos outside of the church. What was I thinking?? Also, digital photography wasn’t what it is today four years ago.

I must say our photographer did do a great job with our getting ready shots, but from there things don’t go too well. There’s a lot of missed shots of us during the actual ceremony and reception. I’m not sure what happened there.

Now, I don’t want to end on a sad note–I’m still very happy that I married Jay, and photos or no, you can’t take that away! And I do think we’ve got some good shots. Plus, my experience has been a tremendous inspiration for me in my work–I strive that much harder to make sure none of my brides have any regrets about their wedding photos. And I hope that shows in my work!

We DID have very nice engagement photos.

I’d forgotten how loooong my hair was.

My favorite.

This was my bridal portrait. I was going for the vintage look, so I converted it into a black and white photo. P.S. My mother made my dress!

That’s my sister helping me out (thanks Martha!).

And my mother, brother, and grandmother…hmm..sounds like a rhyme to me.

Ha, thanks Kara!

I love this shot of Ha, Ha, Jay’s grandmother. She passed away about a year after we got married at the grand old age of 95.

And that’s about it for the ceremony photos until “the kiss.” The groomsmen are giving an Aggie “whoop!”

We had our reception at the Astin Mansion in Bryan, Texas, for which our dog Astin was named.

Our groomscake, made by my friend Ashley–yum, cheesecake!

And although this photo is grossly over exposed, it’s still one of my favorites.

This is also a favorite.

And this shot was taken by my mom-in-law’s point and shoot camera.

And they lived happily ever after!

Happy Anniversary - […] And what better way to celebrate five years of marriage than by photographing a wedding together? Yep, it’s also Katie and Brad’s wedding day…and they’ve picked a pretty nice date to get married, if I do say so myself. Let’s just hope it’s not nearly as hot as our Texas wedding in late August! […]

Nicole - Yay yay Mary and Jay! (How's that for a rhyme?) Mary, you look so young there! Crazy stuff. Love you!

Lisa Piellusch - Congratulations! :) You're sooooo young!! Some great moments captured in those photos. We just celebrated our 17th anniversary at the beginning of the month and our photos are sooo not what I'd have done if I were getting married today! haha :)

Your dress was beautiful!! <3

Kara - yay felicidades! thanks for posting the pictures, y'all look great in them :)

martha - Why is Cullen driving the get away car? Just kidding. Only both Ben and I did a double take on it, for whatever reason, Jay really looks like Cullen in it!

Congratulations, sister! Love you both!

Lindsay - How Sweet! I loved these pictures! Congratulations on four years & hope for many more to come!

Sticky Toffee Pudding Fun

Before we left for our trip to the UK, our friends John and Angela–who had lived for three years in Edinburgh–gave us a very important recommendation: we had to try sticky toffee pudding.

Sounds good, eh? Naturally we took their advice and sampled some sticky toffee pudding at an Indian restaurant in Edinburgh–delish!

So, when Angela told me she would be making some sticky toffee pudding for us when we came over last Thursday, I knew we were in for a treat (pun intended).

The unassuming dish at first appears quite humble, and shall we say–even boring.
Sticky Toffee Pudding

But then you’re forgetting some of the most important ingredients…

And since you can’t find the heavy cream they use in the Scotland, we had to make do with plain ol’ ice cream.


Meanwhile, Amelia entertained herself with a couscous box.

Unfortunately, she was not allowed to have any sticky toffee pudding–which might explain this expression.

That’s more like it.

Thanks John and Angela for the great meal and good fellowship! AND Happy Birthday Angela! Oh, and your pudding was much, much better than the one in Edinburgh!

Meghan and Jim | Pittsburgh Engagment Photos

On Friday evening I met up with Meghan and James at Mellon Park to shoot their engagement pictures. They had driven all the way from D.C. for their photos…well, OK, they had some other things to do in Pittsburgh before the wedding, too.

I thoroughly enjoyed getting to spend time with these two sweet people. They have a great sense of humor, and they love each other–two ingredients that make for a super fun engagement session. Oh, and they had matching shirts…but more on that later.

It was HOT outside…in more ways than one!

Meghan has GORGEOUS brown eyes…and I love the way she’s looking at Jim here.

See? What’d I say–a great sense of humor.

Here are the matching shirts…this was also part of a joke.

Mmmm…love that evening light…

They thought’d it be fun to hang from the gate…

It was a bit tricky.

Meghan and Jim–I’m looking forward to seeing you again for your wedding in September!

Amanda and Tim | Wedding

Well, they say it means good luck. Rain on your wedding day.

I don’t think Amanda and Tim, though, need any of it. They have plenty of love, good friends, and a great family to get them through anything life might throw at them.

Despite the soggy weather, Amanda and Tim’s wedding was beautiful. Their ceremony was held outside at the Lutherlyn Center in Butler. And through it all, Amanda and Tim had such good attitudes, you would have thought the sun was shining with a bright blue sky in the background.

Amanda and Tim–I truly enjoyed getting to celebrate your wedding with you. Now let’s see some photos!

Amanda made this hairpiece all by herself–gorgeous! I LOVED their vintage theme.

Ok, this has to be one of the CUTEST flower girls I’ve ever seen..


This shot was taken by Jay. Looking good!

I love, love, love this shot. Even with the seatbelt.

Yes, that’s rain. And yes, Amanda and Tim are awesome.

Amanda suggested we do a Trash the Dress session after the wedding. After all, we’re half-way there!

And if you haven’t noticed, Amanda is BEAUTIFUL (and Tim, you are handsome).

Ok, so I hadn’t yet seen a real full on cake face smash…until this:

Tim and his sister are quite the dancers!

Actually, the whole family is.

And they had lots of toys for the groomsme–er, kids.

And I think this about sums their wedding day up.

CONGRATULATIONS Amanda and Tim! Thank you so much for letting me share in the fun!

Kathy Tomick - Love these! especailly #23, the BW in the rain of them looking at each other! PERFECT!!!!

Call for Models: Couples Needed for Workshops » Pittsburgh Wedding Photographer | Birchtree Photography Blog - […] workshops in April. Some of you may remember that my wonderful wedding clients from last summer, Amanda and Tim, were the great models for my trash the dress […]

Kim S. - What a terrific day…and such a great couple! Love you guys!! Kimmie

Amanda and Tim - Thank you for all of your votes, but Please vote on the bottom of the main page with all of the other brides listed! not sure if these ones will count…

Amanda Gilliland - Amanda and Tim!!

Hayley - Amanda and Tim

Katey - Amanda and Tim!

Ann English - Amanda & Tim! Beautiful photos :)

Christine Sandy-Hughes - I vote for Amanda & Tim!! Congratulations to you both and may God Bless you from this day forward!!

Jason Robeson - Amanda & Tim!

Jason Robeson - Tim & Amanda

Jason Robeson - I vote for Tim and Amanda!

Michelle - Tim and Amanda without a doubt.

Debby Solari - I vote for Amanda and Tim….Beautiful wedding

Ken Brown - I vote Amanda and Tim! Awesome photos!

Diana E-B - I VOTE AMANDA & TIM!!! Such GORGEOUS photos! Every single one brought a smile to my face! What an AMAZING photographer you are!

Mary Robeson - Amanda & Tim

Jason - Amanda & Tim!!!

Lisa - Kara showed me your pictures. What a beautiful couple!

Grandpa and Grandma Franko - Enjoyed the entire wedding ! We were grateful to be a part of it. Tim and Amanda’s love for one another was so apparant.

Dave Bish - Awesome! We had a great time sharing in your day.

Glori Smith - Amanda & Tim

Kara - When you are with Amanda and Tim you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I am amazed that the photos translate that warm and fuzzy feeling…wonderful job Mary!

I vote Amanda and Tim!!

Peg Shingleton Hamas - the purest of love , the simplist of joy , THE most PERFECT day ! You both gave warmth to my heart ! love Aunt Peg

Becky DeGregorio - Tim & Amanda…..what a great wedding day. One BEAUTIFUL couple!
Aunt Becky

Milla - Oh my goodness… what a BEAUTIFUL ceremony!! Wow! I've never seen a venue like that! Beautiful photos Mary… I especially LOVE the ones in the rain!

Lisa Piellusch - What a fantastic wedding!! (Well at least that's what it looks like from the photos) :)

That venue for the ceremony was gorgeous!

Looks like you did a great job of capturing the day for them.