Pennsylvania Rustic Barn Wedding at Gillbrook Farms
Before the “I Do”
Many, many years ago in a quaint college café at Penn State University two young people met and found their forever.
It was the start of a new year when Zach and Michelle were first introduced through their mutual friend, Katy. It was a whirlwind night of dancing and sudden departures; Zach didn’t even get the chance to ask for her number. A week later, and with more help and assurances from Katy that Zach was indeed a “nice guy”, the two were on their first date at Happy Valley Brewing Company (a place they still frequent on date night to this day).
Four years later, Zach popped that magical question. The proposal was intimate though Michelle had her suspicions. It was nearly unheard of for Zach to plan things out after all. Following a trip to Shingletown Gap they stopped at a place Zach loved to photograph but instead of pulling out his camera, he pulled out a ring and dropped to one knee.
Michelle, of course, said yes.
The Day Of
The wedding and ceremony took place at the historic Gillbrooks Farm. Only 25 minutes from the college where they met, the farm boasts flourishing horse pastures, an expansive pond, and magnificent old trees ideal for any wedding or event. Built in the 1840’s, the nearby barn bears lofty ceilings and spacious floors to create the perfect rustic atmosphere and the perfect dance floor.
Just as eye catching is the guest house made of reclaimed wood from Penn State University and stained-glass windows. Eclectic art and architecture make the house stunning and unique and perfect for Michelle’s morning preparations. It was hard not to fall in love with the whole ensemble.
From their own rooms, Michelle and Zach each took a moment to read the letters they wrote for one another while getting ready to kick off the day. A very emotional moment, they shared what they loved about one another.
Surrounded by her mother and bridesmaids, Michelle was soon slipping into her dress. Sticking with the tradition of “something old”, Michelle donned the veil Zach’s grandmother wore on her own wedding day. She was stunning and ready to walk down the aisle.
Before the ceremony though Michelle and Zach got their first look at one another while taking their portraits. The couple couldn’t have been happier as they and their bridal party goofed around on the grounds.
Soon the ceremony was underway; my favorite part was the altar set up in front of a huge willow tree and creek. It was picturesque to say the least. Short and sweet and with lots of sunscreen for everyone, the ceremony was over, and we were on our way to the barn.
Decorated with their own personal touches and pictures of the couple and their families’ past weddings, you couldn’t have asked for a more personal set up. The couple even had a “date jar” where guests could write down ideas for future dates.
The reception began quickly, and the newlyweds had their first dance. Unlike the traditional wedding cake you would usually see, Michelle and Zach had yet another unique, and personal, twist by having cheesecake instead.
Speeches were soon given, toasts were made, and the father of the bride welcomed Zach officially into the family. The sun was setting when the photographers finished taking the rest of their formal pictures. The colors reflecting off the water were the way to finish the day.
The evening ended just as well with music and dancing. As Sweet Caroline came on- a classic song to sing at Penn State games- Michelle and Zach were surrounded by their friends and family to sing the rest of the night away.