Bucks County Wedding Photographer | Private Estate | Alison + Reuven
2014 was a year of some of the most incredible weddings of my career. Of course mine was my absolute favorite. Hovering near the top was Alison and Reuven’s.
Close your eyes and think of all of the elements you would want at a wedding – easy laughter between guests, family camaraderie, dancing so hard you’re sweating, genuinely smiling so much your cheeks hurt, savoring a delicious meal, feeling the sunshine on a day with perfect weather, personal and beautiful flourishes created especially for such a day, and love, oh, the love of a couple being able to refer to “my husband” and “my wife” for the very first time. That was Alison and Reuven’s wedding.
The wedding was held at Alison’s mother’s farm in Bucks County. Home-based weddings always make me a little nervous because I know that it’s nowhere as easy as “let’s throw up a tent and have a good time.” You need to consider toilets, kitchens, generators, transition spaces, renting everything, cleanup, breakdown, landscaping, flow… It’s often enough to make most people flee to their nearest ballroom. But not these two.
Barn Swallow Farm looked beautiful and the day, despite terrible humidity in the preceding days, was clear and perfect.
Alison is wonderfully highly organized with serious streaks in her. On the wedding day she was cool as a cucumber. She had to have known it was all going to be gravy. She dressed in a vintage 1930s vintage French wedding dress. The paper thin layers and sweet cap sleeves were just right for the summer day. She was told mere weeks before the wedding, at the last fitting, that the dress wouldn’t likely hold up the entire day.
The ladies of the bride’s side wore short, breezy grey silk chiffon gowns and carried bouquets of cheerful sunflowers. Reuven’s side (including woman of honor and Reuven’s sister, Bracha) donned orange.
The nearly-weds met for a first look by the family barn before roaming around the property – passing Luna the sheep, a pond, and fields. The dress had a tear in it before Reuven even set eyes on Alison that day. She brushed it off (and asked that I not retouch it for the album).
As per Jewish religion, the men and women separated for the tisch and bedeken. For the uninitiated, this involves dancing, singing, and a lot of revelry. The men make their way over to the women for the ketubah signing and the veiling (Alison opting for an oh-so-chic birdcage veil).
Then was time for the full ceremony outdoors surrounded by nature. The parents and wedding party each processed to different Disney songs. Their good friend and rabbi, Ben, led a touching and humorous service.
The two recessed to Aladdin’s “A Whole New World.”
Cocktail hour was lengthened to allow the guests to fully enjoy the offerings of the farm. Drinks and a Mediterranean spread was set up in the barn while a half dozen lawn games (made by the crafty couple + family) were spread all over the area. There was a custom beanbag toss, monster jenga, a traveling bocce game, horseshoes, and beer (set up in a nearby tractor, of course). Hand-painted signs were all over the place, pointing out where you could find what, the night’s menu, and the wedding hashtag.
Alison changed into dress #2 and later a spunky new pair of chucks. As you can imagine, the reception was a blast. Their first dance was “You’re My Best Friend” by Queen.
I’m not sure if I have ever seen guests clamoring for an encore of a hora before this. One truly awesome guest gave me a great vantage point from his shoulders to catch some of the frenzy.
I had been giddy all day but then the sunset came and I was ready to pinch myself. Lovely purples filled the sky and the couple was up for some more pictures under the night sky and in the barn, now positively glowing with hundreds of candles.
It was just the two of them with Stevie Wonder blasting from the reception tent as they shimmied to their own private dance party.
A crazy, happy, spinning mass of people were rocking out to the Spice Girls as I left that night. Total perfection.
You’re the first one
When things turn out bad
You know I’ll never be lonely
You’re my only one
And I love the things
I really love the things that you do
You’re my best friend
~ Queen, “You’re My Best Friend”