Jessica & PJ’s wedding took place at the Airport Doubletree in Moon Township, Pa.
Time is crazy fast. I remember the day I met Jessica Gordon. I was eight years old when I was moving into the house directly across the street from her. She was chasing one of her family’s dogs, who ironically ran into my new wide open front door. To my surprise Jess was my age, and she had a sister close to my age as well.
I would grow up rather close with the Gordons and many others on that wonderful street in Ingram. I have so many fond memories of us as kids on that street and I often think about how wonderful it was to grow up in the area that I did.
Jessie Gordon, the softball playing little girl I remember, has changed so much in the last 20 years I have known her. This now wonderful woman is a fabulous mother to her own little one Tyler, and was about to marry the love of her life PJ. So as you can already tell, this wedding was very special for me.
This day was something we all had been waiting for. Jessie met PJ back in 2011 and I think we all knew that someday we would be hearing wedding bells. PJ had brought out the best in Jess. She was truly happy with a wonderful partner who supported her and respected her. I was so excited to hear when they got engaged and knew the wedding would just be around the corner.
It was the big day! When I first arrived at the hotel, the girls were getting ready downstairs finishing hair & make up. Makeup by SMB Beauty and hair by Krista Chesno. Some of Jessica’s VIPs included Maid of Honor Krista (another neighbor of mine growing up!), Bridesmaids Breanna, Jessica, & Hannah. She also had her beautiful flower girls with her, Lilly, Brynlee, & Elyson.
It was like a neighborhood reunion for me the whole day. I would see many familiar faces throughout the day coming to celebrate with Jess & PJ.
Over the years of photographing, I have found that the one bad thing about photographing a close friend, is your not taken as seriously. And by that I mean, I get way more silly faces than I get on normal weddings. Anytime I find myself shooting a friend, they give me the funniest of faces and Jess was no exception. I was giggling so hard because every time I pointed the camera at Jess in the morning, she was giving me a silly face. Thankfully I always bring a 2nd photographer, who got way more serious faces than I did in the morning! haha!!
As the little girls ran around the room, we headed upstairs to visit with the gentlemen. PJ’s VIPs included his adorable ring bearer son Tyler, best man Jenner, groomsmen Andy, Steve and Chris.
In most cases, we are eager to see the groom get all suited up, but I have to admit, I couldn’t wait to see little Ty Ty get all dressed up. PJ helped Tyler get his shoes and suspenders on. This was an ADORABLE look for little Tyler. Although it was hard to get some smiles out of Tyler, he would come more out of his shell later at the reception. 😉
After Tyler was dressed, PJ got his shoes and suspenders on as well. I have to say I loved the suspender look for the guys. PJ and his groomsmen looked so good together, they could of been part of a bootleg heist.
Back downstairs, it was time to get Jessica into her dress. This was when it started to get real for her and everyone around. I had to hold back tears as this gorgeous bride stood there in front of me, all while I pictured the little girl I once knew.
Jessica & PJ elected to do a first look. This is when a bride & groom see each other before the ceremony. I personally love first looks because they can be so beneficial to your timeline, but they can be such a wonderful experience for you and your fiance to share. It gives you the chance to experience an intimate moment together that is truly hard to come by on your wedding day. Plus you get time after the ceremony to speak with your guests and relax!!
For their first look, Jess & PJ wanted to involve their bridal party. So we set up PJ standing toward the bridal party while Jess started walking up behind him. Everyone thought Jess looked beautiful, including little Tyler who ran to his mom. As Jess approached PJ and he turned around, Jess immediately started crying as she watched his reaction. They immediately embraced and I could feel my heart pitter patter for these two!! Jess spun for PJ showing off her gorgeous fully laced, sleeved gown from David’s Bridal with its frosted beaded belt.
After we got beautiful bridal party, family and couple portraits, it was time for the ceremony. Jessica was walked down the aisle by her father, Guy Gordon, and my tears already started up again. As Jess was handed off to her soon to-be husband, PJ couldn’t keep his eyes off of her. It was amazing watching these two exchange vows and looking into each other eyes. As the sun started to reach golden hour, we all watched them as they poured sand into a combined glass. This ritual symbolizes two souls joining into one and once they had poured out all of their individual sands, their officiant Pat Carver announced them as husband and wife!!!
After PJ & Jess were officially married, it was time to party. The reception room was filled with hot pink accents on the tables, chairs & the ballroom walls. For their wedding cake they had a unique styled Jimmie cake. I heard it was PJ’s idea and I thought it matched him well. Such a smart and open-for-anything type of guy, he is always sporting tie die when I see him, and this Jimmie cake reminded me just of that.
Jess & PJ’s reception was very emotional for me and it meant so much to me to be a part of it. From the speeches from their best friends, to watching them dance together ,and with their loved ones, I couldn’t help but tear up behind my camera. A big part of why I love photography is capturing these once in a lifetime moments, and sharing them with my clients. But this time, the clients are my friends, who deserve so much love and happiness.
One of my favorite moments of the night was watching these two dance with their son. Time flies by so fast. Watching these three dance, I couldn’t help but wish time would move just a little bit slower.
Dear Jessica & PJ,
Thank you so much for having me!!! You two are amazing together and I am so happy for you two to be finally married! I wish you and your family endless happiness!
Photographer – Danielle Durbin Film & Photo
Venue – Airport Doubletree
Hair – Krista Chesno
Makeup – SMB Beauty
Dress Store – David’s Bridal
Grooms Attire – Mens Wearhouse
Officiant – Pat Carver
Cake – Carol’s Cakes
DJ – Magic Moments