{Real Weddings} Rachel & Tim's Whimsical Lancaster, Pennsylvania Wedding

I'm loving this whimsical wedding, that was submitted by a newcomer to the blog, New Chapters Photography.  There are so many great DIY touches, a fun color palette, and a bride & groom with a sense of humor.  

I reached out to Sten, the photographer behind the lens, to see if I could learn more about this wedding, because there were so many elements I was curious about.  I found out Rachel was more than happy to share with me her love story with Tim, and the details that went into planning their day.  Here is their story in her words:

The meeting
Tim and I moved into the same neighborhood at about the same time and met through common friends. About a year before I met Tim though, my college roommate met him briefly at an event and came back and told me that she met the perfect guy for me. She proceeded to (unsuccessfully) try to arrange a blind date for us. I’m glad we met when we did. It was better timing for both of us.

The proposal
Tim asked all of my housemates to be involved and arranged a scavenger hunt around the city to different significant places in our story together. At each stop he had the friend who was accompanying me give me a picture that was a clue to the next spot. All of the pictures went into a scrapbook that he made. The hunt ended in Rittenhouse Square, a beautiful park in Center City Philadelphia, where he had a picnic basket, blanket, and a yukelali player that he hired playing our song. He proposed, then I proposed back and gave him a ring too that I had secretly been wearing and waiting to give him. He arranged for a hidden photographer to capture it all.

I love the idea of a scavenger hunt, especially ending with a proposal!  That is great he got the housemates involved to help you get to the final stop, and to have a hidden photog to capture it all...it's so thoughtful and very creative.

Without further ado, I present to you the wedding of Rachel & Tim, beautifully photographed by New Chapters Photography:

lovebird cake topper, cake topper

Vision for the day
The vision sort of emerged. I think it started with the cigar box center pieces. (That idea just came to me). Tim wanted to have mustaches on sticks. I love buttons and so we found a place for those. A style started to develop and it all just went from there. It was fun to see it all together on the wedding day. It went from being just “pieces” that you hope will look good together, to a finished product. We were really happy with how it all turned out.

The color palette
We both love purple and gray- which were the colors of the ceremony. The light green and light yellow at the reception complimented the other colors well and made it feel a little more like spring.

The details
It was almost ALL diy. We designed and made (and sewed) our invitations and Save the Dates. All the decorations were hand-made. It was a lot of work, but it felt more authentically “us.”

The venue
We thought Riverdale Manor was a beautiful venue. There wasn’t a lot of significance to the place, but we were really happy with our wedding there.

The planning process
We were engaged for just under 11 months. There was a coordinator at Riverdale, Troy, who helped us with the logistics of the wedding day: set up, clean up, and catering. He was fantastic and a huge help! But, in terms of hiring someone to help with the planning outside of how it related to the venue, we did not hire anyone.

The search for the dress
I’m probably not your typical bride. They say that you know when you find “the one” wedding dress, but I just don’t think that’s true. They are all pretty! I went shopping exactly one time with my mom and sister-in-law and found a dress I loved. Because it was little more than we wanted to spend (and the sale ended the next day), we went back to the same store the next day to show my dad and brother. I actually ended up choosing a different dress the second day, not because I liked it more necessarily, but because it fit the style of our day better and I liked it just as much. I probably tried on 6-8 dresses total.

The lovely bridesmaids and their dresses
My bridesmaids were my best friends over the span of my life so far. I had my childhood best friend, my high school best friend, my two college roommates, and my two post college housemates. These girls all mean the world to me. I didn’t have a maid of honor, because there was no way I could choose just one. These women have each uniquely shaped my life. They got their dresses at David’s Bridal, and I think they only tried on about 4 dresses before deciding. What can I say, I’m not much of a shopper. They all looked stunning though.

Favorite moments from the day
Probably marrying Tim. ;-)  And, having so many of the people that we love in one place together. (And how good they all looked- Geeze!)

Honeymoon travels 
We went to Costa Rica. I studied abroad in Costa Rica when I was in college and it was fun to go back and take Tim with me. We had a blast.

Vendor raves
Riverdale Manor was a great venue- especially working with Troy. We absolutely adored him as our coordinator.

Sten, from New Chapters Photography, of course! Sten was awesome to work with and made us feel completely comfortable during the day. Our bridal party liked to have fun, and he rolled with it.

Advice for brides when it comes to wedding planning
You get to marry your best friend. That’s what matters. The work that goes into planning the day can be overwhelming and the day goes by too fast. But try to enjoy it. You’re getting to marry your best friend, and so many people that you love are coming out to witness it! Just keep it in perspective and be nice to the people who are helping you plan. Also, the day isn’t all about you. It’s all about everyone who helped to get you where you are. And it’s about him too, OK?

Thanks to Rachel for sharing what went into your beautiful wedding.  Great job on making all the decor, you both did a fantastic job! Those mustaches are perfect!

I do love the color palette, it is striking & fun!  I'm also loving that you used buttons-I'm a button hoarder, and love using them wherever I can!!  The escort card display is really cute with the button decorated clothes pins.

I couldn't agree more about making the day not just about the details, but obviously about marrying your best friend.  Details and plans can become overwhelming so easily, and sometimes the whole reason for a wedding, the marriage, gets put to the side.

Congrats on your new marriage, Rachel & Tim!  Many thanks to Sten with New Chapters Photography for submitting your work!

Photographer: New Chapters Photography, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Venue: Riverdale Manor, Lancaster, Pennsylvania


  1. There are no words beyond beautiful!

    oxoxoxo from San Francisco

  2. Those are the EXACT bridesmaids dresses I have been searching for. (Even the right color). Can someone PLEASE tell me the designer!?


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