Mandy & Mike | Wedding at Bella Sera

Mandy and Mike’s wedding and reception were held at Bella Sera by Greco’s  in Canonsburg, PA.  The ceremony took place outdoors at the rear of the building, where there is a pathway surrounded by trees and dappled shade leading to the pond.  It was a lovely, bright sunny day, and the weather was much warmer than it is right now!

So much attention to detail went into this wedding; by far my favorite were the many, many origami cranes that Mandy made by hand for each of her guests’ place cards.  All I can say is wow.


How cute is that card box–a little birdhouse with their name and “Est. 2009”.



As usual, the flowers by Mocha Rose were gorgeous.


Loved the feathered hairpiece.




Rather than a unity candle Mandy and Mike opted to have a  flower ceremony.





Mandy’s sister sang a beautiful rendition of “I’ll Be There” while her cousin played the guitar.









LOVED the cake topper; I am partial to octopi because my daughter loves them.  Such an intricate rendition of the framed photo on the table, crafted by Creations by Carlini.


Mandy and Mike honored their parents and grandparents by setting aside a special place for their wedding photos.



First dance.


Rather than a slow father-daughter dance, Mandy and her father cranked up the beat and did a fantastic dance to “Turn the Beat Around”.



The best dance by far was when everyone got their zombi groove on to Michael Jackson’s Thriller.


I was able to sneak these two away from the reception for a few minute for some romantic images in the tall grass.


Mandy and Mike, thank you for including me into your special day!  I wish you both the best of everything!

Amanda - What are you doing commenting at 1:23 a.m. ?? Get some sleep! Unless you were awake chimping at photos . . . ? Thanks a ton for coming up to the lingrow yesterday and shooting with me! You have a way of getting the romantic photos going that I don’t – if I tried it everyone would laugh at me! And you were right – I left behind all of my umbrellas and today have to go back to retrieve them.

Bella Sera – LOVE the paper cranes! The rose petals on the step and the guys walking in! The dappled light looks warm and summery!

Anna - oh my gosh I love the basket covered in flowers. and the last shot of them is adorable.

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Jessica & Danilo | Pittsburgh Wedding

What’s this?  TWO posts in one week?  No, dear reader, you have not stepped into an alternate universe where everything is turned upside down, nor are you dreaming.  Photographing Jessica and Danny’s wedding, however, was a dream!  Not only were they a fabulous couple to work with, but they gave me the ever precious gift of a little extra time with them between the ceremony and reception.  The result?  So many favorite pictures that I had to pare them down for the blog.

When I walked in the room and laid my eyes on these apple green babies I knew it was going to be a good day. :)



Jessica and Danny were wed at Epiphany Catholic Church, a beautiful old church located near the Civic Arena.  Their reception was held at the PPG Aquarium in the Pittsburgh Zoo.





The wedding was beautiful, and I felt privileged to witness the Filipino traditions that they incorporated into the ceremony.  I loved the barongs that the men wore instead of tuxes, and the dresses that the women wore were gorgeous.
















Loved the colors Jessica picked for her bouquet.




Jessica and Danny had such a sweet idea for favors; each of their guests received candy “penguin stones” with an explanation as follows: “Penguins mate for life and stick together in sickness and health…and REALLY cold weather!  They also bring their mates stones as a soothing gesture or greeting.  Enjoy these edible Penguin Stones to celebrate the bond that we have made to one another today as a married couple.”



Although Danny has a look of mischief in this photo, he was a perfect gentleman.




Jessica and Danny, I can’t thank you enough for the trust you placed in me to capture your precious wedding memories.  I wish you both a lifetime of happiness together!  Also, a big shout out to a past couple of mine, Vanessa and Matt–it was wonderful seeing you both again!  Vanessa and Matt were nice enough to refer Jessica and Danny to me before I even photographed their own wedding.  Thanks guys!

amanda - takin a walk on the wild side! LOVE the yellow flowers shot of the two of them and the wide shot of the zoo room. What a cool place for a reception! The jellyfish are sweet! You had to have been at a high ISO but they are silky smooth. Awesome – I can’t wait to team up on the 8th!

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Monica & John | Pittsburgh Wedding

Monica and John were married at St. Anne’s Church in Castle Shannon, just a hop, skip, and a jump from where I live.  Their reception was held at Salvatore’s, which is a stone’s throw from St. Anne’s!  Monica and John were referred by a lovely couple whose pets I photographed for Christmas last year.


John looking cool and confident  just minutes before the ceremony.


These three boys were so sweet and cooperative through all the pictures–thanks guys!  Don’t they look handsome in their suits?


I love the look on little man’s face here; being a ringbearer is serious business.   Of course, you have to make a little time for play, right? :)  Notice the green koosh ball laying innocently on the table, and then in the second picture he’s been busted by grandpa.










Oh, that father-daughter dance…gets me every time.


So sweet.  What that must be like for your little boy to be all grown up and taller than you in the blink of an eye.  I love the way he is holding his mom with such emotion.



A romantic kiss goodnight.


Monica and John, it was an absolute pleasure working with you both!  Many happy years to you!

amanda - Love love love the new logo bar – perfect! Might steal it ;-) The ring shot is classic elegance and I love the one of the three kids. Sandy Yetter pulls off yet another chic, warm, deliciously detailed wedding :-D

Becky & John | Engaged | Red Lotus Photography Blog - […] actually met through!  They are not the first of my couples to meet that way; remember Monica and John?  The people at must really know their stuff, because these two are absolutely perfect […]

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Welcome to the World, Little K. | Pittsburgh Child Photographer

This past Sunday my husband and I had the honor of becoming the Godparents of our nephew, little Mr. K.  Isn’t he a little cutie?  Sigh…there is nothing like holding a sleeping baby; the sound of their soft breathing and the downy feel of their fuzzy hair on your cheek is so relaxing.  (That is, until they wake up…lol.)  I’ve only known him for a short time, and yet I already love him.

I remember when I was a child and there was just my sister and I.  I couldn’t imagine what life would be like with another sibling; I couldn’t imagine loving a complete stranger who would soon be a part of our family.  Our family, we were just fine the way we were, I thought to myself.  Why change things now?  My mother was going to have another baby, but I didn’t think we could feel the same way about him, the same attachment, the same love, the same sense of belonging that we had for each other.  Or at least it would take a long, long time to feel that way, once we got used to him, I thought.  Oh, the silly mind of a seven-year old.

When Andrew was born, instantly it was hard to imagine what life was like without him.  Was there really a time when there was just my sister and I?  Why didn’t we know how incomplete our family was?  How did we not know that something was missing?  It was strange to think of a time in our family’s history when he didn’t exist.  It was like he had been there since the beginning…

And so this Sunday, as I looked down at my little nephew, I somehow still felt the same sense of wonder and amazement that I felt when Andrew was born, and when my little girl was born.  What was life like before them?  I can’t remember, because it’s as if they had always been a part of our family.  It makes me wonder, who else haven’t I met yet that will become an indispensable part of my life as time goes on?

Welcome to the world, little K.  We’ve been waiting for you.



Kristen - He’s beautiful! :)

Amanda - Kobe has the most adorable little round tummy :-)

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Molly & J | Hitched

Finally!  Things have been quite busy in Red Lotusville, and I am slowly catching up.  You might have waited even longer for this post, had not a good friend shamed me into just posting already!  Oh Reader, I confess that I have been a bad blogger, and I vow to change my slow-blogging ways!  Lest I make promises that I can’t keep, I will start small by making it my goal to post once a week.  Baby steps!

I have been dying to post Molly and J’s commitment ceremony pictures, not only because there were so many amazing details, and not only because Molly and J are such an awesome couple, but also because I had the fortune to have the fabulous Amanda Wilson (the aforementioned good friend) as my second shooter!  I can’t tell you how excited I was to have Amanda with me all day; the details she captured were just fantastic.

Molly and J celebrated their commitment to each other in a beautiful wooded setting just behind the Barn at Fallingwater, followed by a reception in the Barn.  Truly, I can’t imagine a more idyllic setting; surrounded by tall trees, leaves rustling in the breeze, and sunlight filtering down to create the perfect soft lighting.

Molly’s dress was so elegant, and the perfect shade of blue.





Molly and J opted to see each other before the ceremony for pictures (sometimes referred to as a ‘First Look’), which I love!  It’s nice to be able to get some alone time with couples before the ceremony, and it takes some of the stress off of trying to squeeze in everything before the reception.

Molly is workin’ it here – muy caliente!


Can I just say that the camera loves these two?


They began by making their entrance to the sound imagery of music and poetry performed by their friends; they each walked down opposite sides of the clearing to meet their parents, and then both families convened in the front to greet each other with warm smiles and hugs.  Then several of their friends gave touching testimonials of love that made everyone laugh, and sometimes well up with tears.  I admit that I got a little misty more than once.







Such passion and love for each other that Molly and J expressed in their vows…just beautiful.


We were able to take a few photos at Fallingwater before the reception.


Do you remember how in a previous post I said that I loved peeling paint, old wood, rusting metal and such?  Well, the only thing I love more than those things is a field of tall grass.  Any time I am out and about, I keep my eyes peeled for possible photo locations, and my heart skips a beat when I find a hidden patch of tall grass.



Amanda gave me the idea for this one–thanks Chickie!  Molly and J actually used this picture in the design of their thank you cards; I photoshopped the words ‘thank you’ on their knuckles to look like tatoos.


First dance.


Just when everyone thought it couldn’t get any more fabulous, Molly and J  broke out into a surprise dance that they choreographed to Michael Jackson’s song Billy Jean.  IT WAS FANTASTIC!!  I could only dream to move with such skill and grace.






Molly and J, thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your special day.  It’s something that I will never forget!  I wish you both many years of happiness together!

Amanda - OMG. This wedding was SO GREAT! I am drooling with jealousy over the shot in the grass with the soft edges. And I love the glowing wine bottles and the pearls on the drink list and the twisted string of lights. How did you ever edit all of those shots?? There had to have been so many!
I had a Fantabulous time with you guys and I can’t wait till we get the chance to shoot together again.

Sandy Yetter is a rockstar !

We should wear capes and hire out as a dynamic duo.

MollyBain - These so beautifully represent our evening of festivities! Thank you, thank you! We had such a wonderful time working with you and your two fierce assistants who packed cameras and lights galore. We love how you capture the space, the green and warm and hazy environment, our community of friends and family, and all the love! Dear Goddess, how I adore the Sandy-Montage!! Thank you again; and thank you, Amanda, for your contributions–they’re great!

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Vanessa and Matthias | Wedding {Part 2}

As promised, more images from Vanessa and Matt’s wedding…

You know me and my affinity for bold, saturated colors. :)  The strong geometric pattern combined with the blues and golds really appeal to me in this image.


Can I just say that the moment just before the kiss is even better than the kiss itself?  It gives a sense of anticipation to the image.  This moment looks like it belongs in a timeless romantic movie.  (Wistful sigh…) This was captured exactly as it happened, at the perfect moment, without guidance from me.  But here’s a little tip for brides-and-grooms-to-be: when the time comes for your own photos, once in a while try lingering just barely apart for a few seconds before your lips make contact, and see if it adds a sense of anticipation and movie romance to your images.


You know what else I love besides saturated colors?  Peeling paint.  That’s right, I said peeling paint.  I love the contrast of beautiful people juxtaposed to a grungy scene like this.  Peeling paint, old wood, rusty metal, you name it.  If we are on a photo shoot and come across something like this, be prepared to hear a squeal of delight from me!



Two grungy backdrops in one day?  And this one in rich purple?  I was in heaven.


I used a little cross-processing to give this one a different feel.  What do you think?


Vanessa chose some amazing details;  I love, love her stylish feathered hair piece–so chic!



I won’t tell you what lengths I went to in order to get this shot, but I will say that it was totally worth it.


And finally a moment alone at the bar…


Vanessa and Matt, thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your day.  I wish you both many years of happiness and love!

Amanda - WHOA! I think this is the best wedding yet from you!! LIKE WHOA. I love the people waving out the window – the bridal details – the reception photos – and the bar shot!

I like the cross processing!

Vanessa - Sandy, I cannot thank you enough for doing such a great job capturing the day. I love all of these pictures! I knew I would-you are just so great!

Jessica & Danilo | Pittsburgh Wedding » Red Lotus Photography Blog - […] I wish you both a lifetime of happiness together!  Also, a big shout out to a past couple of mine, Vanessa and Matt–it was wonderful seeing you both again!  Vanessa and Matt were nice enough to refer Jessica […]

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B E   I N   T H E   K N O W !