THE JM JOURNAL

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THE JOURNAL

Jillian + Daniel | Married

A Lancaster County Fall Wedding | Stoltzfus Homestead & Gardens

I can’t quite fully explain why Jillian and Daniel’s wedding was so special. Several of the other vendors felt the same way. The flowers were gorgeous, but Pearls and Petals Designs always does an outstanding job. The bride was stunning…aren’t they all? The food was delicious. John Lowe is always a favorite. The sunny day turned into a rainy one, but yet, the day still seemed extraordinary.  I think the reason this wedding was so incredible was the beauty that shown from the hearts of the bride and groom. They were both so kind and I could tell they have a deep love for one another. Even though it rained, they had such a great spirit about them. (And their photos still turned out beautifully) They both have a true appreciation of life and love, and that may be because life is precious to them. Five years ago, Jillian’s life was saved when her cousin gave her a kidney when she needed a kidney transplant. Dan was there by her side through the hard days before the transplant and the recovery afterward. Before they were even married, they had already survived such a life changing event that most couples never have to endure. 

Jillian and Daniel’s wedding left me with a very happy and content feeling that this is exactly where God wants me at this moment in my life. I get a sneak peek into the lives and hearts of couples in love, and when they leave such a lasting impression on me like this couple did, it’s truly special. Here is their story.

Jillian and Daniel were high school sweethearts. Dan had recently moved from New York to North Carolina when he met Jill in gym class. The tough move turned into a positive experience when they started dating. That was 11 years ago. Between then and now, they survived high school, Jillian’s kidney transplant, and 4 years of long distance dating. (Jillian chose NC State for college and Dan went to Va Tech) After college, their love was still strong and Dan and his southern girl moved to Pittsburgh. There were some adjustments but they both grew to love Pennsylvania. During the pandemic, when life was somewhat on hold for many of us, Dan convinced Jillian to go on a hike with him on a rainy morning. The hike ended up being one of the best days of their lives when Dan asked Jillian to be his wife.

Fast forward to a little over a year later, and their wedding day had finally arrived. Fall is their favorite season, and Stoltzfus Homestead and Gardens is the perfect place to see it in all of it’s splendor. 

Jillian and her bridesmaids arrived at the Homestead early that morning to get their hair and makeup done. It was a beautiful sunshiny morning and they all hoped it would stay that way, even though there was rain in the forecast. Jillian had her three sisters and her future sister-in-law as her bridesmaids. With her ‘girls’, her mom and her future mother-in-law with her, getting ready was wonderful. They all lived in different states now, and those moments together were really special. As the morning progressed, we were able to get some beautiful bridal party shots before the wind kicked in and the skies began to darken. Minutes after the ladies made it back into the bridal suite, a torrential downpour started. Jillian didn’t let that bother her…this was her wedding day, and everything was perfect. Back in the bridal suite, Jillian and a first look with her father. It was so beautiful to see how much they love each other, as they both wiped away tears of happiness. 

Both Jillian and Daniel had written each other notes that they read separately before the wedding. It was so sweet to see their smiles as they read words of love and promises from each other on the most important day of their lives. With the girls in the bridal suite, the groom and groomsmen were getting ready in the groom’s room. There was no shortage of fun and laughter with this group of guys. With their personally chosen socks and boutonnieres on, we got some great shots before the men had drinks and toasted Dan on his big day.

It was finally time for the ceremony. With a short delay for rain, Jillian had just enough time to build up a little bit of anxiety and butterflies. As she and her dad stood outside the big barn doors, her nerves began to kick in as she anticipated the big reveal when she would finally see Dan. She’s says she’s pretty sure she blacked out going down the aisle because she didn’t even notice the barn or it’s stunning decor until she was taking family pictures after the ceremony. Reflecting on the Tobacco Barn, she said, “the barn was absolutely stunning and the flowers were so incredible. The ceremony was perfect and we had so many tears when finally said ‘I do’ after 11 years of being together.”

For Jillian, the reception was a dream come true. I always like to take my couples into the reception venue before the guests come in so they can see it first, (and take have a private moment as man and wife). They loved how the The Grand Barn looked. The decor was exactly how Jillian had envisioned it to be. After the long hours of planning and second guessing what she wanted, seeing it was so special. And, later, with all of their family in the same room, they were both overwhelmed with happiness. There were some family members they hadn’t seen for up to 10 years and it was incredibly special to reconnect after so much time. The food, drinks, music and atmosphere was everything they could have ever imagined. They’re both laid back people, and that’s exactly how their reception was. They were both so happy all night to have their family and friends celebrate with them and felt so honored that so many had traveled far to be with them. They had a final dance at the end of the night and were able to say with joy filled hearts, “We did it!”  They ended the night with a sparkler exit and drove away as man and wife.

It was a true honor to be a part of your special day, Jillian and Daniel. Thank you for allowing me to capture the memories for you. I look forward to see what’s next for you, Mr and Mrs Werner!

Photography | John Malloy Photography⁠

Venue | Stoltzfus Homestead and Gardens

Dress | Palm Bridal, Lillian West

Hair & Makeup | Darla’s Hair Care and Spa

Groom/Groomsmen | Jos A. Banks

Bridesmaids | Revelry

Florals | Pearls and Petals Designs

DJ | R Lawerence DJ

Invitation Suite | Minted

Caterer | Catering by John Lowe

Cake Artist | Cake and Cup Bake Shoppe

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THE JOURNAL

I am thankful to each and every couple who invites me to document their love story. Each precious moment of wedding happiness is important to me. 

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