Dan + Alyssa's Backyard Wedding | Mertztown, PA

Dan and Alyssa are part of the SMF family in every way! Not only are they friends who we all love from college, but we have been fortunate enough to cover so many steps of their journey as a couple! From their proposal to their wedding day, we always leave their sessions feeling joy and love. We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to celebrate them on their wedding day!

Someone recently told me that just because something isn't the way you planned or envisioned, doesn't make it worse or any less special. Hello, 2020! This may be a year of adapting, but it is not a year of settling. We have experienced beautiful moments and celebrations this year because of the pandemic. We have gotten to connect with couples and their families more, we have gotten to explore hometowns and backyards, and we have gotten to work through these hurdles together. Most of all, loved ones have gone above and beyond for their family and friends to make them feel celebrated and loved, even if it has to be from a distance. For Dan and Alyssa, these gestures of love were shown through early morning drives, extra work on the landscaping and inside the house, DIY decorations, becoming an officiant, spending extra time in the kitchen, screenshotting virtual attendees, a drive-by parade, and so much more!

While this wedding wasn't the large one at Fern Hill they had planned, it was the perfect, intimate, backyard ceremony to celebrate Dan and Alyssa's love. The ceremony took place in the backyard of Alyssa's childhood home. It was made official by Alyssa's sister. It was a weekend for families to come together. It was an opportunity for all their Zoom attendees to enjoy from home and smile (or laugh when a few mics weren't muted). Most of all, this was where and when where Dan and Alyssa became husband and wife.

Look at how excited Dan is!! We love this picture of him!

When Alyssa called to let me know that they were keeping their date, she told me, "My sister is becoming a registered officiant as we speak." Lexi did an amazing job officiating her first wedding!

One section of seating was reserved for their family in attendance.

The other side was reserved for their at-home viewers. Alyssa, being a teacher during quarantine, was very well-versed in zoom by this point!

Dan and Alyssa had a sand ceremony that was complete with blue and white sand! If you remember their proposal, you'll remember they're a Penn State couple!

We were glad to hear that Dan and Alyssa got their wedding rings in time! They had to send them back on the week of the wedding, because the company had originally sent them the wrong ones! Alyssa had her $6 Amazon wedding ring ready to go, just in case.

The walkway to the Neimeyer pool made for the perfect aisle!

Introducing the new Mr. and Mrs. Hamm!!

Dan and Alyssa shared their first dance as a married couple on the back porch! Watching their parents as they had their first dance filled our hearts with so much joy. These families were so excited to have a new daughter and a son added to the mix!

Alyssa's father, Doug, has become known for his original poems. After the first dance, he recited one just for the occasion!

After the cake cutting, Dan and Alyssa thanked their at-home guests for joining them, and we began portraits!

And how could we ever forget their pup (and flower girl) Luna?!

As we left, we noticed a line of cars up the street. Dan and Alyssa's families had organized a parade for them!

Dan and Alyssa, thank you for giving us the chance to celebrate your marriage alongside your families. You two have some of the biggest hearts, and we are glad to call you friends. We are so happy for you two, and love seeing you bring out the best in each other. We cannot wait to celebrate with you and the rest of your guests in 2021! Love you both and CONGRATULATIONS!!

LOVE! Samantha

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