Maria + Matt's Wedding | The Villas New Castle, PA

In 1944 on July 4th, Josephine Mangino and Abie Cox married in New Castle, Pennsylvania. On July 4, 2021, 77 years after her grandparents said "I Do," Maria said "I Do" to the love of her life, Matt.

This wedding was extra special to Samantha and me because Josephine was my grandmother's older sister, making Maria our cousin! Although Maria's grandparents, Josephine and Abie were with us in spirit, Maria and Matt made sure that they and so many other loved ones were honored on their big day.

Top Photo: Nine of the 12 Mangino kids at Celia's wedding!

My grandmother, Vi, is in yellow next to Maria's grandmother, Josephine.

Bottom Left Photo: Our Great Grandparents, Mary and Joseph Mangino

Bottom Right Photo: Mangino sisters, Vi, Josephine, and Nicholas

From the stories we have heard, our Great Grandmother, Mary Mangino, was the queen in the kitchen! Aunt Josephine and my grandmother, Vi, grew up in a house next to the railroad tracks. Men would come in on the train from other towns to work in the steel mills and over time, their little house with a fold-up table big enough to welcome a weary worker became known as the house that welcomed strangers. Mary would bake bread all day for the men coming to work. People would scold her, a mother of 12 who had hardly enough for her own family. They'd ask why she gave food away to strangers coming in on the railroad. She would tell them that if it was her child, she would hope someone would feed them.

I don't know much else about our Great Grandmother, but knowing Maria and her mother, Celia, I know this story must be true. Not only did Mary Mangino pass on her kind heart and skilled hands to her daughter Josephine, but Josephine also passed it on to Celia, and Celia passed it on to Maria. I've never been hungry in Celia's house and I've never spent more than a few seconds with Maria before she asks if she can get anyone anything. I've always admired these hard-working, kind hearted women. Not to mention, their second-to-none cooking, and ability to make everyone laugh and smile.

Obviously we could talk about how much we love Maria and her family. We grew up with them, but something we didn't expect was how much we would love Matt! Matt could not be a more perfect match for Maria! At their engagement session, we instantly loved Matt! Seeing him with the rest of the family, it was easy to tell he fit right in. Matt is kind and passionate, serious but quirky. At their session, he had no trouble getting Maria to smile or laugh. He make her so happy.

My favorite thing about Matt was noticing the way he leads with Maria. As we were taking engagement photos on the railroad tracks and again when we were crossing the streets of downtown New Castle on their wedding day, Matt led Maria as an equal. What I mean by that is that he is protective but encourages her independent nature. He carried her train behind her while carefully making sure she crossed safely. He walked on the gravel next to the tracks, holding Maria's hand, so that she could walk steadily along the railroad tracks. Matt's body language is so telling of his love for Maria. From those moments, I could tell that my cousin would be pushed to be the best version of herself through their marriage. Now that I've carried on too long about how much I love these two, let's talk about their wedding!!!

Please peep Maria wedding and reception shoe change!

Even though there was no formal first look with dad, I'm so glad Samantha captured this moment! Pi is a very proud dad!

Matt's brother and mother were so much fun and definitely kept Matt smiling!

Who doesn't love some appropriately-themed groomsmen socks!!

It was a quick sip of Maria's signature pop then off to the first look!

Their first look was so sweet!

I love the moment where the prep of the crazy morning disappears and they get to hang out for the first time before "I do!"

Fun fact, this spot was in their front yard! We loved how the red, white, and blue looked against the greenery!

We have to have a serious conversation about this bridal party because they were wonderful!!!

After the first look and portraits in the front yard, we headed to downtown New Castle.

Not only were they so much fun, but they also BROUGHT THE HEAT! Downtown New Castle has never looked so good!

These Florals!

I don't know if we've ever done a bride and groom side-by-side photo like this, but these two just have the most beautiful eyes and I had to show it off!