I'm Hannah Bryerton, wedding & portrait photographer based in New York State. I am a lover of details and story telling- both visually & through writing. Here you will find glimpses of my life as a photographer, wife, dog-lover & Chick fil-A obsessed creative!
July 14, 2018.
I vow to help you become the man
that God has called and designed you to be.
To always encourage and love you,
Even on the darkest of days.
And to have patience in the moments we need it most.
I have seen the best of you.
And the worst of you.
And I choose both.
I vow to share your joy during life’s most wonderful moments.
And to cry with you through the deepest of sorrow.
To dance in the kitchen, car, or grocery aisle…
And to laugh until it physically hurts.
I will strive to keep the Lord at the center of our marriage
And remember that we are two imperfect people,
Inevitably-flawed, yet laced together with the best intentions.
I promise to try & be brave,
Especially when it comes to killing spiders for you.
I vow to fiercely pray for you
& our marriage. & our family.
Knowing that God is in control of it all.
Jesse, I will always choose you.
Today. Tomorrow… & every day after that.
And I promise to love you until the end of my days.
You are my best friend.
My better half.
& my greatest adventure.”
I’m having a hard time finding the words to even begin this post, which may actually be a first in the history of my life story. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a person who loves words, but looking back on this day and these images, no combination of 26 letters begins to come close to describing how overwhelmingly joyful our wedding day made me.
Oh the love that was poured into every detail of this day.
I wish you could have seen it.
I could go on forever listing the names of every person who had a role in making our day possible. It truly took a village. Being from a small town has its downfalls, but the blessings outweigh them by a landslide. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to every human who folded a napkin, made food, served our guests, washed dishes, arranged flowers, ran errands, set up chairs, hung lights, designed decor, captured moments, parked cars, or even celebrated alongside us. I love you all endlessly.
For months, my mother and I planned this day. I wish I could take credit for half of the things that made this wedding incredible, but it was 90% her doing. The moment we made the decision to have our wedding in the backyard, she went to work. I would come up with an idea, and no matter how crazy, she’d scheme endlessly until it was made a reality. This planning stuff runs deep to her core, and as much as the chaos drives us all crazy, I swear it fuels her soul. This woman was born to plan events.
If you see something in the images below that makes you think, “Wow, that’s really neat!” I can almost guarantee that someone in our lives hand-made it. (And if you really want to know details, I’m sharing all our “vendors” at the base of this post. And by vendors, I mean incredibly talented humans who I know on a personal level and am stupidly thankful for.) I’m not kidding you guys, we took DIY to a whole new extreme.
So here it is. The Bryerton backyard do-it-yourself wedding. It truly was one of my favorite days ever and I will never grow tired of looking at these images. Thanks for stopping by and sharing in our love story! Feel free to leave a comment of your favorite detail or part!
A huge thank you to Katie Rivera for capturing our day in its entirety. The following work is all hers. (As much as I’d love to shoot my own wedding, I did not figure out a way to do so! Therefore, we flew this sweet friend in from Texas instead!) 🙂
Thank you, Mike & Carole Siverling, for allowing us girls to get ready in your home! The images from “the princess room” were everything I imagined and more!!! <3
For those of you wondering, my perfume was “Chloe Nomade” purchased from Sephora. Brides: I HIGHLY recommend buying a new bottle of perfume for your wedding day!! Now, every time I wear it, I’m reminded of July 14. It is the sweetest memory.
Aunt Connie- My veil. Thank you SO much for creating such a beautiful, HOLY heirloom for me. It could not have been more perfect!
After getting ready, Jesse and I shared a first look. (Also recommending this 100X over to any bride and groom trying to decide whether or not to do it. Please, please, please consider sharing one!) We were able to see each other two hours earlier in the day and spend time with each other & all our favorite people before saying “I do!”
After our first look + couples portraits, we headed up to “the hill” to take our bridal party pictures. I think these may be some of my favorite images from the day.
These are our people. The most beautiful souls, inside and out. Thank you for standing beside us on not only our wedding day, but every day of our lives. We love you all more than words can say.
(Also, y’all are really stupidly good looking.)
My girl. My sweet niece, Evelyn. She was only 20 months at the time of our wedding and made it through the whole day without any meltdowns or issues. This week she turns 2! Being your aunt is such a blessing, little miss.
My favorite view in all of Clymer. As a child, I loved visiting “the hill” when my dad was asked to sing there for special music. I remember standing outside and just soaking it in after church. We shared a father/daughter first look outside just before the ceremony, and my bridesmaids & mother-in-law were peeking through the windows watching. I think every single one of us cried.
I walked down the aisle to “Jurassic Park Theme Song” by the Piano Guys, and I know what you’re thinking, “who in their right mind does that?” Well, it’s an inside joke between Jesse and I. But if you look up that version on YouTube, I guarantee you’ll agree that it’s surprisingly beautiful. I was crying before I even walked through the doorway.
I call this series of images “Us trying to take a nice family photo, bombarded by Evie’s realization that everyone thinks she’s hilarious & adorable”…
This girl. I am telling you. She’s our world.
Had to slip in a quick picture of my favorite little store. This place shut down halfway through the day, just for our wedding. If you look closely, you can even see it on the little sign!
The view from my parents’ backyard… So many amazing childhood memories were here in this pasture. I still can’t believe it took us so long to decide to have our wedding here. Looking back, it was a no brainer.
That seating chart, though. Afton, you are INCREDIBLE. And the dance floor below!! How talented is my husband for building that entire thing? These people made all my wedding dreams come true.
After being announced, we surprised all our guests with a choreographed first dance to the song “Grave” by Thomas Rhett! We had SO much fun learning and practicing this leading up to our wedding. I’d be lying if I said we weren’t a little nervous for those lifts though. Thank you, Jordan Spencer, for creating the most unique, perfect dance for our day!!!
My father sang & recorded a song just for our father-daughter dance. It was called “Glad That You Were Born.” He told me…”this is for you; I did this just for you.”
….and I told him, “there’s no crying in baseball,” our entire dance because I refused to cry any more tears this day. HAHA!
Below is my favorite image of Jesse & his mama! <3
SO many incredible examples of love at our wedding. My grandparents were the last ones on the floor for the anniversary dance. In just a few days, they will be celebrating their 67 wedding anniversary.
These two make me laugh so much… my grandpa especially. As you can see, below, I got a little nervous when Harold decided to take the microphone from Matt and hold it himself. You always have to brace yourself when grandpa has an open mic.
Thank you, again, to everyone who made our day so incredible!
I am still in awe of how loved and blessed we are…
Invitation Suite: Designed by my cousin, Jeff Neckers
The Bouquets: Purchased from Miss Millies or grown in our backyard, then hand ensembled by my mother and sweet aunts
The Boutonnieres: Brought to you by Hobby Lobby & my mother
My Hair Piece AND VEIL: Made by my Aunt Connie (she’s incredible!)
Ceremony Music: My cousin Evan NAILED this job! I created playlists and he timed everything perfectly. I cried so many tears coming down the aisle because the music was PERFECT.
Wedding Officiant: My brother, Reverend Seth Neckers. He is a pastor in the Indianapolis area and he knocked our wedding out of the park! It was his first solo wedding, but you would’ve thought it was his hundredth; I laughed and cried the entire time. So thankful for the amazing gift the Lord has blessed him with!
Wooden Boxes on Tables: Cut & Assembled by my Uncle Leonard, Mother & Karen Bensink. The glass jars inside were random glass bottles and jars we cleaned up and saved for over a year!
Hanging Lanterns: Cut & built by my mother, entirely from scratch.
Jars/Lights Above the Dance Floor: BUILT AND ASSEMBLED BY MY MOTHER. (That’s a cut pickle jar, lighting unit, and Edison bulb… hanging from a ladder. Yes, she designed + created all of this)
Surprise Dance Choreography: Jordan Spencer choreographed a dance to the song “Grave” by Thomas Rhett, just for us! He & his wife, my sweet fellow-photographer friend, Kira, taught us this dance one-on-one at the Willow Bay Theater in Jamestown, NY. We will forever cherish this moment on our wedding day; it was so special!!
Cupcakes: Baked & frosted/decorated by my sister in law, Chassity, cousin Maggie, & Aunt Sue (best.cupcakes.ever!)
Little “Mr. & Mrs. Bryerton” Cake: Baked and decorated by the amazing Carole Siverling
Dance Floor: My incredible husband, Jesse Bryerton. He and his groomsmen took old poplar planks that were salvaged from my parents’ store in Clymer NY (like 200+ year old wood!) and sanded them down, polyurethaned and built the entire dance floor. It was more than my little heart could have ever dreamed up.
The Bar: Built from old doors & more poplar from Neckers Company. Jerry and Debby Schurman made that dream come to life at the drop of a hat. AMAZING.
Bar Tending: Molly Brown, you are a rockstar! Thanks for dealing with all 200+ guests of ours!!
Hand Lettered Signs: My best friend, Afton Hinsdale, hand-lettered every quote and sign and board I asked her to. She did the ENTIRE seating chart from the comfort of her garage. Words don’t begin to cover how stupidly gifted she is!
Invitation Addressing: My MOH’s Afton & Morgan came and helped write out every person’s envelope. We had over 200 guests. I probably did 20 envelopes and these girls did ALL the rest.
Decor: Jesse’s Aunt Kathy & Mama Laurie had SO many amazing antiques, frames, and pieces of furniture that were used
China Plates & Glasses: Endless hours were spent in thrift stores, yard sales, and roaming estate sales. We thrifted or were gifted over 250 dinner plates and 200 appetizer China plates!
Food: EVERYONE IN MY LIFE. Seriously, Jesse & I’s mamas, aunts, uncles, cousins, and our friends. They made ALL the food. We did not hire a caterer for one single item at our wedding. And it was some of the BEST wedding food I’ve ever had! (& believe me… I have been to a couple weddings in my day, people!)
Serving & Clean Up: The amazing Burkholder women! Oh my goodness. So endlessly thankful for Ellen Burkholder and all her daughters, granddaughters, and family members for helping keep the food hot and in order. You guys are AMAZING and we love you so much!!!
And as for our “actual” vendors…
My Wedding Gown: House of Wu, by Christina Wu purchased at Bridal Elegance in Erie, PA. (Denise– you are my favorite person and if you are reading this, I love your sassy self so much and promise to come visit soon!)
Bridesmaids Dresses/Groomsmen Suits: Mori Lee from Bridal Elegance, Erie PA & the suits were purchased at Cuffs Formal Wear
Videography: COMING SOON, from David Brotzman
Photography: Katie Rivera Photography from Lubbock Texas, with assistance from Katia Popik Photography, Rochester NY.
DJ: Matt Sinnott from Lake Erie Events
Large Tent: Jamestown Awning (MACY, WE LOVE YOU! Thank you for all your help!!! You’re incredible!)
Smaller Tent: Mark Humes, Clymer NY
Wooden Chairs: Joe Baker, Youngsville PA
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