Maria + CJ | Romantic College-Town Wedding

Maria and Christopher (CJ) were members of brother and sister households at Franciscan University when they met their sophomore year. At the encouragement of their many mutual friends, they started dating a year later...just in time for CJ to spend a semester abroad. During their months apart, they wrote hundreds of letters, spent hours on Skype, and even more hours in prayer for their relationship. CJ proposed the following year.

From the Photographer: Maria and CJ's nuptial Mass was without a doubt the high point of their wedding day, and it was absolutely beautiful to witness. The Church was filled with their family and friends. The Mass was celebrated with obvious joy by their Bishop and six priests, including three Franciscan friars from Franciscan University.

Both Maria and CJ were active members in their respective households at Franciscan and since they were married in Steubenville, where the university is, most of their household brothers and sisters were able to attend the wedding. It was wonderful to see pews filled with their college friends actively participating in the Mass and tearing up during the most poignant moments of the day--even the men! The bride and groom both received T-shirts from each other's households as gifts. Their reception was elegant yet simple, filled with good food, energetic dancing, and abundant joy.

Maria and CJ left a large amount of time between the end of their nuptial Mass and the beginning of their reception. This allowed us to take all of the family photos in the Church without feeling rushed, and as the photographer, I had significant time to capture beautiful and intimate photos of just the bride and groom. When it comes time to create your wedding day timeline, I highly suggest consulting your photographer. Ask how much time they advise setting aside for portraits, and listen to their guidance. Allowing ample time for portraits is a sometimes overlooked, yet it's such an important part of your timeline!

Photography: Mary Kay Anthony | Dress: David's Bridal | Flowers: Kroger (assembled by the Bride) | Church: Holy Family Catholic Church, Steubenville, OH | Reception: Williams Country Club, Weirton, WV | Videographer: Kelly Butler | Cake: Gus's Goodies | Invitations: Natacha Scherf