I have to admit something. Despite my best efforts, I still occasionally judge a book by its cover. I know, I know. Not wise. I miss out on opportunities. It might lead to a spirit of condemnation and judging others. It’s unfair. It’s bias and taps into stereotypes. It’s simply not the right way to live. But I do it often subconsciously.
So on this first day of December 2018, I did it again to an inanimate object: The Cork Factory Hotel in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I thought to myself, “What good could possibly come from Lancaster? Why would Lancaster have a beautiful wedding venue?”… and… “Beside experiencing Amish history, why would anyone go to Lancaster?” Boy, was I wrong! The Cork Factory wedding venue, a certified Historic Hotels of America property, proved to be a remarkably stunning venue that is textured in beauty and history. If 19th century brick walls and wood ceilings could talk, they would speak a familiar narrative. Enterprise & industry. American vision. An honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay. The buildings that make up Cork Factory Hotel once housed the historic Armstrong Cork and Kerr Glass companies. Today, the hotel preserves and honors that history and is unambiguously marked by a red brick smoke stack. And it is not just in the architecture, it’s the attitude: honest, authentic and welcoming.
Cork is impermeable; watertight; solid; and a perfect synonym for the long tradition Cork Factory exemplifies in Lancaster. Yet one thing still flows easily through it, and in great quantity: History. Once home to Lancaster Cork Works, a 19th century cork factory, the buildings have been deliberately transfigured into a modish 300,000 square foot community primed for staying, gathering, dining, working, shopping, and living. Cork is also elastic, boasting diverse and valuable uses. So, too, is this property, creatively reused to offer luxury apartments; modern retail and commercial outlets; restaurants; event spaces; and Cork Factory Hotel. But most of all cork is buoyant. The dynamic mixed-use community not only rests atop the industrial giants who helped build Lancaster, but also rises above the typical and is a benchmark in the revitalization of historic Downtown Lancaster.
It is this place where Missy and Matt invited their family and friends to join them as they got married. With so many locations to take photos, we ran out of time to get everything we wanted, but believe me, we got plenty! Missy and Matt started off the day getting ready using a suite in the hotel, as well as the enormous and gorgeous bridal suite on site. Chandeliers, mirrors and lights, and cathedraled ceilings made for a great backdrop to this portion of the wedding day. The love birds elected to do a “first look” in the court yard near the smoke stack and did so despite the light rain. Michelle, one of the bridesmaids quickly transformed into another outfit and officiated the ceremony!
To get a sneak peek taste of what Missy and Matt’s wedding looked and felt like, join Samantha and I on a visual tour to whet your appetite!
And a special kudos and shout out goes to Marley, the day-of wedding coordinator from Cork Factory! She simply hit it out of the ballpark. Cool, calm, collected, she and her staff delivered exceptional service without a hitch. From flipping rooms, to serving delicious hors d’oeuvres, to creating a decadent naked cake, Marley’s team moved like clock work! I’ve been in this business for many years, and she is by far one of the best. Check out Cork Factory and be sure to ask for Marley! And don’t forget to patronize the amazing list of vendors who worked hard to make Missy and Matt’s wedding dreams come true! See the list at the bottom!
And now for the wedding photos!
Girls: Arianna Anzmann (Matron of Honor), Lisa Waters (Maid of Honor), Alex Mandato, Kati Brown, Rachele Dawson, Christina D’Amato, Michelle Dacaro (also officiant)
Fellas: Adam Meister (Best Man), Rick Ball, Jeff Hy, Sean O’Mara, Jody Seutter, Derek Franc
Vendors and Professionals:
Photographer: Trans4mation Photography (me!)
Venue: Cork Factory Hotel
Catering: Cork Factory Hotel
Cake: Cork Factory Hotel
Florist: Petals with Style
Tuxedoes: The Black Tux
Wedding Dress: Bridals by Elena
Bridal Veil: Etsy
Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal
DJ/Lights: DJ Theiry Banks
Videographer: Steve Hardy of Event Lenz
Photo Booth: Shining Star Photo Booth
Invitations/Signs/Paper Goods: Minted
Officiant: Michelle Decaro
Wedding Day Coordinator: Marley Horst of Cork Factory