Category Archives: Downtown Columbus Wedding

bride and groom in hotel lobby

Dock 580 Wedding Photos

I have been so excited to share this wedding. It was one of my most memorable from 2019 simply because we took portraits in gale-force winds.

I posted about Jaimie and Dwayne’s engagement shoot a while back and you can see all the pretty here. Fast forward to their wedding day, and I found myself at the LeVeque Hotel in downtown Columbus with the ladies as they were getting ready. This hotel is one of my favorites for getting ready photos and offers amazing opportunities for portraits as well. The hotel has a celestial theme to it and the decor echos the art deco styles of the 1920s.

Jaimie and Dwayne did their “first look” in the hotel lobby. I just loved seeing Dwayne’s ear-to-ear smile as he turned around to see how beautiful Jaimie looked in her wedding dress. From there we walked around the lobby area and took some seriously cool photos. We utilized the building’s multiple floors to get cool angles and new perspectives. I just adore the portrait of the whole wedding party that also includes the towering multi-story chandelier. I actually got the entire wedding party to follow me out to the roof of the LeVeque parking garage, which is a very unique and fun place to shoot. However, on this particular day, it was so windy, we all immediately decided to come up with a different option. So we all headed over to the main library downtown and took some beautiful and classical portraits. While we were there, I asked how they would feel if we still headed over to take some outdoor photos in front of some new Columbus murals. They were awesome sports and agreed. While the wind was just crazy, it also gave us some of the coolest photos from the day, and a whole lot of genuine laughter.

I really enjoyed their ceremony as well. Dwayne’s brother officiated different parts of it which made it so sentimental and all the more memorable. After they tied the knot, I headed over to Dock 580 to photograph details and get ready for the reception. When I walked through the front doors, I wasn’t prepared for how beautiful it looked inside. Everywhere you looked there were stunning details. LIttle signs, geometric flower arrangements, and so many desserts you didn’t know where to look first. Above anything from this wedding that really stuck with me the most was the energy from their family and friends that was in the room with them that night. It was just electric. These two are so loved and for a very good reason. I feel so blessed to have been there. Thank you Jaimie and Dwayne for trusting me to capture your day!

Getting ready at Hotel LeVeque Groom on his wedding day Hotel Leveque first look Hotel LeVeque wedding portraits Downtown Columbus Library wedding photos bride and groom kiss in front of mural wedding photos in front of murals Columbus Episcopal Wedding Episcopal columbus wedding ceremony dock 580 wedding details wedding desserts dock 580 wedding reception wedding couple dancing

Franklin Park Palm House Wedding Photos

Ok, prepare yourself. This wedding is so special, so loving, and so uniquely Tyler and Thomas. These two decided to stray from the typical event formula and instead of having a rehearsal dinner, they had an intimate wedding the night before their big reception! To make it even more fun, we did their engagement shoot right before they said their vows. I’ve shot over 300 weddings and this is the first time I’ve ever done one like this. It had everything. The small intimate ceremony and the large no-holds-barred party. Just perfect if you ask me.

We started the weekend of festivities at Goodale Park where spring was vibrant with its saturated greens. This was the first time I had met either of them, but you would never know that. It felt like I was hanging out with old friends. Tyler is from Canada so he thanked me after every photo I took, which just gave me a natural high from days. These are two of the sweetest people you could ever meet. As we walked and took photos, we slowly made our way down High Street to Hubbard Grille, where their ceremony took place. Hubbard Grille has a second-floor event space that is just perfect for a smaller dinner or event like this. And if you go there, try the Brussel sprouts. I don’t even like Brussel sprouts and I think it’s quite possibly one of the best things I’ve ever eaten.

Thomas’ dad officiated the quick ceremony and before you knew it, Tyler and Thomas were married! Together with their family they ate a delicious meal and celebrated into the night with wine and laughter flowing.

The next day, my second shooter and I met Tyler and Thomas at the LeVeque Tower in Downtown Columbus for a quick portrait session before we went to the big event. A man in a tux is a special thing to see, but two men in tuxes just took my breath away. The LeVeque was the perfect backdrop for their wedding attire. That art deco vibe matched perfectly with their dapper and sophisticated look.

Off to the Franklin Park Conservatory, we went! It was so much fun just to walk around and take a few photos. Then, the rest of the night after family photos was pretty much just documentary photography. Throughout the night, they had live music, speeches galore, and even a swing band with a swing dance instructor. This weekend was pure magic and these photos are so much fun to look back on as they celebrate their one-year anniversary this week! Tyler and Thomas, I feel so blessed to have crossed paths with you both. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you both! XO Jess

An engaged couple smilin in Goodale Park Two men in goodale park two men in goodale park for their engagement shoot an engaged couple at arch city tavern Hubbard Grille's special event space Intimate wedding at Hubbard Grille wedding portraits at leveque tower wedding photos at leveque hotel gay wedding at franklin park conservatory gay couple's wedding photos at franklin park conservatory franklin park conservatory palm house wedding food spread live wedding music at franklin park conservatory

Lindsay and Brian on their wedding day outside of High LIne Car House

A Spring Wedding In Columbus Ohio

Lindsay and Brian’s wedding was held in the early spring of last year. I remember everything about the whole day was so effortless and easy- the way you dream of your wedding going! Right off the bat, I was blown away with Lindsay’s style and the heartfelt details she incorporated. Let’s start with her Luxeredux dress. Holy smokes Batman. This dress was show-stopping. It had a grey sash and crystal details across the bodice. It photographed like a dream. Lindsay also had a little geometric ring holder she bought off Etsy that was so cute, delicate, and unique. Lindsay was styled to perfection with hair done by Hannah Godown and makeup was done by Joy Macke from State of Face Makeup. After she got dressed, Lindsay did a first look with her brother and dad. It was such a sweet, heartfelt moment.

We all congregated at the High Line Car House where Lindsay and Brian did a first look outside. First looks are actually becoming one of my favorite parts of the day. The anticipation and excitement are all condensed into that one special heartfelt moment. It’s a very emotional and fun moment to photograph.

From there the whole family and close friends stuffed into the van and we managed to find and take advantage of the very first blooming tree in downtown Columbus for some of their wedding photos! Outside of the Columbus Cultural Arts Center, there was the most beautiful blooming Dogwood. From there we hopped over to the High Street Bridge at the Scioto Mile. We finished our adventure outside of COSI for what are some of my favorite wedding photos from the day. Their outdoor patio has the most beautiful classical architecture that is so much fun to photograph a bride and groom with.

Now it was time to get married! But first, just a few more photos outside High Line Car House because the back of that building is a must-capture for any wedding day portrait. The surrounding areas are super perfect for romantic dancing in the street photos as well.

Inside, the most beautiful bouquets and altar backdrop were set up for the ceremony by the one and only Petals & Leaves Florist. The Chandeliers were dripping with greenery and accented with additional bistro lights. The whole night was one stunning blur of ear-to-ear smiles, heartfelt speeches, and killer dance moves to the Bluewater Kings Band.

Lindsay and Brian, I hope you both had the happiest of anniversaries! One year down! So much love to you both, XO Jess

Columbus Museum of Art Wedding Photos

I cannot think of a better way to spend my quarantine time than to try and catch up on blogging all the amazing sessions I’ve done in the past year. This one is super special to me. When Mike asked me if I wanted to take his wedding photos, I think I asked him if he was sure about 5 times. He is a photographer I’ve always looked up to and it felt like the biggest honor that he wanted and trusted me to be there to capture the day. Mike and Laura are two incredible people who you should be so lucky to know.

The day started with a few photos of Mike while he waited for his bride to arrive. He was nervously relaxed…I think more excited than anything. It was raining outside and Laura’s dad held an umbrella for her as she walked towards the Columbus Museum of Art. A smile lit up her face when she saw me open the doors and start taking her photo.

Once inside, Laura climbed the steps in the new Modern wing and turned the corner to surprise Mike with their first look. It was perfect and there was so much palpable joy radiating between them both. The three of us walked around the museum and took so many stunning photos. It was relaxed and silly, which are the perfect two words to describe them.

As the family started to show up, they all gathered at the top of the stairs in the new-ish Modern Walter Wing under a huge hanging glass sculpture called “Endeavor” by artist Lino Tagliapietra. The souring sculpture was a stunning backdrop for their vow exchange. Even though it was raining outside, the light poured in from the ceiling windows.

From the museum, we headed over to Harvest Pizza in German Village, which two weeks after this wedding, sadly closed. This space was incredible. You walked up a very old set of stairs in a narrow hallway. You emerged into this warm room at the top, just perfect for a 20-30 person celebration. Before the reception officially started, Mike, Laura and I slipped away for a few photos in the rain. When we got back, it was time to feast. Pizza, salad, meatballs, you name it. All served family style with love. I was even lucky enough to snag a seat at the family table, which was another reminder of how honored I was to be there. Space was tight, but I was able to get some killer lighting. I still look at the cake cutting photos and think the lighting looks like a Vermeer painting.

Congratulations to Mike and Laura who just celebrated one year of marriage! So much love to you both. XO Jess

 

Dock 580 Loft Wedding Photos

Juan and Alexa tied the knot on a perfect spring day last year. I met up with Alexa at her apartment where she and her bridesmaids were getting ready. The energy was so happy and upbeat. Music was going, laughter filled the room, and ear-to-ear smiles were seen on everyone.  Alexa finished her bridal look off with a stunning flower crown. Soon after, we drove to Dock 580 where we would be the rest of the day. As Juan stood outside the venue, Alexa approached him with the world’s most electric smile on her face. After she tapped him on his shoulder, they held each other in a deep embrace.

After their first look, we did more photos around the property. The portrait session was accented with the rich brick and blue steel structures of the old buildings. Soft gusts of wind offered just the right amount of movement to create vivid and dynamic photos.  The sky was cloud-covered and made the world into a giant soft-box just ideal for photographs.

Now it was time to get married! Inside the Loft at Dock 580, guests were treated to a Mariachi band as they took their seats. Trumpets and guitars filled the space with palpable electricity. The ceremony was warm and intimate and before you knew it, Juan and Alexa were married!

The cocktail hour was amazing. Specialty drinks, including a margarita, were flowing like water. The mariachi band continued the celebration and happy energy. I think everyone was ready to dance then, but dinner was to follow. Speeches after dinner were so sweet and sincere. The lighting in the room created a perfect intimate setting for everyone as they watched the happy couple laugh and kiss and laugh some more.

And now It was time for the fun to begin! After Alexa and Juan’s first dance, Alexa and her dad surprised everyone in the room with an impromptu game of tennis on the dance floor! YES! You read that right! I LOVED it! From there, it was a throw-down dance party where I got to photograph some of the best dance moves I’ve seen in ages.

Downtown Columbus Elopement Photos

I love elopements! They are so wildly romantic! I met Kelley and Jorge under the arch in the arena district where they were joined by an officiant and married with only the traffic as spectators. They didn’t even tell anyone they were getting married! It was pure electric excitement afterward, as only we knew their secret! After their intimate ceremony, a crowd of people exiting Nationwide Arena started to cheer for them and that made Kelley laugh and cry! From the Arch, we casually walked around downtown and took some super lovely photos of the two of them. Like all elopements, I felt super lucky to be there to witness the magic go down. But I also felt very grateful after I spent the afternoon with these two. They are so down to earth, in love, and I seriously couldn’t think of a better way to tie the knot!

Award winning High Line Car House Wedding Photos

Chelsea and Chris had a visually romantic and warm winter wedding, only enhanced by the excitement of it being on the night before New Year’s Eve, or as I affectionately describe it, New Years Eve-Eve.

Their wedding took place on an unusually temperate late December day. The bridesmaids wore maroon full-length gowns and fur wraps. The women all carried bespoke wedding bouquets that were adorned with deep red and white roses. The men wore black suits with maroon accents. Chis and Chelsea did a “first look” where they saw each other before their wedding. They did this for logistical reasons because of the time of year the wedding took place. Sun-down was around 5:20 p.m. and they wanted some outdoor photographs, so we timed the photos to be from 2-4:00 p.m.

As a photographer, I often get asked what my favorite venues are in Columbus, OH. I always have the High Line Car House on my shortlist. The building was built in 1873 as the headquarters for the High Street railroad company. Inside, the building housed streetcars and 40 horses. Nearly 150 years later, it has been transformed into a newer Columbus event venue. The building has its original brick walls, soaring ceilings, and an industrial shell that is perfect just the way it is or as a starting point for romantic florals, decor and lighting.  Huge rustic chandeliers accent the space with an old-world charm.

Photographically speaking, the venue can be dark and as a result, the person shooting needs to have mastered off-camera lighting techniques to allow for a well-lit environment while minimizing shadows. My goal is to always have the subjects I artificially light look just as good as if they were lit with natural light.

The street outside the venue still features its original exposed bricks. Years of traffic from streetcars, horses, and travelers have made the street warn and settled with time. This side street makes a fantastic location to photograph the couple and wedding party.

As the sun had just tucked under the horizon, Chelsea walked down a candle-lit aisle toward Chris. The ceremony itself was short and filled with lots of genuine laughter. Afterward, I had the honor of going back out with Chelsea and Chris and do some captivating night photography around downtown. When we arrived back at the venue, the warmth inside felt like a welcoming hug after coming in from the cold winter night. The rest of the evening was spent showering these two in love and laughter.

Excitingly enough, earlier this year this wedding collection was awarded the NACE Wedding Photography of the Year Award at their annual national conference. My husband and I got all dressed up and were able to have an amazing kid-free night together to celebrate at the gala. I felt like Cinderella!

 

High Line Car House Wedding Photos

Jennifer and Kyle were married at Worthington Christian Church on a temperate November day last year. Excitement grew as Jen and her girls got ready at the church. It was so much fun watching everyone come in and greet her with smiles, hugs, and laughter. Jenn’s Essence of Australia dress was stunning! It had lace on either side that dipped from the underarms down to the waist to create a sexy but sophisticated silhouette. She wore her hair back in a modern up-do that complimented her beautiful eyes and her warm smile.

When the suns ducks behind the horizon and the last bit of light fills the atmosphere with a light blue haze, that’s called blue hour. A blue hour can sometimes be challenging to shoot in but not on this day. The images we were getting were so elegant and oozed romance. The light from the Scioto Mile Bridge illuminated Jens cascading veil. Jen and Kyle looked so cosmopolitan against the modern lines of the bridge. A couple of details that I absolutely loved for the day that Jen wore was her grandmothers’ stole and her initials were adorned inside. Kyle also had a special embroidery inside his tux, their wedding date!

When we arrived at the High Line Car House, it was completely dark outside. I knew we wanted to get some portraits along the backside of the building so I brought out some off-camera lighting and we rocked it in the pitch black of night.

When you walked inside High Line, it’s hard to accurately describe the feeling. Madison House Designs had created an environment that wrapped guests in warmth, candlelight and every corner was dripping with greenery. A French provincial door was set on the sidewall, adorned with candles and the most beautiful flowers. The head table was crowned with the most breathtaking greenery and candles hanging from the chandelier. Overall, this wedding was nothing short of show-stopping and I feel so lucky to have crossed paths with these two! Thank you for the honor of capturing your perfect day! XO Jess

 

kayla and greg sit on a stoop in downtown columbus

Columbus Athenaeum Wedding Photos

Let’s talk about this stunner wedding I did last year for Kayla and Greg. They had their first look under the gazeebo at Goodale Park in downtown Columbus, OH. It was a bright and sunny day complete with puffy white clouds that slowly floated across the sky. We ducked in and out of the most beautiful trees in the park. From there, we headed over to the Athenaeum downtown for some more portraits. The whole area over there looks like a movie set. And then we found ourselves inside the Athenaeum in one of Columbus’ most beautiful rooms to get married in, the Priory Room.

Sky-high vaulted ceilings lined with lights. Murals covering every inch. I have done a few weddings in the Priory, and every time it’s so warm and intimate. I just had to take their portrait in here this time. It was too pretty not to. And what a wow factor!

After their ceremony, the two went on to celebrate the night away laughing and dancing in the Oak Room. The Oak Room, as all photographers know, is arguably THE darkest and most challenging reception space to photograph in Columbus. A little off-camera lighting did the trick and the room filled with vibrant light each photo I took. Kayla and Greg didn’t leave each other’s side and when I left they were still dancing arm-in-arm.

I can’t thank these two enough for having me shoot their wedding. Their personalities are such a gift to be around, and their friends and family are the same way. I know it’s a little belated, but congratulations you two! XO Jess

elaine and marcus on the roof of juniper

Juniper at Dock 580 Wedding Photos

Elaine and Marcus’ wedding took place on a sunny mid-October day. Marcus wore a striking blue suit from the Men’s Warehouse and Elaine wore an elegant sleeveless gown from Le Jeune Marie in Columbus, Ohio. Their bridal party was comprised of their best friends and there was a woman groomsperson and a male bridesperson. The women all wore maroon, with the maid of honor wearing the same shade with a sparkly sheen. The women carried bouquets of deep red and white roses that perfectly matched their floor-length gowns.

As guests arrived, they were greeted with a champagne tower and encouraged to grab a libation before the ceremony took place. The use of clear chairs in the event space made the room feel a lot more open and added a splash of modern sophistication. For the actual ceremony, the weather was good enough to open the retractable ceiling/wall. This created a show-stopping backdrop and focal point, as the lines of perspective angled straight towards the bride and groom.

Cocktail hour took place outside as the sun set over the Columbus skyline. Being October, the air cooled off and started to become brisk, but not so brisk that it was uncomfortable. In fact, the cooler air provided almost a new energy for the rest of the evening. Candles were lit on all of the dining tables and guests were treated to a meal with a view.  Speeches, dancing, and dessert followed into the evening. By the time I left, the bride and groom were blissfully dancing in each other’s arms.

The venue itself has a rich history in Columbus, OH. Starting as a hardware business in 1929, the loft-like structure was essential to housing heavy machinery. In the late 1990s, the dilapidated old warehouse building was rehabilitated and turned into high-end offices and event spaces. Just last year, the property added a rooftop event venue called Juniper which offers sweeping all-glass walls (complete with a retractable ceiling), amazing views of downtown Columbus, and a vintage high-end art deco flare.  It is the first rooftop bar and event space of its kind in Columbus and to say it is competitive to hold an event there would be an understatement. Because this event space is brand new, Elaine and Marcus’ wedding offered their guests an original and refined view of not only the city but of what an event in Columbus can be.

Because this venue is situated on a rooftop with glass walls and ceilings, the logistics of photographing an ever-changing lighting situation becomes paramount. With most traditional event venues, you are in a dark room at night. They are straightforward to shoot if you know off-camera lighting and come prepared. With an all-glass situation, you can’t approach shooting your subjects the same way as you would in other venues. You must set up your lighting very specifically to avoid reflections, shooting at angles that hide your flashes and their falloff and try to make the imagery appear as naturally lit as possible with the outdoor lighting constantly changing. It is a true art to photograph an outdoor event that bridges day to night, which is essentially what you’re doing here, with the added challenge of avoiding reflections.

wedding ceremony at Juniper