Category Archives: Downtown Columbus Wedding

samantha and lisa in downtown columbus on their wedding day

Via Vecchia Wedding Photography in Columbus OH

I think the single biggest gift being a wedding photographer has given me has been reconnecting with people from my past on such a loving an important day as their wedding. I have photographed the weddings and special moments for people I’ve gone to high school with, people that I’ve gone to college with, people I’ve gone to graduate school with and people that I’ve met in while living in other cities. 17 years ago I was lucky enough to find myself working at ACCAD as a summer counselor for a women in technology program. Little did I know that program would change my life probably more than it changed any of the other girls attending the week-long camp. The other counselors became lifelong mentors to me and women that I continue to look up to and aspire to be. One of those women is Samantha. When she contacted me about her wedding day, to say I was honored would be an understatement. We FaceTimed together where I got to both meet her fiancé Lisa and start the ball rolling on planning their romantic Via Vecchia wedding.

Fast forward to their wedding day. It’s not often I get choked up on a wedding day, but when Samantha walked into the room with a blue sequined dress, I kinda lost it a little.  She was so radiant. A little later, I was able to meet Lisa in-person for the first time in her suite down the hallway at the downtown Westin. It had felt like I had known her for years. Her brother and best friend were hanging out in the room with her and they had such great senses of humor, I immediately felt a connection with them all.

Lisa and Sam wanted so badly to get married in the alley at Via Vecchia, but the universe had other plans for them. It not only rained, but it down-poured to the point it was testing the capacity of the gutters. The entire ceremony setup was moved indoors at the last minute thanks to Via Vecchia owner, Michael, and Lisa and Sam’s friends and family. Let me tell you- it looked so amazing. I couldn’t get enough of the hot-pink uplighting. It ended up being the ceremony with the biggest visual cool-factor of the year. I know it wasn’t what they had envisioned, but it was just perfect.

My favorite parts of the reception were the speeches, as always, the shoe game where we got to see a little insight on Sam and Lisa’s relationship, and the sibling dance-off which was judged by Sam and Lisa’s parents. I’m not sure I’ve laughed that hard in years. Later that night, the rain stopped and so we snuck out and did a few evening shots under the Via Vecchia bistro alley lights. I can’t thank Samantha and Lisa enough for having me photograph their wedding. I hope you all love these as much as I loved taking them! XO Jess

kaila and brittany and their downtown german village wedding

Dock 580 Columbus Ohio Wedding Photography

When I think back to this wedding, I still think it was a wonderful dream. Everything from start to finish was so beautiful, laid-back, and genuine. Kaila and Brittany started their day getting their hair and make-up done in the same room. They then separated into two different rooms to put on their dresses for their first look. We did their first look in the heart of German Village on hot but beautiful June day. Both of their dresses were a pale blush color and very similar as far as the cut. The details, however, were very different and so striking on each of them. Their two dresses together were so breathtaking and all my second shooter and I could say was, “two dresses are so much better than one!” After a few shots on the streets of German Village, we headed over to Schiller Park. The beautiful park mixed with these two gorgeous ladies made for some seriously romantic photos.

Now it was time to go get married! The outdoor ceremony took place in Frank Fetch Park in the heart of German Village. The park had a small fountain that provided a warm ambient background noise. Each bride was escorted in by their immediate family up to a central arbor. They had their neighbor perform the ceremony and she read one of my favorite readings, “on marriage” by Kahlil Gibran. Vows were shared, tears were shed, and before you knew it, Kaila and Brittany were wife and wife!

From Frank Fetch Park we headed over to Dock 580 where we were able to get some of my favorite portraits from the day! After that, the real fun began and the night was filled with some seriously funny speeches, lots of laughs and two radiant souls surrounded by family and friends. Thank you, Kaila and Brittany, for having me as your wedding photographer. This was truly one of the highlights of my year! XO Jess

columbus best of weddings

2017 Best of Weddings

Here is the post I’ve waited all of 2017 to write!!! Along with featuring photos from my 25 couples whose weddings I was lucky enough to photograph this year, I also wanted to share some business side goals that I had for 2017 and where I want to go for 2018!

2017 was my 9th season as a professional wedding photographer. I used it as a rebuilding year in that I updated a ton of gear including my computer. I worked on streamlining operational flow and reassessing products, brand, and imagery. I have always cherished my network of other local photographers, but this past year we all banded together in monthly meetings to critique, evaluate and lift up each other’s businesses. The experiences I’ve drawn from these meetings have been invaluable.  There is so much talent in the greater Columbus area!

I had a few goals this year- one was to become the blogging overlord of Columbus. I would say I still have a ways to go in attaining that title, but I did smash all of my previous years’ blogging numbers. Why was this important to me? I firmly believe that every shoot I take deserves to be showcased. While I fell short of this goal by a few shoots, I truly love all the people who I get to meet, even if I’m just spending an hour with them. I absolutely love writing about the little nuances and experiences that made each shoot uniquely them.

in 2018, I want to share not only my shoots and photography but a little more about myself as well. This means being more vulnerable on a public platform and sharing more of my WHY – WHY I’m in photography, WHY I shoot the way I do, WHY I’m so excited about this business.

So without further ado, I’m so excited to share these incredible moments with you today. I always try to make my blog posts short enough so it doesn’t feel like you’re scrolling through endless photos, but today no such luck. There were far too many to narrow down! Thank you to all of these couples, the photographers who second shot for me, the vendors who kept the days running smoothly and to the network of family and friends I’ve been able to grow year after year through this magical journey. XO Jess

Le Meridien Columbus, The Joseph New Years Wedding

I’m so excited to share this magical wedding today!! New Years Eve weddings have a special place in my heart. I love the challenge the darker and colder time of year presents. As a photographer, you really get to test the extent of your creativity and lighting options! The day itself is not only exciting because two in-love people are getting married, but because it is also an evening of renewed beginnings, excitement, and love- what I would consider the true definition of marriage to be. This wedding was especially wonderful because there were multiple other couples there who had also been married on NYE. The feeling in the room was just electric all day.

The entire event happened at Le Meridien Columbus, The Joseph- the beautiful new modern boutique hotel in the Short North. The hotel has a special Spa Suite just for the bridal party to get ready in. It has stunning floor to ceiling windows and a clean, cosmopolitan aesthetic. The groom and groomsmen got ready in the suave Presidential Suite which had sweeping views of snow-covered downtown Columbus.

Lauren and Roger started their celebration together with a first-look on the second floor of the hotel, a light airy gallery that was warm and perfect considering it was 17 degrees outside. As Roger turned around to see how stunning Lauren looked, he was overcome with emotion and wiped a couple tears away. It was the absolute sweetest and most genuine reaction. The two of them just stood there savoring the moment as the busy world passed by them on the streets below.

From the hotel, we braved the cold and took a few photos in front of the courthouse gavel, an homage to the fact Roger is a successful attorney. From there we stopped by the newly renovated LeVeque hotel, the downtown Hilton, and then back to the Joseph for their family photos, ketubah signing, and ceremony.

The ceremony room was intimate and warm with a romantic white draped huppah and an aisleway lit with romantic floating candles adorned with overflowing white flowers. The rabbi had the most amazing singing voice which added exponentially to the beautiful spiritual experience.

After the ceremony, it was time to let loose and celebrate! All the guests were dressed in the most stunning evening gowns. It was so much fun to photograph. The ballroom at the Joseph is understated modern- meaning it’s just the perfect space to transform for any occasion. Every table was overflowing with white floral arrangements by Dalay Ket. A grand cake fit for royalty was stationed at the end of the dance floor in a place of honor. Short North Piece of Cake were the artists behind this stunning edible creation. The whole party was elevated by having a live band, The Company Band, that quite literally rocked the house. It was pure joy for not only the happy couple but all of the guests as well. When the clock struck midnight, confetti cannons showered everyone on the dance floor along with champagne toasts and vibrant cheers! The whole event was expertly planned by both by Bobbie Izeman and Lauren, and The Joseph knocked it out of the park. I just love looking at these photos- they make me smile ear-to-ear thinking about how much of a fun blur everything was. Thank you so much, Lauren and Roger for giving me the honor of being with you on this incredible day!! XO, Jess

 

Dock 580 Loft Wedding

I have been excited about this wedding all year long. Not only was it the one that I consider the last of my regular fall wedding season, but it was also the most personal to me and my family. My husband Scott and I have been so blessed to get to know Alyssa, Jeff and her family over the past two years. They have truly become an extension of our little family- through thick and thin. I couldn’t think of any couple more special in our life and I’m so honored to have been here on this day as they started a new chapter in their lives together.

The day started relaxing and getting ready in separate homes. I was with Alyssa and my second shooter Katie was with Jeff. Over on our side of the process, there were so many laughs, doggie hugs, and even some pretty awesome dance moves!

Next, it was time to go to their church, Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church. Alyssa and Jeff privately said their hand-written vows to each other as they held hands around a corner before the ceremony. Very rarely does this happen, but they made me quietly cry behind my camera. It was such a personal and intimate moment, that as a photographer I am lucky enough to witness. It’s in those moments that love between two people sings its loudest on wedding days, whether it’s between parent and child, siblings, or the future Mr. and Mrs.

The church itself was a stunning backdrop for the traditional Catholic ceremony. It had an old-world romantic feel that almost felt like it was from an older era. After the nuptials, we utilized the church grounds for some photos before we went downtown for some more portraits with the wedding party. It was then time for the real party to start!

Their venue was The Loft side of Dock 580 and the dining room was decorated in such a romantic and sophisticated way. Moroccan lanterns were hung over each table, and linens of blue were accented with gold and maroon. Stunning florals pouring out of centerpieces made for the perfect exclamation point on an already beautiful setting. As the guests dined, laughter from the perfect speeches filled the room. Everything felt so warm and alive.

The party ramped up with the first dances, including a fun coreographed dance by Alyssa and her father. Once open dancing started, it didn’t end until the lights were turned on. It was such a joyous blur!  Their wedding day also fell on our son Caddie’s second birthday and they were nice enough to have him come to the reception for some dancing and cake! Needless to say, he loved every minute of it! Thank you again to this amazing family! I’m so thankful to have been a part of it all! XO Jess

happy bride and groom with waving veil

Renaissance Columbus Wedding

Megan and Keith’s wedding was on a most exceptional late September day. The people, the locations, the weather, and the classic beauty were all so much fun to be around and capture.

I met up with Megan at the Downtown Columbus  Hotel. When I walked in, her room was exploding with lots of friends and excitement. I had never met her in person and was immediately struck by the fact she looked so much like one of my best friends! It was an automatic familiar feeling which I found both comforting and inspiring. Then when I found out she loved Lady Gaga and was wearing Jimmy Choo shoes, I was seriously impressed! Megan was helped into her stunning Rosa Clara dress by her mom and closest friends. It fit her like an absolute dream. Before we ventured off to the church, we utilized some of the outdoor marquee lights at the Renaissance for some stunning bridal photos.

The ceremony took place at the beautiful St. Leo in German Villiage.  The isle was lined with strands of tulle and white flowers. The lighting was soft and romantic. A violinist was accompanied by a woman singing with a beautiful voice. It all felt intimate, religious and genuine. Afterwards, the couple exited the church to a flurry of bubbles showered on them by their friends and family.

For portraits, we stopped by the OSU campus’ Thompson Library. It’s a beautiful classical backdrop for the sophisticated bridal party. Speaking of bridal party, I think my favorite thing about both side’s of this bridal party is it was composed of men and women on both sides. It was such a refreshing thing to see and I wish more people didn’t feel obligated to only have men or only have women standing by them. We made one last stop at the Scioto Mile for a couple more photos before we made our way back to the Renaissance for the reception.

The event ballroom was uplit with pink and had tall overflowing floral centerpieces. The rest of the night was spent celebrating and dancing! And boy did they dance! I’m so excited to share this wedding today and I hope you love these as much as I did taking them:) XO Jess

 

bride and groom walking on a brick road

Columbus Crew Wedding

What do you get when you have three loves of your life? You incorporate them all into your wedding! For Tori, they are Starbucks, the Columbus Crew, and of course Jason. You might remember these two from their Crew-themed engagement shoot earlier this year that can be seen here. I can’t even tell you how lucky I feel to have been with them on their wedding day. I just love how they made their wedding a cool, unique glimpse into their lives.

Their ceremony was held at Graystone Wine Cellar in the brewery district downtown. This is a very intimate venue that goes two stories underground and has arched stone rooms, just perfect for a smaller ceremony and reception. The wedding took place around lunch time. From there they went to their very own wedding Crew tailgate in the late afternoon. Tons of friends, people they’d coached soccer for and relatives gathered under the crew tent and feasted on delicious tailgate food. Even their cake was bright yellow and black!

For the game, Tori and Jason rented a suite in the MAPFRE Stadium, good thing, too! A torrential downpour swept through right as the game was about to start. In true Ohio fashion, the weather cleared up in no time and the game started about an hour late.

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Tori and Jason were so generous- they let me and my husband use their stadium seats for the game which were AM-MAZING! Our sitter for the night fell through, so we brought Caddie also. They gifted my husband and I with our very own Crew scarfs, which we proudly display in Caddie’s bedroom. He was only 7 months old at the time these were taken, but that was just old enough for him to be excited about all of the people, lights and sounds. He did cry his brains out the first time the Crew scored a goal and the crowd went nuts lol. I just want to say to Tori and Jason a heartfelt thank you. From the day I met you, you felt like insta-friends. You have been so warm, loving, and generous since day one.

columbus crew baby

Downtown Columbus Wedding Photography

Kelly and JD were married at St. Paul Catholic Church. This church was so vibrant and airy. Huge vaulted ceilings accented colorful stained glass windows. Of note was a stained glass representation of Pope St. John Paul II, which was very cool to see, as his Sainthood happened in my lifetime. The wedding colors were classic black and white, which believe it or not, I don’t think in the eight years of shooting weddings, I’ve had yet, although I could be wrong. What’s special about that combination is it’s so elegant against everything you put it in front of.

Out of all the weddings I photographed in 2014, JD’s face when he saw Kelly walking towards him down the isle was my favorite. Pure joy and some tears were met with her bright smile as she approached. The moment was so special and one I know they’ll never forget.

I’ve always been a city girl at heart so I get especially excited when my couples love to utilize amazing city backdrops for their wedding photos. We drove around to three different downtown locations before the reception. There was no doubt about it, it was going to rain on this day. However, everything worked out so magically, that we ended up under a bridge overhang the moment it started to downpour. Wind and rain as well as the rich building textures make all of these photos come to life.

The reception was held at the magnificent Westin ballroom in downtown Columbus. Natural light morphed into elegant ceiling lights as the sun set. Kelly and JD’s reception had the most amazing looking cookie display I’ve ever seen. It’s hard for me to even look at the photos without my mouth watering. Some very good and unexpected musical entertainment throughout the night was provided by Steve Fazini (amazing!) who sang to guests as they dined, and the band Brother’s Monk from Big Bang Piano Bar who got the crowd moving with their dueling pianos.

Columbus Westin Wedding