Category Archives: Downtown Columbus Wedding

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

G. Michael’s Wedding Photos

Liza and Terri LOVE visiting G. Michael’s in German Village, so that’s where they decided to hold their intimate ceremony and reception for their wedding day last fall. I didn’t know it, but G. Michael’s will rent out the whole restaurant for you and your guest for a VERY cool experience.

We started the day with some portraits on the same block as the restaurant. It was very hot outside so we wanted to stay close so no one would get overheated. We then took all the family portraits to free up the rest of the evening for a celebration! When guests started to arrive, they were greeted with a cocktail and escorted out to the back patio. Liza and Terri were married by Terri’s brother in one of the most moving ceremonies I’ve ever been to.  Because this was at G.Michael’s the cocktail hour and dinner food was nothing short of spectacular. If you can’t rent the place out for an event, definitely go there on a date night- you won’t regret it. After dinner, Liza and Terri did their first dance in the same room as dinner. They seemed to be in their own beautiful love-filled world. You could tell just by looking at them that they have a special love that is deeper than most. It was an honor to be there to not only photograph it but just be in the same room. Dancing slowly moved into the same room as the bar and continued into the night. As I left, I could see everyone laughing, embracing and soaking up those moments inside. I felt a natural high as I walked to my car. Thank you so much, Terri and Liza. You’ll never know how much it meant to me to be able to capture these moments.

emily and rob published in brides and weddings

PUBLISHED! Urban Winery Wedding

Ok so this is my fault, but I haven’t bragged on my past couples enough. Especially because some of their weddings were published last year and I put showing that off on the back burner. But today is the day I’m starting to unveil all of the 2018 publications that I haven’t yet featured. Today is Emily and Rob! Last year they were featured online at Brides & Weddings! The link can be seen here:

Emily and Rob: Vintage Meets Modern

 

 

 

carole and john hug in the park

Columbus Wedding at the Vue

I’ve waited to blog this wedding for a very, very long time so I’m super excited for today when I get to share with you, drumroll, please… Carol and John’s wedding! Hanging out with these two gives me the same feeling as when my coffee kicks in. Pure, unadulterated joy.

We started our day with a first look on the patio of the Vue in the Brewery District of downtown Columbus. John was so excited to see Carole. As he was waiting for her, he was staring at one of the potted plants in front of him nervous and anxious to give his bride a hug! When he finally got to see her, he explained to her how he’ll never forget that plant and how much it means to him now. Lol!

We hopped on a bus and went to Schiller Park for some enchanting and magical photos. I’ve honestly never laughed so much on a shoot before. You’ll see why. I adore people who don’t take themselves too seriously- especially on their wedding day!

From there we utilized some rustic Columbus spots for more photos before we headed back. The green bridesmaid dresses were so striking. I truly wish more weddings utilized this color!

Their ceremony inside the Vue was filled with laughter and tears of joy. The setting was striking with its natural light and soaring ceilings. Immediately after the ceremony, Carole and John spent a few minutes together on the back patio with just each other. I was so glad to see them taking the time to do that because the party that followed was a throw-down whirlwind!!! Awesome speeches, a Dairy Queen ice cream cart, and some incredible dance moves were just a little of what made this party so memorable. I couldn’t be more happy for two people and thank the universe all the time for letting us cross paths!

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