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.
When I first met Kendra, I felt like I was hanging out with the cool kid from school. She has fun hair and an awesome sense of style and self. Also, her middle name is Joy and just to be around her is to understand why. When I met Jacob, I felt like I was meeting a better-looking version of Prince Harry. They are both so laid back and easy to photograph together. They have a playful and loving way of interacting with each other.
Some of my brides might actually recognize Kendra, as shes a wedding and events coordinator for Tartan Fields. It’s actually where she and Jacob first met when he worked there as a golf instructor! So naturally, we started their engagement session on the golf course. Woods, wispy romantic grasses and two smiling faces, what’s not to love about this place. That mixed with some perfect lighting and I was in heaven! Speaking of perfect lighting, I adore having the opportunity to do a cool silhouette, and an embankment on the golf course provided the ideal opportunity. Big pillowy clouds offset against a bright blue sky were a stunning backdrop for these two. From there we went across town to German Village where everything was just the right amount of evening sun-kissed. I can’t wait for these two to say I do this November. Until then, I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I did taking them! XO Jess
Kristen and David were married on a perfect fall day at the Derby house last year. Everything was green and the sun was shining! Kristen looked flawless in her dress and I was so excited for David to see her at their first look out on the back patio. This was actually the first time I had ever shot at the Darby house, and I hope to add this venue to my frequently shot list because it is super stunning and the grounds provide a perfect romantic backdrop. What struck me about these two that I didn’t really realize beforehand was how goofy and funny they are! It is seriously fun to hang out around them. They don’t take themselves too seriously which brought a whole new element of authentic joy to the day. Some of the photos taken at their wedding were actually some of my favorites from 2018. Especially the one where David is clicking his heels together as they walk off into marital bliss.
Their ceremony took place as the sun was low and golden in the sky. Immediately following, guests were treated to a cocktail hour on the patio overlooking a beautiful waterway that runs behind the property. Bistro lights started to glow as evening set in, and everyone soon gathered in the reception hall. Speeches, toasts, cake and delicious food were shared with everyone. After which, the party really got started with a live band playing! Live bands can really turn the party up to the next level, and this was no exception. People packed the dance floor the entire night. By the time I left, Kristen and David were blissfully wrapped in each other’s arms. Congratulations to you two and I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I did taking them! I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you both!
I’ve admittedly been sitting on this one a while but am over the moon to share it today, and in the coming weeks, their wedding as well. Sarah and Rich actually eloped in a small ceremony earlier this year. This is the first time I had ever done an engagement shoot for a couple who was having such a small wedding, and I truly wish everyone did it this way! We had so much fun walking around the Topiary Park in downtown Columbus, talking about love and life and creating some incredibly fun images. I adore Sarah’s outfit. Any time you wear color, your images are going to be vibrant and eye-catching. Mixed with her stunning hair color, These shots have a really fun and funky vibe. I hope you enjoy these and keep a look out for their intimate wedding! XO Jess
Chelsey and Michael’s wedding was spectacular in every sense of the word, complete with a vibrant fuschia sunset the evening of their wedding at the Kingwood Center Gardens in Mansfield, about an hours drive from Columbus, OH. During the day, the sky had a thick layer of clouds, just perfect for shooting an outdoor wedding. The clouds turned the entire setting a giant softbox, lit to perfection.
I met up with Chelsey and the girls at a quaint little Airbnb not too far from the gardens. The multiple rooms were just buzzing when I arrived. Each bridesmaid had been given their own super cute robe to wear and personalized thermos to drink from. We traveled to Kingwood for Chelsey to put her dress on in a small private room with just her mom. The back of her dress was showstopping with lots of delicate buttons- perfect for photographing.
Chelsey and Michael did their “first look” out on the back steps of the estate. Never was there a more romantic first look location. Just the site of her walking out the door towards him pretty much took my breath away. I’m not going to lie, holding an outdoor wedding in Ohio can be a little stress-inducing. But if the weather shows up as it did on this late September day, it will bowl you over with beauty. Look at their ceremony pictures, guys! That’s real! That’s not a movie set. I guess what I’m trying to say is I want to shoot all the Kingwood Garden weddings, with one caveat. The couple has to be as cool and laid back as these two.
After their ceremony, we slowly walked over to their reception and shot some more heart-achingly gorgeous photos of them both together, freshly married. As we made our way over, the sky decided to treat us with the most magnificent sunset I’ve ever seen!
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!
This was such a fun little adventure for me! I had only been to Oxford, Ohio one other time for a triathlon and was too tired to even look around when I was there. So I was super excited when Tanner told me she had her heart set on having their engagement shoot there.
Tanner and Justin met while working at the local Bagel and Deli when they attended Miami University. Naturally, that’s where we started our shoot! I love the electric neon sign behind the adorable smiles we captured. The weather was just raining enough to create a romantic foggy mist. It made all the colors around us so much more rich and saturated. The brick buildings on Miami’s campus was really impressive. I went to Ohio State which is just a hodgepodge of building designs. On Miami’s campus, it seems as if everything is planned out and cohesive visually. We stopped under the Upham Arch, where according to the Miami folklore, couples who kiss under the arch will get married. On the Miami website, they refer to this as a “Miami Merger” and the university alumni association sends Valentine’s Day cards to these couples!
We walked all over, including this beautiful garden area called the Arthur F. Conrad Formal Garden. There was a really cool greenhouse we snapped a couple of shots in front of that I loved. It had so much texture and the shots looked killer in black and white.
I think my favorite part of the whole shoot was when we found a field of tall grasses. It started to actually rain a little harder and it was just so romantic. Thank you so much to Tanner and Justin for an amazing afternoon filled with laughter and genuine, down-to-earth conversation. I can’t wait for your wedding later this year! XO Jess
Carly and Alexxa met me out on a late September afternoon with their beautiful baby Coby. For me, it was an hour that went by too quickly. It had been a few years since I had seen Carly.
Quite honestly, I’ve been avoiding writing this blog for the same reason I delayed writing about my friend Nicole’s wedding. I don’t want to sound like a creeper. But a superficially written blog won’t due for these two. So at the risk of sounding like a super fangirl, here it goes.
I met Carly working at a local production house here in Columbus over 5 years ago? I don’t know- time is more of a theoretical thing for me anymore. She was fresh out of college and super young, however, I’m at the age where I feel like most people are super young. What struck me about her right off the bat is how mature and true to herself she was. Those are two qualities it took me years and becoming a parent to accomplish. On her first day of work, Alexxa had sent her a huge bouquet of flowers. I remember everyone was pretty impressed by that. She had told me the story of how they met online very randomly and ever since had been inseparable. When I met Alexxa for the first time, I was struck by how similar these two are. They have a similar frame, same length and color of hair… same soft way of giggling at each other. They “look” like a couple. One time my husband and I did a face-swap and you couldn’t tell the difference (freaky to say the least). There’s a photo of my parents when they were in their 20s. They looked alike as well. You get it- sometimes you look like your spouse.
Fast forward maybe a year after meeting these two. Carly and Alexxa adopted their beautiful fur-baby Coby. We always bonded over our love of our dogs. My boy Rugby was my fur baby until I had human babies. Now sometimes I struggle to remember his name, LOL. I can say with 100% certainty that there has never been a more beloved puppers than Coby. I love when their Insata stories pop up- I always get to see some ridiculously cute photos or videos of Coby. * Rugby earmuffs for what I’m about to say* Coby might be the cutest dog I’ve ever seen.
Throughout the rest of my time working alongside Carly, I found her to be an incredibly talented graphic designer, patient with all kinds of personalities, laid back and super funny. It’s hard not to respect and admire her. So when she and Alexxa asked if I’d be their wedding photographer, I was beyond-words excited. I am so happy for these two as they tie the knot later this year. Until then, check out their engagement shoot. Their love for each other is palpable and extremely easy to photograph!
Caitlin and Mason’s Findlay Ohio wedding was from start to finish, beautifully genuine. The details poured from every corner and yet it still wasn’t overdone. I think that has to do with how down-to-earth and honest Caitlin and Mason are. I got to know them both a little better at their engagement shoot in the fall of 2017, so on their wedding day, it felt like I was seeing old friends.
I met up with Caitlin and her bridesmaids at the brand new Hancock Hotel in downtown Findlay, OH for her and Mason’s mid-August wedding. The room itself was alive with laughter and natural light. The furnishings were gorgeous and the room is quite possibly one of my new favorite “getting ready” rooms to shoot in. Caitlin’s hair was intricately braided into the most spectacular mermaid braid. It was show-stopping. But not as showstopping as her Nicole Spose beaded dress. I’ve been to a lot of weddings and I’ve literally never seen a dress like this one. It was form fitting, elegant with its high neck, delicate with its sheer fabric, and absolutely made for Caitlin’s figure.
When it came time to head over to the First Lutheran Church, there wasn’t much travel time needed, as it was across the street. The entire wedding party was able to walk over. Talk about convenient. The back of the altar of the church had natural light flooding into the sanctuary which did make it a little more challenging to shoot than the average church, but it also provided such a unique and happy environment.
After they said “I do!” we all hopped on a bus and drove around to some cool local spots. Most notably was the bar owned by Caitlin’s family. As per tradition, she poured and served Mason a Guinness in her wedding dress from behind the bar. Then we had the entire wedding party come in for one large celebratory “cheers!” and photo-opp. Afterward, it was time to head back to the Hancock where the real party could begin.
I can’t thank these two enough for trusting me in capturing this perfect day. I simply can’t wait to see what the future holds for them both! XO Jess