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.
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.
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’m finally into my fall weddings! I am so excited to share Susan and Michael’s wedding today! This beautiful outdoor ceremony took place at Brookshire in the fall. The grounds at Brookshire did not disappoint! It was a fall extravaganza everywhere you looked.
I couldn’t get enough of how Susan’s Wendy’s Bridal dress looked on the figure bust in the bridal suite. It was such a focal point and everyone that walked in the room immediately went and stared at it. I just loved photographing the intricate beading and details of its form.
We started the day with a first look on Brookshire’s side patio. The space was lined with illuminated bistro lights which created such a romantic backdrop for these two. From there we just walked the grounds, took pictures, and soaked up every moment before the day really got started. Large pumpkins, gourds, and wheat stalks lined their little garden area. The tree next to the garden had the most delicate berries growing on them, which went perfectly with Susan’s bouquet that also had berries. Speaking of her bouquet, it was quite literally the best smelling bouquet I’ve ever smelled. I asked the florist what was creating that intoxicating smell and he explained it was Freesia. Brides- USE FREESIA. You won’t regret it. It smells amazing.
For their ceremony, the aisle was lined with flowers in mason jars hanging from the chairs. The front arbor was decorated with sprays of maroon and white flowers. As Susan started to walk down the path towards Michael, the little ring bearer escaped and his father had to reel him in. I live for little impromptu memorable moments like that. After they said their “I do’s”, the evening was very relaxed and intimate. Thank you so much to Michael and Susan for letting me share in this incredible day. I’m so honored to share these today and hope you love them as much as I did taking them! XO Jess
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
My job often has twists and turns. Sometimes I’m not even sure where I’m going to be the next weekend. Karen and Jay booked me less than a week out from their wedding. I was excited, to say the least, but I also had no idea how much fun I was about to have at this wedding. When I walked in, Karen and Jay were in the same room putting together bouquets for their wedding day. After a few minutes of this, Karen rushed Jay out the door to go get ready. As I photographed her dress, different family members came in to visit her and see how she was. Her daughter carried her dress into the bathroom and helped her get dressed. Weddings are such a whirlwind. Karen had been dealing with so many little details from the day, it didn’t leave her much time to get ready, but Karen was nothing but jokes, laughs and smiles as everyone rushed about. Finally, with her dress on, she was flawless and it was time to tie the knot.
On a sunny and hot July evening, Jay and Karen exchanged vows in the outdoor courtyard of the Granville Inn. I have been to over 250 weddings, and I had never seen this before: the minister allowed for people to individually stand up and “bless” them with something, such as patience, peace, etc. It was so special and meaningful.
From the ceremony, just the three of us walked a bit around Granville. That day there happened to be an outdoor carnival. Karen and Jay immediately lit up and decided we had to stop there for some fun photos. I totally felt like a little kid again. These two are incredible in every way. At the reception, I asked Jay about Karen and how they met. He said he was tired of the dating scene because it was usually very superficial. When he met Karen, he was immediately drawn to how spiritual she was. It was her authenticity and devotion to God and him that he fell in love with. I can see why. She has an electric personality and I wish these two endless years of carnivals, dancing in the street together, and an unending love that grows with time.
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
You might remember these two from their engagement blog post last fall. All you have to do is be within 10 feet of these two to see how in love they are with each other. It is sweet, pure and genuine love. When one of them talks about the other their whole face lights up. That was one of the reasons I was even more excited to shoot this wedding.
Since the day we drove out to Wapakoneta, OH to photograph this wedding, I’ve been dying to share everything about this day with you! I’m not even sure where to begin with this venue. It’s in the middle of the country, but when you pull in it’s like it’s own little Mediterranean-inspired oasis. SoSerene is owned by a husband-and-wife team who have transformed their personal property into one of Ohio’s most unique wedding venues. Every detail you see in the entire place was handmade by one of them, from the carved marble accents to the stone outdoor pavilion where the receptions take place. When you think about just two people doing almost everything on the property and then you look around, it’s pretty mind-boggling. Lucilky for us, there was no shortage of beautiful photo opportunities.
I met Caitlyn and her bridesmaids at the pool house as they were getting ready. When I walked in I found Caitlyn with tears in her eyes. She was already emotional just thinking about Adam and the day ahead of her. The feeling was so mutual. When Adam saw Caitlyn walking down the aisle his eyes welled up with tears and it was just a magical moment I know they’ll always remember.
The pavilion they got married on was actually a floating dock! A lush garland of purple roses framed Caitlyn and Adam as they said their vows to each other. It was a hot and sunny day, but the wind was blowing softly. There was a weeping willow down by the pond. Mix one stunning wedding couple and a weeping willow softly blowing in the breeze, you get magic! The rest of the night was filled with nothing but laughter and happy tears. Caitlyn and her dad even surprised all of the guests with a choreographed dance!
Caitlyn and Adam, I love you both so much and can’t wait to see what the future brings for you. XO Jess
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