As we enter into the last few days of pride month, I am so excited to share this blog with you today from Carly and Alexxa’s wedding last September from WatersEdge Event and Conference Center in Hilliard, Ohio.
I met up with Carly and Alexxa at their hotel where they were getting ready in separate rooms. Their hair and makeup were being done by Always Elegant LLC when I arrived. It was so much fun to go back and forth from room to room and see all the little details that each of them had put together for the day. What was so striking, was how similar the cuts of their dresses were to each other. I don’t know if they planned it, but they were also wearing the same shirt to get ready in. There was nothing but ear-to-ear smiles in both rooms.
After they were both ready, we drove to WatersEdge to get the day started with a first look. Carly grabbed her Bloomtastic bouquet which was adorned with satin ribbons that gently blew in the breeze. It was just the perfect little detail that she planned to match the ribbon that was on the back of her dress. I was so excited as Alexxa approached because I knew this was going to be cute. But I can’t even explain in words how special it really was. They are truly soul mates. The way they interact is so genuine and sincere.
It was threatening rain all day. The clouds were rolling in, and the wind was picking up. But like so many other Ohio days, it didn’t rain and they were able to have the most beautiful outdoor ceremony. Signs, programs, invitations, and save-the-dates were all made and designed by Carly, who is also an extremely talented graphic designer. After they were married, we snuck out and took some more photos. If you can catch that moment when it’s about to rain and it doesn’t, the payoff can be huge. A slight wind, perfect overcast for photos, and the world can seem just a little more vibrant and saturated.
Now it was time to party! And I have to say, of all the hundreds of weddings I’ve been to, this wedding had the best speech hands down I’ve ever heard. Carly’s brother knocked it out of the park with his chart-enhanced story of him and Alexxa’s relationship over the years. The evening was perfectly rounded out with the most loving first dance with Carly and Alexxa, followed by some amazing dance moves from almost everyone at the wedding. D&M DJ Entertainment kept the dance floor alive all night. I think White Claw helped too lol. There was so much love in the room that night. The energy was electric and I feel so lucky to have been there to capture it all.
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!
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
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
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
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.
Kris and Steve had a very intimate winter wedding at the First Community Church in Columbus a little over a year ago. I am bound and determined to get caught up on blogging, and this wedding just couldn’t slip through the cracks.
These two had been together for years and years, so it was very special for them to finally tie the knot. When it came to florals for both the ceremony and the reception, they decided to go big or go home. Madison House Florals truly outdid themselves with this one! When I got to the church, the room was warm, and every corner was just dripping with stunning greenery and red and white blooms. The evening light beamed through the tinted windows and gave the most beautiful golden glow. The couple opted for the lights to be off during the ceremony, so the room was very dark. But that made the ceremony feel so intimate and electric. The candles glistened and flickered as Kris and Steve said their vows to one another. Like most ceremonies, it happened in a beautiful blur and before you knew it, Kris and Steve were husband and husband.
The light outside was just about to peek under the horizon and I convinced them both to take a walk with me around the church for some photos of just the two of them. From there, their party awaited! And Madison House didn’t miss a beat with the reception florals either. The reception was held at The Grand Event Center in the Grandview Yard in downtown Columbus, OH. The ceiling of their ballroom is one of my favorites and so much fun to shoot!
Besides the huge table of cookies, one of my favorite things about the wedding was every guest was served their own personal cake (like a real small cake- not a bite-sized one). I have been to well over 300+ weddings and had never seen that before. Short North Piece of Cake delivered! What a memorable sight! Kris and Steve, thank you so much for letting me witness and document this incredible, heartwarming a and authentic day. I will always remember it!
Sarah and Rich were married a year ago this month but it’s never too late to blog a beautiful wedding! They held their intimate ceremony at the Bendora Wedding Gallery, which also happened to be a perfect backdrop for some indoor (and warm) wedding photos! Natural light flooded into the room and it felt like you were in someone’s personal home. I adored Sarah’s tea-length skirt that fit her like a dream. Rich and Sarah exchanged hand-written vows and shared a sand pouring ceremony with their kids. One of Sarah’s family members was even on FaceTime so they could see the ceremony. After they said their “I dos” the happy and tearful couple walked back down the aisle as husband and wife and were wrapped in hugs by all of their family that was there. It might have been cold outside, but there was so much love and joy in that room!
I can’t say enough good things about downtown Worthington for photos as well. We just walked around, smiled, laughed, and felt the sun on our faces. One thing about these two is their smiles are infectious and they immediately make you feel like you’re part of their family. Just as a general rule, I think people like this are the absolute best! After our portraits, we met at a local restaurant so the family could cheers to the happy couple before they all went to dinner.
Thank you, Sarah and Rich, for having me be part of this perfect day and cheers to your first year down as Mr. and Mrs.! XO Jess
This week we took our Christmas tree down. That’s always sad to me as it marks the end of the holidays “for real”, but it also makes it feel like there’s still months-long of winter ahead. In an effort to keep the holidays in my spirit, I want to post a holiday wedding today!
Kate and Chad said “I do” last holiday season at the Granville Inn, one of the most beautiful places you could ever have a holiday-themed wedding. The decor is always spot-on. When you walk in the lobby, you’re greeted with a fire in the fire-place, Christmas lights twinkling all around, and a warm reprieve from the cold outside. There was a dusting of lingering snow on the ground during portraits, which was just enough in my opinion. Wedding shoes and snow can be a bad combination, but we were lucky that the weather was just right. One of my favorite parts of this wedding were the table numbers that Kate hand-crafted herself. They were so photogenic and the color combination was really pretty and sophisticated. Freshly-cut evergreen branches and vases of cranberries finished the look. It was so pretty as the colors were backlit with the twinkling white lights of the ballroom’s Christmas tree. These two danced into the night as the crisp winter air howled outside. I feel so lucky to have been there and can’t wait to see what the future holds for Kate and Chad! XO Jess
Happy New Year everyone! To celebrate everything wintery wonderland, I have this gorgeous New Years’ wedding to share with you today!. Sometimes winter weddings are hard because they’re cold which can be limiting as to where we can go. Luckily, you don’t ever have to worry about that if you get married at Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center. Indoor or out, there are plenty of amazing spots to choose from. I love how they decorate there for the holidays, too. Nicole and Tony extended the holiday decor indoors with a white evergreen theme. when the lights were turned low, the whole setting oozed romance.
After the ceremony, guests were greeted with a ballroom that was uplit and oh-so-dreamy. Also waiting for them was the largest most spectacular cookie table I’ve ever seen. These two dined and danced the night away, and at midnight were showered with celebratory cheers and good wishes. I was so lucky to be there and can’t thank Nicole and Tony enough for having me! Happy New Year everyone! May your 2020 bring you laughter, health, and good fortune. XO Jess