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!
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!
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:
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!
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
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.
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
On the day of Griffin and Dan’s wedding, I met up with Griffin at her parent’s house. Griffin had told me that she wanted some of her portraits taken in her mother’s bathroom and of course, I said yes! But what I didn’t realize at the time, even though she explained it to me, was that her mother (being an artist) had transformed the entire bathroom space into the most stunning work of art. Everywhere the eye turned were the most beautiful mosaics made from broken tiles, beads and egg shells. I feel like you could spend hours in that room and only see a very small part of it. I loved the symbolism of taking Griffin’s portraits in this room. Her mother had started it as a tribute to her own mother, so in that bathroom was the warmth of multiple generations of women and an outpouring of creative love that only a mother can have, and only an artist can convey.
It was now time for the wedding so we headed a few streets over to Griffin and Dan’s place where they were to get married in their backyard. Everything was immaculate and perfectly groomed for the ceremony. Dan had tears of joy as he read a note from Griffin right before the ceremony. Griffin and her sister shared the sweetest moment in the garage right before the entrance music started. The flower girls had the best senses of humor. They walked down the aisle, stopped right in front of Dan and dumped out all of the petals in their baskets at his feet. The ceremony itself was probably no longer than 10 minutes, and before you knew it they were husband and wife and drove off in a white convertible!
I got to hitch a ride in their sweet ride and we rode around downtown Columbus for some portraits. When we made our way back to their backyard party, the food truck had arrived and was serving up hot bagel sandwiches. I always forget how ridiculously good a bagel sandwich is and the Short North Bagel Deli did NOT disappoint! My favorite part of their reception was Griffin’s dance with her Dad. In the middle, her Mom and sister joined them. A couple minutes later, all four of them turned to Dan, arms wide open, and welcomed him into their family hug-dance. His face as they did this was priceless. As the sun set, you could hear relaxed laughter, see amazing dance moves and feel the love in the air. I am beyond honored to have been with Griffin and Dan on this day. It was one of the highlights of my professional career! XO Jess