Did you ever have a friend that you have no idea how you knew each other? I mean, I KNOW we have mutual friends, and that must be how I know her, but it seems as if Molly has always been my friend. Every time I see her, she is full of life, up for anything and seems to always have a smile on her face. It’s not a fake smile either- it’s a genuine, happy, down-to-earth smile. And her laugh, omg I love her laugh. I think this is turning into a love letter to Molly. But, when someone deserves a love letter, you write one, right? And that’s exactly what I tried to do with her wedding photos- they’re my love letter to a stunning person and the amazing man who is lucky enough to walk by her side in this life.
Molly and Ryan chose Strongwater Food & Spirits in Columbus, OH as their wedding day backdrop. This old warehouse has been converted into a rustic bare-bones event space. Molly has a background in events, so it’s not a coincidence everything was styled to perfection. Gold spray-painted animals accented candlelight for the cocktail hour. Romantic dream-catchers hung in the reception space and caught the various warm shades of evening light that poured through the windows. Food was provided by the food truck Porketta which was Parkettad right outside the entrance. Ok that joke was stupid, sorry. I think one of my favorite details of this wedding was the DJ who played only vinyl records all night long. From Blondie to Beiber, it was all on the turntable in its original analog form.
Thank you Molly and Ryan for letting me photograph your wedding day. You two are one hell of a couple and throw one hell of a party! Cheers to you both!
The day of Julie and Patrick’s wedding had every season’s weather all wrapped up into one day. They were such good sports through some really strange temperature swings, and we were able to get inside before it started to snow sideways. Ah, spring in Ohio!
I’ve gotten to know these two well over the past year. They are two of the most genuine, caring and loving people you can meet. Julie has a smile that can light up a room. She looked so beautiful in her wedding dress and the wind added just the right touch of whimsy to some of her bridal veil photos. Her bridesmaids wore long bright red dresses which added the perfect pop of color for the day. Pink, Red and Cream roses tied it all together.
Julie and Patrick were married at the beautiful St. Peter Catholic Church in Columbus. The sanctuary almost had an outdoorsy feel with its vaulted ceiling, natural light that poured through vibrant stained glass and palm fronds that adorned the altar. Their reception took place at Wedgewood Country Club where the trees were flowering in all their white spring glory.
So, as you can imagine I attend a lot of weddings and hear a lot of wedding speeches. Some of these are obviously better than others, but the speeches at this wedding were such a good window into who these two are. Julie and Patrick share a mutual devotion to their family and religion. They go out of their way as a regular practice to show other people how important they are. I think when people are naturally that selfless, it’s so much fun to sit and watch people put them in the spotlight.
I am so excited to share these photos from my first wedding of this season! I hope you love them. XO Jess
Here’s the details post I promised. While I pride my business on being more about the couple, the day and not the “stuff”, I can’t deny that I love some eye candy. I decided to make the details its own post this year, because I thought it was really cool to see the variety and diversity of each wedding I shot. It really gives you a good feel for how different each wedding truly is. It’s also pretty clear how I could have kept a few pounds off, because I totally had a piece of every cake, every cupcake, and every doughnut. Don’t judge.
In Upper Arlington, there’s a little known secret barn called Amelita Mirolo Barn, and it’s just the perfect backdrop for anyone looking for a barn wedding that’s close to the city. It has tall ceilings with wooden rafters, great for decorating or leaving bare. It’s located right near a beautiful park that has tall wooded pine trees, ideal for varying up photo looks in one convenient location.
Carrie and Dave accentuated this raw space perfectly with overflowing Spring flowers, hanging lights and chandeliers, and personalized details, like a hand-written love note on display from Dave to his new wife. From the moment you walked in, there was eye candy at every turn, but it still felt very intimate and authentic.
Dave is a pilot and Carrie is a flight attendant. They had met each other around 10 years ago, but from what I can remember, neither made the first move. I’m glad someone finally did, because the rest is history. Carrie glowed all day in her white lace gown. I have to say, hands down, that her dress had the prettiest back to a dress I have ever seen. The two were married with the accompaniment of a string quartet surrounded by their family and closest friends, and then they all danced the night away under the illuminated ceiling with a live bluegrass band.
Later in the evening, we snuck outside for some really quick night portraits that were the proverbial icing on the cake for this collection!
You might recognize these two from a blog post I wrote earlier last year about their engagement shoot. I knew their wedding was going to be amazing the moment I met the two of them, but it truly was such an elegant and fun evening! First of all, Chris and Casey are just beyond cute together. The way they look, smile and interact is so endearing. One of my favorite parts of a wedding day is when the couple sees each other for the first time, dressed to the nines and blissfully on cloud nine. I was especially excited for them to see each other. There were nothing but smiles from ear to ear.
Casey has an impeccable sense of detail and style, as you’ll be able to see from these photos. Everything was so beautifully coordinated, yet retained a fun, laid back and intimate environment. I think my favorite detail was the illuminated C&C signs. They helped some of the other detail shots look so editorial and magical.
The summer ceremony was held outside with the musical styling (lol i love that phrase) of our good friends the Shaw Brothers. If you’re looking for some awesome ceremony or even reception music, they’re where it’s at! They play from the heart, and for wedding music, I think that’s hard to find.
Creekside in Gahanna is a great ballroom where during the day, lots of natural light beams through the windows that line the perimeter, and after nightfall, the room is illuminated with colorful LEDs. The footprint of the room is in the shape of an “L”, which I wasn’t sure about at first, but it really worked nicely, and gave center focus to the dance floor. The dance floor is topped with a curved ceiling, which makes for a grand and unique setting for the first dance photos!
Enjoy all this magical eye candy! I hope you love it! XO Jess
Kelly and JD were married at St. Paul Catholic Church. This church was so vibrant and airy. Huge vaulted ceilings accented colorful stained glass windows. Of note was a stained glass representation of Pope St. John Paul II, which was very cool to see, as his Sainthood happened in my lifetime. The wedding colors were classic black and white, which believe it or not, I don’t think in the eight years of shooting weddings, I’ve had yet, although I could be wrong. What’s special about that combination is it’s so elegant against everything you put it in front of.
Out of all the weddings I photographed in 2014, JD’s face when he saw Kelly walking towards him down the isle was my favorite. Pure joy and some tears were met with her bright smile as she approached. The moment was so special and one I know they’ll never forget.
I’ve always been a city girl at heart so I get especially excited when my couples love to utilize amazing city backdrops for their wedding photos. We drove around to three different downtown locations before the reception. There was no doubt about it, it was going to rain on this day. However, everything worked out so magically, that we ended up under a bridge overhang the moment it started to downpour. Wind and rain as well as the rich building textures make all of these photos come to life.
The reception was held at the magnificent Westin ballroom in downtown Columbus. Natural light morphed into elegant ceiling lights as the sun set. Kelly and JD’s reception had the most amazing looking cookie display I’ve ever seen. It’s hard for me to even look at the photos without my mouth watering. Some very good and unexpected musical entertainment throughout the night was provided by Steve Fazini (amazing!) who sang to guests as they dined, and the band Brother’s Monk from Big Bang Piano Bar who got the crowd moving with their dueling pianos.
Each of the past few years, we’ve been lucky enough to travel to different states for weddings and engagement shoots. It might seem counter-intuitive to some, but I think it’s a creative advantage to shoot a wedding in a place you’ve never been before. I always take the time to scout the area before a wedding, but it’s fun to look at a new place with completely fresh eyes.
This year my husband Scott and I traveled to Nashville for Geoff and Julie’s wedding. We had always wanted to go there anyways, so we made a mini-vacation out of it. We went a day early and enjoyed the amazing music along the Broadway strip. I truly couldn’t believe how many bands are all playing on the same night. I’ve never experienced so much good music in such a close proximity.
The rehearsal dinner fell on the 4th of July, so the evening sky was filled with fireworks and cheers. The next day was a perfectly sunny and warm Nashville summer day. The church,Christ the King, was so beautifully modern and traditional at the same time. Between the light flooded in through the stunning stained glass windows, the beautiful blue bridesmaids dresses, and the colorful flowers, the whole ceremony was vibrant.
Geoff’s mother Janet is one of the best florists I’ve ever met in my life. (She also happened to do the flowers for our own wedding). Janet (with the help of family) did all of the floral and decor for Geoff and Julie’s rehearsal dinner and the entire wedding. It was a true labor of love. She had every corner of the reception hall dripping with beautiful roses. It was truly something to see.
I think this wedding also wins, hands down, the best dance party award for 2014. I am going to post more dancing pictures on this post than I usually do, because it was just that good. EVERYONE was dancing until they were sweating. It was spectacular.
Happy 2015! I would like to dust off this blog and give a special thank you to all of the amazing people I was lucky enough to meet, work with, and photograph this year. It has truly felt like two years all rolled into one and to call the experience rewarding would be an understatement. I will be blogging the remaining weddings I photographed in 2014 in the coming weeks, but this blog is reserved for my most favorite wedding photos from last year. Thank you so much to the other fantastic photographers who shot as my second shooters this year- Kim, Carmen, Zak, Steve, Jared, Melissa, and my husband Scott.
In 2014, Scott graduated graduate school in Occupational Therapy and now works during the day at his dream job helping others live a more active, pain-free life. To celebrate his graduation and our life together, we took off most of the month of September and went on a grand tour of California together. I will also blog about this trip in the coming weeks. We saw some amazing things that I can’t wait to share.
Last year I did a lot of soul searching about what direction I wanted to take my company. I overhauled my website with a fresh, new design that’s easier to navigate. I found a lot of clarity in 2014 about what I think is most important about the field of photography, which can be read about here. I attended workshops and seminars on how to enhance my practice and there wasn’t a complacent bone in my body. I’m so excited to enter into 2015 with a full schedule, a new camera body added to my arsenal, and the most wonderful, fun couples I could ever ask for!
So on to the good stuff! The photos below all pulled at my heart strings in one way or another. All of the couples I was lucky enough to photograph last year were so amazingly creative. The details were simply breathtaking, and this post would be 5,000 photos long if I included all the ones I wanted to. I hope you enjoy these and cheers to a happy, healthy, fantastical new year! XO Jess
I love weddings, obviously. But it’s weddings like this that confirm it every time. Kathryn and Steve have such great family and friends. This whole day was pure celebration from beginning to end. I’m not sure why they chose it, but they got married on Friday the 13th, and I honestly couldn’t think of a cooler date to tie the knot.
The ceremony was held at St. Elizabeth’s at Sharon Woods. It’s a beautiful church with modern accents. Natural light flooded through ceiling skylights and created a warm and bright atmosphere. Kathryn and Steve’s friends sang throughout the ceremony, which made for a beautiful and personal experience. Kathryn wore a veil that was a family heirloom, which is always such a loving way of intimately including those you love.
After the service we took the party bus (I love when I get to do ride-alongs in the bus) to the Statehouse in downtown Columbus for some bridal party and portrait shots. This is such a fantastic location to have photos taken. It’s sophisticated, grand, elegant and timeless all at once. The building has such a rich atmosphere that any photo taken in it almost seems other-worldy. Because it’s so dark in certain parts of the Statehouse, it is perfect to do some fun off-camera lighting effects and dramatic portraiture. Outside the statehouse is grand and truly provides a divine backdrop for any wedding party.
After the statehouse we all rode to Walter’s Commons at St. Charles for the reception. This venue is simply stunning with its high vaulted ceilings, stunning natural light, and gorgeous stained glass windows. Among the many awesome details, there was a larger than life rubber ducky, an exquisite cookie and dessert table, and a Keurig bar. I think the coffee bar must have been well attended because there was some pretty great dancing that just didn’t stop!
My favorite public park in Columbus is the Grange Insurance Audubon Center. Once touted as my little-known secret a couple of years ago, this facility has grown to serve as a beloved spot for families, photographers and bird watchers alike. With its close proximity to the beautiful bike trail, fields of tall grasses and sweeping landscape views of downtown Columbus, it is no wonder that many view it as the perfect wedding location.
I was doubly honored when Kay and Mark asked me to be their wedding photographer. I had gone to high school with Kay (I won’t mention how long ago), and we were always interested in the same things like Cross Country running and Music. As life tends to do sometimes, we went our separate ways after high school but kept in touch through Facebook. I’m in complete awe of what she has gone on to do with her life! Let’s just say among her MANY accomplishments she also qualifies for and runs the Boston Marathon each year!
Kay and Mark love to travel and be outdoors, so the Audubon was a natural fit for their wedding. Keeping with their love of the outdoors, they named each of their reception tables after national parks they had traveled to. This spring wedding was complimented with the most vibrant tulips and purple bridesmaids dresses.
Needless to say, I go to a lot of weddings and see a lot of different ways families show love for the married couples. But I have to say that the way one of the speeches happened on this day was unlike anything I had encountered yet. A custom song was sung and delivered a cappella to the bride and groom. It was so moving and touching and I’m not sure there were many dry eyes in the room. It was such a great day and I hope you love these photos as much as I do! XO Jess