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St. Henry Ohio Wedding with Stacy and Brad

It’s been months since their wedding and yet whenever I think of Stacy and Brad’s day, it still takes my breath away for a beat.  Not because the bride was gorgeous (and she was) or the decor was breathtaking (and it was) but because it almost wasn’t.

The day before Stacy and Brad’s wedding I received an email from Stacy telling me she had been in a car accident and reading it made chills run down my spine.  She said she was bruised and had some broken bones and her bridesmaid was still in the hospital but they’d decided to still go ahead with the wedding.  It took my breath away yet I didn’t fully grasp just how bad the accident was until I arrived at Stacy’s parents house.  There I found Stacy, who looked perfect, but it was quickly obvious just how much pain she was in.  She had underplayed the accident to me and through the day I found out just how terrible it was and just how lucky they were to walk away alive.  All day all I kept assuring Stacy was that no matter what she was THERE – the rest was details.  She did her best to make it the best – and they really, really did make it the best.  If you didn’t know about the accident, it’d be hard to know what was going on beneath the surface.  I heard they had seriously considered limiting the wedding or calling it off – I’m so damn proud of Stacy for not only deciding to go on with it but to enjoy it.

While it wasn’t the wedding day she may have had in her dreams it still was a wedding that dreams are made of.  Brad was an absolute gem all day – making sure she was OK, making sure she had whatever she needed and making sure to keep a smile on her face and a protective arm around her in case she needed to lean on him.  He went along with whatever she wanted to do to make her wedding HER day – be it sitting on a bar or dancing their first dance with a scooter in tow.  They really are what one dreams of when they envision a perfect partnership and it was such a joy documenting their day.

Catering:  Across Town Catering / Ceremony: St. Henry Church / DJ: Superior Sound Company / Reception: St. Henry American Legion

I adored Stacy’s dress!  It was so beautiful!Wedding dress hanging above doors

The lace and beaded details were swoon worthy!

Eyelash lace detailing on wedding dress

Stacy’s bridesmaids were simply amazing – doing everything they could to make the day go easier for her.

Bride getting ready for wedding in St Henry OhioBride putting in earrings

Luckily we ended up with a bit of time before we were needed to head to the ceremony so it gave Stacy time to write her letter to Brad that she had meant to do before but due to the accident hadn’t had a chance to do.  She looked so beautiful I couldn’t help but take a photo… or ten.

Bride writing letter to Groom

Luckily someone had a chair that was perfect for Stacy to use the day of the wedding so we were able to hide her cast!

Bride seated in chair with red rose bouquet

There was a perfect shaded nook in front of the church that worked well for the photos before the ceremony!

Bride with Bridesmaids in short black dresses

These boys were SO darn cute.  The one on the right was staring at Stacy all day with heart eyes.  It was the most adorable thing!

Bride with ring bearers

Stacy originally wanted them to read their letters on either side of the door (you’ve probably seen the image that inspired the thought on Pinterest!).  However, due to her injuries standing wasn’t a great idea and there really were no good doors to use so we improvised and they read their letters back to back with Stacy seated.  She snuck a peek though and I’m glad I captured the moment!

Bride and Groom reading letters they wrote

Brad was good though and he waited for this moment to see Stacy!

Groom seeing bride coming down the aisle in St. Henry

Originally she was going to try to use her crutches to go down the aisle but crutching with a wedding dress is no easy feat!  Instead they opted for the safer scooter and I am SO glad she did because instead of worrying about the placement of the crutches and balance she was able to keep her eyes on Brad.  As you can see, that made her smile and it was perfect!

Father giving away the bride in St. Henry

The ceremony went as planned and Stacy amazed everyone by still standing and sitting through the Catholic service like she would have pre-accident.

I’m telling you, she’s amazing.

Wedding Ceremony at St Henry Church in OhioWedding Ceremony at St Henry Church in OhioWedding Ceremony at St Henry Church in Ohio

After the ceremony we went for pictures at a nearby spot we’d picked out weeks before.  It was absolutely beautiful but very, very hot.

These two though didn’t care… they were married!

Bride and Groom wedding photos in St. Henry OhioBride and Groom wedding photos in St. Henry OhioBride and Groom wedding photos in St. Henry Ohio

We managed to corral their bridal party for a few photos as well!

Wedding Party in St Henry Ohio

St. Henry is a really neat town.  It’s in the middle of nowhere (and I say that with love!) and is on the western side of Ohio.  I had never been there before so there were a few wedding traditions I had to be clued in on.

One of these traditions is that all weddings end up at the local watering hole for a few drinks between the ceremony and reception and most of their guests go as well.  It’s kind of an informal cocktail hour if you will.

One of the traditions for the wedding couple is to have their photos taken on the bar.  I was told by someone that the wedding couple typically stands on it (!) but we were able to improvise with them sitting on it instead.  Whew!

Bride and Groom sitting on bar in St. Henry Ohio

They had a wild bridal party… can you tell?  They were all so fun!

Large bridal party at bar after ceremony in St. Henry Ohio

After the drinks were had it was time to head over to the local American Legion where their reception was.  Their bridal party formed a tunnel for their entrance!

Bride and Groom entering into reception at american legion

They smashed the cake!! AND IT WAS AWESOME!

Cake smash during wedding reception at american legionCake smash during wedding reception at american legion

Their toasts were beautiful and perfect.  Just enough humor, embarrassing stories and love!

Wedding toasts during reception in St Henry OhioWedding toasts during reception in St Henry Ohio

After dinner the dances commenced – starting with the first dance.  Stacy wasn’t sure if she was going to be able to but with a bit of scooter placement and slow music to sway to she made it work!

First Dance during wedding receptionFirst Dance during wedding reception

Next was the Father/Daughter dance and these two made me so happy.  I saw in her Dad the same protective fierceness my father had for me and it was lovely to be a witness to it.

Father Daughter Dance during wedding receptionFather Daughter Dance during wedding reception

How beautiful is Brad’s Mom!?

Mother Son Dance during Wedding Reception

The garter removal was hilarious!

Garter Removal during Wedding Reception in Ohio

After the formalities were over Stacy and Brad mingled, danced and had the best night of their lives. This picture makes me so happy because despite it all, they persevered and had a great day!

Bride and Groom Dancing at American Legion in Ohio

Of course, I have to finish with the rings!

Wedding Rings on Light

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Waters Edge Wedding with Melissa and Zach

WHEW – what a wild ride 2016 was for me.  I photographed more weddings than in any other year in my career (thus far) and December was one of the busiest with 4 weddings and a week off in St. Thomas for Christmas.  I came back to finish the last two weddings of the year on the last two days of the year and got hit with a virus that knocked me out for a solid week.  I’m finally vertical, mostly better (still really sniffly) and ready to finish up blogging my amazing second half of 2016!

At the very end of August I headed out to Louisville to the beautiful Waters Edge venue to celebrate the day with Melissa and Zach.  It was an interesting day because the weather was absolutely chaotic and that’s being kind!  Ohio was completely Ohio on their wedding day but these two couldn’t have been any more relaxed about it.  Their ceremony was moved inside and while many clients of mine have fretted about it, it ended up being absolutely beautiful!  We were able to sneak outside for the formal portraits and as the storms moved through we finished up the bride and groom portraits by running in and out between the rainclouds.  Their patience paid off by the end of the day with a gorgeous double rainbow!!!!  The rain abated by the end of the evening and they were able to still have their glow send off they wanted so all in all, despite the crazy rain and storms, it really was a perfect day!

Part of why it was perfect was these two were just SO happy to be married to one another that the rest of the details were just that – details.  Sure, we all want our wedding days to be perfect but stuff happens and the best part of your wedding day is saying I do!  The rest… well it’s just icing on the cake!  These two embodied this spirit and no matter what happened, they just smiled and rolled with it.  All night they were beaming and holding hands and it was a joy to work with them.  Many congratulations to you both and thank you for trusting me with your day!!

Cake:  Nom Nom Cupcake Factory / Catering:  Old Carolina Barbecue / Ceremony & Reception: Waters Edge / DJ:  Drop the Mic EntertainmentFlorist: Nikki’s Perfect Petal Design

When I arrived the ladies were getting ready and they looked fantastic!

bride and maids doing makeup before the wedding in louisvillebride and sister before wedding getting readyBride and her Bridesmaids in robes before wedding

Just before getting the dress on Melissa read her letter from Zach.

bride reading letter from groom before wedding

For the ceremony they had these adorable heart shaped fans.

Heart fan program for wedding ceremony

Their ring box was also lovely!  I loved the heart on their date!

Ring Box with Wedding Date

When Zach saw his bride coming down the aisle he was all smiles!

groom seeing bride for first time

She was also all smiles as soon as she locked eyes with him.

bride walking up aisle during ceremony

The ceremony was beautiful and perfect!

Wedding Ceremony at Waters Edge Vineyard

Waters Edge weddings are beautiful – even if they end up having to use their rain back up plan and have the ceremony inside!

Wedding Ceremony at Waters Edge VineyardWedding Ceremony at Waters Edge Vineyard

We were able to squeeze in family portraits and a few bridal party shots before the rain came in.

Bridal Party in red and blackBridal Party in red and blackGroom and Groomsman in Black and RedBride and Bridesmaids in black and redWedding Portrait at Waters Edge VineyardBridal Portrait outside at Waters Edge Vineyard

The rain let up during the cocktail hour just long enough for us to go back outside into the vineyard for a few more portraits.

Vineyard at Waters Edge in LouisvilleBride and Groom in Vineyard at Waters Edge

Love!

Bride and Groom in Vineyard at Waters EdgeBride and Groom in Vineyard at Waters Edge

When the rain started I was so glad they had an umbrella handy – they make for great photos!

Bride and Groom under umbrella in the rain

The bold red and black decor really looked amazing in the space!

Black and Red Wedding Reception at Waters Edge Vineyard

Nikki’s Perfect Petal Designs did the florals and they knocked it out of the park!

Red Rose Floral Centerpiece by Nikki

Nom Nom Cupcake Company was in charge of the cupcakes and they looked fantastic!

Cupcake Tower by Nom Nom Cupcakes

The toasts were sweet, funny and perfection!

Toasts at Wedding Reception at Waters Edge VineyardToasts at Wedding Reception at Waters Edge Vineyard

It may have been the most perfect cake cutting ever!

Cake cutting at wedding reception at Waters Edge

Followed by of course the most perfect first dance and parent dances!

First dance at wedding reception First dance at wedding reception Parent Dance at wedding reception at Waters EdgeParent Dance at wedding reception at Waters Edge

I went outside to get a picture of the barn and while it was still raining I realized there was an amazing rainbow and luckily they were game to go out in the rain for this!

Wedding portrait with rainbow in Ohio

The shoe game was played once we got back inside and it was funny.  Grooms – note that awesome socks are a bonus for the shoe game.

Shoe Game at Wedding Reception

The rest of the night was full of dancing and singing on the dance floor.

Groom dancing on dance floor

I also got some time to play with the rings!

Wedding rings on red rose

At the end of the night Melissa and Zach exited the reception while their friends waved red glowing necklaces!

Bride and Groom Exiting with Red Glow Necklaces from Wedding Reception

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Todaro’s Party Center Wedding with Gina and Michael

It’s funny to sit down and write this blog up while it’s snowing outside (yeah, I have a massive backlog of blogs… sorry!).  The day of the wedding I think we all would have paid a pretty penny for a little bit of snow!  It was one of the hottest and most humid weddings I remember in a long time (and given this past summer that’s saying a lot).  These guys were troopers though and we powered through their session at Indigo Lake before heading to the reception!

Gina and Michael were surrounded by SO much love and were really lovely to work with.  Their families were also so lovely.  It was just a great day surrounded by people who were wonderful.

Michael’s Mom made ALL the cookies for the reception and there were THOUSANDS.  It was such a HUGE table full of amazing cookies.  She urged us to take some home and they made for a great breakfast the next day.

Thank you both so much for trusting me with your wedding day!

Also thank you to Nicole for being my second photographer again for this wedding!  Always love working with this lady!

Cake:  West Side Bakery / Ceremony: St. Vincent de Paul in Akron / DJ:  Scott Jones with Cleveland Music GroupFlorist: House of PlantsReception: Todaro’s Party Center

makeup brushes in black and white

How fun are her boots?!!?

cowboy boots and wedding veil

Nicole and I LOVED Gina’s dogs.  This one said “I love you” and it is the cutest thing EVER.

Bride kissing her dog before wedding ceremony in akron ohio

Gina had fun with faces while getting her makeup done!

bride sucking in cheeks while getting makeup done

I had to sneak in a classic elegant shot though, so stunning!

bride getting makeup done by makeup artist in akron ohio

We left the girls and popped in with the guys while they were getting ready, they were such a hoot!

groom and groomsman getting ready for ceremony

Gina smartly decided to get dressed at the church!  With as hot as it was that day the less time in a hot dress was the best!

bride getting ready at st vincent de paul in akron

Soon enough it was time for the wedding ceremony and Nicole got this amazing photo of Gina being escorted up the aisle by her brothers.

brides brothers walking her down the aisle at st vincent in akron

While Nicole was photographing the above I was capturing Michael trying to hold the tears in.

groom seeing bride coming down the aisle at wedding ceremony

The wedding ceremony at St. Vincent de Paul got underway and it was perfection.

wedding ceremony at st vincent de paul in akron ohiowedding ceremony at st vincent de paul in akron ohiowedding ceremony at st vincent de paul in akron ohiowedding recessional after wedding ceremony at st vincent de paul in akron ohio

After the ceremony they exited to all of their guests clapping in excitement for the new Mr. and Mrs!

kissing while guests clap when exiting the church

Once the family formals were complete we headed to Indigo Lake for some outdoor portraits.

bridal party at indigo lake in akron ohio

 

bride and groom wedding portrait at indigo lake

After a few photos in the sun we headed to the shade to keep everyone as cool as possible, this path was perfect!

bride and groom wedding portrait at indigo lake bride and groom wedding portrait at indigo lake

This couple was pretty perfect as well though!

bride and groom wedding portrait at indigo lake

How gorgeous does Gina look?! LOVED her veil SO much!

bridal portrait at indigo lake in cuyahoga valley national park

House of Plants did an amazing job with the florals for her wedding!  This bouquet was stunning!

bridal portrait at indigo lake in cuyahoga valley national park

Needless to say, these ladies were also stunning.  Loved these bridesmaid gowns!

black and white portrait of bride and bridesmaids

How adorable is this photo of Gina kissing her nephew?

bride kissing ring bearer

Michael looked quite dapper in his suit!

black and white portrait of groom

These guys were a total hoot to work with!

black and white photo of groom and groomsmanwedding photo at indigo lake in akron ohio

The train station at Indigo Lake is perfect for a bit of shade wit more pizzaz than trees.

bridal party at the train station at indigo lakebride and groom inside train station

We quickly reconvened at the pergola at Todaro’s before heading inside.

bridal party beneath the pergola at todaro

Once we got inside we ran around capturing images of the reception setup – which was so gorgeous!

pink and gold reception decor at todaro

Here’s the cookie table I can’t stop raving about!!  HOLY COOKIES BATMAN!!!

italian cookie table at wedding in akron ohio

Mini tiramisu??  It was delicious!!

mini tiramisu wedding desserts

The always popular pizzelle.

italian pizzelles cookies

Of course there was cake!  Delicious West Side Bakery cake at that.

Pink and Gold wedding cake by west side bakery

I loved their entrance into the reception hall!

bride and groom entrance into reception at todaro

They went right into cutting the cake and they played nice 🙂

bride and groom cutting wedding cake during reception

How sweet was their first dance?  Love!

first dance at wedding reception at Todaro

Michael and his Mom danced first.

Mother Son Dance at Wedding reception in Akron Ohio

Then each of Gina’s brothers took a turn dancing with her in lieu of their father.  Needless to say there wasn’t a dry eye in the room, including mine.

Bride dancing with brother in honor of deceased fatherBride dancing with brother in honor of deceased father

These two groomsman had a great bromance that was fun to photograph (and was a welcome laugh after the teary brother dance!).

Groomsman dancing together at wedding reception in akron ohio

As always, when Scott Jones from Cleveland Music Group is rockin’ – the dance floor is PACKED!!!

wedding reception dance floor with The DJ Crew

I don’t know what is with this year and lifts with guys on the dance floor but it always livens up the dance floor!

wedding reception dance floor with cleveland music group scott jones

Of course it slowed down enough for some sweet moments between the newlyweds as well!

Wedding Reception in Akron Ohio

Of course I had to play with the rings!!!

Wedding Rings in detail

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