Each year I look so forward to this day, the day I get to photograph the wedding of the winning couple. Each February I hold a contest for one lucky couple to win. It's always so much fun seeing it all play out. This year's lucky couple was Jen and Jeff. While they now live in Chicago, they call home here in Ohio, so all their friends were rooting for them, from all over the globe. So the big day finally arrived. They were married at Racine United Methodist Church in Racine, Ohio.
Without a doubt, Jen has such beautiful eye's. Jeff got a little help from his dad getting ready in the church basement and sharing a laugh or two. And in Jen's room, she got some help from her mom.
My entire process of creating this blog, I kept singing in my head an old favorite...it usually revolves around triggering a memory or something I see that plays a song over and over. It hit me that upon walking into the church that day, it was breathtaking inside. It was "This Twilight Garden".....a song from The Cure....and so it goes 'No one will ever take your place, I'm lost in you. No one will ever take your place, so in love with you'. It felt like a twilight garden upon walking in, everything was as it should be. From the ceremony in Racine, we hopped in a super large limo and made our way to Marietta, Ohio for the reception with a few stops along the way.
Jeff and Jen have this ease about them, they simply love to have fun with one another and just let loose. Course they can also play off some pretty intense images just the same. The reception was held at The Layfayette Hotel in Marietta. A beautiful hotel right along the Ohio River. I was so excited to have the opportunity to shoot a wedding here again, it's such a great town. Before heading down to the reception, we took a quick trip up to their bridal suite for a few photos. Their room overlooked the river. Upon entering the reception room, I was hit with the scent of cupcakes, resisting the temptation to grab one right then and there almost proved too much. These two were so full of antics and humorous behavior's, they kept things flowing and guest's laughing.
This wedding hands down was likely one of my favorites in terms of reception fun, everyone let loose which can make for some great photos. If only I could share them all. And to the guy who innocently kissed me on the cheek, my husband forgives you. But thank you.
A big thanks goes to Jen's best friend and Matron of Honor was her college roommate, Shaina. I've had the pleasure of working with Shaina and her family for a few year's now. She brought the contest to their attention and put the word out there for friends and family to cast their votes and with much success. It ended up being a great evening and a lot of fun with this group. Jeff and Jen had so much fun celebrating. They made us feel like we weren't even working. We retired to our room and called it a night and rested our weary feet and smiled that another great day went off for a wonderful couple that we were so happy to get to know.
It had been a good while that Brook and I had talked about meeting up sometime for a portrait session with her family. It was so good to finally meet them. She and her husband Brett had the cutest little girls who were full of vibrant energy. Corinne is 3 and her sister Marielle is 1. Their session was held at Scioto Park in Dublin. Upon our arrival, there was a huge clap of thunder, so it was only a matter of time until the sky let loose. Marielle was quiet and content with all that going on around her. She loved to play on Daddy and giggled with the tickles.
As we neared the end of the session, suddenly it began to rain..the kind of rain where you run for cover. A good soaking hard rain. Brett and Brook make such an adorable couple.....so sweet. We took shelter under the party house, as the girl's and Brook played in the rain a bit. Marielle was enjoying the droplets on her skin.
While Corinne played in the rain until she needed a new outfit.
We waited for some time before the storm died down so that we could go to our car's and part ways, but not before Corinne gave me some cheeky poses. Gotta love the many faces of a child...always leaving you smiling.
The big day finally arrived..after months of waiting and planning, everything was in place for my cousin's wedding. Guest's had made their way from around the state, country and from England for the event. Kristen and Matty were just across the street from each other as they put on their wedding attire. Kristen at her parent's home and Matty was across the street at her Aunt's home.
The guy's helped each other out with their suits and played some games along the way. Everyone seemed calm and ready for the day.
One last look before heading to the wedding.
Back across the street, the girl's were having their make up done and getting their things together. The girl's all looked so nice and each had a gown that suited them perfectly.
The wedding and reception were held at All Occasions in Waldo.
Once Kristen arrived, she was helped by her sister and mom and some bridesmaids putting on her wedding gown. Guests stood on the other side of the door eager to catch a look of the bride.
Family and friends cheered on the bride and groom. I thought it was so sweet that Matty's parents were constantly recording and photographing the wedding as it happened. They didn't want to miss a thing and wanted to be able to take it back home to England to show Matty's family for a celebration they will have there. Their poor arm's must have been tired at the end of the day.
One thing that was of importance to Kristen was the first time that Matty saw her in her gown. She wanted to capture in her memory that look on his face....well Kristen here it is. I think he was pretty happy with what he saw before him.
After the ceremony, we took a short drive to Delaware State Park to do some portraits.
What a great bunch.... The bridal party consisted of Matty's friends that all came over from England and Kristen's friends from college, her sister and Matty's sister. The new family tree... Kristen and her dad took some lessons for their dance together. It was sweet and touching and brought on the tear's. So much going on with high emotions for the wedding and upcoming move across the pond. The guys all got together in a tradition they have at weddings with a celebratory cigar. The following three posts were all taken by our 5 year old, ring bearer Ephram. He's rather good with the camera and as you can see, he's taking on the position of the family business.
It turned out to be a wonderful union between a British Bloke and an All American girl....now Kristen will be joining her husband in his homeland in England and be making a life together there. Welcome to the family Matty and may you have many many year's together to make memories.