Good Morning, everyone! It’s FRIDAY! YAY!
Who’s excited?! I’m excited…but not because it’s Friday…I’m excited because I just finished another wedding! WOOOOOOO! Amy and Logan are on the blog today. They tied the knot two weeks ago tomorrow. I’m on a roll this October so let’s do this! It’s a beauty! You just wait!
I’m going to start off in the middle of the day with one of my favorite invitation shots EVER and we actually put very little thought into it which is crazy. We were rushing to get everything done so we could get formal photos started. We were waiting on the flowers to arrive but it just wasn’t happening in the time frame we needed. So, we ran out on her little porch at Oglebay lodge with a bunch of wedding goodies in our hands and laid them all down. It was almost perfect and then Kari took some fall leaves and threw them in there. I kid you not…they pretty much landed there perfectly. It’s like they placed themselves! We took this shot in about 30 seconds from start to finish! Check it out! I just love it so much! And let’s just take a moment to acknowledge the gold inside the envelopes, please. THAT is going to tie into everything that was this wedding…it was amazing! More to come!
So, let’s start from the beginning of the day now, shall we? The invitation shot above came after what I’m about to show you. In true Hannah fashion, I prefer to start from the beginning and work my way through the day so you can experience it from start to finish. I just couldn’t help but show you that invitation though! It was worth it, right?!
So, let’s start around 11:30ish AM this day. It was a very chilly day on October 13th. It was heavily overcast with a slight chance of rain. I confirmed that morning with Amy we were still shooting for an outdoor ceremony at the Formal Gardens at Oglebay where I’ve photographed a few weddings already! She said, “Definitely! That’s what Logan wants!”. She didn’t even miss a beat! So, I texted Kari and told her to dress warm. I packed extra gear and extra batteries and a few jackets! We were ready to go! Kari even offered to leave early to get us some hot coffee so we could start the day off right. Ironically, I still arrived before her. We planned to meet at the Pine Room at Oglebay to photograph the reception detail shots (I heard they were epic and extra important to Amy). On my way, Kari texted me and told me she was stuck in stopped traffic (like the put your car in park and wait kind of stopped traffic). So, I immediately called Amy and told her to avoid that area if possible. That’s all I needed was both my second shooter/assistant AND bride stuck in traffic. I also assured her I had already arrived and had all the gear with me so I was set to go! I took this shot and headed on in!
So, I was a little prepared for some epic reception decor. I mean, Amy gave me a little heads up and stated she REALLY wanted some good pictures, if possible. I knew Kyle Mac of Smash Multimedia was going to be doing the backdrop and he NEVER disappoints. Like I said in my live video on Facebook, when you walk into a room and Kyle Mac has been there…you just KNOW who did the decor. This room was no different…except it was even more amazing than I could have ever imagined. Amy had old me her colors were burgundy with gold and blush accents. Ok. Yep. Sounds great! I’ve done a wedding or two with that color scheme so I know it photographs beautifully. Well, Amy took this color palette to a whole other level. I walked in and my jaw dropped. I mean…holy gold amazingness!
I should also be clear that that beautiful photo above…it was my “insurance shot”. You know, those are the shots we take when things aren’t exactly “complete” yet BUT we’re not sure if we’re going to make it back before guests enter so we get what we can just in case. I always try and arrive a wee bit early to get these shots. Kyle hadn’t come back to turn the lights on yet. The florist wasn’t done with the topiaries yet. I mean…COME ON. How can a room that isn’t “done” yet be this beautiful?! Holy Cannoli! I couldn’t stand it! I knew…just knew…one way or another… I was coming back to get this place photographed finished and lit before we went to the ceremony. It WAS happening! But…while I was there…I took some more shots…you know…just in case! Amy was extremely detail oriented without it being overdone. I’m not even sure how she managed. It could have very easily become “too much” but she seriously nailed it. It was the perfect combo of “POW” with lots of little details while remaining elegant and regal. It’s also important to note I found out later neither Amy nor Logan are accustomed to the traditions and routines of weddings. She pretty much went with her heart and THIS is what happened! I mean…the favors are even unique AND perfect! Read it..just do it! It’s AMAZING and unique and I can’t get enough even two weeks later!
“apple’y ever after”…WHATTTTTT?! They were delicious too!! I even got one!
So, after all that gold goodness, we headed to Wilson Lodge to find the ladies. Amy gave me specific directions on locating her room and we still got lost. Those of you who have attempted to find a room at the Oglebay’s Wilson Lodge know what I’m talking about! Kari and I were toting a ton of gear and asking for directions about ever 10 steps! HA! We finally did find it. I also had to sweet talk the front desk into giving me a key (complete with showing them my text from Amy saying it was totally ok to enter her room before she got there). We quickly started shooting detail shots once we found them! I NEEDED to get back to that reception! I understood why Amy wanted it photographed so badly…I wanted it photographed so badly too! BUT first…no HBP wedding is complete without some bridal detail shots!
I found these shoes of hers and I fell in love. It’s no secret I’m a HUGE Betsey Johnson shoe fanatic. I actually didn’t even know they existed until I started photographing weddings but I’ve since decided they are my very favorite..blue color cast and all! HA! For whatever reason, Amy’s shoes called to me. I always joke when I shop that certain things call my name and I can’t leave the store without them. For me, it doesn’t happen very often…I’m pretty frugal (John would have a lot to say about that statement but it’s true…I don’t care what he says). These shoes…I need a pair in my life. I can’t explain it. For me, they’re the perfect combination of stiletto and wrap and rhinestones and pearls and bridal and they’re just PERFECT. I said that already…I know. So, in true Hannah fashion and when I’m excited, I took way too many shoe photos and I’m not sorry at all! Not one bit!
I mean…really. Aren’t they perfection?!
We took lots and lots of detail shots but I have so much other stuff to show you and talk about so I’ll make these the last few! Of course, we went BACK to the shoes and Kari draped the veil (the epic veil) over them. That’s her “go to” Kari shot! “It’s so romantic”, she says!
But…before we went to get the bride ready…it was time for some jello shots in the hallway with the whole family!
Then, mom helped the beautiful bride get ready. Amy said the only thing that really mattered when she was picking a dress was the back. THIS back was beautiful!
I creeped by the window, of course, to get this earring shot.
…and then we all quickly discovered Logan had given her the most beautiful earrings ever as a gift so she switched them out!
Then, we finally made it outside for some photos. I’ve never utilized the front of Wilson Lodge but it was so worth it and perfect! It was also super chilly and Amy handled it with so much grace and with that beautiful smile on her face…all day long. How she managed to not get cold (or fake it)…I will never know! To be clear, it wasn’t SUPER cold…but it was quite chilly! It had that bitter fall chill that gets to you after a while…but not Amy!
When I saw that veil originally, I KNEW we’d be taking a lot of photos with it. It actually made me late to meet the guys but when I saw this photo and a few others…I knew it was ALL worth it! Check her out. This was Amy all day long…smiling…laughing…enjoying EVERY moment! She’s a doll on the inside and out. AND THAT BOUQUET. Can we all just take a moment to acknowledge and drool over it?!
Then, we photographed all the ladies. Big shout out to Kari for being the shawl remover! HA! Amy wanted photos both with the shawls and without. Since we were running on a time crunch, Kari ran down the line removing them. Teamwork!
Who is all dolled up?! Who is ready to party?! Who is trying to move just to keep warm?! These ladies right here!
So, Kari and I packed up and jumped in the car… after doing some emergency pinning of some dresses. We found Logan, his groomsmen, and his family at the Aster cabins. If you remember Amy and Logan from their engagement session (you can see it HERE), Logan isn’t the biggest fan of having his photo taken BUT when I told him I’d make it quick for his wedding he said, “It’s ok. Amy wants these photos”…and I started swooning. He also looked really good all dressed up! We did end up taking these quick but while all his guys roasted him. At one point I turned around and said, “Are any of you married yet? No? Well, I hope your photographer and Logan give you a hard time when your day comes.” They all laughed and then realized I was going to drag them into the mix! They were really a great group of gentleman and super kind and cooperative!! That’s all we can ever ask for in a bridal party!
…and they were the BEST sports about it! It’s always funny. The guys typically don’t love photos like the girls do BUT the guys are always the ones who do the “personality shots” with lots of enthusiasm. These guys took it seriously…”go big or go home” and all that jazz! Check them out. We also were able to do these quickly because they were just on the ball…willing to do what we needed…and the results are so awesome!
They also make a formal photo look REAL good and organized! Black tuxes…WEEEEEEEEE! You all know how I feel about a black tux! I’m dancing over here!
So, as promised…we made it back to the Pine Room. I’ve NEVER seen the Pine Room at Oglebay look like this for a wedding. I mean…COME ON! It’s breathtaking. I’d also love to note that Kyle’s wife, Nicole (Hey, girl!), had called me just to let me know she had stopped and lit everything and got it ready to go for me. I can’t say it enough…hiring vendors who know each other, know how we each execute a job, what we love…etc…it pays off! As soon as I got that call, I didn’t hesitate to get all the formal shots done so I could go back and get these for Amy!
I love how the gold took over and just made the place shine. THOSE CHAIRS….I mean…WOW!
The “I Do” Wedding Specialists nailed it! The flowers were perfection, as well. You just don’t see a lot of weddings done this way anymore since we live in a DIY era (I was a DIY bride myself…I’m questioning that decision when I do weddings like this! HA!). It’s just so pretty. IT’S JUST SO PRETTY. I am just going to say it over and over. If you want to see it on video, go check out my Facebook page! Hannah squeals for DAYS!
I had to stop myself through all my excitement and squealing…talk myself down…and focus. I had all these visions in my head and I wanted them to come to life. I knew I wanted to photograph the cake. I knew I needed to not bother the people setting up by asking them to move. They have a job to do too and I can imagine nothing is more annoying and frustrating than a photographer butting in and slowing them down. So, I try to be cool. I knew I wanted the tables and chairs still in this photo. So, I stopped and thought way back to the days when I was new…technical things. I set my camera up and took a few test shots. If you look REAL closely, there’s blue behind the cake topper and that’s actually one of the staff members and a dolley…but you’d never know if I didn’t tell you, right?! Teamwork. Working together…making memories for our couples collectively on any wedding day…THAT is what my job is all about!
Kyle Mac does it again! Sometimes we just like to sit and stare and try and figure out how it all came together.
There was even a family member/friend lighting all the candles. So, this really did take a lot of people working together to make it happen. I’d say it was a HUGE success!
Monograms on stone are my favorite!
….and because these chairs deserve some extra attention! I took lots of photos of them! I mean…have YOU ever seen chairs like this?! I haven’t! I also heard they were originally supposed to be the more traditional, square ones we’re used to seeing but a mix up in numbers or something caused a change which, if I must say, was MEANT TO BE!
So, I calmed myself enough to peel myself away from the reception hall to head to the ceremony. I found Amy in the car and we talked up a game plan.
Black tuxedos…a long, cathedral length veil…amazing shoes…LIVE flowers…AND a cellist. A CELLIST! Amy was trying to kill me! It’s ALL of my favorites things at one wedding!
So, Kari did her normal Kari thing and met up with the ladies and took some candid shots.
I did my normal Hannah thing and headed to the front to get some shots of the guests arriving and the venue. The Formal Gardens at Oglebay are always BEAUTIFUL to photograph!
Then, it was time for the processional. This was about the time I say, “OoOO crud” and looked at Kyle who was sitting off to my right. The moms were going in two different directions and I left Kari with Amy to do the dress thing. These are the times when I really think Kari and I need headsets so we can talk. Nonetheless, I repositioned myself to try and get both sides…and I think, for the most part, I met the mark!
One picture to the right. Check. One picture to the left. Check!
After all the bridesmaids and groomsmen made their way down, it was time for the beautiful bride. She told me later that her veil was catching on everything but you would have NEVER known! She’s got serious poker face!
These are the reasons Kari stays in the back. Moments like this are special!
Logan finally got an up close peek at his bride. Even with the chill in the air, it was perfect!
From here on out, these shots are a good combination of both Kari and my photos!
The Formal Gardens give me lots of room to creep that I traditionally don’t have permission to do at a church!
After I started blogging these, I totally noticed I left my lens in the grass in that one photo. Have no fear…that will be edited out in the couple’s gallery! HA! We’re human…we all do it. I could have gone in now and edited it out of the blog photo but you all know I like to share some behind the scenes! I had switched lenses really quickly…snapped a wide angle photo for them…then switched back!
The happy couple exchanged rings. Again, I still don’t know how Amy did it! She never ONCE appeared to be cold!
…and she handled that veil and all the hang ups flawlessly with the help of some close friends!
“You may now kiss your bride!”
Kari and I BOTH got great shots at this wedding! Most of the time, my shots are front and center and the second shooters are just our “just in case” insurance shots. We had lots of room to move around though so we both nailed it!
…that veil though. I also love the bottom photo (below) so much! Look at the job radiating off of her!
Mr. & Mrs. Patrick, everyone!
Check out the receiving line size! WHOA! So crazy!
While we waited and snapped some candid shots of guests greeting the families and bride and groom, Kari focused (pun intended) on getting some bubbles in focus. I can’t believe she managed! HA!
…and some amazing bridal party shots! WOOOOOOO!! There were a few times I almost went into the pool. It would have been totally worth it though! HA!
Get ready…get ready for some formal photo goodness. These white columns might be popular…but I couldn’t think of a better spot to compliment the elegance that was being had at this wedding!
We played with the veil more, of course, because I can NEVER get enough of a long veil! HUGE shoutout to family friend, Wendy, for helping out with the veil too!! Between her and Kari, this part of the day was a breeze!
They’re just perfect!
Some timeless and classic black and whites, of course!
When I took this one, I thought it was my favorite.
…but then Kari took this one and showed me up! I’m ok with that…it’s just so beautiful! The goodness just kept on happening!
…and because I needed some stone in my life and some more veil shots…we took a few of these on the way back to the cars!
Then, it was time to PARTY! They even lit a fire to keep it warm which just added to the warm fuzzies I was feeling (literally).
Speeches and toasts were given. A blessing was said before dinner. All of us vendors got to dine with the guests (I even got my own apple…which I can’t thank the couple enough for because I ate it on the way home and it was DELICIOUS). I got to catch up with Kyle (who I haven’t seen this entire wedding season…whattttttt?!). I met his new assistant and his mother in law (Nicole, we missed you). I also got to know the cellist AND his fiance. They’re also getting married at Oglebay next year (they’re not an HBP couple but I’m telling you what…their photographer is a lucky person). It was a delicious dinner too…that’s important to note. I made sure to tell the owner/chef after I was finished! I have a funny outtake photo of Kyle when he tasted the horseradish sauce. It was delicious…but it was hot. It wasn’t like what we’re used to at most weddings. This stuff was the real deal!! Check back at the end of the year for that photo gem. HA!
Then, it was time to cut cake! Kari wins again for the best angle! Her photo is on the bottom. She utilized Kyle’s lights. Clever girl!
Then, it was time for their first dance. Here is a behind the scenes story. So, earlier in the night, when we first arrived, I did my usual Hannah thing. I went and found the DJ, Kyle, of course, and got the low down on the schedule so I would be prepared. He told me they were being announced and going directly into the first dance. I was all like “NOOOOOOOOOOO!!! NO! NO! NO!”. You see, I don’t typically care one bit BUT Kyle and I have made first dance magic together and I was ready to do it again. I had visions. I had ideas. I wanted these photos for the couple so badly. Well, the cake literally put a wrench in our plans because it was in the middle of the dance floor. I planned to use Kyle’s lights on the couple. That cake was going to cast a big, ole, cake shadow on them. Nope. No. No. So, I gave Kyle my best “Hannah face” and begged and pleaded for him to convince Amy and Logan to change the schedule on the fly. AND THEY DID! WEEEEEEEEEE!! Happy Photographer here!
So, they went into their first dance. We took all the “must have shots”. You know…those traditional, well lit shots everyone is used to seeing. I always have my second shooter continue to take those shots while I start to play around. It is important to note that prior to this, Kyle played with his lights for me. He brightened them…dimmed them…tinted them…until we both agreed it would be perfect on all accounts. I could hug him for that because he really doesn’t have to do that for me! With him, it’s always been about teamwork! So, the couple was dancing and I gave him the thumbs up. He hit the lights. I told my camera to stop it with all the correct lighting…and I crossed my fingers.
These ones below were pretty great but not exactly what I had in mind.
Then, I made a few more corrections and BAM! This was pretty much exactly what I had envisioned because Kyle and I have done this before in 2017! WWOOOOOOOOOO! I was just so happy! I did a quiet squeak of Hannah excitement! I think I gave Kyle another thumbs up too! HA!
So happy!! I was so happy!! My night was officially complete even though we had the whole reception party to go! Amazing details shots. Amazing reception detail shots. Amazing formal photos. Amazing first dance photos. It was just going so well. No stress this day either! There is nothing better than the feeling I was feeling at this point. Reception images at this point are easy…it was already a success! So, let’s get this party STARTED!
Grandpa had some serious choreographed moves!! I was so impressed! He’s also been married for, I believe, 60+ years. 64 years? Did I make that up?! They won the anniversary dance and tt was an impressive amount of years…I know that…and he’s till got the moves for the ladies!
It was quite the party too! Let’s talk about that amazing sign.
“Alcohol. Because no great story ever started with a salad.” HA! That pretty much sums it up!
So, I just recently discovered the “flossing” dance. When my daughter started Kindergarten, she came home doing it. It’s hysterical and so cute!! These two, young boys (not Kyle) were busting it on the dance floor. Kyle even got on the mic at one point and cheered the boy on and called it the “super floss”…he was moving so fast. Then, not to be outdone, Kyle himself got out there and joined in on the fun. When vendors are having a good time, everyone is having a good time!! I promise you!
Amy threw the bouquet!
…and Logan, having an architectural background, did NOT disappoint on the garter removal. I was SO impressed. I know he doesn’t love having the spotlight on him but he went into this on a mission. He succeeded!
He even took some measurements to be sure he knew what he was doing. Someone even yelled “measure twice, cut once” or whatever carpenter/architect people say! HA! My dad will kill me right now for saying that!
He called in for backup too! I giggled the whole time!
..and then he went in for the kill AND TOOK THE GARTER OFF WITH HIS TEETH! Get out of town! LEGIT…HIS TEETH!
This is always one of the most nerve racking parts of my night…when the garter is thrown and there are young children in the front. I’m happy to report…he dove for it and missed…and did NOT get trampled! PHEWWW!
So then the party continued while Kyle rocked the house!
Here’s Amy. Having the time of her life! 10 hours later…she’s still just as beautiful!
Of course, no WV wedding ends without John Denver’s song. There were some WVU fans who were REAL nervous about this being played. I’m not a sports fan but I suspect there was a game being played and this was considered bad juju. I’m just guessing though!
No matter what…this night ended on a high note. Amy and Logan were surrounded by their closest family and friends who put them in one giant bear hug to end the night! Holy crap!! From beginning to end, this day was amazing and stress free and I hope it was everything Amy wanted it to be and more. It was everything I wanted it to be! HA! That’s for sure!
As always, here is a shot of us having an amazing time with the DJ. This picture is pretty special to me and is making me all kinds of nostalgic. Here’s why. The very first wedding I ever did almost three years ago…Kyle was the DJ. I didn’t know him. He didn’t know me. Kari didn’t exist yet! Heck, I only got my business license because the bride’s mom (Hey, Audrey) talked me into shooting that wedding. I got my business license literally 6 days prior to that wedding with the thought, “If it doesn’t work out, I’m only out the cost of the business license really.” I NEVER imagined where I’d be just three years later. At that wedding, I was playing it cool…playing it professional. A guest had asked me to take a selfie with him. I thought, “Now that’s a FUN idea!”. So, I took a selfie with that guest…and Kyle photobombed it. I still have it! So, at that point, I pulled Kyle in and made him take a selfie with me and he made one of his ridiculous faces. That’s kind of how the whole “take a selfie on the dance floor” thing happened…and at my very first wedding…like it was all meant to be and come together the way it did. That wedding literally paved the way for the whole HBP experience. I always try to document the fun we’re having. I know there’s a fine line between being professional and looking unprofessional. I think we do it pretty well! It’s crazy that three years later…almost 50 weddings booked later…we’re still going back to that original photo…now Kari’s here adding to the experience…we even tried to make faces too! HA! We should probably stick with the smiles! Nonetheless, it’s just amazing to me to see how far Hannah Barlow Photography has come but how we’re still doing the same things that make this whole crazy ride unique. I could have never dreamed that original dance floor photobomb and selfie would lead to so many memories and hopefully a full time career doing this amazing job! Here’s to many many many more weddings with Smash Multimedia…making funny faces…taking selfies…photobombing photos…let’s just keep doing it over and over again! From 2015…to now…it’s been amazing! So, here we are! We missed you, Nicole! <— Kyle’s wife!
CONGRATS TO THE PATRICKS!
Amy and Logan opted to honeymoon later. They’re both working full time and Amy is in school full time! It’s just crazy she was able to plan this perfect wedding with all of that other stuff on her plate.
It was perfection! A HUGE shoutout to all of her family and friends too for being the great people they are! Kari and I feel blessed to have been asked to be a part of it!
P.S. Amy’s original date was Oct. 20th. I was booked. I tried to help her find a photographer and other vendors and she decided, on a whim, to change her date to the 13th so I could photograph it. TALK ABOUT PRESSURE. I hope we met the mark!
HUGE credit goes to these amazing vendors!
Bride’s Gown – The AMAZING Sorelle Bridal Salon
Bridesmaids’ Dresses – David’s Bridal
Men’s Attire – Jos. A Banks
Bride’s Shoes – Betsey Johnson
Hair/Makeup – Meraki, A Hair Salon
Florist – “I Do” Wedding Specialists
Cake – Ashley’s Creative Cakes
Linens, Draping, Decor – Smash Multimedia, LLC
DJ – Kyle Mac, Smash Multimedia, LLC
Catering – TA – Country Pride Restaurant
Invitation Design – Etsy
Officiant – Pastor Jeffrey Lewis from Church Alive
Gold Chairs – I HAVE NO IDEA…HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?!
**I definitely need some help on info./links for some of these vendors!**
Feel free to email me any info. you may have at firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s GREATLY apprecaited!