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Beauty and the Beast Wedding | WV Wedding Photography

Real Weddings

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

OoooOoOoo my goodness me!  Who’s been waiting for the Beauty and the Beast wedding?! It’s also known as Meghan and Nate’s wedding, of course…maybe the other way around. HA!  Raise your hand.  Go ahead.  Make your co-workers stare…significant others raise an eyebrow…if that’s you…just raise that hand high up in the air.  I know MANY of you have been eagerly anticipating this one and asking..and asking…and emailing.  Yes, Mom…that means you too.  YES!  It’s finished!! It’s HERE!  Enjoy it!  It’s a goodie!  That’s for sure!

But first…let’s start this one off right, shall we?!  If you didn’t read Meghan and Nate’s engagement blog last year…I highly, HIGHLY suggest you do it now just so this all makes sense!  You can find it HERE but make sure you come back.  Goodness…this really is a good one!

Just in case you can’t wait and don’t want to go back…let me set the scene for you again…story book style!

Once upon a time, eight-ish years ago (2010), there was a girl who was playing Belle in a dance recital…and she needed a Beast.  (NOTE: Meghan has NO idea I have these photos.  She’s just finding out now right along with the rest of you.  Her mom, Lisa, helped me out big time on this one).  So anyway…every Belle needs a Beast, right?!  That’s right!  So, Nate saw an opportunity and he took it.  He volunteered to be the Beast to her Belle…and the rest is history!

Everyone…please meet the YOUNG Belle (Meghan) and the Beast (Nate) circa 2010!

Together…they practiced and practiced and practiced their waltz and then showcased the beautiful dance in front of all their family and friends (and promised their wedding photographer 8 years later they would reenact this…but more on that later)!

After that, time went on.  Their love continued to grow.  On October 20, 2018, they got to have their own ball and become Mr. & Mrs. Stiffler!  I can’t even get over all this! EEEEEKKKKKKKK!! I’m squealing already!

Everyone…let me present…THE STIFFLERS!

So, now that we’ve gone back in time and back to the present.  Let me tell you ALLLLLLLLL about this wedding…from everything leading up to it…until the day of…to the present (they’re on their way back from their 2+ week honeymoon right now as I type this.  That’s right!).

LET’S DO THIS!

When Meghan first reached out to me last year, we just clicked.  I don’t know if she felt the same way initially but I felt an “email connection” with her almost immediately.  I’m going to start calling it that – that pull I feel with my brides before we even meet when we’re just chatting via email! HA!  I got to know her pretty well.  She’s also one of my brides who kept me posted on EVERYTHING about her wedding…except for that dress.  Jeesh.  She kept that secret safe like you wouldn’t believe!  But anyway, after I did their engagement session, I knew this wedding was going to be one-of-a-kind…blow-our-socks-off…AMAZING!  It did NOT disappoint either!  I also had this feeling we were going to need a third set of hands.  After doing this for three years now and shooting a ton of weddings, I can usually predict whether I’ll need an assistant…a second shooter…an assistant AND second shooter…I just decide on a wedding by wedding basis.  I needed ALL hands on deck for this one.  So, Kari AND Ashleigh both tagged along and it was epic!  I’d love to call this day “organized chaos” and Meghan’s probably laughing and shaking her head.  It was fast paced (any wedding with a Catholic ceremony is that way since they start so early).  There was a lot going on.  It was RAINING! GAH!  I do believe the girls started hair and makeup at 6:00 AM?  Maybe earlier?  So, you can see how it was just nuts leading up to the “I dos”.  Exhibit A below.  I want to shout out to the hair and makeup artists at this wedding though (links below).  They ROCKED it.  They were kind and organized and on the ball…they didn’t run behind…everyone looked great…I’m holding up my praise hands right now!  GREAT job, ladies!

If you all saw my live video, we peeked at the reception hall real quick before we said “hello” to the gals.  We were blown away from the get go.  Kari and I had made a plan.  I was going to shoot the girls and she was going to shoot the guys.  Nate, however, was WAY ahead of schedule (he even had time in the morning to work out…what?!  What in the what?!  Who does that?!).  Kari will be the first one to admit she hates to work under pressure (she’s way too laid back for her own good) so we immediately switched up our original plan…and as soon as we got there.  I decided to shoot the guys and she shot the girls.

Here are some of Nate’s epic details! OooOo Calvin Klein…you are my favorite (most of my dresses I wear to weddings are made by him too).

Let’s talk about these socks, shall we?!  Meghan had NO IDEA these were made and that Nate would be wearing them on their wedding day.  I couldn’t stop giggling.  This is so “them”.  I mean…he went as far as having socks made…with their wedding date on them…and photos of them on them…and it’s amazing!  Seriously…just check these babies out!

After I did the detail shots, I handed over all the goodies and then I did my creeper thing and just kept photographing these real moments.

…and I found out that even his BLACK TUX was custom made.  Seriously, they tried to kill me.  Black tuxes.  Black bow ties.  CUSTOM MADE tux.  I’m seriously lucky I remained upright this day.  It’s everything I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE.

I absolutely love the succession of these photos you’re going to see.  As I mentioned, I stayed with the guys and let Kari and Ashleigh go with the gals.  When you look at their gallery now, the photos of him getting ready and her getting ready and opening her gift are scattered but in the order the moments occurred.  So, a few of him getting ready.  A few of her finding her gift.  A few more of him finishing getting ready and then a few more of her reading her card and opening her gift.  I always put all my photos in order by “time captured” so you can see what was actually happening and at what time.  Neat, right?!

So, it had been mentioned to me that Nate had a gift for Meghan but he didn’t want us to just give it to her.  Nope.  Not this couple.  They go big or go home on EVERYTHING in life.  He wanted her to “find it” somehow.  So, I quickly put on my thinking cap and a light bulb went off.  We hadn’t done any detail shots yet except for Nate’s.  All of the bridal detail shots still needed done and one of my “routines” is to go through a checklist with the bride before we start to make sure we have everything so nothing gets missed.  Ashleigh popped back over to the guy’s cabin to ask me what I wanted to do.  I totally threw Kari to the wolves and trusted her to take all these without me.  We were too strapped for time with a 1:00 PM ceremony looming.  I told Ashleigh to tuck the gift in Meghan’s shoe box with her other details and then ask her to go through all the details to make sure everything was there before we got started.  So, that’s what you’re seeing here.  I’m SO SAD I missed this but so thankful for Kari’s photos!  I am told Meghan saw that box and had a “what is this…this isn’t supposed to be in here” moment.  I think she quickly figured it out though!  So cool, right?!

Meanwhile, back at the guy’s cabin…we were taking epic but simple shots of Nate.  These belong in a magazine if I do say so myself!  He’s the best too!! He just let me do my thing!

Meanwhile…at the girl’s cabin.

…and back at the guy’s cabin.  Neat, right?!  This is the order in the gallery too!! Don’t you just feel like you were there!! Since I haven’t mentioned it, these were all taken in two of Oglebay’s cabins.  They were side by side which was super handy considering it was raining this day.  Whomp. Whomp.  WHY did it rain so much this year?! WHYYYYYY?!  The amount of shoes I’ve ruined it ridiculous!

Nate got Meghan a perfect Beauty and the Beast rose shaped, rose gold ring.  If you didn’t see it in the sneak peek, you’re going to see it here soon!

…and apparently right after that was done in the girl’s cabin, I was photographing Nate opening his gift!  Meghan got him an engraved watch and it was PERFECT!  We also couldn’t get it working.  Meghan was a weeeeee bit stressed this morning.  At one point, after I returned to the girl’s cabin, Kari asked what had taken me so long.  I was NOT about to say out loud we couldn’t get the watch working at first! HA!  BUT…that’s what took me so long!  Now you know, Kari!

I once bought a watch for my husband and it was solar powered.  If you kept it in a box too long…the battery died and you needed to put it by a window.  So, Nate and I headed out to the window to try and trouble shoot.  Alas, we figured out we just didn’t see this little piece of plastic that was keeping the pin from being pushed all the way in.  Whewwwww.  As soon as I knew we got it working, I headed to the girl’s cabin…I ran between cabins in the mud and all!  Seriously though, I wasn’t about to let that watch not work and Meghan find out about it! HA!  Nate and I were definitely on the same page on that subject!

When I arrived back at the cabin, Kari and Ashleigh were trying to decide how they wanted to set up detail shots.  Meghan’s mom and sister were guarding the dress too for us.  Meghan didn’t want anyone to see the dress.  Heck, I think I’m even lucky I got to see it at this point! HA!  You’ll see what all the fuss was about her in a minute because HOLY MOLY!  Anyway, Meghan’s details were simple but elegant and pretty monochrome which I love!  Of course, she is so cleaver and added in some more “Belle” to the mix!  Kari, of course, did some amazing styling complete with her now signature “Kari veil shot”.

Simple and Classic.  Timeless and Dainty.  Beautiful details!

Mannnnnnnnnn…I feel like I REALLY missed out when my son was born.  Go ahead…just read it.  This is a bonnet from when Nate was a baby and given to Meghan on their wedding day.  HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS?!  I’M SERIOUSLY SO BUMMED!  If it wasn’t for this blog and proof that will forever be out there, I may have tried to buy one now and sneak it and just pretend when Jack gets married! HA!  I just think this is so sweet and special!

The love and tears were flowing all day long!  This was a shot I took on a whim and it’s a candid shot.  No posing or coaching.  I just so happened to be in the right place at the right time!  This is Meghan’s Grandma.  The gene pool is strong in this family (as Kari always says).

So, THE DRESS!  I think it was last year Meghan texted me saying she was going to look for her dress.  I told her to channel her inner Belle and she texted back later that she DEFINITELY did…but the girl would NOT show me her dress.  Talk about anticipation!  Well, I come to find out she couldn’t have shown me her dress anyway because it ended up being custom made out of two…maybe three…dresses.  It was definitely two because the bottom was from a different dress…but I’m still wondering how they did the top!  The top was originally short sleeved and she wanted long sleeves.  A HUGE shoutout goes out to the seamstress who created this amazing, princess gown.  I’ve seen a lot of gowns and I would have NEVER known this one was custom made it was so well done!  I can’t even!  The sleeves even had buttons…BUTTONS!

I’m going to skip ahead so you don’t have to wait as long as I did!  HA!

HERE IT IS.  HOLY COW!  Is your inner princess screaming right now, ladies?!  Kari took this photo later in the day but I wanted to show you the full length shot of the dress now.  It’s stunning!

Ok…back to earlier in the day.  Meghan asked all her girls to step out because she wanted to do a grand first look for everyone.  And yes…all those buttons were real.  It took a good while for her sister to get them all fastened!  So, while we were waiting…I stepped outside…in the rain…and caught some of her through the window!  I mean…why not?!  Right?!

I.can’t.even.  Kari took that arm shot (bottom left) and I don’t know why…but I love it so much!

Then, it was time for her dad, Bill, to come and see his daughter all dolled up.  He also had not seen the dress.  He hadn’t seen her all day actually.  His response was amazing!  He was the only parent I hadn’t met either.  When we did their engagement session, he wasn’t able to come along so this was a big moment for everyone!! I knew Meghan and her dad were really close.  I was excited to see and meet him too but his response to this was just so touching.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the place!

Just in case you missed it, Kari got one up close too!  He later said to me, “Why did you do that to me?!”  HA!  I’m so glad we did!  They’ll cherish these photos forever!

I mean…LOOK at their expressions.  Kari and I rocked this group of photos!  Teamwork! *high five*

Hugs for everyone!

Then, it was time to head to the ceremony…only to realize there was a hiccup in the trolley arrangement.  The shuttle couldn’t get turned around so it had to wait at the end of the lane.  So, a van waited at the end of the drive to take them to the trolley.  As a result, the girls had to hoof it down the driveway to get to the van.  Oy!  Did you follow all that?!  Did I mention it was 12:30 PM at this point and the ceremony STARTED at 1:00 PM?  Yes.  You read that right.  We flew into our cars with 3o minutes to spare before we’d be shooting the ceremony.  I threw it in reverse.  Backed down.  Threw it in park.  Took this photo!  Threw it in drive and off we went!  It was a race!  Literally.

We arrived.  Rushing.  Bless her heart, I threw my bag at Ashleigh (which contained my car key fob for my car), dumped everything we needed out of the car and onto the curb, and ran inside.  Ashleigh drove around the block trying to find a parking spot while Kari and I took ceremony photos as fast as we could!  I knew…just knew…we’d need a get away driver this day! HA!  Thank goodness for Ashleigh!  Most guests had arrived at this point and before us (the photographers) and the bride!  Yikes!

So, leading up to this big day, Meghan had a few things she really wanted to do.  One of those things was NOT seeing Nate before the ceremony but saying a prayer with him.  I promised her I’d figure something out when we got to the church.  I’m sitting here typing this and still trying to figure out how we made this happen.  By the time the bride and bridesmaids arrived, I think it was about 12:50 PM with a 1:00 PM start time.  Meghan, at this point, had pretty much written off the idea of getting these photos, I think.  I had NOT, however!  I’m laughing typing this, for real, because it came together so well but I still can’t figure out how it happened!!  In the flurry of craziness, I found Kari and told her I wanted to try but “we need to find Nate”.  She said, “He’s already right there” and pointed to the door I planned to use.  So, I can only assume Kari found him?  She’ll have to confirm.  Maybe Nate knew the plan somehow and put himself in that spot?  I really have no idea but he was where we needed to be and that’s was step 1 of the grand plan.  Then, I found out Meghan was on the trolley and was pretty stressed with all the commotion (can’t blame her a bit…I was sweating too).  Usually, I would be the one to go talk to the bride but for whatever reason (I think I was tied up pinning flowers on Grandpa), I sent Kari.  Kari and Meghan had a moment on the trolley and made a plan.  You see, the other issue was that guests were EVERYWHERE at this point.  We didn’t want anyone to see Meghan though.  So, the bridesmaids, being the awesome friends they are…literally created a wall (you’ll see below) and blocked the view from the guests.  We knew Meghan would regret not having these photos and it’s SO important to me that I give my couples everything they want with what we have available.  We were doing it.  We were going to make it happen.  So, the girls made that wall.  We snuck Meghan in the side door…and the couple had the most amazing moment I think I’ve ever photographed this close to the ceremony.  You just wait and see!

Meghan was so emotional when she grabbed Nate’s hand initially.  So, she pulled her soon-to-be sister-in-law over with them to lead the prayer.  All three of them stood like this.  If you’re not getting emotional, I’m getting emotional for you…don’t worry!

Meghan, I HOPE it was all worth it!  I think this may have calmed a lot of nerves!  She’ll have to confirm though!

Boy OooO boy…I think it was worth it! I love this so much!  This was about 3 minutes before the ceremony start time too! HA!

I think this is Kari’s shot.  I can’t be sure!  We were all stuffed in this little corner in the church but we made it work and we made it happen! WOOOOOO!

Whewwww.  So, then it was time for the ceremony!! oOoooO!  While looking at these, I just remember what I was doing earlier that prevented me from going to get Meghan!  I wasn’t just pinning flowers on Grandpa…I was getting the “all clear” from Father Smay regarding my plan for the ceremony!  It’s funny how these things come to me all of a sudden weeks after the wedding!  I only remembered because right before the ceremony the videographers were talking, via earpieces, to the Priest (who I had just spoke with).  I came flying up the side aisle just in time for the processional!  I have photos of that for the end of the year, of course! HA!  My heart is beating fast just thinking about all this!  BUT ANYWAY, now that I’ve rambled, the bridal party did their grand march down the aisle and then the most beautiful, little, flower girls came prancing down WITH REAL ROSES to hand out to guests.  OooO my goodness me!  I can’t even.  There were so many “awwww” moments at this wedding!

Then, you have this little cutie who ROCKED his role as ring bearer.  He was waving to everyone as he came down the aisle AND making sure to smile for his photo ops!

Then, those big, beautiful, wooden doors shut at the back of the church.  I made sure I was out of Nate’s way so he could see his gorgeous bride first.  The doors opened back up.  Kari fluffed the dress…and the grand march was on!

Once I was sure Nate had seen her, I got in the middle and squatted down.  Check out that father pride alllll over Bill’s face!  Gosh, I’ve captured a lot of bride’s coming down the aisle and I’m not sure I’ve ever caught one like this!

If there were tears, Nate did a really good job holding it together!

I THINK he was real close to losing the battle but he kept it together.  That black tux.  Jeesh.  I can’t get over it!  Shoutout to Kari for the back shot!

Of course, I headed up quickly to the top to get this shot (below).  I said a quick “hello” to the other Ashleigh (one of the videographers).  She was perched up top the whole time.  Something to know about this church – it’s notorious for having “bad light”.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s got a lot of light but it’s weird light.  The windows are stained glass so the daylight gets mixed with color.  Please don’t even get me started about the artificial lights they use that “flicker” red and green.  From one shot to the next, our professional cameras catch the flicker and you can see it in the photos…so I have to edit it out.  Oy.  THEN, this day added some crazy, BRIGHT sunlight blasting through those windows (you can see it in the aisle).  I mean…I’ll forever be careful what I wish for when it comes to light in Catholic churches because this day almost had too much.  This is the main reason why this wedding took me so long to edit.  We had to shoot to protect the details (you photographers know what I’m talking about).  So, instead of shooting “correctly” and risking losing detail in Meghan’s dress…we had to shoot the photos dark…which meant I had to edit every single one individually to get them to match.  OooOoo and to top it all off…it was partly cloudy….sun went in…sun came out…sun went in…sun came out.  The videographers and I were giggling because every time that happened…we had to adjust our settings.  So, the whole wedding…we were adjusting…and compensating…and adjusting.  Guests probably thought we were crazy!

But anyway…it all worked out because this little spot where the couple sat most of the time was hidden from the light! YAY!  And I’m pretty sure this was the moment Meghan discovered Nate’s socks! HA!  SO FUNNY!

I do believe this was one of Father Smay’s first weddings so I wanted to make sure he was in the blog!  He was so nice and kind to us and even tried to convert me to Catholicism! HA!  I even got to chat with him a bit at the reception which was nice!

I’m giggling over here.  I love these socks.  I also love that they’re displayed during the ceremony.

…and just like that, after a traditional Catholic mass and wedding…they became Mr. & Mrs. Stiffler and Father Smay even let them kiss!

We headed out for a bubble send off!  All of these photos below are compliments of Kari.  I was buried down in the crowd.  I have NO idea where she was standing but I’m thankful for it!  It worked!

…and we all accidentally ended up in traffic.  Oy.  That could have ended so badly!

Here are a few more photos of Father Smay!  He came up to me at the end of the reception and asked if I’d send him a few photos…that next Monday…in like two days.  I gave him the “look” and then agreed I’d do it.  I was only about four weddings deep at that point…what’s a few more photos to edit on a deadline?! Huh?  In all seriousness, we pushed it on time in his church and he tolerated me and my craziness so it was the least I could do!

I’d like to share some family formals too because these families are like no other!  I also added a photo of the bridal party.  Funny photo about the little flower girl too…she was NOT having it but you’d never know!  Ashleigh was standing directly underneath me being as crazy as she could be to get those little smiles!! SUCCESS!  I was SWEATING at this point.  We had to be out at 3:00 PM and I’m pretty sure that last shot was taken at 2:59 PM and a half second…HA!  Thank you again, Father!

Because I’m never one to turn down an opportunity to get some stone and some stair photos, we snapped these right before we left for formal photos at Oglebay!

AHHHHHH!! The beautiful bride!  That dress…seriously…I can’t even!

These girls were FANTASTIC!  They also rocked their “personality shots”!  Many times…the girls freeze and don’t know what to do.  These girls knew EXACTLY what to do!  Heck, Meghan’s sister came back for round two of personality shots!

We can’t leave out the handsome groom…in that black tux!  In case you didn’t see my IG story the other day, my son Jack (who is three years old), declared this was his favorite wedding because of the “red dresses” and “red flowers”.  It made me all kinds of nostalgic because I do believe this was the age my daughter started noticing me editing weddings and having opinions on the details.  Jack’s favorite color is red…so he approved of this wedding, of course!  My daughter did too because she believes “the boys” should always wear black and NEVER brown shoes…NEVER! HA!

The men didn’t want to be outdone!  They rocked the personality shots, as well.  Who won?!  You decide!

I hate to say it…but I think the guys won!  Let me know in the comments what you think!  So, I’m usually “against” this yellow mansion.  Yellow is my least favorite and it doesn’t mesh well with most colors.  That’s why you’ll see me shoot away from it most of the time BUT…this was a Beauty and the Beast themed wedding after all!  They already incorporated the red in their outfits…we needed the yellow!  So, yellow mansion we shot!  I should also mention it was really cold this day but you’d never know it from these photos, right?!

Meghan also requested one, unique, bridal party shot!  She came up with this so we executed it before we moved on to bride/groom formals!

I mean…I know you’ve seen this photo already…BUT LOOK!  Kari rocked the light.  Her photos were better than mine so here they are!  It just FEELS princess, right?!  King and Queen.  Prince and Princess.  You decide!

OooOo man OooO man…OooO man.  The wind was doing it to that veil!  That light popped out to just give us the PERFECT elements!!! I just want to spin in circles and dance around.  Because of the time of day we normally shoot these shots at most weddings, we NEVER get light like this!  NEVER!

If you didn’t believe me about the wind and thought maybe I was fibbing and had someone holding it…here you go!  Check out that bottom photo!

So, we flipped them around and tried to make the photos “GRAND” to fit right in with the whole feel of this day!! Look at these two!  Look at that genuine love!! WEEEEEEEE!!!!  He put his hand up there and I KNOW I squealed and my heart just about burst!  Goodness…I’m so happy I get to be a part of all this lovey goodness!  It makes me so so so so warm and happy and fuzzy inside!

We did some required walking and snuggling, of course!  Every Hannah Barlow Photography wedding has to have a little bit!

Then, I tucked them into this little corner and gave them the feeling of “night time”.

At the same time I was playing with the above photo, Kari was shooting the photos the daylight way!  Neat, right?!

Another up close shot because Meghan does the best dang shoulder sniff and Nate does the best nuzzle I’ve seen in a LONG time!

Then, we found this fun, little spot!  It’s right on the other side of Oglebay’s mansion but I’d never shot there.  I also waved and said “Hi” to the girl working the desk right on the other side of that door! HA!  She gave me the thumbs up!

You all know cathedral length veils make me happy happy happy!

Meghan wanted to show off the dress just a bit more!  It took us a few good minutes to spread this thing out and all the while Nate stood by commenting on how big and beautiful it was!  I kid you not!  I’m also not sure if this was the moment they decided they would not be waltzing!  Meghan told me later Nate was too afraid he’d step on it during their dance.  They broke my heart…these two! HA!  I’m kidding…kind of!  More on that later!  I mean…check out these photos!  A custom made dress?!  COME ON!  Does that happen in the Ohio Valley?!  Apparently it does!

Right before we were done, Nate leaned in to snuggle with his bride.  OooOoo these two!  Meghan’s mom said, “I want to be them when I grow up.”  Yes, Lisa…me too.  ME TOO!

We were ALMOST done!  I just couldn’t stand it though.  I needed a few more!

Ok.  ONE MORE!  I showed you all this one at the beginning…but they are one fierce couple and I love it SO MUCH!

I’m giggling over this one below.  I NEVER do the veil over the head shot.  I don’t know…I just can’t get it right and I never like the result.  Someone (and I can’t remember who) suggested it and as much as I didn’t want to do it…I did it…because they asked.  I do remember that Nate was firmly on my side and against it.  What do you think!?  We can play like the fashion police…love it or hate it?  I’m giving myself a thumbs down! HA!

…and now…ladies and gentleman (cue the music)…the details of the Beaty and the Beast themed wedding.

“Tale as old as time….”

Is your heart about ready to explode?!  If you were ever a Beauty and the Beast fan…I bet you are drooling all over this goodness!

There was a cardboard cut out of them!! AND it was a photo I took of them!  That’s right!  Unique details everywhere!  They named the drinks after themselves too (I’m wondering if people ordered them that way, as well).  They also had those instant polaroid cameras there.  Kari and I even got in on it and pinned our own selfie.  We also tried to help another couple figure out those cameras.  OOoo the irony…the photographer who can’t use a instant camera! HA!

They also had guests sign Christmas bulbs instead of a guest book!  The Christmas LOVER in me is cheering!

“Thank You For Being Our Guest”

COME ON!  These details were popping up everywhere!  Seriously, I can’t with this wedding! HA!

“Be our guest…be our guest…put our service to the test…”

Did you sing it?!

Now, I’d like to introduce Mr. Jonathan Mihellis!  Most of you probably already know him.  I like to call him the lighting wizard and DJ extraordinaire.  Many people just know him as the “go to” DJ for their wedding.  If you haven’t seen him in action or checked out his work, I highly recommend you do!  His lighting work itself is outstanding.  Add in his DJ skills?  It’ll blow your mind!  Go ahead, use the link at the bottom of this blog to check him out.  Granted, his lights make our cameras go CRAZY so we go a little crazy but we can handle it.  We always look forward to his weddings because it’s a party like no other (and it’s really pretty on the eyes too).  He’s humble though and he doesn’t give himself enough credit, in my opinion.  So, I’m going to brag him up a bit.  You see, Jonathan was a club DJ originally…before he did weddings full time.  THAT is exactly what makes him different and I don’t think he even realizes it.  Kari and I talked about it on the way out this night.  He treats weddings more like a club.  They have that “club vibe” and, as a result, people can NOT stay off the dance floor.  The music pounds and bumps like no other.  He legit scratches at all the right times and you wouldn’t even know it unless you looked over and saw him doing it…it sounds that good.  I do believe he used to go by “DJ Cadillac” back in his club days.  He’s won many scratch DJ battles, was the official DJ for Hines Ward at his Night Club Southside 86, and even DJ’d his 32nd birthday party.  He’s opened up for national rap and R&B acts and one concert had 15,000 people.  I could go on and on (and I stole many of those details from him.  It was like pulling teeth trying to get him to fess up though).  He’s says, “I’m old and much happier in the wedding world but I could still rock a club if I had to”. <— He’s probably going to kill me for posting all that!  He deserves it though!

So, here’s Jonathan!.  He was heading back from organizing the bridal party for the grand entrance and happened to step RIGHT into my frame for my “test shot”.  Watch out!  Any time you end up in my test shots, you’re probably going to end up in a blog! HA!  Seriously, I will see him again December 1st…he’s probably going to have a lot to say about all this! He He He!

So, the bridal party was announced.  They each got their own bio and did a little dance.  Part of this guy’s bio was “…and he thinks he can do the worm”.  So, he proved them all wrong and did the worm…right down the center of the buffet tables.  Check out his foot.  OMG!  Oglebay’s staff had to be about ready to die when they saw him to this! HA!  I guess it just proves he CAN do it…down a straight line…without taking out anything on the sidelines!

Then, it was time to announce the NEW Mr. & Mrs. Stiffler!  Photo compliments of Kari who always hangs at the doorway!

..and because they know I’m a sucker for good photo ops…they came down my way and gave me a few shots!  LOOK AT HER DRESS!  OMG!  It reminds me SO MUCH of mine when it was bustled!

Speeches were made.  Grace was said before dinner.  We got to eat amazing food.  THEN, it was time for the first dance.  Jonathan confirmed they would not be waltzing as they promised.  I tried to get to a place where I was ok with it. HA!  So, I set myself up for their first dance…I was still swooning…and Meghan curtsied all of a sudden.  I didn’t miss ANYTHING all day except that initial curtsey.  I’ll admit it.  Yes.  Kari and I both missed the curtsey.  It’s like I was trapped in this “zone” of swooning and I was “awwwww”- ing and then snapped out of it JUST in time to get Nate bowing.  THAT’S RIGHT.  Before they came together for their first dance, she curtsied and he bowed to her.  Seriously, is this real life?!  Do these things really happen in real life anymore?  I mean…I have photos of all of it so they must but it just does NOT feel real.  It didn’t feel real at the time either!

Kari was nailing these first dance photos!  I was trying to get creative.  I originally told Jonathan to blast them with his spotlights but then we realized it wouldn’t work for the video so we met in the middle!  Jonathan laughed and said “Well, I have the photographer telling me one thing and the videographers telling me another.”  It’s true.  Video is nearly impossible with harsh light.  So, we made do and created these magical images!  Teamwork!

I mean…how many times do I have to point out the dress?!  It just photographed so well.  Ok.  So, I’m going to let them slide on the lack of waltz because look…just look!  Look how proud he is.  Look at his form!! LOOK!

And because Nate is a true gentleman…he presented his wife and showed her off at the end! AHHHHHHHHH!!!!

Then, it was time for a sweet and emotional father/daughter dance with lots of laughter!

…and the sweetest mother/son dance complete with the PERFECT hug at the end where he lifted his sweet mom (who is also Lisa) off the ground!

…and one last special dance with Grandpa.  Nate joined in at the end for a group hug!

Then, it was time for Jonathan Mihellis to show of his skill.  I’m telling you…it’s like a club.  There is NEVER any room on the dance floor at his weddings.  It was so packed we had to play it safe and stay up on the stage for the most part because there was no room for us down there!

Here he goes!  Yes…that’s a custom DJ booth too.  He’s making us all look bad over here.

Seriously, check it out!  When was the last time you saw that many people on the dance floor?!

The party was rocking!  It was rocking so much the tea cups were chattering on the tables…for real!

At this wedding, there were lots and lots of “camera aware” people down there.  Those are the people who KNOW where we are at all times and are always ready for their photo op! HA!  I’m cracking up!

These two won the anniversary dance with (I believe) 60+ years of marriage!  Is that right?!  They were given a frame that this photo (below) will go in one day!! How neat, right?!

More dancing…more partying…look at that uplighting! What you didn’t see in any of this was the swirling spotlights on the dance floor that make our cameras get so confused! HA!  Check out my live video on Facebook to see them!

The party was so good this flower girl threw in the towel early! HA!

Then, it was time for the bouquet toss!  LOTS of single ladies out there!  Future Hannah Barlow Photography wedding brides?  Maybe?! Who knows!

Then, Nate did an epic dance down the line of guests to remove the garter from his bride’s leg.  I don’t know whose idea this was but I could have strangled them at this moment.  It was SO dark at the end of this “tunnel”.  It made it nearly impossible to light appropriately and shoot!  I had to get creative and FAST!  I bet it was Jonathan…he has ALL kinds of tricks up his sleeve that test my skills as a photographer! HA!  It’s worth it though!! No wedding is ever the same with him!  I can tell you he loves his couples just as much as I love mine too!

Check it out!  Check out the crowd!  There was no stopping this party!

Then, Nate threw the garter!

…and they surprised the recipients of the bouquet and the garter with a “reverse garter” ceremony!  That’s where the person who caught the garter has to place it on the leg of the person who caught the bouquet.  I won’t point fingers or name names…but there was a last minute swap of individuals for this! HA!  So, Meghan’s sister took a seat!

…and this groomsmen placed it on her leg every so respectfully and they had a GREAT laugh about it!  I love all this so much!! It makes me feel like I was there again!

…and the dancing continued before we left!

…but not before we took one more photo of the beautiful bride and some of her closest gal pals!

…and one selfie of the vendors enjoying the heck out of this night!  That’s Ashleigh and Aaron, the videographers, on the top left!

…and a photo of me because my husband said I looked like a librarian when I left that morning. Kari said “sexy librarian”…Bahahahahaha!  It was cold!! What do you want from me?!

Well, that’s a wrap!  I can’t even believe it! WAHHHHHHHHH!! I feel like this wedding took forever to get here and then was done SO FAST!  It’s just so unfair, I tell ya!  As I mentioned before, this couple had a 2+ week honeymoon.  First, they went to Greece and then they went to the Caribbean.  I’m so jealous right now!! As I finish typing this, they’re beginning their journey back.  It’s really amazing how I just so happened to finish their wedding on the day their honeymoon ended (it was a complete coincidence, I assure you).  Talk about “meant to be”.  I will forever be grateful to have been asked to be a part of this unique and beautiful day!  Meghan and Nate are a one of a kind couple and their amazing families welcomed us with open arms!  I can only hope I get to see these two over and over again!

…and just because there were NO details missed…I found this sitting in the side of the cabin while they were getting ready that morning.  Seriously, she didn’t miss A THING!

Their bags were packed and ready to go!

I mean…aren’t they the cutest?!  I totally poached these off her Facebook!!

…a few from Greece!

…A few from the Caribbean!

…and now they’re on their way home!

 

That’s it!  Wedding#15 in the books!

CONGRATS TO THE STIFFLERS!


BIG SHOUT OUTS to all these vendors for all their hard work and for making this beautiful wedding in Wheeling, WV a HUGE success!

Bride’s Gown –  CUSTOM Allure purchased from the AMAZING Sorelle Bridal Salon in Washington, PA

Bridesmaid Gowns – David’s Bridal

Maid of Honor – Sorelle

Men’s Attire – Men’s Wearhouse

Groom’s Custom Tux – Created by Men’s Wearhouse

Bride’s Shoes – David’s Bridal

Hair/Makeup – Clutch Salon Steubenville, Ohio

Venue – Oglebay – Glessner Hall

Cabins – Oglebay Cabins

Coordinator – Ashley Dunlap of Oglebay

Florist – Donna Sandridge & Annette Grant (Aunt of the Groom and Cousin of the Bride)

Videographer – Ashleigh and Aaron Gurskey – Off Center Productions

Cake – Oglebay

Cake Decorator – Piergallini Catering in Wintersville, Ohio

Cookie Table – Nate’s Mom (Lisa)/Aunts/and Cousin Brea/Nate’s Grandma Memo

DJ – Finest Events by Jonathan Mihellis

Catering – Oglebay

Transportation – Trolley – Oglebay

Officiant – Father Martin Smay

Church – St. Michael’s of Wheeling

Photo Booth – Me and You and a Photo Booth Too

 

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i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done by only me is your doing,my darling)

no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true) and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a s n will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

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