Happy Thursday, everyone!
It may be rainy and cold today and I’d love to tell you I’m about to show you a warm day…but it wasn’t so I can’t. You know what it was though?! It was eye candy like no other wedding this year. The sun WAS shining despite the chilly weather and bitter wind. It was everything I’m pretty sure every bride dreams of when planning an elegant, fall wedding. So, let’s give Becca and AJ are HUGE Hannah Barlow Photography “Congrats” and then you can go ahead and feast your eyes on this goodness. I’m going to show you what I’m talking about right off the bat.
Photo by Kari who killed it this wedding! Seriously, her photos were better than mine!
Ok, now that we got that out of our system…are you ready to see the WHOLE day?! Seriously, out of ALL the October weddings I had, November 3, 2018 gave us the best “fall” look and feeling and vibes! It was amazing! So, I’m sure you saw the live video on my Facebook page but Kari and I were BOTH very excited about this venue. We’d never been there before. Kari LOVES fall! She loves nature! This gave her all the feels. I love stone and big doors and things that feel “old” or “royal”. This place gave us everything we wanted! Bella Amore in Dennison, Ohio is BRAND new. I know Becca was super excited about it too (who wouldn’t be?!)!! So, while she was one of my more quiet brides, that didn’t stop her from texting me every once in a while with updates. She let me see her dress (it’s gorgeous) and she kept me posted on the Bella Amore updates so I could fully understand and appreciate how beautiful this wedding was going to be AND it got be really excited about photographing it, of course!
I mean…their “getting ready” rooms didn’t even disappoint! The men’s room was very “masculine” and the girls’ room was very “feminine”. I was loving everything!! To top it all off, everything was in the same place and close in vicinity and very easily accessible so we got to take lots and lots of time taking lots and lots of photos! Here’s the guys’ room (below). I snapped these before any of them arrived! I eventually ended up running into not one groom but TWO of my grooms! I was looking for Brock who would be in charge of the rings (Becca put me in charge of the rings. My brides trust me way too much! HA!). I walked in and said, “Are you Brock?!” and looked up and realized it was Joe (a December groom)! How fun!! More on that later!
In the spirit of this amazing venue, we decided to veer from our usual style of detail stops and incorporate all the beauty! Honest to goodness, this was the wedding I realized I could probably just go home and everything would still be fine. I’m convinced Kari can handle it by herself (she later said, “Ummmmmm. No. No, thank you!”). She still makes me giggle. As much as she’s a great photographer, she has absolutely no desire to be the lead or shoot by herself! HA! I even brought up once the idea of making her a staff photographer so we could shoot different weddings on the same day. She vetoed that idea too! Nevertheless, this was one of her very best weddings. These detail shots below were pretty much the only ones I took. I LOVE shooting detail shots but Kari is really better at it. Plus, Becca requested lots and lots of candid shots and I’m better with lighting and flash and that kind of thing. So, we split up the duties. Becca also requested lots and lots of photos of AJ stating, “He is perfect after all”! <— Swooning.
So, I left Kari too it! She even took macro shots (which are those close up shots of the rings and what not). Macro photography is quite different than regular photography. The way you set up your camera, the way you shoot, and other things all have to be taken into account so I usually swing around and take those after she’s done with the majority (and I did take those but hers were better and more creative so that’s what I’m showing you). It’s not a secret that Kari has always had her own style of shooting but I got home and saw the settings on the camera and still can’t figure out how she nailed that ring shot! It’s definitely not how I would have done it! HA! She’s going to have to teach me! Seriously though, while I like to get the “whole” in a picture…she likes to focus on the tinier details and the combination of our shots gives our couple, like Becca and AJ, LOTS to choose from! Check out this goodness. I don’t know about you, but wedding photography detail shots are just so pretty to me and set the scene for the whole day! Don’t ya think?!
Becca didn’t want me to photograph the invitation but she did give me a copy of the program! Look how stinkin’ cute!
So, then we walked around the interior of the venue at Bella Amore and took some stunning photos! This venue has a HUGE assortment of decorations they offer up to their couples. It was SO elegant and beautiful. Have you EVER seen clear chairs like that?! I haven’t! You know I’m one to give credit where credit is due but I honestly can’t tell you who took what photos here (below)! Kari even stole some of my lenses! More on that later too!
I can tell you Kari took these groom detail shots! While I was doing some more reception shots, some of the guys arrived including the groom, AJ. I handed these shoes to Kari along with the rest of the details and she was all confused! HA! It turns out…the guys were wearing pink shoes and the girls were wearing blue! You’ll see it later when they’re all together in a group!
So, I continued to enjoy all of this beautiful stone and the doors and the elegance and the glitz!
…and before I introduce the groom officially, I’d like to talk about his Dad, Alan, a little bit. What I haven’t mentioned is that AJ and I grew up together…somewhat. He’s quite a bit younger than me BUT his sister Ree and I ran around together from kindergarten all through high school. Boy OoOOo boy could I tell some stories about us but my mom reads this and she’d probably die if she knew some of the mischief we used to get into (but never got caught doing 😉 ). HA! Anyway, Ree and I played together when we were young and partied when we were older. Since AJ was quite a bit younger (I THINK he was in 8th grade when we were seniors in high school), I never really got to know him. Heck, I don’t think I even saw him again since the last time I was playing at their house back in primary school (so he was really young). So, imagine my surprise when Becca and I were chatting after she booked me to photograph their wedding and I found out AJ was her groom!! Also, imagine my surprise when AJ stepped out of the car at their engagement session and I felt like I was staring at his Dad! He looks SO much like him! It was shocking. Even more so because his Dad was taken from us in 2010 and at 49 years old. It was sudden and tragic, as you can imagine. Ree and I would have been about 24 years old so that puts AJ right out of high school if I did my math correctly. I remember hearing about it and trying to wrap my head around it. He was way too young…WAY too young! Ree and AJ were way too young to lose their dad too. What I remember about Alan the most though is his smile. He was ALWAYS smiling! I remember being little and being greeted with that smile. I remember him sitting in the stands cheering us on at games. Well, AJ has that smile…that EXACT smile, in my opinion. So, when I took this photo below…and saw that light pointing like an arrow RIGHT at Alan..I looked at his smile in that photo and really felt like he was there. I say it all the time and while I’m not one to believe in that kind of thing…it’s moments and photos like this that make me really question how all this stuff happens.
So, I asked Ree to share some photos of her Dad for the blog and she was kind enough to help! Here’s a photo of AJ and his Dad, Alan!
…and here’s AJ today! He was getting ready and I couldn’t help but smile. I know at one point I whispered, “You look just like your Dad, you know that, right?!”. He looked at me with the more sincere, small smile and said a humble, “Thank you.” …and now I’m tearing up typing this up!
Ok…I know Ree’s crying for sure (she’s a cryer) and probably some others too so we’ll move on for a bit! I had to make sure Alan got to be a big part of this wedding blog, of course! He was a super special person inside and out!
So, back to present day! Kari and I filtered in and out of the getting ready suites to catch lots and lots of candids! Legal Hair and Day Spa never disappoints!
There were lots and lots of stunning getting ready shots! Black and white for the win!
Raylee, the flower girl, was also super into it and super helpful! At just five years old, she took her role VERY seriously!
At one point, Becca (in a panic) asked if I got a photo of the salad table before guests bothered it. Yes! YES I DID! When I passed it, I had the same thought she did…it was so beautifully done! AND it’s just a salad table! But look! You’ll get it!
The cake was pretty and simple too! They opted to have cupcakes but needed something to cut, of course!
Then, it was time for the ceremony! I mean, check these out! I LOVE what they say but I also love that it was COLD and the guests brought their drinks with them anyway! HA! This group was happy to toast for me while we were waiting for the bridal party!
AJ and his mom, Beth, had an emotional moment. LOTS of tears flowing at this point. I even got a picture of his sister, Ree, tearing up and yelling at me (right at the camera) to “stop it”! Kari said, “I would have never guessed you two haven’t seen each other in years. You act like you’re old friends.” Well, we are! HA! Some things just don’t change!
AJ opted to keep his back turned so he didn’t accidentally see Becca before the grand march. His best man and buddy gave me to “go ahead” when the time was right!
..and lots of more tears started flowing! Seriously, I don’t think you all can appreciate how cold it was! How’d they manage to look so warm?! I guess they were just lost in the moment! I was!
Those of you who know me are NOT going to believe it! I relinquished control at this wedding. I went against routine. That’s right! I did it! Any of the photos like the ones you’re seeing below were taken by Kari! Becca was very clear she wanted lots and lots of photos of AJ so I opted to remain up front (which I never do) and take lots and lots from the side where I could see AJ well. As a result, that left Kari in the center aisle…with my big and FAVORITE lens! HA! She nailed it! Just look at this photo below!
…and here was my position. Also, check out AJ’s other best man back there. Honest to goodness, he smiled like that all day long. Have you ever seen a guy so excited to see his friend get married?!
I mean…they’ve got a chandelier…OUTSIDE!
There was a point I moved to the center so I could get a wide angle shot like this that would showcase all the guests and the fall foliage!
It was short and sweet but the kiss was steamy! AJ did NOT hold back on displaying his affection and happiness for his new wife!
Have you ever seen a groom so excited to be married?! He was greeting guests like a celebrity on their way back down the aisle!
Then, it was time for some formal photos and we moved FAST because it was windy and chilly. We did the kids and grandparents first to get them inside quickly. Check out how good they all did! Between the beauty that is Becca (she’s too humble to admit it) and AJ looking all dapper AND the fall foliage AND that overcast sky…holy BEAUTIFULNESS! Check out Wyatt too cheesing like he knows it’s his job to be the cutest ring bearer we’ve ever seen!
…and because it was so cold…we had to take time to go inside to get warm. Becca wanted some balcony photos… “Romeo and Juliet” style. AJ went ALL IN and even acted a bit for us! Ms. Stone (my old English teacher) would be appalled to know I don’t even remember what happened in that story. EEEK!
Becca’s one major request was window pictures! OooO man OooO man!! Is she not gorgeous?! She does the most natural “stand” and placed her hand on that wall ever so elegantly!
The videographer moved her to the other side and it showed the fall foliage so I left this one in color!
This bridal party…they were troopers! It was so chilly! Check out their “sassy” shot! They went “all in” when I requested it!
The ladies were BEAUTIFUL!
…especially Becca who was unlike most of my brides and wasn’t overly worried about the photos of herself! WHATTTTTTTTTT?! Get out of town! My photo is on the top right (below)…the rest are Kari’s photographs!
Now, brace yourself for some HOT photos of this couple (literally and figuratively). So, Kari stole my favorite lens and wouldn’t give it back. I’m totally ok with that except she beat me in the formal photo part of this day…she took some AMAZING photos! I’m so glad we decided to swap lenses and I really think Becca and AJ are going to looooooveeeee these!! So, let me present a good 50/50 combination of our photos of this stunning couple! STUNNING!
So much kissing…so much affection…so much love!
I’m a sucker for a good landscape shot! I did not photoshop that sky. I did not enhance the trees. I did, however, photoshop the septic pipes out of the grass behind them! HA!
Seriously, I can’t even get over how beautiful it all is…couple…emotion…mother nature! It’s PERFECT!
So, I was taking the full body shots…and Kari was NAILING it zooming WAY in…I didn’t even know because she was so quiet about it! I wish she would squeal like me so I know something epic is happening! Holy crap! HOLY CRAP! Look at that ooey, gooey, creamy background! Look at the details and the facial features that are making us ALL a little jealous of both the bride AND the groom! Good grief! They could star in a bridal magazine, I tell ya!
All of these are compliments of Kari! Becca’s laugh and smile…don’t you all want it?!
He’s whispering in her ear. I MAY have told him to do that but look at these photos! Whether he wants to admit it or not, he was doing a great job! He said, “I don’t know what I’m doing here!” OooOOoo but YOU DID, AJ!
Then, the overcast sky opened up and drenched us in the most beautiful and amazing light! We NEVER get light like this at weddings…NEVER! Kari and I were FREAKING OUT!
So, we did some walking and snuggling for both my sake and for the video!
…more kissing AND in the pretty light!
I mean…COME ON. I don’t know how Kari did it…but she did it. I take zero credit for all this awesomeness below (but I taught her…I can always say that! HA!).
I WILL take credit for these amazing black and whites though! Do you remember their Christmas tree farm engagement session? You can see it HERE! It was amazing then and we did this same pose!
Then, we remembered we didn’t do a group shot of all the shoes!! So, we sent for the bridal party and dragged them back out into the cold!
Then, the light came back out…AND THERE WAS A SWING!
Just a few more…because again…we NEVER get light like this at weddings! It’s usually the wrong time of day for ooey, gooey light so we were ALL over it!! AJ kept joking, “You’re going to lose the light. It’s going to go away!” and we were all like…”AHHHHHHHHHH!” Snap. Snap. Snap. Snap…repose…Snap. Snap. Snap. Snap some more. HA!
Again, I take no credit whatsoever except giving her the knowledge to make this happen. HOW she got the light to point right at them…I’m going to call that luck but she’ll have to let us all know! HA! She DID show me her screen at one point which is about as “excited” as Kari will get…so I knew something great was happening at this point!
Then, it was time for the reception and it was super duper exciting because Cross Creek the Band was going to rock the house and they also happen to be good friends of ours! Whether Chad wants to admit it or not, he’s an amazing emcee! Kari had met him at our house at some point but hadn’t seen him in action yet!
Kari declares that Beth is her “favorite mom yet”. This is how Beth approached her introduction!
The bridal party was announced and welcomed and then the NEW Mr. & Mrs. Klein were introduced!
…and they danced into the party with moves!
They went right into cake cutting and Becca didn’t hesitate to get her groom a little sweet and dirty!
Then, they went into their first dance and AJ didn’t hold back dipping his bride and laying a big one on her…right off the bat!
Lots of speeches were given. Lots of laughs. We even had one groomsman read the best man’s toast and those of you who were there know why! HA!
Then, the sun had set and the band welcomed AJ and Becca back out to the dance floor. I was super excited because I thought I was going to get an opportunity to take fun, flash photos.
Buttttttt…that’s not what happened. Becca and one of AJ’s best men planned to play a little trick on him. AJ did NOT know what was coming (neither did I).
Seriously, he had NO IDEA what was coming. HUGE credit goes out to him for rolling with it and making sure he even nailed the moves! HA!
He didn’t want to participate in a dip though. That didn’t stop the best man. He just picked him up and dipped him anyway.
Then, it was time for the bouquet toss. I called ladies out at my wedding. So, I helped Becca call out single ladies who were hiding at her wedding. She yelled out names to me. I yelled out those names to Chad. Chad called the girls out loud and clear on the mic! NO ONE was hiding!
…and they were ready! Check out this crew of single ladies!
Who do you think caught it?! You’ll find out here in a minute!
AJ removed the garter with a few moves!
I don’t think there’s ANY question who caught the garter. Is there?! He had an unfair advantage!
They did a reverse garter and there was some EPIC dance moves going on here too!
Then, it was time to PARRRTTTTTAAAAYYYYY!
…and while they were at it, they did a clever little “money dance”. Instead of dancing with the couple and giving money, a competition was started. You had to donate money to either the bride or groom and whoever lost at the end had to karaoke for everyone!
AJ lost. He said he even cheated and still lost! HA! His buddies didn’t leave him hanging though. They got up there and sang with him. I’d love to say they nailed it…buttttttt……..use your imagination!
…and the party just kept going! AND GOING! AND GOING! We left there with lost and lots of drinking and dancing happening! The Kleins and all of their family and friends know how to party!
I didn’t get a picture of Becca and AJ because it’s their day and I didn’t want to bother them BUT there were three other Hannah Barlow Photography brides and grooms present!! So, FOUR couples total!! WHATTTTT?! How cool is that?! AND Becca and AJ will be at future weddings and you better believe I’ll be snapping a photo with them when they have less to worry about!
And because a Hannah Barlow Photography blog is NOT complete without some selfies…here you go!
Becca and AJ will be honeymooning later this year in Barbados WITH another HBP couple!!! I love that so much!
SO, ONE LAST TIME…A HUGE CONGRATS GOES OUT TO THE NEW MR. & MRS. KLEIN! I can’t wait to see them again!!! AND AGAIN!!!
Alan was definitely there in spirit and AJ and Ree even wore his ashes around their necks. Just because, here are a few more photos of him that Ree was kind enough to share!
Have a great day, everyone!! Thanks for reading and don’t forget to give them lots and lots of love on the Facebook page so lots and lots of people can see this beautiful wedding!
HUGE Vendor shout outs go to these amazing people and companies!
Bride’s Gown – Bridal Beginnings
Bridesmaids’ Gowns – J. Jones
Men’s Attire – Men’s Wearhouse
Shoes (EVERYONE’s shoes) – Converse
Jewelry/Rings – Andrew’s
Hair/Makeup – Legal Hair & Day Spa
Videographer – Weekend Projects Studios
Cake & Other Desserts – Cupcakes by Gina
DJ/Band – Cross Creek
Save the Dates/Invitations/Programs – Shutterfly
Officiant – Ryan Trecott
Venue – Bella Armore – Dennison, Ohio
Photobooth – Selfie Snaps
Florist – Celeste of Bella Amore