Happy Thursday, everyone!
This one is very bittersweet for me. You see…Jen and Ethan got married November 17, 2018. They asked me to be their wedding photographer last year November 2017…after Ethan asked me to photograph their proposal (she said “YES”, of course) on that exact day one year ago (11/17/17). Prior to that proposal, I had just met them a month before at Amanda and Tom’s wedding. Go ahead and throw in their engagement session I photographed for them this past spring…and that totals a lot of time spent with this couple. Jen’s laugh and spunk are the two of her many wonderful qualities that stand out to me. I can’t ever get enough of it! Ethan has this magical power to get her to laugh and I can’t ever get enough of that either. Ethan and I also have a running joke about how he doesn’t like having his photo taken…how I’m a crazy person…how he’ll never forgive me for what I captured at Amanda and Tom’s wedding (you’ll be seeing that again here in a bit). So, I give him a hard time and tell him he’ll NEVER get rid of me! Muahahaha! More pictures for everyone, right?! He even warned his bridal party about me too! HA!
So, yes…while I’m SO happy for them to be married and I have seriously written this blog in my head about 1000 times already…I’m still sad it’s all over BUT I’m so excited for you to read all about it!
Let’s do this, shall we?! Everyone…please give Jen and Ethan a HUGE Hannah Barlow Photography “CONGRATS” because they are now man and wife.
…and there was NOTHING simple or normal about this wedding…and IT.WAS.AMAZING.
It was a chilly day. It was the complete opposite of exactly one year ago when Ethan got down on one knee and I about passed out from nerves. HA! Kari and I stopped at the reception venue first in Mingo Junction, Ohio and then when headed to the hotel in Steubenville, Ohio to get those precious detail shots and getting ready shots. Jen gave me the very best details for her fall wedding. She didn’t give in to the pressure to be the “norm” for fall weddings. Nope. She did her own thing…purple and malibu blue. I gotta be honest…I was a little nervous about how it would all come together…but just look! My eyeballs needed some uniqueness for my 18th wedding of 2018. She granted me that wish! She also added what she calls those “do-boppers” to her bouquet for a little extra spice. OooO and yes…those flowers are wood! That’s right!
It’s funny. After the last wedding we did, I was 110% sure Kari’s got these details shots down pat. So, I found myself just letting her do her thing. She found that wooden table. She grabbed the gear. I spilled coffee on my $5000+ camera and lens combo. *cue the screechy brake sounds* It’s true. I don’t know WHAT was wrong with me this morning but I was a hot mess so it was a good thing Kari was on top of her game. Here I was…outside getting gear out of my car. I was holding my coffee. For whatever dumb reason, I bent at the waist and the coffee poured…all over my hand and the camera in my hand. Kari, as calm as a cucumber, took my coffee off of me and told me to clean up! HA! She later took my coffee off me again and moved it FAR away from all the details that were sitting nearby in the hotel room. It was a good move on her part…just in case. Ironically, no one but Kari witnessed this because Jen had talked the front desk into giving me a key. The ladies hadn’t even arrived yet. Whew. They probably would have been really nervous because I usually have my you-know-what together. HA! I’m happy to report the camera did survive! So, once I got all my bearings straight, we had a whole room to ourselves to do as many detail shots as we wanted. I even had the safe code to get those rings! So, while Kari watched over me to be sure Jen’s details were safe…I played around with the invitation (my photo above). I really think Kari did the rest of the photos! OoOOo and you should go ahead and look up the definition of “bridezilla”. Go ahead. Do it. Everyone’s probably getting REALLY nervous right now reading this but don’t worry! Now, whatever the antonym for that word is…you’ll should see Jen’s photo next to it. For real, she was the complete opposite of what most think a bridezilla is…it was amazing. I could hug her all over again…because I hugged everyone a good bit this day! She’s simply one of the best!
I’m telling you…everyone was calm. Everyone was relaxed. Sometimes these mornings can be overwhelming and sometimes the rooms can feel crammed. Not on this day. Everyone just seemed to be having a genuinely great time…no stress. I even caught myself sitting on the couch catching up with Amanda and Chelsea (Amanda was a bride of mine and I met Chelsea when she was a bridesmaid last year). I got to meet the other Amanda and Jess too. I got to meet the moms. It was literally like one big, giant, happy family in that room and was loving every minute of it. Kari was working. Oy. I owe her! 🙂 She did take the amazing shots above though!
Getting ready shots were a breeze!
Kari was shooting up close while I was shooting farther away. I love when she does that!
Ava even did some practicing being the bride…you know…for the future! Wouldn’t it be the neatest thing every if I’m doing this long enough to have photos of my brides as flower girls?! AHHHHHHH!!! Dreams and goals! Just imagine those blogs! Anyway, this was a requested shot of Jen’s so it was totally an “awwwww” moment when Ava did it unprompted. Can we talk about those blue shoes, please?! That was Jen’s “something blue”. Her garter (which were homemade) also had something blue too!
She did take her flower girl responsibilities to the next level though!
Then, we headed outside to photograph the ladies before we headed to the church in Brilliant, Ohio! It was cold! You’d never know it though. I also had suggested Jen get some shawls for everyone but now I’m glad she didn’t. Those bridesmaids’ dresses were my favorite yet!
Isn’t she a beautiful bride?! She also got her fall wedding even if she didn’t anticipate it. Isn’t it crazy that not one of my October brides got fall foliage but all of my November weddings did?! Crazy! Amanda, Jen’s matron of honor, had an October wedding last year and it was greener than green!
Jen, Chelsea, and Amanda were notorious for “torturing” me via social media this past year with their wild wedding ideas. They posted pizza bouquets. They posted bridal parties wearing dirty crocs. You name it. They tried to lead me believe I would have to photograph that nonsense. They did want a “playing in the veil” photo, however, and I was happy to accommodate!! They know I love a good cathedral length veil! Who doesn’t?!
So, we then headed off to the church. Because this was a stress free event, we weren’t rushing for photo time…to get photos done…to make it to the ceremony on time. So, Kari and I had plenty of time to get a feel for the church, lighting checks complete, first looks with dad done, and the reading of the notes. Ethan’s niece and nephew even wrote her letters which I thought was the sweetest thing EVER! So, in addition to Ethan’s note, Jen had two other notes to read. Isn’t that too cute?! Also, can we talk about the sleeves on that dress?! It’s ANOTHER custom dress from Sorelle Bridal Salon. I’m telling you…whoever Diana is…she’s a magician! This is the second dress I’ve seen her do with added sleeves and I’m telling you…you can NOT tell.
Then, it was time for the ceremony. Jen and Ethan did a fantastic job holding their emotions together…tears, at least. There was lots and lots of smiling and laughing! That’s what you expect from these two and I couldn’t help but smile the whole time. Guest probably thought I was strange!
One photo Jen really wanted was one of my wide angle shots of the church from the top. Well, this church has a “cry room” and it’s the most clever thing ever. It’s a room with a window so you can see the inside of the church but children can do their children thing. Plot Twist: You literally have to go out the back of the church, up two flights of stairs, down a hall, down another hall to the left, and then into the room. When you’re done taking the photo, you have to go back! HA! Good grief. So, Kari and I had a plan. I left her in the center aisle and off I went as soon as the processional was complete. I was saying not-so-nice words in my head when I realized I had forgotten to change my shoes. I don’t usually wear my shoes with the hard bottoms but since it was cold…I made an exception…and forgot to change them back. So, here I am…literally making a run for it…but on my toes because my shoes are going…click, click, click. *Oy* BUT JEN…here is your photo! HA!! Complete with Kari photoshopped out!
They also did one of those neat little ceremonies (and I’m drawing a blank and can NOT think of what to call it) where you build a wooden item (a heart in this case) and the officiant finishes it off by “nailing” it all together. Help a girl out!! I’m drawing a serious blank! I love when my couples do something unique like this though!
Rings were exchanged and they became Mr. and Mrs. Kleineke!
After a receiving line, we went into family formals at the church. Jen and Ethan are blessed like me and were able to have lots and lots of grandparents at their wedding. This grandma of Ethan’s made me giggle. I hope to be like her one day. When she stepped into the photo, she didn’t hesitate to make a few little tweaks to her grandson’s tux so he was looking his very best! HA! You’ll see more of her later too at the reception!! I loved her so much!
And after family formals, we headed off to do some outside, fall, wedding photos. Check out this groom who LOVES having his photo taken by moi! HA! You do Ethan…you do! You just can’t admit it yet!
These guys were cracking me up! Total gentlemen and I didn’t even have to veer from my traditional Hannah voice…not one time! I even whispered…*gasp*…imagine that!
I’m just sooooo happy there were still fall leaves on the trees…even if it was cold, cold…cold!
Then, we mixed it up real quick without the little flower girl and ring bearer. We let them get their jackets back on and they stood beside me and acted like angels (Mom later asked me at the reception how they did.)
Then, it was time for bride and groom portraits. If any of you recognize this area, this is Franciscan University. Jess, one of the bridesmaids, is alumni and DID call and get permission. There was stone…and big doors…and happy photographers!
Kari stole my good lens again. Because she rocked it at the last wedding, I didn’t complain. AND she did it again!
Eskimo kisses and laughter are two of my FAVORITE things!
They danced in the leaves. THE FALL leaves…I still can’t get over that!
…and Ethan showed off his dip skills…AGAIN! Do you all remember his epic dip at their engagement session? If not, you need to check it out HERE. I don’t even know how he managed it one handed. She said, “Don’t you drop me!”…and he didn’t…EVEN ONE HANDED! WHATTTTTTTTTTT?!?!?!?! I’m still laughing!
So, then we had them do some walking and snuggling!
Jen had seen one of my old photos and mentioned she wanted a dramatically lit, black and white image. Because of our location and the people surrounding us, we couldn’t utilize a doorway. So, we came up with this!
Then, Kari spotted some fall foliage she really liked and spoke up. When Kari speaks up, I listen. It’s not very often she says much so when she does…I know she’s got an idea. So, I just stood by and let her do her thing! It’s SO crazy to me that we are ending the second full year of weddings she’s done with me. How is that even possible?!
So, that’s a wrap on the first half of the day. Get ready…we’re about to get REALLY reception heavy on this blog. This will be a Hannah Barlow Photography first! To us photographers, most receptions tend to look similar. Those of you who have attended a lot of weddings probably know what I’m talking about. It’s really all about the couple…the particulars are just icing on the cake. AND you have to remember we do this almost every Saturday. There are almost always announcements, speeches, dinner, cake, first dances, drinks, dancing, more drinks, line dancing, more drinks…it goes on. Toward the end of the night, I always joke the photos start to “fall apart”. NOT AT THIS WEDDING THOUGH. Jen paid us at the last minute to stay an extra hour on top of what was already included in her wedding collection. I’m thinking, “Girl, I’m not sure you really need it…” but the business person in me said “ok”. That’s what the client wants…that’s what the client gets. Wellllllllll, I was SO WRONG. She DID need that extra hour. She knew. Her reception was unlike one we’ve ever photographed and you’re about to see a WHOLE lot of it. Ready?! Let’s do it!
First off..reception details (taken earlier in the day). Check out those chandeliers!
Here are a few we took as soon as we arrived with the couple later that night! It always looks a wee bit different when it’s “officially” reception time.
If you remember their proposal, Ethan’s Harley was involved! Don’t remember?! Check it out HERE! I seriously had never been so nervous in my life than when that proposal happened! HA!
It was seriously so hard for me to hold back and pick and choose what I’d show you in this blog…EEEKKKKKK!!! This wedding officially had the most reception photos I’ve ever put in a gallery. The struggle is real with this reception (in a good way)! So, just know that the usual announcements were made (complete with ANOTHER dip). We had an amazing dinner (we stole a few cheesecakes off the cookie table too). Hilarious but sincere speeches were given. Then, Jen and Ethan shared their first dance as man and wife.
This couple…they are selfless. Remember how I mentioned Jen was the antonym for “bridezilla”? Well, Ethan is the same. They didn’t act like this was just THEIR day…they acted like it was everyone’s day! They even invited their niece and nephew up to enjoy a first dance with them. To be clear, this wasn’t a matter of the kids wanting to get in on it…the couple stopped, looked over, and asked them to join them. These two…they’re the best!
So then it was time to get the party started! At most weddings, it takes a while for the drinks to set in and for the dance floor to get packed. This dance floor was the opposite. It was packed right off the bat and then thinned out…which was a godsend for us photographers! You’ll see here in a minute! HA! We definitely needed the extra space and room to move around and capture the shenanigans that were happening all around us!
Ooo hey there, Tom! Remember Tom!? OooOo he’s totally going to kill me for this one. Tom was a groom last year. That’s his wife, Amanda…and their two little boys. Check out Tom dancing!! I’m laughing while sharing this because I swear Tom did more dancing at this wedding than his own. So, I was sure to capture it! HA! Seriously, I’m dead meat. Amanda’s probably texting me as she’s reading this and laughing too!
Alright, for this blog…let’s play a game. I told you it was going to be a Hannah Barlow Photography wedding blog FIRST! In the comments section on the Facebook post, I want you all to copy and paste the list I provided and play “GUESS THAT SONG!”. I’m telling you..this party was not like any other and I thoroughly enjoyed editing this reception because there was just so much going on! That’s probably why I had such a hard time narrowing it down. I mean…there is always dancing…but it’s usually a lot of the backs of the heads, mouths open, bumping and grinding. This wedding had MOVES…serious moves.
So, let’s do it!! I want to see who can get them all right! HA!
Song/DANCE #1 – NAME THAT SONG
Matt, Jen’s brother, could not catch a break. He kept getting dragged onto the dance floor. At least he’s a good sport about it, right?!
Then, this happened. I ran over thinking, “OoOo no! What’s happening?!” The bride didn’t look thrilled…AND THEN THEY PLAYED “GRANDMA GOT RUN OVER BY A REINDEER”. Apparently, Jen is one of those Grinches who does not enjoy Christmas music too early. Shame Shame. As a crazy Christmas lover…I’m SHOCKED by this! So, her co-workers put in a song request and forced Jen to suffer through it…at her own wedding! HA! Somehow…her “mad face”…isn’t so mad!
Then, the bouquet was tossed! I love when we catch them mid-air (pun intended). This may have been Kari’s photo…I really don’t know at this point!
Then, I was jumping up and down like a kid in a candy store waiting for this epic dance! He didn’t disappoint!
He didn’t disappoint last year at Amanda and Tom’s wedding either. Seriously, I’m going to be in SO MUCH trouble for this! HA! Actually, I think he held back this time at his own wedding because he knew there was no way I was NOT documenting it again!
This makes me giggle. I agree with Jen…I mean…WHY?!
Then, he turned around and did the fastest garter toss EVER! Holy crap. By the time I clicked the shutter, he’d already thrown it. James did survive…just for the record (the little boy on the floor). HA! Kari said, “When are they doing the garter toss?!” Seriously, it happened that fast and she didn’t even see it. I’m so glad I still had my camera up!
More fun to be had! More dancing! We were sneaking up on that extra hour…it was epic! You just wait and see!
I have never seen a groom dip people and be dipped so much!!
…and here’s grandma again. Making some adjustments. Fixing her grandson’s shirt again. I want to be her when I’m a grandma! FOR REAL!
Kari and I made sure to get our usual dance floor selfie! I need a tan…yikes! Kari said at the end of the night, “that hour was SO worth it”…
I’m telling you…Matt could not get away from the dance floor! HA! Here he is…caught sitting again when he should be dancing!
Song/Dance #2 – NAME THAT SONG
Even the guests who weren’t present on the dance floor were getting in on the moves. I’m telling you…this reception was like no other! Also, let’s take a look at their artwork, shall we?! Impressive!
The table next door was getting in on it too! I can’t help but sing, “OoOo Christmas tree…OOoO Christmass tree”…just for Jen! 🙂 It’s a can Christmas Tree!
Song/Dance #3 – NAME THAT SONG
…and it just keeps going!
Song/Dance #4 – NAME THAT SONG
They went right into an epic conga line!! We took soooooo many photos during this because every.single.guest got in on it! So, we were able to capture everyone!
Seriously, look at it!
Jen and Ethan’s parents were amazing! They didn’t miss a beat…literally!
QUICK! Song/Dance #5 – NAME THAT SONG
I, of course, NEEDED a photo with this beautiful person. 🙂
NOWWWWWWW…the last hour had begun. Seriously, EPIC. Kari and I decided we want to be these two. They have got some serious moves and they showed them off and it was amazing! I could not get enough of their dancing and I took lots and lots of photos! I do believe this is part of Jen’s “Toys R Us” family.
Quick! Name that song!
Song/Dance #6 – GO!
Then, something happened that’s never happened before. Sure! I’ve been out on the dance floor before but just to do a little bump and grind and be on my way. Well, Jen’s dad grabbed me…suddenly. I feel like this was premeditated now that I’m thinking about it more clearly and typing it. It happened so fast. Her dad grabbed me. Her mom grabbed my camera. Most people are afraid of my camera for fear of hurting it (you can’t hurt those things…I always tell people that) and she wasn’t at all and didn’t even give me time to think! So, here I am. Kari’s all about this happening. Here’s the problem though. I’ve got NO moves. I have two left feet. Sure, I like to dance…but I can’t dance to choreographed pieces. HA! AND TO TOP IT ALL OFF…Jen’s dad has great moves. So, here I am…”What do I do?! I can’t do this!” I’m trying to get out of it. Kari’s dying laughing.
“Well, crap. I’m literally not getting out of this. What do I do?! I can’t dance!”
Song/Dance #7- NAME THE DANCE I BUTCHERED
So, I danced. I danced because you can’t say “no” to these wonderfully, amazing, sweet people and I followed along with his help and encouragement. As you can see, I greatly enjoyed it and had a really great time! I’m so thankful for these memories!
So, “I’m out! Thank you! I did it!”
Nope. Not so fast. Before I could get two steps off the dance floor, Jen grabbed me. Ethan grabbed my other hand…and we danced some more! I’m an asthmatic people…and they tried to kill me! HA! Jen later texted me and said, “make sure you include the ones of us dancing”. I texted her back that OF COURSE I would include ones of her and Ethan dancing. Then, I realized the “us” was her and I! HA! So, here they are! I’m lucky I didn’t fall on my face! Bahahahahahaha! Seriously, I can’t dance. It’s so sad!
…and I made it off the dance floor…and Kari laughed the WHOLE TIME and just stood there and took photos of it all (which…in all seriousness, I’m grateful for). SOOOOOOO…it’s payback time. SOMEONE drag Kari out there so I can laugh, point fingers, and take photos of it!! I’ll blog it if you do! Promise!
…and now we’re moving on! I wasn’t the only one impressed with the dance moves. This guy went over and asked the other guy to teach him some of his moves. I loved it so much!
He used those moves to his advantage too and even added some more. Kari said, “His knee caps are going to hurt tomorrow!” Tell us…did they survive!? Were they bruised?!
It didn’t matter who you were, how old you were, how great of a dancer you were…you danced! It was epic!
Song #8 – NAME THAT DANCE
Then, this happened and even the DJ said it was a first. They DID catch him! I’m telling you, in this last hour, we couldn’t keep track of everything that was happening. It was actually hard to document everything going on…which is always a great problem to have at a reception!
Boy…I could keep going…and going…but I won’t. This was such an amazing day. It was #18 of 20 weddings to be photographed in 2018. This one was everything I could have wanted and more. It was organized. It was stress-free and laid back. It had amazing people and many of them I knew before. I’m forever grateful wonderful people like this keep asking me to come back to photograph their special day…even Tom…who hates having his photo taken!! LOOK! I now have a photo with Jen (shown previously)…and now Amanda AND TOM…and Chelsea (who’s available, by the way…I’ll be photographing her wedding when the time comes!). I just invited myself, girl! It’s happening! HA! Huge shoutout to Kari for remembering I want these photos at every wedding we do. I always tell her I want them and then get so caught up into what’s going on…I often forget. All of these people at this particular wedding are also so amazing because they’re so close. Their friendships are like no other. They even have “viewing parties” when I turn over their galleries. That’s where they all get together and look at the photos and enjoy each other’s company. Heck, when Jen and Ethan got engaged…it was at Amanda’s house. She was peeping out the window. They had a party and cake and everything afterward. Isn’t that awesome!? I told them I want to come and present these photos Vanna White style! Seriously though…how’d I get so lucky to spend my Saturday nights with people like this?!
AND that’s a wrap! Kari says my blogs keep getting longer…I think she’s right! Oy! Should I shorten them?! I just don’t know! You tell me!
I’m still so sad and pouting but so happy I got to be there. I love all these people so much. Kari and I had SUCH a great time. Thanks for always being “you”, Jen and Ethan! When the time comes and you honeymoon, I expect some more photos!
Congrats to Mr. & Mrs. Kleineke!
Vendor Shout Out!
Bride’s Gown – Sorelle Bridal
Bridesmaids’ Dresses – Dee’s Country Bridal
Mens’ Attire – Dee’s Country Bridal
Bride’s Shoes – David’s Bridal
Jewelry – Kay Jewelers
Hair/Makeup – Serenity’s/Alfred’s (Links please…if you have them.)
Florist – Southern Bloom Company
Videographer – Austin Anderson
Cake/Desserts – Mama C’s Bakery
DJ – DJ Carter Salmons
Catering – Ohio Catering
Transportation/Limo – Heavenly Coach Limo
Invitations – Ann’s Bridal Bargains
Officiant – Michelle Miller
Reception Venue – K of C Mingo Junction
Ceremony – Brilliant Christian Church