My priority to be more and do more and create an experience they will never forget Capturing their memories in a fun and memorable way is just as important as their beautiful images

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St. Clairsville Ohio Spring Wedding

St. Clairsville Ohio Spring Wedding

Happy Friday, everyone!  OooO my goodness!! I can’t wait for you to not only see these photos but to also read and experience this wedding!! Kristi and Justin are now Mr. & Mrs. Sloan and the one word I would use to describe them is “magnetism”.  Not just in photos…but in person.  Kari, Sam, and I were the lucky wedding photographers along with Jay Morris of Jay Morris Video productions (as the videographer) who got to experience all this amazingness first hand.  This was a purely fantastic way to start off the spring wedding season.  So, sit back, relax, and enjoy this St. Clairsville, Ohio spring wedding.  It’s a goodie…not just for the eyes…but for the heart too!  ENJOY!

We arrived at Ebbert’s Market in St. Clairsville, Ohio late Saturday morning to catch the ladies getting ready.  Per the usual (and how she’s always been around me), Kristi was calm and smiling while still making sure every little detail was just how she’d envisioned it and boy OooO boy…you just wait!  Her vision was unlike any other wedding we’ve every photographed  AND it was our first time at Ebbert’s so that was just a bonus!  More on that later!

See!?  I told you!! THIS was Kristi all morning…and on her own wedding day!! Hands in her pockets (even in her gown…that’s right!).  Calm.  Smiling.  Just soaking it all up!  She’s got some epic facial expressions too! HA!  Look at the joy surrounding her though!

Ready to see her vision come to life?!  Ooo my goodness.  Blush pink was the main color theme for her wedding and presented in the most beautiful way!  Rose gold hints littered the reception area along with so much greenery (and very little flowers).  I couldn’t even get over the photography goodness and opportunities!! So, in true Hannah fashion, I photographed IT ALL…over and over again!  I mean…I can’t even get over this head table.  Those circles are my new favorite thing! AHHH!

…and while I was doing all this, Kari and Sam were over in the corner making wedding detail magic!! I did pop in and take some photos too so I honestly can’t tell you who took what!  BUT…feast your eyes on this goodness!

I kept jumping back and forth – reception to details…reception to details!! The cake showed up too! YAY!  Kari recently took a cake decorating class so she made it a point to go over and really study it, as well! HA!

Prior to this big day, Krsiti and I reviewed the timeline over and over again and the result of this whole day REALLY showed it!  The timeline was flawless!  She wasn’t messing around either!  She had her dress on before I even knew it so we were sure (per request of one of the amazing bridesmaids) to do a little mini first look with the girls!

Of course, we did the customary “finishing touches” shots.  Mom got in there and even got a little teary!

Kari’s always creeping and getting the good angles!  I LOVED this one (below) in black and white!

Then, we decided to do a little first look with Dad since we had a little spare time.  I don’t recall this being planned but Dad showed up and hadn’t seen Kristi in her dress yet, so, being the opportunists we are, we decided to do one real quick before we headed off to the church!  AND…I’M SO GLAD WE DID!  It was a first look I will always remember.  I’ll always remember it not because of the location or the photos…but because I was lucky enough to be there and to be close enough to hear what Dad had to say…you just wait!  So, we got him all set up and let Kristi walk toward him.

Just like all first looks, he got to turn around and really get a good look at his daughter.  Then, he said something I’ll never forget.  It was something that you could tell was not scripted.  It was not planned.  It was genuine and it surprised me and touched me so much I got tears in my eyes (which is saying something because I’m not an overly emotional person so this stuff doesn’t usually get to me).  He said, “Wow.  You’re beautiful.  The only other bride I’ve ever seen that was more beautiful than you was your mother.”.  *cue the tears*  I seriously turned my head to wipe my tears and made eye contact with Sam…who I’m pretty sure was tearing up too.  I quickly had to look away from her, as well!  ACK!  You just don’t get much more real than this, people.

…and then no sooner did that happen…Kristi pointed out there was something on his vest.  And he replied about having been so careful to make sure that didn’t happen.  We all got a great laugh out of it and I’m chuckling again while typing this just thinking about that moment!  Can’t you just see this conversation playing out while looking at these photos (below)?!

Of course, after all that, a few little snapshots were a must before we took off!

Speaking of dads, Kristi actually has two.  Her other father (also named John) passed away when she was just ten years old.  It was very important she incorporate him into her wedding, as well.  So, she made sure both her dads were present even if only one of them could be there in person.  I’m pretty sure Kari took that ring photo (below) and I could just hug her for it!  That was Kristi’s father’s wedding band so she proudly wore it on her thumb as she walked down the aisle and had his picture really close and on her bouquet.  Additionally, she had a corvette charm in the pocket of her dress!  So sweet, right?!

So then, we were off to the ceremony!  It was our plan to meet the guys and immediately do all their formal photos to get them out of the way and checked off the list!  I had been looking forward to this wedding for a while.  Kristi and Justin were a blast of a couple from the first moment we met last year during their pre-booking consultation.  I remember hoping they’d book me after we met over coffee.  Justin was hilarious.  He didn’t take any crap from me and gave it to me right back.  Kristi was so sweet and organized and on the ball with wedding planning and I knew…JUST KNEW…they’d take amazing photos.  I got lucky…and they booked me!! Their engagement session was a dream and so fun and the pictures were amazing!  I mentioned “magnetism” earlier in this blog, didn’t I?!  Well, that pull they have toward one another was so obvious in their engagement photos.  It took very little prompting from me to get them to connect and show their love for one another.  As a result, I was super pumped about their wedding…and they did not disappoint!  You just wait!  But anyway…back to Justin and the guys!  After we arrived to the church, I found them getting ready in one of the back rooms.  There was some serious Game of Thrones conversation happening…so I quickly covered my ears! HA!  I’m only on Season 3, people…no spoilers!  There is just something about that show, I tell ya!  My husband likes it…all the men seem to like it!  I’m telling you.  Serious conversation happening here!  Do you see it?!  Meanwhile, I watch the whole thing with a blanket over my head and fingers in my ears! HA!

I really get off track sometimes.  Sorry about that!  So, anyway… Justin’s brother, Jared, was on the ball with boutonnieres.  He was so focused  on getting them pinned he missed a very important element OR, maybe “missed” isn’t the correct word.  I wish you could help me out here right now.  I can’t put my finger on the word to describe his concentration at this point.  Maybe I’ll say he was TOO on the ball.  Yes…that’s possible.  You’ll see why here in a second.  So, let me set the scene for you.  I walk in.  I see the guys chatting in the corner.  I see the succulent boutonniere (which I loved) being pinned on the groom.  I see Jay Morris with his video camera making sure he doesn’t miss a moment.  I also see the succulent boutonniere for the first time…with the oddest “tail” hanging off of it.  Its white easter grass, to be exact, and it’s hanging in place of where a ribbon would usually be.  So, I have this moment.  I really didn’t think it was supposed to be there but I also didn’t want to interrupt (my big mouth is always getting caught on video).  Most of these guys have just met me too.  I didn’t want to be the woman photographer who bursts in and takes control of the situation right off the bat.  Believe it or not, I DO try to control myself and hold back! HA!  I couldn’t help it though.  First of all, Kristi probably would have killed me (or Justin…or Jared) if I had let that Easter grass stay.  Second of all, I honestly couldn’t stand the idea of it hanging off him in my pictures! HA! So, I said something.  We ALL had a great laugh.  We removed the grass BUT…not before I got photographic evidence of the hilarious almost mishap!  This was the decorative grass that was in the case so the boutonniere could sit on something.  It was NOT supposed to be pinned on the groom!  Well, I hope not, at least…or I may be getting a very angry call from the florist!

Can you just imagine if I would have left that?! OooO my goodness!  I can’t even!  So, anyway…we got everyone pinned and we headed out for some photos!  I predicted it.  I knew, going off Justin’s personality, these guys would be a hoot!  He also told me they were “professional wedding party members” at this point so my job was really easy…and enjoyable!

Of course, we didn’t forget the groom…less the Easter grass!  Phew!

We then headed back inside.  Justin wanted to make sure I got photos of him “opening” (he’d already opened it) his gift from Kristi.  So, we did that!

…and in true Justin form…he took a true personality photo. Below, you’ll find him showing us that he has no belt loops on his tux to wear his new belt! HA!  I’m still giggling.  This day was amazing!  You don’t get much better than this with the couple…the bridal party…the families…their personalities…I loved it ALL!

So quickly…it was time for the ceremony!  I can 100% tell you Justin was ALL smiles the entire time.

..and the best part?  The closer she got…the BIGGER he smiled!! Magnets, I tell ya!  They are quite literally drawn to one another and that can’t be missed by one who is around them!  I didn’t even have to try with these two!  I mean..COME ON!  You all know I couldn’t have staged this!

You can tell by his eyes how close she was at this point and just look at her! AHHHHHHHH!!!  I love this stuff!  Real life fairytales were just happening on Saturday, May 4th in St. Clairsville, Ohio this day!

It was an absolutely beautiful ceremony at Thornburn United Methodist Church!  Ashley Steele did an AMAZING job with the ceremony!  It was traditional while still adding some pizazz!

But first and before I show you more, they had a moment of prayer and I love love love love how Kari composed this photo (below) complete with the cross!

Ashley interviewed the couple prior to this ceremony. She asked them questions about one another and read off their answers for all of us to enjoy.  I’ve seen this done before…but never at a ceremony and I LOVED IT!  The love these two have for one another POURED out of their answers.  It was really amazing getting to see their reactions as they listened to one another’s answers.  At one point, the question was asked, “What’s one thing you have now that you didn’t have before meeting the other person?”  Kristi poured her heart out and said all these sweet things about her husband-to-be.  How did Justin answer?  Well, he answered,  “a cat.”  That’s it!  I could not stop giggling…all the guests giggled too.  Justin had on his “busted” face.  But that’s so him and I love it.  I will note he DID follow his answer up with amazingly sweet things about his bride AND he even poured those words onto paper and created a book he gifted to her prior to this ceremony.  I’m just realizing now I forgot to show you all that!! But anyway…here’s his reaction to his “cat” answer! HA!  My husband also said (as I was telling him the hilarious story), “See Hannah, that’s just how our brains work.  We don’t complicate things.”  Yea…I guess he’s right!

After all that entertainment, they exchanged vows, then rings, and then their first kiss as Mr. & Mrs. Sloan!  I present to you…my shot and Kari’s shot…AND Sam’s shot! WOOOOOOO!  Sam’s only been shooting since December.  It’s pretty impressive really.  Remember…just like Kari…I totally poached her from her own wedding to start helping me behind the scenes.  I’m telling you…working with brides through wedding planning is an amazing screening process for future help! HA!  So, yea…I assured her that her photos were just for practice.  Kari and I have been doing this for three years together now…we’ve got this!! So, I threw one of my cameras in her hand (one she’s NEVER used before) and let her have at it…and look what she did!  Sam’s is bottom right hand corner.  Everyone give her a digital high five! She nailed it!

It was at this point I checked the forecast.  No rain until 7 PM…YAY!  So, we did all the family formals and then all these beautiful ladies got their time to shine in front of my camera…and they REALLY stole the show (sorry, guys…it’s true).

I mean, I knew she’d be a beautiful bride BUTTTTTTT…just look at her! AHHHH!  She was drop dead stunning!

Then, we jumped on the trolley just in time to realize the weathermen were WRONG…so wrong.  It started to rain…whomp whomp.  Look at those smiles though…not a care in the world…and close together for their photo, of course!

So, we headed off to the Wheeling Suspension bridge.  It’s been three years since I’ve been on this bridge with a bride and groom.  It was just as scary as I remember! HA!  Honestly, these two didn’t even act like it was raining.  Any time I’ve been with them, they don’t seem to have a care in the world and that was really multiplied on their wedding day!  Everyone…feast your eyes on some rainy day goodness!! We had to play the stop lights, of course…on and off.  On the bridge…off the bridge!

It was so so so so worth it though!  I mean…look at them!  Funny story too…I brought two clear umbrellas with me.  Kristi brought one more!! She even offered to give me hers because she wouldn’t need it after the wedding.  I was totally pumped!! I lost two other clear umbrellas at another wedding last year.  So, I was down to two.  Hers would make three for me!  And guess what?!  Not only did I forget to take her up on that offer…I lost one more of mine.  Oy.  That totals just one I have left now! Good grief!  I’d lose my head if it wasn’t attached at a wedding!  For real!  I can’t tell you how many times one of my assistants or second shooters has to grab something I’ve left! Goals for this year, I guess!  I’ve never lost a card though!! I CAN confidentially say that…I’m a crazy person when it comes to those babies!  Nope.  No way…never!  I’d lose my head first!

Another huge shout out to Sam!  She took these two photos below!  You want to know what’s even more amazing?!  In the chaos of it all and in me giving her the “just take pictures for fun right now” speech, I quite literally forgot to show her how the camera worked.  She knows the technical details of it all, of course.  She knows her own camera, of course.  I taught her just like I taught all my amazing assistants and second shooters, but, like I said, she knows her own camera…not mine! HA!  That important piece actually slipped my mind.  So, here are Sam’s photos…amazing photos! AND she was trapped with her settings not exactly sure how to change them (which is critical…let me tell you).  I didn’t even know this until later.  She said at one point, “Yea.  I got really excited when I finally figured out how to change the aperture!” *face palm moment* SAM!  You should have told me!  Still funny though and amazing how she captured all these!

I’d also like to give a HUGE shout out to Mr. Jay Morris again.  He’s such a good guy.  Look at him go…keeping me dry.  To be clear, I DID have multiple umbrellas even for myself and two assistants standing by…but he offered to keep us both dry.  I kept asking him over and over again if he wanted me to get my own and he kept assuring me it was fine.  He had to keep himself dry anyway.  This is the beauty of our couples hiring vendors who know and work together often…it makes for a more “family” experience, I think!  We know each other.  We know how to work together!! It makes it totally more fun and less stressful for everyone!  We’ll be back again a couple times this year!

I’m not sure who came up with it, because to be honest, I really didn’t have a rain plan.  I did plan ahead and think it out.  I actually couldn’t come up with a location but then didn’t think I needed it when I woke up and the weather app I have said no rain until later into the evening (at which point we would have been at the reception…lies, I tell ya).  BUT…at this point, the rain was coming down harder.  We needed a rain plan!  I think it may have been Jay…or maybe Kristi and Justin.  I’m not sure who decided on the arts center.  Nonetheless, we headed off to a good location for rain.  It’s always beautiful and somewhere I have only shot one other time!  The guys didn’t waste any time with their shenanigans again complete with one groomsman pretending to try and look up her skirt.  Oy.  Don’t worry…it all remained hilariously PG!  And Justin was standing by!  You just wait!

Not to be outdone, he wanted his time (and photo op) with the ladies.
…at which point, he said, “Somebody kiss me!”.  Look at their reactions!  I think this was Kari shooting from the side!
I cheered them on though.  Look at his face.  I’d like to caption this one below, “Come on! Who’s it gonna be?!”
So, they got in there.  Still unsure! HA!  I wish you could have all been there.  This whole group was a hoot!  I smiled and laughed the entire time!
And finally…one of the gals gave in and made him happy.  Kristi from the sidelines was laughing and cheering him on!  This is typical Justin, even I know that and I’ve only spent a few different sessions with him!
Then, after we were done with that…I did a few more with the girls.  I didn’t even know this was happening behind me but Justin was apparently galavanting around with my polka dotted umbrella…in the rain…having a good ole time!  Kari (or Sam) caught this! HA!
Then, it was time…FINALLY…for the bride and groom formals.  I’m telling you…again…from the moment I first met them, I knew I needed to be their wedding photographer!  I KNEW IT!  REALLY REALLY knew it…and wanted it so badly!  AND now, you’re going to see why!   Everyone, may I present to you…rainy wedding day greatness.  Except, you’d never know it was rainy.  I’m telling you, these two did NOT let it get them down.  When they’re together, it’s magic.  Like I keep saying, they’re like magnets…drawn together when they’re near one another.  As a result, they really can’t take a bad photo.  All of these photos are an amazing combination of my photos, Kari’s photos, and Sam’s photos.  Please enjoy this wedding photography magic and amazingness!

Yep!! I told ya!! I’m bringing back THE DIP!
Ahhhhhhhh!!! The forehead kiss!! Do you all remember the forehead kiss from their engagement session?  If you don’t, you need to see it all over again HERE!
This was another one of those weddings that felt just like royalty!  These two fit the part!
See that photo below?  Magnetism, I tell ya!! I remember them doing this at their engagement session.  Any time I’d have them walk, they’d get closer and closerto each other! AHHHHHH!!!  My photographer heart is so so so happy!
It usually ended with a kiss…this moment was no different!
Then, we (the photographers and videographers) ventured out into the rain so we could switch it up a bit!
I was feeling like a royal photographer so much I had them wave like the Duke and Duchess!  Being the two amazingly fun people they are, they happily gave me what I wanted!  I don’t know why I do weird stuff like that!  I really don’t!! Sometimes it’s just too good to be true, I guess!  I like to make it so ridiculously romantic it doesn’t feel like real life…even though it is!
Then, I sent them out into the rain and wouldn’t you know it…they were drawn together for one more kiss before we headed off to party the night away at the reception!

The new Mr. & Mrs. Sloan were announced once again in front of all their closest family and friends!  Then, they shared their first dance as husband and wife!
…and during those dances, I noticed they’d put the donuts out!  DONUTS! AHHHH!
I know I’ve said it already, but Kristi and Justin are truly amazing people  You could definitely tell how loved they were by their family and friends.  They’re also very giving.  Kristi’s maid of honor was missing her graduation for her Master’s degree this day.  So, this couple took a moment out of their big day to recognize her accomplishments.  As a result, we had a little, mock graduation ceremony.  It was complete with a crazy, celebratory headband AND a giant inflatable diploma!  She never saw it coming!
And after all that mandatory stuff was done (graduation ceremony included), it was time to PARTY!
This guy might kill me…but he was the life of the party on the dance floor!! There is ALWAYS one or two guys at each wedding who are our entertainment for the night.  They’re the guys we KNOW will do anything that’s asked of them…including signing for the videographer’s feed (I seriously can’t wait to see if this stuff made the cut).  THIS was our guy that night.  He was game for anything…dancing, singing…it didn’t matter!  Dude, I’m high fiving you over here!  We love love love the entertainers!
It’s a shark!  Where’d the shark come into all this?!  I have no idea but here it is…on the dance floor!
There were definitely other people having a good time too…OoOO my goodness…bride and groom included!  EVERYONE was getting down!
As always, I moseyed my way around the room to make sure I didn’t miss anything.  I did photograph these earlier cards earlier in the day…but they were blank at the time.  So, I snatched a few up and captured this.  I LOVE THIS IDEA!  Having people create bucket lists for you is BRILLIANT!

Can’t forget our selfie either!! At this point, Sam had taken off and was done for the day…I wish we would have thought to do this before she left!! AHHH!! There was so much going on though!! Next time…I promise!

I’d also like to shout out to these amazing human beings (below).  First, here’s the funny backstory.  When Ebbert’s opened (they said their first official fancy event happened last year), I started booking weddings there, of course.  I’d never been there.  No big deal! BUT…this “DJ Andy” kept popping up.  So, in true Hannah fashion, I started asking around.  No one really could give me any solid information on this “DJ Andy”.  Now, you’re probably all wondering what the big deal is, right?!  Well, if you know me, you know I like routine.  You know I thrive on organization and planning ahead.  I’ve done this long enough to know a good DJ makes the whole night…the whole reception!  I like to know what I’m coming up against because, quite frankly, by the time the reception rolls around…we’re tired.  We’re usually 6-8 hours into our work day…and I’m ready to just turn over the schedule to the DJ And enjoy myself working from the sidelines.  So, not being able to figure out this “DJ Andy” and prepare for what I was walking into….well…it stressed me out a bit.  And he just kept popping up onto my vendor lists for my future couples!  So, I’m happy to report…it’s not JUST DJ Andy…it’s DJ Mike too!! AND they’re amazing people!  Andy is actually part owner of Ebberts…so Mike does most of the DJ-ing for the night.  They both have 20ish years of experience and they were so easy to work with…so laid back…organized….and kind.  Andy even kept asking ME if I needed anything!  I’m so happy!!! WEEEEEE!! And I get to work with them over and over and over again AND they did NOT even miss a beat when we snuck up on them for a selfie.  I mean…bonus points for that!! I’m a little crazy…I know!! They didn’t even hesitate!  They got right in there and smiled for their photo op!  So, everyone…meet DJ Andy (bottom left) and DJ Mike (bottom right).  I’m not sure where Kari went for the bottom right photo! HA!  Selfies for everyone!

I’d also like everyone to meet Andy’s wife, Erica!  I didn’t get to chat with her as much because she was working her butt off making sure everything was exactly how it should be…to the point I had to catch them in the corner later in the night to get a photo of them together!! I knew I definitely wanted one though…so I tracked them down!  They’re the dream team behind this new wedding venue in St. Clairsville, Ohio!! So, I compiled a little collage of it all!  At this point, they were probably thinking I really was nuts (I am…but still)!

…and the party just kept on going.  Money dances.  Slow dances.  Fast dances.  Someone was even dancing around a candle at one point and I’m not even sure why…dollars bills were flying and everything! HA!  All in all, I think the very best way to end this blog is another photo of Justin…being Justin…and Kristi…laughing along with him!  It’s how they’ve always been when I’m around!  I’m positive he put the gals up to this again!  I told him he looked like a pig on a spit! HA! I mean…I think this is the perfect way to end the blog, right?!  Photo credit goes to Kari!! After she took this, she couldn’t stop laughing so she came over and showed me! I love it!

That’s it on another Hannah Barlow Photography blog!  I wish this amazing couple ALL the happiness in the world.  I have no doubt they’ll have an amazing marriage full of so many laughs and ridiculousness I’m already so sad to miss it!  As I type and get ready to post this, they’re celebrating their marriage on an amazing honeymoon in Jamaica!  I’m trying to get my sister-in-law to start blogging her couple’s honeymoons too!! Wouldn’t that be something?! HA!  Kristi and Justin…THANK YOU…THANK YOU…THANK YOU for making my dreams come true after that very first meeting!  I knew from that moment you’d have an amazing wedding with amazing photos!! You did NOT disappoint!  Your venue and decor was perfect.  Your family and friends are one of a kind and so welcoming!  You two are just amazing people!  We couldn’t have asked for a better way to kick off our spring wedding season!  Again, thank you!

Congrats to the Sloans!  Enjoy your weekend everyone…we are off to another wedding!


HUGE Vendor Shout Outs!

Bride’s Gown – Sorelle Bridal

Bridesmaids’ Gowns – Azazie

Men’s Attire – Men’s Wearhouse

Shoes – Jack Rogers

Bridal Jewelry (Not the Rings) – Kendra Scott

Hair/Makeup – Cloud 9

Wedding Coordinator – Megan Henry

Florist – Wheeling Flower Shop

Videographer – Jay Morris Video Productions

Cake – Whisk

Donuts – Reisbecks

DJ – Andy Barricklow

Catering – Donna Clark

Transportation/Limo – OV Regional Transportation

Invitations – Sarah Alice Stationary

Venue – Ebbert Farm

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My priority to be more and do more and create an experience they will never forget Capturing their memories in a fun and memorable way is just as important as their beautiful images





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