Gooooooooood Morning, everyone! This blog is going to be so sweet and I can’t wait for you all to read it! Just five days ago, Lacey and I traveled to Youngstown, Ohio to photograph a beautiful couple’s wedding. Their gallery is now finished and I’m ready to show you the best photos of it all! I’d been to Youngstown before for the bride’s sister’s wedding which I photographed back in 2017 (in case any of you were wondering how I ended up there). I was so full of excited emotions that morning so we left a wee bit early just to be sure I didn’t miss ONE second with this couple and their families. I can’t wait for you to meet them (and see some of them again)! EEEKKK!
So, I think you all need a little back story, right?! After all, I didn’t get to do their engagement session (so no blog) and now that I’ve photographed their wedding…I’m dying I didn’t get to do those photos and blog them too! Jenna and Jack are the happy couple and they met way back in school. By high school, he was the popular kid named homecoming AND prom king. She was the country girl. I mean…it’s storybook already, right?! AHHHHH!! YOU JUST WAIT! It wasn’t until Jenna was carrying a chicken in a pet carrier through the high school hallways for a class project (yes…you read that correctly) that Jack HAD to stop and talk to her…and inquire about the animal in the carrier, of course. One thing led to another…and…well, we’ll just fast forward to June 1st, 2019…when they got married. Of course, there are lots and lots of details in that story I left out but this is already going to be long so I gave you the cliff notes! One thing of great importance I should mention is that Jack joined the military and still serves with the United States Air Force. That means these two had to battle military schedules and separations and deployments already…leading up to their marriage (been there…not easy). It’s actually completely a miracle that I was even available for this wedding. You see, the first weekend of June is always one of the two most popular dates of the year that I book (the first weekend of October being the other). I hadn’t booked it this year though and I did think that was totally strange…until Jenna reached out. I remembered her, of course. If you saw my Facebook post on their wedding day, you saw the photo I took of them over two years ago. I had remembered the very special sister of the bride AND her boyfriend in uniform, of course. At that time and in true Hannah fashion, I made sure to get a photo of them…you know…JUST in case I ended up being their wedding photographer. I really DO thing of the blogs all the time! So, when Jenna reached out and wanted me to be her wedding photographer, I was so excited but so nervous when she told me she wanted to get married sooner rather than later AND around the military’s schedule. Ugh. The chances of me actually being available was slim to none. I knew that. She knew that. She worked on finding a venue first and then getting some of the bigger details in order…and then she reached out to me for date availability. ANDDDDD wouldn’t you know it…I WAS AVAILABLE! AHHHHHHH! I could NOT believe it. She couldn’t believe it. Like I always say, it was meant to be! So here we go!
Prepare yourself right now. I didn’t get to do the engagement blog AND I know this family AND I was just so excited for this wedding. It’s going to be a long one! I just can’t help it! This couple deserves all the Hannah Barlow Photography words I can pump out today! So, let’s do this, shall we?! Let’s celebrate Jenna and Jack, their story, and their marriage…along with lots of pretty pictures! Enjoy!
Lacey and I started the day back at Jenna’s parent’s home. Kari was with me back in 2017 so now it was Lacey’s turn! I’d been to this home before, of course, and I recognized it right away by its big, beautiful window as soon a I saw it! We were greeted by one of the their dogs (and I do believe it was the same one who greeted me back in 2017 too). I was having total de ja vu…let me tell you. So, we walked up to the front porch and I knocked. The door was opened by one of the cutest little girl’s I’ve ever photographed before (she was a flower girl in the 2017 wedding too) and she didn’t even hesitate, grabbed me, and wrapped her arms around me. BIG HUGS FOR EVERYONE! My heart melted just a wee bit and I hadn’t even made it inside yet. So then I walked it and found Jim. He’s the brother in law now and the groom from my previous wedding. I grabbed him for a big hug. Then, I found Nicole next. She was the bride and now the bride’s sister and maid of honor for this wedding. I hugged her too. Then, Jeff. He’s the father of the bride. Then, I found Jenna getting her hair touched up. I’d met Alexis (who was doing the hair) too! I just couldn’t help it. I hugged everyone ….I did. Mom, Terry, of course…and everyone else! I could go on and on. You get the picture though. This set the tone for the entire day! I’d SO been looking forward to this wedding and I’m telling you…nothing had changed with this group. They were all so welcoming and warm and sweet. I was just so happy I was the photographer who got picked to photograph their other daughter’s wedding. Wait. One thing DID change though…Terry and Jeff got hardwood floors where there used to be carpet and she made them clean this time…straight down to the windows…HA! More on that later! It’s a funny story!
Goodness, I’m almost 1000 words in and I’ve only showed you one photo. Oy. I DID tell you…I have a lot to say in this one! So, anyway…after I talked and hugged everyone way more than I probably should have as a professional, I started noticing the beautifully organized chaos. From invitations on the refrigerator to little post its here and there, I couldn’t help but feel so surrounded by the love and excitement for this happy couple’s union. Everyone was almost ready and I needed to get a move on! But first…organized chaos!
This wedding had accents of greens and pinks for a subtle beach feel! These two love the beach and Jack was stationed in Florida for some time so a beach theme seemed appropriate!
There’s a first for everything!! The bride wore bridal Crocs!! Who knew?! AND she wore them the entire day…never complained!!! YAY!! That’s also a first, I think! Finally, a wedding shoe that fits and feels good!
We had lots of places to be this day so we didn’t hesitate to get the ladies ready.
I’d love to note this was Lacey’s first wedding SOLO as a second shooter. That’s right! She had more training than any of my other assistants and I’m not sure if she really needed it. She rocked this wedding! I found myself loving so many of her shots and sometimes more than my own! Kari asked me the other day in random conversation how I feel about that and I assured her I loved it! I’m like a proud mama bear when it happens, I tell ya!! I’m also hoping I can talk one of them into shooting weddings by themselves one day so we can do more…and more…and more. Kari is a firm “NO” but I’ll work on Lacey! ?Wouldn’t more Hannah Barlow Photography weddings be AMAZING?! YES! YES, IT WOULD! So, Jenna put on this dress and we couldn’t even stand it. This dress was one of a kind and fit her perfectly! PERFECTLY! From the plain but stunning satin material to the unique cuffs on her arms to the buttons down the back…my goodness gracious! She is STUNNING! Feast your eyes on Lacey and I’s overshooting part of the day!
AHHHHH!! I mean…COME ON! Actually, every single one of those photos above are Lacey’s images! These ones below are a combo!
Even though we were at the house for almost two hours, it sure didn’t feel like it. It wasn’t because we were rushed…but because of the environment and emotions and all the goodness that was happening. As much as I hated separating, I really wanted to get to the church, meet Jack officially, and get started with that portion of the day. Remember…I’d only really “met” Jack once at the reception back in 2017 and he wasn’t in the bridal party so I didn’t get to spend a ton of time with him (actually…very little at all now that I think about it). So, I wanted to spend a little time with him early in the day so he’d definitely be comfortable during photo time. Jenna had already told me he loves photos and actually wished a photographer could document all of their life all the time (which is making me wonder why I wasn’t invited to photograph some of their honeymoon…HA!). Nonetheless, I still felt it was important to break the ice. So, I tracked him down at the church. I really shouldn’t have had one worry at all but I was even afraid I wouldn’t recognize him. That was all silly. As soon a I saw him, he was a familiar face. He smiled and grabbed me and hugged me like we were old friends. He even thanked me for coming! I mean…they paid me to be there…BUT there is something to be said for his kind words. He’s a down to earth nice and genuine guy. In that moment, I felt like I’d know both him and Jenna for a long time and I knew there would be absolutely no awkwardness and “stranger-ness” going forward. So, I snapped some photos of him “getting ready” and his brother jumped in to check under his chin and ears…for what? I’m not sure…but we all had a GREAT laugh about it! This was literally 3 minutes after I arrived. See? Old friends! HA!
So very quickly, it was time for the ceremony and the emotions were flowing from everyone present! Even the moms shared a hug after lighting the candles.
Here comes the bride! That dress though! AHHHHHH! Jack could hardly contain himself. Exhibit A below.
This was also probably one of the darkest non-Catholic churches we’ve EVER been in…whewww. It’s a lot of pressure, I tell ya! You photographers know! Lacey and I created our plan of attack before hand. It took a bit more technical knowledge to make this happen…but I’m just so happy with these ceremony photos!! I WISH you could really have seen how dark it was in there because I was pushing my camera to the limit to suck in light from ANY available angle. These are an equal combination of Lacey and my photos. I’m centered in the aisle and she’s incognito off to the sides.
As always, vows were said (which were read from books they’d written their unique words in), rings were exchanged, and the unity candle was lit. They had their backs to us and I have a firm “we never go on the alter” rule to respect the church, officiant, and the couple. As a result, we couldn’t see what was going on…but it was taking them quite a while to light that candle. Then, we heard the tell tale “click” of a lighter…and the whole congregation started giggling and I did too. Apparently there was a wax vs. flame issue. Nonetheless, they got it done and Jack escorted his soon-to-be wife back to the center of the alter.
Then, they were pronounced man and wife and had the sweetest first kiss. Meanwhile, I’m thinking, “If that’s the first kiss, these photos we are about to take are going to ROCK!” I was not disappointed. You just wait and see!
Some of my favorite photos to take after the ceremony are these ones (below). The couple is done thinking about the nerves of standing in front of everyone. They’re definitely not thinking about me with my camera at that moment. As a result, you’re able to capture THIS which exemplifies true love and happiness and excitement!
I mean…even the parents were feeling the love, happiness and excitement! You don’t get much better than this!
Then, a bubble send off happened and the groom presented his stunning WIFE for the first time in front of everyone! Can you just feel their happiness?!
Then, it was off to take formal photos! Siri took me to the wrong location and if I’m being honest, I’m kind of glad for that. When we showed up to the first place, I was like, “Ooo no. This can’t be right. How am I going to do this?! There are people EVERYWHERE!” Whewww. It all worked out. We were 3 minutes down the road in the wrong direction and the place we did finally find was beautiful! So, first…bridal party photos and family photos were completed…and THEN we got into the bride and groom photos. You can tell these two like photos! You just wait and see! I’d also like to note it was HOT and HUMID and I kept asking if everyone was ok…not one complaint!! Jenna actually kept saying, “At least it’s not raining!”
There was a bridge! We all love bridges!
Lacey was the one creeping behind those flowers and I just LOVE IT!
There was a bench. There was a pond…and there were lily pads. OoO my goodness. When these two kiss, they don’t just peck…they KISS like no one is around! AHHHH!! I was squealing!! I totally was squealing!
You all haven’t met the bridal party yet! Here they are!
They were totally fun too!!!
Separately, they’re both stunning individuals!
I mean…I can’t even! Lacey and I just couldn’t STOP clicking! That dress and veil will forever go down as one of my favorite combinations!
Together, they’re even better!! Look how happy! I told Jack to get up there with his WIFE and he just couldn’t resist grabbing her for this photo (below).
AND DIPPING HER! Which, I’d love to note, I didn’t even ask them to do the first time!
I DID ask the second time!! The first shots (above) were my panic shots. Those are the shots that we take on the fly when something is happening we can’t stop! HA! We hope for the best, list our cameras quickly…and SNAP! This one below was my insurance shot that I had time to plan! I love them all!
More formal photo goodness! All combos of my shots and Lacey’s photos!
If you saw my sneak peek, you know about the blue french horn! If you’re a How I Met Your Mother fan, you know what this is all about!
Then, it was off to the reception JUST in time. It started to rain and I could not have cared less! We got through the whole day with beautiful weather and not ONE drop of water on us!
Beautiful, beach themed EVERYTHING! Lacey and I sprinted around to get all this before guests arrived!
They even laid their vow books out at the entry table and Jack was sure to show me what he REALLY started to write and flipped it back to the first page for everyone (including me) to see! HA! I totally giggled!
Then, it was time for all the reception must have moments to happen…including the shoe game!! I love the shoe game!! Kari’s going to be so bummed she missed it!
Then, the party got started and they had balloons for ANYONE, of all ages, to enjoy!
I loved this photo booth prop SO MUCH!
The party was REALLY starting to get down!
I caught the sisters off to the side chatting. These are now TWO Hannah Barlow Photography brides! I love these two ladies SO MUCH!
Jack has got some moves. Actually, many people in his family have some seriously good dance moves! Lacey and I kept commenting on it through the night! Here’s a little peek.
Unfortunately, that resulted in a little pants mishap. I’m sorry…I couldn’t stop laughing…and taking photos of it! I guess I’m not too sorry! HA! Hand placement was on point, Jack! HA! I’m totally laughing over here!
It MAY have had something to do with the group shots they did! Just maybe…maybe not! It’s a good storyline for the blog though, right?!
…and before I forget! “Livin’ on a prayer….” by Bon Joni. SING IT! EXCEPT…switch the lyrics. I present to you…”Pigeon on a chair…” I’m not even kidding. I bet you’re all singing it now!! SING IT! I mean…people were loving it! LOOK!
We stayed the entire reception and I took almost double the photos I usually take!! CRAZY! The last song of the night was played and this couple was on cloud 9! I can’t help but STILL feel all their emotions through these photos!
When we left, it was still raining. Actually, it was POURING. That did NOT stop the family from decorating their get away car!
Seriously, their family and friends are one of a kind. THIS COUPLE is one of a kind! How on earth their date ended up being available on my calendar is beyond me. I’m so very lucky to have not only gotten to photograph one of the Parry family’s daughter’s weddings…but TWO now. It’s so crazy. Back in 2017, I was a newer photographer. I think Nicole and Jim’s wedding was my 5th or 6th wedding ever. According to my calculations, Jenna and Jack’s was my 44th wedding with just a little over two years in between! HOLY CRAP! I can’t even believe it. I feel like I’ve been through A LOT with this family even though I’ve only ever spent a few days with them. It’s families like this and weddings like this that remind me how lucky I am. Jenna and Jack were SO appreciative to Lacey and I and they didn’t even need to be. We’re just doing our jobs. This wedding felt less like a job and more like a day hanging with friends. Those are THE BEST! Jenna and Nicole DO have a brother…so there’s that. And Jack has one sister I don’t believe is married yet!! There’s hope for MORE Youngstown Ohio weddings with these families! EEEEKKKK! That makes me so happy!
Seriously though…Jenna and Jack, I want to photograph you two again! I’m crossing all my crossables (as my friend Kat says) to make this happen in the future! Anniversary shoot? Maybe! HA! A girl can hope! I’m so so so happy for you both! As a military wife myself, I know what the future could look like for you both. Lacey does too if I didn’t mention that. Both our husbands are also enlisted with the Air Force! Lacey and I have struggled and pushed through deployments together. You two ever need a supportive heart and hand?! We’re both here! It’s not always easy but it’s extremely fulfilling and I wish you both MORE AND MORE love and happiness ahead!! I have no doubt you’re going to do amazing things together as man and wife! I also hope you’re enjoying the crap out of your honeymoon right now! You both deserve it!
Congrats to Mr. & Mrs. Ridge! Thanks for reading!
OOOo and one more thing. Yesterday, my grandmother told me she needs to start proof reading my blogs. YOU ALL TELL HER! Typos and grammatical errors aside, you all keep telling me you love them just the way they are! HA! It’s time to riot! I’m kidding…kind of!
Happy Thursday, everyone!
Lots of new vendors on this shout out list since I’m not from Youngstown!
Bride’s Gown – Evaline’s Bridal, Warren, Ohio
Bridesmaids’ Gowns – David’s Bridal
Men’s Attire – American Commodore
Shoes – Crocs
Hair – Alexa Medved
Makeup – Claudia Hammond
Cake/Other Desserts – Sweets by Christine
Catering/Reception Venue – The Embassy Banquet Center
Transportation/Limo – Primo Limo
Save the Dates/Invitations/Programs –
Ceremony Venue –
Reception Venue –