Happy 2020, indeed! Oo my goodness me! If you haven’t already seen my videos and sneak peek and felt my energy, you’re about to see and “hear” it here too! What a way to start off the year! Sarah and Tristan became the McKennas at an Irish Oglebay wedding and it was EVERYTHING! OoOo my goodness me!! I said that already, right?! Well, it’s how I feel! The whole day was absolutely amazing and hysterically laid back (more on that later). So, feast your eyes on some wedding photography goodness and enjoy! I’m just going to go right into the goodies first so you can set your mind to the “feel” of this whole wedding! Enjoy!
So, Sam was with me this day!! You know we sometimes try and pair up the weddings according to each person’s own style and tastes (makes for a more excitable experience…as if we need any more with me around). Originally, I thought Kari would be perfect because she actually lived in Europe (Scotland) for a year and loves this kind of thing but it turns out Sam was PERFECT for this wedding…just perfect!! Kari was doing birthday festivities anyway. If you remember Sam’s wedding, she also did mostly greenery (no flowers) with deep greens and blues. Ironically, she was even able to pair the SAME green sweater she wore on her own wedding day with this wedding’s attire!! Gosh, I love when that happens! So, imagine our delight when we arrived at the Pine Room at Oglebay and could already see inside the door…and it was gold chair covers and ALL KINDS of greenery! WEEEEE!! We even got to FINALLY meet Brad and Rodney in person. They’re a part of Masterpieces and I’ve always wanted to meet them but we’ve never crossed paths!! They probably thought I was a real crazy person because I was squealing and yelling “SAMMMM! LOOOOKKKK!!!” before I even made it down the stairs and into the building! I would show you those photos we took at that time too but they were still setting up so we said a quick “hello” and took off…and Rodney even let me have some extra greenery pieces (which you ALL know gets me excited)! We then met up with Sarah and I introduced her to Sam!! Her mom was there too who I also got to meet back in June when they booked along with some other family and friends! I knew it would be a super laid back wedding but I didn’t anticipate HOW laid back AND hilarious it would be. Sarah was “going off” all morning about how hot it was outside for her “winter” wedding. She kept me hysterically laughing all day!! You see, when we first met…I told her even if there was no snow…we could always go to the ski lift at Oglebay. Nope. It was even too hot for that! BUT…it was ALL meant to be. You just wait and see! First things first, I snapped off some detail shots!
…and some getting ready shots! I’ve had some seriously laid back brides in the past but NONE are like Sarah. I seriously wish you could all meet her and Tristan and the rest of the family! Sarah didn’t care to know what her flowers and greenery would look like. She didn’t mind being surprised! Cassie, one of Oglebay’s amazing wedding coordinators, said Sarah was so calm about this whole wedding, as well! Heck, I didn’t even have a shot list! So yea…as Sarah was getting her hair done, she was also giving us Ireland facts and Scottish clan facts…fairy facts…church bell facts…you name it! It’s actually a good thing Kari wasn’t there because I’m not sure Sarah and Kari would have gotten anything accomplished because they would have had A LOT to talk about. You know…Kari is our fact checker and collector! Also, as Sarah was getting her hair done…she didn’t even have a mirror and didn’t care what it looked like. She took the advice of everyone in the room and trusted it! Crazy! She also made a ton of funny faces that made us laugh all day long! I could write my whole outtakes blog with just her in it, I tell ya!! AHHH!! It was already shaping up to be an outstanding day!
Then, I left Sam to do more details while I headed back to the Pine Room! I actually like her details more than mine!! AHHH! My assistants are the best!
Everything was done at the Pine Room at that point except the candles so I went ahead and took my insurance shots AND did a live video (if you missed it…I sound like a lunatic…check Facebook!). DJ Brian Oliver also did a video so check his page, as well! OMGGGG!!! LOOOOOOOOK!
So, I headed back to the cabins! I saw a random gentleman out feeding the deer on my way back. If you have been to Oglebay, you know the deer are overly friendly and used to humans! I told Sarah about it and she was soooOOoOoo into the deer and loving the idea of incorporating them into her wedding! Considering the feel and theme of this wedding, I thought it was PERFECT too! I also love how excited she was about the idea so I threw out that we could do their first look in a big field (channeling the rolling, open fields of Ireland…Kari’s idea) WITH the deer! Ummmmm YES! YESSS, please! So, we stopped by Tristan’s cabin to give him the low down on the idea (and to let him know the ladies were running a weeeeee bit behind…HA!). Seeeeee?! This wedding was so laid back even I wasn’t really freaking about the timeline. Sam was calm, cool and collected too!! AMAZING!
I’m telling ya…he put on that hat and I about died! The unique details just kept coming at us! I’m still happy clapping about it all!
Tristan’s son, Hayden, pinned his dad before the first look!
We did a group photo before heading out. I did my usual “group hug” request and they took it to a whole new level!! I kind of REALLY love it!
Then, we headed back to Sarah’s cabin to grab her only to find she’d had a dress mishap (ripped a hole in the undergarments). Seems ridiculous to blog but trust me…she doesn’t care! We had a great laugh! Then, we had another undergarment mishap (could see them through the dress). BUT FINALLY…we were able to get her ready and I love that she knows about photos and light because she kept moving herself RIGHT where I needed her without any direction!!!
…and off we went for the first look!! Sarah even rode with us in my car! It was like the BEST day ever ALREADY!
This definitely gave the elevator first look I did a few years ago a run for its money in the uniqueness department! All these photos (and previous photos) are compliments of both me and Sam! Sam’s basically nailed the Hannah Barlow Photography style at this point. Most of the time I can’t tell her photos from my photos! WoooOooo!
…and Sarah was so excited about it that back when we were running out the door to my car we went back for Combos! I think I was freaking the deer out while I was creeping though because they didn’t come real close but still…look how amazing!! Doesn’t it feel earthy and amazing and so “natural”? It all comes full circle when we get to their ceremony too! You just wait and see!!
We did some formal photos while we were there and then we dropped off the couple and their families to do some formal photos at the lodge with the amazing rock walls they have by the spa!
The hat…the hairpiece…OoO man…Ooo man OoO man OoO man!
I also headed back to the Pine Room for the third time to get it photographed with candles lit and all set up and ready to go! I was feeling the pressure of the timeline at this point but how could anyone get stressed when you’ve got this kind of eye candy?! Brad and Rodney were lighting the candles and it was breathtakingly amazing! AMAZING! This is where Brian did his video too so make sure you go and see that when you have the time!
Here’s what we were doing at the rock wall before I headed to the Pine Room! HA! My mind is all over the place while blogging this…and it was that day too because I wanted to be EVERYWHERE all at the same time!
Dear Wedding Gods, may all the grooms be half as kind and fun and amazing as Tristan…and dressed well too! Thanks, Love Hannah!
Then, we rushed back to Oglebay’s lodge so we could finish the couple’s photos. I’d promised Cassie I’d make it back by 3:30 but we only had 20 minutes too so I’m pretty sure we made it back by 3:35 PM! Again and again and again…I say THIS is why you choose vendors who know each other and work well together. We communicate and we make sure all our jobs and plans coincide! It’s amazing! So yes…channeling Ireland for this Irish Oglebay Wedding…I saw these stone steps and thought “PERFECT!” Normally, I don’t love an overcast day…but again…Ireland and all that!! It was pure perfection! We lit them JUST enough to light their eyeballs!
Then, Sarah wanted Evergreens and I do love this little nook at Oglebay so we stuffed the bride and groom in my car and Sam in Jack’s carseat…HA! We made it happen and there was just a little peek of light coming through!
We laughed…a lot! I’m not even sure how they did it but I wasn’t stressing at all over the fact that the ceremony started in 30 minutes…and we weren’t anywhere near the Pine Room!
No jackets in January…it’s madness!!! Isn’t she beautiful?!
Just a few more! Sam took the close up ones!
Last one! Weeeee!
I mean…ONE MORE TIME! Praise hands for Brad and Rodney!
The naked cake had frosted greenery on it AND fruit AND gold mushrooms!!! AHHHHHH!
Ok. So, the Irish music was playing…people had picked their clans…THAT’S RIGHT. It was time for this ceremony! I discussed lighting options with Sarah and Tristan on our car ride over and they chose to leave it ambient!! SooOooO feast your eyes on this ceremony that was lit literally with just floor lanterns and a little bit of window light! Tristan chuckled a little because the staff did have some light on when the ceremony started initially and then shut them all down….a few explicit words came out of my mouth and he heard them!! HA! I immediately cranked my camera settings and all was well!! I even passed Sam when I went to the back and flashed my camera at her. She was on it and her settings already matched mine!! WOOoooOOO!
It was a Celtic Pagan wedding ceremony and it made my heart so happy and it was just SO PERFECT for this couple! If you don’t know what it’s all about, do a quick Google! The fact that we had already played with the deer and explored nature on a warm, January day? Perfection!! And which clan would you choose?! I forgot to ask!! Tell me in the comments over on Facebook!
Then, it was time for cocktail hour right after the ceremony (because they did a first look and we’d already done all the photos) and this is where is gets even GREATER! That’s right! So, you ALL know I’m an organized control freak. The gals at Oglebay are so organized and on the ball, as well. Brian Oliver is overly anal (Yep! I said it…pot calling the kettle black over here) and on the ball with receptions (he does a lot of weddings) and he HATES when photographers take the couple away from the reception. So, this wedding was the perfect way for us to start off the year together to prove to all of us that sometimes we just need to let it go (like Elsa). So…here’s the deal…this wasn’t your traditional wedding reception. So, we all literally looked at each other like…”Now…what?” How do we fill this time? I told Brian I wanted to take the couple outside for some photos. He was on board (for once…HA!). Cassie was amazingly helpful and awesome and found someone with the keys to unlock the pool gates!! Again…teamwork! We did a few formal photos and off we went before the storm rolled. Remember…ALL BRIDES…READ THIS. It called for rain ALL week. ALL WEEK! Guess what? It didn’t rain until about 6 PM…that’s right! Don’t panic about the forecast, everyone! So yea…I needed just a bit more stone in my life for this Irish wedding!
Then, we came back inside quickly. Remember…the storm was coming BUT the DJ at this wedding was also Brian Oliver. He (this story is hilarious now) told me back when I was a new photographer and did my first wedding with him, “Just so you know, I don’t like when photographers take couples away from the reception.” It’s been our running joke since. I ask permission. He grants it with a “curfew” on when we need to be back. SooooOoo imagine how much I laughed when he said, “When are you taking them outside?” and I said, “We’re already done.” and he just stares at me. Remember, LAID BACK wedding. Sarah and Tristan let us go with the flow but that also meant we didn’t have a solid plan…which we all like to have so everyone is on the same page. So, we laughed and discussed what we could do during social hour to pass the time now that we were running head of schedule. The couple got married in the same place cocktail hour was held…and the reception. It was a small, intimate wedding too so they were already greeting guests. There wasn’t going to be a grand entrance. We were like kids who were told we could do WHATEVER we wanted to do!! So, Brian asked me if I’d do a giant group photo and I agreed! I also had to stand over TOP of all his equipment and while I stood on a chair…so imagine how much he was sweating! HA!
Here’s the group photo!
Here’s what I looked like over Brian’s equipment. Photo compliments of Sam and you can see Brian standing REAL close! I’m laughing now but OooO man…he should have never let me do that!
Then, I offered to take family photos of anyone who’d like a photo (get a hold of the couple for your copy). 🙂
Speeches were said and dinner was DELICIOUS. Sarah and Tristan made sure we got to eat and even pointed out where we could sit!! We don’t traditionally sit with the guests but this wedding was all about the family and friend camaraderie. I chatted it up with a sweet couple from Georgia and her sister! We laughed about the lack of snow and they even said it felt like Georgia weather!! Who would have thought in January?! Sarah, THE BRIDE, even came over and sat with us for a bit and you’ll see in my live video that Brian joined in too at some point!
Then, Brian opened the dance floor! This wedding had the most kids I’ve ever seen and it was amazing!! The couple even had a game table available for all the kiddos!
But wait…the bride and groom did NOT miss out on the fun and games either!! This is what I love about them! Sarah assured me they wouldn’t be on the dance floor but would be playing games! She wasn’t kidding! I don’t know very many bride and grooms who would spend their wedding reception with the children and I just want to hug them all over again!
…and while they were back there playing games…Brian opened up with a hot song…Baby Shark!! That’s right! DJs who know what they are doing know how to play the crowd. He played this young crowd and they LOVED IT!
He didn’t forget about everyone else though!
Then, the funniest thing happened. I soooo wish someone would have caught it on video! Someone dragged Sarah out to the dance floor and you would have thought we were at the super bowl! I started cheering…so did Sam…and even Brian! We had our hands up in the air and everything! It was too funny!! I mean…look at him back there!
I had intended to stay the whole time but Sarah came up to us and told us we could take off…but not before we grabbed some “hangover bags” which were the wedding favors! Her mom made it VERY clear (complete with having Brian announce it) that she was NOT taking ANY home to Georgia with her so everyone had to take one home with them! So, when we took off, the couple was still mingling and the game table was VERY empty! Holy crap. I felt all warm and fuzzy inside when I walked out the door into the WARM January night!
So, that’s it! Wow. From the beautiful January weather to this amazing couple and their family, friends, and guests, we could not have gone wrong on this day. We had amazingly touching (and educational) conversation all day long with so much laughter….and love! I very much felt like a part of this whole thing and not from a vendor perspective. Words can’t quite explain how I feel at these types of weddings though. I guess you’d just have to experience it yourself. Sam was in total heaven with the colors and greenery at this wedding too. Everyone who was a part of it felt it, I think! Again, I wish you could ALL meet these two! They’re amazing! To top it all off, we had a vendor dream team! Sarah and Tristan, you sure do know how to plan a wedding…and pick vendors…and bring family and friends from all over together while having an AMAZING Irish wedding at Oglebay! If this is ANY indication of what’s to come in 2020…we’re in for more than I could have ever imagined!! AHHHHHHH!!!! So for now…I can sit back and take a breather. So far…from now until April, I only have a few engagement sessions and meetings to get through. It’s about time I send all my gear away for it’s annual tune up and organize my office! Ahhhhhh!! It feels SO good! SO GOOD! GREAT! Happy Thursday, everyone!
Vendor Dream Team!
Bride’s Gown -Vera Wang by David’s Bridal
Bridesmaids’ Gowns – David’s Bridal
Men’s Attire – Men’s Wearhouse
Shoes – Duck Books (Marley Lilly – Not Pictured), Brown Boots – Non-Designer
Jewelry/Rings – https://www.localeclectic.com/ – Bridal Jewelry | https://www.localeclectic.com/ – Brides Ring | Anderegg Jewelry Store – Grooms Ring
Wedding Planner/Coordinator – Oglebay’s Cassie Holstein
Florist – Brad – Masterpieces
Cake – Brad – Masterpieces
Cookies – Local Place in Georgia – 211 Restaurant & Bakery
DJ/Band – Brian Oliver
Catering – Oglebay
Transportation/Limo – Oglebay
Save the Dates/Invitations/Programs – https://www.etsy.com/listing/617489468/woodland-save-the-date-template-forest?ref=yr_purchases, (Bride designed the programs & menus).
Ceremony Venue – Pine Room at Oglebay