Well, now…this will most definitely be an excitable, over the top blog post!! So, brace yourself for impact!! I’ve got TWO beautiful past September weddings for you to feast your eyes on. The first one – Sam and Joe from 2018! AHHHH!! Ok…Ok…Ok…I MAY be a wee bit bias with this wedding because Sam has become not only one of my very best friends but also a part of the Hannah Barlow Photography team…we also love Joe too! It’s a double whammy! This past Christmas, we had the team together (minus Lacey who had just had a baby and Ash who couldn’t make it) including the husbands and even the husbands hit it off!! It was PURE perfection and one of those get togethers where you don’t have to think…you don’t have to entertain…the fun just happens naturally. So yea…I’m just a little partial to this beautiful couple BUT I will tell you that when I photographed and blogged this wedding originally, Sam and I were still very much a “client and photographer”. While our friendship had started to emerge a bit because of our endless wedding texts, things didn’t really pick up until that next winter when Kari actually went to a concert with Sam! Kari and Sam hit it off too…Kari and I got to talking about adding more people to the team including Lacey…and boom!! A beautiful friendship was born between all of us! But first, let’s talk about their engagement session which was also epic! Joe belongs in a romance novel and isn’t afraid to show it off…I was a squealing machine for this one!! You just can’t get ANY better than this goodness! Enjoy!
OOo man, when they did the “walk snuggle walk” and he kissed her hand (above), I about lost it!! FOR REAL!
Joe is willing to do just about any pose I ask…with his own style and twist!
This photo (below) was always a fan favorite! It’s still on my website too, I think!
There wasn’t anything about this session I didn’t love!! We laughed until we couldn’t laugh anymore…and ran out of light!
Remember, Joe’s last name is “Corona” so it was definitely a must that we take this photo. Given the current times in 2020, the irony is NOT lost on me! HA!
…and while I was taking these photos, Sam and Joe were taking photos of me taking photos (which they later put on a wine bottle and gifted to me). They even finished it off with a selfie of the three of us! Little did we know, three years after this, we’d be the best of friends! It’s so so so fun looking back…OooO nostalgia!
Alright, let’s fast forward to their September 2018 wedding. It was a double header weekend for me. I had a wedding the day before their wedding and that one was hot and sticky and sweaty. THEN, it rained (story of my life) Friday night into Saturday and left us with a very cold, wet day. It was so cold I had Lacey bring me a sweater (or maybe Kari…I can’t remember). This was Lacey’s first wedding EVER. Looking back…it’s just so crazy how it all came together! I remember telling Sam later that her wedding day was perfect…purely perfect. Of course, she said, “I’m sure you tell all your couples that…” and I kept assuring her that most days have something that goes wrong. It didn’t happen on her day. Everything from the overcast cloudy day with JUST enough sun to make the photos for their outdoor ceremony beautiful to the end of night sunset…it was ALL perfect. ALL OF IT. I also told Lacey to not get used to stress free days with perfect weather and no “uh oh” moments. She, of course, didn’t quite believe me either. Now that both Lacey and Sam have photographed MANY weddings, they see what I mean. Most weddings have some sort of disaster and some sort of weather stress, so Sam and Joe’s was truly a once-in-a-lifetime event! So, let’s get into it! Let’s start with her details. Her barn wedding was one that kind of changed my whole outlook on my “big, beautiful, ballroom wedding” obsession! This was Kari’s first wedding back after having had a baby too and she was obsessing over the details!
Sam provided me with the foliage and I snatched some fabric from her decor!
Kari was killing it with the details!
Do you all remember Gracie?! She’s a beauty and got to enjoy the ENTIRE wedding day with us all…including the reception! She’s one of the BEST dogs I’ve EVER been around!
If I had to say ONE thing went wrong, it was that they couldn’t have their ceremony in the original location because it was so swampy. So, they moved it to this location by the barn and it was pure perfection!
I’m sure you ALL remember Joe…who is more high strung than me!! Remember how we had a code word for him to get him to focus? WHISKEY!
He sure does make a really handsome groom though…but again…I’m a little partial!
Sam and Joe’s love story is sickly sweet. Like puke face emoji sweet and to this day, it just keeps on going and I just keep on loving it!
OooOo Sam, my friend! You make SUCH a beautiful bride and I now know you’re genuinely this beautiful on the inside too!
This moment was tear jerkingly amazing. Remember, I didn’t even know them that well at this point so it’s saying something that even I teared up!
Tears, there were tears everywhere…and Sam kept rubbing her nose in the most UNLADYlike fashion and it’s one of my favorite memories and we STILL laugh about it!
Wow. It’s SO hard to make this blog short!! I’m trying though! This confetti photo below is one of my favorites and so ironic because Sam did put me on a TIGHT timeline and I was so concerned about the amount of time we’d take to get all that out of their hair!
IT.WAS.EVERYWHERE…but I’ll admit it…100% worth it!
OooO these formal photos! There wasn’t any way I could pick favorites then…and there’s no way I could pick favorites now! So, I’ll just throw a whole bunch of them all at you right now! For such a tight timeline, I’m looking back at the crap ton of photos we were able to get! Whoa!
Even the dinosaurs got in on the fun! This photo still cracks me up. Sam is so calm…alllll the time. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her get really worked up so she’d probably still smile if real life dinos were chasing her!
This last one I took (below) is still one of my favorites and I was doing the creeping behind the foliage this time!
…it was a good thing we were done too because we’d done lost Joe’s attention! HA! I remember Kari catching this photo and just dying laughing!
Sam and Joe did a nontraditional first dance (and for the life of me I can’t remember the song). But they moved around fast…and moved around some more…and it’s SO “ha ha” funny now because Sam can now appreciate how dang hard it was to not only light this dance BUT also photograph it. Photographing moving people when you have no idea where they are actually going to move is HARD!
Ok, so I knew these photos were epic at the time. That sky is 100% legit…NO PHOTOSHOP. BUT…you would NOT believe how many people come to consults or are talking to me about weddings and say, “my friend has this amazing sunset a few years back…let me show you photos”. I always immediately ask, “Was is September 22, 2018?” and they always look at me crazy, pull their phones out, pull up the photos and check the time stamp. This sunset is literally “famous”. Anyone who had a Pittsburgh wedding on September 22, 2018 also has a photo with this sunset. It’s crazy but also soooooooo neat to make the connection with people I don’t even know!
…and they literally ran off into the sunset just like you read about in my romance novels! Their photos were ON FIRE…AMAZING! And look…so was the end of their night!!! AHHHH!
Little did we know, this photo would lead to soooooOOoooo many photos in the future and not just at weddings – at girls’ nights, at Hannah Barlow Photography Christmas parties…and so much more! It’s “funny” how things work themselves out, right? I still have NEVER opened that bottle of rum they gave me that night. I just can’t bring myself to do it…and white rum is MY FAVORITE! Those cards below are to me, Kari, and Lacey from Sam and Joe too!
It kills me that we didn’t go get Sam for this photo! I mean, we had NO idea she would become a second shooter. Again, she was still “just a client” and I was her hired photographer. We couldn’t do a live video because of signal issues so I had someone snap this of us – our first Hannah Barlow Photography photo with Lacey. It would have BEEN AMAZING to have all four of us together! AHHHHHH!! But it’s still so fun to look back to where the big team all began (minus Ash, of course…she has been with me the whole time and is learning to shoot now). This feels like SO long ago but it hasn’t even been two years! So crazy! A LOT had changed and in such a GREAT way!
SO, WHERE ARE THEY NOW?! Well, I know A LOT of this story, of course, but I did have Sam fill out the survey anyway! You know me, I’m a creature of habit! So, Joe was recently promoted at the mill and now works steady day shifts (Wooo!) and Sam manages a dental office (which is obviously on hold…thanks rona). She DID add herself to the Hannah Barlow Photography team, of course. I mean, WE added her. We all agreed she was going to be a PERFECT fit and we really nailed it sucking her in because we’re ALL close now not just behind the camera but in everyday life! Sam and Joe have also been working on their new house which they purchased and moved into one year ago! They still have Gracie who will be 13 in June and their kitty Sneakers who will be 14 the same month! Last year, they celebrated their one year anniversary and I can assure you the puke face emoji was still in play! They’ve got their vows artistically hung in their bedroom, her bouquet preserved and framed, and Joe just kept on with the sappiness with overly emotional and sweet gifts. I could go on and on! We LOVE the Coronas…the people…not the virus. Sorry…had to! HA!
…one more little, special note to add. I “ok-ed” this part of the blog with Sam before posting. Sam and Joe are expanding their family. They found out they were expecting this past January. We were ALL so excited for them and the HBP team even knew the happy news before many others because we had to re-adjust the shooting schedule for 2020 to accommodate the arrival of Baby C and Sam’s maternity leave this fall. In February, we all sat there eating Hibachi while celebrating Kari and Lacey’s January birthdays. Sam was feeling nauseated at times while also having a super sense of smell (which didn’t help with all the Japanese food around us). Baby C had other plans though and decided to part with us in March before we even had a chance to meet. I too experienced the loss of a baby almost 9 years ago. That baby was my first baby, first pregnancy, and the first big tragic event that happened in John and I’s marriage. It was also the darkest point in my life. After doing these WHERE ARE THEY NOW blog posts, I’ve been told by multiple couples that they too are struggling to expand their family. Everyone’s story has been different. Sam and I both agree that it’s important to celebrate ALL the babies including the ones we never got to meet in person. I can tell you I still love that little Baby Barlow I lost at 13 weeks in October of 2011. I can tell you that Baby Corona was also very much loved. We celebrated hard those few months that sweet child was in Sam’s belly. We texted like mad people all the time and shared stories – both good and bad. I can only hope this little part of the blog meets any and all of you who are also struggling. Please know that you are NOT alone. I’m an open book and happy to share my experience so never…ever…feel alone or think you can’t talk about it. You CAN talk about it and it does help to find people who have been in similar shoes. Wherever Baby Barlow and Baby Corona are now, I hope they’re together and the best of friends like their mommas! Sam recently celebrated Baby C with a little photoshoot too. WE LOVE YOU, BABY C! We love your parents too!
Alright!! I’ve got another one for you! Next up, Haley and Derrick!!! I’m sure you can’t forget their beautiful fall wedding last year!! Gosh, those fall colors spoke to me on a deep, deep level and were so rich and beautiful!! I’m not even one of those fall lovers so that’s saying something! Lacey shot this wedding with me though and she’s already someone who enjoys those cooler months. BUT…per the usual..let’s look back on Haley and Derrick’s engagement session!
Derrick may hate photos but he sure does take a great one!! That tattoo photo still hangs in my studio!! Could that photo have been more perfect?! AHHHH!
The greens in these photos still make me happy! Goodness gracious, Haley…your hair and makeup and eyes and ahhhhhh…it’s all so easy to photograph!! STILL JEALOUS!
We let Derrick put his hat on and I kind of love it!! Look at the color coordinating going on here!
I don’t do bench photos very often but I still love these! I really need to start branching out more…I see these and fall back in love with them!
Now, let’s throw back to last fall at their beautiful, autumn wedding (which was actually really still summertime)! I told you! Aren’t these colors just simply amazing?!
Lacey was with me and she also had a fall wedding and was eating this up!
Remember when I said she made me jealous? This girl does NOT know how to take a bad photo!
For real though, we got alllllll the angles at this wedding! I just couldn’t quit clicking!
Derrick may hate to take photos but he’ll do anything for his boys!
This moment was so great when he went to read his vows!
It was another wedding where tears were flowing!
Haley said the sweetest words to these boys and then they included them in their unity ceremony.
Then, for the formal photos…OooOo my goodness me. The struggle may have been real getting Derrick to take MORE photos (he had already survived hundreds) but Haley…OOo my good gracious! Girrrrrrrllllll…..
Derrick found a friend though and then it was photo time!! WOOOO!!!
It was soooooo hot! SO HOT!! But we survived and got these beauties…but for real, ask Haley…IT.WAS.HOT!
We didn’t let the heat stop us though!
These are definitely some of my favorites! The greens and the blues and the pops of bold colors…perfection! I have no idea how her hair held up either!
Then, it was time for the reception and that’s when the party REALLY started! We had black and white first dance MAGIC!
There was no LACK of entertainment this night!! We had the groom’s sister rapping! It was EPIC!
…lots and lots of cake in the face!
…and a party like you would NOT believe!
Not even the groom’s outfit survived which is hilarious because Haley told me he hadn’t brought extra clothes and I’m pretty sure this is what he had to wear the next morning too! HA!
AHHHHH!!! I so love looking back! SO, WHERE ARE THEY NOW!? Well, they aren’t on their honeymoon…I can tell you that! Whomp Whomp. These two are yet another couple who had their honeymoon planned for March and it just didn’t happen. Haley is currently working from home too thanks to the virus and Derrick is a heavy equipment operator for Wellsburg Water Dept. which allows him to spend lots more time with his wife and the boys! Haley says she’s been doing crafts like crazy and the boys have been doing lots of science experiments since they’re home from school! They also expanded their fur baby family by adopting an elderly dog that was left in an abandoned house. She loves her new home and is thriving! Haley and Derrick have also been remodeling their home (I’ll show you the before and after photos she sent me). CONGRATS TO THE MURDOCKS!
That’s it! That’s a wrap on September weddings. I MAY have a Take 2 if I hear back from a few others BUT October weddings are on deck! Get a hold of me!
Here are these couples blog posts in full…