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Wellsburg Town Square Engagement Photos – A BARLOW SPECIAL

Happy Saturday, indeed!  I don’t normally blog on the weekends, but you know…COVID and cancelled weddings and all that! AH!  This is also a very, very special blog for me so I wanted to make it extra special!  You see, I’ve known this girl for a LONNNNGGGGG time – 18+ years for anyone who wants to count.  That’s right!  Libby was just FIVE years old when I first popped into the Barlow family!  She’s a Barlow too – my husband’s second cousin!  When John and I started dating, that was January of 2002…so that made Libby five years old.  My son is five years old now…WAAAAHHHHH!! Just give me my old lady badge now!  Kidding!  But this morning while drinking coffee, John and I were talking about how long it’s been.  Libby was still small enough to crawl up on our laps and play all the kid games at the family functions!  HOW it is possible that we’ve come to the point that I’m taking her engagement photos, I just have no idea!! BUT…here we are!  She’s a grown woman and getting married this fall and I’m about to give you a LONG engagement blog of lovey goodness!  Say, “Hello” to Libby (Elizabeth) and her fiance, Isaac!  They finally get to be front and center on a Hannah Barlow Photography blog!  Enjoy!

We’d actually planned this session for back in March right before all the stay at home orders were put out there.  We had planned for cherry blossoms and all kinds of goodness!! It didn’t happen though.  So, I scoured all my usual spots for flowers…nothing.  I happened to be driving around my town in Wellsburg, WV and found some azaleas and pink dogwoods trees.  YAY!  THEN, it snowed and we had record breaking temps and that tree didn’t make it!! AHHH!! Back to square one!  I REALLY wanted Libby to have flowers like she originally wanted!  So, I went searching again!  Then, I found this tree in town square and knew we could make some magic with it!! Weee!  Aren’t they a beautiful couple?!

These two met through masonic youth groups when they were in high school.  They had known each other for a while before they ever really even spoke.  Isaac was friends with Libby’s sister, Ashleigh (who you all already know as she’s one of my assistants/second shooters).  Ash and Isaac knew each for about a year before Isaac and Libby ever spoke two words to one another.  Then, at a dance in 2014, they spent the night hanging out and dancing.  From that day on, they were texting and chatting daily.  Just one month later, Isaac asked Libby to make it official and be his girlfriend.  The rest is history!  Libby actually scrolled through her and I’s messenger conversations and found that the FIRST message I ever sent her was about her new “man friend” as I called him!! Weeee!!!  I LOVE when things come full circle for the blog!

AHHH!! My excitement for this one is just off the charts!  I know I’m biased but I am loving these photos SO MUCH!  So, in my couple fun facts survey, I always ask the couples to describe each other.   I usually paraphrase…but these are just too good not to share!  Libby described Isaac AND I QUOTE, “Isaac is the best and most caring person. He challenges me to go outside of my comfort zone, take on new adventures, and also not pull my hair out sometimes. He never fails to make me laugh, even if his jokes are too bad to laugh out loud over. He makes me feel better when I’m sad and is the rock I’ve come to rely on. He’s the man of my dreams I never saw coming. He’s also got the best dimple.”  You can reference the dimple above.  Isaac said, “KISS THE DIMPLE” and I laughed so hard then but now I’m dying laughing now that I know it’s a key trait of his! HA!  Also, we laughed…A LOT during this session.  Libby wasn’t kidding!  I guess Ashleigh also warned Isaac about being picture friendly (you know…because Ashleigh’s experienced what it cane be like with grooms and photos).  Isaac is exactly what we want!  He actually reminds me of Joe, Sam’s husband (who we had to have a code word for, if you remember, to get him to focus on photos).  Lots of energy, having fun with it…yea…the wedding it going to be amazing!  See what I mean?!  We laughed the whole time!

We can’t let Libby show Isaac up!! His description of his wife-to-be was JUST as good!  I DID Ask permission to quote them.  I figure this blog is going to fly all around the family!  It’s just too good not to share and really gives everyone time to get to know them even more!  Isaac said these sweet things about Libby and again, I QUOTE, “Libby is the best. She is the nicest and most caring person you will ever meet. She can light up any room she walks into. She can go from being one of the guys during the day to being a ballroom dance partner in the living room in the evening, and knows when to give a swift elbow if I get too out of line. It also doesn’t hurt that she also has the prettiest blue eyes you’ll ever see either.”  DIMPLES FOR HIM AND BLUE EYES FOR HER!  WHERE ARE THE SWOON GIFS WHEN YOU NEED THEM?!  Sorry, TJ (Libby’s Dad)…Libby’s a goner!  How could you not love AND MARRY this guy?!

These two have been together 6 years! SIX YEARS!  I do believe I knew that though.  It’s been a long time since we’ve had a Barlow wedding (mine actually may have been the last…12 years ago…Oy).  I remember at the family reunion a few years ago thinking, “It’s GOT to be time…right!?  Surely they will get married!”  I know Ashleigh and I talked about it a lot in the cars on the way to weddings (it’s true)!  Of course, I wanted to enjoy their wedding one day but I also wanted Libby to have the pictures she always wanted, so I was prepared when she asked me if I’d photograph their wedding!  She did offer to find someone else but I just couldn’t pass it on to anyone else so we arranged for me to shoot most of the wedding day and then I’ll bow out and let my amazing assistants take over for the reception.  This way I can truly BE a part of the Barlow celebration (which is always interesting and a REAL party).

See that BEAUTIFUL ring above?   Well, I’m going to tell you how it ended up on Libby’s finger!  I remember there being one party last winter that Ash didn’t want to miss.  Libby and Isaac probably don’t know this part of the story.  Ashleigh and I had been chatting at a wedding in November and we were convinced the proposal was going to happen at one party coming up around Christmas.  I actually think it was the same night I had my Hannah Barlow Photography Christmas party and Ashleigh missed it because she was CONVINCED Issac would propose.  She texted and me and said it didn’t happen…whomp whomp.  I was like, “WHATTTTTT?!”  BUT I think it happened later that night?  Maybe?  If I’m being honest, I’d had a lot of wine that night so the details are a bit fuzzy.  I have no shame! HA!  Anyway, I am reading their survey now….and AHHHHH!!! OK!  It’s all coming back to me now.  Stay with me.  Remember, I don’t read their surveys until right when I blog so I’m learning all this right now with you all!  So, Isaac DID throw that Christmas party that Ashleigh went to and while everyone thought he was going to ask Libby…he actually asked her Dad, TJ, for his blessing (us Barlows are ALL super traditional…so, if you always just thought it was me…you’re wrong).  THEN, the next day Libby and Isaac cleaned up from the party and were starting to wrap some presents for Christmas.  Isaac left the room but continued talking.  Libby couldn’t hear him so she got up and followed him.  She found him with a little box in his hand.  He started walking toward her and under the mistletoe (STOP IT RIGHT NOW….AHHHHHHH!!!! I’M LITERALLY TYPING THIS AND READING IT FOR THE FIRST ITME ALL AT THE SAME TIME AND I’M DYING OVER HERE).  Ok, Hannah.  Focus…whewwww.  So, under the mistletoe, he said he forgot to give her one present and he wanted to do it alone with no one around.  He got down on one knee and asked her to marry him.  Of course, she cried with surprise and FOR SURE…said “YESSS”!  Oooo good grief.  This blog is already longer than I thought!! It’s SO GOOD!!!!  You two are killing me with glee!

These two are planning a very traditional wedding ceremony in a church with an elegant vibe and an “enjoyable” party at the reception with lots of dancing.  Girl, who are you kidding?  They ran out of alcohol at the bar at our wedding (which they said had never happened before).  HA!  It’s going to be GREAT!! I promise you all that I will tastefully document the whole thing.  I haven’t been a guest to a wedding in over 5 years!!! WOOOOO!  I won’t even know what to do with my hands.  My husband is convinced I won’t be able to sit the reception out.  He’s not wrong.  I’m going to force people to make me sit though!  My assistants are more than capable of handling the reception and I’m SURE they’ll be sure to get some blackmail photos of me!

Ok, just a few more!  I always like to feel my grooms out before I go all out and ask them to do ridiculous things.  Isaac is most certainly a team player, so I knew at this point he would do just about anything I asked!  This is NOT a Hannah Barlow original.  It’s actually taught in a popular posing course but I never had the right couple to use it on and never felt like it would work.  Enter Isaac.  I asked him to say his favorite breakfast food in his most seductive voice (Again…sorry, TJ…HA!).  Man, he didn’t just try it.  He put in his BEST effort as you’ll see below and we all couldn’t help but laugh.  P.S.  I couldn’t hear him so I still have no idea what that favorite breakfast food was!  Social distancing and all that!

Almost done!  So, Libby sent me a screen shot of their prom together and ALL the different faces she had of Isaac.  I giggled because I then went back through all their photos and pulled all the funny faces he made.  Yep!! I also now have a collage I’m going to call, “The many faces of Isaac Holtzer”.  For real though, the weather was beautiful.  We had so many laughs.  I hope they enjoyed it as much as I did AND we were able to still find some flowers!  Libby said she was worried about how well Isaac would cooperate and not make funny faces (well……..HA!  He didn’t disappoint).  She says she was partially correct and I guess I can’t argue because…well, you see it here below!  In all seriousness though, I will take a groom who is willing to do anything and take lots of photos over a grumpy one ANY DAY!  If we can handle Joe from years ago, we can handle anyone, right?!  Lots of pictures for Isaac coming in November 2020…because he said the wedding IS happening…Corona or not!! WOOOO!! They are my last one for the year so far so let’s make it happen!

Also, Isaac added that he was ready to “sniff Libby”.  For all of you who have either had photos with me or assisted me (Ashleigh warned Isaac), I tell people to “shoulder sniff” and “sniff her temple and hair”.  Isaac nailed it!  Exhibit A below!  I mean, I do love a groom who is prepared, right?!  Too funny!  I was cracking up when he told me he was ready to sniff her.  The people walking by probably thought were were NUTS!

Just one more…because strange times call for COVID photos!  ISAAC!  We didn’t do the other photo with the other mask…I JUST realized!! AHHH!! We’ll save it for the wedding.  I’m pretty sure the virus will still be lurking! OY!

OoOOo and we have some black and whites too!! WHY NOT?!  Some are repeats but they’re just SO good!

I hope all you Barlows and loyal blog readers enjoyed this!!  I feel like it was very “Hannah” with a lot of excited rambling (and I’m sure more than one typo).  If you know me, you get it!  Thanks for reading!  Don’t forget to give them ALL your Hannah Barlow Photography love in the comments section on Facebook!  We’ll see you all again in November of this year!! I can’t wait! AHHHHHHHH!!!!  Happy Saturday!

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i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done by only me is your doing,my darling)

no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true) and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a s n will always sing is you

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and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

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