Happy FRIDAYYYYYY, everyone! Ooo my…OOo man…Ooo my goodness ME. So, I’m kind of at a loss for words here. I’ve been texting Emily all morning to the point I had to finally say “Ok, enough. I gotta finish this blog! FOCUS, HANNAH!”. This wedding is so so so very bittersweet for me. I met Emily almost two years ago at Jenna and Joe’s December wedding. When she got engaged, she got a hold of me and told me she had to have me photograph her wedding. That is always the BEST compliment to a wedding photographer like me! So, we chatted about her wedding and her engagement session. It was going to be the perfect lakeside wedding with a homemade cross and all this goodness. Then, COVID happened and my heart started breaking for all my couples. Emily messaged me and we Facetimed. We texted and we emailed. She came to my virtual meetings and we talked about Plans A, B, C…and so on. Ultimately, with all the COVID restrictions, she decided to move her lakeside wedding with a ballroom reception to her home and under a tent. That’s right. She was forced to make big changes and did a complete 180 on her wedding. And when I pulled up this beautiful, warm morning last Saturday and saw that tent in all its glory with these beautiful, elegant but rustic chairs…I could have just screamed in excitement and cried all my happy tears! It was pure perfection. As you can tell, this is going to be a long and emotional blog for me so make sure you have lots of time on your hands. It’s a dandy, I tell ya!
Congrats to Emily and David who are now Mr. & Mrs. Demor! Enjoy their PERFECT, dreamy, summer, outdoor wedding! THEY DID IT!
The previous week, I told Emily I’d meet up with her for detail and getting ready shots at 11:30. But what I didn’t tell her until last minute was that I intended to start about 40 minutes early and go to the wedding ceremony and reception site. I wanted to be prepared. I also knew I’d be a little anxious since this year has been so “weird” and I don’t have my usual “wedding muscles” on like I usually would at this point in the year. You know that feeling when you go on vacation and come back to work? Like…you’ve done this job a million times but it just takes a minute to get back into the swing of things? Yea. That’s what I’ve been feeling at every wedding this year because every one is different based on current restrictions and there’s always a significant gap between the time I shot the last one and the current one (I hadn’t shot a wedding since June 27th at this point). So, I personally wanted to get my bearings straight, assess the locations, assess the light, get in the groove, and go in full guns blazing! I also met Ashleigh here to get her all set up and ready to go! THIS (below) is what I pulled up to!! WEEEEE!
You all know I’m a big ballroom kind of gal but you know what I’ve noticed about myself lately? In my mind, I’ve been basing the elegance and/or charm of a wedding off the chairs. I don’t know why I do that but I realized it when I saw the chairs Emily had picked…I mean…THEY ARE PURE PERFECTION! For me, chairs make it all and these chairs were one-of-a-kind pure perfection! It doesn’t even feel outdoors to me! Lordy, I’m already rambling and for that…I apologize! I’m getting ALL the feels typing this one!
I also got to meet the caterers who probably thought I was an absolute nut but were happy to let me snap a photo! I later found out they told Emily I was out running around taking photos of EVERYTHING! HA! I kind of love that!
Off to find the bride we went! Emily was going for rustic with lots of greenery when it game to her wedding. I actually got to see David at the reception location. He was literally getting in his truck and pulling out when I yelled “Don’t go!! I need some greenery!”. Emily had told me about the willow tree and how much she loved it so OF COURSE…I had to grab some (which was hanging out of the back of his truck). David, being the gentleman that he is, jumped right back out of the truck to help me grab some. I love my couples…I mean…he acted like it was totally normal for a photographer to stop him from driving away to take some scraps of foliage out of the bed of his truck! HA! BUT LOOOOKKKK…it makes these photos just pop, right?!
I had sooooo many photos I wanted to take so Ash and I were dancing back and forth between detail shots and getting ready shots!
Emily’s mom and sister are the absolute sweetest people. I wanted to really focus on their bond (plus, Emily’s mom let me invade and rearrange her entire bedroom). I shared this in the sneak peek and it’s still one of my favorites!
HUGE shoutout to Mark Tiberio and his wife Katie for tag teaming these shots with me!! He prompted Emily to hold her dress and I kind of loveeeeeee it! Seriously, Cindy (Emily’s Mom) had the perfect room for all these shots!
…and let’s not forget that pretty photos are only possible when you have THE BEST hair and makeup crew! Bri even does my own hair these days. After I watched her for a few years make my brides look absolutely stunning, I knew she was the gal I needed to make my boring hair beautiful!…and seriously, her attention to detail is like no other! I caught her in action!
Pump the brakes because I have a random side note. I’ve recently bailed on all social media (from a personal standpoint) and found a ridiculous love and addition to Tik Tok (I know..I know…judge me if you must…I get it). SO, you can imagine the Hannah excitement I had when Katie helped them make one!! AHHHH!! Head on over to my Facebook page if you want to see it in full! Nooooowwwwwww, I’m trying to decide if I should have a business tik tok and do these…EEKKKK!! Like I need ANOTHER thing to do…but seriously, I’m so addicted and they are SO fun!
Alright, let’s get back on track, shall we?! OooO Emily. This dress goes in my top ten favorites…for sure!! Also, my daughter has declared this is most certainly her favorite dress she’s EVER seen on my computer and that all her prom dresses AND wedding dresses will have a bottom like that! I’ll be sure to blog that in 20 years and do comparison photos! I took a ton of photos of Emily because she just made such a stunning and sweet bride!
…there is just something that hugs my heart when I get to photograph my brides together! Jenna and Emily, THANK YOU for trusting me to be your wedding photographer! If you remember Jenna’s photos, they’re both in the dental field (hence the teeth cleaning photos). We made sure to get some unique personality shots for Emily’s wedding too!! I just can’t explain it but these photos below make me SO happy!
When you have a mom like this, you can’t NOT take a ton of photos!
This blue just gets me! I love the summer feel and the delicate hue and it’s just perfect! These ladies were an absolute dream to photograph!
More photos of Emily…because we can! Look at those boots and THEN check out her ring finger nail…come on!! You can all probably hear me squealing when I noticed that!
I called these gals “professional flower girls” because they just knew…they KNEW…what I was going to ask them to do. I later found out they’ve been in a lot of weddings so OF COURSE they knew what to do! The cuteness here was on overdrive! AND THOSE BOOTS!
The gallery was already huge! I knew it. I took so many photos of those ladies but it was definitely time to head back to the ceremony and reception location to photograph the guys!
Funny story for these ones below. I always let the guys take their drinks and glasses with them. It’s part of my way to get on their good sides…HA! Welllll, I really should have thought this one through! David told me he definitely wasn’t having any drinks before the wedding so I assured him I would relay the message but that we could take some fun ones for photographic memories. Wellllll, these guys took full advantage of the fun shots and at one point I thought I’d never get them back to serious mode! HA!
We totally did though (even though I had to use my bossy Hannah voice at one point) and we got these gems! In all seriousness, we had a pretty good time taking these! I’m not sure how they didn’t die of head exhaustion! High five to you ALL!
David never missed a beat either and was a perfect gentleman despite his buddies roasting him the entire time…that’s what friends are for, right?!
Did you all go outside last Saturday? It was HOT! Seriously. I’m not sure how those guys managed in those tuxes but they did! I let them go cool down for a moment and then it was time for the ceremony! It was at this point I had realized I had left my paperwork in the reception area where I was taking last minute cookie table photos. I had a mini panic attack as I was hiking my butt up this hill to get the string quartette (I have asthma too…Oy). Ashleigh was devising a plan for how she’d get the ceremony, run to the reception tent…and get back all in time for the ceremony! It was also about 90 degrees with high humidity! Double Oy!
It all worked out though! Ash was able to get those papers for me (it had ALL my shot lists on it so I REALLY needed it). I was able to continue to catch my breath AND Tucker gave me the cutest photo op when he tried to lick this little ones tootsies!
These moments always get me but this one really did. Emily got to come through her custom made doors (photo of them at the beginning of the blog) and walk down the aisle with her dad. For so many months of COVID, we didn’t know if this day would even happen! We had SO many conversations about this. OooO and half these shots are Ashleigh’s (who also had to listen to me relay COVID wedding stories her way)! Gotta give credit where credit is due. She nailed it from the back!
We tag teamed it like pros! Here comes the bride!
Emily gave her mom one last look before she got married and I could cry looking at this! Can you just feel ALL the emotions here?!
The neighbors even got out their chairs and watched this love story unfold!! I loved it so much!! This is TOTALLY something we would do in our neighborhood too!
The sun beat down on us but it didn’t matter. WE DID IT! Emily and David got married!!!!
Me on the left (below) and Ash on the right! WOOOOOOO!! I was just SO happy…SO HAPPY! Gosh, I still am!
Tucker was hot too but he was just so proud of his parents. Look at him holding that head high!
…but this was what was really happening. HA! It’s so funny how photographs can tell different stories, right?! Poor guy just wanted to go home now!
Then, we flew through family formals so everyone could get to the cocktail hour and then we swept the happy couple away! Willow tree photos…3…2…1…GO! But first, let’s get those “smile and say cheese” photos out of the way first!
…that way we can make dreamy, summer wedding MAGIC! AHHHHHH!!
So, this was actually Ashleigh’s first wedding shooting as a sole second shooter and not assistant!! SHE NAILED IT!!! WAAAAA!!! I actually think I like her willow tree photos more than mine!
I don’t know though. I’m pretty proud of these too! I sent a screen shot of these to Emily this morning and she said, “I can’t believe those are in my back yard”! I tell my brides ALLLLLLL the time. Do NOT worry about location. It’s NOT about the location…it really isn’t! It’s about the light, the posing…the couple!!! Just look!
I swear this looks like something out of a high end magazine…right?! Ooo yea…this is Ashleigh’s shot too!
This one is Ashleigh’s too. I liked hers from this angle better than mine! I’m never ever too proud to praise my second shooters!!! It’s all about teamwork!
Then, we switched it up a bit. Emily and David gave me A TON of photo time so it was easy for us and the videographers to take lots and lots of shots!! Emily and her sister have matching rings of Grandma’s so I wanted to make sure to get lots of shots of it!
…and soooooo many bride and groom shots too!! YESSSSSS!
Isn’t she beautiful and adorable and elegant and all the adjectives all in one?!
Seriously though, we took SOOOO many photos!! The variety in this gallery is off the charts!! WOOOO HOOO!
Emily’s dad made this cross for her. I remember her texting me about it last year? Year before? I can’t remember! But it was very important so we stopped multiple times in the day to get some photos with it!
Then, it was time for the reception. Announcements were made and it was time to celebrate! They went right into their first dance!
Speeches were made and then David was brave enough to try and get Emily with cake!
Everyone sat down to eat so we found a shady spot to relax for a second. My feet were KILLING me. Not sure why (couldn’t have been all the running around I was doing…HA! or the fact that I’m just not used to being on my feet this much lately) but I needed a break. I also took this moment to take my mask off (remember…it was HOT). Then, these beautiful girls came back over (mask on for safety) and told me about ALLLLL the weddings they’ve been in and all the details. Goodness, it warmed my heart to pieces. Then, they did a little dance and showed off. Yep. They ARE professionals. Just imagine when they get married one day!
I got to say “hello” to some familiar faces and grab some more detail shots. I also got to meet the DJ! I love making new friends!
Then, Mark and Katie whisked the couple off for some golden hour photos. Golden hour isn’t usually my thing but I was definitely going to do some creeping while they filmed. They asked me not to use my flash so it wouldn’t show up in their footage and I was happy to oblige! So, while these don’t look like my traditional shots, I kind of love them all the same. It’s nice to be pushed out of your comfort zone and do something different once in a while!
…Ooo you know…just doing some creeping!
I already told Emily this story but this was the point in the day I really had a little bit of a panic attack. You ALL know I’m an absolute paranoid crazy person about my images and my cards and how I back them up and protect them like a mad woman. I have two sets of cards in each camera. When I change the cards out, I separate them in case something would happen to my bag. And then there’s a whole other process when I get home of protecting them. Well, on any typical wedding day, I end up using two sets of cards in my camera and one set in my second shooters camera (so three sets total for an entire wedding). That’s always MORE than enough space (I mean…that’s 192 GB…yes…GIGABYTES…worth of data). Well, I was just running behind the videographers snapping away and my camera shut down….because my SECOND set of cards were already full (and we hadn’t even gotten through the reception). My immediate thought was “Ooo no. Something is wrong with these cards…they shouldn’t be full at this point already”. So, I literally snatched the camera out of Ashleigh’s hands and started shooting again…which is why these photos look drastically different than the photos above.
I clicked…and clicked and made some adjustments just to notice that her cards were almost full too. WHATTTTTTTTTTT?! What is happening?! Cue second mini panic attach but trying to keep my cool. In the end, everything was fine with the cards. We literally had just taken THAT many photos but it still made me wonder and panic in that moment. So, I swapped more cards and took some silhouette photos. I never ever take my couples away from the reception twice (heck I hate to do it once). I LOVE a good sunset photo though so it was my plan to take these photos now (below)…and then photograph the sunset separately and then put the two together later in Photoshop! You’ll see in a bit why I’m telling you all this!
Sooooo dreamy, right?! It was definitely missing that Hannah color I love though! I had a grand plan!
So, we meandered back to the reception and I just felt like we’d killed it this day with photos! I mean, we were on sets 4 and 5 of cards (and that never happens). I was feeling real good! I also said to Mark, “I kind of love that random tractor there” and he said, “Yep. I definitely don’t hate it…” It just adds something ,right?! You all know I love when things come together like this!
More willow photos…why not?! Mark and Katie wanted some more video footage. We just couldn’t stop!
Back to the reception we went for more detail shots and parent dances!
Then, the reception really got started. Over the next hour, I kept giving the sky the side eye. Ashleigh kept laughing at me. I kept poking her and pointing as I kept seeing more color appear. I wanted SO badly to get an epic sunset shot but I was definitely not going to take the couple away from the reception again. So, I told Ashleigh to man the dance floor for photos and I sneaked away. Well, I thought I was being sneaky! So, there I am taking photos of just the beautiful, amazing sunset and Emily comes up behind me and ASKS (she seriously asked me) if we could do photos again with it. I mean…IS THAT EVEN A QUESTION?! YESSSSSS. 10000000 TIMES YESSSSSS! So, she excitedly grabbed David and off we went. We had a good chuckle when I told her to GET OUT OF THE TREES AlREADY. It was our running joke all day…they kept getting themselves next to trees and I had to keep dragging them back out!
…and once we got them away from those trees…MAGIC…ABSOLUTE MAGIC happened. This is exactly what I’d been “dreaming” of in my head when I kept poking Ashleigh while watching the sunset appear. We had family and friends watching us do these while cheering us on all while “OoOOing and ahhhhhing” (you know what sounds I’m talking about). Gosh. This was “the moment” of the night that I felt like we just couldn’t have ended on a better note. THESE are the photos a wedding photographer like me dreams of…and I was so stinking excited I think I showed EVERYONE that was around me the back of my camera (which I almost NEVER do).
…and I wanted to see their faces a little more so I busted out a few more! AHHHHH!! Look how happy they are!! *mic drop* I’m done. This wedding is complete! HA!
Yea. I could show you a ton of reception photos like I usually do but it doesn’t really get more perfect than this. This beautiful couple by their very special cross with their wedding reception in the background…it’s perfect, right? Who has ALLLLL the feels right now? AHHHHH!
10.5 hours into the day/night, it was time to go and I took this shot of the moon because I just wanted there to be a perfect way to end the gallery and blog! WHAT A PERFECT WEDDING! Yep. It was perfect!
WAAAAAAAAHHHH!! I could cry happy tears and sad tears and relief tears all at once ending this one. Like I said in the beginning, this one is so very bittersweet. I’m so happy to see the finished photos and all the happiness and love that comes out of them but I’m also so sad this wedding is over. Emily and David were one of my many very special couples (and hopefully one of my couples I’ll still hear from after I deliver their gallery). This year has had so many ups and downs and unknowns and weddings like this just fill my heart right up and I keep reminding myself, “life will go on…love won’t stop…and we’ll get through all this”. Looking at this wedding, you can’t even see the stress that went on behind the scenes from everyone involved just to get to this point. I mean, we were masked almost the whole day and I had to hang my head out the window of my car and scream “COVID” when I sneezed because I was nervous about Ashleigh bine in the car with me. Seriously, weird times, right? Emily was a star the entire time when she very well could have been a bride on epic meltdown status. I remember both of us Facetiming one week in the midst of all this COVID drama. She had just gotten in from a run. Neither of us had any makeup on. I think I’d spent hours on the phone and on my email that day trying to put out fires for brides who were freaking out about their weddings or whether they’d even happened. I know I looked haggard. Emily was still trying to figure out what she was going to do for her wedding. All I could do was promise to be there for her. At one point, I was going to shoot this wedding by myself. Then, I could have another person with me! Then, Lacey’s vacation got reschedule. So then, I dragged Ashleigh to it with me. Things changed so much leading up to this wedding BUT WE DID IT. WE DID IT EMILY!! High fives and hugs for everyone! I just don’t know where to end it!
Emily and David, thank you for being the calm in the middle of this storm. Thank you for being amazing clients. I’m SO happy for you both…you have no idea! I felt wrapped up in love at this wedding between you, as a couple, your family and friends…your bridal party…it was all amazing! HUGE congrats to you both! If I could hug you, I totally would!
Emily and David are the new Mr. & mrs. DEMOR! Give them ALL your love! This dreamy summer wedding had to end somewhere…now, I’m off to send them their FULL gallery!
Bridal Gown – Bridal Beginning
Bridesmaid Dresses – Jacqueline’s Bridal, Poland, OH
Men’s Attire – Tuxedo Junction
Jewelry/Rings – House of Couture Designs, Sewickley, PA
Hair/Makeup – Legal Hair & Day Spa
Florist – Riverview Florist, East Liverpool, OH
Videographer – Mark A. Tiberio Photo + Films
Cake – Bethel Bakery
DJ – Schiemer Entertainment
Catering – Highland Homestead Food Truck
Officiant – Kevin Neal
Other: Ambassador Tent Rental (Tent) Pete’s Uptown Beer & Beverage, Jeanie Graham (Bartender)