Hi, everyone!! I’m so excited to show you all this “wedding”…because it was small scale and actually an elopement. Lori, Jason, and their family came from Cleveland, Ohio to tie the knot and Lori’s mom and stepdad came all the way from the state of Washington to join us too! I was there for a total of 2.5 hours…and this blog could still be very long and rival many of my 10-12 hour days, I tell ya! So, I’m just going to try and explain it the best way that I can without going overly “Hannah” on it…are you ready!? Ok. So, you know when you go over to a friend’s house for a low key get together, BBQ, whatever you want to call it? You just plan to show up, hang out, and say “goodbye” but then you end up having THE BEST time with so many laughs that you leave hoping that you can do it again and again but deep down you just know there was just “something” about that night that made it extra fun and special and you’ll probably never be able to replicate the moments, memories, or feelings again. You may have to read that again…it’s long, I know. BUT, that’s how I felt leaving this elopement…and it filled me right up with all the words I need to make you feel like you were there with us last Thursday! Ready?! Let’s do this! Lori and Jason are now the new Mr. & Mrs. Briggs! Give them all your Hannah Barlow Photography love!
So, I arrived to Oglebay for this elopement about 30 minutes early. You see, this wasn’t like any wedding I’ve done because I’d never even got to meet the couple and I knew I’d only be spending a few hours with them. I had talked to Lori on the phone and she was kind enough to give me a little history of their family. So, I did have that in my pocket, but I still wanted to take a few moments to breath, get my bearings straight and meet everyone without feeling rushed. Since they aren’t from this area, I wanted to get a few photos with some signs too so I jumped out and grabbed a random one before I parked.
After I got that random shot, I parked my car and headed inside. I knocked on Lori’s door and was greeted by Kelly, one of Jason’s daughters. She told me Lori wasn’t there yet but would be back soon so I took a seat in the hallway to wait. It wasn’t but just a few minutes and Lori came off the elevator and introduced herself. I felt at ease from that moment on. You’d have to meet her but she’s just a very easy person to be around. So, she welcomed me into their room. I got to officially meet Kelly and then Kyleigh (Jason’s other daughter). I also got to meet Lori’s mom, Jackie (Jacqui?). I’m not sure how she spells it but we instantly started talking about photography and nursing (she used to be a nurse too) and all while I collected Lori’s details to get ready to photography. That’s when I found out she had forgotten her flowers at home. I also think that may have been where she was when I arrived because she had mentioned later that she had stopped at Sheetz to see if they had flowers. That’s when I knew she needed some. So, I offered to drive to the local Kroger and grab some for her. If you saw my Facebook live, you know what happened. It was about 5 minutes until 3 o’clock (which was actually my original start time) and the ceremony started at 4 o’clock and THIS is exactly why I go early! So, off I went!! I called Cassie (of Oglebay Weddings) and told her NOT to start without me. I’m pretty sure her text read, “WHATTTTT?!” or something like that and then she immediately called me. She offered to go get them for me but I was already on the road so we put together a game plan. I would get the flowers and let her know when I was coming back and then I was going to hand them off to her and she’d put them together into a bouquet for me (and for Lori, of course). SO, that’s just what we did and THAT is why I love working with vendors I know and love…we’ll seriously do just about anything for each other and for our couples! AND JUST LOOK how pretty!! EEEEK!
I know I went a little out of order there and rambled a bit (ok…a lot) but I wanted you to really see how pretty they were!! So yea…I arrived back around 3:20ish and had JUST enough time to do these details shots and then get some shots of everyone getting ready.
Then, it was time for the ceremony. Cassie led it and I have some good photos of her directing everyone. Ironically, she saw me taking pictures and was trying to high tail it out of my shots (because she’s amazing and cares about her couple’s photos) but I was actually trying to get her in them for some behind the scenes action. I’ll post those at the end of the year, of course! Here comes the bride!
I have someone new to my blogs for you to meet too! Everyone, please give your warmest “hello” to the officiant, Matt VanFossen, and now one of my very favorite people and vendor friends! OMG. He’s AMAZING and so witty and made this whole experience even better…ESPECIALLY when Lori got up there and realized she’d forgotten the rings EVEN AFTER I TOLD HER WHERE I PUT THEM AND NOT TO FORGET THEM. That’s the best part (especially for those of you who KNOW how paranoid I am about losing the rings or them getting left behind). She looked right over (photo below on the left) and told Kelly to go get them. Matt said something so perfect and witty and then I chimed in, “I did tell her not to forget those…” and we all had an amazing laugh. It was a wedding…but it also felt like we were all just a bunch of friends hanging out.
Hotel room key in hand…off she went…and, of course, I’m thinking “blog material, baby” and photographed it all. Also, can we talk about that sky? It was another amazing sky day!
Kelly was getting the rings and you can see Matt there just filling in with laid back conversation during what could have been very awkward silence. He offered to sing and even asked Kyleigh what she’d like to hear. It was also at this point that a champagne glass went flying in the wind and crashed to the ground and Matt just kept on with his improv and it was absolutely pure perfection. I kept giggling. He kept giggling. Everyone was smiling and laughing…and it is a memory I’ll NEVER forget!
She found them!
Alright!! Let’s get this elopement started now! This was it. Seven people if you include the bride and groom and ten if you want to include me, Matt, and Cassie. As much as I’m a “big wedding” kind of gal, this one just did something for me…something I didn’t even know I needed but it made my heart so full!
The wind though…goodness gracious…THAT WIND was brutal…Lori and Matt’s hair was flying! Dresses were flying My camera straps were flying…Jeesh!
I’ve heard A LOT of great vows but Kyleigh takes the cake. Her letter was from her heart and so powerful. After all her words, I felt like I knew the family on an even deeper level. Well done, girl…WELL, done!
Then, they said their vows and that wind just started whipping more. We were all laughing through the ridiculousness and then Matt took it upon himself to take matters into his own hands (literally) with that veil. He stood off to the side and held it so the couple could focus on one another and not the wind. That was the moment I knew he’d forever be someone I would recommend. Not only was he doing an amazing job with the officiating of this small ceremony, but he was also legit helping the couple in ways that I would have helped the couple and THAT gets someone five stars in my book! I did get a bunch without his hand so it’s not obvious but, of course, I needed at least one for the blog! Do you feel like you’re there with us yet?! I sure hope so!
Lori had told me over the phone that Jason wasn’t one for smiling for the camera. Totally fine with me…but then they got to laughing SO hard during the ring exchange that I just couldn’t not snap a bunch of photos. Even Matt got to laughing so hard you can see he had to turn around to gain composure.
Seriously, it was perfect…just perfect. I mean there was just something about this small group and this very real wedding that had us all smiling…so much that you can see Matt talking himself back down so we could finish up! Deep breaths!
And they did it! They became Mr. and Mrs. Briggs and then I shoved Matt right in there for some photos. He suggested mask photos…and then he suggested Lori look appalled since she didn’t bring hers and then we all couldn’t stop laughing….AGAIN!
They’ve always been a family but now they are official! I got so many different varieties of this family photo and “group hug”. AHHHH!! I wish you could meet them!
It’s not very often I can get a photo of the couple with ALL Their guests…and here we are…so sweet, right?!
The love between a mother and daughter is strong…the laughter is too…and I can only hope I have a photo like this with my daughter too one day!
Lori had told me that Kelly and Kyleigh were big on IG…AND TIK TOK! And you all know I’m obsessed with a good Tik Tok scroll. So, once we had all the “must haves” done…I had these girls act goofy for me. I actually wanted to get in there and do a Tik Tok too but I was having too much fun and totally forgot…WAAAAAAA!
Alright…let’s see the bouquet one more time! Cassie had wrapped the stems once for me and then Lori had an extra belt from her dress so I double wrapped it for good measure!
Looking back, I’m not even sure how we got photos without hair flying everywhere…but we did!! WOOOOO!! Aren’t they a beautiful couple?! Also, Lori’s dress had the smallest, little, blush pink accents on it and I loved that detail SO much!
Part of Oglebay’s elopement is a champagne toast! So, they moved on to that!
At that point, we talked about where we lived…what we did for a living…and all that jazz. It was SO relaxed and laid back and just what I needed in 2020. So, I headed up to the dining room and found their dinner table set and the BEST cake topper I’ve seen!! I especially LOVE how they included the dogs and the girls…and the poses of the girls matched Kelly and Kyleigh perfectly!! AHHHH!!! I wish we could have doubled the time but the couple had to get freshened up for dinner so I said my “goodbyes” and then texted Cassie like a nut when I got home because it was SUCH a great day!
…and that’s it! If you need more information about Oglebay elopements don’t hesitate to get a hold of Ashley, Cassie, or Lauren!
CONGRATS TO MR. AND MRS. BRIGGS AND THEIR FAMILY!
Venue – Oglebay
Officiant – Matt VanFossen <— Find him on Facebook!