Happy Monday, everyone! I love the way photography has done such great things with my life! Like this wedding, for example. I went to high school with many of the people in attendance, including the bride. Heck, I worked my summer job at a mom and pop ice cream shop with the bride too! We have great memories together! The bride’s oldest sister, Julie, was someone I ran around with in high school and is still one of my cousin’s best friends. The bride’s younger sister, Kelly, is married to my lawyer…who is also someone I went to high school with AND one of my other cousin’s best friends. So yea…lots and lots of familiar faces at this wedding! Also, I hadn’t seen many of them SINCE high school. Crazy, right? What makes this whole thing even sweeter is that it was a surprise wedding for my calendar. I put in on there just a few weeks ago! AHHH YES! This blog has a lot of words for just the short about of time I was there for this wedding/elopement. SO, give Chelsea and Dave your very best Hannah Barlow Photography welcome. This is their first time on the blog! Enjoy!
I started this day (the day before Halloween) by driving up to the Sarah Miller House in Wellsburg, WV. It’s about 7 minutes from my home and I’m sad to admit I’ve seen this adorable little building with its teal blue door but never knew what it was…and it’s the most adorable little bed and breakfast! I DO know the owners, however, and they’re two of the sweetest and kindest humans I’ve met when it comes to venue owners. Years ago, when I was new and budding photographer, they let me use their other property/venue (Highland Springs Farm & Barn with Inn) to photograph a family session. We even chatted briefly this time about a possible mock wedding/dinner event in the future!! I mean…count me IN! Check out how quaint and adorable!
That was a lot of words for an entry, right? But anyway, I showed up and was greeted by all the Stevens women including their mom! I don’t think they were quite ready for all the Hannah excitement coming at them but I snapped away anyway!
Then, I got right into detail shots!
It’s crazy it’s in the high 70s today but two Fridays ago it was REALLY cold! ‘Tis the October season, I guess! After all these years, you’d think I’d quit getting surprised!
So, there’s a story about this invitation. Chelsea originally had forgotten a copy of it. So, I asked around. Turns out Chelsea’s sister’s mother-in-law (are you following me with all these relationships?) had one so she was kind enough to drive it over. Everyone was concerned because it had a coffee stain on it but I assured them I could work with anything as long as I got my hands on one!! I want all my couples to have the traditional invitation shot, if possible!
…and my Hannah Barlow Photography signature ring on the names and then the dates shot too!
Then, I tracked down Julie and Kelly (Chelsea’s sisters) and their mom and it was time to get this bride ready! We had lots of laughs with this jewelry. Chelsea’s nails were so long so she legit needed help getting ready!
OooO my goodness ME! These black and whites of her by the window are some of my favorites! EEEK!
Chelsea’s niece, Rooney, didn’t quite know what to think of me!
But we quickly made friends!! Look at those curls! AHH!
I had mom jump in for some getting ready shots too!
Then, it was time to get down to the nitty gritty! Shoe shots…flower girl details…you name it!
The Sarah Miller House was one of kind amazing for these kinds of getting ready photos! AHHHHHH!!!
At this point, we were ready for the ceremony so I headed back downstairs. I heard they had added some finishing touches to the tables since I’d been down the last time so I snapped some more. I mean, why not?! I’m a firm believer you can NEVER have too many details that way you never forget anything in years to come!
Let’s do this!! There was lots and lots of talk about coordinating the music with the people walking down aisles. Jaxson and Miles were ready!
Chelsea’s future brother-in-law, Jesse, got the job of being music player (or button presser). We had a lot of good laughs and I promised him this shot WOULD end up in the blog, of course!
Flower girl and ring bearer outtakes are some of my favorites! As a fellow mom myself, I get the frustration but I always assure parents it happens at every.single.wedding. So, of course, I always share them! Rooney threw her petals too soon!
But isn’t she a doll baby?!
Alright. Story time. So, that guy holding the phone? That’s AJ. He’s Chelsea’s now brother-in -aw (Kelly’s husband)…and my lawyer. He’s the one who called me up a few weeks ago and asked me if I’d do this wedding. Ok…he emailed me but you get it! At the time, when he asked if I’d photograph his sister-in-laws wedding, I had NO idea it would be Chelsea…who I obviously have a history with! AHHH!! I was so excited and then Chelsea said over and over how happy she was to have me photographing her wedding…and I got to sweating a little bit! HA! THE PRESSURE! At this point, I hadn’t met Dave. He came up to me REAL quick before the ceremony to introduce himself. Honestly, I thought he was a groomsmen so that’s why I hadn’t met up with him prior. I’m not even sure why the tux and groom thing didn’t go together with me in my brain though. Total face palm moment! He doesn’t know me …BUT DAVE…please know this – it’s very unlike me to not track own the groom and introduce myself. My apologies! Any of my other grooms might call you a lucky guy for having unintentionally averted all that Hannah time! HA! But anyway, back to the ceremony!! So, I briefly got to say “Hi” to the groom and then Chelsea came out the door on the second story. At first, I didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t know if Dave wasn’t supposed to look…was he supposed to look? I had no idea and my brain was racing. THEN, I realized he was looking down because he was getting emotional and it ended up being one of the BEST groom reactions of 2020!
You can see AJ here giving him the side eye and this may be my FAVORITE officiant/brother-in-law reaction in Hannah Barlow Photography history!
Here she comes!
I hope you don’t mind, Dave, but the HBP blog readers need to see these moments!! They’ll tell ya! They all love these genuine moments. I just can’t…it makes me want to cry too!
One of the best, right?! TELL THEM, everyone!
Seriously, I’ve driven past this little building over and over and over again. I would have NEVER imagined this sweet, little ceremony spot existed right behind the building I always see when I go to the library and in Wellsburg, WV!
Isn’t it all beautiful?!
Mr. & Mrs. Thomas, everyone! Also, fun fact…AJ and Kelly’s last name is Thomas. So, TWO sisters went from having the same maiden name (Stevens) to having the same married last names…fun, right?!
Whewwww…They did it!
Then, we went right into family formals. We had to get a photo with the bible too. This bible is special. It was Chelsea’s pap’s Masonic Bible. He handed it down to AJ when him and Kelley (Chelsea’s sister) got married because AJ is a mason, as well!
Speaking of sisters, if this isn’t the most “reality” family photo shot…well, I don’t know what is. What is SO ironic about all this is that Miles and Jaxson were SO good all day for me and even hung out with me a bit. Rooney? Not so much. She wasn’t a fan of my camera UNTIL this moment…and the boys were over me at this point!! Whomp…whomp! It still makes me giggle though and I HAD to get some family photos and include them. I joked and told Julie this was the perfect Christmas card photo (bottom left). All moms can relate! BOYS!
Bride and groom formals! I told Chelsea I could make this little spot work. The rain clouds were coming FAST and we were already short on time! I’m telling you…this little spot in the back is perfect!
We were racing the clouds and we still managed to get a bunch of variety!
I’m so sad Dave and I didn’t get to spend more time together because his funny faces made me laugh! They made Chelsea laugh too!
I wanted to give them some more variety so I had big plans to do a bunch in front of this brick. But then it started to really sprinkle and Chelsea wanted some photos inside so we abandoned this idea real fast!
The old lady in me was LOVING this feel!
BUT…my insistence on “always having connection” made me put them together…but I still tried to stick with the “old times” feel. Chelsea also didn’t want any photos by herself but I insisted on just this one…which was actually a test shot!
AHHHHH!! This needs to be in an antique frame!
Then, I asked Dave to kiss her hand…and I squealed! Of course, I squealed! I mean…look! Color version too (below) so you can really get a feel for this room!
We needed to get them to dinner so I snapped just a few more!
I hadn’t gotten his shoes yet so while we were walking, I stopped them for just a second and snapped this one!
We did a quick cake cutting!
Then, as I was leaving, I wanted to get a few shots of this guy!
…and because every gallery needs a “finale” shot…I took this one of Dave peaking out the window through the rain wishing me a farewell!
I can’t believe I’m all caught up! HOW is this one of only two wedding blogs left for 2020?! It’s just CRAZY to me. While 2020 seemed so long at times, it really did go fast, right? It was so nice to spend time with the Stevens girls again! I was so touched Chelsea was so excited for me to be there and then Dave reiterated the same thing. THANK YOU both for having me at your wedding! I need more elopements in my life! Congrats to Mr. Mrs. Thomas! Happy Monday, everyone! Thanks for reading!
Bride’s Gown – David’s Bridal
Sister’s Gowns – David’s Bridal
Groom’s Attire – Men’s Wearhouse
Shoes – Converse
Hair/Makeup – Legal Hair
Cake – Gus’ Goodies
Guitar Player – Aaron Carey
Invitations – Etsy
Officiant – AJ Thomas