My priority to be more and do more and create an experience they will never forget Capturing their memories in a fun and memorable way is just as important as their beautiful images

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Spring, Grand Vue Park Wedding

Hello! HELLO! OooO my goodness ME!  Yep.  It’s going to be one of those blogs.  IF you know me, you’re prepared.  You know what’s coming.  If you don’t know me?  Well, I love to talk…so I love to blog.  I love to shout from the rooftops about my couples and their fabulous weddings.  When I have couples I have history with?  Like Kassie and Dylan?  Well, that makes the blog stories all the more “Hannah” and that means entirely too many exclamation marks, rambling, excitement…lots of “EKKKKKS!” and “AHHHHS!”…You name it.  So, if you’re new here, make sure you have some time to sit back and relax and read this one.  Kassie and Dylan are now Mr. & Mrs. Whitfield.  Please enjoy their Spring, Grand Vue Park Wedding and give them all your Hannah Barlow Photography love! Enjoy!

So, I knew A LOT of people at this wedding…A LOT.  I was semi-prepared for this going into this day but there were even more familiar faces there I didn’t realize would be in attendance! AHHHHH!  But first, let’s start from the beginning!  I met Kassie YEARS ago at another wedding.  I actually photographed her cousin’s wedding a year before that too.  So yea…there’s history here.  Kassie’s also one who texts me…keeps in touch…tells me all the stories…shares all the details, so this wedding was HIGHLY anticipated – not just for the couple…but for me…my team…and all their family and friends.  THE PRESSURE.  And when I have a couple like this?  Yes.  I’d do just about anything for them and that definitely played out this day and I’m about to tell you ALLLLLLLLL about it.  Here we go!

So, I needed ALL hands on deck this day.  So, both Emily and Ash tagged along with me and boy oooOooO boy did they work their butts off to try and make this day happen!  I, myself, started early to get my bearings straight.  I headed to Grand Vue’s banquet hall to photograph the reception decor and I even got to meet up and say “hello” to Mr. Keith Shreve (DJ) who was also setting up and getting ready for the day.  Then, I headed over to the cabins and photographed these BEAUTIFUL bridal details (below).  I told Kassie I was being selfish this day.  While I usually pass off the details to my assistants when the day is fast paced, I wanted to photograph them ALL myself!  Yep!  And I did just that with the help of Emily and Ash keeping everything organized for me because we were RUNNNNIINNNNG through this day.  More on that in a bit!

It’s a wax seal…A WAX SEAL…AHHHH!

Then, I threw everything together…because…WHY NOT?!  Isn’t it just beautiful?!  All of it?!

So, what I haven’t mentioned yet is that Kassie and I knew the timeline was going to be tight.  We knew months ago.  Her and I hashed out the details and set a pretty good and doable schedule.  I knew I’d be running.  I joked with her over and over that I was going to be a sweaty mess but that I’d make it work!  Then, two days before the wedding she called me with a big change.  Dylan’s mom, Sarah, fell ill and had to be admitted to the hospital and would not be able to attend.  My heart was breaking…BREAKING.  Luckily, it looked like they were going to be able to pop in and see her.  Every mom should get to see their children on their wedding day…no matter what…so we made it work.  We changed the timeline.  No worries.  We got this!  So, when I arrived…with my new timeline and plan…Kassie informed me the hospital had changed its policy overnight and they weren’t going to be able to go afterall.  Ok.  NEW timeline again.  We got this.  I was running back and forth between Dylan and Kassie’s cabin making sure we were all on the same page.  Ok.  Got it.  I’m not sweating AT ALL…but this gave us more time for photos.  I mean, I can’t complain!

So then…after we had overshot our ORIGINAL timeline (not the adjusted one), it came to our attention (thanks to one of Kassie’s maid of honors who called the hospital herself) that they WOULD be able to go see her and there had been a miscommunication.  I felt some relief…even though I knew we’d be cooking for photos.  Again, you realize what’s REALLY important in these moments and every mom should see her son and soon-to-be daughter in law on their wedding day (as a boy mom myself…I felt that deep in my bones).  So, in a full blown internal panic to make it all work…we reworked the timeline again.  It was going to be FAST now.  So, NEW PLAN.  Time to get ready!

Here’s Kassie, on the phone, making sure everyone is. on the same page.  She remained calm.  I’m not sure how…because I wasn’t calm…nope…not me!

Isn’t she just beautiful?!  Also, huge thank yous and shout outs to everyone who helped us make this day happen!

I was heading outside to get everything arranged and get cars cleared (because the couple was going to have to ride with us)…Emily asked if these men were in the bridal party.  I “professionally” shouted…”IF YOU’RE IN THE BRIDAL PARRTY, I’M GOING TO NEED YOU ALL TO GET READY!”.  Bahahaha!

And off we went for the first look!  We had planned for the overlook at Grand Vue…and because nothing could go right for us this day except for the hospital finally giving a little…there were people on the overlook taking pictures who weren’t really willing to share the space.  New plan again! OOO and also…Emily was stuffing Kassie in her car…literally.  Yep.  This is what was happening behind the scenes.

BUT we did it!  First look time!

…and do you all remember Jaxon?!  You can see our first meeting HERE at their engagement session!  He made an appearance too!

Off to the hospital they went!  While they were doing that, we ran back to Grand Vue banquet hall to finish reception shots AND to try and find a place for formal photos.  I knew at this point we were going to be cutting it REAL close to the ceremony start time so I needed a location to do bride/groom photos without guests seeing them.  I was literally hiking to find a spot.  I didn’t find a spot.  I’m also an asthmatic.  I could hear Ash and Emily mumbling while I was in a near, full blown, Hannah panic.  You see, I can panic when the couple is NOT around.  Any of you who have attended my workshops know what I always say…”I’ll panic inside…I’ll panic in the elevator…but you will NEVER know it’s happening”!

Then, Kassie called me and told me they were on their way back!

…and now…we got to do the bridal party! I know a lot of these bridal party members which made it all the more exciting…and easy!  Because they knew the drill!! Also, the ones who didn’t know me?  I could hug every single one of them!  They put up with me and worked me with and made this magic happen!  We took every single bridal party photo AND bride/groom formal photo in about an hour!  I apologized over and over for my level of excitement (anxiety), loudness…you name it!   THEY NAILED IT!

Look at these beautiful ladies!

…and now…the gentlemen!

…and we even had fun with full bridal party photos!

Then, this is where it gets “tricky” and “funny”…and just plain ridiculous.  Again, if you know me…you KNOW me.  If you’re new here, well…I have a “famous” line and that line is, “You’re just going to have to trust me…” and that’s a line I use wen I have a vision and it seems ridiculous and impossible but I just NEED my couples to trust me.  This was one of those moments…in a big way.  So, remember…I still didn’t have a formal wedding photo location for JUST the bride/groom photos.  Nope.  I had hiked around and couldn’t find something that would meet the vision in my head.  So, I was going to wing it.  It was about 30 minutes before we had to be at the ceremony location.  I needed to figure something out and fast.  So, I looked at the light.  I looked down over a steep hill…and it came to me.  FINALLY.  The wedding gods had FINALLY arrived!  I sent Emily on a wild goose chase to try and figure out how we could get to that location.  She found it, but it was quite the hike and Kassie looked me dead in the eyes and was like “ooOoo Hannah.  No.”  I’m pretty sure Dylan said, “This is a terrible idea.”  Ok.  What’s the fastest way from point A to point B?  It’s a straight line…not the way Emily found (which was the correct way, by the way…on an actual path).  Yep.  We were going to go straight down over a steep hill, through the weeds, and try not to fall!  YOU’RE JUST GOING TO HAVE TO TRUST ME.  So…this was literally us!  Also, those are my shoes out of my car on Kassie! HA!  Desperate times and all that jazz!  This photo is also a true testament to the day.  Emily hadn’t even had time to take her jacket off and put it in the car…and it was QUITE warm at this point.  Also, Kassie gave me permission to share this especially since you can see her “something blue” shorts! HA!

…and it was 100% worth it! My vision was coming to light (literally) and I called it “forest, fairytale, MAGIC”…Cue the music!  See?  YOU’RE JUST GOING TO HAVE TO TRUST ME.  I even had some people on Facebook ask me where this spot was located.  ooooO you know..just a random, muddy, hiking trail! HA!

But they even look great in black and white!  And I’m not typically a black and white kind of wedding photographer.

It was ALL hands on deck.  Emily, Ash, and I were furiously shooting from all angles (so all those photos above are a combo of all of ours).  I still can’t believe how many I have in their gallery in such a short amount of time! Wooo!  Now, back up the hill we went and we got ready for the ceremony! HERE WE GO!

ANDDDD here comes the bride!

So far, 2021 wedding season is feeling “normal” and I’m 100% here for this!

It was beautiful!  And if felt SO good to be outside again!  It’s been a cold wedding season so far!

Mr. & Mrs. Whitfield, everyone!

Then, we FLEW into family formals.  If you’ve been following me on IG…you’ve seen the organized chaos.  All family formals are organized chaos and that’s ok!  What made this ALL the more amazing?  There were five HBP couples there (six if you count Emily who was second shooting).  I got to jump in for a photo and I’m just…I’m just…I’m just a mess of happy tears!  When I randomly started this career over five years ago, I got my business license knowing I’d “only be out $150 if it doesn’t work out”…and look now!  Couple after couple after couple has trusted me to capture the memories of their day!  I’m one lucky wedding photographer…and I’d seriously do just about anything for all of these people!

Ok! Enough of my sappiness!  We did it! WOOOO!! All formal photos were DONE!  I had promised Keith I’d be done by 5:50 PM.  He joked and told me I let them go at 5:52 PM.  Those two minutes really hurt my heart, KEITH! If you know me, you KNOW two minutes late is LATE! GAH!  Keith is one of the most laid back DJs ever and told me it was no big deal.  He was just giving me a hard time…BUT STILL.  The couple was announced right on time at 6:00 PM though!  And now it was time to party!

Kassie and Dylan stood up to thank all of their family and friends before dinner.  I love when couples do this!

Also, I was SO excited about the gold on her invitation…even more excited when I finally got to see this cake!! EKKKK!

This was a Hannah Barlow Photography first!  Thanks to DJ Keith Shreve, guests were able to text their photos and then they popped up on this TV…AND the couples gets to keep them now! EEEKKK!! LOVE LOVE LOVE!

We ate dinner and then it was time for the couple to do their first dance!

Then, Keith kept the night rolling and we (“we”…I always include myself…HA!) did the money dance.  SO much emotion!

Then, they played the shoe game.  This is probably my favorite shoe game wedding reception photo of all time!  DJ Keith asked who had the crazier family.  Dylan did not even MISS A BEAT.  He placed both those shoes on the floor and refused to even touch that one and everyone…THE WHOLE PLACE…roared with laughter!  It was perfect!

Now, it’s really time to party…and when I say it was a party…it was a PARTYYYYYY!!!

Then, Kassie wanted a unique outdoor shot.  Emily literally put those lights in the tree for me and here we go!

Also, they may not have requested a sunset photo for their wedding…but there was a sunset…they weren’t getting out of it! HA!

Back inside we went!  And that’s how we ended the night – with a party!  Keith was killing it!  Also…look at that pretty uplighting! AHHHH!  GET THE UPLIGHTING!  Totally worth it!

Well, that’s it!  We left the wedding…just like I expected – a haggard, sweaty mess.  HA! I looked at myself in the mirror when I got home and started busting our laughing.  Heck, we had taken four water bottles to get us through the day and we barely drank one…it was that busy!  Even before all the timeline changes, I knew it was going to be a fast day.  When we had our Hannah Barlow Photography team meeting back in February, we knew it was going to be amazing but we were going to work our butts off and I was A OK with that.  I had visions and dreams for Kassie and Dylan and I was going to make them happen for them NO MATTER WHAT…yep!  Heck, half my visions for them weren’t even requests of theirs but things I wanted to do!  They’re very special to me, these two.  We have such a history over the years and I wanted this wedding to be just perfect for them – and it was!  They are amazing people…their friends and family are amazing.  The amount of people who came up to me to say “hello” warmed my photographer heart like never before!  This…this is what’s it is all about!  One more time…CONGRATS TO THE WHITFIELDS!

…and the fun didn’t stop there.  These two are so amazing they even sent me a “morning after” photo! GAHHHHHHHH!! I’d do it all over again…and again…and again…LET’S DO IT AGAIN!



Bride’s Gown – Sorelle Bridal

Bridesmaids’ Dresses – David’s Bridal

Men’s Attire – Men’s Wearhouse

Shoes – Neil Lane for Nine West

Jewelry/Rings – Kay, Etsy

Hair/Makeup – Cloud 9

Florist – Bodnar & Son Florist

Cake – Whisk

Cupcakes – Erica Keller

DJ – Keith Shreve

Catering – River City

Photo Booth – Oh Snap!

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My priority to be more and do more and create an experience they will never forget Capturing their memories in a fun and memorable way is just as important as their beautiful images





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