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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August White Palace Wedding

Happy Thursday!  I’m so so so happy to be blogging these two sweet newlyweds AND their families and friends!  This wedding had one adjective I intend to use over and over…and while”perfect” is the one that would definitely apply here…I’m going to go with “genuine” instead.  Yes.  This was a genuine, real wedding…nothing was forced.  Genuine people.  Everyone.  I rolled into this wedding so laid back and so pumped and so ready…I literally left my camera in the car and didn’t even realize I was a wedding photographer without a camera until I went to take my first photo! HA!  More on that later though.  This wedding was a wedding I wish all my stressed out brides could have witnessed from the sidelines.  It just flowed…and that’s because this couple and their families not only planned an amazing day but put 100% trust in the vendors they paid to be there…me included.  So, before I ramble more and more…and more (which all you loyal blog readers know I tend to do), let’s introduce the new Mr. & Mrs. Yocke!  Give them all your Hannah Barlow Photography love! Enjoy!

To start our day off, Lacey and I met up at the White Palace in Wheeling, WV.  The forecast looked great…even if a little overcast.  I was feeling all kinds of excited.  You see, I’d gotten to meet Madison’s mom (Hey, Amy) via Facetime and even her dad in the background.  Madison is currently in PA school so wedding planning was taking a sideline…Enter Amy!  She took over and as soon as I had that first Facetime meeting with her, I felt like she was my soul sister.  Our personalities are sooooo much the same except she’s extra funny…I’m not so good with the jokes.  I even told Lacey later that night that I want to be Amy when I grow up and my kids are getting married! Life goals and all that!  So yea…getting off task again here.  You can tell how this one’s going to go-all the words!  So, we met up at the White Palace, snapped those photos…then we were off to Oglebay to find the gals getting ready!

We rolled into this room.  I said “hello” to everyone and got to chatting…then realized I didn’t have my own camera.  I had everything else but I didn’t have my camera.  I’d prepped it at the White Palace after taking photos there.  So, I used Lacey’s while she kindly went to the car…only to realize I hadn’t given her the right bag with the key fob.  Oy.  Off to a great start we were…HA!  But it didn’t matter, I knew….just knew…it was going to be an easy, fun day…no stress!  I was right!  Lacey eventually got my camera and joined us again.  We went right into details.  Amy sat and chatted with us the whole time and I’m telling you…it’s one of my FAVORITE moments of the day when the moms are so chill they just sit and relax and chat with us while we work.  It’s also a good opportunity for us to get more comfy with one another and build that trust.  Amy had already told me she trusted me….no pressure or anything…but I still love that we get to chat!

Some finishing touches on the hair and then it was time to get Madison ready! GAH! Amy zipped and buttoned her up!  I LOVE these photos SO much! AHHH!

After a dad and brother first look and gifts given to mom and dad, it was time to head to the church! I found Derek in the back room anxiously waiting to see his bride.  We snapped some photos, of course!

Then, Madison’s dad came in and gave him a big hug.  I LOVE these families so much!  It doesn’t matter who biologically belongs to who…you can’t really tell.  They all love each other…genuinely.  There’s that word again.  But it’s true!! Anyone reading this who knows the Basingers and Yockes is probably shaking their heads in agreement right now.

Father Dennis arrived and I was SO happy to see him.  He walked right over and gave me a big hug!  It’s been almost two years since I’ve seen him in person and done a wedding with him.  Again…the people at this wedding!! It’s like being wrapped up in one big family reunion!  Time for the ceremony!

…and this was the point I talked about in the sneak peek.  I almost…ALMOST…messed this up!  Any photographer will understand but I’ll explain it to you all.  The back of the church is very dark compared to the front of the church that is lit very bright.  So, us photographers plan ahead of time.  I have to change one setting on my camera VERY quickly between shooting the groom and shooting the bride coming from the back of the church.  I also have a new camera and while I’ve done about 17 weddings with it now, I still flub up every once in a while.  Ok.  I was ready.  READY!  The men came out.  I took those. Adjusted my settings.  The parents and ladies walked….all good.  THEN, the grand music started playing and I turned to Derek and starting shooting and realized I hadn’t changed my settings back.  In my panic, I bumped a button and it changed everything….AHHHHHH! CUE.INTERAL.HANNAH.PANIC.  Lacey was waiting…and waiting…for me to get out of the way to get her shot.  This is all happening in less than five seconds but it feels SO long in the moment! I figured it out and caught these moments JUST in time!! And let me tell you, this is one of the BEST groom reactions ever….ESPECIALLY given the Priest and the best man got involved.  AGAIN, genuine friendships RIGHT HERE!

…and here comes the bride!

St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Wheeling is SO beautiful.  It’s definitely in my top three favorite churches to shoot! The music was just goose bump raising amazing too.  And Father Dennis?  In my opinion, he does the very best Catholic wedding ceremonies!

You all know how we worry about that Catholic wedding first kiss.  Well, these two jumped the gun and we ALL had a giggle over it!

Mr. & Mrs. Yocke!

They greeted all their guests in a receiving line and then did a bubble send off from the church!

Time for family formals and then we were off to get those formal photos done!  Bridal party NAILED IT!

Look at this beautiful bride and groom!

…and now…let’s put them together! EEEKKK!

We recreated some of their favorite engagement photos at the same place!

Madison and Derek are so laid back.  We had such fun AND we took these photos SO fast!  Brian Oliver (DJ) had told me the reception would be a little tight at the beginning to fit everything in…so I texted him and told him we were coming back early!  Vendors who work with other vendors make for amazing weddings!  Let’s get to this party!

Back to the White Palace we go!  Lacey dropped me at the door and played get away driver so I could get all those last minute details at Wheeling’s White Palace!

Then, the parents and bridal party were welcomed by DJ Brian Oliver.  It’s a good thing Amy gave me a sign (I’m telling you…our personalities just jive) or I would have missed this moment of Chris (Madison’s Dad).  Caught them mid air!

Then, the couple made their grand entrance!  I love Madison’s energy!

There was big conversation about speeches while we were doing formal photos earlier in the day.  The best man opted for heartfelt while the maid of honor opted for funny.  They nailed it!  I even heard guests telling Father Dennis about it when he arrived later.  Then, a few more speeches for this reception.  Grace was said and it was time for dinner.  I got to catch up with some of my favorite vendor friends and make some new ones too.  Then, DJ Brian Oliver tested me with the MOST table shots I’ve done yet!  I do believe 32 or 33, to be exact!  We were sweating and wheezing after this! HA!

Those important dances were next!  Derek got to dance with his sweet mom!

Then, Madison danced with her father and I caught Amy tearing up over there but doing her best to hide it from me!  I see you!  Also…story time.  Brian had quickly mentioned to me something about “turning the lights off”.  I don’t know.  He said it in passing.  I missed it.  I was all in my head just soaking all this goodness up.  He and I work together a lot so we pretty much know each other’s next moves and ways of doing things.

So, imagine my surprise when the music just cut out.  The lights shut down.  SILENCE.  I’ve only had one other wedding when the power went out and I was back to…CUE.HANNAH.PANIC once again.  Well, I looked over just waiting for Brian to freak out.  He was calm…cool…collected but moving FAST.  Well, that’s because he dropped a new beat and Madison and her dad GOT DOWN!  It was probably the very best executed surprise dance ever.  I can’t even imagine what went into that with all those buttons he has…uplighting went down…music stopped…then it all started back up!  Remember, we do weddings every weekend.  I’ve seen this done before.  I’ve photographed it many times…but this one got me!  They all got me!  I think they got all the guests too!

Now that my heart rate was back to normal (between the table shots and what I thought was a power outage…I needed a drink), it was time for the couple’s first dance!

Then, the dance floor was officially open for the night!

Madison tossed the bouquet!

Then, Brian put a GoPro on Derek (for real) and they road the train!

Then, Brian brought them back around and told them to circle the dance floor.  Lacey and I looked at each other and did a dramatic eye roll because we just knew what he was doing.  He’s a clever guy…he was totally packing the dance floor!  We rolled our eyes because it was just so dang slick and gave us amazing photo opportunities!

The couple had tossed the bouquet earlier but opted not to do the garter removal (which is one of my most favorite parts of a DJ Brian Oliver wedding).  Well, Derek started to take his vest off while dancing and I just KNEW…I KNEW…Brian would NOT give up this opportunity.  It was too perfect.  Man, if you could have seen me…I tore off RUNNING and screaming and I was sooooooOoo SO excited.  I knew what was coming.  No one else did…but I knew!

Brian said “grab a chair, Hannah!” and I did!  Madison had no idea what was about to happen!

Brian dropped “Pony” and Derek did not miss a beat…he took off toward his wife Magic Mike style and the crowd went WILD!  AHHHH!!! It was my favorite moment redone…Madison and Derek style!  Again, not planned…but genuinely PERFECT!

Alright.  Let’s get that heart rate back down to normal.  This wedding was everything and I was enjoying every second of it.  The reception was flying by because there was just so much goodness going on!

OOo yea!  Recognize these two (below)?!  More people I know!  Remember Cara and Mario?  They were in a wedding in 2019 (ironically also at the White Palace in Wheeling) AND they’ll be getting married next year too!  Cara and I had a hilarious moment earlier in the night.  She came up to me to say “hello”…I was so excited to see her.  We started talking about her engagement session.  I wanted to double check it on my phone…but couldn’t find it.  First, I thought, “I’ve never messed this up before…I don’t see it…she’s standing RIGHT here.”  Then, I had a ridiculous moment where I was thinking, “Wait.  Maybe this isn’t who I think it is…maybe she has a doppelgänger”.  Seriously, I needed a drink.  I was all wired BUT…all was well.  I had blocked off the weekend after Thanksgiving for personal stuff on my calendar but also booked her then because they’d be in town.  So, it was kind of hidden in there and I didn’t immediately see it.  Yes, she’s still Cara.  Yes, they’re scheduled….Whewwwwwww.  This was all during dinner too! HA!

More familiar faces!  That’s Cara’s parents on the left (below) AND new friends -Mario’s parents…on the right!  The blog opportunities for next year just keep getting better..and better…and better!

This group partied HARD!  Amy told me that was to be expected.  She wasn’t wrong!  I walked around and took lots and lots more mingling shots and then went to say “goodbye” to Brian.  I captured this moment and thought, “Well, that’s a wrap.  What a perfect photo to end their gallery!”

Whewww.  I need ALL my weddings to have this kind of genuine energy.  Again, we didn’t have to fake a thing at this wedding.  It was so easy and laid back.  Timeline was perfection.  People were amazing.  From the couple to the parents and friends and even Father Dennis (who we’re not usually real chummy with when it comes to the officiant dept).  This wedding had it all.  I’m used to texting my brides well after weddings but I have a feeling I’ll be texting Amy, Madison’s mom, too!  I hope she doesn’t mind!  I feel a bond with this whole group I’ve never felt…heck, I even chatted it up with the party bus driver.  I can hear my husband repeating, “Hannah, you do NOT have to talk to everyone.”  Yes.  Yes, I did!  I was on cloud nine to the point I left my camera, left my phone, Lacey left her camera…we felt like a mess at times because our heads were just enjoying the day.  Once we took deep, calming breaths and got it together (over and over again), these photos kept telling an amazing story.  It’s the very best “problem” to have at wedding…being so engrossed in the events of the day that you forget your key, basic things and have to regroup!  I’ll always smile thinking of August 14, 2021!  That’s for sure!

High fives to everyone involved.  What an AMAZING day!  Thanks for reading!



Bride’s Gown – Maggie Sottero from Sorelle Bridal

Bridesmaids’ Attire – Azazie

Men’s Attire – Men’s Wearhouse

Hair/Makeup – Amanda Medovic from Gypsy Soul Salon

Wedding Coordinator – Jana Jarrett

Florist – Bodnar and Sons Florist

Cake – Brandon Wallace

DJ – Brian Oliver

Reception Venue/Catering – White Palace at Wheeling Park

Transportation – Red Carpet Limo

Invitations – Etsy

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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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