Happy Friday, everyone! Blog #3 for the week is coming at you and it’s another wedding…it’s a goodie too! Megan and Jordan are two very special people to me…not just because they are kind and sincere and loving but also because they were my very first COVID reschedule last year. That last one will always stick with me. You see, they were supposed to be married April of 2020. I remember my phone ringing as the whole country was shutting down…I saw Megan’s name…and I just knew life was about to get crazy. She, of course, was moving her wedding…to October 2020. Then, COVID just kept on plugging away so they moved it a whole year forward – to Oct 2021. That’s right…this wedding last Sunday was a whole year and a half from the original date. So yea…not only do I love these two and have lots of history now and funny stories with them…but this wedding was super special and highly anticipated for everyone involved So, let’s do this! Megan and Jordan’s wedding is FINALLLLYYYY (and I scream that from the rooftops) on the blog! Enjoy!
It’s ironic I’m sitting here typing this while it pours rain outside…because it poured rain outside practically all day long at Bella Amore too last Sunday! Yep! You’ve seen this BEAUTIFUL venue before too…it’s out in Dennison, Ohio and owned by Celeste and Ryan Smith! It’s amazing! One of kind…and yea…beautiful!
I was a weeeeee bit frazzled this morning prior to arriving at the venue. Did you see my IG post about the hotel fiasco? If you didn’t, it’s over on my IG. You can find it on the little play button option. To make a very very very long story short, Emily and I went to breakfast that morning (we actually got to meet Jordan and some of the groomsmen too). I had put all my gear in my room (not my car in case it got robbed in the parking lot) and the door malfunctioned and the hotel basically told me there was no way to get in and get it…GAH! So, you can imagine how HAPPY and relieved I was to see this pretty lady’s face getting her hair and makeup finished WITH a camera in my hand (they were able to get it all out..but still…the stress). Jordan was ready to bust the door down…no kidding!
I’ll get back on the wedding blog track though! Here we go! Big bridal parties mean there’s lots and lots to photograph! Also, that’s Addie with the goldfish (below). You got it. She’s a former Hannah Barlow Photography bride and actually is the reason I met Megan (she was a bridesmaid in Addie’s wedding) and got to be here this day.
There is just nothing better than classy, bridal details, in my opinion.
Also, we HAD to get a COVID invitation photo, right? Emily handed me hand sanitizer and I had a mask in my bag. I figure in 20, 30, 40 years…other generations will see this photo (below). They’ll have questions. And it’ll be a great story, right?!
Bella Amore…you never…ever…disappoint!
Lots and lots and lots of people know Jordan. I wish I knew Jordan even more than I do because he’s a one of a kind guy in a great great way! I’m getting all mushy over here but it’s true. I don’t cry at weddings. I’m just not an emotional person, in general, believe it or not…but I teared up multiple times this wedding. You just wait!
Megan..Megan…Megan. She’s sweet…and fun…and spunky…and loving…and all the things too. There’s no doubt in my mind why Jordan and Megan ended up together. They even surprised me at the reception! Megan’s mom and her maid of honor, Alex, helped her get ready!
First look with the ladies!
Then, Megan had a first look with her brother. Just look at his reaction!
Isn’t she beautiful?! FINALLLYYYYY we made it to this day! Rain wasn’t going to get us down! Nope!
Then, we got ALL the ladies together. What you can’t really see here unless you look real closely is that it was already starting to rain. Nope. No way…these two deserve it all. I was armed and ready to go with ALL my rain gear plus some…We’re doing thing, dang it, and we’re going to take amazing photos!
Then, it was time for the men (and Jess too…you’ll see). We put Megan in hiding and off we went! That was the one thing Megan asked for and really wanted…to not see each other prior to the wedding. On it! We hid her in a corner because I knew we’d have to take the men around where she was and then photograph them under cover in the same spot. Cheers!
…and here they are! That’s Jess. Jordan’s “best man” and sister and she’s surrounded by the rest of the bridal party!
Lookin’ good once again, Mr. West! Ironically, my groom in January is “Jordan West”, as well! So, I present to you, Jordan West 1.0!
Had to get those last minute details…ALLLLLL of them…Because LOOK HOW PRETTY! When you turn around in Bella Amore, you always find something else just as pretty!
They opted to have the ceremony inside. This was decided earlier in the morning but was definitely a good decision as it was sooooOooOO wet and soggy AND continuously drizzling. What you didn’t see and hear earlier in the day? And this was the first time (of many) I teared up. We were getting Megan ready and someone came up and said, “I need to talk to Megan for a second. It’s very important. Jordan sent me”. So, we paused. Jordan had sent someone up to ask Megan AND BE POSITIVELY SURE it was 100% her decision to move the ceremony inside. That’s right. In these moments, Jordan was making sure his wife to be was getting everything she wanted and more even when they couldn’t talk or be together (because remember…that was the one thing they both wanted…to wait to see/talk to each other until the exact moment they were to be married). Yea. I was a little puddle of drizzly tears in my corner at that moment. I love a good love story and when a real one is playing out in front of me…story book style…my emotions definitely started to match the drizzle outside. But anyway… I needed to throw that little story in there and back to the ceremony!
…OOoO jeez. Here I go again with the tears. I was FINE. FINE. I tell people it’s a lot like when I was a nurse…you just get used to things. I got used to the job of being a nurse…kind of numb in my emotions. Well, as a wedding photographer…we do this every weekend. I feel the emotions on a deep level but have gotten used to bottling them up so I’m not the center of attention…well, I couldn’t help it. We waited SO long for this wedding. I was already teetering on the edge of crying….then, Jordan walks out and the crowd goes wild. They cheered for him! EVERYONE was feeling this moment…so yea…more tears from this wedding photographer!
THENNNNN, just when I gained control, Megan came down the aisle and the emotions just started flowing all over again.
Even inside, it was an absolutely, positively, perfect ceremony inside Bella Amore!
Here we go again…you’re all killing me. The words read weren’t just any words…they were chosen purposely. They were unique…and they had everyone smiling and laughing. And yes…some of them were from Adam Sandler. I kid you not and it was pure perfection!
Finally…1.5 years later…3 years of planning (probably some more)…THEY ARE MR. & MRS. WEST!
I’ll forever be grateful to Ryan (venue owner mentioned earlier of Bella Amore). He came right up to me and said “There’s a break in the weather…why don’t you skip family formals for now and go do the bride and groom shots. How much time do you need? I’ll make sure dinner is held until then.” I mean..I MEAN. I appreciated it like you wouldn’t believe! So, on a completely rainy day (that never stopped even long enough for us to do sparklers or sunset later in the night), we somehow got the tiny break we needed for the wall hangers!
…what you can’t see is the wet mess we were dealing with. But have no fear, I’ve got my dollar store plastic table covers to keep the dress from becoming a mop!
Look at Emily go creepin’ through the wet bushes to create a dreamy effect!
Black and whites for the win! RIGHT before the rain came!
So, we ran them back to our safe, covered spot and started rallying bridal party members and family to finish up photos!
I got four full bridal party photos total. I did not care about the rain at this point (even though I was worried Emily was getting SOAKED in her attempt to keep me dry). Nope. This couple deserves a full bridal party photo so let’s shoot off the fun one! We did immediately move everyone (including ourselves) back under cover and finished off with Megan with all the men and then Jordan with all the women!
Meanwhile…I can’t even quit laughing. Emily deserves a bonus! That one umbrella did not survive much longer. That light stand did not either! I immediately placed orders for replacements for this weekend’s wedding!
BUT…we did it. And it was time to announce the couple to their DRY reception (dry as in rain…not alcohol…HA!). Of course, they came in with a BANG!
Happy and sad tears were shed for the speeches!
Then, they got to dance as husband and wife and you could just see how happy they were to finally be in this place – married!
This is when everyone started surprising me. I did NOT expect Jordan and his sweet mom to just come out of the gates and entertain us all with their mother/son dance!
I could not quit smiling!
Then, because Megan’s dad sadly wasn’t with us, Jordan’s dad stepped in and danced with Megan for the father/daughter dance. And here I go again…more tears. I already looked like a drown rat because of the rain outside…now all my emotions keep flowing and my eyes were puffy and my makeup was a disaster and it was ok. A OK! This is what this is all about for me.
Alright. We had all the traditional stuff out of the way…time to party! Jordan and Megan surprised me. I did NOT expect them to be busting the moves…being the CENTER of the dance floor (the whole night practically). Goodness gracious! YES! MORE OF THIS, please! They led the night…drove the party…it was just great!
I THINK this was Emily’s first experience with a wedding reception that was actually a real challenge to shoot because of the amount of people on the dance floor (in a great way) AND the fact that there was stuff going on in EVERY direction. Not to mention the DJ (Bob Hickman) was positively killing it with the music. Again, YESSSSS to everything about this wedding!
Of course, before we took off, we HAD to get a photo with the bride and groom. My goodness…the amount of laughs and tears and stressful moments (COVID and rain) I’ve had with them and they just kept pumping the joy at me! I’d like to see if this couple every gets stressed or frazzled…I wouldn’t believe it! AHHHHHHHH!!
AHHHHH! Once more. Megan and Jordan…I’m so happy it’s here and complete and you’re married and I’m FINALLY able to blog your wedding. BUT…I’m going to be honest. I’m kind of sad too. This wedding was so highly anticipated and it was everything I wanted it to be (even with that rain). It’s so bittersweet for me. I could just ramble and ramble and ramble. The emotions at this wedding filled my wedding photographer heart right up. I’ve been telling stories about this wedding all week to my new couples who had their engagement sessions and they ALL seem to know one of you in some way and the first things they say are, “OoO they’re such nice people”. You deserve those kind words! Thank you for trusting me to be your wedding photographer.
Behind the scenes, I was locked out of my hotel room in the morning throwing me into a huge panic. We lost a lens this day…and a light stand…and an umbrella…”lost” as in…it all positively did not survive the day. I looked at Emily, shrugged my shoulders and said “Well, that’s what my insurance is for…” and just kept on plugging along with my backup gear with not a worry or care in the world. I was tired though but this wedding day wasn’t going to get me down. Nope. No way. I was too high on the wedding day emotions…and I still am. We didn’t get that sunset…heck, my sparklers I had in my bag probably didn’t survive either considering the amount of moisture that was around us. This day was about memories…and I sure hope I documented them the way these two dreamed. I could go on…and on…and on! Just thank you for everything, Megan and Jordan! Let’s do it again (kidding…kind of ).
…and you know…looking back…on meetings, engagement sessions with these two…there were always some kind of “emergency” going on and stuff completely out of our control. Only this wedding day, it was on my end with the whole “gear stuck in a locked hotel room” debacle. The Wedding Gods were definitely testing us all these years and you know what? They didn’t win. Nope. There was NO way for them to win with this couple!
They did it! Megan and Jordan are now Mr. & Mrs. West!
Thanks for reading! I’m done typing now but I’m not done feeling all the ooey gooey goodness! Happy Friday!
Bride’s Gown – Sorelle
Bridesmaids’ Dresses – Kennedy Blue
Men’s Attire – Men’s Wearhouse
Rings – The Jeweled Bird
Hair/Makeup – Salon Destiny
Wedding Planner/Coordinator – Celeste Smith (Bella Amore in Dennison, Ohio)
Florist – Celeste Smith (Bella Amore in Dennison, Ohio)
Videographer – Just Hitched Wedding Films (Aaron)
Cake – Sugar Fuse
DJ – Bob Hickman
Catering – Ryan Smith (Bella Amore in Dennison, Ohio)
Transportation/Limo – Jeff’s Black Bus Shuttle Service
Save the Dates – Etsy
Invitations – Shutterfly
Officiant – Terri Edwards
Favors – Key Bottle Opener from Etsy