Hello, everyone! THE LAST WEDDING OF THE YEAR IS HEREEEE! It’d love to say “it happened so fast” but 2021 was ROUGH so it’s especially exciting to be celebrating these two people and their absolutely amazing and stress free wedding. It was the perfect way to go out of 2021. So, before I get to rambling…please give Allie and Zach all your Hannah Barlow Photography love because their very festive Oglebay December wedding is live on the wedding blog right now! Enjoy!
Allie’s been my easy one. Easy from the get go…easy when it rained on their engagement session after having to reschedule it and move the location again and again (you can see it HERE). She was easy when filling out the questionnaire and even left a lot of it up to me. So, I started out the day with a beautiful forecast and feeling very relaxed. Emily was by my side and we had alllll the pretty holiday, December details (colors, pine, lights…you name it). As a fellow December bride, I definitely approved and while I’d usually be exhausted the last wedding of the year…I was feeling this one to my wedding photographer core. Then, Allie gave me these details and I was a Hannah squealing…MACHINE. The shoes…the ring box…the rings themselves. People! I’ve photographed 33 (THIRTY THREE) weddings this year…we do happen to run across the same details here and there. Nope. Not this wedding. Look! Classy and beautiful and “clean”…that’s what I like to call it!
Now, while those details up there checked the boxes in the “unique and classy” and “something blue” categories, these photos below captured the whole scene of the wedding. Truth be told, I was real nervous putting anything with these deep colors on a very white and satin dress (you’ll see the bouquet in all its beauty here in a bit). I just didn’t think it was a good idea risking stains at the beginning of the day so I did them separately. Last wedding of the year needed NO major dress disasters on Hannah’s part. Nope. No way! Not going there!
The day was SO chill. Calm. We got all the good vibes. At one point Emily and I were in the elevator and I just smiled and looked at her and told her, “This is how all weddings should be…right here.” Allie and I had a funny conversation right before we got her ready too. We were talking about the timeline and she had originally told me she didn’t want a first look. Then, she told me Zach had already been in the room and had seen her…so I gave her the Hannah hairy eyeball and the “I just want to clarify what you want” speech. Yep. Turns out Allie DID want to do a first look…just didn’t know that’s what it was called. We had a great laugh! And it actually worked out to my advantage since the sun sets early these days! So, let’s get this bride ready so I can show you the magic we made!
Also, random note but important…that’s Becca putting on the veil…10/10 recommend her salon – Stonewater Salon and Spa.
Before we head on out for the groom first look, we had to let all the ladies see this beautiful lady as a bride! Allie may not like all the attention but she most certainly deserves it!
Then, Zach and Allie got to have their moment. And it was a Hannah Barlow Photography first…and once they had their moment…they walked off. I even giggled and said “I don’t know where they’re going but I’m here for it…follow them!”
Ok. You know how I said this wedding was the perfect end of year wedding? Yep. Tis true! We had a classy, unique wedding gown. We had a classy, unique tux. We had ALL the color but in a tasteful way and two people who were willing to brave the cold so I could give them some Hannah Barlow Photography like photos. Originally we were going to do them all inside but it ended up being about 50 degrees this day so Allie texted me and said, “Let’s go for it! Outside!” Weeeee!
The bridal party didn’t disappoint either. You know how ALL year I’ve said that you just get those “vibes”…whether they be good or bad vibes we can pretty much predict the day. Well, this group was calm and kind and so much fun while working fast in the cold! I knew pictures would be a breeze (pun intended…it was SO windy).
I did want to take Allie and Zach over to Oglebay’s mansion though so I ran through the lodge to go grab my car so I could take the couple over…chauffeur style! I did run past the Fort Henry room where the wedding ceremony would be held and had to stop and photograph it REAL quick!
…and off we went to the mansion. We passed another couple. I looked up while I was collecting my gear and saw them all chatting about December 4th and their wedding days and throwing out ALL the compliments and it warmed my heart RIGHT up! I love genuine moments like this…so yes…I took a photo!
We got glowy light too! WE GOT GLOWY light! AHHHHHH! Need I say more?! Bride and groom formals quick…3.2.1…GO!
…and then. I had an idea. I wanted to take them back to their first look location. Allie even thought it’d bring things “full circle” and I just LOVE that! So, to the pine trees! I should have mentioned half of these formal photos are Emily’s! She was taking the side angle for me!
Back to Oglebay’s lodge for the ceremony in the Fort Henry room!
WAIIIIIIITTTT. Cassie (one of Oglebay’s coordinators) came up and let me know that cocktail hour would be IN Glessner. That meant I would not be able to get reception photos (finished reception photos …I had done some earlier). So, I looked right at Jonathan (the DJ) and Matt (the officiant) and said, “don’t you start without me!” and I ran! I needed photos without the guests!
I made it! I was running…but I made it. It was a beautiful ceremony too!
Then, it was time for the reception! But not before we got ONE Christmas tree photo! Weeeee!
Then, more reception details because…I mean…the cat cookies!! I’m a cat lover myself…so I approve!
You know what I love about Allie? She’s so dang laid back in a great way! I was getting my gear ready and she said, “Look Hannah!! New Shoes!” Kind of like we’re old friends and she knows I love the glitz and glam so I needed just a few more photos! Also, POCKETS!
Then, they came out and Jonathan introduced them for the second time as husband and wife! Look at the joy on all the guests’ faces!
They didn’t stop there. They had a mini dance off with their bridal party!
Then, we did all the traditional stuff. I even remembered to photograph my meal!
Then, Jonathan got the party started. It was a medium sized wedding reception. That has been pretty standard for 2021. I think the days of huge weddings are over. It does sometimes stress us photographers and the DJs though because less people means a potentially less packed dance floor simply because of numbers. Jonathan looked at me at dinner and was worried people may not stay and dance being a smaller group and the holidays and the Oglebay lights and just everything that could be a distraction. I ASSURED him I had spent the majority of the day with just some of Allie and Zach’s close family and bridal party….and they WERE going to dance. The vibes and all that told me so…I even promised! Holy crap! It was even better than we expected! The dance floor was PACKED all night! Jonathan looked at me at one point in the night and just smiled real big…LOOK AT THEM GO! Jonathan was dropping beats right and left and it did not matter WHAT he played (he even did a Mariah Carey All I Want for Christmas mix)…and they danced. Grandma…parents…friends…EVERYONE. Even the bride and groom were out there which sounds strange to mention but many times you don’t see the couple out there together because they are either mingling or are like my own husband…and just not a dancer kind of person. Nope. Not this wedding…good thing Emily was there with me because there was SO much to photograph and I was here for it! WooooOoo! Sorry for the long paragraph but you know I don’t typically get super excited about receptions…this one was worth it!
All amazing things must come to an end though and Jonathan wrapped things up. They surrounded the couple with all their love. Listen, again…I attend a lot of weddings. It’s very rare there are THIS many people still present AND dancing at the end of the night. I would call this wedding a HUGE success on all accounts. It warmed my wedding photographer heart RIGHT up and gave me the closure I really really really needed to end this season on a high note!
…and you know why it was a huge success? Well, because of this couple. I could tell from the moment I stepped foot in the getting ready suite that people were happy to be there, willing to do whatever to make this day special, and genuinely love the bride and groom. It’s funny too…and I’ve said it before. My couples who stress the least end up having the BEST weddings. This was a perfect example. Allie and Zach, I sure hope this wedding was everything you wanted it to be and MORE. Thank you for choosing me to be your photographer and thank you for making my very last wedding (during a very difficult wedding year) the perfect high note to go out of the 2021 wedding season. Thank you all for reading! Congrats to the Harrimans!
Jenny Yoo Octvia Gown & BHLDN
Bridesmaids’ Gowns – David’s Bridal
Men’s Attire – Men’s Wearhouse
Shoes – BHLDN
Hair/Makeup – Stonewater Salon & Spa —- They’re amazing!
Venue – Oglebay (Coordinator – Cassie Minder)
Florist – Blooms Florist
DJ – Finest Events
Officiant – Matt VanFossen