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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Oglebay Wedding With a Tropical Twist

Hello!  Happy Thursday!  I hope you’ll stop what you’re doing or come back later because this couple deserves your undivided attention!  I photographed Jill and Cole’s wedding last Friday and it was what I’d like to call full of “good people”.  Not just the couple…but their family and friends too!  I’m here to tell you all about it and it’s going to be a longer one…so, sit back, relax, and enjoy this couple’s Oglebay Wedding with a Tropical Twist!

I’d met Jill and Cole back at their engagement session (HERE).  I do believe they’d booked their DJ first (Hey, Brian!) who happens to be a very good vendor friend of mine (you all know this if you’ve been here a while).  Him and I “fight” like brother and sister sometimes but that’s because we’re both Type A control freaks in our professions and want our couples to have the most perfect day, so…naturally…we refer each other all the time!  HA!  Cue Jill and Cole’s day…it had a packed vendor team AND it was just simply laid back and amazing.  BUT FIRST, before we get into the WHOLE day, let’s start off with me meeting up with Sam and the ladies getting ready in one of Oglebay’s suites.  Jill was getting finished up with hair and makeup and the whole air in the room was “calm” which is super nice.

…ESPECIALLY when we’re going detail shots like this!  This was most definitely a tropical themed wedding but without being overdone.  I wanted the details to match that vibe.  Also, as someone who is OBSESSED with house plants (which are traditionally tropical plants as they can’t live outside in our climate), I was in plant HEAVEN.  I even sneaked a few photos on my phone and sent them to a past bride of mine who also love plants!  The fresh theme and color palette had my mind reeling with possibilities!

Jill and I both agreed the curtains in the room didn’t match the vision I had in my head…so we moved her over to the stone fireplace so her momma and sisters could help her get ready!  People usually don’t pay much attention to us but Jennifer (one of Jill’s sisters) noticed I was trying to get mom in the mirror in the background (loved that she noticed the little details)…sooooo I had her scooch on over too!

Then, I ran down to Cole’s cabin to get some getting ready photos and then we (literally) put him in my car and drove off to the first look.  We actually transferred him to Sam’s car and then I had Jill jump in mine!  It’s not really a Hannah Barlow Photography wedding if I’m not stuffing the couple in my car, right?! HA!

I was trying to match the tropical theme (but in West Virginia) so I picked one of the most lush locations in Oglebay.

Even though this was only the second time I’d ever spent time with these two, I was soaking in all their emotions.  Like I said before, they’re just good people all the way deep down and they treat everyone around them like friends so I felt right at home and loved being a bystander for his moment.  Sam and I tag teamed these photos, of course, so we could get all the reactions!

Then, they exchanged rings so they’d have them on in their wedding photos.  This is something new we’ve been doing this year with couples who are doing a first look.

Then, Sam ran off to grab the bridal party who were on standby and I took some quick bride and groom formals.

THEN, I got to photograph these beautiful ladies!  As a pop of color loving photographer, this was giving me all the energy!

Jill’s mom (Hi, Jane!) was happy to see some photos in the sneak peek of all her daughters together.  I promised her I had lots more…and I do!

It wasn’t as humid as we expected being a July wedding but it was still hot!  This couple is from California currently so they’re used to the heat..but NOT the humidity.  So, we combined the men and women together and got some full bridal party photos.

After excusing the ladies, we got down to formals with the men!

This may be one of my FAVORITE unique wedding details EVER!  Each gentleman had custom socks on with an animal…we learned at this moment each sock actually had THAT person’s pet on it.  COME ON!  I love that SO much!

Then, we went right into more bride and groom formals!  These, of course, are a good combination of both my photos and Sam’s photos!  THIS is how we get big galleries…same pose…different angles…keep them moving etc.  If you saw my IG story, Jill was getting eaten alive by mosquitoes…that’s not happened before.  Maybe they got the memo on the tropical theme!! I do love a good full cirlce story!  I did photoshop out the bites though!

I saw this grass and thought, “Yes! I can make this tropical! Let’s do it!”

Then, we made our way back up to the fountain to get those photos per the bride’s request!

…fountain pictures!

And some more because I’m never REALLY done, right?!

Then, we were off to the ceremony and that’s when I got to meet all the other good people at this wedding!  Yes.  That’s my phone in Cole’s hand.  We wanted to be sure exactly how the processional was going to run so I called up Dayna (Jill and Cole’s coordinator of Dayna Scott Events) and then this friend ran over and gave me the universal “make sure to take my picture” sign and harassed Cole a bit! HA!  I always love these moments because I KNOW what the rest of the day and evening will be like…entertaining…and a party!

Here comes the bride on Oglebay’s West Spa patio!  It may not have been humid…but it was HOT!  It’s always hot up there!

There were lots of laughs.  That’s Mathew (who I recently learned…at this wedding…only has one “t” in his name).  I haven’t seen him in FOUR years since he officiated another one of my weddings in 2018.  Felt like I’d just seen him yesterday though when we were catching up before the ceremony!  He’s a good dude so if you need an officiant…call him!

All was going well.  We laughed.  They said vows.  And then Cole gave Jill her ring and Mathew whispered (on a mic, mind you)…”It goes on the left hand”.  We laughed.  Everyone laughed.

…but then Jill couldn’t get it off to transfer.  So, we laughed some more…she had to turn her back to get it off (we all knew what you were doing, girl)…and then she had to take a deep breath (hand on the hip and all) while Cole corrected the error.  I really do love moments like this.  I do A LOT of weddings…we all know that.  Much of the time, the moments can feel forced or don’t flow.  There was nothing about this ceremony that was forced or rehearsed.  It was memory after memory being made with a great couple surrounded with about 130 of their closest family and friends.  I’m getting all sappy…but you don’t get much better than this kind of wedding!

The new Mr. & Mrs. Klinchock, everyone!

AND ANOTHER THING…this wasn’t rehearsed either.  I followed the couple (paparazzi style) to this corner and saw them…high five…and THEN do a little dance together.  I mean, if that doesn’t scream “we’re so excited to be married”…I don’t know what would!

Alright!  Another “moment” that will forever live in my wedding photographer brain.  I know…I know…I’m long winded on this one (and I am not even a little sorry).  I want you all to meet Anchor.  Here’s the story.  I’ll quote it from Jill.

“Anchor showed up from a trip to the Jersey Shore. Shortly after leaving the Jersey Shore, one of the Bros grabbed something from the trunk and low and behold there was Anchor… a perfect, little, stuffed, pig and nobody had any recollection about how or where he might have come from.

Since then Anchor has lived and traveled all over the world. He’s been on many numerous trips including, but not limited to: Bro Reunions, Bachelor Parties, Weddings and Honeymoons.

Every time the Bros get together he gets passed off to be looked after until the next time he’s ready to move on to somewhere new!

He’s lived in Jersey Shore, NJ – Pittsburgh, PA – Chicago, IL – Phoenix, AZ – Dallas, TX – Toledo, OH – San Jose, CA thus far and traveled to so many more areas!

SO, meet Anchor.  This was a surprise for me!  He’s so “normal” to the group, Jill and Cole didn’t think to put him on the list of important things I must capture.  So, imagine my surprise when I went to take Anchor OUT of the photo (assuming someone was just playing a joke) and they said, “oOo no.  He has to stay” and THEN they requested their own wedding photos with him.  He’s adorable, right?!  I kept giggling as I saw people passing him around during cocktail hour.  And don’t worry, he got to enjoy the reception too!

While cocktail hour was finishing up, I ran around (because DJ Brian was stressing me out and telling me he was going to turn cocktail music down to get people moving…HA!) and captured the reception details in Oglebay’s Glessner Auditorium!  I did snatch some of those monstera leaves later in the night (with permission from the couple, of course) and had great plans to propagate them and name them “Jill and Cole” when they grew large…but I found out you can’t propagate JUST the leaves.  Whomp…whomp.  It was a good dream for a hot minute!  If you saw my home, you’d understand.  It’s a jungle of tropical plants!

Brian led everyone right into introductions…and I wanted to point out something.  Us wedding vendors do a lot of weddings…weekend after weekend…so we get to meet all kinds of different people and personalities.  There’s just something about people like Jill and Cole that makes me feel like all can still be right in our world.  Sam caught this moment.  Nope, there’s nothing fancy or formal about this photo, but it’s exactly what my assistants and second shooters are really there for…to catch sweet moments I can’t see because I’m focused on the primary moments happening.  So, while I was photographing Jill and Cole’s parents and bridal party coming through the door, Sam caught the couple sneaking a peek and watching from a different door.  They were all in for these moments and enjoyed every stinkin’ second of it…and I love them all the more for it!  Ok.  I’m done being sappy!

They sure did swing around to have their own moment as husband and wife!

After cake cutting, they went right into their first dance…and I wasn’t surprised they kept up with the energy.  I giggled too.  Wayyyyy back in 2018, Sam ironically did a faster, higher energy first dance.  It’s NOT easy to photograph people who are constantly moving and I remember when she started second shooting with me she learned real quick what a challenge it can be…so I looked right over when Jill and Cole started their dance and gave her a smirk and she giggled.  It definitely brought back memories and it just so happens Sam and Joe are one of my favorite couples too!  I just love genuine humans who LOVE to have a good time.  Jill and Cole were having a great time!

Then, we did the table race.  We lost.  BRIAN!  Yes, I’m yelling at Brian…HE USUALLY gives me more time.  He only gave us 2 minutes AND he usually lies…and gives me more time without telling anyone (by doing the DJ magic and making the song continue on repeat or whatever they do).  This day was not our day! HA!  Honesty was in the house and we lost by 34 seconds…but that’s ok.  BECAUSE Jill and Cole even included their vendors in it…and I wasn’t getting left out just because I was the lady behind the camera! NOPE! Also, please note that Anchor raced with us!

Then, the party got started.  Jill and Cole and I created a timeline so I’d be there the whole reception.  They promised me a party. Pffffftttt.  I knew way back at the ceremony that there was NO DOUBT it’d be a party.  It didn’t disappoint!

I sneaked the couple outside (without telling Brian…but he doesn’t read these so he’ll never know) for some golden hour photos!

I’m not a golden hour kind of gal, traditionally, but I was really feeling these!

I told them to dance…I’m not surprised Cole started breaking it down! I felt like I had a good feel for these two at this point. They don’t care who is watching and are always having a great time together!  There was a comment in the best man speech that many were surprised Cole even wore a shirt.  I mean…he was a total gentleman this whole day so I found that statement comical…but then later…he lost his shirt.  Brian dropped Pony and Cole got down Magic Mike style…I’ll save that for your imaginative brains and their private gallery but it was totally a great moment.  HA!  Back to golden hour!

That sun really did say, “Let me just give you some magical end of night photos”.

A few hours of dancing later…the night ended on a high note…with Anchor…I mean.  HOW PERFECT!  You can tell by the abandoned batons and feather boas there was a lot of photograph this night!

AHHHH.  I’m breathing deeply and having a moment of…”this really is the best job ever”.  This couple is honeymooning in Florida AND Vegas.  I do believe they are there now but I’ve done my best to leave them alone despite my Hannah excitement over this wedding.  If I haven’t said it enough, Jill and Cole are amazing people and I’m still so pumped they chose me (and a whole other group of amazing vendors) to be there on their wedding day.  We were ALL looking forward to this day and I’m sad it’s over.  All great things must come to an end…but I’m excited to follow them on social media AND Anchor’s page too!



Bride’s Gown – Essence of Australia – MarWin Bridal

Bridesmaids’ Attire – Azazie, David’s Bridal

Jewelry/Rings – Brilliant Earth & Shane Co.

Hair/Makeup – Luxe Hair Salon

Oglebay Coordinator – Lauren Mitchell

Day of Coordinator – Dayna Scott Events

Florist – Golddust Floral

Cake – Masterpieces of Old Town

DJ – DJ Brian Oliver

Catering – Oglebay

Invitations – The Knot

Officiant – Mathew Anderson/Weddings by Mathew

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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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