Happy Friday! Sami and Nick tied the knot last weekend. I wanted it to be EVERYTHING for them because they are sweet people who don’t welcome attention on themselves but offer it to everyone around them. SO, for the first time, I wanted them to be the king and queen of the day WITH ALL THE ATTENTION (whether they “liked” it or not…HA!)…and little did I know…the visual, in person, would fit the visions in my head. So, please give them all your Hannah Barlow Photography love and ENJOY! They look like PURE royalty and that’s my favorite kind of wedding!
Sami and Nick had a lot of hiccups getting to this day…straight down to a full blown venue change less than a month out. That’s right! While they were acting cool, calm, and collected about it all every time I spoke to them, I had guessed it was still stressful. I told Lacey I wanted it ALL for this couple and told her to buckle up, we were going to make this day extra special for them. I told Brian (DJ Brian Oliver) that between all us vendors, we were going to make it absolutely, perfectly, spectacular! AND it was exactly that. So, that afternoon, I met up with Lacey. We scouted the St. Clairsville, Ohio courthouse (Sami’s chosen location for formal photos), and photographed this beautiful reception site at Undo’s West!
Then, I met up with Sami and her mom in their room while they got their makeup done. I’m usually not an elopement kind of photographer. And to be clear, this wasn’t an elopement. If felt like one though because it was just us in this room. No bridal party. No mass chaos of getting ready. We were even watching Dr. Pimple Popper on TV which seems strange on a wedding day…but it was SO nice and just felt relaxed and “real”…if that makes sense. We could actually BREATH during the getting ready part of the day. Heck, Lacey and I kept looking at each other like, “What do we do with our hands?!” So, we kept snapping away and enjoying the day. I told Lacey, “It’s [the traditional wedding madness] is going to hit us all at once, you know?!” And I was right…but it was great…you just wait and see!
We did some detail shots and I later did some photoshopping to make sure the venue on the invitation matched!
Then, one of my favorite moments of the year happened. Remember, we do A LOT of weddings. We see A LOT of the same thing. We also see some moments that we have to fake it until we make it…but not at Sami and Nick’s wedding. Nick sent over a card. Sami got a little emotional reading it and then said, “…but I didn’t get him a card!” Have no fear, she grabbed that pen and wrote, “SAME”…with some other words. And then she sent it back. We all had an amazing chuckle!
…and so Nick received his own card back with a few extra love notes written and it was simply the most organic, sincere moment and I was 100% THERE FOR IT!
…but before all that actually happened (huge shoutout to Nick’s sister for doing all the running…turns out…she was a fan favorite in another one of my blogs back in 2019 and I LOVE that too…so much), Nick’s mom helped him get ready!
For someone who doesn’t love the attention and doesn’t take many photos, SIR…you nailed the getting ready portion of the day!
We ran back over to Sami’s room to finish up with the pre-ceremony part of the day and then we RAN off the the ceremony. Sami and her mom helped each other with jewelry and all the things. Remember when I said the wedding madness was going to hit us all at once? Well, this is when it hit!
This ceremony was very telling. Sami and Nick hadn’t expected a whole lot of people to attend the ceremony and the room ended up being positively PACKED…standing room only. Everyone showed up to watch these two say their “I dos”.
Then, we raced off to get formal photos done but not before I ran (literally ran) through cocktail hour to get just a few photos to document the happenings. And when I say “ran”…I mean it. Lacey was being her best organized self and packing my car and while I was running by her she yelled, “make sure to get the men playing the strings…I had the wrong lens on and could only get one of them!” and so I did a drive by there too and got them! TEAMWORK! It was on the list. She knew it was on the list and the list MUST be checked off. It’s a Hannah sickness!
Talking about teamwork…we FLEW through family formals (huge thank you to everyone who stuck around for their photo op) and then DJ Brian Oliver yelled to me that he wanted me to get a cold spark photo ahead of the reception JUST to make sure I got a good one. I’m forever grateful for the people around me who think of these things while my brain is focused on timeline and the technical parts of photography!
Then, off we went to the St. Clairsville, Ohio courthouse for formal photos. We literally stuffed Sami and her dress in my car and off we went! We were still runnnniiinnnnggg. We had about 15 minutes to get these done before we needed to head back to Undo’s!
Someone had told this couple they needed brick in their wedding photos. I’d never heard of this before but we definitely had to do it! I did Google it later and couldn’t find where this idea derived from so someone help me out! I like to know wedding fun facts, you know!
Then, we moved over and made these two look like the absolute royalty they deserved to be! The light though…it was killer amazing combined with this couple! Black tux…tiara on the head…it’s ALL the things I love. Some green…some stone…great light…it’s wedding photographer HEAVEN, I tell ya! And you know it’s good when Lacey was squealing in the car on the way back while looking at her photos! She never does that!
…MR. SPARACHANE! SIR! He was pulling out ALLLLLLLL the stops for these photos.
With no bridal party and JUST the four of us, I’m starting to think maybe I should consider elopements again. It had such an intimate feel doing these photos. I HAD to get some photos of Sami who looked like an absolute, regal QUEEN!
I just couldn’t get enough. That light is legit, people…for anyone who may question it. I didn’t insert that flare or photoshop it! Nope! The sun showed up in the BEST way! These veil shots are some of my favorites of the year!
They just kept looking like the King and Queen of the day! THIS is what I wanted for them! SO MUCH!
Off to the stairs!
…and again…Mr. SPARACHANE! Looking like he popped right out of GQ! If you know me, you can probably hear me yelling from my office right now while I type this! They just kept shocking me. If you remember their engagement session (HERE), they’d said they didn’t take many photos at all…not even on their phones. That tux and dress did something to their brains though because they came out looking like full blown models! They’re probably hating all this attention too…but for once, they are getting it because they deserve it! It was their wedding day, after all! RIGHT?!
We were cutting it close on returning on time so Lacey and I were tag teaming the angles like no other!
Just a few more!
Then, I texted Brian and told him we were on our way back! He led them right into introductions, cake cutting, speeches, and grace!
The lighting in this room was amazing! If you can…get the uplighting! These photos show it! Make sure your photographer preserves it and shows it off! It just adds so much greatness to the reception photos.
I got to meet up with Ms. Harvey again while she painted! Ironically, the last time I’d been with her was also at Undo’s West but it was years ago in 2017!
Then, Sami did a dress change! It was a surprise! I showed my 9 year old daughter later (she always waits for me to come home and wants allllll the wedding day details). She was positively blown away with the two dress idea and ran and told my husband who actually said this was a great idea too! I told him to add some more money to her wedding budget. She’s going to have a second dress now too just like Sami!
And that’s how I tied up the night…with lots of dancing! I drove home with all the smiles. It was definitely chaotic from the ceremony until the beginning of the reception and I expected that. I just wanted this couple to be able to embrace it all…and they did…and more! Not having a bridal party allowed us to enjoy the littler parts of the day and to have time to really take in all the details and moments. I even had a past Hannah Barlow Photography couple there (Hey, Megan and Jordan)! That’s actually how I met Sami and Nick briefly. I actually went back and tried to find some photos quickly and couldn’t find any but that’s ok because it all came full circle anyway! Like I mentioned earlier, Nick’s sister was a bridesmaid in another wedding back in 2019 (and Lacey caught her doing the worm on the dance floor). It was a vendor packed dream team…and Gigi was even there. She’s part of Nick’s family (Sparachane/Undo’s Family) AND Gigi actually helped plan my wedding wayyyy back in 2008 BECAUSE this is where I also had my wedding reception. To say I was living on wedding photographer cloud 9 is an understatement. I’d do weddings like this every weekend if I could! And now that I’ve rambled my heart out…I must end it. So, please give the new Mr. & Mrs. Nick Sparachane all your Hannah Barlow Photography love and have an AMAZING weekend! This was a goodie! Bye, everyone!
Bride’s Gown – Sorelle Bridal
Groom’s Attire – Men’s Wearhouse
Shoes – Betsy Johnson
Engagement Ring – Jeweled Bird
Makeup – Helaina Queen
Hair – Color (Amichi), Updo (Cloud 9)
Florist – Yolanda – Kroger
Videographer – Tim Pierce Films
Cake – Whisk
Other Desserts – Pam from Undos
DJ – DJ Brian Oliver
Reception Draping/Backdrop/Decor – Chairital Bliss
Venue – Undo’s West St. Clairsville, Ohio
Officiant – Adam Mick
Live Painting – Kimberly Harvey