OOoO my goodness ME! Stop what you’re doing right now because it’s a goodie and I’m positively squealing all the squeals from my office right now! Ally and Chris are now Mr. & Mrs. Laick and this wedding was highly anticipated in my book and brain because these two happen to be one of my most photographed couples (We did a winter session HERE which was their official engagement session…and then a Fall session Ally wanted…and THEN a Spring session I wanted…it’s true)! See what I was doing here? SEE?! I needed ALL the Ally and Chris photos on my website and social media feeds with all the seasons and apparently…all the weather opportunities. So, it was no surprise I was excited for their summer Oglebay wedding and kind of fitting we had HIGH temps since their first session had LOW (frost bite worthy) temps. I mean, it would not be a great story if we didn’t have ALL the weather, right? That’s right! So, please enjoy their Black Tie Oglebay wedding because it’s on the blog right now and I’m going to tell you all about their big day! Congrats to Ally and Chris! Let’s do this!
I started off the day…packing my car with lots of water and extra clothes. HA! I saw the forecast and while I was glad it didn’t rain (there was rain and thunderstorms in the forecast for a hot second)…it was still going to be HOT! Ally and Chris also opted out of a first look so I knew we were going to be running…especially after the ceremony. So, I left early and stopped at Glessner first so I could photograph the reception! I got to see some of my very favorite vendors – Brad and Rodney of Masterpieces of Old Town and Lauren from Oglebay AND her new intern friend, Lizzie! Talk about setting the vibe for the day! I’d already been texting Ally though…so the energy really started that morning during coffee when she texted me and made some minor timeline changes. I told her…”Girl…you can ask me for anything…” and I don’t let just anyone speak to me during coffee time in the morning so that’s saying something! Just ask my kids!
After that, I headed on over to the cabin where the ladies were getting ready! I was welcomed with open arms from everyone I ran into…THAT is the kind of vibe and energy I like to start off the wedding day when I meet the bridal party! It’s something when the bride is excited to see you…but when the mother of the bride is too?! Jackpot! No matter what…I always know the day is going to be A OK!
If you know Ally, you know she doesn’t hold back and her fashion sense is 11/10…that’s right! I wanted her wedding details to match all of that…add in her black and white wedding theme and it was classic glamour, I tell ya!
I KNEW Ally would be a stunning bride but when she started getting ready, I started getting all that Hannah energy geared up! I mean…just look at her! QUEEN! I also want to be Missy when I grow up and I’m planning my daughter’s wedding. I happen to like things a very certain way and Missy does too so our brains together was something amazing!
Gotta get those shoes on and also capture those authentic moments!
Remember, it was hot…and while I always like to move fast on wedding days so everyone can get the best out of it without being stuck doing photos the whole time, I had vowed to go extra fast so the ladies’ hair and makeup would hold up. Stunning!! JUST STUNNING! They were such troopers and I am always SO grateful! They didn’t think they were helping but moments like this they don’t “see”…but I see them!
Add in some more stunning…stunning EVERYTHING! People, dresses, flowers, hair…makeup…personality…you name it! Doesn’t get much better than this! I love the classiness and the black dresses and the June green background!
ALLYYYYYYYY!!! Screaming your name from the rooftops! THIS is what I envisioned! Ashleigh’s photos (one of them there in the middle below) were some of my favorites of this batch.
Traditionally, the ladies don’t go “all in” for personality shots when it comes to my weddings. At this wedding? They didn’t hold back and I’m here for it!
Then, we headed on over to the men’s cabin. Again, I was welcomed warmly and the men were ready to go! Ally may make a stunning bride but I also JUST KNEW Chris would hold up on his end. I mean…even the details and getting ready are just publication worthy! I’ve had multiple people in my Instagram
DMs comment on Chris (’tis true).
At this point, the clouds rolled in and the radar was making me REALLLLLLLLLLLL nervous. I tried to hide it but Chris knew it too. I got real close at one point and said, “Nope…we’re not even going to talk about it…” and he said, “…but Hannah…there is NO backup plan.” Nope. Not going to think about it. Pretty sure I just adjusted his suit, ignored his comment, and walked away. NOT TODAY! But maybe it was just meant to be because the men were dressed in literal black tuxes for this black tie wedding so the cloud cover was a nice surprise! That didn’t get rid of the “what are we going to do” feeling though…sooooo CHEERS! HA!
Off to the ceremony we went! The weather was like…”Just kidding! Let there be more sun and heat!” HA! Oglebay’s West Spa Patio is one of my very favorite ceremony locations! I did double check the radar and things were looking GOOD! Thunderstorms were surrounding us but literally missing us in every direction!
Get ready for the bride! There was a great moment when Missy looked at me, took a deep breath, patted herself from the heat…and said, “Well, it’s not raining. There’s that. It’s NOT raining”. That moment to me stuck. Talk about positivity!
Also, that’s Grandma Katy on the right there below hugging Missy. Talk about being in the right place at the right time for the RIGHT moment! AHHHHHHH! I did jump back and almost take a bridesmaid out…but…I’ll still call it a success! HA!
The ceremony was short, sweet and to the point … which I think ever person in that heat can appreciate! Mr. & Mrs. Laick, everyone!
…and because Ally covered her face with her bouquet for the first post ceremony dip…I motioned to them to dip and kiss again and I swear because we’ve spent so much time together they just KNEW what I meant! YESSSSS!
…what could have been. Again, my brain was thinking, “Absolutely NOT!”. I wouldn’t stop all couples at the end of the aisle for another kiss but I know these two…and they know me…so we can communicate telepathically, I swear!
After family photos, we rushed the bridal party off to Oglebay’s mansion to get their portion of photos finished up! I kept thanking them throughout the day and they kept telling me “OOoo no problem. We’re not really doing anything…” but they don’t realize how much they actually were doing! It was hot and we were rushing and Ally’s dress was HEAVY…that veil was heavy too. She even had that removable skirt (which she told me she wasn’t going to wear…wrong again, Ally!). I kept forcing her to keep it on so the fact that the bridal party was literally carrying it all meant everything to me!
We had to use every second wisely so while we were walking…we were photographing!
Bridal party goodness in 3…2…1…GO!
Then, it was time for bride and groom formals. I kid you not…we were down to about 10 minutes here. BUT…if any couple can do it AND in the heat…it was Ally and Chris and they did not disappoint. Again, Ally wanted that dress skirt OFF…I said… NO! I said “NO!” multiple times actually. But you see? WORTH IT! Imagine having all those photos without that skirt and veil…I will NOT!
A classy wedding like this called for classy photos at the mansion, RIGHT?! OooOoOo my goodness ME!
We were waving that veil (remember…it was HEAVY…) and laughing and it was hot and if you saw my Instagram story I said, “Ally hates us right now…” and she said, “I really do!”….Bahahahhahaha! I’m giggling over here BECAUSE…I bet she doesn’t hate us so much nowwwwwwwwww. IMAGINE if I had let her take that veil off. Missy…I’m digitally high fiving you right now!
I DID give in and we took the skirt off…we DID need some variety, after all. We also tried to get the veil off but then realized it was STUCK in her hair…I kind of felt really bad for all those veil flying photos…but I then I took again and I’m thinking, “WORTH IT!”
Off to Glessner we went! I was SO Thankful for air conditioning at this point. You have NO IDEA. I’m sure the couple and everyone else felt the same. After announcements…the couple cut their cake! It was fine and sweet until Ally put oneeeeee little bit on Chris’ nose. He went for her nose, got her eyelashes instead! HA! I later wiped icing out of her lashes. If that isn’t photographer/client love…I don’t know what is!
THEN, immediately after this, Jonathan (Finest Events) announced we were ready to table race. Ready?! READY?! Are you kidding me?! (That’s what I was thinking…). Actually, I’m pretty sure I leaned into the stage and whisper yelled it! We had just survived a hectic timeline in almost 90 degree temps straight into reception and we’re going to TABLE RACE?! I was not prepared…and he laughed…and went right into…left me dehydrated and all (I needed a drink of water BADLY). Ally and Chris didn’t miss a BEAT though! And off we went! We did it too! If you’d like a copy of one of these photos, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Give me a description of you and your table and I’ll send you a copy with the couple’s permission!
…what’s even funnier AND ironic is that the ONE table that didn’t look at me (not one person looked at me) was Ally’s parents’ table SO we had to go back. So, I’ll shame them (kidding) for making us swing back around. Her dad was also chatting and I aggressively poked him mid picture taking. Normally, I’d let it go…BUT this was the bride’s parents’ table…so…we went back!
While everyone was finishing dinner, Ally’s Maid of Honor and Chris’ Best Man said sweet words in their speeches and then Ally, herself, thanked everyone for coming!
Ally was really a pretty chill bride but she requested just a few things and Golden hour was one of them! It had finally cooled down…ish. BUT…worth it! 100% worth it! The Wedding Gods really are paying attention this 2023 wedding season. Ask and you shall receive!
It was official…we were done with all formal photos, the list was checked off, and it was time for Jonathan to do his thing for the rest of the night while we sat on the sidelines and captured the things going on. Again, so appreciative for air conditioning at this point! Ally danced with her dad and Chris danced with his mom.
Missy was over there tearing up while Ally was dancing with her dad. I don’t know what prompted me to run over and get behind her (I usually only do it if I see mom filming the dance on her phone) but I kid you not…the MOMENT I got over there Jay happened to look over and point AND I CAUGHT IT! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! SCREAMING IN MY OFFICE OVERE HERE (and I was internally squealing and screaming then too). WHAT A MOMENT to capture!
Then, Jonathan did his thing and got that party started! His uplighting has ALWAYS been my favorite!! It just pops on my camera and I LOVE it!
Of course, it’s tradition to take selfies! I’ve been doing this with Jonathan since 2016! But I always tell him I only recommend him so I can see Ted, his assistant…HA! I mean, Ted does share his snacks with me (Skittles and Peanut M&Ms…my favorite)! All kidding aside…we all make a great team!
This moment in these blogs with a couple and family like this always makes me a little weepy…it’s very very very bittersweet. I’ve spent such a good amount of time with Ally and Chris taking photos (and Missy even came to their pre-booking consult so I knew her too), chatting, throwing them in my car and driving around for various sessions…you name it. I MISS my couples! I’m really going to miss these two! I told them I’m still going to call them when I need models! You know all I do it so I’m serious! And then when the weddings are like this and everything is pretty perfect (weather aside…because DAMN IT WAS HOT). I don’t normally cuss in my blogs…but there ya go. IT WAS HOT! If you were outside for any amount of time last Saturday, imagine running around like a nut or being a bridal party member dressed their best in black. I digress. There’s never a great way to end a blog when I just want to keep rambling and telling all the things so we’re going to leave it on a sweet note.
Ally and Chris are one gem of a couple and I’m honored to have been their photographer multiple times over the last 1+ year(s). Give them ALL your Hannah Barlow Photography love!
CONGRATS TO THE LAICKS!
Day Of Wedding Planner/Coordinator – Stephanie Hill
Venue/Venue Coordinator – Oglebay – Lauren Mitchell
Ceremony Venue – West Spa Patio at Oglebay
Ceremony Sound/Violinist – Steven Vance Entertainement
Reception Venue – Glessner Auditorium at Oglebay
Catering – Oglebay
Attire – Sorelle Bridal & Tux
Hair/Makeup – Baldwin Hair Loft
Florist/Baker – Masterpieces of Old Town
Video – Pittsburgh Flyover
DJ – Finest Events