Drop what you’re doing…or pause for the cause…whatever you do, make sure you have GOBS of time to soak this one in (no pun intended). Jen and Eric had a wedding day with the most abysmal forecast…but that didn’t stop anyone. Their wedding went down in my brain in the wedding hall of fame because it was definitely one of my favorites to date…and I’m not even supposed to have favorites BUT I’ll never ever be able to hide my excitement or love for this one. I’m here to tell you all about it! Grab a drink…cue the lovey feel good music and give the Seaders all your Hannah Barlow Photography love! Their STUNNING rainy wedding day is live on the blog right now! ENJOY! It’s a goodie!
It’s been a while since I sat at my computer and just simply couldn’t figure out where I wanted to go with a blog…and this one has that “problem” in all the great ways. Ultimately, I decided to put in a little bit of everything…all of it pretty much. There could be nothing left out! This was a wedding that was definitely a “but wait…there’s more” wedding in all the amazing ways! It didn’t start out that way though. The week leading up was lots and texts and phone calls figuring out what other photographers might be on campus at this venue and where we were all going to go and when as is rained ALL DAY LONG…but once I arrived in the getting ready suite and got to meet Jen’s mom and her bridesmaids and see and feel Jen’s own vibe…I knew…just knew deep down in my wedding photographer bones that it was going to be amazing no matter what happened. All that nervous energy and planning for the rain was for nothing because it was going to be GRAND.
So, we got right down to details! This is the second wedding this year having a color palette like this and I’m HERE For it!
This early afternoon portion of the day was very enjoyable and laid back. The men were off golfing (drizzle and all as golfers do) so we got to spend extra time with the ladies.
Then, Jen got all dolled up in FULL GLAM! MY FAVORITE!
She has the sweetest soul. She said, “I haven’t even gotten to see myself”! GIRL!! LOOK! Take all the time you need…kind of…we did have a first look to get to! HA!
I’ve going to rave and RAVE about Jen and Eric’s group of friends. Everyone should have a hype group like this couple! They wanted her to stop so they could document how gorgeous she looked!
THEN, it was off to the first look. We took Jen with us and Eric was coming with one of his groomsman (Hey, John!). We were so grateful…everyone was not only on time but EARLY! We had a grand plan!! This plan was going to give the trolley time to get the bridal party to us (and they were all on time too and are an absolutely perfectly amazing group). I was in the car with Jen and Becca snapped these photos of Eric. MY HEART! This was a totally candid moment she caught of Eric checking and double checking himself right before the first look! This is straight out of a movie, I tell ya!
Time for the first look!!! I can NOT…a lot of couples actually “fake” these moments. Nope! Not these two! They spent a few moments just talking and checking one another out. Then, they exchanged rings and we got RIGHT down to bride and groom formals. This was the point in the day I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen. The radar looked horrendous. So, I looked at Jen and Eric and asked what they wanted to do. They wanted nature photos…SO, we were getting green, forest nature photos. Rain and all…OFF WE WENT! They did not even hesitate! And I knew…just knew in this moment that everything was going to be A OK for the rest of the day…but I could have never anticipated HOW ok it was actually going to be…
…but let’s pause and acknowledge that no one is perfect and I just realized you can see my bag in that photo below. Let’s pause while I go photoshop it out for their gallery! Whomppp Whomppp.
AND I’m back! Here they are just being the sweetest seeing one another as bride and groom!
Off we go! I could NOT believe it! They didn’t even act like it was…raining, falling off the trees…you name it! I had to channel my inner calmmmmmmm.
There may have been just a slightttttt hesitation at this point though! HA!
BUT we got right down to it! Cue the music! My goodness they look like models…in a magazine…or celebrities…on a sidewalk with paparazzi photographing them!
I photograph weddings almsot every weekend and I’m losing my mind over these!
I REALLY expected Jen to say “no” when I asked if she wanted to walk…which meant the train would get wet. Nope! She went for it! I mean…I’m pretty sure I would have said “No….absolutely NOT!”
It was really starting to rain again instead of drizzle and Jen’s hair was the real star and refused to be beat down or frizz! Nonetheless, I wanted to get them to cover. They were greeted by their bridal party and my heart could have burst.
They truly…in all the ways…have the very best friends. I actually just talked ALL about this wedding when we recorded the most recent episode of our podcast. Most bridal parties would have balked at the idea that I even suggest they go in the grass. This group didn’t…not even for a millisecond. Jen wanted forest magic photos…let’s do this! BUT first…see them celebrating their friends!
True friends will have your back…rain on a wedding day and all!
Then, the absolutely stunning bride that Jen was got her time to shine! All while her friends hooted and hollered and cheered her on, might I add!
Back dress details and hair details were needed!
Then, the ladies got their turn!
THEN, the men…Eric did NOT disappoint! His buddies were also cheering him on…and in the best way!
They didn’t want to be outdone either!
Then, Jen had previously requested all their friends who had significant others present get their own photos – both individual AND group! That’s right…on their wedding day, the bride and groom wanted to embrace their own friends and their love and relationships! I LOVE this SO much! I took multiple of each couple but showed just the highlights here. If any of you want copies, shoot me an email (email@example.com) and let me know who you are (I’m the WORST with names and faces). I’ll get you copies!
Now EVERYBODY celebrate!!!! I’ve attempted these photos in the past when couples request them…it usually never works out. We’re either missing someone or someone is running late OR the couple generally doesn’t want to “waste” any photo time doing these. This is now a core memory for me and a great one! Now, KISS!!! WOOOOOO!!!
The drizzle continued to persist and we still had a wedding ceremony to get through so we opted to stay covered and these two blew their role as Hannah Barlow Photograph models (because that’s what it felt like at this point…it was a styled shoot) OUT OF THE WATER!
STOPPPPPPPPPP. Pretty sure that’s why Jen was laughing. Because I was losing my mind in person too!
MY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER HEART CAN’T HANDLE IT!
Ashleigh, Becca…and me!! We were all feeling it and we ALL got the dip…from three different angles! HA!
Ok. Deep breaths. I thought we were done with the formal part. We went back to the lodge! As if I hadn’t already lost my mind over the amazingness that was this day already, we went back to Jen’s room for a first look with her dad. It all went as expected…until Becca squealed and pointed out Eric who was watching from afar…looking dapper in all the ways his champagne!
That led us to this idea! I’m losing my mind over here!! Heck, the internet lost its mind over that “007…” photo, as they called it. I got SO many messages about it! I can NOT!!! They are so good…so good! And we hadn’t even gotten to the ceremony yet!
Becca’s like, “ADD JEN IN THERE!” Everyone, Becca is going places…she’s already seeing things I’m not seeing and OOoo my goodness ME! This is going on my website! YEP! Ashleigh had my camera later for a bit and was peeping the photos I had taken while she had been in the reception hall photographing that stuff. She saw these and couldn’t believe it. So simple…so grand!
We did eventually make it to the ceremony though! They had originally planned for an outdoor ceremony but…rain and all that jazz. So, they moved everything into the Fort Henry room at Oglebay. I’ve photographed a lot of events in this room. The candles? It made it just perfect! Steven Vance Entertainement has the best strings in my opinion too and they sounded particularly great in this room this day!
If anyone says you don’t get emotional if you do a first look, check this out!
I smiled ear to ear at this ceremony. Tony, the officiant, did a great job AND he grabbed that mic and ran out of the photo for the first look!
Every time I thought “Ok…we can chill now…” something else happened!
Eric dipped her. HE DIPPED HER!
Then, we did family formals and it just kept on keeping on with the “getting better and better”.
Jen is an only child like me. I can totally understand the “need” and feeling to want siblings. When I called up Eric’s family and Jen asked for a photo of just the sisters too…my heart could have exploded at their reactions. They just didn’t walk up and smile. Nope! They sure didn’t…they did a whole THING!
Oddly enough, for as many weddings as I’ve done in the almost decade I’ve been doing this, I don’t do very many wedding receptions in the ballrooms so this was such a nice change of pace for me and SO beautiful. Also, peep those cookies…with their engagement photo on it! We kept going back because we thought it was so cool!
Introducing Mr. & Mrs. Seader into their reception!
They did all the traditional things!
Then, things got “wild”! And wild in a great way!! There were things happening on this dance floor I’ve never seen before. It gave us SO much to photograph (and laugh about)! They even had “wedding crashers”…that’s right!! There were two gentlemen in the hallway getting DOWN to the music. So, Jen and Eric invited them in for a dance and they even got a photo with the couple complete with a “wedding crasher” sign from the photo booth. I don’t have photos of it because I had already left but THAT…is Jen and Eric in a nutshell. I swear…if you can embrace a rainy wedding day and individuals who are dancing outside your reception and make them feel welcome…well…I’m not sure you can end it much better than that!
Mic drop. I just threw myself backward in my chair and sighed. I don’t want this one to end. ALL weddings should have a “Jen and Eric” vibe. I think that’s what we’ll call it when we need the Wedding Gods to clock in, “Please give us some Jen and Eric vibes”. But I won’t ask those Wedding Gods for much for the rest of the year because they gave it ALL to me on what could have been a total rainy, flop of a wedding day. Nope…instead…it was simply perfect in all the ways and I couldn’t be more happy or elated to have been the photographer at this wedding. I can NOT wait to see it in video too!!! SO, there is more greatness to come for this wedding and I can’t even contain my excitement!
One more time for the Seaders! CONGRATULATIONS!
Venue/On Site Coordinator – Oglebay/Lauren Mitchell
Wedding Coordinator – Brittany Fink
Bride’s Gown – Bridal Beginning of Pittsburgh
Bridesmaids’ Attire – Amaze (Color – Cedar Rose)
Men’s Attire – The Black Tux
Hair/Makeup – REFEYEANCE IV – Artist Ashley
Florist – Blossoms by Jillian
Videographer – Just Hitched Wedding Films
Cake – Masterpieces of Old Town
DJ – 2nd II None Productions (John Mitch)
Catering – Oglebay
Officiant – Ceremony Officiants, Reverend Tony Bingham
String Quartet – Steven Vance Entertainment