Mr. & Mrs. Brady | Blue and Eggplant Wedding in North Carolina

I can now say I’ve photographed a wedding in a hurricane. Florence made landfall the day we left. We had some rain on the way down, nothing too bad!

I can’t even begin to explain how excited & honored I was to photograph my sister in laws wedding! We spent some time friday evening with family at her rehearsal dinner and I try to find ways to incorporate personal aspects in my clients and with Jenny & Chris that meant digging DEEEEEEP and overcoming some fears. Slightly easier to do when you are in work mode!

We went back to their house so I could incorporate some of their “babies” in some ring shots!

Her wedding was simple, just like Jenny. She’s not a foo foo kinda girl but it was beautiful nonetheless!! Navy, blue steel and purple for colors, it was the perfect start to fall! It rained pretty much all day and had quite a few super strong wind gusts. Florence was making her way.

To all of our amusement, Jenny had her dad step into the first look the first time. Laughs all around and quite the shock to Chris!

It was an intimate wedding, perfect for Jenny & Chris! If you know Kenny’s family, you know they are quite the emotional bunch! Good for me, I fit right in! She’s the baby, last to get married! Her dress was stunning! She’s like me, would prefer comfy clothes! So to see her all dolled up was fun!

Here are a few of my favorites!! Congratulations Jenn & Chris, wishing you a lifetime of happiness!!

Life after Loss | A Brides Guide to Getting Married After Losing Someone Important.

Yesterday was my third wedding anniversary! I love going back through our wedding photos and re-watching our wedding videos! They bring me so much joy!

I can tell you that planning my wedding wasn’t the most exciting thing, which it usually is- and it should have been. But grief and heartache stole my joy. It stole the excitement of wedding planning.

Why you might ask? I was a bride planning my wedding without my mom. She had passed away when I was 15. I had been through a lot of exciting moments without her by the time my wedding came around, so I never thought it would be as hard as it was.

I rushed. I rushed through every little part of planning. If I rushed, then I wouldn’t have time to feel the hurt, to cry because she wasn’t there to help weigh the pros & cons of the different venues, try different cakes, try on a gazillion and 1 dresses, to talk about food and colors and how to wear my hair, do I wear a veil? There is so much that goes into wedding planning and I literally RUSHED through every. single. part of it.

It was easy to avoid my feelings, I had been doing it for a long time. I wish I wouldn’t have. I should have cried about it. I missed her and was incredibly sad that she couldn’t be there. I also had a lot of guilty feelings later about how much fun I did have and the happiness that overflowed my heart marrying Kenny that day.

Here’s my little piece of advice to those wedding planning without someone special.

1. Let yourself feel those feelings. There is nothing more healing than a good cry. A good conversation with the one you miss telling them that you wish they were here. If you are overflowing with sadness and grief. Thats OK!! No one expects you to keep it all together all the time. Especially in those moments! When you allow yourself to feel those feelings, to express them, you make room for enjoyment, for happiness to fill your heart!

2. If you don’t feel those overwhelming sad moments, thats OK!! I missed my mom so much on my day, and I struggled to keep it together walking down the aisle, I knew that so many of the tears coming from my family and friends was because they were sad that my mom wasn’t there. But I remember being all smiles for the most part, laughing & dancing the night away. I was with everyone that I love, that loves me and we were there to celebrate! For a short time after I felt bad that I didn’t have the stereotypical break down. I didn’t sob. I laughed, and danced and sang and hugged and was SO happy. My mom would have wanted nothing less or more. She would have loved Kenny. I know that! Enjoy your day, don’t let grief steal your joy!

Here are some wedding planning tips on how to incorporate those you’ve lost in a special way!

  1. We had a memorial table! Many people put up photos of their loved ones up, we did not. We put candles for each person and I also had a floral arrangement made by Ivy Hutch Flowers & Gifts that had yellow flowers because yellow was my moms favorite color!

2. You could wear apart of your loved one, If it was a woman you lost, you could wear their own wedding dress. Lots of people asked me if I was going to do that. There was no way! haha! My mom and I had different tastes. I knew she wouldn’t have wanted me to wear something I didn’t love. So you could incorporate a piece of it around your bouquet or sew a piece of someones clothing under your dress. ( Maybe something one of dad or grandpa’s blue shirts)

3. A photo charm on your bouquet! You could also wear a piece of their jewelry! I was originally going to wear a letter A necklace that was my moms until Kenny got me a necklace as a gift! I did have a charm with my moms picture as well as a charm from a necklace she asked my sister to give to me for my wedding day. It was really special!

4. Another thing we did was in lieu of favors, we made a donation to the James Cancer Hospital in honor of my mom.

5. Butterflies have always been our “sign” that mom is near. My grandma got these sweet little butterfly clips & pins that she wanted me to wear in my hair, they were so heavy so I pinned it to the other side of my bouquet! You could do a butterfly release, or even a dove release!

6. You could play a special song, dance with those that make you feel the closest to the one you’re missing.

There is SO many different ways to honor those who cannot be with you physically! Your wedding is a celebration, a time in your life to be happy, over the moon & joyful. Don’t let grief steal that from you. I can promise your loved one would want nothing more than a day full of smiles, laughter and love. Miss them, because its more than okay to do so!! But ENJOY your day! Your moment and Celebrate, not only their life, but your love!!

Happy Wedding Planning!!

Mr. & Mrs. Rode | Dusty blue and Navy Wedding In Delphos Ohio

I first met them down in Cincinnati for their engagement session. It seems like ages ago, probably close to, if not longer than a year ago! I have been eagerly awaiting their beautiful day ever since! 

It was beautiful! The weather, sunny and 75! Thats what I call perfect! Completed with friends and family standing next to them I got to see the fun, and goofy side to both Myriah & Justin (and heard a few good stories!!) Justin, affectionately known as justy-bear by Myriah's entire family adores every thing about Myriah! I can honestly say that Myriah shares those feelings! 

They recently moved back to their home town of Delphos, bought a house, adorable dog and said I do in their home town church! The dusty blue was STUNNING with the pops of navy and tons of greenery & whites! 

I am so thankful that I get to work with the most amazing couples! Enjoy some of my favorites from the new Mr. & Mrs. Rode's wedding! 

Mr. & Mrs. Nolletti | A Garden Wedding at Kingwood Center Gardens

I know the day didn't start out how Morgan envisioned it, a few hiccups and a lot of rain. 

All and all, its not important how the day started, but how it ended! And it ended with Morgan & Malachi saying I do and dancing the with their friends and family. I honestly don't know if I have ever shared so many tears on a wedding day! I cried that their first look, her first look with her dad, I was a sobbing mess!!! 

As time for the ceremony approached the rain cleared and the rest of the night was full of fun and dancing! Kingwood Center Garden's is a GORGEOUS venue, so many different locations that are gorgeous for photos! Morgan had the most amazing details, one being her grandmothers bible from Jerusalem! So many things that really spoke to who Morgan and Malachi are! As we prepared for their day, Morgan kept saying, I just want a ton of photos of Malachi and I, and she set the time aside for it, SO MANY PORTRAITS! My heart could BURST! We did a first look, portaits after the ceremony as well as snuck away when this non sunset, but gorgeous red glow happened in the evening! It was amazing!! #couplegoals! 

Morgan is soft spoken, kind-hearted and head-over-heels for Malachi. The way that Malachi looks at Morgan is oozing with love, admiration! These two were meant for each other!! I am so thankful and honored that I got to be apart of their celebration! 

Enjoy some of my favorites from their day! Morgan & Malachi, wishing you a lifetime of happiness and love!! 

Mr. & Mrs. Kersker | A Woodland Wedding

Have I ever told you that I love backyard weddings?? In case you didn't know, I do! I love them so much! Melissa & Dylan's wooded wedding was just what my little heart needed as I gear up for the second half of wedding season! 

On her parents property, nestled back in the woods was the most beautiful ceremony space. The weather was unbelievably beautiful, and the highschool sweethearts tied the knot! We couldn't of asked for a more perfect day! 

Melissa made the most stunning bride! Her dress was GORGEOUS! The layers of lace were amazing! 

This was such an amazing start to the second half of wedding season! Enjoy some of my favorites from Melissa & Dylan's beautiful backyard wedding!

Master Vendor Monday | Aspen Jean Planning

I couldn't tell you the first time I met Aspen, It feels like i've known her forever! She is one of the sweetest people I've ever met, and I am thrilled to introduce her to you all! I think as a photographer, a planner and coordinator is something I encourage ALL of my couples to have! There are so many details, and last minute things that show up come wedding day and I hate seeing my couples stressed to get it all together. Out of all of the wedding vendors, a planner/coordinator is one of the top few that I work closest with! Having someone that understands the roles of all your vendors is key to having everyone work flawlessly throughout your big day! 

For all you brides and grooms-- You don't want to miss out on having this girl! She has SO much to offer and I know that she's gonna help bring your dreams to reality! Meet Aspen, owner and extraordinaire of Aspen Jean Planning! 

1. How did you get started in this Business? 

  • I come from a very big family, which leads to lots of family weddings, showers, and parties of all sorts! I have grown up watching my mom, aunts and grandmother put on these beautiful events for my family for as long as I can remember! When I started college and picked my major, I knew I wanted to do something where I got to work closely alongside people! After several people telling me to try out Occupational Therapy I gave it a go. Not long after getting into the OT program at the University of Findlay, I knew it wasn’t the right fit for me. I switched over to the Event Management and Marketing and I fell in love! When I started planning my own wedding my junior year of college, I knew I could see myself doing it as a career. Deciding to start my own business towards the end of my senior year of college was very scary, but coming from an entrepreneurial family and with the support from my husband and parents, I decided to take the huge step!

2. Whats the difference between a planner and a coordinator?

  • Planning and Coordinating is a term that gets interchanged a lot and it is something I really try to clear up for all my couples! When working with a planner, they will assist with the planning of the wedding, leading up to the day. They help with making decisions on design, vendors and the many, many details that are involved with the wedding. A coordinator is there for assistance the day of the wedding and the few weeks prior. They help with creating a time schedule for the day and helping all the vendors and bridal party stick to it on the wedding day. They are also there to be a point person, to come up with a solution if any problems arise and make sure the details of the day are set up and completed, so that the couple can enjoy their day as stress free as possible.

3. How do you think others would describe you? 

  • A definite people person! I am one that thrives off being around people, whether they are old friends, or those I have just met!

4. What all services do you offer to your clients? 

  • I offer full planning and partial planning packages along with a coordinating package! I also offer custom packages to brides who are in between packages! In addition to my on-site packages, I have started doing décor rentals. Brides are not required to book my services to book my rentals!

5. What does your ideal client look like? 

  • My ideal client is someone who I feel like we just click right away. They can easily describe their vision of the day and know exactly the look they are going for. It makes it so much easier for me to recommend vendors that fit their needs best when I know just what they are looking for! I also love getting to work with someone who loves fresh flowers as much as me ☺.

6. What's your favorite part of the planning process?

  • I think every planner loves seeing all the details finally come together on the wedding day. It is amazing to see how all the little details come together and complement each other. One of my other favorites, aside from the father / bride first look moment and groom expression seeing his bride walking down the aisle, is the little moment the bride and groom have after they are pronounced for the first time and have receded down the aisle. When they finally get to fully embrace each other. It is a moment of pure joy and love, and being able to witness that is what makes my job so amazing.

7. What's the biggest trend you are excited about this year? 

  • Weddings have evolved so much in the last few years and there are so many new up and coming trends I am so excited about! Textures is a big one! I am loving all the textures that florists are using in their designs as well as the different textures in the tablescapes! One of my favorites though is how couples are moving to “experience” style venues instead of your traditional wedding halls. Weddings are starting to become more personalized to the couple and their own individual style!

8. What do you enjoy doing when you are not planning?

  • My husband and I just recently bought our first home together! We love to spend our free evenings and weekends (when we have them) putting on our own touch around the house! If I am not spending time with family or friends, you can probably find me cuddling with my kitties, binge watching a good Netflix series!

9. Why should couples invest in Aspen Jean Planning?

  • My top priority for my job is to make the couple’s wedding day as enjoyable and stress free as possible! So many couples do not want to look into a planner because they feel like they won’t get to be as involved in planning their own wedding, which is not the case at all! When you invest in my services, I am there during the whole journey to help make this process more enjoyable for you! Engagement is such a fun time in your relationship and it shouldn’t be a dreaded time because of all the added stress wedding planning can bring!

10.  What do you want future clients to know about you? 

  • When you book my services, you get me throughout the whole process! I am there from our first time meeting through the wedding day. Building a relationship and trust with my couples is so important to me and that is reason why I will always be the on site coordinator/planner for every wedding that I book.

Mr. & Mrs. Gratz | Married

I remember the first time I spoke with Elaine over facetime, and how she told me her and Jerry weren't crazy about photos, that they weren't comfortable in front of the camera. We almost didn't do an engagement session, but we did. It was amazing and they were amazing. 

Elaine & Jerry are the kind of people that you meet them for the first time and you just feel like friends, They are the people that you think to yourself, I hope to hang with them again. It wasn't a surprise at all to see the all the people that traveled all from all over for their day! Friendships that stemmed from all different phases of their lives. Childhood friends, college friends, family and more. 

These two, their love is so pure, and my favorite part about them, they are SO affectionate and they don't care who sees it! Their first look was perfect! As Elaine got closer, Jerry got the sweetest smirk, he could hear her dress swishing with each step as she approached him, his nerves were disappearing and his anxiousness to see his gorgeous bride was growing! Elaine did not disappoint, her dress was GORGEOUS! It glistened in the light. Seriously so so beautiful!

We hopped around Columbus which has such a special meaning to both Elaine & Jerry, as it was where their love story started, and ended their night at the amazing Boathouse with a little backstreet boys and Nsync. Their entire wedding party knew the dance to Nsync's "bye bye bye". Amazing! 

This day was perfect, enjoy some of my favorites! Congratulations Elaine & Jerry!! Wishing you a lifetime if love, happiness and fun travels! 

 

Master Vendor Monday | Ivy Hutch

I'm so excited to start this part of my blog!! We all know that there is A LOT of different aspects that go into making your dream wedding come to life. It can be overwhelming trying to learn about all the different vendors out there. So i'm gonna try to make your job a little easier!! Once a month, I'm going to be featuring & interviewing one of my favorite wedding vendors!!

So to kick things off I'm so excited to introduce you to Ivy Hutch! More specifically, Ivy Hutch Flowers & gifts! Ashley Etzkorn is the Owner and head designer! She's surrounded by some of the most amazing ladies that complete her team, not to mention her supportive husband! 

I remember the first time I spoke with Ashley, it was about my own wedding!! Gah, I still ooze over photos of my wedding flowers! So! Meet Ashley, & the Ivy Hutch Team! 

 

Q: How did you get started in this business?? 

A: I always loved designing and creating growing up and took as many art classes as I could in high school. I graduated with a Bachelors in Tourism and Event Planning from BGSU. I got a part-time job at a Findlay flower shop my last year of college and quickly fell in love with the industry. I had no previous floral design experience. I learned from the owner of the shop and the other girls that worked there. After college I moved home and continued in the floral industry at Ivy Hutch. After two years, the opportunity came to purchase the shop. I am blessed to have a career that I love! 

Q: How do you think others would describe you? 

A: Creative & energetic. I have a willingness to try anything at least once and am sometimes a perfectionist, haha! 

Q: What do you enjoy doing when you are not at Ivy Hutch? 

A: I am a dance instructor at the Dancer by Gina in Delphos and also enjoy running and hanging at home with my husband! 

Q: What's the biggest trend you are excited about this year? 

A: Boho, I love loose designs and lots of texture when it comes to bridal bouquets! 

Q: What do you think flowers can bring to a wedding?

A: They set the mood, they soften and bring warmth to the event. Flowers are symbolic of new life and new beginnings.

Q: What do you want potential brides to know about you an Ivy Hutch?

A:  We love working on each and every wedding. We treat each wedding as if it were our own!

Q: The cliche question- what's your favorite flower?!

A: Of course I love them all! (Again, cliche! haha!) But if I had to pick one, probably alstroemeria, it lasts forever and comes in so many colors! 

Q: What should brides do with the flowers after the wedding?

A: Some of our brides dry their petals and have them made into beads for jewelry. It's a great keepsake! 

Q: Is there anything else you can provide your bride with, other than flowers?  

A: We offer personalized gifts right in our store! Perfect for bridesmaids and groomsmen gifts! 
Examples: Engraved pocket knives, coasters, tumblers, cutting boards, serving trays. There are literally 300 different items!! 

Q: Some of your favorite things!? 

A: Sweat pants, any type of candy/chocolate (its actually an addiction!!) Dancing, movies and the beach! 

Q: What sets Ivy Hutch apart? 

A: We're modern and stay up on the trends. We love our work so much that each arrangement is so personal to us! 

 

Ready to include Ivy Hutch in your wedding day plans? Contact them via: 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ivyhutchflowers/

Website: http://ivyhutchflowers.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ivyhutchflowers/

Phone: 419.692.2222

Mr. & Mrs. Edler | Married

AH! Can't believe wedding season is officially under way!! Austin and Nicole were my first wedding of the year and it couldn't have started off better!! The forecast was not promising the days and hours leading up to their big day. I packed 4 umbrellas because the rain was suppose to continue from morning until night. 

As I got started with details I could not believe what I was seeing. The rain was clearing and sun was starting to come out! I was so excited to be able to have a little sunshine! God is so good!! These two are so loved, tons of friends and family celebrated in their big day and I am so grateful to have gotten to be apart of it! 

I hope you guys are enjoying your honeymoon!! Thank you Austin & Nicole for allowing me to be apart of your beautiful wedding!! 

 

Mr. & Mrs. Williams | New Years Eve Wedding

There honestly could not have been a better wedding to end my year with, This New Years Eve wedding will forever be one of my favorites, The details, the dress, the decor was all top notch, but honestly- it was the love that Chris and Miranda have for each other that made it so perfect. 

They way Chris looks at her, he boasts about her every chance he gets, its the absolute sweetest! You can tell Miranda still gets giddy with him, she melts at his touch and his kisses. Their love is one of a kinda and I am just so blessed to have been there to capture it! 

Cold doesn't even begin to describe their day. Snow on the ground, negative temperatures, yet not a single person complained. Their entire bridal party were serious troopers. We could see our breathe, and not feel our fingers, but we did it! Lots of little well deserved breaks between all the portraits but my gosh-- It was SO SO worth it!! 

Congratulations Miranda & Chris!! Enjoy some of my favorites from your day! 

Mr. & Mrs. Brackman | Married

What a day!! I've typed and erased probably 10 times already, not sure what to talk about first!! Her details were top notch, her dress was jaw dropping, the bridal party was the bomb(.com) , the weather was perfect & Amy & Jason are married!!

I love so much about this day, I am literally cheezing like an idiot as I edit their session!! I learned SO much more about these two on their wedding day! I took Amy for an understated, quiet, keep to herself kinda girl-- she is all of those things, but she is goofy, loves to belt out songs, and is just so spunky!! They have big families with big hearts and these two are truly loved beyond measure! They had friends travel in from all over to celebrate their big day and I can see why! These two are gems! 

I could go on an on about so much, but I think I'll let the pictures do the talking of how fun this whole day was!! Congratulations Amy & Jason!! Thanks for letting me be apart of your big day!!! 

Mr & Mrs. Principe | Married

My first wedding of the year! It was beautiful!! There was not a moment in the day you could not feel the love that surrounded Jamie & AJ! I absolutely loved the girls green dresses, the color looked great on every single girl! 

Jamie & Aj have super spunky personalities and so I knew this wedding was going to be fun, it did not disappoint!! The day was perfect, it rained in the morning so we did some photos of the girls at the hotel, the sun came out just in time for some portraits after the ceremony, couldn't have been any better! The reception was at the Boathouse, and the decor was gorgeous! Perfectly Planned Weddings did an amazing job!! So in the middle of their reception, a fire truck showed up and we went out to get some pictures with the fire truck, but what I didn't realize was that they were going to go UP in the fire truck. Thankfully, Nathan from Prodigy Cinemas saved the day and went up with them and snagged a few photos for me!! I honestly probably would have had a full panic attack being up that high! Excited to share my favorites from this beautiful green & gold wedding! 

Congratulations Aj & Jamie!! Hope you are enjoying your honeymoon!