This is going to be a FANTASTIC way to end the week! Tomorrow marks two weeks since these two beautiful people tied the knot and I'm SO excited to show you this FABULOUS wedding! It is, of course, going to be a long one but it is also bittersweet for me. I've got to spend three engagement sessions, three weddings, and a few meetings here and there over the last 1+ year with so many of the people who attended this wedding...including the bride and groom, of course. I don't know when I'm going to see them again and it makes me SO SAD but also SO HAPPY that the weddings are done and they were just so amazing and memories I'll never forget!
So, with that being said...
Say, CONGRATS to Mr. & Mrs. Burke!
It was a beautiful, sunny, and predicted to be HOT day on June 30th! That morning Jenna and I met up at the reception hall at River City Ale Works in Wheeling, WV to catch some of the reception decor prior to heading off to find the gals. Kari's going to be sad sad sad she missed this wedding. It felt very "earthy" as she calls it. I don't know how I'd really describe it exactly though. It had so many nature elements and felt "rustic" but it wasn't rustic...it was classy and traditional and felt "black tie" at times.
HmmmMmmmm...I need to think on it! You see for yourself!
I'd love to note none of these photos below are mine. Jenna immediately immersed herself in the details of this wedding and the architecture of the building. As a result, I found myself with my hands over my head holding a reflector and playing the role of assistant! HA! It happens and it's a good thing! It's nice to see things from another person's perspective so it isn't the same old same old. The light was so spotty in this place so I filled it with reflector light! You'll see what I mean at the end of the year! It was quite comical! Huge shoutout to Tom for letting us up on the elevator to get these!
Jane...Tom...J&T...Burke details...everywhere!! I loved it so much!
Not only did Kari miss out on all the people we knew at this wedding...she also missed out on this beautifulness! It was just so well done! Again...it wasn't "rustic" but it was...but the guys and gals were dressed formally...Jane...help a girl out! How exactly would you describe your theme?!
We only really spent a short 15-20 minutes taking those shots and then we headed to the Oglebay cabins where the bridal party was getting ready...in separate quarters, of course. I entered giving hugs and saying "hellos". I also got to meet a fellow photographer, Ben McMillen, who was actually playing the role of videographer this day. I'd heard so much about him in the past couple of years so it was nice to finally meet him in person. Since he's a photographer, he understands the struggle that can be the photographer/videographer relationship. We had some jokes about it right off the bat. We promised to play nice (...I promised not to be bossy...HA!) and I'm telling you what...it turned out to be the most fun I've had with a videographer in a long long long long time! Let's do it again!
My goodness. DETAILS...TO.DIE.FOR. I can't even stand it! Betsey Johnson also has THE BEST wedding shoes! THE BEST! As a result, I quickly snapped two too many shoe shots!
I seriously just love it all! You know...I'm not one of those photographers who vets my clients prior to booking. As long as they're in love and love the work they see on my blogs and website, I'm happy to be their photographer! I don't care if their style doesn't match mine...we're all different! It's really nice to do things and photograph things I would never have picked or imagined and it opens my eyes to all that is beautiful when it comes to weddings. This wedding, however, was RIGHT UP MY ALLEY! It got me extra excited, as you can imagine. If I had to plan a wedding with these colors and this feel, I'm pretty sure I'd just borrow all Jane's stuff! Jenna was feeling it too! It was LOVELY!
Let's talk about this adorable little box for a second please. Jane said she got it off Amazon for like $6.00 (maybe less). I kid you not!! People usually don't give me ring boxes or stands so I was ALLLLLL over this thing...and again....took a few too many photos of it! HA!
You can never have too many though, right?!
So, Jane mentioned she wanted getting ready photos of the guys in the cabin but their cabin was more than a walk away (we'd need to drive). I still needed to finish detail shots and snap some more photos of the ladies getting ready. So, I sent Jenna over! Doesn't seem like a big deal, right? Well, it really wasn't for anyone but me. You see...I'm a tad bit of a control freak (guilty...it's true...I know...). Most of you know it too! I've never even sent Kari to do photos like this. Yes...Kari has done many guy getting ready photos by herself but she was always in the same building so I knew if there was an issue or equipment malfunction...I was close. Not this time. Nope. I just sent Jenna off and figured she'd call me if something happened! HA! Ben went with her too! I have these amazing assistants...it's time I really let their work shine! Right?! I'm letting loose people...it's happening! I can't even believe it myself!
...and she nailed it! These are all her images!
I always say I'm the creeper with the camera but Jenna really took that trophy from me! I love the composition of this and I'm cracking up wondering what the heck Tom thought of all this!
Creeper status...for real... and I love these so much!! I'm sure Jane and Tom are going to love and appreciate these sincere moments. I usually fake these shots but she got the real deal! AMAZING!
I also love that when you look at all these photos in order in their gallery...they go back and forth. You can see from the timeline what was happening and at the same times...different cabins...different photographers. I was taking these photos of these pretty ladies while Jenna was taking the above photos...at almost the exact same time!
Real moments...Tom, his dad, and his now father-in-law!
Then, I waltzed right in and finally got to take some photos of Tom! I LOVE his cuff links!! EEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!! Can we also talk about this black tux?! There is nothing that gets me more excited than a good, old, traditional, black tux! Black jacket and pants...black vest...AND black bowtie! Yes...yes....ONE MILLION TIMES OVER YESSSSSSSSSS!
So, after just a few more photos of Tom, we all headed to the church. Jane's personality shines in all these photos but this is just typical "Jane". She's always full of life and is always smiling and laughing! She doesn't miss a beat. She saw me flying around to catch a photo of her so she struck the best pose to announce her arrival! That's just one of the many things I love about her. We were also hiding her dad in a corner right to camera left...we didn't want him to see her quite yet! More on that later!
Jenna was all over the architecture in St. Alphonsus church in Wheeling, WV. I took the bottom photo of the decor per my usual! She embraced the arcitecture...per her usual!
She, of course, ran outside to get some fun photos...of the architecture! HA!
We did all kinds of first looks this day. Here we did a first look of the bride. I told the bridesmaids to be overly dramatic with their reactions. They nailed it!
...and in true Jane fashion...she did a little spin to show off!
Then, it was time to get her ready for real! Loving these black and whites!
We were also starting to creep up on the ceremony and I wanted to get photos of her opening Tom's gift to her. Her facial expressions are cracking me up. She was surprised to find a wrapped gift in a bag...but I do that too so I had to giggle! Sometimes you just can't decide...wrap...bag...do both! Always do both when questioning it! High five, Tom!
Before the guests started to arrive, we did a quick first look with her dad. Jane's mom and brother have both passed away in the past few years so being a part of this moment was very special. I can't tell you what she got him because I made sure to stand back and just let these moments just be. The love between father and daughter was evident and I gave them a whole set of these! Lots of pictures!
Jenna is more assertive where Kari is more laid back. Usually, with Kari...I do all the directing and she does the suggesting and finishing touches. Jenna is a lot more like me in the personality department and has no issues voicing concern and directing. I had almost left the sancuary when she stopped Jane to take these photos. When I saw the angle, I said "OOooo yes" and just let them do their thing! I love them so much!
So, we hid the bride and took advantage of a few moments to take some AMAZING photos in front of the window we found! HUGE shout out to a woman named Trudy who works at the church and helped me find the light switches in this room. I searched and searched and searched for them earlier in the day and could NOT find them and just resolved myself to having to deal with it. I really wanted those harsh and dramatic shadows and she saved the day!! YAY!! AND LOOK...my goodness...Jane is stunning! Isn't she?! I'd photographed her two other times when she was a bridesmaid so I knew she was going to be gorgeous...but not this gorgeous! I took SO MANY photos of her!
Seriously, I took so many. Poor Ben...he had to literally elbow me out of the way (maybe not LITERALLY but close) so he could get his shot! HA! Also, huge shoutout to Jenna for stopping me and insisting the bouquet be in the photo too! I LOVE that little finishing touch! Pulls it all together, right?!
I was up...I was down...I moved her here...I moved her there...I couldn't quit!
...and just like that...it was time for the ceremony! Jenna caught this moment with the Priest and Jane's dad right before it all began!
Here comes the bride!
It didn't take Jenna and I long to get the grand march groove down! I move in and get my shots. I move out. She moves in and gets her shots. BAM! Done in about 20 seconds!
The rest of these are a good mix of Jenna and my photos. Catholic weddings can be tricky because they're longer and people move around a lot. So, we were 007 style moving all over the place. I love churches with those pillars. I feel very sniper style when I hide behind them! HA!
I totally stole that organist photo idea from Jenna from the wedding we did back in May! I also noticed at one point that I was squatting right by the "30" pew. They just so happened to be getting married on June 30th. Funny how that hapepns! I snapped a photo of it! HA!
My arms were burning and I had a panic moment right before the first kiss. The priest stepped RIGHT in front of Jane and Tom and I had an "uh oh" moment. I couldn't see Jenna to make eye contact and didn't know what to do. In about five seconds, I had all these thoughts. "If I move now, they might kiss while I'm moving." "If I don't move, and he doesn't move...I won't be able to see their first kiss." "Maybe Jenna has a good angle." "Maybe she doesn't...people are standing." "My arms are on FIRE." ... and bless that man...he stepped RIGHT out of my way and they kissed and we BOTH got it! Whewwww!! I'm telling you. Cathoclic wedding first kisses give me hives!
BUT they were now man and wife! It all worked out! YAY!
These two photos (espeically the top one below) may be two of my favorites from this whole wedding and it is so random! These are those honest moments and real smiles and so much excitement to be man and wife! I love it so much!
Then, we did some indoor church photos which I don't do often but was LOVING what was going on. Plus, Jane suggested she'd like some and I'm SO GLAD she did!
This moment below was one I let go of control for a minute. Jenna got up close to them and I wasn't exactly sure what she was doing and I even yelled "Hey! You're in my frame!" <--- nicely and jokingly! Well, she saw that Jane's charms were laying on her hand ever so perfectly. The charms had photos of her late brother and late mother plus quotes they used to say and I am SO GLAD Jenna caught this. It was turned away from me so I never would have seen it otherwise. Those two may not have been there in person but they were there in spirit! <3 I KNOW they've both got to be proud of the sister and daughter Jane turned out to be! Her and Tom are both a joy to be around!
Gosh, I really love these photos SO MUCH! SO MUCH!
Then, it was time to party!...and move on to another location for formal photos! Don't mind the blue color cast...I made a last minute decision to hop on the limo and snap this (and catch them off guard)! It's not uncommon for me to almost get wedged in the door when I do this! You'd think I'd learn! Ron (I think his name was Ron...) was so cool and fun to work with! He drove this crew around!
Now, it's time for the goodies! It's time for some amazingly dapper groom photos! It's no secret Tom is quieter (unlike me) and probably doesn't love his photo taken but has never shied away from letting me get some good ones of him! He did NOT disappoint either...in that nice black tux and all!!! EEEEEKKKK!!!
Meet all of the guys! I gotta remind you of something...it was almost 90 degrees AND humid. We were DYING in the heat and these guys were in three piece black tuxes....and did not complain ONE time. Not once! Heck, one of the guys even said "No problem...that was actually kind of fun!"...I mean...WINNNNNNNINGGGGG!
They are a good looking group of men too! It didn't matter how I posed them...they looked great and they really cared how they looked too!! There was lots of quick fussing over jackets and hand placement and I LOVE that! It makes for a great experience and great photographs!
AND NAILED THE GQ SHOT!
They were such great sports too. I always say, "You can't do what the person beside you is doing" and they looked at each other and ragged on each other and had a good time choosing how to stand. There was a lot of, "You stole my pose!"...and we were all laughing!
Seriously...NAILED IT! It's going on the new website, for sure!
So, this was funny. I can't remember who suggested it. It was probably Ben as videographers need movement for their coverage. We suggested they walk. After we did it, I realized you can't even see the groom! HA! Not that Tom minds...he probably did that on purpose! Next time I'll remember to get the groom in front! HA!
I strategically tried to keep everyone as cool as possible. So, I instructed the girls to stay in the party bus while I photographed the men. Then, I brought the girls out to do the bridal party shots and then sent the guys back to the party bus to cool down. It worked like a well oiled machine! This brial party was EASY! They were gorgeous too!! I am LOVING the colors!...and the black tuxes...in case I didn't mention that already! :-)
We did some walking with them too. I had originally told THEM "this will be a mess so just laugh and roll with it" because I thought they'd get trapped by the pillars and chaos would ensue...but they NAILED IT!
One last formal birdal party shot before the guys were excused!
Lots of love for the bride and groom too! I always love these shots when we get time to do them!
Time for the ladies!
This was a tie. I can't decide who did better personality shots...the guys or girls?!
After editing these, I realized Jane smiled all day long...even when she wasn't prompted or when she didn't know I was taking her photo. She definitely has a signature smile and I just love that about her! That dress and veil though...WOWZA!
Love love loving all of these colors!
Here was their "GQ" shot! More like Vogue, I guess!
We had them walk too. So glad we can at least see the bride here! HA!
And now, ladies and gentleman, some FANTASTIC bride and groom formals!
It's my favorite part!
Jenna took the shot on the right (below)! We tag teamed the angles!
This simple location gave us so much variety!
Confession...I'm obsessed with early century history and royalty. Kings and queens...all of that great goodness! Of course, I'm toatlly obsessed with the love story parts of it (even King Henry VIII who got rid of how many wives?! Jeesh.) Anyway, I've recently been binge watching the new show Victoria. It's about Queen Vicotria and Prince Albert (check it out!). Apparently, one of the "issues" in their marriage was her being escorted by her husband into rooms for dinner and what not (they were super weird back then and since he wasn't technically King people didn't like it). So, the Queen and Prince decided to buck tradition and let her husband escort her to places (this is true apparently). Anyway, I saw this building and how great my couple looked this day and it reminded me of the grand scenes in that show. So, I had Tom escort Jane just like they would in the 18th Century. Jenna and Ben laughed at me but Jane and Tom were totally game!! I love love love love it so much!!
How'd I get so lucky to create these fun moments?! It's a DREAM!
Because I'm never really done, I shot just a few more on the walk back to the bus!
Then, I jumped on the bus one more time to catch the champagne toast that Red Carpet Limousine offers!
It's receptioin time! We did our usual "fly around the hall and catch anything we didn't catch earlier" scramble. We set up lights...and got this party started with the rest of them!
What a neat cake! A lady even came up to me and asked, "Is that their cake?!"
It was just PERFECT for their wedding!
Jenna was on it and shot at angles I would never have imagined!
Now introducing, Mr. & Mrs. Tomas Burke!
During dinner, Jenna walked around and caught some more of the unique little details of this wedding. I LOVE this "guest book" idea! My brides are killing it on the uniqueness this year!
...and in the few moments of down time, I yelled for Jane to spin! There were guests around. It was daylight inside still...but HEY! I like to play around too and I'm SO GLAD I did! For the one on the bottom, she was waiting for her dad to finish his cake so I told her to do another spin! HA! You'd never know, but these kinds of shots happen in matter of seconds and it's always a surprise! ...and I squeal!
I told Jenna to take all the "safe shots". Those are the ones my couple will expect but I also like to play and hopefully give them something unique and grand for their first dance! Sorry Jenna...you got assigned the safe shots but you did great!
So, while she was doing the above shots. I was playing with the below shots and I'm SO HAPPY! SO SO SO HAPPY!
...and after that, it was REALLY time to party!! My goodness, the guys were getting it on the dance floor even more than the women! They were having a GREAT time and Jane and Tom hired a live band, Hit Play, to keep the night going. It was a nice change and they rocked the house!
They played all the traditional stuff we're used to hearing at wedding receptions and made it amazing!
Check out this packed dance floor!
Jenna, of course, was taking advantage of the architecture and taking really neat shots like this!
River City is really a neat place to have a wedding reception and the crowd was clearly in agreeance! <--- Just looked that word up and found out it's a word that is "continually reinvented and recycled". That's according to Dictionary.com. Who knew?!
Check out the fun they are all having!
Cake was cut and the party kept on going!
We didn't take off before taking our mandatory dance floor selfie AND we made sure Ben, the videographer, got in on it! He probably thinks I'm totally crazy person at this point! HA!
AND one last one with THREE of my very favorite brides - Emily, Jane, and Kristen! Gosh, I'm so glad we got this photo because I'm going to miss them SO MUCH! I really hope we run into each other at more weddings...it'd be SO GREAT! All of their weddings were unique in their own ways but so amazing and I'm forever thankful that all three of them asked me to be their wedding photographer! It's truly humbling to see photos like this. I'm also so happy they were willing to take a photo with me too! HA! I'm starting a collage on my way of photos of my couples with me! :-)
Seriously, HOW DID I GET SO LUCKY?! THIS IS A DREAM COME TRUE!
Have a GREAT weekend, everyone!
Credit is definitely due to these amazing vendors! Shout out to Ashleigh once again for keeping me going and being my VA and getting this all set up! <3
Lodging: Oglebay Cabins
Ceremony Venue: St. Alphonsus Church
Reception Venue/Caterer: River City Restaurant & Banquets
Bridal Gown Designer: Stella York
Bridal Gown Salon: Sorelle Bridal Salon
Bride’s Shoes: Betsy Johnson
Bridesmaids’ Gowns: David’s Bridal
Men's Attire: The Black Tux
Hair/Makeup: Ciarra Kobasco owner of 'Meraki, A Hair Salon'
Florist: Bridesmaid Casie Taylor made everything! <-- She killed it! <3
Band: Hit Play
Videographer/Photo Booth: McMillen Photography
Limo: Red Carpet Limos
Save the Dates/Invitations: Shutterfly
Honeymoon Destination: <-- SO JEALOUS!