Amanda and Sean had the most perfect wedding day this past fall! It was my second trip back to the beautiful Landerhaven Events center, and I was so happy to be back. They were married under a heated tent, which was attached to the grand ballroom that their reception was held in. I absolutely loved all of the emerald green and navy touches, as well as the subtle gold.
Amanda and Sean have the most amazing chemistry, and are just naturals in front of the camera. Candids are my favorite, and they nailed those along with the formal poses. Their family and bridal party were such a blast too!! We did a first look with Amanda’s grandma, and their smiles brought me to tears! Her and Sean wrote letters to each other, and watching her read his letter was also a tearjerking moment.
Amanda is a school teacher, and her family even surprised her with having her whole class and their parents at the ceremony. They were the first thing she saw when she entered the ceremony tent, and it was nothing but smiles and tears down the aisle. Sean and Amanda had a sand ceremony, which brought a lot of laughs, and some beautiful art to keep forever.
The reception was insane! I haven’t seen a dance floor that packed all night in years! The crowd was non stop dancing, and their was even a Spanish coffee bar! Did I mention the ice cream canoe? Yup! Landerhaven staff impressed everyone with a giant canoe filled with ice cream and all the toppings for guests to build their own sundaes. Such a hit!
Check out all the fun and pretties below!! Also check out the list of all of the awesome vendors from this day at the bottom of the page!
Michelle and Josh were married inside La Vera Party Center in Willoughby Hills, Ohio. I love that they chose to do a first look and all of their bridal party photos before the evening ceremony, especially since it was a winter wedding with a 5pm sunset. What else did I LOVE? I loved the whole holiday theme!! From the girls cute red flannels while getting ready, to the red and green pops in the bouquets, to the centerpieces and ornament guests favors, and even the card house that the groom made himself!
We started the day at their hotel, grabbing the final touches of the girls getting ready and a first look with her dad. Then it was time to have a first look with the groom! Michelle was so excited she practically ran through the lobby LOL! Then it was off to downtown Cleveland, for formals at The Hyatt Regency Cleveland at the Arcade. I am so glad that Michelle reached out to them and secured a permit for us to take photos inside for an hour, since mid December weather can be very unpredictable here in NE Ohio. The Arcade is stunning, especially at Christmastime!
Then we headed to the ceremony and reception site, La Vera Party Center. They had a beautiful traditional ceremony, the the ceremony spot was transformed to the dance floor, which was packed all night long. You have to check out the twirl of Michelle’s dress! What a wedding to end my 2019 season!! Be sure to check out all the vendors below!
When Rachel & Matt told me about their vacation plans for Colorado, and that they wanted to take their engagement photos there, I was so thrilled at the idea! I mean, how freaking awesome is that?! They had plans to stay in Breckenridge, CO, take their photos somewhere in the Rocky Mountains nearby, then head to Denver to stay with family and attend the Browns versus Broncos game. They had originally planned on hiring a local photographer for the mountain photos, until I reached out and let them know that I had family there to stay with and that I would love to take them. So, they bought me a flight out there for the first weekend in November and we did it!!
I decided to make a weekend of it, and take my husband along since he had never seen the Rocky Mountains or Colorado. Rachel & I decided on Maroon Bells, which is really two mountain faces overlooking a lake in Aspen, Colorado. So, my husband I flew in to Denver and grabbed our rental car and drove the 4 hours in to the mountains. Unfortunately, the directions I had took us to the other side of the lake, to the actually hiking trail in the middle of no where. Rachel and Matt were in the right spot, but had no cell service. I tried calling, texting, Facebook calling, emailing, and nothing. So, my husband and I franticly made our way to the other side of the mountain just as a panicked Rachel and Matt were leaving. Both them and us thinking something terrible happened to each other. Thankfully, Rachel spotted us driving in and turned around. By the time I got out of the car, the sun had already set. But I grabbed my camera and we made magic! I didn’t even take the time to grab my coat, LOL! We got some amazing images, and shot until it was too dark to shoot anymore. With no time for them to change in to another outfit, I promised them we would take some more back home in Cleveland.
Flash forward to December, when we scheduled part two of their engagement session! We met down in the Cleveland Flats, and started outside of Shooter on the Water. They have the coolest bridge, and such great views along the boardwalk. I love the Flats. There are so many cool bridges, and the skyline, and industrial touches. It was an awesome part two for these two, to have such awesome nature photos AND urban!! Check them out!!
I used to work with both Abbie and Adam in a restaurant, and even my son worked with Adam in another. So, when I was taking their engagement photos and found out they were getting married in Maine, I could not have been more excited to tell them that I am also a destination wedding photographer and that I would love to join them on their wedding day! And they said yes!!
The couple lives here in Northeast Ohio, so why a Maine wedding? Adam is originally from Maine, and his family owns a bunch of property along a lake in Lincoln, Maine. His family has their annual reunion every August up there, so they planned their wedding around that. Funny, they live in Ohio, he is from Maine, but they met when both lived in Florida! The world always finds a way to bring two people together!
There was no way I was just going to Maine to shoot this wedding and come home. I had never been up to New England, so I was making this a mini-vacation as well. The timing was perfect, as my son was starting college a few weeks after the wedding, so we made it a mother-son road trip! We flew in to Boston, had the most amazing lobster rolls and clam chowder at Boston & Maine Fish Company in Quincy’s Place. Let me tell you, clam chowder will never be the same for me, SO GOOD!! We then fulfilled one of my son’s dreams and caught a Red Sox game at Fenway Park. So amazing!! After a quick one day trip in Boston, we grabbed our rental car and headed up to Maine for the wedding, staying nearby in Bangor. The day after the wedding, we headed to the coast and stayed in the town of Bar Harbor. Such a beautiful and fun town!! The shops, the restaurants, the views all amazing. In a strange turn of events, another girl that I used to work with at that same restaurant I worked with the bride and groom, was a on a cruise with her family and one of their stops took them to Bar Harbor the same time we were there. What are the chances?! So, I took her families photos! SO cool. Another amazing part of that area is Acadia National Park. Only a ten minute drive and we were inside the park and at the top of Cadillac Mountain. The views up there, OMG!!! It was breathtaking. After Bar Harbor we sort of just winged it down the coast, on our way back to Boston to head home. Such an amazing trip with my son, highly recommend!!
Now, back to the wedding details! The girls got ready across the lake from the ceremony/reception site, which meant I got to take a boat back and forth, SO cool!! The arbor used in the ceremony was built on site from a white birch tree on the family’s property. The bride and groom provided sunglasses for their guests, so fun! There was a canoe full of drinks, next to a sign made in honor of the grooms father who passed away. Great music, the best man gave an epic “Macho Man” entrance to the reception, along with de-pantsing( I don’t know if that is even a word lol) himself after he caught the garter and had to put it on the bridesmaid who caught the bouquet. SO epic! Traditional Greek dancing started by the father of the bride, and ombre cake created by the maid of honor, and amazing photos along the lake.
Cheers to all of the amazing destination weddings, I am ready!!!
Last year, when Michelle reached out to me to photograph her wedding, I was so excited. And then, when she told me the venue, I got even more excited!! Meadow Ridge Events in Windsor, Ohio is hands down one of my most favorite venues. The property is in the heart of Amish country, and has two open-aired reception halls and two gorgeous ceremony sites. There are willow trees, and twinkle lights, a beautiful pond, bridges, and flowers blooming everywhere. It is a dream. They even have two cottages for the girls or guys to get ready in! The staff is amazing, catering to the couples every need, but also to the guests and other vendors. And the food has been so awesome every time. Highly recommended venue!!
Michelle and Alex opted out of having a bridal party, which I see becoming more and more of a normal thing. Michelle got ready in the newer bridal cottage, which is so beautiful inside and out. This is also where we did the emotional first look with her Dad, cue the tears! Sometimes, even on wedding days, we forget things. Well, Michelle was so excited to walk down the aisle that she forgot her bouquet! She was so happy and in the moment, she didn’t even notice until I asked her about it after the ceremony. And by then, the staff had already noticed and was already at her bridal cottage retrieving it for her for the formal photos. It may have been the hottest day of the summer, but it was one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever had the honor to capture. Did I mention that Alex brought his old truck for some photos? Check it out, it is amazing!!
This blog post is dedicated to the memory of my Dad, James Wirtanen, who passed away eleven years ago today. He fueled my wanderlust soul, always did, and always will. He had a desire and passion to see the world, and he wanted the same for his daughter. I miss him every day: my sunshine, my mountain man, my daddy.
About a year ago, my best friend Marc started planning a trip to Canada. He reached out and asked me if I wanted to go on another adventure with him, as our last one was four years prior to Seattle & Mount Rainer, Washington. Of course I said yes! I reminded him that September was not only my birthday month, but my 40th birthday, so he planned this adventure around my birthday. And it was the best birthday ever!!
I flew out from Cleveland, Ohio to Vancouver on September 5th, and Marc flew out from Norfolk, Virginia. We met at the baggage claim, grabbed the rental car, and off we went. After checking in to the Holiday Inn and Suites North Vancouver, which I highly recommend, we hopped back in the rental and found the nearest park to explore. Sadly, I don’t even think I go the name of that place, but it was a beautiful spot for birding in North Vancouver, with paths through the woods surrounded by a gorgeous lake.
Thursday was set to be the best day ever, as it was my 40th birthday! What better way to ring in 40 than zip lining at the top of the mountains?! We started by taking in some views at Cleveland Park (ironic since Cleveland is where I am from). We then headed up the gondola to the top of Grouse Mountain, where we zip lined for two hours. Talk about a view!! The last two zip lines were absolutely breathtaking, with views of snow capped mountains and downtown Vancouver!! Did I mention this adventure included a round trip ride on the ski lift, where we made a new friend from Australia? Happy 40th to me!!! #thisis40
Talk about an amazing Friday. We grabbed some Tim Hortons, which we did every day while in Canada, because Timmy’s is AMAZING. We headed to Capilano for our next adventure, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. This place was worth every penny of the entrance fee!!! As most thing I experienced in Canada, the photos do not do it justice. It wasn’t just the suspension bridge, but also the cliff walk, and walking in the tree tops on the mini bridges. My best friend may have had a little too much fun trying to bounce the bridge around the other tourist, but all in good fun.
We ventured up to Cypress Provincial Park, for some more amazing views, some birding, and a cool view of one of the sites from the 2010 Winter Olympics. I found so much peace on this day, after a couple of days of thrilling activity. It is busy season right now for a Northeast Ohio Wedding Photographer, so it was so nice to just breath in all of the beauty and take photographs just for myself. Taking nature photos is where it all started for me, so it was nice to get back to where it all began. Another favorite stop this day was to Horseshoe Bay, home to British Columbia’s ferry boats. I had some poutine (look it up, it’s amazing), some delicious fish-n-chips, all while watching the clouds roll in and out of the bay over the mountains.
We tried so hard to get up to Whistler, a small mountain town and home to the 2010 Winter Olympics, but a huge bicycle race got in our way. It all worked out though, we found an amazing waterfall along our detour, and accidentally snuck in to the actual mountain site of the Olympics. It was like the apocalypse up there! You could not hear a sound. Broken down parking lots, crumbled cement walls, and nothing but breathtaking views. So peaceful. I wish I could remember the name of the town we had lunch in on the way back, it had the best lunch view I have ever had overlooking the mountains in Squamish.
Our last full day in Canada was pretty epic. Rain tried to ruin our plans, but by winging it, we found the most fun. We visited the gorgeous Shannon Falls, and while winging it again with a hike through the woods, we ended up in the parking lot of the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish. We thought, why not? It had been raining off and on, which for us was perfect, it meant less tourist. We took a ride up the mountain, with views of glacier lakes and mountain tops, all the way in to the clouds above. And I am being serious, we were in the clouds! When we got off the gondola ride, we really had no idea of the beauty around us, as the clouds had rolled in so thick, and then we saw the suspension bridge. Talk about something so amazing!! After crossing our second suspension bridge of our trip, we walked around a corner and the clouds opened up to views of snow capped mountains in front of us. I swear, we found heaven at the top of that mountain, or as close as we could get to it.
Adventure is out there. Life is short. Take the trips. See the world. Plan a destination wedding or elopement, and take me with you!! I am proud to say that I am an adventurous photographer, and I find peace in the mountains, and I will zip line with you and walk over crazy high bridges in the clouds! My soul needed this trip. I only get to see my best friend a few times a year, but we always make an adventure out of it. And this one was epic!! Time to plan the next one!!
Lindsay Dawn Photography: Destination & Elopement Photographer, Northeast Ohio Wedding Photographer, NE Ohio Portrait Photography, Traveling Photographer, Wanderlust Soul
I first met Stacy & David in Fairport Harbor, Ohio, for the engagement session they had won. I had a contest on my Facebook business page, asking couples to tell me their proposal stories, and this lucky couple won! I knew from the moment that I met them, I would love them! They are so sweet, hilarious, and just generally fun to be around. It also helped that we share a love for tattoos. During their session, they told me about the backyard/elopement style wedding they had planned on a Tuesday in August. I loved hearing how they planned the timing of the ceremony. They sat on their porch one day, and waited for the most perfect sunset light, and that is when they knew the exact time they wanted to be married! Not long after putting up sneak peeks of their engagement session, Stacy reached out about how they had to have as their wedding photographer, and I am so glad they did!!
When I drove the hour south to get to their families property in West Farmington, it was storming bad. I was so worried! But, as I got closer, the skies opened up and even a rainbow appeared as I was pulling down the driveway! Did I mention I got to ride on the back of a 4-wheeler at this wedding? YES!! I had to check out the beautiful ceremony site before the wedding, and that was the quickest way there! The ceremony was set along side a beautiful pond, and just under a gorgeous willow tree. Now, remember how I told you about those earlier storms? They gave us the most amazing sunset skies!!
Just before the ceremony, Stacy’s mom talked about how different life was just a year prior. You see, a little over a year ago, they all lost just about everything in a house fire. Lighting struck their porch, and burned the house almost completely down. So, to see this amazing couple and family rise from the ashes and build a new life together, and plan the most beautiful wedding, well it is inspiring. Good hearted, down to earth, amazing people.
Now it was time for the wedding! Stacy’s dad drove her over in style, in his restored old Jeep(it is so cool!!). A friend sang and played the guitar. The weather was perfect, and even gave us enough time before dark to get some amazing images of the couple. An amazing elopement feel from this wedding evening. After the ceremony, everyone gathered back at the house(rebuilt since the fire), for some hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and cake. I wish I could say that I photographed their reception as well, but they had that about a month later and I was already booked with another wedding. SO grateful to have met this amazing couple, and capture their beautiful wedding day for them!!