Sam & Dillon may have had some rain on their wedding day, but that did not spoil a thing. It was perfection! They did have two ceremonies, and first for me. The first being a full Catholic mass at a little church in Amish country, Ohio, with just their bridal party and immediate family. The second ceremony was for all of their guests, where they read their personal vows to each other at The Encore Hall.
I cannot say enough good things about The Encore Hall. Designed by a wedding planner, it has everything you need for your perfect day, all in one place. The bride and groom started their day upstairs from the main hall, in private and beautiful suites, designed for brides and grooms. The ceremony space is gorgeous, Sam was escorted down the grand staircase for the ceremony. After the ceremony, the guests indulged on local cheeses, and even a popcorn bar in the atrium, while the staff transformed the ceremony space in to the spectacular reception hall.
Let’s talk about their details! From the custom made board introducing the bridal party, to the cornhole boards, the cookie spread, and even the popcorn bar..It was all so perfect and unique! Did you see the florals and greenery?? SO gorgeous!!
Now stop reading, and start looking at this beautiful wedding day!!
I first met Jenna & Mike in downtown Cleveland, for their engagement session last winter. I knew soon enough about their love for our Cleveland Indians, as we started their session in front of Progressive Field! They even wore their Tribe gear!
Moving ahead to their September wedding day, they had a beautiful ceremony along Lake Erie, at Lakewood Park. After the ceremony, it was off to Georgetown, a quaint little restaurant in Lakewood, Ohio. Not you typical reception, it was more of a brunch with immediate friends and family. It was a beautiful outdoor setting, with a breakfast buffet, mimosa & bloody mary bar, and even a donut bar! Can you guess what their guests favors were? Snack bags for the Tribe game after breakfast!! Yup, peanuts and Cracker Jacks for everyone!
What next for the bride & groom, and their bridal party? Change in to their custom made Tribe gear for the Indians game! The couple, their bridal party, and immediate friends and family all had tickets to watch the Cleveland Indians take on the Detroit Tigers. Well, crush the Tigers that is!
This was not your typical wedding day, but that is what I loved about it. They did it their way, they made their wedding day about what they love, and it was amazing and so beautiful!! Couples, take note!
Jenna & Stephen could not have asked for a more perfect wedding day at Brookside Farms. The weather man was calling for possible rain, but we ended up with picture perfect weather…literally. Even though the venue is a bit of a drive for me, I can’t wait to photograph another wedding there! Why? Here are a few reasons:
Everything a bridal party and guests need is all on the farm. Everything! There is a cottage for the guys to get ready in, and a decked out basement room for the girls to get ready in(vanities, fridge, places for HMUA to work, etc).
The gorgeous chapel for the ceremony is about 25 feet from the reception barn. Yup, after the ceremony the guests can just walk on over for cocktail hour!
SO many amazing places to take the formal photos! There is a covered bridge, an historic inn, and acres and acres of beautiful farmland.
The receptions bard is huge. A great beautiful area for all of the guests tables, separate huge area for the dance floor. And another great space for a photo booth over by the massive bar.
I loved everything about Jenna & Stephen’s wedding. The color scheme of wine & navy is a favorite of mine, and photographs so beautifully. One of the bridesmaids used to be a florist, and mans she did not disappoint with the flowers. They were so gorgeous!! A talented cousin of the bride even made the amazing wedding cake! Now let’s talk about Jenna’s gorgeous gown…Obsessed!! The couple’s families and friends made me feel like one of them for the day, and I could not be more grateful. Now, stop listening to me and check out all the pretties!
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
Two families, one from Alabama and the other from Ohio, came together here in Northeast Ohio to celebrate the love story of Alex & Nathan and watch them become wed. It was so beautiful!!!
Watching the guys get ready was entertaining, as it usually is with them LOL. They even had fun showing me their funky socks. The ladies got ready in style with shirts the bride had made specifically for each of her girls. Mom had a hankie embroidered with a quote from a book she used to ready to Alex…tears!!! And talk about a first look! Alex had one with her Dad, followed by one with her groom, bring on the tears again!!
Now I know you want to see more of this gorgeous Northeast Ohio wedding! Check out the highlights below!
From the moment that I met Nicole and Lawrence for their engagement session, I knew they would be one of my most favorite couples to work with. They have the most beautiful chemistry together. They are laid back, relaxed, sweet, funny, and not much posing needed as they just work so well together. We did their engagement session at two small Northeast Ohio parks, one called Arcola Creek Estuary, and the other Hogback Ridge, both located in my hometown of Madison, Ohio. Exploring those parks together, it did not take long for me to realize what a dream they would be to work with on their wedding day!
Nicole and Lawrence tied the knot at Happy Days Lodge, which is located inside the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, a gorgeous and rustic venue in Northeast Ohio. It was so nice to be able to have their ceremony inside the same building as their reception, but you almost felt like you were outside with the openness of the room. But, before all of the festivities began, Nicole and Lawrence did the cutest first look I have ever seen! Why do I love a first look? We were able to get all of their family and bridal party photos done, so as soon as their ceremony was over, they went right in to cocktail hour and the reception. Easy peasy! The reception room was gorgeous!! Strung lights for just the right ambiance, and the decor that the brides mother made was perfect for the setting. Did I mention that the brides mom also made all of the bouquets AND the cutest cake topper ever?! To go along with the rustic charm, Old Carolina BBQ Co catered the food, and it AMAZING! Once the party got started, the dance floor was packed all night thanks to Brooks Music, who even got on stage and taught the crowd how to “Dougy!” It was truly an amazing wedding day in Northeast Ohio!!
Back in April, I had a gorgeous Northeast Ohio wedding at The Crown Plaza Cleveland South. Jen & Joshua face challenges every day, that most people would not be able to take. But these two, they are stronger for it, and with their strong Christian faith keeps them humble and so in love.
Their wedding, adorned with beautiful shades of lavender and purple, was small and intimate. It was held in one of the conference rooms, with music played by someone from their church, and officiated by their minister. At one point, leaders of their church, who are also their friends and what they consider as family, got up and made a prayer circle around the couple. It was so moving, so beautiful, and a testament to their faith.
The reception was in one of the grand ballrooms, and it was so beautiful. There were gorgeous table setting, shades of purple adorning the entire room. Did I mention the amazing cookie buffet? Ohhh that was one of my favorites! So many different cookies! The father of the groom(technically step-father, but he deserves the title of Dad) gave the most beautiful and emotional toast, bringing everyone to tears including myself. After dinner, there was one heck of an amazing party on the dance floor!
Just a day after their wedding, Jen & Joshua started a new chapter in their life as man and wife. They picked up their life in Northeast Ohio, and moved to live their dream in North Carolina. I am so happy to be friends with them both on Facebook, and be able to follow their new life together!