Christy and John Mark’s wedding day was nothing short of a dream wedding. Fall came very late this past year, but with that it made their wedding day a fall dream with it being the peak weekend for the amazing colors!
It was a bit windy and chilly, so we had to get creative with the first look, since Christy had a cathedral length veil. SO worth it!!! Her veil even took flight shortly after, luckily caught by her bridesmaids LOL! What better place to take formal photos than Wade Park, in front of the Cleveland Museum of Art?! It made for such a stunning backdrop!!!
The Old Stone Church, just across from Wade Park, is stunning!! Their ceremony was dreamy!! With all of the groom’s nephews as the ring bearers, it made for quite the introduction for the bride…SO CUTE!! With the help of my amazingly talented second shooter, Dana(see her info below), we were able to capture images from the balcony and from the very front of the church. AMAZING!
Their reception was in the most perfect spot, Nuevo, overlooking downtown Cleveland and even the Lake Erie sunset. Amazing food, gorgeous views, and the DJ kept the dance floor packed all night. Did you see the cigar bar? Check it out!!! And find all the amazing vendors below!
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
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!!
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!