Sarah + Blake // Cincinnati Wedding

If I were to do my wedding all over again, Sarah & Blake’s wedding would be closest to what I would have wanted for myself. A meaningful celebration in my home with my closest family and friends. It was such a privilege to be let into some of their most intimate moments; especially when stories and photos were shared in their living room.

Sarah tells their love story best…

“Blake and I met five days in to 2014 and within two months, were engaged. Originally wanting a fall wedding, we landed on a summer soiree, which meant I had just over three months to plan the entire event. While this might seem overwhelming for most brides, my experience as a wedding photographer guided pretty much the entire planning process. For me, having an intimate affair at which Blake and I could actually visit with our guests was of paramount importance. Second to that was the visual style of the event—every detail was planned with the question “What will photograph best?” in mind.

Our entire wedding budget was $10,000, which mean that whatever we did, it had to be stylish and sensible. Ultimately, we’ve decided on a location that both Blake and I feel the most at home with… our new home. Turns out, we would be making our home into a great little apartment, blocks from central Hyde Park, a yuppy neighborhood northeast of downtown Cincinnati. The apartment isn’t lavish, but it’s us. We were excited that our first memories of married life will be generous—and intimate—hospitality with those we love.

I got ready at the apartment and planned to do a First Look just outside our front steps. Hyde Park is a fabulous location for photographs…and many of Blake and I’s significant moments took place within the iconic Hyde Park Square. Our first meal together was at Arthur’s, a great little pub less than a half-mile from the apartment. We always get milkshakes at Graeter’s, located just around the corner from Arthur’s. And the best coffee and wine bar, Awakenings, is our favorite spot for late night chats.

The ceremony took place at 5pm outside in the Ault Park Rose Garden. As if almost on queue, it started to rain, one of those perfect mid-summer rains, just as I was to walk down the garden pathway. Fewer than 30 guests will be in attendance—only our closest family and friends. The officiant is Blake’s best friend from childhood, and my roommate of six years from Chicago played guitar. It will be a very simple ceremony, no chairs, just our guests standing in a half-circle around us. 20 minutes and it was over.

After the ceremony, we returned to our apartment for a casual potluck…no tables or fancy set-ups…just our family and friends and a humble kitchen. Friends and family shared toasts in our family room and my mom made the cake—the same one she’s made for every special occasion in my memory.

Later in the evening, additional guests arrived for for a Drinks and Dessert Gathering. Blake and I had our first dance to Lord Huron in what is now my home-office. We finished the evening with a sparkler send-off.”

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People Who Made this Day Magical
Assistant/Second Photographer: Mindy Braun
Ceremony Venue: Ault Park Rose Garden
Reception Venue: Bride & Groom’s Private Home
Florist: Floral Verde
Makeup & Hair: Aristocuts Salon
Caterer: Dorothy Lane Market
Wedding Cake: Mother of the Bride
Wedding Desserts: Dorothy Lane Market
Officiant: Jonathan Schuler (groom’s best friend)
Ceremony Musician: Nicki Neal
Wedding Dress: Emmaline Bridal
Jewelry: Grandmother’s Vintage Jewelry
Bridal Shoes: J. Crew
Groom’s Suit: J. Crew
DIY Florals in Jars Around Apartment: The Flowerman
Bride’s Engagement Ring: Elizabeth Diamond Company
Groom’s Wedding Band: Jared’s

Comments

  1. -

    This really resonates with me. You’ve completely captured the intimacy of their wedding. That black and white sparklers picture, and the way the hands all fall together, is beautiful.

  2. simona -

    If i was to have my wedding all over again, id do the opposite of everything we did the first time. I would only have my family and very close friends. I would have the ceremony and reception outside, in the beauty of Gods’ creation. Surrounded by green trees. The sound of the birds and the smell of grass. My dress would be insanely simple……. These photos are beautiful yet subtle and speak volumes. Great work Caroline.

  3. -

    Oh my GOODNESS, Caroline, this is gorgeous. So intimate and warm. I love their first look, and the few photos after it. Also, the car rear-view window kissing shot? I die. Amazing, amazing.

  4. -

    Wow, how special. I’m in love with so many of these moments, especially the photo of them hugging right after being married. Gorgeous. And her bouquet – out of this world gorgeous!

  5. Heather Kanillopoolos -

    Absolutely gorgeous work! I love how simple and clean your compositions are- it makes the emotion even more clear!!

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Monica + Luciano // Wedding Session

I photographed Monica & Luciano’s wedding in Chicago back in March. We had very little time for portraits (Lake Shore Drive was closed down completely due to a murderer on the loose plus freezing temperatures) so we decided to wait a couple of months and do a few more portraits in their wedding attire when the weather was warmer. Monica and Luciano have a love and passion that is evident in the way that they look at each other and touch. It truly is inspiring.

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Comments

  1. -

    Gosh, these are all beautiful, but I can’t get over the one in the field where he’s carrying her dress and the flowers are this blanket of fuzz beneath them. Love it.

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Bette + Blake // Kiawah Wedding

Charleston weddings will always have a special place in my heart. And Bette & Blake’s Kiawah Island wedding, near Charleston, is one that I’ll never forget. I also have to say, I am always incredibly honored when another photographer, and a talented one at that, asks me to shoot their wedding. It thrills me!

When I walked into Bette & Blake’s rehearsal dinner, I thought I was already at a wedding! Filled with great food, epic scenery, friendly faces, and the funniest, most unique toasts I have ever heard which included handing out make-believe trophies. Not to mention, probably the best live performance of Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” I have ever heard. Pretty sure I got the chills and maybe even teared up a little bit. Maybe. After the rehearsal dinner, a dance party ensued and good times were had. I kept thinking, “how are they going to top this tomorrow?”

Man oh man, did they top that or what?

On the morning of the wedding, I watched Bette spend quiet time by the window in the spa writing a thoughtful note to Blake. You could tell she put heart into it. And in return she received an equally thoughtful gift from Blake; a gold bracelet inscribed with some of Bette’s favorite Mumford & Sons lyrics. (I heart you too, Mumford & Sons.) I watched as Bette shared tears with her bridesmaids, or as she preferred to call them the “house party”, and then walk down the aisle for Blake to see her for the very first time. The look of pure joy on his face was just priceless. I could almost see him as a little boy in that moment, without ever having known him as a child. Her father could barely hold it together either, and I am a sucker for a man who cries.

The way Bette & Blake held each other during their first dance was also endearing to see. You could see it in her fingers and knuckles how tightly she held on to him. Followed by this, I watched her father hold her face in his hands, while the “house party” cheered them on enthusiastically. The cake was cut & a champagne toast was had under a trellis covered in cascading florals. Then, the ultimate dance party ensued. A memorable weekend indeed.

I also personally want to thank Bryan Dale for coming out all the way from California to shoot this wedding with me. I’m honored to have had you by my side. I would also like to thank my husband Alin, for always lightening my load at weddings and being the best lighting guy around. And lastly, but definitely not least, my brother Ed of Zomei Film Stories. This guy. Hands down my favorite wedding cinematographer. And I’m not just saying that because he’s family. I am just so dang proud of him. You HAVE to see his video for Bette & Blake’s Wedding Day. I promise it will not disappoint.

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The Rehearsal Dinner & After Party
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People Who Made this Day Magical
Second Photographer: Bryan Dale
Videographer: Zomei Film Stories
Event Designer/Coordinator: Ellen Robinson of WED
Makeup & Hair: Sasanqua Spa
Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier from Maddison Row
Bridal Veil: Mother’s veil restored by Maddison Row
Bride’s Engagement Ring: Kiawah Fine Jewelry
Bride’s Wedding Band: Croghan’s Jewel Box
Groom’s Wedding Band: Ann Ladson
Earrings: Filigree
Bracelet: Ann Ladson (gift from groom)
Bride’s Shoes: Tsubo
Matron of Honor Dress: Joanna August from Bella Bridesmaids
Bridemaids Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu & variety of eBay finds
Groom’s Suit: Banana Republic
Groom’s Shoes: Allen Edmonds
Groomsmen’s Suits: A Variety of mixed suits
Wedding Cake/Dessert: Sugar Bakeshop
Stationery: Studio R Design
Caterer: The River Course
Wedding Flowers: Sara York Grimshaw
Officiant: Jimmy Morrow (Groom’s Best Friend)
Ceremony Musicians: The Loyales with Charleston Virtuosi
Rehearsal Dinner Band: Green Levels
Rehearsal After Party Band: The Rivertown Band
Wedding Reception Band: The Loyales
Wedding Reception Afterparty: Tony Mele a.k.a “DJ BirdFlu” & DJ JeffET
Transportation: Absolutely Charleston

Comments

  1. -

    I don’t want to correct you, but as a Canadian I am required by law to inform you that it was Leonard Cohen who wrote Hallelujah, lol. It’s just one of those songs that is covered by everyone, everywhere.

    The photos are freakin’ awe-inspiring. I can see why you like these people in this place, too. They seem to know how to have a fun time. The grandmother on the dance floor is always a favourite. And the kids. Can’t forget the kids.

  2. -

    I have followed a few years now and I longs to every post you make. Although this time will get caught and moved so that it feels in your heart, you is such a talented person who can convey emotions in your photos and it’s a great gift!
    Thank you!
    May The Sun Always Shine On You!

  3. -

    Caroline you make such pretty things. I was excited to see this whole thing after seeing bits and pieces on google hang out. SO PERTY. I like the things you make that that camera thing.

  4. Sean Gilliland -

    I love that they partied just as hard after the rehearsal. These are so stunning Caroline. Beautiful work as always.

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