WOW. I’ll admit… I was overwhelmed and nervous about taking on the big job of going through all of our best Cincinnati wedding and engagement sessions from the entire year, but I am SO glad I did it! I have loved every minute of reliving my favorite moments from each day!
Honestly, when we think back to our first wedding of 2019, it feels like yesterday. The whole year was a bit of a beautiful blur from our full calendar of Cincinnati weddings to the busy-ness that comes with the territory of raising three little girls. We were blessed to be awarded both Best of the Knot and Wedding Wire Couples Choice awards again this year and to have our work published multiple times. We even got to capture destination wedding and engagement pictures in Anna Maria Island, Colorado, and Michigan. But even in the midst of the whirlwind that 2019 was, we can honestly say time flies when you’re having fun!
We LOVE our jobs because it’s about SO MUCH MORE than pretty pictures. It’s about being able to permanently capture the fleeting emotions and quiet moments that take place the midst of a jam-packed wedding day. It’s about pinning boutonnieres and bustling dresses and wiping happy tears. It’s about meeting your families and being welcomed in as a friend. We have fond memories of every wedding we have ever done, so I’m so excited to share some of the most precious moments that stuck with us from each of these couples! We are so thankful for the friendships that 2019 brought us and for the gift of being allowed into some of our clients’ most intimate and important memories. I can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store for our couples, but for now, enjoy taking a walk down memory lane with us as we recap our favorite Cincinnati weddings and engagements we got to be a part of last year!
Michelle and Travis won our award for best wedding hashtag of the year – #partyintheuseh was a nod to her Canadian roots – our first international couple 😉 When her entire family moved back to Canada, Michelle opted to stay in America to see where things would go with a boy. I’ll never forget when she said, “Parts of wedding planning had me stressed and nervous. But I was never once nervous about marrying Travis. I’ve always known he was the man I wanted to grow old with.”
Mallory and Shane are our first Cincinnati wedding of 2020 in just a couple weeks, and we. can’t. wait. They had their first date at Cock ‘N Bull in Mainstrausse near where Shane lived when they started dating, so it was a blast walking down memory lane with them and exploring their old stomping grounds!
Felicity and Mitchell got married at a chapel on Thomas More’s campus where they met and fell in love. To make it even more special, Felicity’s father actually got to be the deacon who married them! My favorite was listening to Felicity talk about her grandma trying to set her up with a handsome boy she knew… only to find out she was actually trying to set her up with Mitchell who she had just started dating!
Stacie and Randy were an extra special engagement session, because Stacie’s daughter Emily was also one of our 2019 brides! Their family laughs so hard together – it’s contagious. We loved getting to celebrate with these two in Anna Maria Island, Florida!
We had a near-death experience on a golf cart on their Cincinnati wedding day (don’t ask!), but that actually wasn’t the most memorable moment. What stands out most when I think of their day was the way Lindsey’s eyes welled up with tears of anticipation thinking about her man just around the corner, waiting to see his bride for the first time. And the way Eric knew just what to do to make her laugh so his bride wouldn’t cry. They also hold the record for the most men we’ve ever seen dancing to an Enrique Iglesias song (because “Escape” was Eric’s ultimate frisbee song). 😉
Samantha and Kevin are one of the most LOVED couples we have worked with. Sam got one of the most precious wedding gifts we have seen – not only had her mom saved Samantha’s grandmother’s wedding shoes for her, but she also gave her the note her mom had given her on her very own Cincinnati wedding day. My favorite moment from their day was Sam’s walk down the same aisle five generations of her family had walked down to get married. Kevin got emotional at the sight of his bride, and some of his groomsmen got choked up at his reaction. It was a beautiful picture of just how loved these two are!
Caleb’s first look at his beautiful bride was one of the best moments of their day. There’s nothing like being around two people who KNOW how blessed they are to be signing up to spend forever together! These two place a premium on both family and faith, and that was evident in every moment of their day from sweet moments with their grandmas to their two families coming together to pray for them before the ceremony.
Ariel and Dustin are both way cooler and in way better shape than we are! 😉 From snow skiing to mountain biking to hiking, they have the most active hobbies ever. He flies airplanes and proposed by spelling “Marry Me” in the sky… does it get any cooler than that? These two showed us around their gorgeous home state of Colorado and we got to explore Red Rocks with them at sunrise for their engagement session. We made poor Ariel change shoes from heels to hiking boots about 15 times, but we laughed a ton and got some epic pictures! We are so looking forward to celebrating with them this summer in Boulder!
Maria and Nick had maybe the hottest engagement session of all time, but they laughed so hard and were the best sports about touching sweaty foreheads and walking through fields of long grass. Super excited for these high school sweethearts’ Cincinnati wedding in May!
Sarah and Calvin are actually photographers themselves, so it was an extra big honor to get to capture this season for them. Most couples take a few minutes to warm up since they aren’t used to being photographed, but we couldn’t stop talking about how perfect these two are together. They didn’t stop laughing for one second of their session, and we honestly can’t wait to get them officially married up this spring!
Emily and Joe are two lawyers who met in the courtroom where she was the public defender and he was the prosecutor. They had thunderstorms the entire time they were inside for their ceremony and not a single drop during outdoor portrait time – we thought that had to be a good sign! These two threw one of the best parties with a packed dance floor and plenty of laughter – we loved getting to be a part of it!
Candice got to surprise Kyle with the news that they were expecting on their wedding day, and it was such a sweet moment to be able to capture! Their little girl, Ellie, was a perfect sweetheart who is the first baby we have met who loved Chris more than me (my heart is still recovering!). Honestly, we have never seen a lake that looked so much like the ocean and it did our hearts good to get to celebrate with them in their new home state and see how many friends and family made the trip to come support them!
Jill and Latonio are Felicity and Mitchell’s neighbors, and we get SO excited to shoot weddings that give us an excuse to meet a new couple AND reconnect with an old one! These two are so natural together and were total troopers on a 95 degree fall day. Hotel Covington is going to be a gorgeous backdrop for their April wedding!
Abbey and Sam did their engagement pictures at the same place her parents got engaged! I love thinking about their kids coming back to visit P&G Gardens where so much love was celebrated in their family!
Rachel’s son, Chase, stole the show at this one with his killer speech and his sweet emotions getting the best of him as his mom came down the aisle. We absolutely loved the special bond he and Josh share – and the groomsmen dance they both surprised Rachel with was one of the books! They have the best sense of humor and fun – we had a blast at their Honey Locust Farms wedding!
I’ll never forget the way Dania lights up around Andy – it’s impossible to be around them and NOT smile! They met at a restaurant where they used to work together. Andy told a mutual friend and coworker on Dania’s first day, “I’m in love with that new hostess.” Turns out he really was! From her family traveling in from Lima to celebrate from their beautiful garden Cincinnati wedding ceremony and rooftop celebration, their day couldn’t have been more perfect!
Katie and Riley met at the Washington Park dog park on their first date, and Riley later proposed there, so it was a no-brainer to do their engagement pictures there. You can tell in about 2 seconds flat how much fun these two have together, and they bring the party with them wherever they go, so we have no doubt their Cincinnati wedding will be one for the books! Plus, they are celebrating at our all-time favorite venue – Ault Park… bring on May!
These two were made for each other. Drew kept Kerry laughing and did his best to keep her warm during their chilly fall session – August should bring some warmer weather for their Cincinnati wedding celebration!
Kate and Kevin met at a friend’s wedding, but shortly after they started dating, Kevin moved to New York to pursue a finance job and they began taking on the challenge of long distance dating. They are finally back in the same state, and we couldn’t be more thrilled for them. If they are half as positive, easygoing and sweet as they were at their engagement session, their summer wedding at The View will be perfection!
Matt and Emily are elementary school sweethearts, and my favorite part of their day was when the best man described Matt calling him and telling him he was finally officially dating “THE Emily”… the one he had spent his whole life loving. Both their proposal and their wedding took place at the church and school where they grew up and fell in love, which just added to the romance of the whole day. Even though it rained the entire day, we got just enough tiny breaks to sneak in some pictures on Twin Oaks’ gorgeous golf course showcasing the fall colors. We couldn’t possibly find two sweetest people than these two – one of our favorite days, for sure!
Jessica and Ethan are getting married on their own property next year, and it’s going to be so special! Their engagement session was filled with puppy kisses from their adorable pup, Ella, and we are counting down the days until we get to celebrate with them this fall!
We hope you’ve enjoyed walking down memory lane with us. If you’re getting married in 2021, we would love to chat about your Cincinnati wedding day and get to know each other to see if we might be the right fit to capture this season for you to look back on forever!
Need some wedding planning tips? Check out our Wedding Tip Wednesday Series!
Family formals are some of the most printed images from your wedding day. Mom, Grandma, and even those extended family members you may not see all that often will want their own copy. But often these family pictures are rushed, stressful, and taken in one of your least favorite photo locations of the day. With a bit of planning, you’ll be happy to know family formals can actually be some of your favorite images of your day!
1. Set Your List in Advance
A good photographer will work with you to determine which groupings are important to you BEFORE your wedding day. This enables your photographer to take the pictures in the most efficient order, and it will ensure you don’t have to remember all of those groups on your wedding day! We typically send out a recommended list in advance for you to start from, and we ask in advance if we should be sensitive to any family situations (i.e. people who won’t be present or won’t want to be photographed together, etc.).
2. Double Check Your List with Parents
If you have a family member who might be prone to making special picture requests on your wedding day (you know the one!), save yourself some stress and simply go over the list with them in advance. That way, if they have group pictures to request, you can get the additional requests to your photographer so they can factor in an appropriate amount of time to capture everything beautifully!
3. Consider Taking Immediate Family Pictures BEFORE the Ceremony
Traditionally, family formals are taken immediately following the ceremony inside the church or ceremony venue. It is typically dark and everyone is rushing to finish so they can get to the reception and have fun! We often recommend sharing a first look, as one of the perks of doing so is that you can avoid some of the stress of cramming a large chunk of family pictures into the 20-30 minutes right after your ceremony. If you plan to take pictures with your immediate family prior to the ceremony, you can take them outside in softer natural light and make time to do several variations with the same people in addition to the whole group. For example, you may take a picture with your whole family but also grab individuals of you with each of your grandparents, parents, and siblings. These are awesome for when you want a beautiful picture of you and your mom to print for Mother’s Day or a fun picture of you and your brother when you’re bragging on his exciting new promotion. Our couples cherish the pictures of their immediate family members, so it just makes sense to ensure we can take them in the best lighting and plan enough time to get all the variations you want!
4. Tell Your Family in ADVANCE When To Be Picture Ready
If you decide to do some or all of your formal family pictures after your ceremony, remind everyone you want in the pictures not to go anywhere! One easy way to do this is to remind people at your rehearsal when and where they are needed for family formals so it is fresh in their mind the next day. You can also send them an email. Forward the timeline along to anyone who might need it, and don’t hesitate to put your maid of honor or an immediate family member on the job of gathering family members for pictures on your wedding day! If you’re in a rush to make it to your cocktail hour or reception, you can even do some of the larger groups at the reception if you prefer. The DJ can announce the groups, we can take the pictures quickly, and you can all get back to partying!
So often, family formals can feel like an obligation. With a little bit of planning, they can be pretty painless… and you may be left with your new favorite photo of you and your dad, a photo you’ll treasure forever of your grandma at your wedding, or a professional photo of you and your little sister who grew up to be your best friend.
Decisions, decisions, decisions. From wondering what to wear for your engagement pictures to deciding whether you should do a first look, wedding planning requires you to consider a million tiny details. The months leading up to your wedding should be spent making memories with your best friend and enjoying the process, not Googling for hours on end. And so, *drum roll please*, Wedding Tip Wednesday was born! Throughout this series, we will be sharing our best tips to make your wedding day everything you’ve dreamed of and keep it as STRESS FREE as possible.
Engagement sessions are one of our favorite things to photograph. There’s so much excitement and emotion in this special time where you get to call each other “fiancé”, and we want to celebrate and remember all that joy and love from each session. One of the most common questions our couples ask is what to wear for engagement pictures. So today we’re sharing some of favorite tips and tricks to look your best on camera!
Hair And Makeup
Let’s be honest – wedding and engagement pictures are one of the largest portrait investments you will make in your life. To get the most out of that investment, what better time to indulge in a little pampering than your engagement session? Weddings are expensive and it can be tempting to cut this expense out, but IT. IS. SO. WORTH. IT. to let an incredible hair and makeup artist take care of you. This single tip will make a HUGE impact on the way you look and feel during your session. Here are just a few of the MANY reasons to treat yo’self. (Where are our Parks and Rec people?!)
Dress It Up
If you ask us, there’s no such thing as being too dressed up for engagement photos! For ladies, our favorites are long skirts with lots of movement or cocktail dresses and heels. Lace and tulle photograph beautifully, but the most important thing is to choose something you feel amazing in. (Pro tip: Heels make your legs look INCREDIBLE, but they aren’t always the best for walking to an epic location. Bring a pair of flats or flip flops to wear from spot to spot – your feet will thank you later!) We also recommend women opt for sleeves. An elegant long or 3/4-length sleeve is a soft, romantic, universally flattering option for ladies – unless you want to show off all your hard work in the gym!
For guys, you can’t go wrong with a suit and tie! Slacks and a suit jacket, bow ties, dress shoes, blazers and nice jeans, sweaters, and button down shirts are all ideal options. There’s a reason if you look at GQ Magazine over the years, most of the men are dressed similarly… Because dapper never goes out of style. Grey, black, or navy suits are timeless, classic looks like compliment most women’s outfits and flatter most men. And don’t be afraid to accessorize – a nice watch or leather belt can really tie everything together! Check out Brookes and Hyde for some great belts – it’s owned by one of our former grooms!
Honestly, all of these are universal tips that tend to flatter most people. You know yourselves best. Wear something you feel comfortable in that feels true to you, even if that means it doesn’t fall perfectly within these suggestions! Your pictures should be authentically YOU, so you can wear literally anything you want.
Even if you decide not to get super fancy, we recommend selecting lighter tones and more muted shades. A softer color palette of soft pinks, muted blues, and neutrals like heather gray, creams, leather brown, and white fits beautifully into almost all natural outdoor environments and won’t clash with the backgrounds. Your outfits will look the most cohesive on camera when the color palettes coordinate, but don’t necessarily “match” – we typically recommend you each wear a different dominant color rather than both of you wearing shirts that are exactly the same hue.
In the end, the most important thing is to have fun! Above all else, choose something that makes you feel confident and beautiful! If you don’t feel amazing, don’t try to force it. Many couples love getting dressed up but others don’t, so don’t feel like you have to! (Some even choose to bring two outfits – one more formal and one more casual like something they would wear out on a date. If you do that, wear your favorite outfit last when you’re most comfortable with the camera and when light is prettiest!)
Most people feel a bit nervous about getting in front of the camera. We promise you (and your fiancé!) will have a blast. Make it even more fun by planning a date night after pictures to take advantage of being all done up! Engagement photos will leave you with permanent memories of the start of your love story, and that’s really what this session is all about.
Now what you know what to wear for your engagement pictures, learn why we recommend everyone write each other letters on their wedding day!
Decisions. Decisions. Decisions.
Wedding planning requires you to consider a million tiny details. The months leading up to your wedding should be spent making memories with your best friend and enjoying the process, not Googling for hours on end. And so, *drum roll please*, Wedding Tip Wednesday was born! Throughout this series, we will be sharing our best tips to make your wedding day everything you’ve dreamed of and keep it as STRESS FREE as possible. If you’re late to the party, you can catch up on the whole series below!
If you’re planning a wedding, someone (or everyone) you know has probably already told you that your wedding day flies by… and they’re right. If you’re not careful, you’ll get so caught up in making last minute decisions and worrying about every little detail that you’ll miss the chance to ENJOY it and breathe in the memories of this once in a lifetime moment where your boyfriend turned fiance becomes the man you’ll spend the rest of your life with.
One of the things we pride ourselves on is helping our couples build out a custom timeline for their big day. This does a few things; first, it ensures that there’s a plan in place before the wedding day, so the bride and groom can focus on enjoying themselves and not on scrambling to get everything done in time or spending the morning calling and texting family members to tell them when/where to be ready for pictures. Second, it ensures that you can intentionally use the hours you have on your wedding day. One of our favorites, Dave Ramsey, says that if you don’t tell your money where to go, you’ll wonder where it went. The same principle applies to time. We recommend thinking about how you’d spend your wedding day if everything was ideal and you didn’t have to worry about accommodating anyone else’s desires. Would you spend a little more time getting ready to enjoy those special moments with your girls? Would you steal away from the crowd for a few moments with your new husband to just be alone together? Would you like to take some special time together with your mom? Your dad? Your sister? Working to create a timeline in advance ensures that you get to spend your big day exactly how you’ve always dreamed.
Our favorite thing to incorporate into your timeline is a short 15-20 minute window just before sunset to do husband and wife portraits. There’s something calming about being with your husband alone on your wedding day away from all the distractions and decisions and stress that can come with a wedding. You get to take this time to stare into each other’s eyes, take a walk together, and forget the rest of the world for a few minutes… and as a bonus, we get to capture some of the most precious memories for you on your wedding day… in gorgeous light. 🙂
Whether you choose to steal away for sunset portraits, include a private first look to start your day together, or simply take some of the cocktail hour to sneak off to the bridal suite for some quiet moments together, we encourage you to find a moment (or a few moments!) throughout your day to intentionally make memories and spend time with your spouse. Happy planning!