Birthdays & Baby Showers – An Event-full March!

This may come as a shock, but I don’t just do weddings!  I am an event loving lady and while I may usually be found at weddings from April through October, I do also offer my services for any type of celebration in the off months or on any given Sunday.  This month I had the honor of attending two birthday celebrations as well as a lovely baby shower.

My month began with the lovely Kimberly bringing me in on her husband, Joseph’s surprise 75th birthday celebration.   The event was hosted by the Glenwillow Grille , a location close to my heart since my own baby shower was held there.  It continues to provide a classic atmosphere and food that smells so delicious you want to sniff your way back to the serving table over and over again.  It was heartwarming to hear so many stories from memories of youthful fun to the speeches of thanks and honor of several local Mayors for Joseph’s years of service in business and on the Bedford School Board.  Friends and families shared memories from many decades and made new magical memories as well.

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The next event I had the honor of capturing was another surprise birthday party, this time helmed by Paula’s niece, Renee, and hosted by the Redhawke Grille in Concord.  Renee wanted me to capture the celebration as well as providing group photos for the attendees.  What we did not know was that one of Paula’s nephews was planning a surprise of his own.  A marriage proposal! I was brought into the loop early in the party and devised a devious way to bring them to center stage. At the appointed time I invited him and his lovely lady and their children up for a family photo  and he followed that moment  with bended knee and a vow to continue to love and honor her, as his wife.  She said yes!  Definitely a party for the books!

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And to wrap up my event-full March, I was delighted to attend Christine’s baby shower at the always stunning Portage Country Club .  This location gives just as much special attention to an intimate gathering as it does to the grand weddings I have photographed there.  And the shower, planned and hosted by Christine’s wonderful mother, Kathy, was a visual masterpiece!  The requested theme of trains, planes and automobiles was carried out to perfection! From the delightfully whimsical cake to all of the signs and note cards that were simply perfection (credit to Liz Scott of Lovely Somethings for those) and the pops of spring tulips sweetly scenting the air. Baby Jack will be making his appearance in late June and is so very blessed to join this wonderful group of family and friends.

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Missy & Corey – Lock 29 Engagement Session

I had been looking forward to this engagement session for quite a while.  I had the pleasure of accompanying Missy when she visited her ceremony venue, the Tallmadge Historic Church, back in September and we had that instant click that lets me know the fates have once more found a perfect match of photog and couple.  Since Corey had been out of town for work for quite a while we had to wait until just after Valentine’s Day for their engagement session.  We hoped for snow…because it can be so pretty, but we were instead given an even greater gift, a winter’s day that’s warmth speaks of the promise of Spring and the renewal of life it brings.  Which, since these two had recently been reunited, was rather perfect.  And Corey was just as wonderful as Missy which just means I am twice as excited to spend a summer’s day celebrating their marriage vows to each other.  C’mon, August!

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Lauren & John – Glamorgan Castle Engagement Session

Lauren and John chose one of my favorite spots for their wintry engagement session.  Glamorgan Castle is a gorgeous and romantic backdrop, though it doesn’t do much to break winter’s icy winds.  In order to keep Lauren from going full Popsicle we put the gas to the mat and fit an hour’s worth of love and laughter into about half that time.  It is a special couple that can so quickly be comfortable in front of a camera; but I rather felt like any time Lauren and John were locking eyes, arms or lips I may as well have been on the Moon for all they noticed me.

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Kelsey & Nick’s Wedding – The Historic Onesto – Canton, OH

Kelsey is a planner. And Nick is the man who keeps her laughing instead of losing her mind to the details.  They had a vision and with the help of an amazing crew of family and friends every detail was perfection.

Their wedding was simply breathtaking from start to finish visually and emotionally.  I had The Onesto on my bucket list for a while, the gorgeous interior was a spot I found myself daydreaming about.  It did not let me down!  But, the most beautiful locations are worthless without an amazing couple to show them off, and it only took talking with Kelsey once to know that this couple was extra special.

I had photographed Nick’s older brother, Nate and his lovely Bride, Lauren in the summer of 2016, and Nate was in the wedding party so I knew what a fun guy he was but I hadn’t gotten to know Kelsey.  Much like the 2016 Fockler newlyweds, Nick and Kelsey were high school sweethearts whose love matured as they moved through college and they continued to be best friends and each other’s balance in life.  So it felt like a family reunion to me as I spent more time with the Focklers and also got to know the equally amazing Soehnlens as well as the amazing group of friends that gathered to celebrate Kelsey and Nick’s newest chapter together.

 

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Ceremony: St. Paul’s Catholic Church – North Canton, OH

Reception: The Historic Onesto – Canton, OH

Caterer: Robert J. Events & Catering 

Florist: Nikki’s Perfect Petal Designs – Akron, OH

Hair Salon: Jennifer Franta Hair  – Canton, OH

Make-up Artist: Andi Wheatley Makeup Artistry – Canton, OH

AnnMarie & Steve Wedding – November 18, 2017 – The Barn on Enchanted Acres

AnnMarie and Steve got married on the rainiest weekend I can recall.  The kind of rain that you cannot even see through because it appears to be a waterfall  dropping down from an unseen sky.  Except…for about 2-1/2 hours in Dennison, Ohio at a place aptly named The Barn on Enchanted Acres, the rain stopped.  I can clearly recall driving to the venue wondering if the rain would delay guests arriving, it was that awful.  But as I got within about 15 minutes the rain was no longer a downpour, then a few miles out it was a drizzle, then a mist.  And as I pulled up, already clad in my raincoat, I stepped outside and not a drop was falling.  I zipped around getting location photos and outdoor details assuming this was a brief respite.  But as AnnMarie donned her gown, it held off.  As Steve and the guys raised a glass of whiskey to the day, it held off.  As the staff dried off the chairs at the outdoor ceremony site, no new rain fell.  So AnnMarie and Steve, who had such hopes and dreams were married in front of family and friends on a mild November day under a gray but non-threatening sky.  And after they became Mr. & Mrs.  we wandered around the gorgeous grounds; they swung on the floral swing a bit, cuddled as the air grew cooler, laughed with joy at their luck as we fit in our last few photos before entering their reception.  And within moments of their grand entrance I once again heard the sound of rain falling.  They say that rain on your wedding day is good luck.  AnnMarie and Steve had that and more in finding each other and if volume of rain counts, even with the break in the weather they still earned enough for several lifetimes on their wedding day.

A special thanks from the Bride and Groom to David Stewart who was an amazing wedding planner and florist.

Venue: The Barn on Enchanted Acres – Dennison, OH

Cake: Litty’s Cakes & Cookies – New Philadelphia, OH

Caterer: Benson’s Market & Catering – Dover, OH

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Fall Family Sessions – a new leaf

I do not often offer family photo sessions.  Not because I do not enjoy them, simply because with my own kiddos I preferred to concentrate my time on my main passion, weddings and engagement sessions.  But this Autumn I found myself inspired and with my young ones being firmly ensconced in elementary school and my eldest of an age to be a responsible babysitter I opened up some dates to past wedding clients who have expanded their families as well as some of my own siblings and close friends.  And it was AMAZING!! Scouting new locations, having fun cuddling families together in gorgeous ways and something I rarely get a chance to do – photograph other folks kiddos!  I was kinda afraid they would not follow direction well.  My kids are used to me bugging them to sit this way, look over that way, smile, laugh, hug or whatever.  And I am used to bribing them with ice cream and let’s be honest here, using Mom-tone here and there to eek a few more minutes of cooperation out of them.  But these kids were amazing!  Ranging in age from toddlers to high schoolers they all blew me away. Not a single meltdown or even any trickly tears!  We played in new locations I fell in love with and even in my own backyard which turns into a golden wonderland on late Autumn afternoons.  Take a look at some of the laughter, love and joy filled moments.

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