Lauren and Justin's Cincinnati Wedding

Lauren and Justin's Fourth of July wedding was a true celebration of love, family, and patriotism.  Justin is in the military and both come from military families, so they decided this would be the perfect day for their wedding.  It was one of those crazy, rainy Saturdays we had last moth, but that didn't stop anyone from smiling and having a great time.  They had a beautiful church ceremony at St. Clare Chapel followed by an intimate reception at Niederman Farm.

Thanks to all of the amazing people who helped make their wedding fantastic. Coordinator: Shannon Wullenweber Food:  Village Pantry Flowers: Holly Schweitzer Cake: Maureen Thie

I always give myself a little pep talk on the way to my weddings.  Just a little something to make sure I am present, focused, and positive when I arrive.  For this wedding I just kept telling myself, don't worry about the rain, get creative with window light.  Ahh the power of positive thinking.  I think this might be my favorite bridal portrait to date, so dramatic. Remember Candice and Chris from their Riverboat wedding I shot a couple of years ago?  Chris is Lauren's brother.  I was so happy to see them again!All of the tables were named after American heroes.One of the coolest things I have ever seen at a wedding.  Lauren lost her grandmother not long ago.  She decided to display her gorgeous vintage wedding dress as an homage to her. Lauren's Dad is one of the most intense, passionate people I have ever met.  He gave an epic speech that had the entire room, including me laughing and crying at the same time. 

Candice and Chris Cincinnati Riverboat Wedding

Candice and Chris were married on the B&B Riverboat, The Belle of Cincinnati in front of their dearest friends and family.  They had originally planned a destination wedding in Florida, but their sweet little girl Sophia came down with a sudden illness that required them to stay close to home so that she could get treatment.  Their journey has been tough, but these two are strong and the love they have for each other and their family is where they get their strength.

It was one of those super hot days we had in July, and as soon as I met up with Candice and Chris of course it started to rain, like major downpour rain.  I am not going to lie, I was a little nervous.  Throughout the past year and a half that  I have been shooting weddings, I have yet to have a rainy day wedding.  Not only were we planning on shooting their portraits outside, but the location on the boat where they were to be married was on top of a boat with no shelter.  Candice and Chris weren't phased by the rain and we decided to go ahead and drive to the location and hope for the best.  That's when the magic happened. After driving for about 10 minutes, clear skies, dry grass, perfect weather. Candice looked amazing in her Nicole Miller dress.This is their sweet Sophia with her Grandpa. Have I ever mentioned  how much I adore Marti of Marti's Floral Designs?  Because of their change of plans, Candice had to do a lot of last minute planning.  She contacted Marti about a week before the wedding about putting together bouquets and boutonnieres for the wedding party.  In the wedding world July is BUSY! It is hard to squeeze in time for yourself let alone last minute clients.  Marti was so understanding, she went out of her way to create these spectacular flowers for Candice and Chris.  They were perfect.  A polaroid of the couple. :) Ok I am going to go ahead and declare this the best cake I have ever had at a wedding, period.  Ahhh I remember some kind of lemon filling, it was to die for.  Chris' aunt,  Moe Thie is head of the Bakery Hill cake department at Midwest Culinary Institute.  She created this amazing cake for the couple.  After the wedding and dinner cruise we took the party to the landing for drinks and dancing. It was so much fun I ended up staying 2 hours past my scheduled time.  Highlight of the night...breaking it down on the dance floor with Candice's Dad to Salt and Peppa. Epic night!

Hippy Wedding Love

Last month I had the pleasure of working with a very talented group of people on this 70's inspired  dream shoot.  The idea came from one of the table designs at Love+Bash (the alternative wedding show created by Jen Pritchard and myself).  Because there was so much hard work put into every little detail, we decided to set up a shoot using the ideas and concepts seen at Love+Bash with a few added elements and models.  I used my digital camera, my Holga, and my Polaroid camera to create these vintage inspired photos.  I am very excited to announce we got a huge feature on  Rockn'Roll Bride today!  Be sure to head over there and show some love! :) Thanks Kat!!

Thanks to the following people who helped make this shoot so awesome!

Table Design: Your Wedding by Jen/Desserts and Paper: Sweet Cakes Events, Ltd./Flowers, Handmade Dreamcatcher, Table Design: Inspired Floral Design/Hair: Shane Weber Salon/Models: Casey Linton and Nick Soloman (Nick is an amazing tattoo artist, check out the newest issue of Tattoo Magazine to see a full feature on his work)

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Emily and Jay's Etsy infused Catholic Wedding

Over the past year I have gotten to know and really adore Emily and Jay.  Emily is one of the funniest people I have ever met and Jay has a huge heart full of nothing but love for his new wife.  Jay did this special little countdown dedicated to all of the reasons he thinks Emily is awesome and why he is so happy to be marrying her.  He posted the countdown on  facebook leading up to their wedding.  I looked forward to reading them, he always made me smile.  Sometimes they were super funny and sometimes they were super sweet.   Here are a couple of my favorites "‎#35... I love that when regulators comes on and we have to sing duet style you always let me sing the Nate Dog part..."I laid all them busters down I let my gat exploooooode." How funny is that.  I cant get this vision out of my head, the two of them singing this together, it cracks me up!  ‎"#6.... I like going out places with our friends and the looks we give each other from across the room. Like there's really no one else around, and anything or anyone else doesn't really matter."‎  Now that is freaking love! and I like this one too  "‎#15.... I love all the love letters that you write me. I have the top drawer in my desk at work full of them. I especially like the drawing of Ollie dog that asks if I want to marry his momma and adopt him!" but the best is #1 he posted it on their wedding day  "because she said yes and today in front of all our family and friends I get to Marry the love of my life Emily Rose Russell"  Doesn't that just melt your heart?

Emily and Jay's wedding took place at the breathtaking Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Covington.  Emily and Jay are pround members of this church and were fortunate to be married by Bishop Roger J Foys, D. D.(that is kind of a big deal).  After the ceremony we took a little detour to take bridal party pictures and then headed  to the Madison for an afternoon reception full of love, laughter, and really good food. :)

Emily and Jay I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for making me feel so special and for giving me the opportunity to share this amazing day with you.  I love how much you appreciate and cherish your pictures.  I sent Emily this one below yesterday, she showed it to Jay and he said he was going to print it and keep it in his wallet, and that it is the kind of picture his great grandchildren will cherish. :) That my friends, is why I love what I do. :)

This was a very Etsy infused wedding.  I will add the complete list of vendors at the end of the post.

Beautiful Bride EtsyEtsy WeddingEtsy weddingEtsy WeddingEtsy WeddingEtsy WeddingBrooch BouquetCathedral Basilica of the Assumption Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption Upon our first meeting Emily told me that the most important part of the day was this moment below. Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption Etsy WeddingEtsy WeddingEtsy WeddingEtsy WeddingEtsy WeddingBrooch BouquetEtsy WeddingEtsy WeddingEtsy WeddingEtsy WeddingEtsy Weddingfun bridal party picturesEtsy Weddinghandmade weddinghandmade weddingHow cute is this cake topper?  It even includes their sweet dog, Ollie.  I love it!Etsy Cake TopperThe karaoke after party was at Molly Malone's Irish Pub.  It was too much fun!  Emily is a blast! :)

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Thank you to my wonderful assistant Andrew Ducker for helping me capture the day.

Etsy Vendors

Dress: Bridal Bliss Designs, Alterations done by Tony King, Cincinnati Flower Girl Dress: Nastershum Girls' Necklaces: MarolshaMuchodesign,  ShopJoliette All flowers and veil: Meadowbelle Market Cake Topper: Concarta Love banner on sweetheart table: Raven's Bloom

All of the decor, signage, Emily's brooch bouquet, and desserts were handmade by Emily and Jay

Tuxes: Folchi's Formalwear Bridesmaid dresses: Nordstrom

Hair: Sara Ruf DJ: Elite Signature Karaoke DJ: Will Corson Caterer: The Madison

See Emily and Jay's engagement photos taken in Covington here.

Natasha and Hank's DIY Kentucky Farm Wedding

You might remember Natasha and Hank from their engagement session I photographed at the Southgate House last year.  I have  been looking forward to their wedding ever since. These two have amazing style.  I fell in love with all of the little details they came up with to make their day unique.  They wanted their wedding to feel relaxed and natural.  Every single aspect of this wedding was do-it-yourself.  Natasha created the bouquets and all of the centerpieces, her sister and other family members made all of the food, a good friend helped build the photo booth wall and all of the signs, guests drank beer out of mason jars and set up tents so the party could go on all night long.  It was casual, creative, and full of so much love.

On the way to the farm we stopped by the Leapin Lizard to get this image of Natasha and Hank in front of their gorgeous stained glass window.  Natasha fell in love with it at Love+Bash last month.

stained-glass-wedding-cincinnaticincinnati-wedding-photographercincinnati wedding shoescincinnati-diy-weddingcincinnati-wedding-photographercincinnati-wedding-photographercincinnati-wedding-photographercincinnati-wedding-photographercincinnati-wedding-photographerNatasha's mother giving the couple her blessing, so sweet!cincinnati-wedding-photographercincinnati-wedding-photographercincinnati-diy-weddingkentucky-farm-wedding Natasha and Hank collected decor from local thrift stores to use on the tables.  The plates they used were all vintage finds they plan on donating back to the Goodwill. They bottled their own lemonade for favors.Natasha's sister did an amazing job on the cupcakes and desserts.kentucky-farm-weddingkentucky-farm-weddingkentucky-farm-weddingkentucky-farm-weddingkentucky-farm-weddingAre you ready for the quickest ceremony was four minutes long.   kentucky-farm-weddingkentucky-farm-wedding kentucky-farm-weddingcincinnati-alternative-weddingkentucky-farm-weddingkentucky-farm-wedding kentucky-farm-weddingkentucky-farm-weddingcincinnati-alternative-weddingThere is that yellow wall that I love to photograph.  It worked so well with the colors of their wedding.

cincinnati-alternative-weddingcincinnati-alternative-weddingcincinnati-alternative-weddingcincinnati-alternative-weddingcincinnati-alternative-weddingkentucky-farm-weddingHolga magic.

holga-wedding-photographyvintage-farm-weddingcincinnati-alternative-weddingAnother Holga image.  This one is a crazy double exposure collaboration image taken by Hank's little brother Alexander and me.  I love it!

holga-wedding-photographyThis one was taken with my 35mm film camera.  The film I used was expired in 1997. expired 35mm filmkentucky-farm-weddingkentucky-farm-weddingcincinnati-alternative-wedding

Stephanie and Michael Cincinnati Wedding Photographer

I knew there was something special about Stephanie the second I met her.  It was her smile, it was so warm and so sincere.  We sat in our meeting and she told me about Michael and how their relationship grew through many years of their life.  Michael, who is the military has been stationed in Germany.  They have spent hours communicating via Skype and phone calls.  It was tough, but their love got them through it.  I first met Michael the week of the wedding when he got into town.  We set up a last minute engagement shoot and I got to know this wonderful man Stephanie told me all about.  This was one of the most heartfelt weddings I have had the opportunity to be part of.  These two have so many people in their lives who care deeply for them.  Every conversation I had at their reception was about how genuinely kind they are.  I am so thankful they asked me to be part of this special time in their lives.  Stephanie and Michael I wish you the best of luck in your new adventure as husband and wife in Germany. :)

I had to post this picture first because it is one my favorite wedding photos to date.  I love this barn, I have driven past it 100's of times.  When I was thinking of locations for Stephanie and Michael's photos I knew it would be the perfect backdrop to use since Michael is in the military.  It turned out better than I could have imagined.

Stephanie and the girl's got ready at Stephanie's parents house in Ft. Thomas.Stephanie's dress from Fabulous Bridal was a perfect fit for her personality.Stephanie wore her grandmother's earrings.This amazing sash was hand made for Stephanie by one of her friends.  Unbelievable!Michael and the guys hanging out at his parent's house before the ceremony.  Michael seeing Stephanie for the first time.The ceremony was held at St. Therese in Southgate, KY.I love this one taken right after they walked out of the church.  Ft. Thomas Florist did a wonderful job on the flowers.  I love the colors Stephanie chose.The reception was held at Riverside Gardens in Dayton, Ky.   A very sweet father daughter dance.The toasts got a little emotional. :)

Featured on Beyond Beyond!

How cool is this?!  Amanda and Michael's wedding I shot  at Jefferson Hall was featured on a very cool wedding inspiration blog,  BeyondBeyond .  "this Nikita is a photography assassin who instead of literally killing us chose to knock us dead with some amazeballs photography"  I love it, thanks Beyond Beyond!!

You can check out the full post here.

A Little Taste of Heaven

Vintage style wedding dresses are so hot right now.  The ruffles, the lace, I just love how feminine and sweet they are.   Here are a couple I found on Wedding Inspirasi designed by  Temperlay London.  You can definitely see the vintage influences.   I found these gorgeous, vintage dresses on Etsy and A Vintage Wedding, most are well under $500.

Below is my Favorite!

Amanda and Michael Cincinnati Wedding Photographer

Amanda and Michael, or Mandy and Mo, as their friends call them are absolutely the best clients/friends a girl could ask for.  Not only that,  they are the sweetest, most laid back couple ever.    Their wedding was very chill, no formalities,  just a beautiful, loving ceremony surrounded by tons of close friends and family members.

Everything about this wedding was personal and unique.  Mandy wore her mother's vintage wedding dress.  All of the decor was set up by Mandy's dearest friends.   Jefferson Hall,  where the wedding and reception were held,  is owned by Mandy and Mike's close friends(who are also good friends of mine).   The music was hand picked by Mandy and Mo.  (I am not going to lie, when I walked in and heard Pink Floyd playing I knew was going to be a perfect day!)  They wanted their day to be a celebration of their love,  simple and without fuss, just like them. ;) It was a beautiful wedding day!

Mandy wore Calvin Klein shoes and her mother's vintage wedding dress from 1966.  She is stunning!Petals and Glass from Cincinnati arranged these gorgeous flowers. I heart all things vintage!  Mandy's wedding band is her grandmother's from 1939. The super sweet ceremony. Mandy grew the herbs used in the center pieces.  Her friend Dawn grew the smaller pots of herbs for favors.  The John Lennon quote they attached to the pots was perfect. Mandy's smile can light up a room. Mandy and Mike's dear friends Aaron Hall and Scott Florian did a wonderful job with the food.

The desserts were made by different family members and friends.  You know you are at a kick ass wedding when this is how it ends.