Erin and Greg were married at St. Mark's Episocal Church in Upper Arlington, just as Erin's brother Chris was married there to Elizabeth, whose wedding I photographed a few years before. It is always such an honor to be asked back to photograph other family members' weddings, but especially nice to see everyone again. It's like I already know everybody and we're old friends!
Erin and Greg live in Virginia, so I didn't get to see them before their wedding day although we'd chatted via email many times. This happens often, especially with referrals, where we don't have an opportunity to get together prior to the wedding. Having been at this for so many years and having so much experience, this is never a problem, so you shouldn't feel like it's an absolute must that we meet ahead of time, although I certainly would welcome the opportunity to get together if it works out!
St. Mark's Episocal has a very bright sanctuary and a lovely and cozy getting ready room for the bride, although there we have the run of all the rooms in that lower level, including a room devoted to toasts and food, and a room just for the dress. And, speaking of the dress, Erin's was simply stunning, covered in lace from top to bottom with a little lace jacket to go over top; it was romantic and elegant and she looked amazing in it.
In this church is a long red hallway that leads from the getting ready rooms to the staging area for the sanctuary. This red hallway is lined with large framed artwork, and it is all very symmetrical, which is my favorite thing ever. (I'm a sucker for pattern and symmetry!) This walk up the red hallway for Erin and her father made for some gorgeous pictures of their last moments together before Erin was to be married.
Lots of different churches have lots of different rules for what photographers can and cannot do. In order to photograph the processional at St. Mark's Episcopal, the photographer is required to sit in one of the pews and shoot from the pew. So no standing in the middle of the aisle at all for any reason. Which is fine. However, once I'm in that pew, I have to stay there because I'm also not allowed to then wander around. This is where having a second photographer comes in very handy. So while I was in the pew photographing the wedding ceremony from up close (I sit directly behind the family), my second photographer was able to stand at the back or to quietly walk up the side aisles to capture different vantage points. If your church has rules such as these, you might want to take them into consideration when deciding whether you should have a second photographer at your wedding.
After the ceremony, Erin and Greg came back into the sanctuary to dismiss guests. I always like photographing this, at least the first few rows which are usually close family. There are a lot of touching moments during these greetings and it also gives me the opportunity to stand near the altar and shoot back at the congregation, which provides a unique perspective that I'm unable to get during the ceremony itself.
We then made formal family portraits on the altar, bustled Erin's gown, gathered up our belongings and headed in the limo to the Short North for wedding party pictures. This is also another opportunity for considering whether to have a second photographer. While I rode with the wedding party in the limo, my second photographer drove on to the reception at Dock 580 and photographed room details and flowers and guests enjoying cocktail hour. If we use all of cocktail hour for wedding party pictures, then those are shots I would've been unable to capture. If capturing cocktail hour is important to you but you don't necessarily want to attend because you'd rather do pictures elsewhere, then this is something to consider when deciding whether to have a second photographer.
The Short North is a very popular place for wedding party photos and rightly so. We parked and walked up one side of High Street and down the other, stopping to take pictures all along the way and to enjoy some ice cream at Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. If you're a wedding party and you're walking by a Jeni's, it's almost a must that you stop and have some ice cream! Not only is it the most delicious ice cream in the world, but it makes for some really fun pictures of everyone relaxing and enjoying a nice little break.
The reception at Dock 580 was beautiful, as always. The upstairs was set with tables and the cake, complete with a topper that was a tandem bike with Erin and Greg's names on it, as they are avid cyclists. The dancing is held in the downstairs, which is visible from the upstairs and one of the nice features about Dock 580. It was a great party with wonderful friends and family.