When Tony and I first met Maria and Grant, we felt an immediate connection with them. They visited our home studio to talk about their needs for wedding photography and it wasn't long into our conversation that Tony and I knew that we wanted to work with them. Maria knows exactly what she wants, and she expects it done well. She is a definite Type A personality, which, makes me very happy because I am, too. Grant is extremely smart and somehow good at...everything. Much like, Tony. We absolutely knew that we had what it takes to meet all of Maria and Grant's expectations.
During their visit with us, we could see how in love Maria and Grant were with each other. They held hands throughout our entire consultation, listened to each other and respected each other's thoughts as we talked. We got another taste of this chemistry when we photographed their engagement session at Dawes Arboretum in Columbus, Ohio this past fall. You can view some of their images in the blog we wrote after their session HERE and see for yourself how natural, comfortable and truly in love with each other they really are. They were naturals in front of the camera then and this didn't change at all during their wedding day.
We started this cool April morning at Maria's Sister-In-Law's house for some getting ready shots of Maria, all 11 of her bridesmaids and her 3 flower girls. The house was not only full of women, it was full of love. Even though everyone was running about and moderately stressed, you could feel the closeness of everyone who was there. Tony captured some makeup and hair shots while I did my thing with Maria's shoes, jewelry and dress. Before we left, we grabbed a fun shot of all of the girls in their robes.
Maria's First Look with her Father
Maria wanted to have a first look with her Dad after she was ready and in her gown. We walked Maria's Dad into the room backwards so that he wouldn't see anything. Maria patiently waited for us to tell him when he could turn around to see his daughter as a bride for the very first time.
I think Maria and her Dad were shocked that they both got so emotional in this moment. It was extremely touching and it also brought tears to everyone who was in the room.
Wedding Photo tip: Even if you don't want a first look with your future husband, I think that it's always a good idea to have a first look with your dad. You just never know how he will react and the photos of this moment will always turn out amazing (as long as you hire Mak Rabbitt Photography). I promise.
A letter from the Groom to the Bride
After those tears were patted dry, it was time for even MORE tears. Maria's sister-in-law presented Maria with a letter that Grant wrote for her to be read before they became husband and wife.
Prayers over the Bride and Groom
Before we knew it, it was nearly ceremony time. Maria and Grant requested a special moment with their bridal party before the mass. They asked that their bridal party and close family and friends pray over them. Tony was with Grant and I was with Maria while this was happening in separate areas of the church. This was the first time in 7 years of photographing weddings that I have seen this done...and it was so touching. I wish that I could insert the sounds that I heard fill the hallway into this blog. The sounds of the humming of all of the girl's voices as they each said a prayer over Maria at the same time was incredibly moving. Extremely special moments.
A Walk Down the Aisle
After the prayers were complete, I walked with Maria and her girls to the entrance of the church. Tony was with Grant at the altar as he waited to see Maria for the first time as his bride. Maria and her Dad silently held hands as they waited for each member of the bridal party to walk down the aisle until it was their turn. Tony caught Grant's expression as he saw Maria walking with her Dad.
"You May Kiss the Bride!"
After their first kiss as husband and wife, Maria and Grant quickly waved to their attendants (it was COLD) and headed back into the church for family photos.
"Formal" Family Portraits
The family photos at the church were a ton of fun. Maria and Grant showed us their goofy sides with their brothers and sisters. Maria and her brothers started it off with a silly portrait, then Grant and his siblings joined in the fun.
"Clang Clang Clang Went the Trolley"
During family photos, Ohio weather flared her temper. It started raining heavily...then it started snowing! A trolley was waiting outisde the church to escort Maria and Grant to their next photo location. We headed to the Ohio State House where we made photo magic happen.
The Ohio State House
The architecture of the Ohio State House is absolutely beautiful and made the perfect backdrop for our client's photos. As we were taking photos, we learned that everything in this place has a meaning. For example, did you know that the rows of columns that line the outside of the building were specifically made to resemble the Parthenon in Athens? Well, you do now.
Below is a shot of the entire bridal party, consisting of 11 bridesmaids, 8 groomsmen, 3 flower girls, 2 ring bearers and the bride and groom. Whew! Tony had to bust out the ultra-wide-angle lens for this baby. You see why you should hire a professional? Not anyone has the proper equipment to light and shoot this shot.
After some more shots with the girls and guys, we took Maria and Grant by themselves and we walked around. We stopped in the rotunda to get some shots with the amazing ceiling and floor. "The floor of the Rotunda consists of nearly 4,917 pieces of hand-cut marble from around the world. The salmon stones are from Portugal; the black and green marble is from Vermont; and the white marble is from Italy" (from http://www.ohiostatehouse.org). Okay, I'll stop with the fun facts.
The Reception at The Annunciation Banquet and Conference Center Columbus, Ohio
After we were literally kicked out of the state house by security (sorry, no cool story here, we had just used up all of our allotted time), we headed to the reception. The reception was held at The Annunciation Banquet and Conference Center. The place was decorated beautifully and meticulously. Gina's eye for detail is beyond amazing.
The cake was made by Lana Poe of "FOR ALL OCAKESIONS - Custom Cake Artistry." It was beautiful (and delicious).
The Cake Smash
Now, speaking of cake, cake-smashing photos typically do not make it into our blog; howEVER, these shots were pretty amazing. I was actually surprised that Maria instigated a full-on cake smash! You can see the crumbles of cake splattering around Grant's face in the last photo of this hilarious series.
The first dances did not disappoint. All of the dances were emotional. We even got bonus shots of the audience watching all of the dances. You can see Maria's mother watching Maria and Grant dance as her grand-daughter sat on her lap. You can Maria's mom and Grant's sister watching as Maria and her Dad danced, holding the roses her dad presented to her. My favorite is the one where Maria is in the background watching Grant and his mother dance.
After such serious business, it was time for open dancing, the bouquet toss and garter toss. Except, the garter toss wasn't a garter toss at all. Maria and Grant opted for a non-traditional event to take place. Instead of having the single men catch Maria's garter, they broke out a pinata and had each man take a swing!
To end this very eventful day, we took some ring shots of the couple's wedding rings, then headed outside where everyone said "good-bye" to Maria and Grant with a sparkler send off.
Maria and Grant,
We hope that you had an amazing honeymoon and we're so happy that you chose us to be a part of your special day! We can't wait to see you again!
Sara & Tony
Mak Rabbitt Photography, located in Columbus, Ohio, specializes in wedding and lifestyle photography. This husband and wife team is dedicated to providing their clients with personalized customer service and delivering the highest quality images, albums and printed products. Mak Rabbitt Photography has over 25 years of experience in professional photography. Mak Rabbitt's approach to photography is to make the experience enjoyable, fun and stress-free while preserving precious moments and memories for future generations.
Mak Rabbitt Photography is active members of:
The Professional Photographers of America
Wedding and Portrait Photographers International
Wedding Professionals of Columbus
Contact Mak Rabbitt today to see how they can make your event unforgettable!
Service areas include: Columbus, Cleveland, Akron, Youngstown, Canton, Dayton, Toledo, and Cincinnati. Travel to surrounding states and outside of the U.S.A. is available upon request.