If I were to do my wedding all over again, Sarah & Blake’s wedding would be closest to what I would have wanted for myself. A meaningful celebration in my home with my closest family and friends. It was such a privilege to be let into some of their most intimate moments; especially when stories and photos were shared in their living room.

Sarah tells their love story best…

“Blake and I met five days in to 2014 and within two months, were engaged. Originally wanting a fall wedding, we landed on a summer soiree, which meant I had just over three months to plan the entire event. While this might seem overwhelming for most brides, my experience as a wedding photographer guided pretty much the entire planning process. For me, having an intimate affair at which Blake and I could actually visit with our guests was of paramount importance. Second to that was the visual style of the event—every detail was planned with the question “What will photograph best?” in mind.

Our entire wedding budget was $10,000, which mean that whatever we did, it had to be stylish and sensible. Ultimately, we’ve decided on a location that both Blake and I feel the most at home with… our new home. Turns out, we would be making our home into a great little apartment, blocks from central Hyde Park, a yuppy neighborhood northeast of downtown Cincinnati. The apartment isn’t lavish, but it’s us. We were excited that our first memories of married life will be generous—and intimate—hospitality with those we love.

I got ready at the apartment and planned to do a First Look just outside our front steps. Hyde Park is a fabulous location for photographs…and many of Blake and I’s significant moments took place within the iconic Hyde Park Square. Our first meal together was at Arthur’s, a great little pub less than a half-mile from the apartment. We always get milkshakes at Graeter’s, located just around the corner from Arthur’s. And the best coffee and wine bar, Awakenings, is our favorite spot for late night chats.

The ceremony took place at 5pm outside in the Ault Park Rose Garden. As if almost on queue, it started to rain, one of those perfect mid-summer rains, just as I was to walk down the garden pathway. Fewer than 30 guests will be in attendance—only our closest family and friends. The officiant is Blake’s best friend from childhood, and my roommate of six years from Chicago played guitar. It will be a very simple ceremony, no chairs, just our guests standing in a half-circle around us. 20 minutes and it was over.

After the ceremony, we returned to our apartment for a casual potluck…no tables or fancy set-ups…just our family and friends and a humble kitchen. Friends and family shared toasts in our family room and my mom made the cake—the same one she’s made for every special occasion in my memory.

Later in the evening, additional guests arrived for for a Drinks and Dessert Gathering. Blake and I had our first dance to Lord Huron in what is now my home-office. We finished the evening with a sparkler send-off.”

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People Who Made this Day Magical
Assistant/Second Photographer: Mindy Braun
Ceremony Venue: Ault Park Rose Garden
Reception Venue: Bride & Groom’s Private Home
Florist: Floral Verde
Makeup & Hair: Aristocuts Salon
Caterer: Dorothy Lane Market
Wedding Cake: Mother of the Bride
Wedding Desserts: Dorothy Lane Market
Officiant: Jonathan Schuler (groom’s best friend)
Ceremony Musician: Nicki Neal
Wedding Dress: Emmaline Bridal
Jewelry: Grandmother’s Vintage Jewelry
Bridal Shoes: J. Crew
Groom’s Suit: J. Crew
DIY Florals in Jars Around Apartment: The Flowerman
Bride’s Engagement Ring: Elizabeth Diamond Company
Groom’s Wedding Band: Jared’s

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