Michael and Lizzy | Married in Cincinnati

Remember that proposal I shot early this fall? Remember the bearded young man who got down on one knee and popped the question?

His name is Michael.  He told me that he and Lizzy were planning a wedding this coming summer and I was delighted to hear that he planned to hire me for the wedding, too.

Well, a few weeks after Michael dropped to his knee and heard the best “yes” of his life, I got a message: They were planning to get married in December!

December?

Wait, that’s in, like, a few months, right?  Like, this December!?

Yes.  This December.

Well, my calendar was clear for the Sunday after Christmas, so we signed them up and set the plans in motion.

Michael and Lizzy were the most perfectly laid back couple ever!  Before the ceremony, they were in street clothes, decorating and putting things together.  They were checking in with me to be sure they weren’t behind schedule and perfected their classy decorations quickly and efficiently.  What else can you expect when the groom is an engineer?  I love these two so much.

Michael and Lizzy: First looks and second kisses

When the time had come, both donned their wedding apparel and we caught their first look.

Michael and Lizzy | First Look in a church | rejoicingrebecca.com

I love the light above Michael’s head when he saw Lizzy.  Mind. Blown.

Now, I’m usually addicted to bright, vibrant colors.  But Michael and Lizzy’s day was so dreamy that I fell quite in love with black and white images.  Look how classy these two look all dolled up to say I do.

Michael and Lizzy | portraits | rejoicingrebecca.com

Lizzy’s dad beamed all day long!  I love the moment just before they walk out.  He just looks at h er with such delight.  And she’s beaming as she walks down the aisle! What delight!

Michael and Lizzy | ceremony | rejoicingrebecca.com

I am drooling over this second kiss moment.  I love how their loved ones are so close to them and everything is so warm and mushy.  Call me crazy but I love mushy.  A lot.

Michael and Lizzy | second kiss | rejoicingrebecca.com

Maybe I feel a little two excited about the fact that I get to follow the bride and groom out of the ceremony!  I get to capture authentic and exciting moments like this one. Here, Lizzy just said, “This is my husband!”  I love how excited she is to be married to Michael!

rejoicingrebecca.com

So, with these cake-cutting pictures, you must know the story.  In the first picture, Lizzy’s laughing because she dropped the cake on the ground.  On. The. Ground.  Obviously, Michael had nothing to do with it!  After they were successful in their cake-cutting endeavor, they were so nice when they fed each other their cake smidgens.  Then, Lizzy got silly!  Michael retaliates!  And then you see the results.  I love seeing newlyweds being silly! (Cake by Maribelle Cakery)

Michael and Lizzy | cake eaters | rejoicingrebecca.com

Here, you’ll see Michael’s mom helping him with beard cake trap.  Michael said that he still had cake in his beard the next day!  And Michael’s mom was just so presh!  She smiled all day long.

Michael and Lizzy | Mom helps groom get cake out of his beard | rejoicingrebecca.com

Again with the black and whites?  Yes.  Because love is sometimes simple.  Like the simplicity of black and white.  These first dances matched the lovebirds perfectly: simple, yet meaningful.  Dad had me all gushing and I was literally sobbing when I was processing the father/daughter dance.  Literally.  Like tissues and snot and all that not lovely stuff that you’re not supposed to talk about on wedding blogs because it’s all about the happy now.  Yeah, I just went there.  Please move on to the next image.

Michael and Lizzy | first dances | rejoicingrebecca.com

After the reception, I stole Michael and Lizzy away to the [almost] vacant streets of Cincinnati.  We grabbed a few moments in the middle of the street, taking advantage of the wet streets.  I absolutely love this picture. Absolutely.  Maybe I’ll even hang it on my wall!  Maybe.

Michael and Lizzy | downtown Cincinnati | rejoicingrebecca.com

Michael and Lizzy, I wish you the absolute best as you begin your marriage.  Lizzy, I’m so glad you have chosen Michael!  I’ve known him for a few years and he’s genuinely a great guy!  Michael, Lizzy is so sweet and I couldn’t be happier for you!

Have a blessed marriage!

Love,
Christian Wedding Photographer

True Love Came Down: Featured!

This has been in the works for a couple of months now–really, for about a year!

When Emily and Jacob were engaged I emailed Emily while she was busy being an awesome senior at Ball State University; her wedding would be perfect to submit to this website for featuring.

Well, July finally came and went, pictures were ready, emails were sent, a submission was made, and today, True Love Came Down published the feature!

Jacob and Emily are amazing and so deserving of this beautiful feature.  I specifically love this part of Emily’s testimony where she speaks of one of the pivotal points of their journey together:

I think we both grew because of the questions Jacob asked and the research and discussions that followed which allowed God to really penetrate Jacob’s heart. Through those conversations and other people nearby who invested in him, late one night Jacob decided to come to Christ. He became so on fire for God and absorbed everything he could to gain more knowledge. Looking back now we both see how God’s timing was simply perfect and how our relationship is part of a much bigger plan. Thankfully Gods love didn’t stop there, he became our rock through every challenge life has thrown at us. Time and time again God used our relationship to bring us closer to Him and subsequently closer to each other. Before we knew it we had been dating four years, were going through our second graduation together, this time from college, and it was only a couple months away from our wedding!

I’m incredibly honored (and giddy-excited) to call this my first ever feature!  Thank you so much for the support, Emily!  You are awesomesauce!

And special thanks go out to the lovely ladies at True Love Came Down!  Thanks for having me on your blog!

Click the image below to see Jacob and Emily’s wedding feature!

Jacob and Emily true love

True Love and giddiness,
Columbus Wedding Photographer

John and Ashlee | Married

John and Ashlee!  You’re married!  What a fabulous day we had celebrating your love and commitment to one another!

John and Ashlee got married on October 2 in Columbus, Ohio.  I’m so pumped to share this beautiful day with you!

Ashlee had a faboulous duo of make-up connoisseur  taking care of faces that morning.  I loved watching these chicks in action.  Great job, ladies!

Airbrush makeup wedding day bride

While the ladies were getting ready, I admired Ashlee’s details of the day.

Wedding Dress and Yellow Shoes

And the guys were a few floors away chillin’ and watching football.

groom and groomsman watching football before wedding

Dang, John, you can rock a three-piece suit, that’s for sure!

Groom vest and tie shoes

When we moved over to the wedding venue, my hunky assistant and I set up and captured the gorgeous finishing touches.  I mean, isn’t Dock 580 just a gorgeous place?  I am salivating over the rustic and refined atmosphere they house here.

Wedding at Dock 580 in Columbus, Ohio

I love the special moments from the wedding ceremony.

Wedding at Dock 580

Ashlee’s daughter enjoyed watching Ashlee walk down the aisle.  She was so funny!  John and Ashlee gave her a special memento signifying that they are not just committing to one another, but to her, as well.  She was so mature when she accepted the necklace!

Bride's daughter during ceremony

And, just like that, John and Ashlee were pronounced husband and wife!

We escaped the ceremony location for a quickie. Wink, wink.

Freshly married

What a fun–and huge–wedding party!  I love when my brides and grooms have an awesome group of friends.  Ladies and gentlemen, you were awesome to work with!

Wedding party in the rain

I love the beautiful yellow roses of Ashlee’s bouquet.  So classy!

Yellow roses wedding bouqet

But, seriously, folks.  Let’s get down to business, here. [No, not to defeat the Huns.]

This. Party.

Seriously.

I love it so much that I pretty much want to share the dedicate the rest of my blog to these fabulous moments.

John and Ashlee enjoyed a beautiful and rockstar first dance to Johnny Cash’s “Rose of My Heart.”

Bride and groom first dance at Dock 580

Ashlee danced with her father and John danced with his mother; these dances always make me weepy.

Dancing with parents

Then, the fabulous Sam Smith, DJ for the evening, rocked out an epic party!  Obviously.  What fun!

Wedding reception at Dock 580

John and Ashlee, thank you so much for trusting me to capture your special day.  Love each other always, even if you don’t feel like it.

Love,
Columbus Wedding Photographer

Nikki and Brian | Married

Oh my gosh, you guys.  You guys!  If you’ve met Nikki and Brian, you know they are two of the kindest people you’ve ever met.

I met Nikki and Brian when we had engagement pictures in May.  Wow, that seems like just yesterday!  Time sure flies!  Speaking of fun times, let’s talk about their big wedding day!
Bearded groom kissing lovely bride

We started off my meeting up for a first look and a few portraits at Mt. Airy Forest.

First look sunflowers

These two seriously have fab-you-liss friends.  Check out their wedding party–keep in mind: “party” is the operative word!

Fun wedding party

When I grabbed Brian for some groom pictures, he was gushing with happiness. He said, “She’s my best friend!”  And, if I may tell his little secret: He loved his vest and tie.  He said he was going to have to wear vests more often.  Hold him to it, people!

Bearded man in vest and tie

Nikki, you are gorgeous!  Your makeup was perfect!  Beautiful!

Bride with sunflower bouquet

Nikki and Brian held their wedding at the Maple Ridge Lodge in Mt. Airy Forest.  The sky was completely clear!  It was beautiful!

Sunflower wedding

I love seeing a groom’s reaction to seeing his bride.  Even though Nikki and Brian had a first look, he was overcome with emotion.

Groom cries when he sees his bride, even after a first look!

Nikki and Brian had a first for Rejoicing Rebecca weddings: a Canine of Honor!  Kona was not happy at the rear of the party, so, mid-ceremony, joined the center of the goins-on with Mom and Dad.  What a precious moment! :)

Canine of Honor

Nikki and Brian love their little Kona baby!

Have your dog in your ceremony as the canine of honor

I always love learning more about my couples during the reception.  A peep into their lives is, without fail, provided courtesy of the speeches!  These two rocked their speeches!  Nikki is a rockstar friend and supporter of Brian and Brian is quite literally a rockstar guitar player–even though he wouldn’t pick up my guitar when they came over a couple weeks ago!

Speeches to make the bride and groom laugh and cry

I love wedding reception pomp!  Speeches, dances, cake-cutting, and tossing of things!

Key Reception Events

When I met Nikki and Brian for engagement pictures, I learned that we have a mutual friend: Nikki’s brother is dating a former student of mine.  Jayme caught the bouquet!

Nikki and Brian, you two threw a smashing reception!  Check out this party!

Guests love to dance at receptions!

Nikki and Brian, you two are so kind.  Love one another, even if you don’t feel like it!

Love,
Columbus Wedding Photographer

Jacob and Emily | Married at Jorgensen Farms

I. Can’t. Even.  Seriously, y’all.  I can’t even handle the seriously sweet wedding of Jacob and Emily.

Like, how can I even use mere words to express anything about the day?  These two.  I just couldn’t hold back the sweet tears when editing their pictures.  It. Was. Beautiful.

I love Jacob and Emily.

When I write one-word sentences, you know I mean business.  But when I toss out a “y’all,” well, that’s just insanity.

You might remember Jacob and Emily’s sweet proposal and fun engagement pictures.  Well, ever since those pictures, I’ve been getting to know these two so much more and they are two of the sweetest and cutest people you’ll ever meet.  I’m honored to tell the story of their day, today.

All week long–and for weeks leading up to the week of their wedding–we prayed that it wouldn’t rain on her wedding day.  And, thank the Lord Almighty, there wasn’t a speck of rain the whole day.

On the other hand, this is the temperature in the shade.

90 degrees in the shade

That’s right. 90 degrees in the shade.  The high for the day was about 96 degrees and it was to hit right about ceremony time.  Whew!

But there couldn’t be a more perfect scene for this day’s celebration of Christ’s love: Jorgensen Farm.

Jorgensen Farms

Jacob and Emily created the most beautiful decor for the day.  The decor really spoke of who they are and what they love.  Jacob created these beautiful wooden disks for the bunt cakes and carved their awesome hashtag into a log.  Jacob, in case you forgot, loves trees.  The theme was pulled together with the centerpieces, comprised of hay bales, apples, and a canning jar.  Check out the delicious cupcakes by Nothing Bunt Cakes!  Yum to the max!

Jorgensen Farms

I love when couples send each other gifts and letters on the big day.  Jacob proclaimed, “She outdid me!” when he opened his gift: a journal she’d kept since he proposed and a Bible with his name on it.  Emily, however, was giddy when she read his sweet letter and opened the ukulele he’d bought her.

Jacob and Emily gifts

I loved the look on Emily’s face when she was finally in her dress.  This girl is so classy.  I mentioned to the two of them that I don’t know how Emily so wonderfully pulled off cute and sexy.  Jacob said he wonders the same thing all the time.

Bride

Jacob paid such close attention to detail when rolling up his sleeves.  Emily, you’ve got yourself a hunk, right here!

Groom

And check out the best buds!  You might recognize someone if you follow my blog. Ray was a groom in one of my weddings in 2014; Chris is a groom coming up this winter!

Bridal Party

Tied for first is my favorite part of the day. Jacob and Emily had a no-look prayer before the ceremony.  I loved this moment; just a piece of wood separated the two of them.  They talked, held hands, and prayed.

Jacob and Emily Pray

This was a first for me and I want every bride to do it from now on!  Emily had a first look with her dad.  It was a presh moment and I held back the tears.  She did a little spin for him to take in all the beauty of his daughter, the bride.  Father/daughter moments get me every time!

Bride and father

My favorite moment of any wedding without a first look is when the groom sees his bride for the first time.  Jacob and Emily did not disappoint.

Jacob and Emily Ceremony

The ceremony was beautiful.  The day was beautiful.  I love capturing the shenanigans that the bride and groom can’t possibly know are happening, like the ring bearer, who ran through the aisle at lightning speed, being entertained by family because a wedding was just not his cup of tea.

Also, I love these flowers; Jorgensen Farm also provided the flowers for this beautiful day.

During the ceremony, Emily’s brother spoke while the two of them braided the cord of three strands.  Jacob tied a knot at the end.  The three strands represent Christ, the bride, and the groom and the braiding of them represent the extent to which the bride and groom will keep Christ at the center of their marriage and the strength of a three-strand cord, which is not easily broken, according to Ecclesiastes 4.12.

Jacob and Emily Married

On the real: I cannot even handle the look on Jacob’s face when he was told he could now kiss his bride.  Emily says he sighed with relief before going in for the first kiss as man and wife.  Presh.

Jacob and Emily first kiss

And, BAM!  They are married!  I mean, they seemed a little excited:

Jacob and Emily Happy

I mean, what’s a Rejoicing Rebecca wedding without a jumping picture?  On one pic, I had to zoom in with Jacob and Emily–Jacob is rockin’ the toe-touch!

Jacob and Emily Jump

The first thing Jacob learned as a new husband was how to dip kiss his new wife.  My hunky husband gave him a free lesson:

Jacob and Emily dip kiss lesson

I’d say he got the hang of that pretty quickly, wouldn’t you?

Jacob and Emily dip kiss

Love these two.

Jacob and Emily in love

Hats off to the best man, Jacob’s brother Lucas, for a sterling speech!  “Jacob, you’re [insert all these awesome attributes]… wait, I can’t read your handwriting!”  Classic!  And I love the sweet cake-cutting moment.

Jacob and Emily reception

Jacob and Emily danced their first dance to a song I hadn’t heard, but I’ve listened to and cried to it about 24,204 times since: Hey Pretty Girl by Kip Moore.

Jacob and Emily dance

And Emily rocked the flourish at the end of the dance with her dad.

Emily and Jacob_0020

Jacob’s mother passed when Jacob was still in college; actually, I met Emily at the visitation and knew she was awesome right away.  So, this next moment is the tear-jerkingest moment I’ve ever had as a photographer at a wedding.  First, he started dancing with his grandmother, then other women from his family took turns interrupting and dancing with him.   Emily’s mother was the last to join.  Talk about tears.  I wasn’t the only one.  That was a sweet surprise, Emily!

Jacob first dance

We had some fun with the guys here.  Don’t mind Kim; she’s just a normal, every-day photobomber.

Photobomber at wedding

As the evening wound down, we took some time after the end of the reception to do a little of my favorite thing: light painting.  We took a short walk from the barn reception and nailed this shot on the second try.  Love. It.  Seriously.

Emily and Jacob_0022

This day wouldn’t have been possible without this man for a couple of reasons: He’s the officiant and my biggest supporter!   Love this hunk and his getup.

The Hunk

He is always helping me practice lighting setups.

Epic Punch

Also, without him, I wouldn’t be able to photobomb my own pictures:

Photographer Photobomb

Jacob and Emily, I can’t wait to watch you continue to grow in your marriage and I’m so glad we’ve become such good friends!  I’m truly honored that you would trust me to remember your day for you. I treasure your trust.  Congrats on your holy union!

Love in Christ,

Columbus Wedding Photography

Gretchen and Wendell | Married at Denison University

Just a week ago, Gretchen and Wendell got hitched!

I traveled to the beautiful Swasey Chapel on Denison University‘s campus.  The bouquets were beautifully done by Bloomtastic.

Gretchen and Wendell

Ladies and gentelmen, meet Wendell:

Gretchen and Wendell

Wendell is a rockstar nurse in Cincinnati and a graduate of Denison University; his lovely wife, Gretchen, is also a graduate of Denison University and works in the insurance biz in Cincinnati.

Gretchen and Wendell

I love the glittery detail in her dress. Breathtaking!

Gretchen and Wendell

The chapel stage had some nice and used wood flooring for the backdrop of their rings. If you look carefully, you’ll notice “Love” is written on the inside of Wendell’s ring.

Gretchen and Wendell

If there were ever a wedding that was both simple and sophisticated, these two nailed it. Nailed it! The chapel is so classy and the two kept the ceremony simple and personal. Loved every second of it! See the moment when dad wiped away his tear? That was my teary-eyed moment of the day. Dads get me every time. Every. Stinkin. Time. What a sincerely loving dad you have, Gretchen! But I don’t have to tell you that.

Gretchen and Wendell

Here comes my favorite part of the day: That moment just after the wedding when the bride and groom have exited the ceremony, are alone, and no one has joined them (except the stealthy photographer). “We’re married! We did it!” Eeeeee! Love it!

Gretchen and Wendell

And hurricane/tropical storm Bill had started making its way into the Midwest. So, we hurried to grab a few pics of the entire wedding party between the rain drops.

Gretchen and Wendell

See that hunk with the umbrella? That’s my super-hunky assistant. I pay him in hugs.

Gretchen and Wendell

To get out of the rain, we retreated to the beautiful chapel and had a little romantic moment and then some fun; Gretchen loved twirling in her dress. Wendell twirled along with. Gotta love a little bride and groom fun between ceremony and reception.

Gretchen and Wendell

Did I mention reception? I sure did! They danced.

Gretchen and Wendell

 

They tossed.

Gretchen and Wendell

They caught.

Gretchen and Wendell

They had cake.  Check out these cupcakes from The Cupcake Collection.  Delicious and beautiful!

Gretchen and Wendell

Then they danced some more. These, friends, know how to bust a move!

Gretchen and Wendell

Love forever,
Columbus Wedding and Portrait Photographer

Columbus Wedding and Portrait Photographer