I know I am not alone when I say I cannot believe Justin and Ashleigh’s Cleveland, Ohio wedding has already come and gone! It seems like just yesterday Ashleigh reached out to me about photographing their special day. We chatted about their plans for a dreamy wedding at Rockefeller Greenhouse, filled with blush and navy!
Unfortunately 2020 took a turn that no one expected. Ashleigh and Justin didn’t let a pandemic get in the way of celebrating the love they share! These two truly handled everything life threw at them with such grace. As their wedding approached they faced many challenges, including their venue remaining closed due to the pandemic. Quick to pivot their plans, Ashleigh and Justin moved their wedding to the back yard at Ashleigh’s parent house. Rockefeller Greenhouse had nothing on the beautiful setup they put together!
The day started when I arrived at Ashleigh’s parents. The house was alive with excitement as the final touches were being put on everything! I greeting the beautiful bride and got right to work. Ashleigh had gathered all of her gorgeous details together for me to style while she got her makeup done. I can’t believe how fast the morning flew by. Before I knew it, it was time to put her in her gorgeous dress from David’s Bridal.
After putting on her stunning dress and beautiful jewelry, Ashleigh shared a sweet first look with her dad! I am pretty sure a few tears were shed. But they certainly weren’t the only moments of tears in this emotion filled day. Shortly after their first look and retreating back to the house, Justin and the boys arrived from their off site Air BNB.
They looked so sharp in their navy suits! The blush tie pulled together the wedding colors perfectly! Guests began taking their seats. The precessional began with each of their grandmothers being escorted down the aisle, followed by Justin’s parents and then Ashleigh’s. Once the groomsmen and bridesmaids had taken their places along side the alter, the adorable flower girls and ring bearers appeared. The ring bearers carried the cutest signs that brought lots of laughs among every one in attendance!
At the urging of his best man, Justin closed his eyes as Ashleigh began her walk down the aisle. When he finally opened them, he was overwhelmed with emotions and tears. It was hands down one of the most memorable and sweetest reactions I have ever seen.
They shared their own written vows and planted and watered a young tree. Ashleigh’s father officiated their ceremony with words of love and wisdom. I still can’t believe this greenery filled ceremony took place in her parents back yard! There was so much joy as Ashleigh and Justin shared their first kiss after being pronounced husband and wife.
Ashleigh had chosen the Cleveland Cultural Gardens for their bridal party and husband and wife portraits. We had visited the gardens earlier during the week before their wedding to take their engagement session. We scouted some amazing places and picked the perfect spots to return to on their wedding day. The sun and glow could not have created more perfect halos around these two as they shared sweet kisses and celebratory laughs.
We headed right from the gardens to the church where Ashleigh’s father is a pastor, to be announced into their reception! They immediately went into their first dance as husband and wife. They shared in the traditional father-daughter and mother-son dances followed with my favorite food for dinner…. TACOS! What stuck out the most however, was the story that Ashleigh’s dad shared about when Justin asked for her hand in marriage. Would you believe it if I told you he flew from North Carolina to Ohio unannounced to ask her dad and flew home the same day before she got home? Well… he tried, but delayed flights almost got him busted!
Ashleigh and Justin’s short but sweet reception was concluded as they exited through a tunnel of their guests, who showered them with pink and blush petals! It was romantic vision like something from a movie! I was lucky enough to sneak them away for a few last portraits in the glowy sunset light!
Their day was nothing short of incredible. I am so truly thankful that photography brought these two into my life. I can’t wait to watch their love blossom as they start their new life together.