Get ready for one of the longest blog posts I have ever had! There is so much about this wedding I want to talk about, I don’t even know where to begin.
Let’s start by saying that it was such an honor to be a part of Sam & Mario’s wedding day ALL THE WAY over in Cleveland, OH. I know Sam and Mario from living here in Corvallis, and when we realized that I was going to be in Detroit only 3 days before their date, it was a no brainer that getting there would be a piece of cake. Not only that, but they have become such great friends of mine here in Corvallis that it was an honor meeting their family as well as just being there as a friend on their wedding day. (even though I was workin’ hard!!)
Like I said, there’s a lot of meaningful things to say about this day: Sam and Mario were actually married in Costa Rica a little over a year ago, and having Mario meet all of Sam’s extended family and friends – there is no other proper place then the Botanical Garden’s “Glass House” that is a mock atmosphere of Costa Rica. Sam’s dress was made from her Mother’s dress that was made by Sam’s Grandmother when her parents were wed back in the early 80′s I believe. The bottom part of the dress was exactly the same, and the top part was reconstructed by a local designer. Talk about gorgeous an meaningful. They said their vows in Spanish AND in English which was recorded for Mario’s family and friends that weren’t able to make it here for their day.
The getting ready photos and the bridal portraits take place at the Hilton Tudor Arms Hotel in Cleveland. It is this old amazing building that apparently used to be a Men’s Club in the 30′s. If I could, I would spend 5 hours doing a portrait session in that building – it had so many amazing stairways, windows and old lighting fixtures. Being short on time, I wasn’t able to light anything when shooting against the natural light, but I guess the blown out highlights is something I always try to achieve anyway:)
Their decor at the Botanical Garden was super modern with an outdoorsy twist – lots of comfy seats with warm colored pillows accented with the occasional pattern pop. The tables were lined with beautiful coral and white flowers, with giant bamboo branches that led your eye to the end of the table. Stephen Tokar did such a fabulous job of decorating. If you are in Cleveland, hire him, he was working so hard, and just imagine…the bride, groom, parents and wedding party didn’t have to worry about decorating, or cleaning anything up. They could just relax on such an important day.
The night ended with a long intimate candlelight dinner followed by LOTS of CRAZY dancing. Final dance of the night was a dance off between sister and bride!!!
A special thanks to Elizabeth from Elizabeth Pruitt Photography for being my second shooter. I am so happy I found her, I couldn’t have done this wedding without her! She is fabulous and I hope we cross paths again someday.
Sam and Mario – you two have become such amazing friends here in Corvallis, and it was such an honor to witness the love you have for each other on your wedding day. I can’t thank you enough for having me, and for your family and friends for being so warm and welcoming. Enjoy these favorites!