Sunday, July 10 as I walked up to our wedding venue (Georgetown Vosh, in Lakewood, Oh), I knew it was going to be a good day. The weather was perfect mild temperatures in the 70s and no chance of rain. Cleveland weather, was going to work in my favor and we would be able to get married and have our reception outside as planned. We had chosen Georgetown Vosh for multiple reasons. It’s a beautiful venue with a gorgeous outdoor patio garden, it was close to home and most importantly we would be their only event on Sunday, so if the weather decided to turn against us we would be able to seamlessly move everything inside.
I had chosen to get ready in the space provided in Georgetown Vosh, it just made the most sense for me and my small bridal party. I had Chrissy coming from the Cleveland Beauty Collective, to do our make up and Melissa from Elysian Studios coming to do our hair. It was a tight timeline, I showed up at 8am and they showed up at 8:15 to start getting ready. Chrissy and Melissa were friendly, fast and so fun. They kept the atmosphere light while my panic was starting to set in. At 8:30 Adel, showed up, one of the two photographers who would be with us for the wedding day from John Paul Studios. She was excited and so friendly. Immediately started snapping photos and when my maid of honor showed up a bit late with donuts, bagels and coffee in hand Adel looked at me and said “Oh honey you have to make sure you eat”. It was in that small moment, that I know I would be in good hands all day with my photographers.
While I took finding all my vendors seriously, my photographers were the vendor I was most concerned with finding. My wedding planning philosophy had been, the only thing you get to keep after the wedding day is the marriage and the photos, so the photos need to be good. In my search for wedding photographer, I started it by looking at the photos from friends that had been married in the last two years. Once I found my favorite photos, I then reached out to those friends and asked about their photographers and experience. I reached out to photographers with some questions and asking for quotes. I knew I like John Paul Studios based off of my friends photos from their fall wedding. My friends had nothing but wonderful things to say about John.
Adel was wonderful, helping my maid of honor and I get our flowers (and my stuffed penguin Guin) into the car so we could head off to Lakewood Park, where Mark and I would be doing first look photos along with bridal party photos. The setting was beautiful, and there is something to be said about walking through a park in a wedding dress, it makes everything feel like a fairy tale. You could tell that John and Adel were completely in sync, which makes sense knowing that they are married. The were so friendly, and kind while staying efficient. We left the park and went to Merry Arts, where Mark and I first met. We had warned the Sunday morning bartender, Erin, that we would be coming. A few of our friends met us there, John and Adel jumped right in with great fun photo ideas. Without much guidance from me they really got the vibe we were going for.
Mark and I arrived back at Georgetown Vosh around 12:45pm, the wedding guests were due to start arriving at 1pm. Our DJ, Hot Carl, had everything set up and ready to go. He gave us a quick last run down to make sure he had the right music ready for the ceremony and that he had the right pronunciation for everyone’s name. The outside had been transformed into a ceremony space on the lower patio and reception tables on the upper. My mom and sister in law where putting the finishing touches out on the tables and for the guestbook.
We opted for short, personal ceremony that only lasted about 7 minutes. Our guests headed inside for the cocktail hour while we got formal family photos done and watched the event team at turn the lower patio into a reception space. Both Mark and my parents are divorced, so we felt like we had a million formal photos to get through. John and Adel fought through the difficult shadows on our faces from the trees and made the process fly by.
Before we knew it, it was time for introductions, dinner, speeches and dances. I was impressed with how John and Adel managed to blend in so well during those moments getting the photos while not interrupting the moments.
Half way through the reception the racing HotDogs (Ketchup, Mustard and Onion) for the Guardians showed up and really got people out on that dance floor. Everyone was having a great wonderful time.
Being that it was a Sunday afternoon wedding, we wrapped the official reception up at 7pm. Knowing people would have work the next day. However, our officiant and good friend, Alissa, threw us an afterparty at a bar, that was just around the corner from our venue aptly named Around the Corner. John followed us all there, as we walked with boxes of cookies and a lot of laughs. Capturing the late night shenanigans and winding down of the day.
While all my vendors were great, and I would highly recommend any of them. I really have to say Adel and John were just amazing. When I booked them for 12hrs of service and asked John if he would mind coming to the after party for a couple hours, he didn’t bat an eye. When I told Adel that Guin, my stuffed penguin, was the first gift Mark every gave me and would be in pictures she started coming up ideas of how to include him. All I had to do, was give them the locations I wanted to get pictures in and they did all of the work of figuring out poses and configurations. They made us feel comfortable and like we had all been friends for years.
When it’s all said and done, Mark and I are married. We have our marriage, we have our photos and all the rest is just details.