A Wonderful Winter Wedding
With Reception at the Downtown Hilton in Cleveland
The Art and Story of Julia + Craig
Do you love winter weddings? Do you like the idea of a wintery-warm reception at the Hilton in Cleveland? Then you’ll love the custom tailored wedding and reception of Julia and Craig. While it was a bit chilly on the outside [ cleveland winter weddings typically are ] it was warm and toasty on the dance floor at the Hilton that night 🔥🔥🔥
Their wedding photography is breathtaking; and I’m extremely proud of the artwork and storytelling contained in their wedding photography set. I have a few personal favorite wedding photographs this time; it might be wedding picture below; a multi-image stitched work of art focusing on the motion of two people coming together.
As a wedding photographer, I work hard to produce actual artwork for my couples. Not standard “snap-shots”. The above was a fun wedding photograph to craft; I used roughly 12 different images to combine to the one to help bring about the feel of a couple coming together.
And come together they did 😀
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Before their wedding reception at the Hilton in downtown cleveland, Julia spent her morning getting dressed at the Hilton. In between some make-up application, we stole this quick picture of our bride to be with her wedding gowns and reception gown.
I remember the first time I saw bridesmaids all wearing matching pajama robes. I sincerely thought it was a coincidence and pulled them all togehther for a picture to commemorate such an auspicious occasion.
Girl. You are 🔥. Ladies; don’t be afraid to do a quick picture or two in your morning robe; you’re beautiful all day [ ERY-DAY ].
”Brett's photography was exactly what we were looking for; timeless, artistic, unique and he has this amazing ability to capture his couples in their purest form.JuliaThe Bride
In Their Own Words.
That’s right. Every word you’ve read on this page so far regarding this wonderful wedding [ catch the alliteration there. Pretty brilliant, right? ] has all been word-smithed and crafted by us [ we’re not only gifted wedding photographers, but also not too shabby in the content writing department ] Humble Brag / Self enthusiasm aside; we mean every word on this page, but it’s important that you hear from our couple too.
We asked a few questions of them about their wedding; and hope you enjoy their answers 😀
Via Julia “I truly don’t think I would’ve done a single thing differently. I wish I had been better about not letting little things bother me and really being in the moment. People say to really soak your wedding day in, but its so difficult when it feels like a big dream! All morning I kept pinching myself, thinking that there is no way our wedding day is finally here, but it was and now its gone. I wish I had let myself live in the moment a little bit more. But by the ceremony, I was feeling all the feels and really taking it in! I’m thankful to be able to relive through photos & video”
Via Craig “The weekend?! Obviously, seeing Julia on Saturday walking down that aisle is something I will never forget. I feel like that’s too cheesy, so I got to go with our massages Friday! We had our rehearsal dinner on Thursday which was awesome…but waking up [ hungover ] to the realization you have a couples massage in 2 hours was immaculate. It was the most relaxing hour of our lives in my opinion! It was much needed during the wedding weekend and helped both of us just relax and not over think every little thing.”
- My first look with my dad and waiting to walk down the aisle with him – From a very young age, I looked forward to my dad seeing me for the first time on my wedding day. And you build these expectations that you’re not sure if you could ever meet. The moments I spent with my dad on my wedding day were the most peaceful I’ve ever felt [ which says a lot because I am anxiety-ridden ] and they blew my expectations out of the water. The photos that came out of our first look are the most precious and meaningful photos I will ever have. I could never forget that moment, but the pictures captured it perfectly.
- The Ceremony – Craig and I have been together for 9 years, living together for several of those, and both work from home together so it goes without saying that we pretty much spend every waking moment together. But to spend a night apart, as well as spend the craziest morning of our lives apart, was really hard. So seeing him for the first time that day, I really just couldn’t wait to sit down together, talk about the mornings, show him the little details of my dress/jewlery and check in with him. We talked literally through the entire ceremony (Sorry to Anna who has to listen to our banter for an hour!!) and it was amazing to look out, see everyone, and be sitting next to him. And obviously, saying our vows, exchanging rings… it just all felt like a dream come true.
- The Second Dress Reveal – I’d been able to keep my second dress a complete secret from everyone besides my mom, dad and sister for over a year! So when I was finally able to change, and show Craig my party dress, I couldn’t have been more excited. The first thing he said when he looked at me was, “you lied to me!!” becasue I had been obviously telling him forever that I only had one dress. And then to be introduced into the ballroom, in my new dress.. UGH – total main character moment. I will never forget that feeling.
- HONORABLE MENTION for Brett having a hole in his pants ❤️”
Via Craig “Everything was absolutely perfect. We created great relationships with both you and Anna during our engagement shoots that it felt so easy to just [ no offense ] pretend you weren’t there and enjoy my day knowing you both were capturing everything for me. Thank you!!!”
Via Julia “I could go on & on about Brett and the entire Making the Moment team. I mean, talk about the ultimate hype team! They made me feel so beautiful and calm. And I think the best part about working with them was that I never ever felt rushed or like I was on someone else’s time. Anything I asked for, they made possible. Craig and I first met with Brett in December of 2020 and had the most wonderful time chatting with him. From there, we did not look for a single other photographer. His [ photography ] was exactly what we were looking for – timeless, artistic, unique and he has this amazing ability to capture his couples in their purest form. I feel like our wedding portfolio perfectly captures Craig & I’s relationship and I couldn’t be more grateful to them for being there on our day. It just felt like we were hanging out with our friends all day with Brett and his team.”
Via Craig “I think right now the picture of me holding Julia in the LiveBooth. This has been a textbook picture of us throughout the years; from our first New Year’s party [ 1/1/2014 ], to the night we got married.”
Via Julia: OMG😬this is not easy. I have so many favorites, obviously, but the ones that pulled on my heartstrings the most are;
- Definetly the first photo from my first look with my dad. I cannot handle how cute his expression is!
- Our exiting kiss at the church – it was such a whrilwind of emotion but I love seeing everyones excitement and smiles!
- The photo of us dancing with my Nonno and Nonna after the anniversary dance/all the photos basically of Nonno and Nonna just make me teary-eyed. They LOVE to ballroom dance, and they used to go dancing several times a month. As they’ve gotten older, they go less, but whenever they dance, it makes my whole family cry.
- The photo of Craig and his mom not in focus but his dad is in focus in the mirror. Me and Craig both had a very emotional reaction to seeing that photo for the first time and it’s captured so beautifully.
Husbands-to-be; trust me on this one. Take time to write your bride a letter for her to enjoy privately [ semi private I suppose as your wedding photographer ought to be present ]
Say things you mean; even if you’re not good at it. She’ll cry. We’ll all cry.
Laughter comes back quick though once the wedding dress is on 🤣
Julia’s bridesmaids were on point; we had fun and laughed a LOT during our group photography session before the wedding reception!
Brides; make sure you ask your wedding photographer to get a picture of you and your maid [ matron / matador ] of honor. Especially if she’s your sister 👯♀️
Ahhh I love this picture. It’s a bit out of focus but there’s something to the mystery of it I adore.
Samesies ☺️ While most of my wedding photographs are tack sharp in focus, the occasional out of focus image is simply lovely.
Our couple’s wedding reception at the Hilton Downtown in Cleveland begins with a custom neon sign. I’ve seen a few of my couples do custom quotes instead of their last names too, but I’d love to see someone purposefully misspell their new last name as a conversation starter [ “The Smihts” or the “Mike + Rahcel forever” 🤣 ]
This is one of the best seating charts I’ve ever seen; a classy stand up printed seating chart for the reception guests is easy to read and lovely to look at. When my wife and I were married [ nearly 16 years ago ] the most contentious part of our wedding planning was [ in fact ] the seating chart. I thought it would be fun to seat a recently divorced couple next to one another [ both had invited dates ]; while Colleen felt that it would be [ in her own words ] “completely sophomoric Brett”.
She was probably right 🤷♂️.
Back on topic 😀 The wedding planning and event design team at the Everhaus made sure the ballroom was perfectly set for the coming wedding reception at the Hilton.
This is one thing I love about Julia; she’s fearless and fun, hitting the dance floor immediately upon their grand entrance.
The dance floor at their wedding reception was packed all night. Rumor has it that Craig remembers roughly 45% of this portion of the evening 🍻
Before I close out this one out; I wanted to share this sentiment. the 20-30 wedding photographs on this page are just a sub-story [ a blurb ] of the real story their entire set of wedding photographs tell.
It’s the hardest thing about writing content for our wedding blog; distilling a fully immersive wedding day of story [ tears, laughter, the works ] into roughly 30 images and a few paragraphs always feels as if I’m short-changing the entirety of the story.
There are SO many great moments that happened on their wedding day [ I legit cried during their “father-daughter” first look for instance ] and I’m so thankful I got to tell an entire story for Julia and Craig. Friends; thank you for allowing me to be your wedding photographer and visual storyteller 😘