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Catawba Island Wedding of Melanie and Mike

Catawba Island, the peach-growing haven, is a peninsula located on Lake Erie.  When you’re at a place like this you have to remind yourself that you’re still in Ohio.  We began our day at a house adjacent to the marina where Melanie and her bridesmaids were getting ready.  We found Melanie enjoying a a little relaxing time with her friends on the deck soaking in the gorgeous August morning sun.  We also got to meet her photographer Angela from Astor and Olive Photography.  It was a lot of fun and a real privilege to work alongside her.  After meeting everyone, we headed outside to get some shots of Melanie’s dress swaying in the breeze, hanging from a nearby tree with the rising sun shining through.  It was perfect!

We had a little time to go catch the guys getting ready and on the bus before heading back to see Melanie’s mom put the finishing touches on Melanie in her stunning dress.  Then it was time to head to St. Joseph’s in Marblehead.  At this historic stone church Melanie and Mike were led to their commitment by Father Ray who gave one of the most down-to-earth, personal wedding homilies we can remember.  Our two favorite moments from their ceremony included the sun shining in behind Melanie as she and her father walked down the aisle and also when Father Ray and the congregation all raised their hands over the couple in prayer.

Off we went for a drink break, some air conditioning, and some laughter at the 1812 Inn.  After a photo and video stop at a golf course we made it over to the Catawba Club where the reception tent was seated right next to the shore of Lake Erie with the sun setting on the edge of the lake.  You couldn’t have asked for a more gorgeous setting for Melanie and Mike to celebrate and to get amazing shots!  The reception was a delight led by our favorite wedding band, The Sunrise Jones!  What a night and what a beautiful day!  Many rich blessings on you two, Melanie and Mike, and on your marriage.  Congratulations!


Melanie and Mike’s Wedding Film from For Real Wedding Films on Vimeo.

Still photo above courtesy of Astor and Olive Photography

Some of the vendors we had the privilege of working with:
Photography: Astor and Olive Photography
Venue: Catawba Island Club
Live Reception Band: The Sunrise Jones
Music provided by Song Freedom

Slavic Village Wedding of Halley & Zak

What an elegant day!  We began Halley and Zak’s wedding day by capturing the wedding party getting ready at the Drury Plaza Hotel in downtown Cleveland.  After catching a shot of the historic statute of Abraham Lincoln outside we went up to the room where Halley and her bridesmaids were getting ready.  One of our favorite moments was when Halley’s mom gave her a box of notes for her to read.  The sweetness between Halley and her mom and sister was moving.  We also slipped down to the guys’ room where our friend John from Imagine It Photography convinced the guys to jump on the bed for a photo op in middle school girl fashion!  It was a sight to see!

From here we set out to The Shrine Church of St. Stanislaus in Slavic Village.  Talk about majestic!  Grand statues, beautiful architecture, and a sacred space all made for an elegant setting to celebrate holy matrimony.  Beth and I delighted in the opportunity to use the grandeur of the church to frame Halley and Zak during the ceremony.

After some photos and videos outside the church we were off to a park overlooking the Browns stadium and Lake Erie for more photo and video ops.  The groomsmen in particular added lots humor in the background!

Finally, we ended the evening at The Red Space, a vintage warehouse revitalized as an event space.  We loved how Halley and Zak spent their first dance enjoying the romance of the moment, but also showing their humor by having fun with the moment too.   All in all, it was an elegant day in majestic places, but accented with lots of laughter and sweetness.  Many blessings to you and on your marriage, Halley & Zak!

Halley and Zak’s wedding film from For Real Wedding Films on Vimeo.

Photo above courtesy of the wonderful Stephanie and John Uptmor at Imagine It Photography!

Some of the vendors we had the privilege of working with:
Photography: Our friends Stephanie and John Uptmor and Imagine It Photography
Ceremony: The Shrine Church of St. Stanislaus
Venue: The Red Space

Slovenska Pristava Wedding of Celia & Mike

Celia and Mike’s wedding day was a day of family.  We started the day at Celia’s parents’ picturesque home in rural Thompson, Ohio.  When we arrived bridesmaids and family were enjoying the weather on the front porch while having their hair and make up done.  We were delighted to spend the day alongside our friends Holly and Matt Michelson from 5:5 Photography too.  Holly and her family are longtime friends of Celia’s family and Holly’s sister was Celia’s maid of honor.

The ceremony at Lifehouse church was not a routine occasion, but was instead full of depth and meaning.  The pastor told me before the ceremony that he really wanted “the Holy Spirit to fall on Celia and Mike and truly make the two into one.”  After the wedding we went back to the house for photos and video and then we headed to the reception.  One of our favorite moments was the emotional and heartfelt toast given by the maid of honor.  Dancing soon started and, wow, can Celia’s parents cut a rug!

Beth and I were so delighted when we got a chance to get some video during sunset and, man, was it gorgeous!  With the waning light just over the treetops beyond the field it made for some stunning moments with the Celia and Mike.

Many blessings to you and on your marriage, Celia and Mike!

Celia and Mike’s wedding film from For Real Wedding Films on Vimeo.

Photo above courtesy of our friends at 5:5 Photography

Some of the vendors we had the privilege of working with:
Photography: Our friends Holly and Matt Michelson at 5:5 Photography
Ceremony: Lifehouse Church
Venue: Slovenska Pristava

The Screw Factory of Alissa & Matt

Tender.  This was the word that was evident for us between Alissa & Matt.  It showed in how they looked at each other, how they spoke to each other, and even how they danced.  We started our day with them at The Screw Factory in Lakewood, an historic former car factory now turned into artist studios and an event space.  Taking the old cargo elevator to the second floor we found Alissa getting ready with her bridesmaids.  We noticed how calmed she become once Matt came for his first look.  They knew what this day was about: the two of them, and being together brought a tender peace to put the nerves to rest.

Their ceremony was led by a good friend, and the pastor was also a longtime friend of the family.  This made the experience so personal and even fun.  After Alissa and Matt recessed down the aisle to the beautiful sounds of a harp, the bridal party headed over to Halls Bowling Alley for some fun shots on the lanes and in the lounge.  Matt even got a pinball game in!

Then it was back to The Screw Factory for the reception.  A really unique occurrence was that the music for their first dance was performed live by her niece.  Here we saw Matt and Alissa’s tenderness again.  Every couple, we’ve noticed, dances differently.  Alissa and Matt had one of the most sweet and passionate dances we’ve seen this year.  They were truly lost in each other.  It was a lovely sight to witness.  Another fun experience was to see a live event painting.  Jacqueline DelBrocco painted the reception while it was happening!  This talented artist is a pioneer in the Cleveland area offering live event painting services.  We enjoyed her and her work so much that we hired her to paint at Beth’s parents’ 50th wedding anniversary event later in the month!

The night ended for us with a first.  Our friends Suzanne and Dan Price of Suzuran Photography had the idea to set off a pink smoke bomb outside for some fun sunset photos!  How cool!  So as the smoke rose and curled around them, Alissa and Matt danced, hugged, kissed, ran, and laughed as we took photos and video.

Many sweet blessings to you and on your marriage, Alissa and Matt!

Alissa and Matthew’s wedding film from For Real Wedding Films on Vimeo.

Photo above courtesy of our friends Suzanne and Dan Price at Suzuran Photography

Some of the vendors we had the privilege of working with:
Photography: Suzanne and Dan Price at Suzuran Photography http://suzuranphotography.com

Live Event Painting: Jacqueline DelBrocco http://www.clevelandeventpainter.com
Venue: The Screw Factory in The Lake Erie Building http://lakeeriebuildingevents.com

The Club at Hillbrook Wedding of Kristen & Mike

Kristen and Mike are such a fun couple!  Being with them at one of our favorite venues, The Club at Hillbrook, made for such a sweet, fun day.  We met up with the bridesmaids and Kristen in the gorgeous and spacious parlor room where sweet friends and family gathered to do makeup and hair and enjoy being together.  You could tell they just adored Kristen.  When her hair was finished or her dress was put on for the first it was met by spontaneous awws, admiration, and tears by the bridesmaids.  This is how it is meant to be!

We headed outside to the spacious wooded grounds for Mike’s first look.  A fun surprise happened shortly after.  Mike surprised Kristen by hiring artist Jacqueline DelBrocco to do a live event painting of the evening!  He led her up to the reception area to find Jacqui with her canvas set up and a fun sign for them.

After some more photos and video we headed to the ceremony in a stately outdoor space.  Kristen entered through wrought iron gates and Mike beamed.  From there they enjoyed time visiting their guests for a cocktail hour on the stone-floored open air patio as the extremely talented Jacqueline DelBrocco captured the sight on her artist’s canvas.

Reception time soon came, but this was no ordinary reception!  It included Mitchell’s Ice Cream (the best ice cream in Cleveland, in our humble opinion!) and a visit by a taco food truck!  Finally, the night wrapped up with a sparkler exit out the front door.

Many, many fun blessings your way, Kristen and Mike!

Kristen and Mike’s Wedding Film from For Real Wedding Films on Vimeo.

Some of the vendors we had the privilege of working with:
Photography: Amilia James
Live Event Painting: Jacqueline DelBrocco
Venue: The Club at Hillbrook

Ice Cream: Mitchell’s Ice Cream

Taco Truck: Barrio


The Music Box Wedding of Adam & Rachel

This was a fun couple and a fun wedding!  How can fun be avoided when the bride is a fan of Barbies!  🙂  We started out the day at the Cleveland Marriott being sent to the wrong room by the hotel staff which was quite funny!  We introduced ourselves to the whole wedding party before realizing…this was a different wedding!  Off we trotted to find Rachel and her bridesmaids!  Thankfully, we found them and had a wonderful time.  The emotions between Rachel and her sister were so tender.  After getting ready Rachel had a first look with both of her parents.  This was a first for us to see both dad and mom together seeing their daughter in her white dress for the first time.

The bridal party then hopped on the Cleveland icon Lolly the Trolley (which incidentally Beth and I used for our wedding too in 1998!) over to The Music Box Supper Club where Adam had his first look at his new bride outside the club overlooking the bustling Cuyahoga River.  It was a gorgeous day as we captured photos and video of the couple around the west bank of the Flats.

The ceremony was a beautiful blend of Adam and Rachel’s backgrounds with a Christian minister guiding the first half of the ceremony and a Jewish rabbi leading the other half under a chuppah.  Then it was time to head upstairs for the reception.  One wall of the reception was entirely made of glass overlooking the Cuyahoga River with views of the fun east bank of the Flats.  A very sweet moment was that instead of having a wedding cake, Rachel and Adam surprised her 93 year old grandfather with a birthday cake.  Grandma, accompanied by her walker, jubilantly even cut a rug later!  Flanked of course by a Barbie couple in a Barbie Corvette on the stage, Rachel and Adam danced, laughed, and Hava Nagila-ed the night away!

Many rich blessings to you and on your marriage, Adam and Rachel!

Rachel and Adam Wedding Film from For Real Wedding Films on Vimeo.


Some of the vendors we had the privilege of working with:
Photography: Making the Moment
Venue: The Music Box Supper Club
Transportation: Lolly the Trolley 

Gish Barn Wedding of Lauren & Sean

No matter how delightful a wedding we film, we are pooped at the end of the night, but leaving Lauren and Sean’s wedding we had a smile on our faces.  Not only were they just a hoot to be around, but it was deeply encouraging to see a  young couple make sacrifices to buck cultural norms and pursue each other with passion, fun, and integrity.  We spent their wedding day at the picturesque 1830’s vintage Gish Barn.  This great venue is run by our friends Nathan and Amanda Roth who are a pleasure to know and work with.  Lauren and her bridesmaids got ready on the barn’s first floor surrounded by wooden beams that pre-date the Civil War.  Beth and I had so much fun getting silhouettes of Lauren through the old barn doors!  When it came time for her dad to have his first look at his daughter in her wedding dress, he entered through an old sliding door.  The emotion between the two as well as her mother was precious.  Before the ceremony, Lauren was surrounded by her bridesmaids as they prayed over her and her marriage to Sean.

So up we went to the main floor of the barn where the ceremony took place.  Two moments stood out to me.  The first when was when Lauren took in a breath as Sean recited his vows.  She seemed to be trying to contain her heart in the sudden reality of this immense moment.  The second was during a time of prayer when Sean, who was holding Lauren’s hands in his, brought them up to his lips, and gently kissed them.

The reception rounded out the day as everyone celebrated, including a surprise for Lauren’s mom: they danced to “You’re the One That I Want” from Grease just as they did when Lauren was young!

As an added blessing, Lauren and Sean did something that has never happened to us-they invited both of us and our kids to their house to have the first viewing of their wedding film alongside family!  Their hospitality and faith-filled hearts made us feel so welcome.  Thank you, Lauren and Sean!  May you be blessed with rivers of delight in your marriage!

Some of the vendors we had the privilege of working with:
Photography: Olivia Strohm & Talia Hodge
Venue: The Gish Barn
DJ: His ‘N’ Hers Wedding and Party Service 

Old Courthouse Wedding of Lauren & Corey

Talk about stunning from one end of the day to the other.  Lauren and Corey’s day began at the 1890 Arcade in downtown Cleveland.  After meeting Lauren’s sweet and fun bridal party we headed down to one of the gorgeous stairways for their first look.  The wonder in Corey’s face was evident when seeing his bride for the first time.  From there we headed towards the Lake to get some beautiful shots with Lake Erie and the skyline of Cleveland in the background.  Then it was time to go to the historic Cleveland Courthouse.  What a pristine structure!  Lauren walked down the aisle in the rotunda to her lovestruck groom, aided by heartfelt worship music performed by our friends and church worship leaders Chris and Bethany Solyntjes.  Some of our favorite moments included getting a shot from one of the high balconies and also being able to get behind Lauren and Corey to catch those sweet moments of prayer and laughter.  Finally, the entire rotunda was switched around for the elegant reception rocked by none other than The Sunrise Jones band!  These guys know how to get a party going!  Most of all, we loved seeing Lauren and Corey, with worshipful and loving hearts, start their married lives together in such a beautiful way.

Lauren & Cory’s wedding film! from For Real Wedding Films on Vimeo.

Produced by Kurt and Beth at For Real Wedding Films

Still photo above courtesy of Michaelangelo’s Photography

Some of the vendors we had the privilege of working with:
Photography: Michaelangelo’s Photography http://www.michaelangelosphotography.com
Venue: Old Cleveland Courthouse http://publicworks.cuyahogacounty.us/en-US/Courthouse-Rental.aspx
Live Reception Band: The Sunrise Jones http://www.thesunrisejones.com
Music provided by Chris and Bethany Solyntjes www.chrisandbethanymusic.com The Music Bed www.musicbed.com

Fairlawn wedding of Andrea & Nic

The first look.  Not everyone does them, but we love every first look that we film!  Andrea & Nic’s was no exception.  I think it’s the emotions that come forth more freely than maybe a more public setting.  With Andrea wiping away a tear and Nic’s adoring eyes fixed on his bride, it was a sweet moment to share.  From there we went to the ceremony held right at the Hilton.  It was a stunningly decorated and lit.  After Andrea and Nic made their vows we headed out to the Akron Zoo where, despite the serious heat, we had a great time posing the couple and bridal party alongside their wonderful photographers, Nathan and Amanda Ross.  It was there that we saw their love of Pokemon arise again as they worked to catch some Pokemon right there at the zoo!  We returned to the Hilton to celebrate at their reception.  While all of the toasts were great, Nic’s brother gave a particularly touching and emotional toast to the bride and groom.  The rest of the night was full of lots of laughter and dancing.  Blessings on both of you, Andrea and Nic!  Here’s to many years of joyful marriage!

Andrea & Nic’s Wedding Film from For Real Wedding Films on Vimeo.

Some of the delightful vendors we had the honor to work with:

Preview photo courtesy of Nathan and Amanda Photography

Photographers: Nathan and Amanda Photography

Photo site: The Akron Zoo