Holy Toledo! Few experiences are more exciting than visiting somewhere for the first time, especially somewhere with such rich history and culture as Toledo, Ohio. Not only the city amazed me with little gems of interest– Jess and Alex incorporated such personal, incredible details into each aspect of their wedding celebration that I felt I knew them intimately by the end of the night. From start to finish, their passion for life and each other, filled every room. I expected nothing less, after having the wonderful opportunity to photograph them at some of my favorite locations in little LaPorte, Indiana. After coffee together, I thanked God and search engine optimization that such a brilliant, creative couple found me. Their wedding brochure only doubled my excitement. Displayed alongside hotel suggestions and times, were selected locations throughout the city to share with all of their guests– and even gave them time to explore them! Between the ceremony and reception, we would travel between historic locations for photography, and guests would take in the city with Jess and Alex as their guides. In writing. Before my suitcase was packed, I knew this wedding would be an adventure.
The adventure began at the historic Toledo Club. Since 1889, this private club has served cocktails, hosted parties, provided athletic recreation, accommodations, and just plain fabulousness. Five stunning floors of architectural wonder in the heart of downtown Toledo, no location could match the unique vintage detail and sophisticated splendor of this wedding more.
Every bride that is married at The Toledo Club has her portrait done with this lady in red. Amazing that they collect these images, throughout the years.
My husband captured this gorgeous image as Jess descended the staircase from her bridal room to the wedding ceremony.
Jess learned about the above tradition during her time with the Peace Corps in Ukraine. This textile was a gift from her friends there, and was featured as the final blessing in the wedding ceremony, held by their parents.
Their ceremony was so rich with emotion. Leave it to two academics to select readings ranging from deeply moving to lighthearted and clever. I have run out of really strong adjectives writing this post, and am having a difficult time even finding words to describe their vows. Most ceremonies cloud my eyes a little, but Jess and Alex brought on complete tears.
I found this amazing graffiti the day before, when my husband and I were exploring Toledo, and stopped into a well-reviewed and smart looking little lunch spot– Grumpy’s. Knowing their interests, I figured the stage reference would ring so true!
Love these stunning bridesmaids dresses, shawls, mismatched shoes, and fantastic floral design. Adorable group!
Each table was named for a location of special significance to Alex and Jess, and each table card contained a little description. Stupendous!
This cake topper was used by Jessica’s grandparents, now passed. How lovely to incorporate such a treasured family heirloom with such a modern alternative to a cake– pie!
Hepcat Revival, an amazing band, kept the dance floor moving all night!
Then, Jessica brought Alex to the stage to perform a song honoring her grandparents, who have been together for 71 years.
Such an amazing experience, and a perfect example of how a wedding can and should be more than a big party. This breathtaking celebration of two individuals, their families, traditions, and adventures– this is how it’s done.