We’re oh-so-excited to share another wedding on our blog with you! Being able to share in wedding days with fun and adventurous couples has been a wonderful blessing to us over the past four years! Keri & Shawn are undeniably adorable together. Shawn tries to act tough, but he’s definitely a romantic guy & expressed it so beautifully in his wedding vows to Keri. He tries to play it off and crack jokes, but he’s head over heels for her & was so happy to be marrying her. Keri is really sweet, full of smiles, generous, and kind. She was such a pretty bride! So without further ado, we hope you enjoy a few of our favorites from their wedding day!
Dutch Village Inn is probably sick of me. . . I had three brides get ready for their wedding days there within the past month.:)It’s such a great place to have in town. The suites are roomy & pretty and it’s convenient for brides who are getting married nearby.Keri searched high and low for those pretty yellow heels. They’re darling. Yellow is one of my favorite colors for weddings because it’s so cheerful. The bride’s mom did all of the flowers & she did a marvelous job!I love the relationship between Keri & her mom. So special & sweet. They’re friends & I love that.
Shawn being goofy as per usual.Their first look was adorable.So dreamy! And I love the gray & yellow! So beautiful, Keri!They had some admirers. You killed it, Ladies!Don’t you love the yellow & gray with the teal accents?! Then it was time for the ceremony. This ceremony was really special & personal. They shared their own vows & everyone was very emotional. Keri explained how Shawn stuck with her while they were a long-distance couple as she earned her college degree, was there for her during the very difficult time after losing her grandmother, makes her laugh every day, and is the best person she can imagine to be her husband. Shawn’s vows (and his emotional delivery of them) made me cry & I was so glad that I got to be there to hear them. . . and be there to photograph them.
She is THE cutest! And clearly so in love with Shawn.I love their joy! (And they may have been laughing because Josh just crouched down to take a photo & split his pants? Check out our Instagram feed a couple of weeks back for that action).Walking into the reception was a blast of happiness. . . yellow, lemons, fresh flowers, and mason jars brightened up the entire banquet hall at The Links at Firestone Farms.Mocha House made the cake. It looked delicious & pretty.Shawn had a Best Woman. She attested to how great of a friend he is in her toast & to how incredibly happy he is with Keri.These two are Keri’s best friends & their toast showed how much they love her & how much she lights up around Shawn.They decided it’d be fun to smash cake in their friends’ faces. Her reaction to the garter retrieval was priceless.The reception was fun for all. Bob Hlinka did a great job DJing, as always.
Keri & Shawn, thank you both so much for sharing your wedding day with us. We’re so happy for you both! Welcome to the married club. . . it’s the best club in the world!:)

Today on the blog, I’m going to share with you the part of our home that I’m least likely to share with anyone. What? Why? I’ll explain. . .

We moved in to our home three years ago at the end of this July & we’ve made it our own in so many ways. In the early days after moving in, we had dance parties on ladders while jamming out to our favorite classic rock songs with the scent of vinegar wafting through the kitchen as we soaked the walls with a warm water/vinegar mixture to try to pry off the wallpaper border so we could paint the kitchen a bright & cheery “Pineapple Soda” yellow. We quite maturely painted a couple of cute little piles of excrement on the living room walls as we painted them brown instead of the tan/green/maroon/wallpaper border that was going on in there when we moved in. We laughed a lot. We got paint on a few shirts and in our hair. I mostly stuck with rolling while Josh (the patient one) tackled the trimming. And, as some of you know, we took a blank canvas that was our basement (cement walls and floor) and made it into a finished space that we can meet clients. It’s homey, it’s inviting, it’s rustic, it’s lovely, it’s an open floor plan, & it’s OURS. We chose every last detail of that space & we love it. We love showing it off when clients come to meet us there.

But there’s one room in the house that is still, well, unattractive. It’s the last holdout from when we moved in. It has not been made ours. In fact, it’s quite hideous because we started to work on it and left it unfinished.

It’s the master bath. I got a little ambitious & “nesty” one day while pregnant with Tenley & ripped off a bunch of the wallpaper, but that’s as far as we’ve gotten with it. The wallpaper in there is downright stubborn. It’s a pain. We had a lot on our To Do List (as usual) and it got pushed to the side. Every other room in the house has been remodeled to be made to fit with our style except for that room & I really don’t like it when people see it. If anyone sees it, I feel the need to make excuses.

We’ve been wanting to share our basement remodel on the blog because we’re proud of it & we think it looks really great. We haven’t gotten around to sharing it yet because we’ve been busy sharing our clients’ photos, but we will be sharing it with you soon. The thing is, I got to thinking about that master bath & decided it was more important to share today than the basement remodel or our master bedroom remodel or any other room in the house that we’ve put our stamp on. Why? Because it’s a great metaphor for the way so many people (us included!) carefully craft our online presence to project this “perfect” image to the world when our lives are honestly anything but perfect.

Our lives are messy. Projects take time. It’s completely okay to not have everything together at all times. We need to stop putting pressure on ourselves to be everything to everyone. In fact, trying to be everything to everyone at all times is the only recipe for certain disaster.

So today I’m sharing THIS in all of its horrifying glory.;)MB_0001

Trying to be perfect is futile. Portraying your life to the online world as perfect is damaging. So today I’d like everyone to reflect on their lives. Allow yourselves to be okay with the parts of your life that aren’t exactly as you’d like them to be in this moment. Work toward improvement every day, but don’t be discouraged or impatient with yourself in the process. Realize that the climb toward self-improvement is gradual and anything but linear. You’ll have ups & downs. Be gracious with yourself and with others. And don’t compare yourself to anyone else. . . especially not to their online presence.MB_0003

We’re all complex & full of intricacies. Our lives are made up of so many facets. Perfectionism is harmful & let’s all just agree to be perfectly imperfect & share a little bit more genuinely with others. . . in person & on the Internet.MB_0004

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Rachael & Bryan will have been together for more than a decade once their wedding rolls around next year. To stay together through high school & college is a testament to their commitment to one another. Ever since they first met & started dating, it has just made sense. They can speak to one another without audibly talking, they can communicate effortlessly, he makes her laugh, she supports his favorite baseball team, they love to simply hang out, and they love to explore together. Their relationship, ever since they were kids, has been a constant source of happiness and comfort for the both of them & next year they’ll get to share that commitment with their family members & friends as they say “I do” to a lifetime of that easygoing happiness that they’ve enjoyed since they were teenagers.
Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0001We met them at Poland Library. It’s a nice spot for more formal looking shots with the columns & there are a few nearby spots with greenery, too. But I really loved what Rachael had to say about the location. She said they were thinking of a few places & then decided to keep it local & simple because the location doesn’t matter as much as their love for each other & that’ll show through in the photos no matter the location. Right on!Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0002Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0003Whenever I think of Rachael & Bryan, I think of happiness. They just ooze it from their pores when they’re together.Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0004Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0005Her ring is gorge!Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0006Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0007Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0008Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0009Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0010Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0011Since this is their engagement session blog, you’d probably love to hear about how he proposed, right? There is a beautiful place called Gervasi Vineyard in Canton, Ohio. Bryan took Rachael on a romantic date there & proposed amidst the beauty of the surroundings. It was just the two of them & Rachael says it was perfect.

Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0012Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0013Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0014Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0015Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0016Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0017Rachael’s hair is very pretty! And she did a great job with their outfit coordination. They look like they belong in this location & like they belong together. . . because they do.:)Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0018Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0019Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0020Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0021Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0022They’re sweet together. We usually wait a bit longer in the session to start getting this close, but they were so comfortable together & didn’t seem to really notice that we were there sometimes so we crept right up.:)Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0023Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0024Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0025Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0026Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0027Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0028Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0029A marriage full of this much laughter is bound to be amazing! We’re very excited for you two & for your wedding next year!Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0030Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0031Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0032And they saved a little bit of time at the end of the session for some Yankees photos just for Bryan.Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0033Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0034Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0035Rachael & Bryan - Poland OH Library - Youngstown OH Photographers_0036Thanks so much, Rachael & Bryan, for sharing a fun evening with us. The Chick fil A run after the session was a must & so delish.:)Next June will be here before we know it & we’re happy we get to share your wedding day with you. Enjoy these next few months as an engaged couple. . . wait, we know you will. We don’t have to tell you that.

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Oh my goodness, is this real life? When we run into couples like LeAnn & Jered & get to know them & their love for one another all in the name of our job, it’s pretty freakin’ awesome. These two are unbelievably adorable together, but their amazingness goes way beyond that. They’re two of the kindest and most generous people we’ve met! They’re down to earth, chill, fun people and we LOVE that. There’s nothing better than photographing a bride who doesn’t realize just how dropdead gorgeous she really is! And the look on Jered’s face when he saw LeAnn during their first look? It’ll melt your heart! The love these two share is happy, full of life, sweet, thoughtful, and inspiring. We’re so glad we’ve gotten to be friends with you, LeAnn & Jered! We hope a boat day can happen soon!:)

How perfect is the tea that was sitting on the shelf at the salon right by where LeAnn was having her hair done?! I promise I didn’t even stage it. After the salon action was over, she and her bridesmaids got ready at the Dutch Village Inn in Columbiana for the wedding ceremony that would take place at the barn at The Links.Her bouquet was lovely. Clendenning Florist was the wedding day florist.Jered sent a wedding day gift for his bride.She loved the ring!Josh was with Jered & the guys as they got ready at The Holiday Inn in North Lima.LeAnn had sent him a gift, too.In a word, stunning. LeAnn’s mama is so pretty, too.Then it was time for the first look at Firestone Park. I always get giddy right before the couple does their first look. I can feel the excitement and the anticipation. Being there to capture the emotions that ensue as the bride & groom share a private moment when they see one another for the first time on their wedding day is fun & so special.Jered was blown away.Another thing I love about first looks? They’re completely unscripted. We step back with our zoom lenses and just let the magic happen. We don’t interrupt. We allow the couple to truly enjoy their first moments of seeing one another on their wedding day & often those are the very best photographs of the day. . . they’re not posed, they’re genuine, they’re authentic, and they’re full of raw emotion. LOVE!He walked all the way around her to check out every bit of her wedding day beauty.:)It was sweet.
Then we had time to hang out in the park and take some photos of these two good lookin’ people.They’re the cutest. And LeAnn’s hair. . . perfect!
After the first look photos at the park, we headed to The Links for bridal party photos & family photos before the ceremony.I was loving the mint green! This bridal party was fun.
Three of the most adorable ring bearers I’ve seen:The little rustic details tied everything together very nicely.Their ceremony was a great mixture of sentimental, emotional, and personal.
A lot of brides & grooms will express hesitation about doing a first look because they believe it might “take away” from the emotions and excitement of seeing the bride for the first time on the wedding day when she walks down the aisle. It couldn’t be farther from the truth! I’d say grooms that have participated in a first look have even more heightened emotions during the ceremony. . . at least that has been our experience with photographing weddings. In this case, it was no different. Jered was so happy to be marrying LeAnn that it showed through the tears running down his cheeks.And she couldn’t keep a smile from her face. We snuck away for a few minutes during cocktail hour for some portraits in the beautiful wheat field.These two told us many times that they completely trusted us and our creative process and they even scheduled time during their reception at the optimal time for sunset portraits. We were SOOOOO happy that they did this & the portraits turned out amazing! Can’t wait until you see. . .That lace is everything.LeAnn_Jered_W_0937They incorporated photos from their engagement session in a lot of the decor.LeAnn’s grandmother made the cake.
Their grand introduction:Their first dance as husband and wife:Now that Josh & I have our daughter, father-daughter dances choke me up even more than they used to!Oh, the sunset portraits. Soooooo pretty & so full of love. I’ll let them speak for themselves. (I hope I can hold back from commenting. . . )

LeAnn_Jered_0001One of the best parts of our job is seeing how happy the photos make people.:)LeAnn & Jered, thank you both so much for sharing your wedding day with us! We had so much fun getting to know you both & we wish you the very best throughout your marriage. We know you’ll do great things because you make an awesome team!
Interested in talking to us about your engagement & wedding photos? Call or email us: 330.651.4849 or info@menningphotographic.com
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  • June 26, 2015 - 4:57 pm

    Kelsey - These are beyond words! Congratulations to the happy couple! And fantastic work, Menning’s!ReplyCancel

    • June 28, 2015 - 4:45 pm

      Menning Photographic - Thank you so much! We’re excited for your big day. . . we’re coming up on the year countdown! :) ReplyCancel

I know we told you that engagement session season was upon us & that we’d have a ton of e-sessions to share with you on the blog. . . well, we do, but so many of them lately have had to be rescheduled due to this WET summer we’ve been having! Thankfully, Eleni & Eric’s engagement session day was gorgeous even though the park was a bit soggy. This park is special to these two cuties because it’s where he proposed. They’re definitely one of those couples who are just downright adorable together. They just seem to fit together. Five minutes after Eric’s friends met Eleni they said, “Yeah, you guys are truly made for each other.” That’s not a typical guy statement so it must really be true.:)
This is to our couples: during sessions, it might seem like Josh & I are gazing into your eyes. We are.:)HAHA! But really we’re looking for catchlight in your eyes. While I was searching for catchlight during Eleni & Eric’s session, I kept noticing how stunning her eyes are. They just pop with sparkly color. They were so cozy. And we took these photos in the exact spot where Eric proposed to Eleni in February. It wasn’t as green then.:)Back when they met, they each worked at Enterprise, but at different branches. They had one mutual friend in common who also worked for Enterprise & he recommended that they go on a date. Eleni was disinterested, but finally agreed. I’d bet she’s super glad she did!
I love how relaxed and fun they are together. They love to hang out, watch Ohio State Buckeyes games, and enjoy all of the treats that Eleni loves to make. This girl is Greek & loves to shower her friends and family with goodies. She brought us cupcakes when they came over to meet with us about wedding photography & she made Reese’s Pieces Rice Krispie treats to bring to the engagement session. Their wedding sweets table is going to be off the hook for sure!After hanging at the park for a bit, we ventured to Cleveland for the rest of the engagement session.They are so cute!Loving that golden sunlight!The Atlantic Ocean? Lake Erie? You decide.;)East 4th was looking quite charming.We’re super excited for your January 2016 wedding, Eleni & Eric! You’re an awesome couple & we love that we can feel your excitement for your wedding day every time we hang out with you. Thanks for a fun night in Cleve!

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