Rachael & Bryan’s wedding day was amazingly lovely. Every detail was carefully planned, everyone was calm & having fun, Rachael’s dress was perfect for her, and Stambaugh Auditorium was the best possible location for the classic affair. Their love story is one for the record books & we feel privileged to have been the ones chosen to photograph their wedding day, which was 10 years in the making!
I started off the day at Studio 7 in Boardman with the ladies for hair & makeup. I love all of the stylists there! They do a phenomenal job!Rachael’s smile is her best accessory!The perfect option for any daddy’s girl on her wedding day is a first look with her dad to see his reaction to seeing his daughter as a bride. Those moments are priceless.After the daddy-daughter first look, it was time for Rachael & Bryan to get married!
They chose to add a candle lighting  to the service & it was beautiful.
Reminiscent of their engagement photos, we hit up Poland Library for wedding party & bride & groom portraits before heading to Stambaugh.
I love the composition of this shot by Josh. And I’m not really sure what to say about this. haha!They are stunning!The laughs! So much love!Rachael was absolutely alight with love that day.The Orange Poppy built the bouquets.I just have to say that these ladies were so wonderful & beautiful inside & out!This was hilarious & I’ll just leave you to draw your own conclusion on what’s going on. It’s more fun that way.This is swoon-worthy, no? Dress & veil from Jacqueline’s Bridal.You guys! There was a chocolate fountain!Lariccia’s Italian Marketplace is the BEST for lovely & delicious appetizer spreads! Just LOOK at that table of noms!We snuck them away as the sun was dipping down & beautifully golden.I spy a past Menning Photographic bride in the photo. Hey, Girl! Rachael & Bryan, we pray that you grow even closer as the years go by, that you always remember the joy you felt on your wedding day, & that each year until forever finds you even more deeply in love. We’re so thankful we got to share your wedding day with you!

You’re all in for a treat seeing this wedding on our blog because it’s full of photos of two people who love one another with everything they have. Ali & Eric are one of the nicest & sweetest couples we’ve ever met. We absolutely loved being part of their Pittsburgh wedding day! And they are so very loved by their families & friends. It was special to get to witness the love surrounding them throughout the day; their marriage is definitely off to an epic start & we can’t wait to see what the future holds in store for them!
Ali & Eric were both getting ready for the day at the hotel where their reception would be held later- the Marriott City Center.Let’s just all get the jealousy over Ali’s perfect skin out of our system now. Sigh. How gorgeous is she?!Their ceremony was at the beautiful Duquesne Chapel. Eric’s reaction to seeing his bride walk down the aisle was priceless.She took his breath away.Not everyone’s wedding has the Bishop in attendance & he joked that Eric was close to pulling off getting the Pope there.Their ceremony was full of laughs & heartfelt moments. There was even a really awesome surprise Eric planned for Ali. If you read their engagement session blog, you know that he proposed in St. Peter’s Square in Rome, Italy where the rows of pillars align. He had a replica made of the stone where they were standing during the proposal & they got to stand on that stone to say their vows on their wedding day. Now they’ll get to keep it in their home to reflect on those vows & remember so many happy times.Riding around in Molly’s Trolley was a ton of fun!It was windy & oh-so-hot when we got to the Hot Metal Bridge for photos. Everyone played along with the fun & didn’t complain about the heat. They were troopers.Stunning in every way!Their bride & groom session was short & sweet, but we got so many wonderful shots because their interaction together is amazing.Bettis Floral did the florals for the wedding day.Heck yeah, Cookie Table!The Pens won the Stanley Cup on their wedding weekend. . . how awesome is that?!
What an emotional moment when Ali’s dad toasted the couple. He had us all tearing up.And then Eric’s brother Nick did the same.
Eric’s other brother Ken had everyone laughing.And DJ Steve Maffei Jr. had the place bumping all night!

Ali & Eric, we are so happy that we got to become friends with you throughout this wedding planning process. You are genuine & lovely people we’re honored to know! Thank you again for choosing us to photograph your wedding day! We pray you have many years of joy!

If you’re new to our blog, we’re Josh & Danielle Menning, husband & wife wedding photographers who shoot weddings for couples who believe that their marriage is much more important than their wedding day, but who also value wedding photography above all else that they invest in for their wedding day. You can follow along with the fun here:

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  • July 14, 2016 - 8:53 pm

    Joan stein - What a beautiful display of pictures to reflect two beautiful people on their important dayReplyCancel

    • July 14, 2016 - 10:00 pm

      Menning Photographic - Thank you!ReplyCancel

Sharing this engagement session with you is going to be so much fun. Jessica & Eric are amazing together & the world should all thank their friend who fixed them up because their happiness together makes this world a better place. They are so cute together. Their wedding in November (the best wedding month, in our humble opinion) is going to be fantastic.
Best smiles award!Jessica’s son Evan got to hop in a few photos & we’re so glad he did. He is adorable & so polite.I just can’t get over their cuteness. They both had each other laughing throughout the whole session.Eric proposed in such a sweet way. He asked Jess’s son Evan if he wanted to come be a Poland Bulldog & have him & his mom come live with Eric & be a family. Evan was extremely excited & ran to ask his mom if he could be a Bulldog. She was kind of confused at first & then saw Eric’s face & knew what this meant. Then Eric proposed. Now they just bought a house together & Evan will start kindergarten soon. After that, it’ll be time for the wedding. Talk about a year packed full of excitement & big things for this family!They wanted a shot by their reception venue, DeYor, that they can recreate on the wedding day.
Her eyes were sparkling in that late afternoon golden light. . . how stunning is she?!Seriously. . . every couple should have this much fun together!And I mean. . . wowza! I have no other words for this awesomeness.We had so much fun with you two, Jessica & Eric! And we’re so glad we got to meet Evan, too! Enjoy these next few months. . . we have a feeling they’ll fly by!

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We get to share an amazing engagement session with you today! Brittany & Victor were so fun to hang out with & we’re super excited for their wedding next year! Not to mention, their dog Sampson is extremely photogenic. We met these two lovebirds in the city where they live & went to lots of places that are special to them. They introduced us to a few places we’d never been & they had such fabulous views of the city.
Brittany & Victor got custody of Sampson a few months ago because her owner had to move & couldn’t take her along. Sampson is just smitten with her mom & dad & oh-so-spoiled . . . in a good way! You guys know we love those smash nosed dogs. They definitely have a way of making a place in your heart.
She reminded us so much of our crazy younger pug Punky. They would be hilarious together!We took Sampson back home so she could get a treat & stay cool relaxing at home. Then we headed to Edgewater Park, where Victor proposed to Brittany. We were standing on the exact spot where Victor had been on one knee asking Brittany to be his wife. So sweet. He had planned everything out well before he invited her down there for a walk. He had taken a balloon with a note tied to it & attached it to a tree. The note, of course, was an epic love letter & after Brittany turned around from finding the balloon, Victor was on his knee with a beautiful ring. After Edgewater Park, we ventured to Lakewood Park. The light was absolutely stunning that evening & they snuggled close without a complaint about the heat & humidity. Ohio summers really are beautiful.They are extremely photogenic. We couldn’t pose them in an unflattering way. Zoolander better look out.We were walking to Voinovich Park & couldn’t help but stop by the Rock Hall for this shot. The sun was our friend that night in a big way. . . . . . as you can see! And we rounded out our fun evening with these two engaged people at East 4th Street. Everything about this session was phenomenal from the locations to the outfit choices to the adorable dog. We could not be more excited to photograph these two get married next year! Congratulations again, Brittany & Victor! And thanks again for such a fun night. We’re excited to see you again!

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  • July 12, 2016 - 9:50 am

    Veronica Salreno - Beautiful couple, beautiful pics❣ Congratulations kids❣ReplyCancel

We had to say goodbye to a dear friend today. Even typing that seems surreal. Our friend left this world so abruptly & without warning. Because of her generous spirit, her loving heart, her bubbly personality, her bright smile, her ability to befriend anyone, her talent for making everyone she came into contact with feel incredibly special, and the way that she loved her husband & two daughters with everything she had, her memory will live on in this world for a long, long time.

Josh & I would like to share a few of our favorite memories from our time with our friend Kristy Taaffe. We feel that it helps with the grieving & healing process to share fond memories & to talk about fun times that were had while we were blessed with our friend here on earth. She was a beautiful wife, a devoted mother, a loving daughter, and a fun sister. We knew her, though, because she was a wedding photographer.

We first met Kristy in 2011. We had recently started our wedding photography business & our friend told us about a bridal show that was happening to benefit breast cancer research. The entry fee was only $50.00 (compared to thousands to rent a booth in other bridal shows) & all of the proceeds went to The Susan G. Komen Foundation so it was definitely a no brainer for us to be part of it. We were both still working our full-time jobs then in addition to the photography business & we had to rush to make it to the show on time after work on a Friday night. Neither of us felt like we belonged there. There were many doubts when we were first starting out in our business. Our bridal show display was minimal & paled in comparison to the others around us. But we were doing our best to follow our dream of owning a successful business.

We were kind of nervous to meet other photographers in the area. What would they think of us? Would they be friendly? Would it feel competitive? Would they roll their eyes and think, “Ugh, more photographers to saturate the market.”? But we also thought, “Maybe, just maybe, some of them will be nice & possibly even our friends?”

Kristy & her husband Jimmy have owned Limelight Images since 2007. They had been in business years before us, photographed tons of weddings, and were very well known in the area. When we saw their bridal show display, we were very impressed. They had a flat screen tv with lots of beautiful images scrolling as a slideshow, as well as other beautiful decorations & candy. Beyond that, though, they were both so happy to be there. I don’t quite remember if we said hi to Kristy first or if she said hi to us, but if I were to guess I’d confidently say that she made the first move because that was just her personality. She was friendly, outgoing, fun-loving, and kind. She took a genuine interest in us & our business & had nothing but kind & encouraging words to say. She truly meant it when she said she would be happy to help us with anything we needed. We went home from the bridal show exhausted but uplifted. We had a couple of new friends in the business.

After that day, we knew we wanted to spend more time with Kristy & Jimmy so we invited them to dinner a couple of times. Hanging out with them was always a great time because they understood the struggles unique to an entrepreneurial lifestyle & they always had great advice for us. Kristy was adamant that her most important calling in life was being a mom. In 2014, we photographed 41 weddings, but it was words from Kristy (along with other circumstances in our life & our priorities) that put it into perspective why we wanted to scale back the number of weddings we shot each year. Kristy said her photography work was really important to her & that she was passionate about it, but that she knew she’d never get the time with her kids back & that being a mom was so much more important. She didn’t want to miss out on their recitals & their games & their childhood. She was an amazing mother. And she inspired us. We’ll always remember her words & allow them to keep us on track in our mission to live more & work less.

In 2015, we welcomed our baby girl into our lives. A couple of months prior to that we realized that the wedding we were scheduled to photograph a few weeks after my estimated due date was one that I shouldn’t work. We decided to hire Kristy to shoot with Josh that day in my place & we couldn’t have been happier with that decision. Kristy did a beautiful job with photos of the bridal prep & second shooting for Josh, as we knew she would. But one of Josh’s favorite memories from that day doesn’t have anything to do with photography, but with how much fun Kristy always had. The bridal party was having a smoke break & time was starting to run a bit short before they had to be back to the venue to get introduced to the reception. Josh said he was feeling a bit impatient, but was trying not to show it. Music was playing from a speaker nearby & Kenny Chesney’s “Pirate Flag” came on. Kristy started jamming out & doing a funny dance & Josh’s impatient feelings subsided completely as he started to laugh & just enjoy himself. All of us wedding photographers should take a lesson from that on wedding days when the bridal party starts to get a bit annoying; just have fun & be laid back. Enjoy. Being impatient doesn’t help the situation anyway.

And one of my favorite memories of Kristy happened just after our daughter Tenley was born. It was our first official family outing other than the doctor’s office. Josh, Tenley, & I went to the mall. As soon as we got there, Tenley needed changed & was hungry. Josh was shopping for clothes in Macy’s & I knew their restroom was big & had a couch so I went there to change & feed Tenley. I was in there for over an hour because she just didn’t want to stop nursing. I must’ve looked like a crazed, hormonal first time mom totally out of her league with diapers and diaper bag contents scattered all over the couch as I tried my best to keep Tenley happy. Kristy had stopped by to meet Josh to talk about the upcoming wedding they would be photographing together while I was on maternity leave & found out that Tenley & I were in the bathroom so she came up to meet her & chat. She completely & totally put me at ease that day. She smiled & said how beautiful Tenley was, how great I looked, and how amazing of a job I was doing. I remember her words so well for some reason. They’ve just stuck with me. She said, “I remember so well how the newborn months feel. I never really felt like I had the situation under control at all to leave the house until my girls were around 4 months old. But it goes so quickly.” With those statements, she made me feel like I was doing okay. Like all moms struggle the first time they take their baby out. Like I was succeeding & doing my best & that was more than enough. She was such an encouragement to me that day.

I truly hope that Kristy knew how much she meant to us & how much she encouraged us in our business when we were first starting out. We’ll miss her. And we won’t forget her. Please pray for peace & comfort in this unimaginably difficult time for Kristy’s family, especially her husband Jimmy & two precious daughters, Micky and Gigi.