I'm Rachael, a wedding and senior portrait photographer for the joyful & adventurous! I hope you'll grab a cup of coffee and enjoy viewing some of my latest work and getting a sneak peek into life behind the scenes!
Hello, and welcome to my little online home! I'm Rachael Leigh and I am a wedding and senior portrait photographer in Southwest Ohio! I do hope that you will grab a cup of coffee and enjoy viewing some of my latest work and getting a little sneak peek into life behind the scenes!
From the start, Katie told me that the point of their day was not only to celebrate the marriage of her and Charlie, but to honor all those who have walked alongside them throughout their relationship. She told me all about the unique timeline she had in mind, how there’d be an intimate ceremony and dinner along with toasts that were designed to create an atmosphere filled with love and made to show love to all those in attendance. Charlie and Katie are loved by so many and that was evident on Sunday. I can’t even count the amount of times I hear stories upon stories of how these two have impacted the lives of their family and friends. And at one point, Charlie’s dad stood up and spoke a sentence that I think summed up the feelings of a lot of people that day. He said, “most people attend a wedding to celebrate and bless the couple getting married, but all of us today are blessed by just being in the room with you two.”
My response to Katie’s initial email was accompanied with a whole lot of excitement! I knew from the beginning that we’d click and when she mentioned their wedding would be at French Park, I was over the moon! She dished out a whole lot of details from her wedding planning process, how she’d settled on a “secret garden” theme filled with a whole lot of greenery and white and gorgeousness! But I think my biggest takeaway from our initial reactions was how caring and genuine she is. As she told me about her relationship with Charlie and we pushed past only wedding talk, we found ourselves sharing all about life and what it looks like! And every interaction since that first call, I felt like we were just friends. So as I walked into her bridal suite on Sunday to say hello, I was met with a big hug and her signature “Katie smile”! I loved walking around as she introduced me to her best friends, her sweet mama and the rest of her family. With each introduction, I could see in the faces of all those around her, that Katie didn’t just welcome me with her genuine smile and warmth, but she did the same for everyone around her. She’s the kind of gal that speaks life into you and encourages you even when all the attention is on her! And those are just a few things that I love about this gal!
Another favorite thing to witness on their day was Charlie’s reactions to both seeing Katie at their first look and hearing the song she surprised him with for their first dance! Let’s start with the first look. As we walked out to get him set up in the front yard of the French House, I asked him if he was ready and expressed that she looked absolutely stunning! You could see the nervous, excitement written all over his face and he didn’t say a whole lot. Once he was turned in the right direction, I walked back into the house to fetch Katie. It was time. Her dress was fluffed and I stepped back to just let the moments unfold. Katie walked up behind him, called his name and he turned around and his face showed exactly what he was feeling! Just wait til you see it! They shared the sweetest first look and then silently read letters that each had written for the other. Talk about cuing the tears! The second reaction that I mentioned was something I anticipated the entire day! Katie shared with me before the wedding that she had recorded a song she was surprising Charlie with during their first look. When the DJ announced that surprise, Charlie looked at Katie with the cutest surprised face and said, “this is you!” And then they had the sweetest first dance! The sunset was shining behind them in that huge white tent and it was just a beautiful moment!
There are a thousand other moments I could share with you and just tidbits that I witnessed throughout the day! But if I had to leave you with my biggest takeaway and favorite about these two, it’s that they know how to love and genuinely make those around them feel welcomed and special. They did that in so many ways on their wedding day, in the timeline, the ceremony and the toasts. They also did that by just being who they are as a couple and as people! Charlie and Katie, it was an honor to celebrate with y’all!! Congratulations on becoming Mr and Mrs!! And enjoy these few (okay, way too many!) favorites from your day!!
Thank you to the incredible vendor team that pulled this whole thing off!
Gown Designer | Catherine Deane
Planner/Coordinator | Regan Meinking
Cake | Happy Chicks Bakery
DJ| Elite Signature DJs
Catering| Chef’s Choice Catering
Bridesmaids Dresses | Birdy Grey
Groomsmen Attire | INDOCHINO
HMUA | AV Beauty Bar – Syd Meinking
Invitation Suite | Zola