September 12, 2015
Holy Redeemer Church | Cleveland, Ohio
The Oaks Lakeside | Chippewa Lake, Ohio
This couple. I can't explain how authentic they are -- the passion and the love they have for one another and for everything their life together will bring. I met Ben for the first time at an Anthropologie Fashion Show in which Sam was modeling. Of course I liked him right away when I learned he used to be a rower in college, as I did. But more than that it was his laugh -- the most warm, contagious laugh you've ever heard. And Sam, well we adored worked together at Anthropologie over a span of a couple years. I always called her a little Audrey Hepburn for her impeccable poise and style like the fashion icon. She has a love for milk glass and all things vintage 50s. She started up her milk glass vase collection long before she was engaged, knowing she would want an abundance of them at her wedding reception some day. Saturday was that day and it was a vision not even a rainy day dared tarnish.
The day started with a small church ceremony in Cleveland. The couple exchanged rings in front of a small collection of immediate family and their bridal party. Sam wore a simple, short white dress and Ben's late grandmother's earrings that were gifted to her at the rehearsal dinner the night before.
The day continued at The Oaks Lakeside where the bridal party prepared for an outdoor ceremony by the water. Sam wore a classic long A-line tulle-skirt wedding dress with a sweetheart neckline and custom-fit lace top that buttoned down the back. She wore her grandmother's earrings as "something old," and floral "something blue" peep-toe wedges. Her other grandmother's pearls were her "something borrowed" wrapped around her bouquet. Along with all the other personal touches she created for her wedding, she made her own birdcage veil that included a sweet little bow to perfectly complete her look.
The forecast called for rain all day on and off, so while the rain plan was pretty probable, at the last minute the decision was made to go ahead with the outdoor ceremony. The rain let up for an hour or two allowing just enough time for the couple's dream outdoor ceremony in front of all their friends and family. Sam + Ben exchanged their own vows in which Sam shared her experience with "love at first sight" when she met Ben and said to herself "I will marry this man someday." To demonstrate their humility, commitment and love, and as Jesus did with his disciples in the Bible, they washed one another's feet in a ceremonial foot washing in front of all their guests. The two beamed from ear to ear the whole time, sharing the purest of joy.
The sweet aroma of eucalyptus adorning the bouquets, boutonnieres and centerpieces filling the reception space. The table numbers were made from the handpainted flowers Sam created for her wedding invitations. In this room especially I realized the fun and love I saw in Sam + Ben all day was no doubt in part a reflection of their incredible families. Ben's best man, his brother Dennis, made a speech with the sentiment of "for you, there's nothing in this world I wouldn't do," proven by his interpretive dance performed to Avicii's Hey Brother. Amazing. The couple's parents got together and presented them with a special box holding a bottle of Jack Daniels and a blank page under the cover titled "Samantha & Benjamin's Important Life Events." Starting a new tradition right then and there, the six of them took a shot together to mark the start of their first life event as a couple. I think a lot of us wanted to steal this one. What an awesome tradition.
The newlyweds danced the night away to Silento's Watch Me, Pitbull's Fireball, and Pharrell Williams' Happy, to name just a few. They ended the night with tons of hugs and best wishes from their guests, exiting with lanterns to light their way to the cottage called The Coop on the venue's property where they spent the night. The next morning their Honeymoon Adventure Road Trip to Charleston awaited!
Congratulations, Samantha + Benjamin! May you enjoy a long and happy life together that includes plenty more shots of Jack.
Hi. I'm Suzanna.
I like running outside, eating real food and crafting beautiful images. I am captivated by documenting everyday life–revealing what authentic, adventurous and lovers of life we all are.