Karen & Sam | The Ohio Statehouse | Columbus Wedding Photography

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It is always an honor to be a part of a friend’s wedding, and this one was extra special, as I got to return to my home state of Ohio and photograph Karen, whom I’ve known for over a decade.

Karen and Sam are cute and hilarious together. Their relationship is perhaps best exemplified by their sweet proposal story, when on Valentine’s Day, Sam surprised Karen by setting up a tent in her living room and cooking her dinner. They ate dinner in the tent and then exchanged gifts. Sam had made her a beautiful photo album with all kinds of pictures and little mementos from the past four years. When she got to the last page of the album, Sam said, “I have one more gift for you,” to which Karen briefly reacted with panic about not getting him more than one gift. But that was quickly replaced by happy screaming when she realized it was a ring. (And she said yes, of course!)

The next month, when they visited Columbus looking for wedding venues, they happened to stop by Ohio’s state capitol building, The Ohio Statehouse, and knew immediately that they had to get married there. There was only one opening available, and so their engagement was immediately shortened to six months, but it was completely perfect.

The day was absolutely brimming with funny, quirky moments and just so much love and happiness. It was a gorgeous wedding, but the best part of it all was a simple celebration of love– with plenty of laughs along the way.

Even though I grew up in Ohio, I had never seen the Ohio Statehouse before– it is such a beautiful place, especially with the dome in the rotunda and all those marble staircases.

I love Karen’s whole look, from that lovely headpiece all the way down to the little train on her dress.

Instead of doing a “first look” where the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony, Karen and Sam planned a blind letter exchange. We hid them on opposite sides of the giant pillar, and they got to talk to each other and exchange written letters without actually seeing each other.

Don’t miss the video at the bottom of the post– you can see this moment in action, complete with a fist bump and a little jig.

For the ceremony, Karen created a picture frame to honor some of their family members who weren’t able to make it to the wedding.

Sam’s father, who is a pastor, officiated the ceremony and even threw in a few jokes.

The ceremony was set up in a circle, and guests were seated all around the couple in the middle.

Group hug!

The newlyweds and a group photo with our friends– I even got to jump in for a picture!

I love the purple and gray scheme for their wedding party.

So in love with the bench photo below.

Everyone in the room was in tears during this father-daughter dance. Karen’s mom had put together a slideshow with images from the time Karen was a baby, and with Karen’s dad crying and hugging her tight, it just had everyone in complete shambles.

Finally, my favorite shot of the night, with the dome of the rotunda behind them. Congratulations to the brand new Mr. and Mrs. Brown!

Finally, watch our video, made by sister company Seaglass Cinema.

Karen & Sam | 9.14.13 from Seaglass Cinema on Vimeo.

Wedding Vendors:

Venue: The Ohio Statehouse, Columbus, Ohio
Hair & Makeup: Charles Penzone Grand Salon
Florist: Rose Bredl
Catering: Milo’s
Dress: Jasmine Bridal
Bridal headband: Deloris Petunia
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew, Bill Levkoff, Donna Morgan
Tuxes: Black by Vera Wang (Men’s Wearhouse)
Ceremony DJ: George Baum (Brown family friend)
Reception DJ: DJ Phil
Wedding Cake: Golden Delight Bakery
Photographer: Anna Wu Photography
Videographer: Seaglass Cinema