Wedding in Hocking Hills

Love in the Hocking Hills: An Ohio Wedding

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This weekend, we went off the grid and flew to rural Ohio to celebrate two people very near and dear to our hearts.

Wedding in Hocking Hills

We first met Layne and Brian through Semester at Sea, and they quickly rose the ranks in the category of Our Favorite People, Ever. It really only took a day in South Africa for us to know they were going to become our lifelong buddies, but international travel has a way of quickly cementing a friendship and we continued to have adventures with them, both abroad and domestic—from braving the traffic in Vietnam, diving in Honduras and frolicking in flower fields in Holland to visits in Virginia and birthday celebrations in North Carolina. In fact, other than SVV, Layne is the person with whom I’ve traveled the world the most!

Wedding in Hocking Hills

When I say the wedding was perfect, that’s not a cliche; it truly was. The whole thing could have easily been sponsored by Pinterest with as much DIY-ing as Layne’s parents Sam and Adele and her sister Abby did leading up to the big day.

Wedding in Hocking Hills

Wedding in Hocking Hills

Wedding in Hocking Hills

Layne and Brian secretly got engaged when our ship docked in Malaysia this very week two years ago, so some of us were wondering if they ever would tie the knot! Two years is a long time. I’m glad they waited for a time that felt right for them (even though it was killing the rest of us!). Selfishly, I’m also grateful they didn’t go with Layne’s initial idea of an intimate beachfront ceremony in Costa Rica and allowed the rest of us the honor of being a part of her big day.

Wedding in Hocking Hills

Wedding in Hocking Hills

The whole shebang was held on the homestead Layne’s family has owned in the beautiful, lush Hocking Hills since the 1800s. When she warned us we might not have service, she wasn’t kidding—from the time we neared Logan, Ohio on Friday until we got back in range on Sunday morning, we were logged off (both Wi-Fi and cell). Given that my conference is just 10 days away, I thought this might propel me into full-blown anxiety attack mode, but it was actually relaxing to be forced to remain present for a change.

Wedding in Hocking Hills

Wedding in Hocking Hills

All week long, the weather forecast was clear and called for 78 degrees. Then, we woke up on Saturday to overcast skies and a definitive fall chill. I worried all afternoon that the rain might start at any moment, but literally 15 minutes before Layne walked down the aisle of hay bales, the clouds parted and the sun peeked through the foliage, which had just started to turn overnight.

Wedding in Hocking Hills

Wedding in Hocking Hills

I think it’s Layne’s radiance (inside and out) that brought the sun; she emerged, and we all were wiping tears from our eyes—uh, suffering from seasonal allergies, I mean.

Wedding in Hocking Hills, Ohio

Wedding in Hocking Hills

I know people say this for all brides, but seriously: Have you ever seen a prettier one? The answer is no, because never did one exist.

Wedding in Hocking Hills

Wedding in Hocking Hills

Wedding in Hocking Hills

And then it was time for happy hour! (My favorite time of day.) There were His and Hers cocktails—whiskey and ginger, vodka and cranberry (no prizes for guessing which one got my order)—and a full bar. I’m not sure how they got all that catering and booze into the middle of the woods, but by God, it was a well-stocked affair.

Wedding in Hocking Hills

Wedding in Hocking Hills

Wedding in Hocking Hills

For me, the wedding was a reunion of sorts, seeing ship friends old and new. Adele had booked several of us a cabin all together right behind the property, where we got to catch up, drink bourbon and indulge in some late night hot tub debauchery. It was also nice seeing the girls I met at the bachelorette party in Charleston once more. Weddings are a funny thing in that you often meet awesome people during all the festivities that build up to the big day itself, hit it off … and then never see them again. I guess that’s when Facebook comes in handy!

Wedding in Hocking Hills

We got to meet a new ship friend, too, who was born to our former Semester at Sea colleagues Michelle and Andrew since the last time we all sailed around the world together.

Wedding in Hocking Hills

His bow tie charmed the socks off of all of the wedding guests.

Wedding in Hocking Hills

After the bride and groom had their portraits made bathed in the late afternoon autumn light, it was time for the speeches, dinner and a lil’ dancing. (Kudos to Abby for toasting to her new brother-in-law’s flatulence.)

Wedding in Hocking Hills

Wedding in Hocking Hills

Wedding in Hocking Hills

Wedding in Hocking Hills

Once people were finished eating, SVV and I set up a pop-up photo booth against the shed per Layne’s request.

Wedding Photo Booth

Wedding Photo Booth

Wedding Photo Booth

Wedding Photo Booth

Wedding in Hocking Hills, Ohio

It was a huge hit, I’d like to think.

Wedding in Hocking Hills

I stupidly forgot my tripod attachment back in Tennessee, so I wound up shooting mobile the whole time with a light box that Spencer—my good friend and the official photog—had brought along, and I think the whole concept was a great addition to an already awesome wedding. Emilie had typed up 50 words—or wishes that the guests could send the bride and groom—and I loved the effect.

Wedding in Hocking Hills

We printed out many of the photos afterward and let people take them home as wedding souvenirs. I would highly suggest that anyone having an outdoor wedding invest in an $80 wireless photo printer and set up their own photo booth as it really adds a whole new element of fun!

Wedding in Hocking Hills

Wedding in Hocking Hills

Layne and Brian-130

Wedding in Hocking Hills

Wedding in Hocking Hills

The whole weekend was over far too fast. I woke up Sunday with a fun hangover—you know the feeling, when you wish it were Groundhog Day and could relive the previous night all over again—and I’m already trying to figure out the next long weekend when I can plan a quick trip up to Charlottesville again.

Wedding in Hocking Hills

We’re all wishing so much love and a century’s worth of happiness and adventure to our newlywed friends, as well as a huge thanks to Adele, Sam and Abby for throwing such a phenomenal wedding—you all really should consider a career change and go into the event-planning business, family-style!

Wedding in Hocking Hills

Wedding in Hocking Hills

Wedding in Hocking Hills

Wedding in Hocking Hills

Wedding in Hocking Hills

Wedding in Hocking Hills

Wedding in Hocking Hills

COMMENTS
  • October 14, 2013
    Margaret

    Kristen…this is so beautiful…Spencer’s and photos framed by your warm and heartfelt words; a place in cyberspace you created where everyone and everything glows. I’m feeling all glow-y, myself, by being able to drop in on this once in a life time event for Layne and Brian. I also have a history with Logan, OH and Hocking Hills from my days in grad school at Ohio University a while back. Happy to see the beauty. My very best to all.

    • October 15, 2013

      1) Ohio is beautiful. 2) Layne and Brian are beautiful. 3) Spencer’s photos will no doubt be beyond beautiful. 4) It was a beautiful affair for all!

      Thanks for the sweet comment =)

      • October 15, 2013
        Margaret

        OMG! All and only your photos here???!!! EVEN BETTER! I feel the need to apologize for not seeing that and “up” the sweetness of my comments. Consider them “upped”.

        • October 15, 2013

          Given that I’m still waiting to see many of Spencer’s SAS photos, I figured I should go ahead and post my ones from Layne’s wedding just in case it takes awhile =) But given he’s the most talented photographer I’ve ever met, I can’t wait to see how he captured the big day, particularly all the portraits he took by the pond!

  • October 15, 2013
    SVV

    Nice work behind the lens, ace.

    • October 22, 2013

      I was inspired by my subjects, what can I say 😉

  • October 15, 2013

    It is really true, we don’t make friends mostly where we stay for long time, but we get good friends when we visit some awesome places. Very nice post dude.

  • October 15, 2013

    What a gorgeous wedding! I mentioned on insta I also got married in the HH, so I might be a little biased. 😉 I hope you got a chance to see a little of Cbus while you were in the area too!

    • October 15, 2013

      I mean, I personally can’t think of a more stunning place to get married. And I did stop in Cbus on the way there and back–beautiful place! I want to go back =)

  • October 15, 2013

    Welcome to our state, and the gorgeous scenery of Hocking Hills! The setting for the wedding looks awesome, especially this time of year.

    • October 19, 2013

      Thank you! And now I must come back. I really want to go to Cincy sometime in the spring, and I’d like to spend more time in Columbus, too.

  • October 15, 2013

    So much peace and beauty! And then happy people coming to have fun. This could just be the perfect world.

  • October 15, 2013
    Shereen

    Wow! It looks like it was a gorgeous wedding. I’m starting to plan a wedding myself so I can appreciate some of the elegant simplicity this wedding was all about.

    Great pictures too. Congrats to the couple!

    • October 15, 2013

      I was never that into weddings before I got married. But after spending a year planning your own, it really gave me a newfound appreciation for all the effort and details that go into making such an event a remarkable one!

  • October 16, 2013

    What a stunning wedding (and gorgeous pics!)!!!

  • October 16, 2013

    Looks like it turned out to be a fantastic wedding! Looks and sounds like a great event awesome photos!

  • October 16, 2013

    Wow, this actually does look like the perfect wedding! The photos are so beautiful, I love, love, love rustic weddings 🙂

    • October 19, 2013

      Me, too! They absolutely nailed this one.

  • October 17, 2013

    พร้อมทั้งประพันธ์จดขอลาตายวางเพื่อระยะในที่ศักดิ์ขอขมาพร้อมทั้งควบคุมใจไม่หาได้แล้วจึงเปลืองเท้าถีบ สมัครเฟสบุ๊ค โดยมีอยู่ขนิษฐหางฝืนใจไม่คว้าเหมือนกันกระโดดโลดเต้นวิวาท สมัครเฟสบุ๊ค สืบมาตำรวจหาได้ยกมารูปนายเพียรพยายามมาปฏิบัติงานแผนประกอบคำพูดยอมรับย่านพระราชวังเลขที่ก่อนเขตจะบังคับการองค์เดินทางฟ้องร้องคดีแห่งคดีขีดฆ่าผู้อื่น สมัครเฟสบุ๊ค หลอก ด้วยกันพรูผู้เยาว์หลังจากนั้น

  • October 17, 2013

    Looks like a beautiful wedding! I lived in that part of Ohio in my early grade school years and I love the woods up there. It’s a beautiful place.

    • October 18, 2013

      Lucky! You’ve lived in all the beautiful places =)

  • October 17, 2013
    Brandy

    What a beautiful wedding! Not just the setting and the decorations, but the people – everyone, not just the bride and groom, look so happy and like they’re having so much fun.

    • October 18, 2013

      So true! I don’t really know what it was specifically, but I had more fun at this wedding than I’ve ever had at others–even possibly my own 😉

  • October 18, 2013

    This is such a heaven-like place and a beautiful wedding – perfect locale for a dreamlike wedding.

    • October 19, 2013

      Agreed! I never knew Ohio was so pretty.

  • October 18, 2013

    Beautiful bride! I love that you post about the weddings you go to… I do too, and you make me feel a little less guilty about bride-ing up my travel blog 🙂

    • October 18, 2013

      After getting married myself, I swore I would always document all my other friends’ weddings, as well, and post photos as soon as I could because it’s often four to six weeks before you get the proofs back from the wedding photog, and that’s just plain torture!

  • October 19, 2013

    Hey guys, it is amazing!!! Beautiful pictures and you are the most beautiful people in the world with all this creative pages!

  • October 21, 2013

    Gorgeous! love the signs ‘from this day forward’

    • October 22, 2013

      I know! Makes you want to do yours over, doesn’t it? 😉

  • October 21, 2013

    What a beautiful bride! She is glowing!

  • October 21, 2013

    Oh my gosh this is pure wedding porn if I’ve ever seen any. They should submit their photos to the offbeat bride website, so the rest of the world can drool over it too! Beautiful!

    • October 22, 2013

      Ha, I love it! WEDDING PORN. Totally.

  • October 21, 2013

    What a beautiful wedding! The bride looks very happy and his husband too. I love the wedding picture idea of holding a piece of paper with positive word written on it. It is very unique indeed.

  • October 22, 2013
    Nicola

    I really need to get myself over to the US. Those photos of HH are just beautiful and just my kind of place. Too many Aussies just do LA, Vegas and NYC and never delve any deeper into that huge and special country you guys have over there! And everyone looks like they are having a great time with great people and I’m missing that in my life right now as well.

    *Adding more places to my mental list of places I need to go….*

    • October 22, 2013

      If you ever do, you better email me so I can put together a kick-ass itinerary for you! Starting in Tennessee, of course… =)

  • October 22, 2013

    beautiful!

  • October 23, 2013
    haidang

    gorgeous wedding pics! did you edit these in lightroom? also have you tried alien skin exposure (plug in)?

    • November 16, 2013

      Hey! I did edit these in Lightroom. Many didn’t require any touching up as the lighting was good (and we used a light box for the photobooth). I don’t know what alien skin exposure is as I’m sort of lame (and lazy) when it comes to plugins—do you recommend it?

  • October 29, 2013

    It looks like both of us have been up to our ears in wedding photography! <3

    • November 16, 2013

      Haha, only that’s your job! I’m just having fun being at (or in) friends’ weddings and snapping candids from the day 😉

  • November 4, 2013

    That indeed look like the best wedding ever!
    To experience it yourself must’ve been truly an amazing experience! 🙂

    • November 16, 2013

      I think it very well might have been!

  • November 7, 2013

    What a lovely couple. And the wedding looks so simple yet cool.

  • June 6, 2017
    Christine Wagner

    Amazing wedding beautiful photography. I am currently engaged looking for a wedding venue. I wonder if they would be willing to let us have our wedding on the property.

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