Hitched Teasers!

Hair and Makeup by Teresa Carbone and Kelly Jenkins (of Fringe Studio). Bouquet by Blush Custom Florals.  Gown by A Bride's Design.  Menswear by American Commodore Tuxedo.    Image by Ben and Jodi Photography.

Hair and Makeup by Teresa Carbone and Kelly Jenkins (of Fringe Studio). Bouquet by Blush Custom Weddings. Gown by A Bride’s Design. Menswear by American Commodore Tuxedo. Image by Ben and Jodi Photography.

 

Last weekend, BEN AND SAMANTHA GOT HITCHED!!!!!  We’re delighted to share a few “teaser” photos (and video) with you!

 

Ben and Samantha Teaser from Sandham Films on Vimeo.

Gown by A Bride's Design.  Menswear by American Commodore Tuxedo.  Styling by With Love & Whimsy.  Minister by Our Wedding Officiant.  Image by Ben and Jodi Photography.

Gown by A Bride’s Design. Menswear by American Commodore Tuxedo. Styling by With Love & Whimsy. Minister by Our Wedding Officiant. Image by Ben and Jodi Photography.

Special thanks to our entire team for making this wonderful wedding possible and to our wonderful couple — Ben and Samantha!!!

Happy Days Lodge's Main Hall.  Lighting Design by Something New Entertainment.  Cake by Dolce Colpo.  Styling by With Love & Whimsy.  Flowers by Blush Custom Florals.  Place Setting Design by Old Carolina Barbecue Company.  Tableware by Miller's Party Rental Center.  Image by Ben and Jodi Photography.

Happy Days Lodge’s Main Hall. Lighting Design and Lighted Monogram by Something New Entertainment. Cake by Dolce Colpo. Styling by With Love & Whimsy. Flowers by Blush Custom Weddings. Place Setting Design by Old Carolina Barbecue Company. Tableware by Miller’s Party Rental Center. Image by Ben and Jodi Photography.

Over the next several weeks, we’ll be featuring spotlight segments of Samantha and Ben’s planning journey working with the Hitched team on several different facets of their planning, including Samantha and Ben’s reflections on what it was like to work with each of those vendors and how they achieved their event’s unique style.

Happy Days Lodge's Main Hall.  Lighting Design by Something New Entertainment.  Styling by With Love & Whimsy.  Flowers by Blush Custom Florals.  Place Setting Design by Old Carolina Barbecue Company.  Tableware by Miller's Party Rental Center.  Image by Ben and Jodi Photography.

Happy Days Lodge’s Main Hall. Lighting Design by Something New Entertainment. Styling by With Love & Whimsy. Flowers by Blush Custom Weddings. Place Setting Design by Old Carolina Barbecue Company. Tableware by Miller’s Party Rental Center. Image by Ben and Jodi Photography.

In the mean time, though, here are Samantha’s thoughts just a few days after the wedding:

To our Hitched Team,

The words “thank you” will never be enough to express how grateful Ben and I are for all you have done for us the past six months. It’s not often that you run into complete strangers who so selflessly give their time, money, and services to turn a strangers dream into a reality. We are still flabbergasted (I can’t think of a better word) at how perfectly each and every little detail of the wedding matched our vision! We are so grateful that we have been able to form life-long friendships with each of you, and we want you to know that you have truly changed our lives and touched our hearts. We love you all so much!!

Thank you for making memories with us!
Love, Ben & Samantha

Gown by A Bride's Design.  Menswear by American Commodore Tuxedo.  Image by Ben and Jodi Photography.

Gown by A Bride’s Design. Menswear by American Commodore Tuxedo. Image by Ben and Jodi Photography.

 

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Meet the Hitched Team: Catering Director Leslianne Love-Lake of Old Carolina Barbecue Company

Riiiiiiiibs by Old Carolina Barbecue Co.

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HItched: What first interested you in Special Events Catering Management?

Old Carolina Barbecue’s Leslianne Love-Lake: I have always been interested in the restaurant business, food trends, cooking and pretty things! When I was a child I wanted to be a chef, that quickly changed in college when I realized how hot a kitchen truly is and I didn’t really get to interact with the public.

H: How long have you been serving wedding clients?

LL-L: I have been with Old Carolina Barbecue for 4 years but have been working in the Catering/Events business for 18 years.

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Simply Styled.  Old Carolina's Rustic Menu Board at a Venue Open House.

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H: How would you describe your style?

LL-L: My personal style – comfortable – I am too busy to be fussy about clothing, hair, make-up etc – I’m put together but in a professional COMFORTABLE way! My work style – straight forward – I am a rules person I love to have fun but I keep it professional and I put my foot down when I have to. Event style – I love Rustic, DYI, Shabby Chic, Barn Weddings, Nautical and Folk.

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Teamwork.  Leslianne with Some of her Serving Staff.

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H: Brag a little.  You recently won two awards for your outstanding work with Old Carolina Barbecue.  Tell us about them.

LL-L: In September of 2013 I was recognized by the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce by receiving the 30 for the Future Award and last month (February 2014) I received the Distinguished Sales & Marketing Award® from the Akron/Canton Sales and Marketing Executives International.

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OCBC's Roasted Turkey with Salad.

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H: What do you enjoy most serving wedding clients?

LL-L: I enjoy serving all my clients for the same reason. Weather it’s a company picnic, retirement, funeral or wedding we are helping them celebrate a special life event – everyone has their own take on things and it’s like a different job every day – it keeps things fun and interesting!

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A More Casual Presentation - Sliders for a Less Formal Event.

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H: What is the most important consideration couples should make when hiring a catering company for their wedding reception?

LL-L: With catering a lot of the decision comes down to budget, which some times is a shame but also is a blessing for us because our pricing is very reasonable and bonus our food is REALLY good. Also beware when booking a caterer – they may come in with a low price per person but that doesn’t include the plus, plus, plus they add – service charges, gratuity and taxes can hike up that price 40% or more. We include those in our price per person – I like to keep things easy – cut and dry and fair.

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Saucy!  Old Carolina Barbecue Co.'s Signature Line of Sauces.

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H: What’s the question I’m not asking you but you wish I would, or What’s the question that clients usually don’t ask you but you wish they would?

LL-L: Will I be at my clients events? Most of time I make an appearance but we do have several weekends or days when we have 20+ weddings or events and it’s nearly impossible for to be at more than 3-4 places in a day. Our team leaders take my place when I can’t be there – we have weekly meetings during our busy season where they are given 100% of the details and run the events just as I would.

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More of The OCBC Team at a Venue Open House.

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H: What do you look for in a great wedding vendor “dream team,” and what are your colleague pet peeves? How can your “co-workers” help you, hurt you, or irritate you throughout the day? 

LL-L: I am truly blessed to know the people I do – I treat them as I would want to be treated so I hope they feel the same about me. I am happy to be part of the Hitched Team because I LOVE Anna-Jeannine Herman of SNE and Brittany Mullet of CVNP. I know I can count on them and if they are involved we should be too!

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About Leslianne Love-Lake: I am wife to Brian, mother to Ana & Tatum (14 year old twins) and dog mommy to Emily & Skyler. I absolutely love my career – I don’t call it a job because it doesn’t feel like one. For Old Carolina Barbecue Co I am in charge of Catering for the entire company – I oversee two Catering Sales Managers, a Catering Coordinator, 15 Team Leaders and 30-50 seasonal catering staff as well as sell catering for our Stow and Fairlawn locations (Summit, Portage & Medina Co’s).

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About Old Carolina Barbecue Company: Old Carolina Barbecue Co. opened it’s first restaurant in 2006 and has grown to 8 locations in that time. We will be opening our first out of state location in April 2014.

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Hitched Featured on NewsNet5 Cleveland

Samantha, Jodi, and Ben, during their interview session with NewsNet5.  Photobomb courtesy of WEWS Multimedia Journalist Brian Archer.

Samantha, Jodi, and Ben, during their interview session with NewsNet5. Adorable photobomb courtesy of WEWS Multimedia Journalist and Broadcasters Hall of Fame Inductee Brian Archer.  What a Great Team!!! Photo by Ben and Jodi Photography.

Yesterday afternoon, our Hitched Bride (Samantha Tippel) and our Founders (Ben Hall and Jodi Jacobson of Ben and Jodi Photography), met with Reporter Deborah LeeMultimedia Journalist Brian Archer, and the team from WEWS ABC News Channel 5 to talk about Hitched.

Shortly after 5:00 PM, WEWS posted a teaser on their Facebook page, and during the 6:00 PM News, they aired a short piece about Hitched!

Check it out:

Watch the video and read the full story, on the WEWS website.

A very special thanks to Deborah Lee and to the entire team at WEWS for noticing our project!  As the story mentioned, we are still looking for a tuxedo shop and a licensed bartender to donate their talents to our cause!

Want to learn more about Hitched?  Visit Our Team or Giveaway.

Interested in giving?  Visit our Sponsor Page.

Press Inquiries: please contact Hitched Public Relations Liaison and Hitched DJ/MC/Lighting Designer Anna-Jeannine K. Herman of Something New Entertainment via e-mail at hitched@SomethingNewEntertainment.com for more information or to schedule an interview.

Meet the Hitched Team: Event Coordinator Kimberly Lehman of Love, Laughter & Elegance Wedding & Event Planning

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Hitched: What first interested you in coordinating weddings?

Kimberly Lehman of Love, Laughter & Elegance: Wedding & Event Planning: I have been obsessed with weddings since I was twelve years old, and watched Lady Diana Spencer marry Prince Charles. I love everything about weddings, parties and other special events. I love making other people’s dreams come to life!

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H: How long have you been coordinating weddings?

KL: I have been in the wedding industry since 2000.

H: How would you describe your style?

KL: My personal style is classic and comfortable. I carry that over into my business. My meetings are never stuffy or formal. Many times, I will sit down to a lunch or dinner meeting. I try to keep the mood light, but rest assured, we are getting work done!

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H: What special training, certifications, awards, or other honors establish you as an expert in your field?

KL: I have been in the industry for several years. I take business webinars and go to conferences when I am able to. Continuing education is very important. I attend industry networking events to interact with other wedding and business professionals, as you never know where your next client or referral will come from. In 2013, I had the honor of meeting Ms. Linnyette Richardson-Hall from Baltimore, who has been featured on several seasons of “Whose Wedding is it Anyway”, and Mr. David Tutera. I have participated in several bridal shows, as it’s a good way to get your name out there. I will continue to do that more this year. I moderate several internet message boards relating to wedding and event planning, and update my blog and twitter account regularly.

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H: What do you enjoy most serving wedding clients?

KL: I enjoy making my clients happy. To know at the end of the day, I have done my best work for them, to see them smile, makes it all worthwhile.

H: What is the most important consideration couples should make when hiring a service provider in your field for their wedding ceremony and/or reception?

KL: Find the vendor that “fits” you. A vendor such as a wedding planner or photographer will be spending lots of time with you, before, during and after the wedding. You don’t want someone hanging around you that you can’t tolerate. Personality is a big part of the equation. You will want someone who will guide you as much or as little as you need through the planning process, offering advice when needed. Price range is an important, but secondary necessary quality to look for in a vendor. You want to get the best value for your money, but that doesn’t always mean the lowest price. Quality of services is what you really want.

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H: What’s the question I’m not asking you but you wish I would, or What’s the question that clients usually don’t ask you but you wish they would?

KL: Quite possibly, “What would I do if I had an unlimited budget for an event?” I would be over the moon! I have so many ideas for great events, but sometimes it isn’t possible to execute all of them. Budget comes first. That’s the challenge of being an event planner. Making the client’s vision come to life within their monetary budget. But it is a challenge I thoroughly enjoy.

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H: What do you look for in a great wedding vendor “dream team,” and what are your colleague pet peeves? How can your “co-workers” help you, hurt you, or irritate you throughout the day? Tell us why you’re excited to be working as part of this team.

KL: What I look for in a “dream team” of vendors is a group of people whose enthusiasm matches my own for the special event industry, whose excellent service is highly regarded, and truly love what they do. I try to get along with everyone, so if I have a problem with a vendor, I will try to resolve it quietly, and in a civil fashion. I love to meet and work with new people, and I am more than willing to help others out. As a part of this event’s dream team, I know that the vendors involved will work well together to produce a wonderful wedding for a great couple. I can’t ask for anything more.

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About Kimberly Lehman: I have been a wedding/planner since 2000. I am from Massillon, OH, and my clients are mostly from Northeast Ohio, but I happily travel all over the state for weddings and events. I am married to my wonderful husband Mark, and we have two daughters, Annika, who is 10, and Kendallynn, who is 2.

About Love, Laughter, and Elegance: We are a full-service wedding and event planning company. We offer many packages, including Partial and Full Planning, as well as Day of Wedding Coordination. We offer an A La Carte list of specialty services. We are happy to customize planning for everyone, and to work within our clients’ budgets. Excellent customer service is our goal.

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Meet the Hitched Team: Stationery Designer Kathleen Prumo of Paper Bouquet Studio

Hitched: What first interested you in wedding stationery design? Paper Bouquet Studio‘s Kathleen Prumo: I’ve always been interested in art & design, but I got into wedding stationery when I designed invitations for my twin sister’s big day. My own wedding was two … Continue reading

CHOSEN: The Gown

A Rack of Gowns at A Bride's Design.  Photo by Ben and Jodi Photography.

A Rack of Gowns at A Bride’s Design. Photo by Ben and Jodi Photography.

Non-Spoiler Alert: This post contains NO photos of “the dress.”  

Don’t worry — you’re safe to read on, even if you’re Ben!

Laura Lynn Smith of A Bride's Design Discusses Her Vision with The Hitched Bride, Samantha.  Photo by Ben and Jodi Photography.

Laura Lynn Smith of A Bride’s Design Discusses Her Vision with The Hitched Bride, Samantha. Photo by Ben and Jodi Photography.

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We’re going to keep you in suspense for a while longer on seeing Samantha’s gown, but since Jodi of Ben and Jodi Photography did accompany Samantha to document the process, we wanted to tell you all about Samantha’s experience with our Gown Designer, Laura Lynn Smith of A Bride’s Design.

“Working with Laura from A Brides Design was truly a personalized experience. I wasn’t forced into a dress off-the-rack. Rather, each and every element that I envisioned my wedding dress having was taken into consideration.”

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A Rack of Gowns at A Bride's Design.  Photo by Ben and Jodi Photography.

Gowns at A Bride’s Design. Photo by Ben and Jodi Photography.

A Rack of Gowns at A Bride's Design.  Photo by Ben and Jodi Photography.

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A Bride’s Design isn’t your typical bridal salon.  Nestled into part of a quaint, light blue colonial, A Bride’s Design is built for brides’ comfort.  From the moment you walk in to A Bride’s Design, the atmosphere is relaxing.  From the shabby chic wallpaper and delicate detailing of the shop with its muted color palette of blues and golds, the space is warm, well-lit, and inviting — a truly high-end, intimate salon experience, with none of the pressure.

Laura schedules consultations by appointment, only, to lessen the pressure even more, allowing each bride to have the time to thoughtfully peruse the shop at her own pace, because — really — there’s lots to see and consider in this small boutique!

Some of the Many Accessories Available at A Bride's Design.  Photo by Ben and Jodi Photography.

Some of the Many Accessories Available at A Bride’s Design. Photo by Ben and Jodi Photography.

Samantha loved the experience of working with a custom designer, too.

Laura and Samantha even chatted about some of the gown elements Samantha already knew that she likes — with the help of Pinterest, of course!

View More: http://benandjodiphotography.pass.us/a-birdes-design View More: http://benandjodiphotography.pass.us/a-birdes-design

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“It’s an amazing feeling knowing that my dress will be one-of-a-kind and unique — like me!”

Samantha's Consultation at A Bride's Design.  Photo by Ben and Jodi Photography.

Samantha’s Consultation at A Bride’s Design. Photo by Ben and Jodi Photography.

We can’t spill all the details about the dress, but here’s a little hint, from Samantha:

“I chose a dress that is quite modest. The overall ‘frame’ of the dress is perfect. To make it a little more appealing, we are removing a few layers of fabric and adjusting the body shape of the dress to help flatter mine! I’m excited for my next fitting!”

Photo by Ben and Jodi Photography.

Photo by Ben and Jodi Photography.

Meet the Hitched Team: Venue Coordinator Brittany Mullett of Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park and Happy Days Lodge

Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park's Happy Days Lodge.

Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s Happy Days Lodge.

Hitched: What first interested you in venue management and coordination?

Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park‘s Brittany Mullett: I have always loved staying organized and helping other people. I have always been service oriented and have loved our National Park. Once I heard about the Conservancy, I was automatically intrigued by their mission to enhance our park right here in Northeast Ohio. By coordinating weddings with the Conservancy, I am able to help brides make their vision come to life while helping the park at the same time, it’s a win-win!

Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park's Happy Days Lodge.  Lighting Design by Hitched's own Something New Entertainment.

Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s Happy Days Lodge. Lighting Design by Hitched’s own Something New Entertainment.

H: How long have you been hosting weddings at Happy Days Lodge?

BM: I am currently going into my fourth wedding season with the Conservancy, but we have been doing weddings at Happy Days for about ten years now. The growth we have seen in the past few years is incredible and we are excited to give back.

H: How would you describe Happy Days Lodge’s style?

BM: Our wedding style is rustic chic to the fullest. We love the idea of having an event that is one with nature, while being elegant and functional at the same time. Happy Days is the best of both worlds with the windows showing off the beautiful park outside, but we are protected from the elements with both heating and air-conditioning 🙂

Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park's Happy Days Lodge.

Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s Happy Days Lodge.

H: What special training, certifications, awards, or other honors have you earned to prepare you for this position of responsibility?

BM: I graduated with honors from The Ohio State University where I was ServSafe and ManageFirst certified in numerous fields. I am blessed to be going back to school currently for my masters in Hospitality and Tourism Management at Kent State University with a focus on parks.

H: What do you enjoy most serving wedding clients?

BM: My favorite time at each wedding is the look on the guests’ faces when the see the reception hall decorated for the first time and their full vision come to life. Making that moment happen for people is my never-ending goal.

Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park's Happy Days Lodge.

Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s Happy Days Lodge.

H: What is the most important consideration couples should make when choosing a venue for their wedding ceremony and/or reception?

BM: I think the most important consideration is one for your guests. You have to make sure your guests are going to be comfortable and happy, and that you hire the right people to make that happen for you.

H: What’s the question I’m not asking you but you wish I would, or What’s the question that clients usually don’t ask you but you wish they would?

BM: I think clients are shy to over-communicate. I just want everyone to know that I do not mind! We can email back and forth every week if you’d like. The more I know about your wedding, the better I can serve you.

Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park's Happy Days Lodge.

Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s Happy Days Lodge.

H: What do you look for in a great wedding vendor “dream team,” and what are your colleague pet peeves? How can your “co-workers” help you, hurt you, or irritate you throughout the day? Tell us why you’re excited to be working as part of this team.

BM: A vendor dream team would be anyone who has as much respect and love for our historical building and the park as I do. When we serve these weddings, it is easy to forget that we still must protect the wonderful space we have been blessed with. I am excited to work with this group of professionals because I think they “get it.” They see our mission and are excited to work in our space. They also know how to serve our guests above and beyond what is expected by industry standards.

Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park's Happy Days Lodge.  Lighting Design by Hitched's own Something New Entertainment.

Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s Happy Days Lodge. Lighting Design by Hitched’s own Something New Entertainment.

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About Brittany Mullett:
I am Brittany Mullett, and I am the Events Coordinator for the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park. I have a passion to create magical weddings each and every weekend at both of our wedding venues, and I truly believe in extraordinary customer service.
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About the Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park: The Conservancy for Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a non-profit organization created to engage public support for the park and provide services to enhance public use and enjoyment of the park. The Conservancy aspires to engage the public as advocates, volunteers, and philanthropic supporters to ensure that Cuyahoga Valley National Park achieves its full benefit to the citizens of Northeast Ohio and the nation.
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Meet the Hitched Team: Master Stylist Kelly Jenkins of Fringe Studio

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Hitched: What first interested you in becoming a hair stylist?

Kelly Jenkins of the Fringe StudioSince a young age, I’ve had a strong interest in hair styling. From an even younger age, I had a deep passion for art. I believe my passion for art was the motivation when beginning my professional career in Hair Designing. I began styling people for special occasions as young as 13 years old. I realized then that I could create art through styling hair. From then on, bridal, special occasion, and formal styling have been the driving force in my career. Meeting new people, getting to know each individual client, and creating a relationship is such a rewarding part of being a Hair stylist. More so than I could have ever imagined.

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H: How long have you been serving bridal clients for wedding day hair and updos?

KJ: My wedding styling started long ago when I would style the flower girls in our family weddings, but I have been professionally styling bridal parties for about 8 years, and I hope to be closely involved with weddings for the rest of my career.

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H: How would you describe your esthetic style?

KJ: When describing my hair dressing style, it’s all over the board. I melt for an antique or vintage look, but I also love a challenge. Avant-garde styling is a huge part of my craft, but I always say you can never go wrong with a classic look! I have a huge respect for all aspects of styling, and I love learning new techniques and creating my own.

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H: What training, certifications, awards, or other honors have you and your salon earned?

KJ: I’ve trained in hands-on styling with top stylists from high end product lines. Including: Bumble and Bumble, Joico, Aquage, and Wella. I also participate in as many bridal shows as I can throughout the year to keep my bridal styling on point. I’ve also been told by many clients that I have the gift of really listening. Just by truly listening to the ideas and concerns our clients have, can really help use our abilities to their fullest potential. People truly appreciate that, and won’t forget it.

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image_1H: What do you enjoy most about styling brides’, bridesmaids’, and mothers’ hair on the wedding day?

KJ: I love formal styling, and I feel my best work has come from bridal styles. It’s such an exciting time for my bridal clientele, and I feel most passionate about formal styling, so it’s a great match. Also, the trust they put in me to make them look and feel beautiful on their very special day really creates such a connection. A unique feeling of nervousness and excitement, with so much happiness and commotion all at the same time really is a perfect blend. What’s not to love?!

H: What is the most important consideration ladies should make when hiring a salon for their wedding day?

KJ: Receiving a great reference about a service provider. I also feel a first-hand reference is so important. When I hear from a Bride how happy someone else was from choosing my services, or that I came highly recommended from a wedding I serviced prior, it really makes what I do that much better and more important to me. A reference can make it or break it, and I feel it’s a very important consideration.

H: What’s the question I’m not asking you but you wish I would, or What’s the question that clients usually don’t ask you but you wish they would?

KJ: All questions are important, and I enjoy throwing my ideas around. It’s important to hear everyone’s opinions and concerns, and learn from other people’s views.

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H: What do you look for in a great wedding vendor “dream team?” Tell us why you’re excited to be working as part of this team.

KJ: I look for super creative and anxious people. People who are so excited about their profession that everyone can’t wait to begin the process. It’s so great to bounce ideas off of each other and create things together. When you have a group of super passionate people all putting their everything into the same goal, it can only end up phenomenal. I’m very excited to be a part of the ‘Hitched’ team, and feel very fortunate to be able to share my talents with such an awesome cause!

imageAbout Kelly Jenkins: I’m Kelly Jenkins, a mom to an amazing little boy, and a wife to the greatest man ever. I’ve been a licensed Hair Designer for about 8 years, and recently obtained my Managing license. I’m a practitioner of yoga, and enjoy all aspects of art. I feel like everyone I get to work with is a new canvas. There aren’t many things I love more than special occasion hair styling, especially bridal, and I love creating fabulous looks for all my brides. I’m so happy to be part of such a creative industry, and I’m excited to see where my career will take me!

Guess Who’s Getting Hitched!

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On behalf of the entire Hitched Team, it is our pleasure to congratulate Miss Samantha Tippel and Mr. Benjamin Cook of Hartville — they’re getting Hitched!

Samantha and Ben: your story of struggle, love, and the American Dream touched our hearts, and we are very pleased to offer you our gifts of service in honor of your love.

See their reaction to finding out that they’re not “finalists” — they’re THE Hitched Couple!

Hitched Announcement from Brendan Sandham on Vimeo.

Special thanks to Sandham Films for filming and producing this video.

Meet the Hitched Team: Cinematographer Brendan Sandham of Sandham Films

Brendam Sandham at Work.  Photo by Ban and Jodi Photography.

Brendam Sandham at Work. Photo by Ban and Jodi Photography.

Hitched: What first interested you in being a wedding videographer?

Brendan Sandham of Sandham Films: I’ve always loved to tell stories. I’ve been making films since I was young and first received permission to use my parents’ VHS camcorder. I made sci-fi films, westerns, and news broadcasts. It was then that I really began to understand the language of film and its power as a storytelling medium. In college I made student films, and after graduation worked as a cameraman and a video technician. I continued making short films, and even had one screen in Hollywood!

I shot a few weddings, but ultimately found them to be bland and boring. I set up a camera in the back of the church, and I would edit in some of the speeches and dancing from the reception.

But when I was introduced to the concept of presenting a wedding day as a story, and framing the film around a narrative, I was hooked. It’s a very different way to think about a wedding video, and I love that I can offer something that is filled with so much emotion and meaning.

Cheers!  A Still from One of Sandham Films' Productions.

Cheers! A Still from One of Sandham Films’ Productions.

Hitched: How long have you been a wedding cinematographer?

Brendan Sandham: Over ten years.

Hitched: How would you describe your cinematographic style?

Brendan Sandham: Cinematic. Not to get overly technical, but they are shooting movies and television shows on the same equipment that we use, and we are careful to match our camera settings to those seen in multi-million dollar productions. We’re also meticulous about lens choices, camera moves, and shooting angles. I love it when someone sees one of our films for the first time and says, “Wow, it looks like a real movie!” It is! That’s exactly how I view it.

A Still from One of Sandham Films' Productions.

A Still from One of Sandham Films’ Productions.

Hitched: What special training, certifications, awards, or other honors establish you as an expert in your field?

Brendan Sandham: I majored in Communication Studies with an emphasis in video production, and I’ve studied storytelling extensively. I worked high profile events for many years, and have filmed presidents, world leaders, and other celebrities. I’m an award winning stage director. I’ve had short films featured in festivals and have been on both sides of the camera on some major Hollywood productions (if you pause in just the right place, you can see me in The Avengers!)

A Still from One of Sandham Films' Productions.

A Still from One of Sandham Films’ Productions.

Hitched: What do you enjoy most about being a wedding cinematographer?
Brendan Sandham: I love finding the story. Sometimes it’s how the couple met. Sometimes it’s told by a friend or a loved one. Sometimes it appears in a place I least expect it. But it always appears and becomes the narrative thread for the film. I love finding that and bringing it to the forefront.
Hitched: What is the most important consideration couples should make when hiring a cinematographer or videographer for their wedding ceremony and/or reception?

Brendan Sandham: First and foremost, you need to look at the quality of the work. Look at past films. Do they hold together? Are they shot well? Is the music properly licensed? Beyond those basics, you need to make sure that you are comfortable with your cinematographer on a personal level. If you have a good report, it will lead to a better film.

A Full-Length “Trailer by Sandham Films.  “Matt and Alison” from Sandham Films on Vimeo.

Hitched: What’s the question I’m not asking you but you wish I would, or What’s the question that clients usually don’t ask you but you wish they would?

Brendan Sandham: I usually shoot with a team of three, and I’ve seen a lot of eyes get very, very wide when I mention that fact. Ask me how that works! Folks worry that we will be in the way, or obtrusive, but that’s rarely verbalized.

The truth of the matter is that we are pretty ninja-like. Every wedding we’ve shot, and I can say this without exaggeration, someone from the bridal party has said some variation of, “We barely noticed that you were there.” I went to say goodbye to a bride and groom at the end of their reception. They had a puzzled look on each of their faces. “We thought you left over an hour ago!” Nope, we were still there, filming away!

A Still from a Sandham Films' Production.

A Still from a Sandham Films’ Production.

Hitched: What do you look for in a great wedding vendor “dream team,” and what are your colleague pet peeves? How can your “co-workers” help you, hurt you, or irritate you throughout the day? Tell us why you’re excited to be working as part of this team.

Brendan Sandham: My “dream team” would include vendors I’ve worked with in the past and so understand how they work. Then I can anticipate how the wedding will flow and not need to spend time speaking with the other vendors to find out how they will run their part of the day. But until that rapport is built up, the absolute best thing another vendor can do is to have a positive, can-do attitude – we love problem-solving and anticipate it as part of the job, and we hope the other vendors do to (though, of course, we’d always love a seamless wedding!). I’m excited to be part of this team, because all of the vendors are consummate professionals who are on top of their games!

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Brendan Sandham of Sandham Films

About Brendan Sandham: Brendan Sandham has been producing films for over a decade, and specializes in cinematic wedding films. He also creates films for clients in a wide variety of industries, and samples of his work can be found at www.vimeo.com/sandhamfilms

About Sandham Films: Sandham Films, established in 2013, produces cinematic wedding films which get to the heart of a couple’s wedding day, as well as to the heart of audiences for years to come. Based in Chardon, OH, Sandham Films is owned by filmmaker Brendan Sandham.

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