I think I speak for all wedding photographers & videographers when I say- a wedding venue will make all the difference in your photos! I feel confident in saying most brides probably have a Pinterest board with all of their ideas saved, but have you thought about what your scenery will look like in your photos? If it's an outdoor one, will there be cars behind you as you're saying your vows or cutting your cake? (I only mention this because it happened at mine.) It doesn't have to be expensive or flashy; I have shot at many backyard weddings & honestly, they're some of my favorite. In fact, my own wedding was a backyard wedding. (2020 Bride, woo!)

In this article, I'll share some of my favorite locations.

*Website links provided

Shady Brook Acres

(15374 Co Rd T, Napoleon, OH 43545)

Where to begin with Shady Brook Acres! Honestly, this place feels like home to me. I have captured so many weddings at this venue & am always eager for the next one. The owners are always accommodating & pleasant to deal with. The facility itself is absolutely beautiful. Anne did an amazing job designing & decorating SBA! A modern, white pole barn style venue, with a beautiful covered deck overlooking a large pond. Even the bathrooms are stunning (weird compliment, right? Haha.) Shady Brook also offers a bridal suite on site & landscape that is just absolutely photo-worthy, no matter where you go on the property.

The Stables

( 11781 Obee Rd, Whitehouse, OH 43571)

My first time shooting a wedding at The Stables, I was pleasantly surprised with how many locations there were on site for photo opportunities. Not to mention, The Wine Room- a beautiful, spacious bridal suite with elegant decor & great lighting for those getting-ready & detail shots. Personally, my favorite part was taking my couples outside in the middle of the reception for some beautiful golden hour portraits, with the large hydrangeas. It really adds that little bit of "pop" to the images. The facility was clean & the staff was amazing!

The Cleveland Museum of Art

(11150 East Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44106)

This was worth the three hour drive for me, for obvious reasons. Beautiful pillars, a large fountain facing the city. Again, multiple spots for photo opps. This one was a little different for me because although they didn't actually get married at the museum, we were able to utilize the facility for all the bridal images & they were just absolutely stunning. Especially at sunset! If Cleveland is too far for you, The Toledo Museum of Art also has pillars & steps very similar to Cleveland's.

The Gathering Place at Darlington Lake

(144 New Galilee Rd, Darlington, PA 16115)

I had no idea what to expect when I showed up in Pennsylvania, but it sure wasn't this gorgeous indoor/outdoor facility! This venue offers a huge cabin for the bridal party to get ready in, big enough to fit the entire bridal party & family in comfortably. The ceremony area was a large, covered pergola near the water. The woodwork & decor throughout the entire grounds was very well done. The Gathering Place also had a separate gazebo & bar area, with a fire pit & other cocktail tables. From a photographer's standpoint, this venue was worth every penny!