Jessica and James’ wedding at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland

by whitney

To photograph Jess and James’ wedding was extremely special.  Jess is the next eldest cousin, after me, in the Fox family.  They approached me last year, just after I had seen Jess’ mother Linda at our annual family Thanksgiving celebration at my aunt Patty and husband Dan’s house in Marblehead, MA.  We had an honest discussion about hiring family for events like this and what that can mean.  Fortunately, they trusted me and I was honored to be tasked with such a special responsibility.  I can’t lie, I was a tad nervous if the extended Fox family would behave with me in “work mode.”  How much would I get harassed while shooting?  Would they be the most challenging herd of cats to wrangle for formal portraits ever?  To the contrary, they were great.  Of course, uncle Kevin’s antics and my mother Candace’s photo-bombing attempts while I was photographing the cake, were as expected :)  What I did not expected was the impressive choreography by my dad Jim’s sisters, Linda, Patty, Beth, and Carol Ann, to the song “Stop in the Name of Love.”  Really, I could have mistaken them for the Supremes they were that good.  Evidently they tour, and had also performed at my cousin Jaci’s wedding three years ago in Ashland, OR, which I unfortunately missed since I was already booked shooting another wedding.  So glad I was able to witness it this time!

Another pleasant surprise to the wedding weekend, was just how easily the Fox and Kramer families got along as well as all their friends.  This alone is a testament to why Jess and James work so well together.  They come from the same ilk; they are both loyal friends and thoughtful family members.  Laughter and love are a huge part of these two.  They are full of fun, intelligence, and completely complement each other.  They are deeply and sweetly in love, and it was beautiful to witness and capture it all through my lens for them.  It was particularly moving to see Jess’ dad, my stoic uncle Rob, shedding some tears during the father-daughter dance.

The entire weekend was a wonderful whirlwind.  The rehearsal dinner on Friday at a delicious restaurant in the Little Italy neighborhood, a Saturday morning 5K run/walk that Jess and James organized, and the big event on Saturday night.  Their ceremony was at Harkness Chapel (married by Jess' PhD dissertation advisor) and the wedding reception was actually the first one at the new Tinkham Veale University Center.  Jess is a professor at Case Western Reserve University and decided to pave the way!  Throughout all the festivities, the in-betweens were filled with family reunions and getting-to-know-yous, shutting down the hotel bar both nights at the historic Glidden House, and lots of laughs and hugs.  I know I am thrilled to have James and his family now a part of ours, and the sentiment is universal. 

Jess and James, thank you for allowing me to document your wedding day.  It is an experience I will never forget and will hold near and dear to my heart.  Congratulations!  I hope your Icelandic honeymoon was a blast!  Hope to see you in a few months at Thanksgiving!

Their engagement story, according to Jess:

James and I had our first date at Mitchell's Ice Cream, a small local chain with a location near the Case Western Reserve University campus. He took me there again in October 2014, and we shared a peanut butter sundae. After we finished, he went to the counter where the clerk handed him an ice cream pint container. In the circle where the ice cream flavor usually goes, he had written "Will you marry me?"
  photographer: Whitney, emilie inc. photographycaterer: Bon Appetit, Case Western University • flowers: Urban Orchidtunes: The DJ Crewcake: Luna Bakery beauty: Dino Palmieri Salon gown: Allure from Galleria Bridal men: Vera Wang from Men's Wearhouse • invitations: Two Pooch Paperie honeymoon: Iceland

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