Wedding of the Week

Childhood-Home-Turned-Wedding-Venue Photo Ops

December 30, 2020

By Jacqueline Tobin

When couple Brooke and Thomas’s wedding transformed from a 300-person country club blowout into an intimate 20-person backyard wedding, photographer Michelle Breiter was happy that they decided to keep the photography coverage the same. “It gave me time to explore the nuances of the groom’s childhood-home-turned-wedding-venue,” says the photographer who, with her husband Thomas, makes up The Breiters—a wedding photo and video duo based in West Virginia.

All Photos © The Breiters

When Michelle asked bride Brooke what she’d like people to know about her wedding, here’s what she had to say: “We had never once considered Thomas’s childhood home a venue option until the pandemic was running rampant. Looking back now, I think we were crazy for considering any other location. There was something very special about saying our nuptials in the backyard where we’ve made so many memories prior. How sweet it was for Thomas to get ready one last time in his childhood bedroom, closing one chapter and opening the next in the place he’s called home for all of his life.

[Read: Capturing a Backyard Wedding During COVID-19 Pandemic]

Photo Ops: Groom Thomas getting ready in the bedroom of childhood home-turned-wedding-venue.

From the photographer’s perspective, there were many wonderful and meaningful moments to photograph: “The light and architecture of the home really allowed for me to find photos that spoke to me. Every piece of the day flowed with ease and it felt like everything was happening exactly how it should have. I particularly loved the photos with the vintage car, the very car that Thomas took Brooke on their first date in.”

[“Jump in a Lake”: Photographer’s Prompt Leads to Creative Wedding Portraits]

Photo ops galore: bride and groom pose with vintage car.
The bride and groom pose for a great photo op in groom's vintage car.

Luckily, only one minor challenge presented itself during the day: “This was an all-hands-on-deck kind of wedding, but there was a slight hiccup when the sister of the groom was getting in the shower just as family photos were supposed to start,” Michelle explains, “so I switched the couple portraits with the family portraits and gave the sister permission to take her time showering and rest from all her hard work throughout the day. We had the couple portraits completed before the ceremony so they were able to spend their cocktail hour/reception time with their small amount of guests, instead of heading off to pose for photos.” 

Backyard wedding with great photo ops.

When all was said and done, the photographer had many memorable images for the couple and credits some of that to the comfortability of the groom’s childhood home. “It allowed for everyone involved in the wedding to move throughout the day with the ease that allowed me to really capture candids that I love,” she explains. “The home had so many memories that were obvious through all the photos surrounding each room. It was the perfect place of for a closing of old chapters and the start of new ones.”

Bride, groom and their dogs in front of groom's childhood home turned wedding venue.

Cameras and lenses: Two Canon Mark IV’s, one with a 35mm f/1.4 lens and the other with an 85mm f/1.4 lens.

Lighting: Natural lighting combined with on-camera flash. 

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