Starling Studio
Wedding Photographer in Columbus, Ohio


Creekside Conference and Event Center Wedding in Gahanna, Oh


Ashley + Matt


Sending a very happy one year anniversary wish out to Ashley and Matt! Their fall wedding day was filled with so much love and laughter that it's one I won't soon forget. Yes, all the details were gorgeous, Ashley looked beautiful, the flowers were stunning and venue was perfect, but that's not what I remember most. What sticks with me from this wedding day was the overwhelming feeling of joy. Everyone was just so happy to be together celebrating the love Ashley and Matt share for each other and Matt's son Bennett.

Creekside Conference & Event Center was the perfect venue for their outdoor ceremony and offered a seamless guest experience as people were able to take an elevator up to cocktail hour and the reception.  I love a good venue that can incorporate the entire day from getting ready to the last dance! 

I recently reached out to Ashley and Matt as their anniversary approached and asked them to share some of their reflections back on their first year of marriage as well as a little advice to future couples. I loved hearing their perspective from the day and learning what their favorite memories include.


"After a year of wedded bliss to my beautiful bride, we talked a lot about our big day and there are so many moments that brought smiles and tears of happiness as we look back! First of all, we really did have an amazing team to capture the day! Everyone from the live band who set the mood for the ceremony and rocked the reception, the videographers who became like friends by the end of the night, and Tessa, who was already a friend, but after being such a big part of the day, sort of feels like family. They not only made the day flow seamlessly but also made sure that every moment was special and had that "wow factor" every couple hopes for. I've got to give credit to Creekside, our venue, for their elegance and professionalism. Their team not only did a great job, but the convenience of having guests stay in one location for the entire event was priceless to us.

Every couple has hundreds of decisions to make that we fret over like they will make or break the day. Here's a secret- they won't! However, some things stood out that turned out so great we had to share. I highly recommend a "first look". I remember having a lump in my throat as Ashley tapped me on the shoulder for the reveal but then it immediately just went to a the biggest smile. I knew she'd look beautiful, which she did, but more than anything I was just so happy that this was the moment we'd truly be able to start our lives together as a family! Having that moment ahead of time allowed us so much freedom to take group photos and candids before the reception, so we could spend more precious time with family and friends. A subtle touch that turned out great was making a center table instead of a head table. We got to see our best friends and both families easily and it just made sense for our room setup. A couple moments stood out in particular and I'm sure I'll never forget either. First was the vows Ashley made to Bennett, my son. He couldn't ask for a better step mommy and she jumped in with both feet and didn't blink at any challenge we've faced. Her commitment to him was as important as the vows we said to each other and I don't think many eyes were dry, including mine, when she was done. The second moment was an impromptu bubble shower Bennett gave us during our first dance. I knew he was a ham, but when he starts running around us on the dance floor circling us with bubbles it was a pretty magical moment I'll always cherish. Weddings, marriage, ceremonies and name changes are all great formalities, but at the core of it is a love we want to celebrate. If I've learned anything over the past year it's that celebrations are important, but it's the eye twinkles, the back rubs, the teamwork and the sacrifices that make marriage the sort of thing you can't replicate."


"Whoa! How fast our first year went! We have moved cities, changed jobs, any everything in between, but the best part is that we did it together! It was such an amazing day and I could not be more thankful for our family, the venue, and vendors that helped make our day perfect! It's easy to get lost in the details- but has an amazing checklist that helps keep everything organized and a calm bride.There were a few things, I wanted to just "check off the list" so it could be done, but taking the time to find the right insert: venue, hairpiece, favor, etc., made for a relaxed day of, because I knew what to expect and trusted my vendors to execute.

Something I am so thankful to have from our day- our photographer and videographer, two people that felt like friends- (they fixed cuff links and ties, made flower girls giggle, had tissues ready for tears or sweat)! With the whirlwind of the day, it is amazing to have these memories captured to relive all of the emotions and feelings! Instead of pulling out the 'Anniversary cake' from the freezer (in part because I accidentally left it in my car for almost a week after the wedding- yuck!), Matt and I celebrated with a glass of champagne, using the glasses we first toasted with on our wedding day, watched our wedding video and looked through the photos in our wedding album- we laughed, cried, but most of all smiled!

Something I am glad we broke tradition on- was having a"first look!" I knew it would be a special moment for Matt and me and a great memory to have, but I did not realize how much more it would be. It gave us a few moments to just spend together, to relax the nerves and take a deep breath. When it came to walking down the aisle, it was able to be all smiles! It also allowed for one more "practice kiss" before the main event. In addition to Matt's and my first look, I had one with with my dad. Being a daddy's girl, this was something I'll never forget.

Matt and I talked about "what we would change" from our wedding day. We came up with a few timing things here or there, but nothing anyone would notice, but one thing we both said, "why didn't anyone save us any h'orderves?!" Our suggestion- designate someone to save you a bite! One last piece of "change"- don't forget to change your shoes. I am not really one for heels, but it was my wedding day, let me shock my husband and myself - haha! As we were waiting and hanging out before the ceremony, I decided to wear my "Bride" slides from the bachelorette party. When it was go-time, I rocked those down the aisle instead of my new, gold heels!"


Creative Team

Photography: Starling Studio | Venue: Creekside Conference and Event Center | Floral Design: Faulks Event Studio | Bridal Boutique: Splendid Bridal | Bride + Grooms Rings: Bride's: W Brown Custom Jewelry & Design; Groom's: Rustic & Main | Makeup Artist: Makeup by Tatum: Julie | Band: Bluewater Kings

Tessa Berg