Starling Studio
Wedding Photographer in Columbus, Ohio


Elegant Ritz-Carlton Wedding In Cleveland, OH


Lauren + David


Lauren and David’s wedding day was a long time in the making— 15 years in the making to be exact! These two love birds first met in high school and although everyone else around them knew it was meant to be, it took them a while to make it official. 

There is something so special about photographing high school sweethearts tying the knot. I might be a little biased (considering I married my high school sweetheart), but there is an extra element of love that seems to go along with the day. Perhaps it’s because when a couple meets at such a young age there is an incredible opportunity to grow up together— the history adds an even deeper connection to the relationship. It often feels like one big family celebration  rather than two families coming together for the first time. At least that’s exactly how I would describe Lauren and David’s day— a huge celebration full of people who have loved and supported them both over the years. 

Lauren and David are from the small town of Poland, Ohio and now live out in Hermosa Beach, California where Lauren works for Sketchers, which will explain some of the unique footwear incorporated into the reception! (Have you ever seen customized light-up sneakers before? If not, be sure to keep scrolling!) David is a senior audit manager and still works for a company based in Cleveland, but is able to work remotely (gotta love the digital world we live in!) and travels from coast to coast when needed. 

I first met Lauren in 2006 while I was visiting my sister in Florence, Italy during their study abroad experience. I’ll never forget how sweet Lauren was in making sure I was included in all the fun. I also had the privilege of hanging out with her during my time at Kent State and then in Milwaukee where she and my sister moved after college. She is honestly one of the most thoughtful and kind people I know and values her relationships with family and friends more than anything.

Because I know her so well, I can also include that she is just like Monica Geller from Friends because she is the queen of scheduling and organization. Everyone joked that we wouldn’t be surprised if she walked down the aisle wearing a headset, which I assure you she didn’t!  With this being said, I need to give a shout out to David because he is Lauren’s perfect match in every way. He balances her out so well and treats her with so much respect and love— just seeing the way he looks at her says it all. 

Lauren has been saying for at least 6 years that whenever she gets married I would be the one to photograph her wedding! So, to say I’ve been anxiously awaiting this day for a LONG time would be an understatement! The day didn’t disappoint either. It was every bit as beautiful, meaningful, and fun as I could have imagined. (Even if it was on one of the hottest days of the summer with crazy humidity levels!)

Lauren and David decided to have their siblings make up their wedding party and I loved how intimate it made the ceremony and getting ready portion of the day. Lauren’s father passed away while she was in high school, so her mom walked her down the aisle, gave an incredible welcome toast, and shared a first dance with her. All things that made for such emotional and meaningful moments. Lauren had photos of her father and grandparents on her bouquet, which I thought was the perfect tribute to keep by her side all day long. David also included several sentimental details including his grandpa's cross necklace and Lauren's dad's money clip. I love when couples incorporate such thoughtful elements into their wedding to truly emphasize the importance of the day.

The details at The Ritz-Carlton were full of soft romantic colors with cream and blush tone flowers and lots of beautiful greenery. Everything came together perfectly. Once all of the traditional dances at the reception were done, The Ovation Band got the party started and the dance floor was packed the entire night! With a surprise wardrobe change by the bride and groom (remember those sneakers I mentioned?) and The Ritz Carlton team passing out glow sticks to guests, it was a night to remember!

I just want to take a moment to thank Lauren and David again for allowing me to capture their special day! It was such an honor to be your wedding photographer and I wish you nothing but a lifetime of happiness. xoxo


The Creative Team

Event Venue: The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland | Floral Designer: Sue Kanasz at Al Wilhelmy Florist | Dress Designer: Maggie Sottero | Rings: Aebischer's Jewelry | Groom's Attire: The Black Tux | Bridesmaids Dress: Adrianna Papell | Invitations: Minted | Hair: Kristin Demko | Makeup Artist: Sara Negron | Band: The Ovation Band | Cake: Top Tier Bakery | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Photography: Starling Studio

Tessa Berg