St. Philomena’s Catholic Church and Galleria of Erieview
I love how Chi Chi and Jarett look at each other, especially Jarett as he gazes with such affection at his new wife.
Please enjoy, Scott Shaw Photo | Cleveland Wedding Photographer
At the engagement session I found they were one of the nicest
couples I’d photographed so I knew it would be a fun day.
We started with them getting ready at the Westin Hotel in downtown
Cleveland and then everyone made their St. Philomena’s
Catholic Church in East Cleveland. We followed with portraits
in University Circle centered around the Peter B. Lewis
building and the nearby Case Western Reserve University campus.
The building was designed by Frank Gehry and is the home of the
Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.
Then it was off to the Galleria of Erieview for the reception.
The ceremony was full of color with many ladies wearing a Gele. It’s
a flat piece of fabric wrapped by hand to form a hat and worn by African women to complement
their Africa attire. What a visual treat for this Cleveland wedding photographer!
Chi Chi said of St. Philomena’s Catholic Church: “The ceremony took place
at the church Jarett’s family has attended since he was young. We loved
the idea of getting married in a place that had so much history in the
community as well as in his family. We were blessed to have so many people
travel in from such distances to celebrate with us. As the bridal party
pulled up to the church, family friends were arriving after just returning
“My jewelry and purse, like a lot of my look, was styled for me by my
talented sister and best friend, Nkechi. She always makes sure
I am together. My mother Robin made my veil and belt.”
Chi Chi’s shoes were by Badgley Mishka.
I remember saying to Chi Chi that I knew Jarett would love this
photo as she looked so beautiful.
Her mother Robin helped with her veil.
The lobby of the Westin Hotel is beautiful. This larger than life
head sculpture by Olga Zimska was constructed out of hundreds of
tree branches reclaimed from the construction of the Cleveland
Innerbelt Bridge in the Tremont neighborhood.
Adiele walked his daughter down the aisle.
Father Michael Brunovsky, OSB, led the ceremony.
The couple framed the through the Geles.
Everyone documented their wedding day!
The Budding Tree was the florist.
The cake was done by Faithful Little Cupcake.
Check out this Groom’s cake that resembles a cigar box.
I asked Chi Chi to tell me about the flower wall: “The flower wall
was a pinterest/social media inspiration. I saw a picture of something
similar and loved it. This flower wall became a labor of love by the
people I work with. As each flower took about 45-60 minutes to make,
this was quite a process. Luckily, I work with some amazing people who
volunteered their time after work hours or any other downtime they could
find to make flowers. As we got better with the flowers, they became more
intricate and unique. After making all the flowers, we rigged them up on
a wall to create that amazing backdrop.”
Shi Shi Events did a wonderful job with planning and helping the Galleria
transform into a beautiful place for a reception.
In the middle of the reception the couple changed their outfits: “We
wanted to honor my Nigerian culture with a traditional Nigerian outfit
during the wedding. It is common for married couples to wear matching
outfits that stand out from what the others are wearing. All of the
Nigerian wedding outfits and jewelry were custom made in Nigeria and
shipped over in the months preceding the wedding.”
While dancing everyone threw money at the couple. This is called spraying.
“Instead of bringing gifts, money is often thrown during the dancing
of the couple. People may throw money to the couple as they are dancing
or place it directly on their foreheads. It is a way of celebrating and
often the harder you dance, the more spraying happens!” Chi Chi said.
This wedding will stand out for a long time for this Cleveland wedding photographer!
Such a great time and visual treat! Thanks to Amy for assisting me.
Here’s a link to their University Circle engagement photos:
– Scott Shaw Photo | Cleveland Wedding Photographer