Wow, what a beautiful wedding we photographed here in Cleveland, at the Ritz Carlton last weekend! There was so much love, admiration, and tenderness between this beautiful couple. During the Jewish wedding ceremony, Rabbi Skoff laughed as he said, “I’ve think I’ve lost control of this ceremony”. He was referring to the little kisses that Jesse kept giving Melissa. We all laughed , but truth be told, we all were in awe of these two.
A lil bit of their story from them ….
When they first met, Jesse saw that Melissa worked for Nestle he said, “You work for Nestlé? Please tell me you get all the candy”. Melissa said “I’d tell you yes, but I don’t want you to already propose”.
Their first date was at Society Lounge on East 4th street. Jesse was 15 minutes early and Melissa was 15 minutes late (can’t seem to eager). Each second sitting in that basement was worth it for Jesse to watch her walk down those steps – the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen. After a great night of old timey cocktails, they parted ways. Secretly at home, Jesse called his friend and Melissa called her mom to tell them they had found the one. And how right they were.
Since that first date, they have done nothing but be with each other. Their time with each other is what pushes them through life. While in Cleveland, they ate at every restaurant, explored every bar, went to every sports game, and incorporated each other into their lives. Their love was fast and true. Jesse even introduced Melissa to his cat Mimzy.
It didn’t take long before Jesse knew that he couldn’t spend another day without Melissa. He spoke with Melissa’s dad, Doug, who was thrilled to have Jesse in the family. He spoke with his parents, who were elated to have Melissa in the family. His grandmother was so jubilant that she gave Jesse her own wedding ring for Melissa. The diamond in Grandma’s ring was from Jesse’s grandfather, who has since passed. Jesse knew how special this was to his grandmother, but in his heart he also knew that Melissa was the perfect woman to keep it safe forever. He had a ring made to display this token of his love and the love of his family to give to Melissa.
Fast forward to October 13, 2018. Melissa and Jesse are trying to figure out what to do that day (even though Jesse already had a plan). He convinced Melissa to dress up “posh” to go to the art museum. As they are walking over to the museum, they took a detour down to the lake. Jesse told her how incredible of a woman she is and that the only thing he needs in life is her. He got down on one knee, asked for Melissa’s hand and received a resounding “Yes!”
Of course, with the beginning of 2021, weddings are a bit different, smaller and more intimate. They had 10 of their closest family members share the day with them. A nice touch to help everyone feel a bit safer, they also brought in a team of health professionals to administer Covid Rapid Testing for all that were involved in the wedding. Once all those details were done, preparations began! Hair and makeup was a whirl for Melissa and the ladies in the conference room, while Jesse and the guys were enjoying a little more of a peaceful preparation, up in one of the Ritz’s gorgeous rooms. Once ready, Melissa had a sweet moment with her father and then off to do the first look with Jesse. This was a beautiful moment, full of tears and hugs and as photographers we felt privileged to witness. We were also thankful to wedding planner, Kim, of Noteworthy Events, for the much needed box of tissues for myself and Jesse and Melissa!
Though it was cold, we made our way to the Cleveland Art Museum for some pretty outdoor wedding pictures! What help to make it even nicer was the intermittent snow flurries! How cute, right!? They really were troopers when it came to handling the cold and wet cement! Thanks guys for hanging in there!
Once time was up (which always comes so quickly by the way), we were back to the Cleveland Ritz Carlton for the Ketubah signing, wedding ceremony and their intimate reception. The wedding ceremony was live streamed. Such a wonderful way to include all the guest that were originally planned! The reception was adorable, with fantastic speeches, dancing, cake cutting, and awesome food and snacks!
I could write so much more about Melissa and Jesse and their beautiful wedding, but I’m anxious to share this peak of their images with them! Congratulations Jesse and Melissa and thank for having us share in such a special day!
Venue-Ritz Carlton Cleveland
Officiant- Rabbi Joshua Skoff
Makeup- Kellie Thomson
Dress Designer-St. Patrick
Cake-Wild Flour Bakery
DJ-Cleveland Music Group, Eric Smith
Wedding Planner-Kim from Noteworthy Events