By Helen Cherry Guest Blogger What is the most important decision to be made when taking your wedding photos? “Location, Location, Location!” and the south terraces of the Cleveland Museum of Art as well as city’s adjacent Fine Arts Garden seem to be the location of choice for hundreds if not thousands of brides and grooms since the museum’s opening in 1916. In spring, summer and fall on any given Saturday or Sunday, cars and limousines will pull up on East Boulevard with bridal parties tumbling out to take pictures in these beautiful spots. No matter how many groups are in front of them, it is always worth the wait. Valentines Day this year, the Museum kicked off its Wedding Picture Project . Couples who have had their wedding photos taken on the museum’s grounds or in the adjacent Fine Arts Garden are invited to submit a photo by March 14thto be entered to win a romantic weekend for two in University Circle*. The pictures will become part of the Museum’s website and Facebook page postings as a way to archive them. If you miss this deadline for the drawing, not to worry, you can still be part of the Wedding Picture Project by sending in your photo at any time. As part of the project, we’ve gotten to know some great couples who have been generous enough to share their stories and experiences from their wedding days. Here are just a few:
On a beautiful day in 1965, after a morning wedding that started with the groom’s brother forgetting to pick up the bride’s father, Betty and Bob Stegura headed down to the museum to have their pictures taken with their wedding party of six. Their photographer, Gayne Petranek, suggested it would be the perfect location and perfect it was then and now. On June19, 2001, the Steguras will be celebrating their 46thwedding anniversary and these photos are a beautiful reminder of that wonderful day.
Carmetta and Jameel Brabson were on a tight budget when they got married on July 26, 1996. But love conquers all. In rented wedding dress and tuxedo, they headed down to city hall to be married surrounded by family and friends. Little did they know that weddings there were a bit more casual - they were the only bride and groom waiting to be married dressed to the nines. Everyone clapped when they showed up! Their wedding party was so large the judge emptied his chambers so that everyone could fit in. After the ceremony, they were chauffeured in their donated limousine to the museum for photos, chosen because they loved the scenery and wonderful lagoon as a backdrop. It had been raining off and on all day but the rain stopped long enough for Carmetta’s best friend Kimberley Davis to take the pictures with Jameel’s 35mm camera. From the museum they went home, put on work clothes, decorated the hall for the reception, put back on their wedding attire and partied the night away! Holley and Larry Lane created a magical wedding day on November 4, 2006. with a Renaissance theme.
All the guests were invited to come in costume and masks for the masquerade ball reception. The bridal party had a party to create their own unique masks to wear down the aisle. At a loss for a location to take pictures that would complement their theme and fit their budget, their photographer, Jeff Bishop of Focus 3, suggested the museum. When Jeff showed them this shot on his digital camera they knew they would have an album of unforgettable memories. One lucky couple soon will be able to make new memories as recepients of the winning entry for the Wedding Picture Project. Here is what they have to look forward to: The winning weekend will include a private, guided tour of on-view highlights of the museum’s collection, followed by dinner for two at L’Albatros, an overnight stay in a vintage suite at the Glidden House, and tickets for a Sunday visit to another University Circle institution of your choice. The Cleveland Museum of Art’s photographer will take a picture of you and your partner, which will be framed for you as a keepsake. Company Car & Limousine will provide transport to and from these destinations throughout the weekend. The museum thanks all of these partners for their generous contributions to this project.