Sarah & Kris couldn’t be a more picture perfect couple. I booked their wedding from afar– Sarah & Kris live in Seattle but they planned their wedding to happen in her parents’ church, Notre Dame in North Caldwell, New Jersey. Normally I meet with clients in person before a wedding, both for a consultation and for the engagement session, so I was delighted to meet these two and find them to be absolutely sweet together– and I was blown away by the gorgeous dress Sarah picked out from Lea-Ann Belter! I arrived early with Zack and we split up to shoot bridal details and Sarah’s makeup and hair– the artist, Magda Nyitray, was finished early, which was lucky, as Sarah ended up needing a bridesmaid to do a little sewing-fix for a broken hook-and-eye. You simply cannot plan too much cushion time in your wedding day for unexpected situations like this! I can always fill extra time with more pictures, after all… after their lovely church ceremony the wedding party and family units and us all drove over for a round of group pictures at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum… having completed the family groups and wedding party we let them all head to the reception at Meadow Wood Manor while Zack and I finished up with a quick set of couple portraits (which I’m so pleased with!) Cocktail hour was just getting under way when we arrived and the rest of the night was extremely well-orchestrated. I’ve got to hand it to Meadow Wood Manor, they run a tight ship, and it shows in the service. I have thought for years that everyone would be better served if the guests and photographers were fed simultaneously, so that we’re fed and finished by the time the toasts or parent dances commence– which usually happens right as we’re being told that our dinner is ready in some other room. Unfortunately most venues feed the photographers and other vendors ‘after the guests’ as though they’re worried they’ll run out of food or something… but it makes for a really rushed scarfing-down of a plate of food, and meanwhile as the guests eat of course there’s very little for us to do but go around and shoot table portraits of folks who really don’t want to be photographed with food in their mouths… Anyhow this is the first and only venue I’ve ever been to that employed this timing, which was, as predicted, totally effective and awesome! So Kudos to Meadow Wood Manor! I was also impressed with their extensive desert bar spreads, which complemented the wedding cake by Gourmet Touch Bakery. Nothing can make or break a wedding quite like the reception music, and we had some amazing dance floor action thanks to the fabulous Hank Lane Band. I have never seen a groom so successfully dip a bride– and so FAR down low to the ground! You could tell these two both love to go dancing, and so do a lot of their friends and family. What a pleasure to capture this wedding! Thanks and congratulations to Sarah & Kris!
Sarah and Jaime got married at Maplewood Country Club on a beautiful (if a big humid and hot) day in late May. They had a big, beautiful wedding party– all dressed in tuxes and white gowns– and what a party they brought! “The more the merrier” proved true indeed, as this was one of the wildest receptions I’ve seen of late– lots of crazy enthusiastic dancing here, in no small part because the band Sarah & Jaime had play were outstanding! If you are looking for a wedding band that can cover today’s top dance hits, look no further than Starlight Orchestras’ Rebecca Blake Band… I started the day shooting Sarah’s amazing Badgley Mischka gown and shoes, which she put on after having her hair and makeup done by Dieci Hair Salon’s expert stylists. We went out and met the anxious groom out in the adjoining park for the first look. After a quick round of couple portraits we went back in to join up with the wedding party, who were dressed and ready for a group picture or two out by the golf course… then came family pictures in front of the beautiful floral Chuppah, prepared by Atlas Floral, followed by the traditional Ketubah signing– theirs was a custom piece created by New World Ketubah. The ceremony was followed by a lively cocktail hour complete with a iced-vodka-shot station, fresh oysters, and other goodies… My favorite part of the evening had to be during the toasts– there were some very touching moments at this wedding and I was so glad to be there to shoot it all! Congratulations, Sarah & Jaime!
Kaitlin & Steve wanted a unique wedding– in short, they wanted to do it their own way and not be bothered by tradition or expectations. They were delighted to book the Housing Works Bookstore in SOHO for their May wedding, and planned a sweet and personal ceremony that would be officiated by Steve’s friend Jules, who honored them later with a toast he delivered in multiple languages so that Steve’s family from abroad would be able to more easily understand. I met them a few hours beforehand and we did a round of portraits up by NYU where they met in college, and in Washington Square Park, which was meaningful to them. We just happened to come across the piano player (only in New York will you find someone with the gumption to get his baby grand out into Washington Square Park just to play for tips) and I couldn’t resist having them practice their first dance for a few shots as he played. We hopped in a cab and headed back down to Housing Works Bookstore where we shot all the family pictures before guests arrived. The schedule of the evening was unique too– Kaitlin changed into a pretty blue dress and guests arrived in time for a pre-ceremony cocktail hour, which was followed by the ceremony, and a set of amazing toasts– the most noteworthy of which included an original song written and performed by the Groom’s father– how sweet! How else was this wedding unique? Well not only did they write their own vows (which is common these days)– but they each wrote the vows that their partner would make to them. Pretty cool approach if you ask me! Though no doubt this could be tricky to negotiate, they seemed to come up with some really smart and solid promises. Their friend King Jang sang and played guitar for them at one point during the ceremony, and it was especially moving to see him sound so amazing after hearing that he’d been nervous to perform! I was delighted to be a part of this special couple’s day. Congratulations, Kaitlin & Steve!
Credits: Rings from Tiffany, Bride’s hair by Michelina Albero, Flowers by Tony Montano, Catering at Housing Works Bookstore by The Works Catering, Event Design by Amanda O’Callaghan, DJ’ing by Jon Black of Scratch Weddings, and favors from Godiva.
Alison & Peter had gorgeous weather for their whirlwind of a wedding day– we took photos everywhere from their amazing rooftop with cityscape views to a fun local bar around the corner to the garden at the church they got married in, the lovely St. Luke in The Fields, and finally a few shots down in the South Street Seaport before heading to the evening reception. I started in their apartment where Alison was getting ready (hair by Jackson, makeup by Lara DiPietro) while my 2nd shooter, Zack, hung out with the fellas, who were having a drink and later playing some pool while they waited for us. Meanwhile I enjoyed making use of their unique decor in staging my still life images of the rings (see the alligator head below? yeah!) After putting on her gown by Lea Ann Belter, we headed out to meet Peter for their first look in the garden next to the church. After a round of couple portraits I took care of the family group portraits and then took the wedding party back across the street to Barrow’s Pub for a fun shot around the pool table! It was dark in there and I was thrilled that we got a few shots where everyone was looking and smiling and not blinking in the minutes we had to spare. Alison & Peter hired an adorable Trolley to take the wedding party across town to the South Street Seaport for their reception at Bridgewaters. If you are looking for a wedding band, look no further than Dexter Lake Club Band! I don’t even know how to explain their skills. This was not your typical wedding band, friends, this is a special group of musicians that has clearly found their calling inspiring guests of all ages to dance their asses off at weddings. And dance they did! A larger-scale wedding, these folks were no slouches– just about everyone was out on the floor at some point I think. The reception was beautifully decorated with flowers and hanging candles by Maria of Pristine Events. Their red velvet wedding cake (by Bridgewaters) was festooned with a winding trail of beautiful purple orchids also from the florist. To cap off the night as they exited Bridgewaters guests were offered hot dogs and a copy of the Sunday New York Times on their way out. What do we find in the wedding announcements section of said Times? Why a sweet photo of Alison and Peter (by yours truly of course!).
Priscila (“Pri”) and Peter wrote me to inquire about a date in June– I was booked already, but since they were planning an elopement-style ceremony in Central Park with just the two of them, an officiant, and a pair of friends to witness for them, I suggested a few other dates that would work if they were open to moving it a bit… All of us being busy New Yorkers we were hard-pressed to find a time between now and June that was mutually available, but finally we settled on… NEXT WEDNESDAY EVENING! So all of a sudden Pri & Pete are writing their vows, picking up a dress, and training their adorable dog Lilah to carry their wedding rings in a pouch from her collar (oh yes!). Of course the threat of rain most of the day pushed us inside the officiant’s church, the beautiful and unique Trinity Babtist on 61st street between 2nd and 3rd– what a lovely spot! The ceremony was thoughtfully put together by James Leonard, and we 4 in attendance were very moved by Pri & Pete’s exchange of vows. Since it turned out not to rain and the sky had cleared of clouds we headed straight to central park for a delightful portrait walk right after they said their I do’s. Of course Lilah couldn’t have been happier then she was there in the park– she almost caught a duck, too!
Josh & Karen planned a beautiful and intimate wedding in the later stages of Karen’s pregnancy with their baby. These two are so beautiful and sweet together, I can only imagine what a cool kid they are going to raise! Josh is a successful actor (he played the adult “Simba” in The Lion King on Broadway for a spell!) and Karen is just the most sweet and upbeat people I’ve met in sometime, so I knew their creativity and warmth would be evident in the wedding day, and boy was I right! The couple got ready at The Mondrian Hotel in SoHo, and were particularly excited for me to shoot their first look and couple portraits around the lobby and patios there… What an awesome location for photography! I was like a kid in a candy store– so many colorful backdrops and areas to shoot, I could have shot them there for another hour easily! Of course we had a ceremony to get to– a few blocks away at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral. Now this is a big church, and dark– so I brought some extra lighting to use on the processional shots, and I think that helped a lot, though the tricky part is always getting one’s focus sharp on people (especially walking towards you) in a dark situation. Success! After some family portraits in the church an adorable red pedicab drove the couple off to their reception we walked around the block with my equipment to our final destination: Socarrat Paella Bar! To say that I wished I was not vegetarian would be an understatement. The look and smells of the food there were extremely tempting– there were 3 Paella’s: Carne (pork, duck, chicken, chorizo, mushrooms), Pescado & Mariscos (bass, shrimp, cuttlefish, mussels, cockles, squid, scallops), Arroz Negro (shrimp, calamari, scallops, fish & squid ink). Of course I resisted, but I’m just saying, everyone had lots of good food to eat– it was a delicious luncheon-style reception for a delightful couple! Congratulations, Karen & Josh– I wish all the best for you and your family!
Dress & Sash: J.Crew Bridal
Pedicab from Ceremony to Reception: www.mrrickshaw.com
Flowers: Nature’s Petal
Hair Stylist: Paul of Face Time Beauty Concierge
Makeup Artist: Holly of Face Time Beauty Concierge
Ring Bearer Bowl Set: Say Your Piece
Invitations: Blackberry Graphics
Cake: Lemon Cake from Del Frisco’s
Cake Topper: Ready Go
Wedding Fingerprint Tree: Inviting Moments
Favors: whoopie pies
Labels for Favors: Shop: Stickerchic
David & Christine met at the children’s coloring book table at a wedding, where they discovered they were both heading to Burning Man that summer. They planned to meet there at the foot of the Man at 2 O’clock on Tuesday, and spent the rest of their burn falling in love, and the rest, as they say, is history. I was lucky enough to camp with them at the 2008 Burning Man– and these two know their way around a campsite! They are fantastically kind and generous people, and are clearly perfect for eachother. When I found out they were engaged to be married I was so excited for them– I knew their wedding would be amazing and unique but I never could have imagined what they put together. Needless to say I was totally honored when they asked me to be their wedding photographer– they were planning to be married at Leu Gardens in Florida, and of course it’s not every day that a couple offers to fly me across the country to shoot for them so this was a bit of adventure for me. I found a great 2nd shooter local to the area and everything went smoothly!
They infused their wedding and the amazing after-party at their house with true Burner spirit: as favors, guests received a key to their home (“You’re Always Welcome In Our Home”), and instead of a guestbook, friends and family were asked to plant a little succulant into a boxed arrangement that will live on with Christine and David. The ceremony featured the couple actually welding two pieces of a heart sculpture together rather than exchanging rings. Christine wore an amazing custom made multicolored gown by a Seattle designer paired with some unique shoes she loved. There was a fireworks display and acrobatics performance to entertain the after-party guests, along with open hot-tubbing, all-you-can-eat grilled cheese sandwiches, and S’mores around the fire-pit in their back yard. The “dome” they’ve used for many a trip to Burning Man was set up in the back yard with a laser light show projected inside for folks to enjoy. Guests were encouraged to camp in their big back yard during the long weekend, and many did, enjoying both the yard’s lake view as well as the amazing company! David & Christine, you are a truly special couple and I’m so happy I was there to capture the festivities of this amazing weekend for you– Congratulations!!!
“Zolatova” Wedding Dress by Wai-Ching
Christine’s Shoes: “Osmosis Shoe” by Cydwoq
Engagement Ring by Cathy Waterman
Necklace from Moira K. Lime
David’s Tux: Calvin Klein
David’s shoes: Cole Hahn
Venue: Leu Gardens
Wedding Coordinator: April Dorsey of The DTales
Officiant: Rev. Tim Herring
Flowers by Lee Forrest Design
Catering by Arthurs’s Catering
Cake by Raphsodic Bakery
“Guest Book” vertical succulant frame/ garden by So Succulent on Etsy
DJ: David Meister
Programs/Place cards by Wiregrass Weddings
Ceremony Music by Alix Raspe & Jeff Wolbach
Here is a gallery of all my favorites. There were just way too many to put in my old vertical scroll, so just click on one of them and then you can flip through all of them nice and big with your arrow keys or by clicking on the arrow to either side of the image.