Tag archive for : Catholic wedding

It has been an absolutely crazy week since Frankie and Nichole got married. This is, of course, not about me, but wow- the wedding busy season with a very tiny baby PLUS a toddler- this? This is a whole ‘nother level.

I always do a write up about the weddings I feature on my blog, and these awesome newlyweds have been waiting so patiently (and a few days longer than I usually like to take to do this) for their sneak peek that there’s a part of me who wants to skip the write up and just jump right into the photos.

Also, I am ever so slightly worried about them vacationing in Hawaii with its breaking news about volcanic eruptions, evacuations and toxic volcano fumes. I want to get them some wedding photos in the event that they are having to completely rearrange their honeymoon while in progress, so you have something good to focus on in the event that you are super stressed. Or maybe you’re on a completely different island and are not at all affected, but you just want to see some more photos! More photos. ALL THE PHOTOS!

Fair enough. :)

I do want to say one thing about this wedding, though. Listen, families are ever-changing, dynamic things, and lots of people have drama and dysfunction in their extended families. It’s just the way it goes sometimes. Weddings can bring out the best and worst in people, and I have seen it all- no judgment.

But that was not *at all* the case for these newlyweds and their families and wedding party. They only brought out the best in each other. Both families genuinely get along, amongst themselves and with each other. Both the bride and groom have amazing friendships spanning decades in some cases, although the groom’s bromances are particularly remarkable.

In the week since the wedding, I keep finding my thoughts returning to the relationships and the friendships I documented.

I keep thinking, “That was so nice. They are #goals.” Like, truly, I hope my sons grow up to be as close as Frank and his brother/best man Anthony are. In 25-30 years when my boys are grown and get married, I hope they both love, honor and include their godparents in their weddings as much as this bride and groom loved, honored and included *their* godparents. I hope *my* parents bring as much joy and energy to their roles as (far-in-the-future) grandparents of the groom(s), serving communion and weeping with joy and rocking out on the dance floor. I hope to spin at least one of my sons around the dance floor to “Beautiful Boy” (the son Frank’s mom chose) because I’ve been singing that to them since before they were born. Seeing Frank and Nichole join their lives and begin a new branch of this uniquely bonded family tree was just lovely, and I wish for you many, many years of happiness.

That said, guys, seriously? Your indoor fireworks were AMAZEBALLS and the Viennese hour? There are no words.

There are, however, pictures! Without further ado, here they are…

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Filled Under : Wedding

Some couples you just root for. Some couples you meet, and you hear their love story. You can’t help but root for them, wish them the best and do whatever you can as a vendor to give them the very best wedding day possible. Trish and Adam are one of those couples.

I first met the bride at her brother’s wedding a few years ago. With that, can I just say that few things make me happier than seeing my brides and grooms a few years after their wedding, married with two kids and living their happily ever after? Because I love it. I love getting to be there for the newborn babies and the toddlers and the matron of honor adventures. Working with families over the span of several years let me be a photojournalist for all the happiest moments of life, and it’s the best. I love seeing my mothers of the groom circa 2012 become the grandmothers I document today.

I first met the groom at a Christmas tree farm a few years ago when he was first dating the bride. He juggled not one, not two, but three family dogs for that shoot (one of whom is the newlyweds’ dog Splinter, who you’ll see wearing the cutest tux in just a minute.) He helped me move props, because of course I can’t shoot at an evergreen farm without a wagon, two sleds, three mason jars of hot chocolate ingredients, and I just knew when I saw his commitment to helping Trish’s vision for a Christmas photo session happen that he was, well, committed. He was The One, for real, for always, the end.

I love when my wedding photographer Spidey sense tingles and I turn out to be RIGHT! (Especially for a groom who loves superheroes as much as Adam does.) They are so good together. Adam helps Trish stay organized, and Trish takes care of the details that will make their lives so beautiful, rich and meaningful. There were so many details like that last Friday!

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One of the first personal touches I photographed included the butterfly details in the bride’s bouquet, accented here with the couples’ rings. The butterfly details were, in part, in memory of the bride’s Nonnina, her great-grandmother.

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I started out with a few getting ready photos at the bride’s parents’s house, and then I went around the corner to the couple’s apartment, where the groom and groomsmen were getting ready.

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The bride had a big bag of meaningful gifts for the groom to open.

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She got him a baseball signed by none other than legend Mickey Mantle, superhero cufflinks and a few other things.

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His mom helped him with a few finishing touches. Then we took some family photos and it was time to head back to the ladies!

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Trish was just finishing up in the stylist’s chair, and then it was time to open her gifts from Adam. Adam got her beautiful personalized gifts- including a picture frame for a wedding photo (No pressure!), lots of personalized home decor items with with their new last name- and best of all, a new Bible for his bride with her married name embossed on it. THAT was the gift that made her tear up!

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One of the most unique and beautiful things about the bride is her faith. She lives it, day in and day out. Getting into your wedding dress is a moment like almost no other. It’s the moment when it really hits most women- this is IT. This is happening.

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Trish is the only bride I’ve ever seen who calmed her nerves in that moment by praying. Adam’s gift of a new Bible? Absolutely perfect.

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Her mom helped her put on her own diamond cross necklace and held her hand while the maid and matron of honor tied up the corset back and fluffed the dress.
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Then I made Trish stand by the beautiful window light for some traditional “bride by the window” photos. I’m giving weird posing instructions like, “Look at your own shoulder!” but what can I say? It works!

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Then it was time for her dad to have a look at his daughter in her wedding dress. Amazing!

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Trish’s grandmother helped her pin a tiny charm with a photo of her great-grandmother in it on her bouquet. Then it was time to gather up all the bridesmaids (and flower girls, ready and waiting!) to head to the church up the street.

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The bridesmaids sang “Going to the Chapel” as we walked. Meanwhile, hundreds of guests were gathering at the church while the bride’s uncle played the guitar.

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The bride and groom’s interfaith service, combining the best of Catholic and Jewish wedding traditions was just lovely. It was personal, spiritual and loving, like the couple’s families. A priest and a rabbi offered their blessings.

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The bride had warned me that the most emotional moment would be when the couple offered a bouquet to the Blessed Mother and prayed for her help to be good parents someday. One of my favorite things about my job is capturing things that the bride and groom had no idea was happening in the moment. This is one of those times! Nearby, a flower girl was having a decidedly less serious moment.

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The bride’s students from the guitar and song club at her school sang from the choir loft.

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You may now kiss the bride!

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The newlyweds and wedding party gathered for a ribbon wand send-off, and then it was back inside for a few formal photos.

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We took a quick break from formal photos for a selfie, and then we were back at it!

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We just had to run back to the house for a quick photo with Splinter, a few touchups and then it was time to take the party bus to New Jersey.

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Three New York City bridges during rush hour later (more time to party on the party bus!) we were ready to take more photos!

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My little ring bearer (and his mom, the matron of honor above) are ready to rock it! Unfortunately, this little flower girl was less excited.

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I’m so sorry, sweetie. I know. I know. It’s no one’s favorite part AND cocktail hour at the Westmount Country Club is pretty darn amazing, BUT… these are some of my favorite photos from the entire wedding day. Thanks for hanging in there with me, everyone!

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We shot until sunset, and then it was time to enjoy cocktail hour. The Westmount Country Club puts out a spread that I can only describe as sumptuous. There is sushi, Chinese food, chartercurie trays, fruit displays, pasta stations, an entire roast pig, carving stations, passed hors d’oeuvres… it is amazing, and I know the guests loved it.

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Meanwhile, the decorations in the other room were just gorgeous.

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The escort cards were cake pops. There was a little sign that said, “Love is sweet! Find your seat.” Awww!

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Then the bride and groom made their grand entrance and went right into their first dance. Here’s how I described this moment in a Facebook message to the bride the day after the wedding, “When you got introduced at the reception, it was amazing. Everyone cheered for you and it was all the goodwill and love you’ve ever wanted in your whole life for you and the person you love most.”

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I love this shot of the groom’s mom wiping away happy tears.

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I love shooting details like this with the new wedding rings in the shot…

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Trish wept with joy for, oh, maybe the sixth time that day. But who’s counting? :)

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Monsignor Maresca offered his blessings, and then it was time for two heartfelt toasts.

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Cutest. Reaction. To Gentle Bridesmaid Teasing. Ever.

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I loved this interaction between the newlyweds and the mother of the groom, but if you think that’s moving, wait until you see the bride dancing with her dad. They laughed, they cried, they sang…

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Then it was Adam’s turn to dance with his mom.

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This flower girl just kills me with the cuteness. She’s the same one who was having a ball during the prayer in church, too. I just love her.

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The father of the bride played a set with his band “Spitfire.”

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The bridesmaids all decided to fling their superhero garters at the stage in a fitting tribute.

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Then Patricia changed into her party dress. Adam got his own first look, and then it was back to the party, which was rocking.

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After the cake-cutting, the couple had another slow dance. Adam really, really wanted the special effects smoke machine for the first dance, so the bride made it happen.BLOGPHOTO117

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This was actually incredibly romantic and emotional. And then things caught on fire… but on purpose!

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Viennese hour at the Westmount CC is to die for. I’m not even going to talk about the chocolate fountain.

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Then there was one last dance set to end the party on a high note. The guests surrounded the newlyweds with a kick line as “New York, New York” was the last song of the night.

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The groom literally swept the bride off her feet.

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It was such a honor and so fun to be with you guys on the best day of your lives. Thank you so much for your patience, for your belief in my artistic vision and your trust with your priceless memories. Your love for each other shines through in every photo. May you treasure them always.

Filled Under : Wedding

I took particular pleasure in watching Brian and Michelle have a blast at their wedding reception. See, I have this theory. At every wedding, someone is falling in love. It might be grandparents falling in love with each other all over again as they hold hands in the front row. It might be a couple married for ten years as they dance to a slow song that just happened the same one they chose for their first dance as a married couple. Not often, but occasionally, it might be two people meeting for the first time.

Six years ago, at different wedding, Brian and Michelle were the ones falling in love. The bride says that she just knew, as Brian put her in a cab at the end of the night, she was in trouble. He was just different. He was the one.

Her friends knew, too, and believe me, Michelle has friends. She had 14 bridesmaids, and even more remarkable, there was no drama among the women. She had a maid of honor, a matron of honor and twelve other attendants- a beloved cousin, an awesome co-worker, but even more than that- she had her best friends from childhood onward, all there to cheer her on last Saturday. They were all beautiful, and supportive, and fun.

Her maid of honor told me that she knew Brian was different, that they really had something special, because Michelle could really be herself around him. Her matron of honor, Brian’s sister, knew Michelle was the one because she had never seen her brother so happy.

So, on Saturday, after six years together and a year planning a wedding together after Brian proposed on a walk in Brooklyn, they tied the knot. Friends and family came from as far away as Poland and Australia. They included everyone, all the nieces and nephews who could physically walk* served as flower girls and ring-bearers. (*There were some adorable babes in arms that served as honorary wedding party members).

Both of their moms just beamed as they watched them in their first dance. Michelle danced with her brother; then Brian danced with his mom… and that was it for formalities. They had a gorgeous cake, but no cake-cutting ceremony. Michelle carried a beautiful sunflower bouquet, but she didn’t want to throw it to all her single friends.

There were just too many people to hug, too many friends to greet, too much fun to be had to stop partying and dancing for a single second. For a couple who fell in love at a wedding reception, it was a joy to watch them soak up every moment.

The happy couple is, as far as I can tell, relaxing by their private pool in Costa Rica. (Jealous!) I KNOW the beaches are warmer than the oceanfront where we took pictures last weekend, but as a photographer? I THANK YOU ALL, you beautiful freezing bridesmaids, for posing for me. The sunset on Saturday was gorgeous light, and I couldn’t be prouder to show these to you! Congrats!

Filled Under : Celebration , Wedding

Sunday was Katherine and Michael’s wedding day! I just really like this couple. As I discovered during their engagement session, they are both incredibly easy to talk to. While it’s true that they love each other very much, you can also see the way their warmth and openness touches everyone they come in contact with.

Their friends and family really love them, tons and tons, and you can see that illustrated best in their relationships with their siblings. Katherine’s brother was her man of honor, but the groom Michael? He is the oldest of five. His two brothers were his best men, and their speeches were equal parts touching and hilarious. And yet, Katherine’s brother (who is also named Michael) is just like a brother, too. He did double duty in pictures, posing with Katherine’s bridespeople but also jumping into a couple of photos with the men in the wedding party. Plus, the way he made his entrance into the reception on the shoulders of the groom’s brothers…. Well, let’s just say it was kind of amazing.

But I have to say, it was most touching to see the way that Katherine has been so wholly accepted and loved by Michael’s younger sisters. They were awesome bridesmaids, helping her every step of the way throughout the day, knowing just when to jump in with StaticGuard for the bride’s cathedral-length veil or crack up the room with a lampshade-turned-hat. The most touching thing though, was their gift to Katherine as they helped her gather her “old, new, borrowed and blue.” Old, borrowed and blue were the things you might expect- a meaningful pin to put on her bouquet, for instance- but the gift that represented “new” was a photo of them in a frame. The bride’s “something new” was her new sisters.

And so the wedding was beautiful- great weather, lovely mass, happy couple, good music, delicious cake- but it was really the bonds of family and their wedding party’s unflagging support and enthusiasm that made it special.

Plus, Michael and Katherine make a great team. He’s a lawyer; she just passed the bar while simultaneously planning an elegant wedding for 175. They are honeymooning at an economics conference in Hong Kong. (They are REALLY excited about this.) It’s so fitting for a couple who talked economics on their first date. After all, one of Michael’s first gifts to Katherine was an early addition of a famous and historic book by economist Adam Smith.” They are so smart, so nice and so in love. I’m so happy to share these photos of a beautiful wedding for a wonderful couple! All the best to you!

Filled Under : Celebration , Wedding

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