Tag archive for : offbeat

Ariana and Martin decided that they wanted to do something different, and they did! They were the first wedding ever on the rooftop terrace with a reception in the Victory Club at the Meadowlands Racetrack. Add in some Harry Potter details and lots of Star Wars references, incorporating the bride and groom’s favorite things respectively, and you have a unique party for a fun-loving couple.

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This wedding was so much FUN! I knew as soon as I walked into the bridal suite and heard the bride and her maid of honor cracking up that I was in for a fun day.

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Having best friends who crack you and wipe away your happy tears is just the best.

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The groom wore Rebel Alliance cufflinks and Star Wars socks!

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The newlyweds met 15 years ago and went to lots of the same parties and ran in similar social circles for most of that time. Then, about three years ago, something changed between them. They fell in love, and Martin proposed on one knee on a rooftop in Rome on Valentine’s Day. It sounds like a storybook romance, right? We can skip right from there to happily ever after, yes?

Except… real life happens. They both lost beloved grandparents, whose photos were given a place of honor in memorial lockets on the bride’s bouquet, and they found a more committed love and a deeper connection as they went through the bad times as well as the good. The bride’s best friend told me that’s how she knew Ariana had found The One. Martin was unshakeable, and supportive, and loving no matter what, for better or worse.

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Time to focus on the “better”- the first look!

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The bride and groom are huge football fans and they see lots of NFL games at MetLife Stadium, so it was fitting to get some with it in the background.

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I had to get some with their custom Star Wars-inspired logo, too!

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Wedding party photos and family pictures right before the ceremony can be a little stressful (although it means you get to enjoy all of cocktail hour!) but the bride’s best friends are hilarious and awesome. We finished one minute early. Booya!

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Time to get married!

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The adorable flower girl and her “I want cake!” sign were a huge hit.

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I love the eye contact here between the bride and groom as she makes her way toward him.

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Ariana blew a quick kiss to the assembled guests as a summer breeze blew through the terrace. I love when candid moments like this happen.

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The mother of the groom wiped away tears of joy as Ariana slipped Martin’s ring on and then caressed the back of his hand.

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After the ceremony, Ariana got a hug from her mom, and it was time to make it all official by signing the marriage license.

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Gotta include some horseshoe shots that the bride has been dreaming of since she saw them on Pinterest!

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The fun really began when we got the party started with introductions, the first dance and parent dances.

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The toasts were just the right mix of funny and touching.

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Then it was time for the best part of the night. Ariana and Martin had the best idea for wedding favors that I’ve ever seen. They placed a bet on a horse in their guests’ honor. Since each table was assigned a different racehorse, one table of guests was guaranteed to win big.

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They got to watch the race from the Winner’s Circle…

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… and present the cup to the winning horse.

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As they raced back to their party, Ariana exclaimed, “This is so much fun! How much fun is this?!?” It really was.

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She hadn’t had time to eat yet, but she really wanted to dance. So members of the wedding party surrounded her while she rocked out in her seat. Seriously, this couple has amazing friends.

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What’s more fun than Harry Potter references on your cake? How about a Star Wars-themed groom’s cake cut by a light saber knife?!?

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Also, the bride and groom are RAPPING. So funny.

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When a friend can’t fly in from the Congo, FaceTime brings the Congo to you!

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We ducked back upstairs to the terrace with the hopes of getting some shots with the New York City skyline at night, but instead we made the most of the rain.

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Thank you so much for trusting me with the memories of your hilarious, creative wedding day. I hope these pictures always remind you that the start of your marriage was incredibly fun. Congrats, Ariana and Martin!

Filled Under : Wedding

On Saturday, I photographed Anjelica and Steve’s wedding, and it was everything that is right with the world. I’m not even exaggerating. Without getting too political, I’ve been feeling… down about the state of the world lately, and this love story made me feel like we’re all gonna be okay.

I’ve written about this before, but there is this amazing thing that happens at some weddings. I call it the “Rainbow Wedding Family” phenomena. The concept is this: sometimes, at some weddings, when the couple has truly great friends and family, this amazing community comes together just for their wedding. It’s a group of multigenerational people from all over the country- sometimes all over the world- that would never assemble in exactly this way for any other reason. There’s a kind of alchemy as people come together, and it’s magical.

That absolutely happened on Saturday night. “Diverse” does not even begin to describe this couple’s group of family and friends. Every imaginable kind of diversity was represented, across all lines. Everyone brought the best of their culture, from drumming to henna to salsa dancing, to celebrate with this couple. It was SO fun. Who wouldn’t want this? Who wouldn’t want to mambo with the bride’s mom? Who wouldn’t want their feet decorated by a neighbor who wants your feet to be adorned with the loveliest henna before you take even a step down the aisle? Who wouldn’t want to jam with the father of the groom, or even the groom himself, as he drums a message of love for his bride as she dances up the aisle? Like I said, I don’t want to get too political, but for real, anyone who doesn’t think enjoying the best of things that diversity brings to our melting pot SERIOUSLY needs to get themselves invited to more weddings in the Bronx. THIS is where the magic is happening, and it’s the best.

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This beaded cape on the back of Anjelica’s dress was AMAZING.

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The aforementioned henna…

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Of course, it’s a reflection of the bride and groom and the love they pour into the world. All day long, Anjelica careened from happy tears to laughter and back. This bride and groom make each other laugh; they are going to be the happiest 90-year-olds ever, just cracking each other up all day.

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This is the groom practicing his “stunned and happy at the first look” expression with a groomsman as they put on the boutonnieres. You can see why Anjelica laughs so much, and does she ever.

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The bride was cracking up as she approached the groom, and then she turned and mugged for me before announcing, “I’m here!”

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He was like, “I heard you laughing 100 yards away.”

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Then it was time to sign the marriage license and take posed photos!

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I love the papel picado they incorporated into their decor, so I tried to incorporate it into photos.

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This custom etched mirror welcomed guests to the ceremony area, and before you knew it, the groom was on his way own the aisle with his parents.

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How sweet is Steve hugging his dad?!?!

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The groom played the drums for the processional, and as the wedding party got to the front, they picked up percussion instruments and played along. The bride and her parents danced down the aisle to meet them, and all of the guests clapped along until the rhythm blurred into a huge round of applause.

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This is when the happy tears started all around.

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Happy tears here…

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Happy tears there…

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Happy tears everywhere! (LOVE IT when this happens!)

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They gave their moms and the bride’s grandparents long-stemmed roses as part of the ceremony.

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Then it was back up the aisle through tossed dried lavender and off to a quiet room….

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…where the happy tears continued from the bride’s siblings…

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and the newlyweds!

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This was so incredibly sweet, and then I left them to have a few moments to soak in the joy of being married.

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Okay. So, the bride’s cousin brought these hilarious fake, tiny baby hands? Cocktail hour was filled with laughter anyway, because that’s just Anjelica, honestly- she has an contagious laugh- but the fake, tiny baby hands were a hit.

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Party time!

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Everyone joined in after a few verses of the first dance song, including some long-distance guests on FaceTime. I love that technology makes that possible now.

The coolest thing happened during the mother-son dance. Here’s the thing. The parent dances… I think that’s something moms and dads look forward to when they think about their children getting married someday. I already know I want to dance with Ryan to Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” someday, because that has been the soundtrack of the past two years for us. (He’s only two, and I know I want that!)

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So, for the mother of the groom to reach out to the bride and pull her up into their dance? That was such an act of generosity. *I* started getting happy-teary at this point behind the camera, to be honest.

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And then it happened again! Anjelica and her dad pulled her mom into *their* dance. I’m telling you; this couple and their families are so great.

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More happy tears!

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After some loving toasts, the magical rainbow wedding family alchemy I described in the beginning was in full effect.

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The music!

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The ice cream!

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The dance floor that just didn’t quit!

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A surprise birthday cake for a bridesmaid!

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And finally, Stew Leonard’s popcorn on the way out.

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It was a wonderful night for a wonderful couple. Anjelica and Steve, I hope you still love each other, laughing and crying happy tears, and eating hamburgers and making out when you’re old and grey. Thanks for letting me document all the moments and people that made your day as special as it was.

Happy marriage!

Filled Under : Wedding

This wedding. This wedding, you guys. Where do I start with Glen and Liz? Well, they were set up by a friend who, and I quote the bride verbatim here, “thought we were the same kind of socially awkward.” She resisted at first. She didn’t want to be set up. But then Liz said something while she was getting her makeup done that really struck a chord with me, because it’s true in my life, too. She said something like, “The things I’ve been most resistant to in my life- like doing theater, choosing where I went to college, going on a blind date with Glen- they all turned out to be the best things for me.” Resistance, and then flow.

I thought that was really profound, and it resonated with me, as I think it would resonate with anyone who, like me, is headstrong, and who maybe, just maybe, wasn’t sure where he or she belonged at first. I’ve always been told that I’m just a little too much- I’m a little too loud, a little too big. I talk too much, and I talk too fast. It took me a while to find my tribe, but when I finally found my husband (who, like the bride and groom, introduced me to his love of gaming and D&D and cosplay and all things geeky), he sent me a bouquet on my wedding day with this Dr. Seuss quote: “We are all a little weird, and life’s a little weird, and we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”

The bride and groom chose a reading from Dr. Seuss for their ceremony, and I think they’ll like this quote, too, because they have fallen in mutual weirdness and it IS love. It just so happens that their wedding vows included the bride telling the groom, “I will tell you when you are talking too loud,” as he swore, “I will tell you when you are talking too fast.” Uh huh. I see you guys. I get you. I’m right there with you. I appreciate your love of storytelling, and this is my interpretation of your greatest love story yet, the story of your wedding day.

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I keep coming back to what Liz said about resistance, and then flow. We think we know what’s best for us, but then it’s the thing we resisted most that takes us the farthest in life, and that really formed the family and community around Liz and Glen that made their wedding day so beautiful. The college you didn’t want to visit that becomes your second home where you meet your soul sister/sorority sister/maid of honor. That time you furrowed your brow at your roommate when he instructed you to let “a cute pink-haired girl” (a.k.a. a random person from Reddit that he gave an extra concert ticket to) into the apartment who then becomes your bridesmaid who lovingly spent weeks crafting your custom centerpieces and wedding flowers even in the excitement and Pinterest-flurry of her own engagement. These lovely friends, and a few more, started out getting ready at the salon with Liz.

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Meanwhile, the groom was at an old-timey barbershop getting straight-razored shaves (and an impressive waxed mustache for the officiant, all to complete his perfect cosplay of Rucks from the video game Bastion. You’ll see more of that soon).

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The groomsmen (and a bridesman) wore 20-sided dice cufflinks in keeping with the gaming theme, which was fully realized all throughout the wedding.

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I am not 100% sure what’s happening here since this photo was one that Tom, my second, shot of the groom getting ready, but I believe Glen and his best man are fencing with combs, which is HILARIOUS.

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We headed over to the venue to get the bride into her dress (and her Something Blue sparkly Converse sneakers!) and then she was ready to go see the groom.

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A few last-minute details, and it was time for the best part of the day. I love “first looks” when couples see each other for the first time on the wedding day. Everything gets so much easier when you finally get to be with your beloved.

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Glen’s reaction was priceless.

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We had absolutely perfect light for formal pictures. Thank you, weather gods.

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I’m an absolute sucker for endearing moments between a groom and his mom….

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….and even more so when they’re between a bride and her grandfather.

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“Oh,” Glen said. “We forgot to tell you after the engagement session. More silly poses please.”

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You got it! Silly poses for the win!

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Note the Super Mario Brothers Fire and Ice flowers in the ladies’ bouquets…

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A near-dropping moment (NEAR dropping, not actual dropping) started to get the bride nervous about her fate during the horah later…

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I’ll be honest; the photo session portion of the day, with all the people who need to be there in various configurations (when there is so much else going on and details to check on) can sometimes be the most hectic part of the day. For that reason, I like to start with the largest number of people and dismiss down until I end with just the bride and groom.

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99% of the time, the romantic poses give the couple a chance to connect and calm each other before the ceremony. Liz just melted into Glen’s arms. Yes! My secret master plan is unfolding exactly as foreseen.

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So, Glen and Liz are theater people. They love, among other musicals, Johnathan Larson’s “Rent.” There is a song in this musical called, “I’ll Cover You.” The lyrics go, “Live in my house/ I’ll be your shelter/ Just pay me back/ With one thousand kisses.” Some time last summer, Glen started tallying the number of times he kissed his bride-to-be with the goal of the 1000th kiss being the one when they said “I do.” As we finished all the smooching poses, Glen knew he wouldn’t be kissing Liz again until the end of the ceremony, so he planted the 997th, 998th and 999th kisses on her hand and wrist before we finished taking photos. This is so sweet. Liz, you lucky, lucky girl.

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So the dress code for the wedding was “‘Cosplay’ (short for “costume play”) optional.” Cosplay is what you see people doing when they go to ComicCon or Star Trek conventions, and it’s a HUGE trend that’s become very popular in recent years. People dress up in their own interpretation of characters from movies, TV shows, video games, comic books and pretty much any other form of pop culture you can think of. So, yes, that wedding guest is green. It’s not your monitor.

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Cosplay communities tend to be very accepting, very supportive, and very creative. That’s exactly the vibe that the bride and groom wanted for their ceremony. They wanted to be openly, unapologetically themselves- in all their gamer-geek glory- as they pledged their love to each other. The guests showing their support by dressing up accentuated that beautifully.

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After a traditional processional, the fun really began. I’ve documented more than 100 weddings at this point, and I’ve never seen a ceremony quite like this one. The bride and groom fell in love playing table-top, role-playing games. The most famous one is Dungeons and Dragons. Essentially, everyone in the wedding party took on the role of a different character in a imaginary, D&D style adventure through the vows and ring exchange, complete with rolling of dice, the officiant serving as dungeon master, or lead storyteller. It was delightful, so completely and wonderfully fitting for this couple at this time in their lives.

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This is, in fact, their 1000th kiss since Glen started counting last summer.

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Their smiles as they made their way back down the aisle are everything.

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One guest brought his A-game to the details of his Starlord costume, complete with scale-accurate, dancing baby Groot.

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Cocktail hour is the BEST, especially when all the posed photos have already have been taken, and the signature cocktail is a mana potion, a.k.a. “a mysterious elixir of magical energy.” That’s a League of Legends reference, for those of you playing along at home.

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The newlyweds bounded into their reception and went right into their first dance to “Anything For You” by Ludo. It was whimsical and upbeat and gentle and funny.

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The bride danced with her dad to the “Jurassic Park” theme, which is an inside joke, I think, but who doesn’t love some orchestral John Williams music?

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Then, it was time for the groom’s surprise, which was one of the most romantic moments of the entire day.

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He arranged an acapella piece, with accompaniment from his sister and members of the wedding party, and sang to his bride.

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This is the look of a woman, brimming with happy tears, at the moment she feels most loved, deeply moved, and completely and totally cherished. Glen? Nailed it.

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Laughter through tears flowed through the rest of the toasts. This is the groom laughing at a Star Trek joke in the best man’s speech, followed by loving words from the maid of honor and the father of the bride.

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After dinner, everyone hit the dance floor, visited the photo booth or played board games. Like I said, the gaming theme was fully realized, right up through special tables featuring “Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots” and “Hungry, Hungry Hippos,” among others.

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I would like to point out that no one fell during the horah. Hooray!

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The cake display was a lovingly hand-crafted tier of cupcakes, LED lights, and custom fondant Weighted Companion Cubes (From the video game Portal). I know this was made by either a cousin or a friend, I didn’t quite catch which, but woman, you are amazing! Making a wedding cake of any kind is a huge undertaking. The fact that this one involved the need to be near an electrical outlet is just, pardon the pun, icing on the cake. Well done, cousin-friend-person.

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What do the horah, the Cha Cha Slide, the Twist, the Gangham Style dance and choreography from Footloose have in common? They were all danced with gleeful abandon at this wedding.

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Congratulations, you two. Be well. Love each other well, and keep falling in mutual weirdness more and more every year for the rest of your lives. Thank you for letting us tell your love story. Have the best honeymoon, and enjoy some Doug’s Fish Fry for me!

Filled Under : Wedding

Joe and Erika got married on Saturday! I’m so pleased and proud to say that this is the fifth wedding I’ve photographed in their group of extended family and friends since 2012. Erika and Joe have been together that entire time! I’ve seen them go from being the “best man and his date,” to “that groomsmen and his fiancee” until finally- finally! Saturday was finally THEIR TURN to be the bride and groom!

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Erika rocked an amazing vintage-inspired look curated from BHLDN, Anthropologie’s drool-worthy wedding line. It’s so elegant and refined, and Erika with her classic beauty and big brown eyes WORKED it.

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Erika’s mom and bridesmaids helped her with all finishing touches, and then we were off to see the groom.

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As I rode the elevator up from the lobby with the groom to go see the bride in the penthouse of the Ravel hotel, he said, “I can actually feel my heart pounding.” He was so excited and nervous. The very thought of marrying the woman he has dated for exactly ten years was giving him butterflies, and it was completely adorable.

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As they saw each other for their first look, he pressed her hand to his heart so she could feel it pounding. It was such a sweet gesture.

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A few roof pictures and we went downstairs to see the wedding party and parents. Erika’s dad gathered her up in his arms after seeing her in her wedding dress. I’m telling you, Erika, you are so lucky to have these men in your life!

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A few posed family photos, and the wedding party and I hopped on their trolley for photo adventures along the East River.

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I *may* have posed a few “candid” moments on the trolley before we broke out the beer and sandwiches. But hey, there are no awkward “shoving a sandwich in my mouth” photos of anyone, you see? (I once had a photo of me shoving a giant bite of croissant in my mouth published in my college newspaper, and EVERYONE saw it. I was studying abroad, and my friends clipped out the picture to tease me about it in the spring semester when I got back. Totally embarrassing. I would rather somewhat annoyingly pose my brides and grooms for a minute or two of their down time than subject anyone else to that special brand of humiliation. SEE?!? IT’s ALL FOR YOOOOU!) That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

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Ahem, ANYWAY, back to our photo adventures on the waterfront! Between the cityscape in the background, the gorgeous willow trees, the lovely afternoon sunlight, the artistic murals and the Empire State Building in the distance, I was in photo heaven.

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Thank you, wedding party, for following all my crazy instructions including running around in front of the trolley, jumping in front of murals and standing “in conversational clumps.” You guys were great, and I’m proud of the variety of shots we got. THANK YOU!

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One short trolley ride later, and after deftly navigating some construction for a few pictures outside the venue (the bride in Betsey Johnson heels, no less!), we stepped off the elevator at exactly 4:01 p.m. giving the wedding party an hour to relax before the ceremony.

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I got to shoot some detail shots and chat for a minute with the groom’s framily (friends who are like family, you see? Friend + Family = “Framily”) I actually have gotten or am getting to photograph them on- no joke- November 5th, November 19th and December 3rd of this year. They are threatening to adopt me, and I hope they do!

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Joe waited excitedly for Erika to walk toward him down the aisle on her father’s arm.

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The ceremony was deeply personal, a special blend of romantic and funny, which is exactly what you would expect for this couple. One of their readings included the following:

“If the alien invaders come and hover in stern judgment
over our cities, trying to decide whether to invite us to the Galactic Federation of Confederated
Galaxies or if instead a little genocide is called for,
I think our love could be a powerful argument for the continued preservation of humanity in general, or at least,
of you and me in particular.

If we were captives together in an alien zoo,
I’d try to make the best of it, cultivate a streak
of xeno-exhibitionism, waggle my eyebrows, and make jokes about breeding in captivity.
If I became lost in the multiverse, exploring
infinite parallel dimensions, my only criterion for settling
down somewhere would be whether or not I could find you:
and once I did, I’d stay there even if it was a world ruled by giant spider- priests, or one where killer
robots won the Civil War, or even a world where sandwiches
were never invented, because you’d make it the best
of all possible worlds anyway, and plus we could get rich off inventing sandwiches.”

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Love this photo of the groom’s mom with HER mom shedding happy tears…

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Some readings, some vows, the story of how they met, and then Erika dn Joe were sealing their promises with a kiss, followed immediately by a high five in the couple’s suite.

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Cocktail hour featured amazing craft beer AND a few of Manhattan at night, what could be better?

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The groom is actually the fifth consecutive man in his family to have the same name. This photo contains a Joseph D. the III, a Joseph D. the IV, and a Joseph D. the V. THAT doesn’t happen at every wedding!

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The bride and groom were introduced, took a spin around the dance floor and then had everyone join them for their first dance.

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I love the groom’s aunt/godmother. That is all I have to say about this photo.

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Erika’s sister Danica and Joe’s best friend Phil gave really nice toasts, including a funny story about the first time Joe met the bride’s family during spring break, and the two of them hung out in their PJs all week.

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After the toasts, everyone was doing that “tinkle your fork on your glass” thing to make the bride and groom kiss, while his mom and his “other mother” took a ton of photos. (I am so going to be that mother of the groom with my camera someday! That will be, like, 30 years from now, but still… This is so me in the future unless their ceremony reading is prophetic and we live in a world with alien overlords and no sandwiches.)

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After the cake-cutting and the parent dances, the fun really got started.

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An important member of the groom’s “framily” that I mentioned is a backup dancer for Sia. When the DJ played this song, her entire family busted out the choreography. Her pregnant cousin, her siblings, her mom and dad. Everyone did the choreography to Cheap Thrills.

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Then the DJ played a Pearl Jam song. Knowing the groom’s deep and abiding love for Pearl Jam, the groomsmen made a special request to crowd-surf the groom across the dance floor, which was epic.

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Who doesn’t love an amazing congo line?

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The bride and groom are in this shot, kissing with all of their guests on the dance floor all around them. These are the wedding day moments that are unforgettable, and it’s my pleasure to capture them for you so you will always have these memories.

Speaking of memory…. Now, one little thing about me, is that when I photograph a couple, my brain is going a thousand miles and hour. I’m figuring out lighting, worrying about focus, composition, ISO and shutter speed. I’m mentally checking off a five-page shot list and sticking to a timeline parceled out in five minute increments, and well- my brain starts to hiccup. It does this really weird thing where I decide that someone’s name is different than their actual name, and then I can’t stop calling them that. You know some people get a confirmation name, a Hebrew name or a Native American name? I give people their Photography Name. It’s really weird. Late in the ninth straight hour of shooting, I started calling the bride “Ashley.” (I can’t blame the long day; my brain defaulted to Ashely during their engagement shoot, too. I’m a special snowflake.) I know her name is Erika. But her Photography Name is Ashley.

Congratulations, Joe and Ashley!

I’m kidding! I’m totally kidding. I’m sorry my brain does this thing. Erika and Joe, I wish you a lifetime of happiness! Thanks for being a wonderful, fun-loving couple who is totally cool with me photo-bombing in their GIF-generating photo/video booth.

I couldn’t/wouldn’t photobomb just anyone, but you guys are special. Have the best Thanksgiving-on-a-beach honeymoon anyone has ever had!

Filled Under : Celebration , Wedding

I am so excited to show you the photos from Jamie and Justin’s wedding. Sometimes when I meet with a couple to talk about shooting their wedding and they tell me their vision for their event, it takes all I have not to wiggle around in my seat, waving my hand in the air Hermione Granger-style hooting, “Pick me! Ooh, pleeeease pick me!” This was the case when I met with Jamie and Justin ten months ago and they told me all about their “getting married in Sleepy Hollow on Halloween” wedding. Right there, in that first meeting in Starbucks, I was like, “You know there’s a guy who has learned to ride a horse in a Headless Horseman costume who’s pretty famous locally. I wonder if we could take a picture with him somehow…” and then I became mildly obsessed, ahem, I mean, extremely committed to making this happen.

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More photos with Sleepy Hollow’s most famous undead citizen will appear later in this post, but this one of them screaming and running away is too funny not to share immediately.

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I’m getting ahead of myself, though. We started photography coverage with the first time the bride and groom saw each other on their wedding day in the cemetery at the Old Dutch Church in Sleepy Hollow.

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Later, during the ceremony, they referenced “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy,” a hilarious science-fiction book series/radio play/movie that essentially seeks the answer to life, the universe and everything…. and gets it. But the answer is “42.” (It’s a dry, British humor kind of thing.) In any case, in their vows, they told each other, essentially, “You are my 42,” meaning, more or less, that they are each other’s life, universe and everything. I think you can see that in their eyes here.

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Then, we took photos all over the historic cemetery, trying our best to keep rollerbladers, tourists and costumed visitors who flood Sleepy Hollow on Halloween out the background of the shots. (Because nothing says “love” like a roller-blading man with a giant rubber spider on his head. Just sayin.’)

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I love the details they chose- I love the top hat, the shoes, the hand-made paper flower bouquet with their favorite comic book characters incorporated. Love. It.

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Meanwhile, while all the photos were happening at the Old Dutch Church, Tatiana from Whimsy Weddings was setting up for the ceremony and reception at the James House Mansion up the road.

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Friends and family began to gather- some in costume, some about to be in costume- and it was time to officially get married!

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This was my sixth wedding with the amazing and remarkable Rev D. She did a beautiful job putting together a personalized service for Jamie and Justin, who quite literally RAN down the aisle, high-fiving the guests on the way. You gotta love a groom like that!

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The bride and groom chose to do this awesome unity ceremony. They wrote letters to each other and put them in a box with their favorite booze. The idea is that if their marriage ever hits a road bump, they can sit down and read the letters, have a drink together and remind each other why they got married in the first place. If they never hit hard times, they can have a drink and celebrate their love on an upcoming anniversary. Love it!

Oh, and Justin sang his vows in a medley of songs including the Muppet Show theme, Rick Astley lyrics and more. It was perfect for Jamie since their love of music is one of the things that brings them together. Quick aside/true story: a few years ago, Justin sold his amazing, one of kind guitar to pay for Jamie’s 30th birthday present. Her wedding present to him WAS TRACKING IT DOWN AND BUYING IT BACK. Not a similar style, not an exact replica, the original guitar. How lovely is that? A bride like that deserves to be serenaded.

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Of course, he serenaded her Justin-style, which meant it was also kind of hilarious.

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Her vows were equally touching. She quoted an episode of Scrubs, where one of the characters essentially says, “The thing is, I’m so weird that I always thought I would end up alone.” She told him how lucky she was to find him. And then- now I’m quoting Dr. Seuss from a card sent to me by my own husband on our wedding day- “they fell in mutual weirdness and called it love.”

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Then they were pronounced married and declared the king and queen of Halloween by the Rev. D., and we were off to cocktail hour!

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At this point, everyone changed into costume, including the bride and groom. He wore his suit of armor and she wore a romantic dress inspired by the Middle Ages.

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After a romantic first dance to the song “Nothing Else Matters,” the dance floor opened. Although this wasn’t the kind of wedding with a lot of traditional formalities, they each made a point to dance with their moms. The bride’s grandfather got his own spin around the dance floor, and it was so lovely. It doesn’t matter if a wedding is super traditional or if an honored nephew is dressed as a formal ring-bearer or the Incredible Hulk, these moments choke me up every time.

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After dinner, the wedding party offered a few meaningful toasts and a special reading, and the party really got going.

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The knight battles… um, the Dark Knight? I am not 100% sure what was happening here, but I love it.

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If you get married on Halloween, I think you have to do the Thriller Dance. It’s practically a law.

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I love everything about this cake-cutting. From the Stanley Cup cake that honors the couple’s love of the New Jersey Devils to the sword to the extreme commitment to cake-smashing, this was amazing.

After a few more photos and words of wisdom from the bride’s grandparents who just celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary, the party went on into the night. And what a night it was!

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Thank you for letting me be a part of this! May your marriage be filled with many years of happiness. Congratulations, Jamie and Justin!

Filled Under : Celebration , Wedding

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