Category Archives: Full wedding

NYC Elopement and Tribeca Grill Wedding: Kristin and Samir

Tatiana and I love NYC elopements — so much that we had one. Simply making your way through New York life is stressful enough, and it can be a blessing to strip away some of the complications of a big wedding and focus on the closest friends and family.

Of course, this means there are going to be a lot of other people interested in what’s going on, and Kristin and Samir solved this in a very modern way, making it our first Facebook Live’d wedding.

They brought impeccable style and child-like joy to a warm winter day, making even the more-than-a-bit-DMV-like environment of the New York City Marriage Bureau a beautiful, emotional scene. We traipsed around Lower Manhattan with them a bit before heading to a small family dinner at the Tribeca Grill.

NYC Elopement


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Ashford Castle, Ireland wedding: Casey and Ford

It’s hard to overstate the beauty of Ashford Castle: It was something so profound that Casey knew she had to share it with her friends and family, even though absolutely none of them, Casey and Ford included, live in Ireland. But maybe, for a second, let’s not put it center-stage. Let’s focus on the bonds that made Casey and Ford plan a complicated multi-day celebration in an Irish castle just to show their friends and family a good time, and the bonds that made so many of these friends and family show up that they completely sold out the castle.

And it’s not a small castle.

Ireland is an incredibly gorgeous country — the cliches are true. There are colors of green that don’t exist anywhere else, times when you have to turn down the saturation in your camera just so reality doesn’t look fake. But, of course, it comes with a lot of what the Irish call “soft” weather: Rain, and a lot of it.

So yes, it rained on this wedding, but … well, all you need to know about the mood is that, after days of carousing together, there was enough joyful energy left that festivities were still going strong by sunrise.

Thank you to Olivia Buckley for her fantastic planning work, making a wet, complicated event come out perfectly, and to Casey and Ford for kindly planning their Ireland wedding just at the right time for our “working honeymoon” in the best place we could imagine.


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Harvard Club of New York wedding: Courteney and Tim

When I think of the Harvard Club, a lot comes to mind … elegance, pedigree, luxuriousness, blue plastic hats…

Well, now it does, after Courteney and Tim’s wedding. Amid all the grandeur, they and their friends found lots of time for hilarity and joy. It was harder to find photos from they day when they weren’t laughing. (Not that we tried hard — we’re solidly pro-joy here.)

This is what it’s about for us. Yes, they looked absolutely amazing. Yes, it was a gorgeous day in New York and the Harvard Club staff knocked it out of the park like always. But when you plan an event for so long and invest so much of it for the benefit of your loved ones, more than anything else you want them to have an amazing time, and that’s what we want to remember. And for us, there are nothing but great memories below.

Harvard club wedding


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Lyndhurst Castle wedding: Allie and Luke

One of the ways Allie and Luke express their love is through regular dance-offs in their home … and it showed. Their Lyndhurst Castle wedding was not only incredibly beautiful, but ridiculously, incredibly fun. You know you’re in for a good time when an extremely elegant long-sleeve wedding gown is traded in for a party outfit specifically designed for maximum get-downage.

This is one of those weddings where I feel like each word I say is just a road block between you and photos of a deeply emotional, completely gorgeous day. I could tell you about the importance they place on family, but it’s more important that you see that in their every action. I could tell you the weather was perfect, but … well in that case I’d be lying. It was raining hard in the morning and I had to pull my full-fledged weather geek card to provide some calm and promise that the 37 weather forecasts I read every morning all agreed that there was a zero percent chance of rain by ceremony time, so there was no need to cancel their dreams of an outdoor ceremony.

(Thank you, assorted weather forecasters, for getting that right. I had to stick my neck out a bit on that one.)

Thank you, Allie and Luke, for letting us tell your story.


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Gotham Hall wedding: Jackie and Paul

We sometimes wonder if we tempt fate when we tell couples we very nearly specialize in bad weather. Hurricanes, blizzards, floods — you name it, and we’ve navigated our way through them all on wedding days, and Mother Nature loves to throw it at us. For Jackie and Paul, we had another kind of challenge – a New York City wedding as August-y as it could be … hitting a heat index of 115 degrees right when we were slated to be walking around midtown on the way to the opulent Gotham Hall.

But if trapped in sidewalk-egg-frying weather, it helped so much to be in the company of a couple like Jackie and Paul, who not only took all this in stride, but were happy even to jump up on the hot hood of a taxi for a portrait. Armed with instant ice packs and unrelenting can-do attitudes, they kept focused on the things that really matter: their love for each other, celebrating that love with friends and family, and great air conditioning:)

We loved getting to know Jackie and Paul throughout the whole wedding planning process. From their engagement shoot where we visited their first date spot and home to their reception where sweetness abounded even with a serenade to Jackie by her dad, we loved it all. Thank you Jackie and Paul for making us a part of these happy days, and thank you to our good friend Jashim Jalal for all of your talent and help and planner-so-great-we-used-her-for-our-own-wedding Sara Landon at SL Events for bringing the awesome yet again.

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Shangri-La Spa wedding: Anna and Kerry

Let me tell you a story about pressure. Pressure is when the bride for your January 2016 wedding first contacts you in April … April, 2009. Pressure is when said bride is also a wedding photographer … and goes on a wedding photography show … still years before she actually planned a wedding, saying that she would hire you for her wedding even if she had to wear a trash bag as a dress to do it.

That was the pressure of Anna and Kerry’s wedding. How could I, just some guy who likes to take pretty pictures of people enjoying themselves, live up to seven years of Anna’s hopes and dreams? I’m not sure I ever could, but thankfully I had an advantage that she never considered for most of that time … Tatiana, still the biggest secret weapon in wedding photography.

The biggest advantage, though, was the outsized personalities, hospitality, and general awesomeness of the bride and groom. Yes, we are blessed to have couples that seem to have a staggeringly high number of people maintaining their niceness through stressful, expensive wedding days, but it is something else when you find yourself using the bride and groom’s apartment as an ad hoc office the entire day after their wedding. Consider the smiles that you will see below, and consider how large they are despite their original venue being damaged by tornadoes right before their wedding, and that their gorgeous new venue, the Shangri-La Springs, was rained out on the morning of their wedding. Of course, there may have been some pent-up energy that was released when the sun peaked through the clouds, since at that moment Anna told the officiants to shorten the ceremony to exactly three minutes from processional to first kiss so they could run outside and soak it up.

It ended up being a beautiful day for them, whatever the weather. I barely remember the wetness, the dirty shoes … what I remember is the ringing laughter, the no small amount of tears, the beautiful decor put together by CocoLuna Events, and the bonds of new friendship I myself had made through this process. It was such a wonderful, terrifying honor … and thankfully, Anna got to wear a beautiful dress, and not a trash bag in sight.

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Glynwood Farms wedding: Heather and Aaron

The grass is always greener on the other side, and for New York photographers, with rustic wedding venues like Glynwood Farms we take that literally. “Wait, there are trees here? And fresh air? And not once has a security guard threatened us? What is this magical place?”

There are many ways to describe how great Heather and Aaron are, but let me try a very 2016 one: I’d totally listen to their podcast if they had one. You can’t talk to them for a minute without getting hit with how intelligent, funny, and kind they are, and what a good pair they make. Their friendship and connection was keenly evident all day, and that connection was the star even with the gorgeous farm surrounding and their wildly celebrating friends and relatives.

As always, a great day is made even sweeter when I can cover it alongside Tatiana. Thanks to Main Course Catering and Flowers by April for making the day even more beautiful and delicious.

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Lord Thompson Manor wedding: Jackie and Corey

The classic, ideal Western wedding is sort of a palindrome: you start the day slowly building to the heights of finery, hoping to look better than you ever have in your life, culminating in the stunning formality of a wedding ceremony … and then you let it all go in wild revelry, a mash of joy and sweat and hairpins. It’s how we squeeze every last bit of happiness and camaraderie out of a single day, and Jackie and Corey’s wedding was an incredible expression of the form. Beauty? Well, you have a couple whose ecstasy (and every other emotion) radiates through their whole body, classic style,beautiful, well-thought-out details and all set in the stunning Lord Thompson Manor.

You know the Manor is incredible given that it was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted … who not only designed spaces like Central and Prospect parks, but the area where I proposed to Tatiana. So it was wonderful to be able to share this day shooting alongside Tatiana and working with friends like Styles on B at this amazing wedding. I knew it would be a good crowd, when, within the first 20 minutes, I texted Tatiana “The guys are hilarious; they’re doing improv with all of the decorations in the room” and she said “Jackie is doing the same thing!”

Thank you, Jackie and Corey, for having us tell this story.

 

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Bryant Park Grill wedding: Allyson and Isaac

You don’t generally associate “Midtown Manhattan” and “chill,” but Allyson and Isaac’s wedding at the Bryant Park Grill managed to achieve that feeling with a keen focus on the big picture — whatever happens, they still get to marry their best friend. When I consulted with Isaac a couple days before the wedding and said “Unfortunately it looks like your wedding is going to be the coldest day in weeks, should we change anything?” He was able to just say “Nah, we’ll be good whatever happens.” Of course, in Manhattan it helps when everything is within walking distance from each other. Allyson got ready at the Bryant Park Hotel, which is as close to the Bryant Park Grill as it sounds  — her hotel room, which doubled for the ketubah signing, actually looked out over the ceremony.

Isaac says: “Allyson has the biggest heart of anyone I have ever met.” He loved the first look at Grand Central, which they chose not just for its beauty but because it has played roles in their daily life and the lives of their parents. He says “that was when it all hit me in the face, it was really happening, the best day of my life was finally here.”

Allyson says: “Isaac’s sincerity is one of the the qualities I love most about him. He makes everyone in the room feel special, welcome and wanted.” She also loved the raucous celebrations with Kinky Spigot and the Welders: “After dinner, I was dancing to ‘Boogie on Reggae Woman’ and totally getting my groove on. I turned around and saw the entire crowd on the dance floor having a fun time. Not a single person was seated. It was an awesome moment!”

I loved being able to share a day like this with Tatiana — our only problem is that the dancing was so much fun we wanted to be in it, but shooting a reception has a rhythm and a movement to it, to put us in the middle of all of the energy.

 

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Hudson River Yacht wedding: Milena and Michael

Any time I get to do something romantic with Tatiana like take her on a yacht ride around the Hudson, I’m down. It’s just an added bonus that we were also surrounded by the infectious energy of Milena and Michael’s wedding.

When you have a wedding on a boat, you make sure that you really, really like the people you invite, since they are going to be there and be close the whole time. This made for an incredibly tight-knit and supportive group, the energy of a family reunion directed at celebrating a couple so obviously made for each other. The night was so perfect that we wanted more, and we ended up taking Milena and Michael on a stroll down 42nd street.

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Newport, RI wedding at the Rosecliff Mansion: Nicole and Emilie

Nicole and Emilie’s Rosecliff Mansion wedding celebrated Independence Day on many levels — there were countless couture nods, from the red, white and blue clothes they wore to the oh-so-Northeastern rehearsal dinner at Kempenaar’s Clambake Club to the custom color worn by their Instagram-famous dog, Charlie. There were all the trappings of a Newport summer weekend, from casual fun over seafood and fireworks, to impossibly ornate settings like the Rosecliff and The Elms. But it was given a deeper, sweeter meaning when, shortly before the wedding day, the Supreme Court invalidated any laws keeping same-sex couples from marrying in any of the United States

When I started shooting weddings, only one state allowed same-sex couples to marry, and though it was right next door, it wasn’t recognized in Rhode Island until 2013. So not only could Nicole and Emilie show what a smart, driven, devoted couple they are, this can be recognized in every inch of their country. It was a good reason to wave the flag even harder that day.

But there’s a lot more to them, and to the unbelievably gorgeous wedding. They drip intelligence; you feel a bit smarter being near them. They’re the sort of people who use “alacrity” in common conversation, but also the sort to turn into emotive puddles when their dog is nearby. It was such a great feeling to share this day with them, and to share the coverage with my own love, Tatiana Breslow. I’m smiling just looking at these photos again, so I’m going to get out of the way and share them:

 

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Alger House Wedding: Sabrina and Kumar

When Sabrina and Kumar decided to add 1920s’ vintage elements to their Alger House wedding, they really went for it — Sabrina taught 20 or so of her closest friends how to dance the Charleston. From the couple to the guests to the venue, the wedding dripped with style. But the close connections between the guests made it something more … unfortunately Kumar’s parents were blocked by paperwork from entering the country for the wedding, so Sabrina’s family stepped in, showing that although Kumar was only legally entering the family that day, they’d already long considered him a part of it. The relatively small size allowed a casual charm, including a meandering walk from the ceremony to the reception, enjoying the late April sun in Washington Square Park.

Of course, they knew the weather would probably be perfect, because one of the many factors they considered when planning their wedding was this exchange from “Miss Congeniality.”

“Miss Rhode Island, please describe your idea of a perfect date.”
That’s a tough one. I’d have to say April 25th. Because it’s not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket.”

Thanks to Jashim Jalal for his capable help on this great day.

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Kimmel Center Wedding: Dana and Zal

Speaking as a groom about to plan his own wedding: Zal, you’re making it harder for the rest of us. First, the proposal: Both Dana and Zal are actors, knowing that Dana’s favorite movie was “Pretty Woman,” he faked an audition for her to go try out — but when she got there, all she found was that she had been put in the right place for Zal to come up, sticking out a limo a la Richard Gere. I knew right from this description that they were going to have a heck of a wedding, but this is only the beginning. Zal had been a member of the Broadway Boys performance group, and Dana knew that he had convinced them to perform at the reception … but not that he was rehearsed and ready to perform a few song with them. At every moment this sense of whimsy and delight at marrying Dana was written in exclamation points on his face, and in every aspect of planning. I got more involved in the planning of the day than usual, helping not just with the schedule and some of the other vendor recommendations (such as our pal Paul Hairston on video) but also things like lighting design, and loved it because both of their excitement even carried through the logistics.

It doesn’t hurt that Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center is a beautiful, dramatic place to hold a wedding. It’s also big. Really big. We were wearing fitness bands that day, and I’m glad, since both Tatiana Breslow and I hit all-time records. We’d love to shoot there again for that cardiovascular fitness, if not for the beauty.

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Onteora Mountain House wedding: Crista and Robert

I’m not going to spend too much time here, because each word I write comes between you and the photos of this fantastic wedding for a few hundredths of a second. But a lot of people ask my advice for how to have a good wedding, and my advice is the same for a good relationship: If you’re having fun, most of the other stuff falls into place. This doesn’t mean that planning isn’t important — it’s not really so much fun to have a wedding in a field during a thunderstorm because you didn’t have a good plan — but it’s too easy to forget that having fun together comes first.

So yes, it’s pretty great that Crista and Robert chose the beautiful Onteora Mountain House for their wedding, and that the weather — while chilly — allowed everyone to enjoy the mountain views. It doesn’t hurt that Crista and Robert are basically action heroes, with Robert trained in every sort of theatrical movement and Crista … well, none of Crista’s bridesmaids even batted an eye when she started walking around on her hands. But what matters is how much fun everyone had together, how deep and boisterous and joyful the connections, from streaming tears to bendy backs on the dance floor. And it’s what we all remember.

Just as importantly, I remember how much fun I had in my own partnership, shooting this with the incredible Tatiana Breslow. I will never get over the fact that the woman I fell so deeply in love with happens to also be my favorite shooting partner out of everyone I’ve worked with, that our eyes and our choices are so in sync. We are going to be merging not only our lives but also our businesses, and I am so excited for this future on every level, and to show the world what we can do together. It’s going to be fun.

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Ici Restaurant wedding: Ayelet and Keston

The best way to drive home the importance of every aspect of a wedding is to plan one yourself. Next to that, photograph a wedding for a family you are connected to. With Ayelet and Keston’s wedding, I found both of these worlds colliding. Not only did I get to photograph this wedding with Tatiana Breslow, the talented photographer and extraordinary person I am planning to spend the rest of my life with, but Ayelet is the sister of one of Tatiana’s best friends, Inbal Sivan, another extremely talented wedding photographer (and also our neighbor).

In some ways the pressure was on — again we were working to the standards of wedding photographer clients, and we wanted to do the best we can for these wonderful people and a family that was so kind to us … but that sort of pressure is always on. Instead, by being such an integrated part of this wedding day, and with the wedding itself being so intimate, we felt like guests happily documenting the story before us. After all, not only were we the wedding photographers, but our apartment was the getting ready space, and we even stepped in for a bit as impromptu DJs at the end of the night. Being able to see weddings from the inside-out is a refreshing experience, and reminds us again how lucky we are to tell stories of emotion and lasting importance, and to fill our days with people like these. Congratulations Ayelet and Keston.

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