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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Midtown Loft and Terrace Wedding: Patrick and Lisa

How do you know a couple is really serious about this whole “together forever” thing? Three words: wedding ring tattoos.

If nothing else about Lisa and Patrick’s wedding was extraordinary, it would still have been one of my favorite quick stops in 450 or so weddings. Their gorgeous style presented an incredible juxtaposition against the calculatedly rough interior of the tattoo shop, but it was their sweet expressions during the process that got me. This is more than ink, this is the mark of a new life.

Then you add the hundreds of other touches that they put in to make sure that this wedding stood out: A 007 theme complete with ice luge and baccarat table (along with someone to explain to uncultured louts like myself how to play baccarat); wedding vows delivered by drone (which amazingly did not end in disaster, despite the rooftop ceremony); cake cut with a samurai sword, complete with lessons about how to draw a katana while wearing a tuxedo, and on and on. Tatiana Breslow and I had an absolute ball with this day and are so happy we can share it with you.