[Wedding] Sam & Chris – Liberty House in Jersey City, NJ

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When I arrived at Samantha’s suite on the morning of her wedding, there was an assorted pile of wedding items sitting in the corner: a few jewelry pieces, her flower bouquet, a little note that Chris had written her, and an old photo of what appears to be two very young adults rocking out with with their hands in the air and colorful sunglasses on their young faces. 

“It’s a photo from when we first met.” Sam laughed. “I think it might have been a rave.”

I examined the deliriously happy faces in the photograph. You could see so much joy in their chemistry and body language together; the fireworks between them was just as palpable as it was inevitable. It also seemed wholly appropriate that their lives had come full-circle: their story together was serendipitously conceived at a party, and this next chapter in their lives would be ushered in with yet another one. Both celebrations would be special in their own right, and both would of course happen on their own terms.

As their wedding photographer, I’ve lost count the number of times we’ve had to reschedule Sam & Chris’ wedding at the Liberty House. But if there’s one thing we love about Sam & Chris, they decided early on that this wedding celebration wasn’t simply about them: it was about all the special people in their lives who could share this day with them, in a safe, well-coordinated manner. All said, Sam & Chris were able to have their proverbial wedding cake and eat it too, by kicking off our very first “full” wedding in this semi post-COVID world (replete with masks, social distancing, covid tests and vaccines). Rescheduling a wedding with so many moving parts is certainly no small feat, but we’re thoroughly impressed that these two were able to pull it off, and we were honored to have played a small role in it :).

Venue: Liberty House Restaurant & Events // Officiant: Nadia Ganguly // Hair: Marisa Strazza // Make-up: Mary Belford // Dress: Kelly Faetanini // Shoes: Nina // Hairpiece: Ulyana Aster // Groom’s attire: Men’s Wearhouse // Floral/Décor: JR Floral Designs // Entertainment: On The Move Entertainment // Favors: Philadelphia Pretzel Company // Cinematography: Willow Tree Films 

[Wedding] Anita & Ashwin – Philadelphia, PA

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“Do you have any marriage advice for us?” Anita & Ashwin asked, as we made our way into Center City for their wedding photos. Our newly married couple was Philadelphia’s newest husband-and-wife, freshly minted at the groom’s home church merely an hour ago. In all my years of documenting weddings, I get asked many questions – usually pertaining to timelines and shooting locations. However, this question was certainly a first, and I was just as indubitably honored as I was mildly apprehensive about doling out sage marriage advice (in all honesty, Karis and I are just figuring this stuff out as we go along). But nevertheless, this is what I told them:

“I want you guys to remember today, and all the love that you have for each other at this very moment. There will come day in your marriage when you’ll disagree, and you might even want to kill each other. But it’s at those times, I want you to remember this day; where all was right with the world, and there existed a time in your lives when you have all this incredible love for each other. Reminding yourself, that at the end of the day, you’ll always be coming from a place of love, that you guys are in this together – this is the most important thing you’ll need to remember if you want a successful marriage.”

“Yeup. And it’s okay to go to bed angry.” Karis chimes in from the back seat. “I go to bed angry all the time!”

We all laughed.

(Did I also mention that a sense of humor was also important?) 

[Wedding] The Bowery Hotel in New York, NY

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A last minute scramble to put together a wedding appears to be common theme for many of our couples this year; for some, it’s an “appetizer” of sorts – a ceremony now, with the “main course” scheduled for whenever we humans find ourselves in a better place, hopefully in healthier times. For others, it’s the whole shebang – which happens to be my favorite kind of shebang. But whatever the case may be, our clients just can’t wait to be officially married, the coronavirus be damned. #aintgottimeforthat. 

Blair & Nick are both front-line workers in NYC who recently decided they were no longer going to wait for this pandemic to be over, and hosted an incredibly gorgeous intimate celebration with just their immediate family in attendance. After a quick stop by the South Street Seaport for their wedding photos, we were greeted with a visual treat at their “wedding reception”, filled with the warmth and color of the dozens (and dozens) of candles throughout the room. Seriously – what a gorgeous way to celebrate this next chapter in your lives!

Venue – The Bowery Hotel // Catering – Gemma // Planner – Laura Remmert

[Wedding] Michelle & AJ – Northern NJ

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Despite the hardships that we’ve all had to endure this past year, we in the wedding industry have noticed a silver lining amidst all this: smaller weddings. Though I’m sure we’ll soon return to packed dance floors within the next few years, for the moment we are fully relishing in the intimate celebrations with immediate family and very close friends – without the frills, without the fluff, and focusing on the stuff that truly matters: family, love, and family traditions. These microweddings accomplish exactly just that. Michelle & AJ recently tied the knot back in their hometown, in the company of their family and friends, and I don’t think it could’ve been any more beautiful!

[Wedding] Irene & Cory – Reeves-Reed Arboretum in Summit, NJ

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“Figure out a path forward.” This has been my mantra these past eight months, against the backdrop of an unrelenting global pandemic as well as a raucous geo-political climate. Amidst this chaos, life goes on, as it must; for any semblance of normalcy that would give us hope that brighter days are just ahead, is essential not only for our own mental health, but for humankind as well. 

Irene & Cory are two such individuals who have figured out their paths forward, together. With their wedding plans dashed this year, like so many others, they opted for a smaller, intimate ceremony with their immediate family instead. Huddled under a tent (safely distanced, of course) on the gorgeous grounds of Reeves-Reed Arboretum, Irene & Cory poured tea for their parents, and exchanged their vows under a make-shift chuppah, in honor of their respective blended cultures. In a year which has been filled with uncertainty, there is one thing of which I am certain: these two absolutely did everything the right way. Not only was their celebration beautiful and heartfelt for everyone in attendance, it was done with the utmost regard for everyone’s health & safety. With COVID-fatigue setting in for most folks around the world, it was incredibly refreshing to watch these folks have their cake and eat it too – and nobody got COVID as a result :). We can’t wait to see what life has in store for these two, and wish wish these two a lifetime of love, health, and happiness :).

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