This New York couple had an increasingly popular style of wedding that is a cross between a traditional intimate wedding and an elopement. It’s a… wed-opement! Further breaking with tradition: they got married on a Monday, and started at 7:30 in the morning, creating a radical party time frame for them and their guests while most of the City was sitting behind their desks.
I am here for this.
Allison and Will got ready together at the Ludlow Hotel, who gave them a room with a sunroom attached that Ellen and Najeebah from Face the Day used to do Allison’s hair and makeup. Friends and family came bearing much-needed coffee (and, ahem, flasks) while they got ready.
We traveled via cabs to City Hall where they got married, and then the newlyweds and I went to the Sixth Street and Avenue B Community Garden for a portrait session. Everyone met back up again at a bar next door to where their reception was being held while we waited until it was time to go over.
Alder is a restaurant located in the East Village owned by Chef Wylie Dufresne, who created an amazing canapés + four-course tasting menu for Allison and Will. The food was incredible, and it was quite the experience to meet Chef Wylie in person – he’s larger than life!
A fun note: Will has the distinction of being my very first groom to rock a kilt, and I think he looked so dapper.
Congrats to Allison and Will!
Last month I photographed a beautiful classic Manhattan wedding at Studio 450. Between the planner, Ariel Perryman of Hold Your Hand Events, and the Riviera caterers from Brooklyn who were impressively awesome, I felt like I was part of a great team. Of course, Robyn and Terrence are amazing – plus their families can DANCE! – and I’m so grateful to have been a part of their day.
We started getting ready with the girls at an Air BnB a few blocks away from the venue. This idea is so brilliant. You have to work a little harder to find just the right space to get ready in, but when you find one, it saves you a ton of money over a hotel room, plus it lets you live like a local while you’re visiting a new city.
The details at their event were thoughtful: the groom wore a memorial boutonniere with a photo of him and his late mother on it, and his sister wore a daisy pin on her bridesmaid dress in memory of her, too. His hilarious Vans shoes featured his favorite character: Snoopy!
After being pronounced husband and wife everyone danced the night away, and the newlyweds cut into a delicious cake by Baked (I will gleefully take credit for this suggestion – their not-too-sweet frosting is soooo good.)
I got this sweet email from them after they got their photos:
Thank you so much our family and friends had a blast and it really shows in your photos! You did an amazing job of capturing us and our family at our happiest and we thank you so much for that!
You are welcome, Robyn and Terrence. Congratulations!
p.s. If you’d like to see, here are their engagement photos.
Alina and Brian are an amazing couple. Throughout their entire wedding process, from our first meeting to the end of the night at their wedding when they squashed me up in a HUGE hug, I felt truly honored to be photographing their wedding.
Their incredible Jewish community of friends was large and loving, and there were multiple horas and awesome dancing all night long! There was also a LOT of singing: at the Tish, bedeken, at the chuppah, and all throughout the reception. It was so joyful.
Talking about the weather is kind of boring normally, but the weather this day was SO WEIRD that I have to point it out. We had bright, beautiful sun, a huge rain storm that rolled in, and temperatures that fluctuated dozens of degrees in a matter of a couple of hours. It was quite the weather to contend with, but these two made the best of it and I couldn’t be happier for them.
Their loose theme was “elegant dinosaur”, and the funniest way they nodded to this was with brontosaurs figures dressed up as bride and groom that went on their ice cream wedding cake as cake toppers. I took them outside afterwards to pose them in the grass for some “glamour shots”.
When I started photographing weddings I had a lot to figure out, but one thing I knew for certain was that a hallmark of my business would be that it was “inclusive to a degree beyond lip service”. Never would a couple find my website, flip through it and wonder “is she alright with us being gay, trans*, queer?” Inclusiveness has been woven into the fabric of everything I do since day one.
During that time I have marched the streets of New York City calling for marriage equality, written letters to congress, and sought to change hearts with loving words and kindness. I’ve photographed so many same-sex couples eloping to New York enjoying marriage equality since we got it in 2011 that I’ve lost count of how many. Many times I asked them “What happens when you go back to your home state?” and, until 2013 when DOMA was overturned, the answer often was, “We won’t be married any more unless we come visit New York again,” a fact that was overwhelmingly sad for me. I would press my hands into theirs and say, “Don’t worry. We’ll get there someday.” Then we got DOMA overturned, but people still had to leave their home states to get married and have recognition on a federal level, and weren’t protected state-to-state. We still said, “Close, but not yet. Someday.”
Congratulations to all of the amazing same-sex couples I’ve photographed over the past five years, on being full and equal in the eyes of the law of our nation. I imagine this means that same-sex elopements to New York are on the decline, but I don’t mind! On a personal note, this means that *I* am getting married later this year, in a country where everyone can. Equally. When my future husband and I realized this, we started crying all over again!
I am overjoyed.
I got the “safe shot” during the family photos: three sisters in a row, clutching bouquets, two bridesmaids flanking their oldest sister in in her wedding gown. Gorgeous. Perfect.
“Let’s do one without the bouquets,” I said. The flowers were passed over to others, and the sisters looked at me expectantly.
“Now just… hold each other.” I instructed.
Six freckled arms immediately intertwined and three ginger heads bumped together, as I imagine they have for dozens of previous photos, at graduations, birthday parties, on family vacations, and on sunny Saturdays in the backyard in the middle of summer in the 90’s. Everyone got teary-eyed; you can see it in the photo. (This photographer will admit to getting a bit misty, too.)
I love doing unexpected portraits like this, and that even in the parts of the day that can be routine (Now the bridesmaids! Now the groomsmen! Now the couple with mom and dad!), I have the opportunity to take an extra minute – because my clients trust me, so they let me – to unearth something extra special like this.
Gah! Aren’t they so sweet?