Claudia & Kim | Central Park Anniversary Photoshoot

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Kimberly and Claudia were two Texas brides that eloped to New York City last year to get married in Central Park. This year they returned to NYC for their anniversary, and called me to do an anniversary shoot for them back where they tied the knot. It was so great to see them again! Like last year, the women used James Toribio for their hair and makeup, who did such a good job (he doesn’t have a website – yet! – but I give my brides his contact info).

Happy anniversary, ladies! It was so great to see you again.

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Matt and Todd | NYC Elopement Photographer | Same-Sex Wedding Photographer

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Matt and Todd had a commitment ceremony in South Carolina years ago, and in May, they eloped to NYC on their anniversary to make it legal. They were accompanied by a small handful of friends and family, including their pals who were getting married the following day. It was a weekend of weddings for these two. The whole crew celebrated by tossing flower petals on the newlyweds as they exited. Our luck was stellar in the Marriage Bureau office – we were in and out so quickly!

After their City Hall ceremony, we walked around taking wedding photos in lower Manhattan, and I walked them right to where they are having lunch at Church Publick.

Congratulations Matt and Todd! I am so happy I was able to capture your wedding day.

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Jennifer and Simon | Central Park Intimate Wedding | NYC

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This is part of Jennifer’s email to me when she inquired about having me photograph their wedding:

“SimonĀ & I just went through the visa process to bring him to Los Angeles, from Melbourne. NYC is like another home to both us, so we decided to run off to the City to get married. We are best friends and confidants. We’ve supported each other through some of the hardest things in life and now we want to be with each other through the best.

We like simple. We like low stress. We like being happy.”

Well. Me too.

I met Jennifer as she was doing her hair at the Roger Smith Hotel. Simon got ready at the hotel around corner, and then we went back to the Roger Smith for their first look in the lobby and headed out as a group from there.

Their vision for the day was to walk from the Roger Smith and head north on foot for the the two and a half miles to their chosen wedding site in Central Park: the Shakespeare Garden. Along the way we would stop for fun photos, creating a “joyful fuss” as I like to call it, with New Yorkers and tourists alike calling out their congratulations as we strolled past. It was fun and relaxed; we paused whenever there was a good spot to take a photo, the weather was perfect, and everyone was excited and happy.

The legalities were taken care of the day before, so they had all of the siblings performing readings and vows before declaring them husband and wife in one of the sweetest most family-oriented ceremonies I’ve seen. Afterward I scouted a great tucked away corner of Central Park for their wedding picnic, and we took a few family photos before I left.

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Instant Photography Gratification | NYC Elopements | Brooklyn Weddings

A fun thing I like to do at weddings and elopements is snap a photo with my iPhone and text it to the couple right away. It’s totally free, takes hardly any time, and makes people really happy.

By getting an emailed photo from me, you can change your marital status on Facebook right away with a giddy visual while you wait the few weeks for your wedding photos. This is especially awesome if you’re having an elopement and your friends don’t know you were planning to get hitched. I’ve also snapped them for proposals.

I take these specifically with my phone instead of the clients for two important reasons. One, I love to share via Instagram. I’m an old skool user, having snagged an account in 2010 right after they launched and still maintain the original spirit of “mobile phone only” photos on my account. Two, I’ve invested in some of the more expensive, nitty-gritty editing apps that give me more control and better results.

It’s so fun to get texts back later that say, “We are a hit on Facebook!” or “Everyone is so excited to see us right away!” and I love being able to do this for the amazing couples that hire me to photograph their weddings.

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Bill and Debbie | Brooklyn Elopement Photographer

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When Bill emailed me to see if I was available to photograph his Brooklyn elopement to Debbie, he sent along this snapshot of the two of them so I could see their fun side. That is, in fact, a vibrator strapped to his arm. They were dressed up as 80′s songs for a Halloween party; he was 1984′s “Everything She Wants” by Wham! and she was “Devil Inside” by INXS from 1987.

I was pretty excited to meet them.

Two friends came along to their Brooklyn Bridge Park elopement, where Judie Guild officiated their ceremony. Right as they were getting into place, a tiny dog trotted up to wish them well.

During their vows, Bill surprised Debbie with one of her favorite songs being played via iPhone while he held up the lyrics on pre-written cards, Bob Dylan style. After they were officially husband and wife we walked across the park taking photos with the iconic Brooklyn Bridge + Lower Manhattan skyline in the background. Then we hopped on the East River Ferry to head across the water to Manhattan. It was a quick ride, but we managed to snap a few photos during it; my favorite is Bill holding down Debbie’s dress.

Once we were in Manhattan there, we went down the few blocks from the pier to Fraunces Tavern where everyone said “cheers!” with a drink (this is the place to go if you like history and beer; they have 18 craft brews on tap in additio to their really fun cocktail menu).

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James and Libby | Intimate Wedding | Central Park

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James and Libby came to New York City with their family to have an intimate wedding ceremony in Central Park, officiated by Judie Guild. They opted for my mini elopement package (it works for intimate weddings with a small handful of guests, too). I met them in a grove where they selected a spot to have their ceremony, and then we walked towards the Mall of Central Park for wedding portraits. They got married in mid-March, and this was the last time I saw snow on the ground.

Libby told me that the guys lifting the bride up was an English thing. I hadn’t heard this but found it hilarious, and was relieved when no one dropped her. I dig that she managed to still hold her bouquet and look completely dignified. I am almost certain I would have fallen.

Her dress was fantastic. I love how “twirly” it is, and James didn’t resist giving her a spin when a huge group of onlookers spotted them walking and cheered for a spin-and-kiss. This is what happens if you elope to New York City! The residents love a happy couple. Congratulations James and Libby! Come visit New York again soon.

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Adam and Marisa | Central Park Elopement Photographer

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These two Portland, OR natives sneaked off to New York City for a fun weekend get-away, and while they were here they got married in a secret elopement! I was on hand as sole witness to them tying the knot; they shared the good news after by calling and texting friends and family (and changing their Facebook statuses, of course).

I went to their room at the St. Regis Hotel to start the day, where Marisa was getting ready with the help of makeup artist Amanda Thesen. Amanda helped her slip into her gorgeous gown and pin her veil into place. I adore these “getting ready” shots. Maybe it’s my girly side, but I think they are so special to have. This is usually what “getting ready” photos are; I don’t need to be on hand when you’re brushing your teeth, but towards the end of you getting your makeup done is usually a great time for me to arrive and get those anticipatory primping shots.

Adam was at the bar waiting for me. I helped set them up for an emotional first look in the gorgeous lobby, and then we went out to the street where their ride pulled up.

They traveled in style, in a 1961 vintage Rolls Royce (featuring an ice bucket of champagne – my favorite part), driven by M&V Limo. Our driver had us laughing with his old school New York City commentary and fantastic personality. We arrived at Central Park and I navigated them over to the Ladies’ Pavillion for their ceremony, beautifully officiated by Suanne Bonan. Pedicabs helped us back to the street, where cruised in the limo down to Greenwich Village for photos before I dropped them off at Gotham Bar and Grill to have a romantic post-wedding dinner for two.

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Josh and Josie | NYC Elopement Photographer

 

Josh and Josie eloped to New York City during a chilly day in late winter. We started at the Hudson Hotel where I helped Josie into her dress, and then they did a giddy first look in the lobby. The Hudson has a lot of interesting locations for an outdoor ceremony, but the cold weather had us thinking indoors would be better. We opted for the indoor lounge area, and they got married by the roaring fireplace, officiated by a familiar friendly face on this blog: officiant Judie Guild.

We jumped into a cab after to head to the Late Show. Fulfilling Josh’s years-long dream, they scored tickets to a David Letterman taping that night – a cool way to kick off a honeymoon! They posed under the iconic blue and yellow awning, and then it was back in the cab downtown. They wanted walk across the Brooklyn Bride for wedding photos. I pointed out that over the East River the wind would be especially brutal, but the newlyweds were feeling brave. I was especially worried about Josie’s exposed shoulders which she bared for a few shots, after which she hastily shrugged right back into her wrap. I absolutely love how these photos turned out, and I’m so glad we did them.

We made it across the bridge and ducked into a Starbucks for tea and a snack before walking around DUMBO and taking some final wedding portraits in Brooklyn.

Josie’s faux fur wrap was such a fun, classic touch to her elopement dress, and was just the thing for this chilly day (I think she said it was from H&M. Other brides take note.) Her sweet bouquet of orange tulips was made that morning from bodega* flowers around the corner, and they popped spectacularly against her white dress, brown wrap, and the steel and brick of the City.

Congratulations Josh and Josie!

* for out-of-towners, a bodega is what NYCers call the ubiquitous convenience stores throughout the boroughs. They often sell lotto tickets, beer, snacks, fruit, and many have a resident cat that can be found snoozing on a stack of newspapers. There are often fantastic flowers for sale too, and I’ve had more than one eloping bride make an impromptu bouquet from them.

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Derek and Vanessa | Destination Wedding Photographer | Rincon, Puerto Rico

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Derek and Vanessa’s destination wedding to Puerto Rico came in the middle of February, which is precisely when this photographer (and just about every other New Yorker) wants to be on a tropical island. My big rule for out of town weddings is “get there early”, so I arrived for their Saturday wedding on Wednesday. It was a good thing; on Thursday I was sprawled in a beach chair, beer in hand, watching the news as a huge snowstorm pummeled New York City.

Derek and Vanessa gathered with about 40 friends and family for an intimate beach ceremony just outside the private residence they rented for the occasion, and afterward we headed the short walk down to the hotel Villa Cofresi for their legendary gigantic coconut drinks first and dinner after.

Coincidentally, I was staying at the Villa Cofresi, and every evening I would walk by this huge empty patio going unused. The bar was noisy and crowded but this second-floor outdoor patio was spacious and gorgeous, so it seemed like a much more ideal spot to hang out with the wedding guests. I asked Derek and Vanessa if they would mind me slightly changing their cocktail hour plans. They were fine with it, so the day before the wedding I tracked down the manger and got her to agree to let us use it – for free, too! They even made sure there were chairs and tables for us. I’m so happy that the guests had a great place to relax and unwind after the ceremony, and I love the way the photos came out.

Their five year old daughter served as flower girl, and delivered one of the sweetest wedding moments I’ve photographed. No one had told her to fling the petals from her basket, so she very properly padded out onto the sand, selected ONE flower, and gently laid it on the path before skipping to her dad for a kiss.

They exchanged their vows right on the ocean and we were able to walk over to drinks and then dinner just as the sun was setting and the pelicans were diving for their supper.

Congratulations Derek and Vanessa! I’m so happy I was able to photograph your beautiful beach wedding.

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Steven and Zia | Destination Elopement Photographer | Vermont Elopement

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I’ll soon be there with snow,
I’ll wash my hair with snow…

There is one song you must sing when you’re on an Amtrak train heading to Vermont for a destination elopement. Unlike the disappointed four travelers in A White Christmas, however, we arrived in Bellows Falls to a wonderful sprinkling of snow for Steven and Zia’s Vermont elopement.

They met met during the chaos that New York City turned into when Hurricane Sandy hit and she was stranded shower-less. They were strangers who had friends in common, and after walking up eleven floors to his apartment for a shower, they ended up talking all night.

I stayed in the Readmore Inn with them; a huge, gorgeous old house turned into a Bed and Breakfast. It was like sleeping in the movie Clue, complete with parlors that had fireplaces, sherry, and a grandfather clock that “bonged!” on the hour.

We started their wedding day with Zia putting on her dress and slipping into her vintage 80′s orange shoes. They did a first look in the front vestibule of the mansion and then Dorothy, who both runs the bed and breakfast and is ordained by the state of Vermont, performed their sweet ceremony in the ladies parlor by the fireplace.

After their elopement, they cut their tiny wedding cake and toasted each other (the wedding cake was chocolate and absolutely amazing, also made by Dorothy who can, apparently, do everything.) Then we ventured outside.

“It was cold” is an understatement; the air was so frigid it made my lungs hurt, but the snow made everything feel magic. Jim’s Arcade was our first stop, where Steven and Zia played Whack-a-Gator, skeeball, and made baskets to win tickets. They played a round of pool, and then we celebrated with pizza and beer, followed by everyone falling asleep after one of the sweetest, coziest elopements ever.

Late that night we retired to the gentleman’s parlor which adjoins, and Zia read my tarot cards by the fireplace while we sipped sherry. It was a magical weekend.

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