Karla and Greg were married on December 31st, with a ceremony and reception at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. I don’t often find myself in Philadelphia for weddings, but I always enjoy the trip. It really isn’t that far away, and it’s a chance to get out of my usual element!
When this New Year’s Eve wedding rolled around, it was blisteringly cold—10 degrees Fahrenheit! Thankfully, when I arrived at the Ritz Carlton to photograph Karla putting on the finishing touches, I was grateful to see that the plans were to stay stowed away inside the warm and expansive museum.
I was more than happy with staying inside when the venue had so many opportunities for photography. The main building had a bit of the Old World feeling to it, with all the romance that it brings to live in the past in those surroundings. And then across the street at a different building, the feeling changed to a more modern one with plenty of contemporary art—the perfect backdrop for a great band and a party that went all the way to the stroke of midnight to ring in the new year.
And for as impressive as the museum itself was, I was even more impressed with Karla and Greg. From the first look to the bridal portraits, these two were nothing but stunning. I especially loved the pictures of the two of them on the grand staircase of the museum. I was able to get plenty of perspectives that highlight the expansiveness of the space as well as the grandeur that these two embodied.
I also loved that Karla and Greg knew how to take care of their guests. Everyone got a beverage in the gallery before they were ushered into the ceremony space, with gorgeous high ceilings—which meant all the guests were warm and happy.
And of course, I have to give a shout-out to my friends at Frank Ahm Films from New York. They were on top of all the action, as always, and I loved working with them.
Karla and Greg, thank you for choosing me to help capture your celebration. I loved ringing in 2018 with the two of you!
Wedding Dress: Pronovias
Caterer: Starr Catering
Cake: Night Kitchen
Planning: Melissa Codkind, Initiatives Events
Videography: Frank Ahm Films
Paul and Dora were married on November 11th, with a ceremony at the St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Clifton and a reception at the Grove in Cedar Grove, New Jersey.
It was a perfect fall day—my favorite time for shooting weddings—when I got to Dora’s parents’ home. It’s a big tradition in Greek weddings to zip up the dress and place the veil in her childhood bedroom, so I made sure to capture that moment. Greek weddings are always so colorful and include rituals that are beautiful both to witness and to photograph, so I always love being asked to do them.
When we got to the St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Clifton, the white church transported us to somewhere that felt far away. The gorgeous venue was illuminated by the afternoon sun, which only contributed to the feeling of majesty.
Just before the sun hit the horizon, I was able to whisk Paul and Dora away to Verona Park. This is the best possible time for outdoor photos, when the light is soft, flattering, warm and especially romantic. And in the autumn, the trees pick up the golden sunset. Even though we didn’t have a ton of time, these images were some of my favorites.
We arrived at the Grove, a venue I’d never had the pleasure of photographing before, and I immediately loved the spacious lobby and ballroom. There is nothing like a New Jersey cocktail hour, and the Grove was no exception. I would have been excited to have their cocktail hour as my own wedding reception!
Since there were many Greek family members in attendance at the reception, at the very first beat of a Greek song from the DJ, a circle of people spontaneously erupted upon the dance floor with great spirit. And toward the end of the night, I was highly entertained as people really started to let loose the closer we got to the final song. I had so many options for angles to cover this vibrant celebration thanks to the huge ballroom and staircase, and I enjoyed myself finding new ways to cover this party.
This wedding was also the inaugural event for our new photo booth offering. With a booth technician to keep things moving smoothly, Dora and Paul’s friends had a ton of fun with all the amazing props! It’s a great way to get silly pictures of your guests in addition to normal coverage—and for people to leave with their own prints in hand.
Dora & Paul, thank you for asking me to be part of your vivacious wedding. It’s so nice to work with such a warm couple, and I’m grateful that you were able to show me such beautiful locations.
My 2018 wedding season is already well underway, with weddings at the St. Regis and University Club coming up. I can’t wait to work with all the couples in this coming year. But first, I wanted to finish remembering last year’s—and Paul and Dora aren’t the last wedding. There’s still more to come!
Florist – River Dell Flowers
Katy and Zach were married on December 2nd, with a ceremony and reception at the Fresh Meadow Country Club.
This was my first time to this location, so I set out on the Long Island Expressway and arrived early to have a look around. I knew it would be a great day when I saw the beautiful club with lots of grounds for photography, so I was feeling great when I headed up to join Katy as she finished her hair and makeup.
After a reveal for Katy’s dad, we went out on the course for a first look with Zach. It was a bit of a hike out to where Zach was for someone in high heels, but it made for a dramatic shot from a distance, and those ended up being some of my favorite images of the day. I could step away and photograph with longer lenses, which allowed them to enjoy the moment without feeling like I was imposing.
We grabbed a few more portraits while we still had the light to work with. The early sundown times in winter can sometimes mean we’re running right up against the end of daylight for outdoor portraits, but I actually think this is by far the best part of the day and works in our favor. The light is soft and always flattering.
Soon, the buzz of family members arriving summoned us inside, where we took family portraits in front of the gorgeous chuppah, created by Designs by Ahn. The ceremony was held under the chuppah lit by candlelight; I loved the warm ambiance there.
I was blown away by the floral designers’ work, especially the way the ceiling floral element framed Zach and Katy during their first dance. The venue was covered in flowers, which perfectly suited the season and space. With low and high centerpieces and tall candles, the whole venue had a romantic feel—the perfect setting for the Atomic Funk Project to get a party rolling.
Katy & Zach, I loved shooting your engagement session in Brooklyn and documenting your beautiful winter wedding. Thank you so much for having me as part of your day.
Planner: Leah Weinberg, Color Pop Events
Florist: Designs by Ahn
Stationary: Marissa Allie Designs
Hair: Jay Braff
Makeup: Raffaela Hendrick
Band: Atomic Funk Project
Video: Tweed Video
Wedding Dress: Monique Lhullier
Bride’s Shoes: Alexandre Birman