Tracey and John were married on November 11th, with a ceremony at Bethany Baptist Church and a reception at the Newark Museum in New Jersey.
I began with Tracey and the ladies at the Element Hotel in Harrison, New Jersey, while the guys finished their final preparations at the Hilton Newark Penn Station. Tracey finished up by reading a touching letter from her soon-to-be husband before we caravanned over to Liberty State Park, where they would see each other for the first time.
I hadn’t had the chance to meet the bride and groom before the wedding, so the first time I saw them together was the first look. Immediately, their magnetism was evident, and we quickly forgot about the blistering cold out by the waterfront. Actually, the weather even worked to our advantage, because the park was completely empty, and the sky was crisp and colorful. The images of the first look were my favorite because of the power of the moment as well as the low, flattering afternoon light that added such warmth to the pictures.
As the sun set, we made our way into Newark for the ceremony at the Bethany Baptist Church. Now, there are parts of every wedding that are the most memorable. Sometimes it’s the party, and sometimes it’s the portraits. But for this wedding, it was by far that ceremony. The sanctuary was packed full of friends there to cheer them on, and I loved the atmosphere. Their loved ones performed music, and they wrote personal vows that had everyone clutching a tissue.
From there, we made our way to the Newark Museum, where the reception was set in a grand space with high ceilings that made it feel like a society event in a movie. John sang with members of an acapella choir from his alma mater along with his best man—a beautiful moment that added a personal touch to the reception by uniting John’s past with his new life with Tracey.
John & Tracey, thank you for letting me be part of your love story. It was an amazing experience!
Event Planner/Design: Virginia Grace
Caterer: Frungillo Caterers
Florist: Laurel Society
Stationary: The bride. Instagram: @papertrace
Makeup: Christopher Michael
Officiant: 2/ Father Charles Fischer Pastor Timothy Jones
Band/DJ: The Legendary Chris Washington
Video: First Day Films firstdayfilms.com
Wedding Dress: designer: Matthew Christopher, Panache Bridal
Bride’s Shoes: Alchimia Di Ballin
Bridesmaids Dresses: Jenny Yoo
Veil: Lovely Bride
Groom’s Attire: Suit Supply custom tuxedo
Ayana and Chris were married on October 27th, with a ceremony at the Church of St. Mark’s Episcopal and a reception at the Palm House at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
I started out the day with Ayana at the Nu Hotel as she got ready before the first look. There was a great spirit in the room already, so I knew I was in for a fun day. It wasn’t long before we made our way to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for the first look and portraits, where we met up with Christopher. I always love shooting around the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, especially around the staircase that seems to lead up into the sky.
From there, we made our way to the beautiful Church of St. Mark’s Episcopal for a rousing ceremony, filled with laughter and well-wishes. The intimacy of the space created a tight community atmosphere, and the colorful sermon had everyone excited and responsive, which is always fun to photograph. This was definitely my favorite part of the whole day.
When we got to the Palm House for the reception, I was stunned by all of the renovations they’d made! The space has a clean, airy feel with all of the new fixtures, carpets, and walls. And the dance floor lit up immediately with Caribbean music, highlighting the background of the bride and groom.
Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that this wedding allowed me to work with some of my favorite people in the area. Christine & Tara from Exquisite Affairs Productions split up to manage the flow of the day and make sure we all made it on time to the church. And John and the team from First Day Films are always easy to work with; I’ve had the pleasure of doing weddings with them for years.
Thank you, Ayana & Christopher for having me as part of your wedding day. I can’t wait to put together your beautiful album!
Planner: Exquisite Affairs Productions
Caterer: Patina Restaurant Group at BBG
Stationary: Type and Love Paperie
Florist: Atlas Floral Decorators
Hair & Makeup: Mia Farah Beautique
DJ: DJ Trauma
Videography: First Day Films
Transportation: Silver Star, Brownin & Luxor