There were so many details and moments of Abby and Miles’ wedding day that made me wonder if I had walked into a fairytale. From the way everything looked, to the absolute magnificence of Abby’s gown, and most importantly- though it may sound cliche- Abby and Miles’ adoration for each other was so blindingly clear, it just seemed like a storybook love! Then there was the venue! Nicotra’s Ballroom, on its own, is an absolutely beautiful location, with gardens and gazebos, and the most wonderful staff. What took it from beautiful to magical, though, was Varda Thurm and her incredible talent with the flowers from Jerusalem Florist. The ceremony room looked and felt like a garden, yet is in a permanent tent. It was decorated with magnificent flowers, and the Chuppah area was made to look like it was in middle of a forest, and it was all put together fresh that day! Varda was a powerhouse all through the day, keeping everything running smoothly and injecting everything with her incredibly creative mind. The entire wedding day, from the very first moment of preparation to the energetic dancing to the DJ at the very end, was an epic proclamation of Abby and Miles’ dedication and love for each other. It was an honor to be there to capture it!
When I think back on Ma’ayan and Mikey’s wedding day, I honestly get giddy just remembering how wonderful it was. The theme of the day was family and it was beyond special to witness and be a part of.
Ma’ayan and Mikey’s wedding was planned and booked to be in Israel, where they live. Due to some medical complications with Mikey’s father, he was not able to travel to Israel to be at the wedding, so Ma’ayan and Mikey simply brought the wedding to him. That in itself should tell you the kind of people Ma’ayan and Mikey are. They brought an Israeli style wedding to Fairfield, Connecticut, and created a beautiful and meaningful venue in and around Mikey’s family home. Ma’ayan’s family from Israel stayed together with Mikey’s family at their home, and on the wedding day, everyone present chipped in and helped bring the day together. The camaraderie and the love felt on that day was more than just evident, it was palpable.
As much as I deeply appreciate the efforts and talents of all wedding vendors, there was something so wonderfully relaxing and special about how this wedding did not have any of that. The entire family took the place of all of the vendors, and while that certainly does not work all of the time, with this simplistic yet meaningful wedding, it was exactly right. The family fed off of the wonderful bride and groom, as did we! Ma’ayan and Mikey were so in sync, so relaxed and calm about everything. The wedding day just flowed so beautifully, and that was in no small way because of them. Their personalities would not be silenced, and I absolutely loved that about them! Ma’ayan had brought heels to wear for her special day, but decided comfort was key, and resorted to wearing her comfortable and worn in work boots all day. That did nothing to lessen how beautiful she looked in the heirloom gown that her grandmother, aunt and mother all wore on their wedding days. Each wore the same dress in a different configuration and each made it their own.
I will not apologize for going on endlessly about how amazing this wedding was, but I will take a breath while you look through the photos and see exactly what I was feeling on this perfect wedding day!
The Chuppah was built right outside the front door by the bride’s sister and brother, directed by the groom’s mother.
The father and sister of the bride bought flowers from a florist and created the arrangements themselves, the very morning of the wedding, and Mikey and his best friend Jeremy even built a ramp from the front door so his father could come out of the house easily. How special is that?
Having only just met Ma’ayan and Mikey, the connection we formed was a surprise but a blessing. The two of them even honored me by asking me to be a witness to the signing of their Ketubah. How many wedding photographers can say that?
It is not often that I manage to get a blog post out a few days after I have photographed a wedding, but I am so glad I managed with this one! Yoey and Aaron got married just a few days ago, on Memorial Day, at Anthony’s Pier 9 in New Windsor. I have captured a bunch of weddings at this venue, and the beautiful ceremony area never ceases to amaze me! Anthony’s Pier 9 transformed part of their venue into a rainforest-jungle-gardenesque space with trees and waterfalls, it is really something special. What I did not know about, until this wedding, was that there is a wonderful park called Plum Point Park right near the hall, and we thoroughly enjoyed taking some beautiful photos there!
Yoey and Aaron were the sweetest couple to capture, full of personality yet relaxed enough to go with the flow of the portraits, which allowed for some really spectacular moments captured! These two definitely enjoyed every moment of their special day, right up until the very end. After all of the usual wedding moments, ceremony, eating and dancing, the evening ended off with an epic dance party. DJ Ben Black, who is married to Aaron’s mother, DJ’d this awesome part of the wedding, which included incredible music, a dancing robot-smoke machine, and amazing dancing. What a way to end a really incredible wedding day!
The Wedding Team:
Event Planner- Yoey Sacks - The bride!
Venue and Food- Anthony’s Pier 9
Photography - Chaim Schvarcz and David Zimand
Florist- Flowers by David Anthony
Musical Entertainment - Rhythm 5 with Avrami Cohen
Videography - Halo Studios
Hair Stylist - Katy Kelly
Makeup Artist - Alana Schmidt
Gown Designer - Maggie Sottero
Let’s just acknowledge my nod in the title to my English brother, Shakespeare, and we can move right along. I do have some strong English pride that can’t be ignored!
It would be absolutely impossible for me to choose a moment of the wedding day that is my favorite. Each wedding has its own ebb and flow, moving to a unique rhythm that is based solely on the people and the feelings that surround each individual day. At one wedding, an emotional first dance may be my favorite part, and at another it might be the enthusiastic and fun portraits with the groom and his groomsmen. I can say, however, that I ALWAYS love when a couple does a first look. Here are some of the reasons why:
I love the excitement of a bride and groom seeing each other for the first time on the wedding day surrounded by family and friends. The first look, though, is normally done with just the two of them, and the closeness of that moment is always beautiful and striking. With no one around, the two can be intimate with each other in a way that is not usually done with everyone else around.
One of the toughest parts of photographing a wedding is the time restraints. If I could, I would spend all day with the bride, groom and their family and friends, having fun and capturing their interactions and emotions together. In fact, I think we should start having two separate days; The Wedding Day and The Wedding Portraits Day! Who’s with me?
When a couple chooses to do a first look, it usually happens early on in the day, leaving plenty of time for them to enjoy the moment, have portraits taken, loosen up and have fun! I have photographed couples in totally different locations than where the wedding is, all on the wedding day, because an early start allows us the opportunity to take couple portraits without the stress of time running out.
If you’ve read some of my other blog posts, you’ll notice a theme. Lighting. Is. EVERYTHING! As I mentioned above, the first look usually takes place early on the wedding day. The earlier the photos, the more of a chance we have of utilizing natural light! A lot of weddings go late into the night, and if couple portraits are left until halfway through the wedding, it is often at the tail end of daylight. I have chased the light for photos before, and would do it again, yet all of that can be avoided when the bride and groom choose to do their portraits before all of the craziness of the day sets in.
So, to sum all of this up, my feelings are very clear- what is the question?! If circumstances allow the bride and groom to do a first look on their wedding day, then they should DO IT! For ideas for some awesome first look photos for your wedding, reach out and let’s chat!
Every wedding that I have photographed elicits a different feeling, when thinking back on it. Some have one steady energy all the way through, like a constant stream of excitement. Others are a wave of different emotions, varying hour by hour, and I can recall feeling them all.
Josh and Michelle’s wedding triggers a deep warmth, a feeling of devotion. Their wedding was one of the most stirring I have photographed, if only because of how deeply you could see and feel the love that the two of them share.
The ‘first look’ on the wedding day is always a personal favorite, and this one was no exception. Josh and Michelle could not stop gazing at each other, reveling in the fact that their wedding day was finally here, and they could begin their lives together at last. When it was time for the Chuppah ceremony, it felt as though their emotions reached an apex. It was hard to keep my eyes dry as I watched Josh and his father share a deep and heartfelt moment. When Josh smashed the glass, he and Michelle embraced, and there was a collective sigh from everyone watching, witnessing the beginning of this great love story.