Thank You Card

September 19, 2012

I love being a wedding photographer. But even more, I love making people so happy!

I received this in the mail this week:

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Bluemont Vineyard Wedding: Congratulations Caitlin & Timothy!

September 13, 2012

Caitlin & Timothy were married on a beautiful late summer day.

Bluemont Vineyard Wedding Photography

Caitlin got ready for the day, with the help of her sister, at her parents’ home in Vienna.

The ceremony was held at Saint Mark Catholic Church.

I asked Caitlin and Tim what their favorite moments were from the day:

Tim said, “My favorite moment of the day was seeing Caitlin walk down the aisle. We decided not to do a first look because we both wanted that feeling of seeing each other for the first time in the church. We are both terrible at keeping secrets from each other but Caitlin managed to keep all details about her dress, hair, and make-up a surprise until I saw her walking towards me. I will forever remember and be moved by how incredibly beautiful Caitlin was on that day, surpassing my wildest expectations.”

Caitlin said, “My favorite moment of the day was when Tim and I stood up in front of all our guests and said our vows. I thought  I would be so nervous that I wouldn’t repeat the vows correctly. I felt totally calm looking at Tim and meaning every word I said.”

After the ceremony all the guests took a trip to the picturesque Bluemont Vineyard in Bluemont, Virginia.

Bluemont Vineyard Wedding Photography

Bluemont Vineyard Wedding Photography

Bluemont Vineyard Wedding Photography

The landscape was absolutely beautiful. And what a gorgeous couple!

Bluemont Vineyard Wedding Photography

Bluemont Vineyard Wedding Photography Bluemont Vineyard Wedding Photography

Bluemont Vineyard Wedding Photography

Bluemont Vineyard Wedding Photography

Bluemont Vineyard Wedding Photography

Bluemont Vineyard Wedding Photography

Bluemont Vineyard Wedding Photography

The bride is a talented graphic designer with great taste.

Caitlin shared some details about the group effort that led to such a beautiful wedding, “Tim, my family, friends, and I made everything used at the wedding (excluding the floral arrangements and draping). My sister did the calligraphy on the escort cards, hand dyed and sewed the table runners. My Aunt Michelle put together the welcome bags for the hotel, the playlist for cocktail hour, and the slideshow that played throughout the wedding on an iPad.  My mom hand addressed the invitations and made the ceremony programs. My friend Max made all of the graphics and paper goods (save the dates, invitations, and hand illustrated the guestbook). Tim and I made the homemade vanilla extract and table numbers and stained the boxes the centerpieces were in. My parents returned from a 2-year overseas assignment in Manama, Bahrain, a couple weeks before the wedding. Bahrain is a small island country off the coast of Saudi Arabia.  On their return flight home, my mom hand carried in her suitcase 60+ pashminas to give as favors to the female guests.”

Bluemont Vineyard Wedding Photography

Caitlin and Timothy shared their first dance to Ingrid Michaelson’s Can’t Help Falling in Love.

Bluemont Vineyard Wedding Photography

Bluemont Vineyard Wedding Photography

Congratulations Caitlin & Timothy!

Special Thanks to the team:
Photography by Jessica Schmitt and Eric Swartz
Flowers: Holly Heider, Chapple Flowers
DJ: Kevin O’Donahue, Kirkabee Deejays
Caterer: Savoir Faire Limited
Ceremony Location: Saint Mark Catholic Church
Veil: Trousseau,
Venue: The Stables at Bluemont Vineyard
Cakes:  Taylor Made Cakes
Groomsmen suits: Sarar
Wedding Gown: Casablanca Bridal, White Swan Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses: Adrianna Papell, Nordstrom
Getting Ready Robes: Etsy’s Silkandmore

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Wedding on Fire Island: Congratulations Faye & David

September 4, 2012

Faye and David were married on Fire Island, right off the south coast of Long Island.

The bride’s dress hung with the three flower girls dresses while everyone was getting their hair and makeup done.

This day was particularly special for me because two of my favorite people were at the center of the wedding. Jennie, the maid of honor, is one of my very best friends, and her amazing sister, Faye, was the bride. I LOVE YOU GUYS!

Here, Jennie helps Faye into her wedding dress.

Faye’s cousin, Emery, made this gorgeous necklace for this gorgeous bride.

David stands anxious and excited for the ceremony to begin, next to the Chuppah.

The bride’s three nieces walked down the aisle as the adorable flower girls.

I asked Faye what her favorite moment was from the day. She answered, “I think the part of my wedding day that I will always remember is when I walked out onto the sand and noticed everyone lining the aisle. I was overwhelmed by all those smiling faces, filled with love, shining on me. Our ceremony was so beautifully realized by my amazing friend, Ernest!”

Faye is a prop designer on Broadway and David is a photographer. They are truly one of a kind, creative, wild and free spirits. Their personalities were reflected in the island they chose for their wedding day, full of sun, crashing waves and unique sights.

One sight, in particular, I will never forget. Just as David and Faye prepared to see each other for their first look before the ceremony, I noticed a very large woman walking along the beach…TOPLESS. Apparently, Fire Island allows nudity. Afraid that this woman would appear in the shots and ruin the special moment, I started shouting to Faye, “WAIT! WAIT! WAIT!” Luckily, Faye was able to wait, while cracking up with laughter, and we got some great shots. Something you must always know as a wedding photographer, you better be prepared for anything!

David also shared his favorite moments, “It was very touching to see everything come together, realizing that every person present was responsible for the success and beauty of the ritual and circumstance.”

He found it hard to choose one moment, but gave special recognition to the Friday before the wedding as people were arriving for the festivities. “There was mischief in those faces as they recognized each other as part of a common plot, reunited under the same sun on a small speck of land, virtually away from everything. It was a delicate moment, never to be repeated.”
David’s daughter, Sofia, is an amazing singer, working on a classical vocal performance degree at Northwestern University. She sang Ave Maria during the wedding ceremony processional and Joana Francesa for Faye and David’s first dance.

David went on to say, “I do have to give a special mention to Mario Rodriguez and his band. Musicians at weddings are not treated always with the respect that they deserve because everyone is busy with something. But having Mario, my dearest and oldest friend, present at my wedding was a great honor. It goes without mentioning that Mario has two or three Grammys under his belt.”

David even joined them on the drums for a song!

Congratulations Faye & David!

Special thanks to the team:
Photography by Jessica Schmitt and Eric Swartz
Wedding Coordinator: Michelle Bossey
Band: Mario Rodriguez & His Band
Restaurant: Top of the Bay, Fire Island
Dress Designer: Galina; Bride’s Shoes: Matisse
Makeup: Leora Edut
Wedding Officiant & Bride’s Hair: Ernest Mavis
Bride’s Ring: Marian Maurer, Clay Pot, Brooklyn
Suit Designer: Duchamp London; Groom’s Shirt: Calvin Klein
Groom’s Shoes: Camper; Groom’s Ring: Nicole Laemmle
Cake: Cakes By Phillomena, Phil Stoehr; Cake Topper:
Invitation Printer: Met Photo, Designed by the Bride
Chuppah: Paul Smithyman
Bride’s Necklace: Emery Spanglemaker Levine

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Colorful Zinnias: Congratulations Katie & Zach!

July 26, 2012

Katie and Zach were married on a beautiful (and very hot!) day in July. The day was filled with bright pops of color starting off with these whimsical pink and orange shoes!

Zinnias were very important to Katie’s day. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine and zinnias were a popular flower there. The pops of pink, yellow and orange looked so beautiful!

Katie and Zach both attended St. Leo the Great Catholic School in Fairfax, Virginia. They became close friends in sixth grade homeroom and secretly harbored feelings for each other that grew throughout high school. In the second semester of their senior year of college–Katie at the University of Virginia and Zach at Notre Dame–they started to officially begin dating.

After graduating from college, Katie joined the Peace Corps and set off for Ukraine, while Zach worked at a law firm for a year before teaching high school English in Japan as part of the JET Program. They continued to date intercontinentally for two years before happily reuniting in the fall of 2010. In October 2011, Zach proposed to Katie after mass at St. Leo’s in their old eighth grade classroom.

It was only fitting to have their wedding ceremony at St. Leo’s Church.

Katie shared with me, “Our favorite part of the day was seeing all our guests there for us. Since we met at St. Leo’s school and so many of our guests were part of the St. Leo’s community, it was wonderful to see everyone there for our wedding.”

Katie and Zach were married on a record-breaking hot day in July and during the ceremony the priest told us that Zach was born during a blizzard!

The reception was held at the Sherwood Center in Fairfax. The tables and centerpieces were full of bright colors and included small birdhouse numbers that were made by a friend of the bride.

Congratulations Katie & Zach!

Special thanks to all the vendors:

Ceremony: St. Leo’s Church, Fairfax, VA; Officiant: Fr. David Whitestone

Reception: Sherwood Center, Fairfax, VA

Catering: R&R Catering, Natalie Seng

DJ: Olivera Music Entertainment

Florist: Buttercup Floral Design

Cake: Victoria’s Cakery

Invitation: Hawthorne House

Rings: Afi’s Jewelers

Wedding Gown:  White Swan Bridal, Two by Rosa Clara; Shoes: Bandolino: Jorkins Dress Sandal

Hair: Five Star Hair-Day Spa Suits: Jos. A Banks, Ties: Banana Republic

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Battery Gardens Wedding: Congratulations Lynn and Steve

July 17, 2012

Lynn and Steve were married on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Battery Park, on the very southern tip of Manhattan.

The day began with preparations in a nearby hotel and then everyone walked down to Battery Gardens.



One of my favorite things about shooting a wedding in New York City is that no matter where you turn you can find a wonderful place to take a photograph. Lynn, Steve and I walked throughout Battery Park, over to Broadway, and around Bowling Green.

We stopped at the beautiful fountain surrounded by red blossoms in Bowling Green. I was surprised to find out this gorgeous little tear-drop shaped space was built in 1733, making it the oldest public park in New York City. It is even surrounded by its original 18th-century fence. The historic charm created a perfect romantic spot for a kiss! 

The ceremony and reception were held at Battery Gardens, a fantastic venue that has wall-to-wall windows and a view of the Statue of Liberty.
I asked Lynn about planning her wedding and she shared with me, “We wanted to keep the wedding small and simple, and I think we succeeded. It was a true Do It Together wedding! My mom, aunt, cousin, Steve’s mom, grandma and sister helped me make all the paper flowers (over 1300 total), and we designed the invitations and programs ourselves. My mom sewed the “Yay!” signs; my aunt, Steve’s mom and I made all the cookies for the favors; and we had a DIY photo booth.”
Lynn, these paper flowers were AMAZING!

The ceremony carried over the DIY style, Lynn continues, “My aunt and uncle provided the instrumental music, and five of my favorite people sang. Our ceremony was incredibly personal and meaningful because our friend, Mike, officiated and did an amazing job. So many guests came up to me afterwards to exclaim about how great the ceremony was.

We included a ring warming as part of the ceremony, during which our rings were passed among all of our guests and they were asked to hold them and bless them or think happy thoughts for us and our marriage. I think that was my favorite part! Weddings go by so quickly (our ceremony and reception combined were only 3 hours and there wasn’t enough time to talk with our friends and family as much as I wanted, but I know they each had a few seconds with our rings, and every time I look at mine, I’m happy remembering the wonderful love that surrounded us! The insides of our rings are engraved with our fingerprints (his on my ring, mine on his ring), and I love the dual nature of having something so personal inside the ring, and having had the outside of the ring warmed by so many amazing friends and family.”
The cake incorporated Lynn and Steve’s love of calculus and science and further expressed the personal touches that were so evident throughout the day.
I had the pleasure of photographing Lynn and Steve’s engagement portraits at the Natural History Museum and Columbia University in April.
Congratulations Lynn and Steve!
Special thanks to all the vendors:
Ceremony and Reception Venue and Catering: Battery Gardens
Location Coordinator: Michele Cavallero, Battery Gardens,
Flowers: Handmade by the bride with her family and friends, arranged by Laura Acito, Silks That Look Fresh, Staten Island
Shoes: Toms
Suit Designer: Joseph Abboud
Steve’s Cufflinks: Kathy Lo Rocks (Etsy site here)
Rings: Fabuluster by Brent and Jess (Etsy site here)
Cake: Betty Bakery, Brooklyn -  The inspiration for the cake comes from this comic.
Cupcakes: Cake Chef’s Cookie Jar, Staten Island

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