A Glamorous Grand Central Affair: The Wedding of Grace & Patrick

It’s wedding season! EEEEEEEEEE!

~Saturday, July 18, 2015~

~Saturday, July 18, 2015~

I had the privilege to document the totally glamorous wedding of Grace & Patrick this past July. The setting(s)? The posh,  Waldorf Astoria Hotel, followed by the glammed-out Oyster Bar, then  the ever-so-opulent Grand Central Station, to the streets of Gowanus, and finally down to the pearl of Brooklyn: Gowanus Loft.  Twelve hours of non-stop love and celebration, and I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

Grand Central Station, where bride & groom will say I DO in just a couple short hours!

Grand Central Station, where bride & groom will say I DO in just a couple short hours!

All photos shot from my ever-so-faithful Sony A99 SLT with Carl Zeiss f1.4 50mm and f.2 16-28mm plus funky f2.8 12mm fisheye. I used a bounce flash only here and there during the reception, otherwise everything uses available light (my fav!).

The ceiling is breathtaking... next time you visit, re!ember to LOOK UP~

The ceiling is breathtaking… next time you visit, re!ember to LOOK UP!

If you’re getting married, and considering the getting ready, and first-look shots, I HIGHLY recommend arranging for your photographer to capture them. These moments are key in narrating the story of any wedding…

The amazing Grace

The amazing Grace

Patrick Jr. + Patrick Sr.

Patrick Jr. + Patrick Sr.

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Our Bride

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Our Groom

She's getting excited!!

She’s getting excited!!

Final details...

Final details…

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Grace putting her shoes on to go and get the groom down the hall :)

Getting ready to meet that groom of hers!

Handsome groomsmen!

Handsome groomsmen!

Cheers!

Cheers!

Ok, ok I'm ready to see my (almost) wife!

I especially loved the reactions Grace and Patrick had when they first saw each other. First Look Shots are really the best!

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They’re really too cute 🙂

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Cocktail Hour took place at Grand Central’s Oyster Bar. Just a quick stroll from the Waldorf Astoria, so I took advantage of the glowy afternoon light in the city on our walk over.

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The ceilings in the Oyster Bar created a super classic, romantic vibe. The Bride & Groom greeted close friends and family for the first time of the day…

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My favorite mother-son photo!

My favorite mother-son photo!

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It’s wedding time! THANK YOU APPLE STORE for letting us gather on your mezzanine and THANK YOU GRAND CENTRAL STATION for letting us take over the central terminal. Because we did 🙂

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Wow – what a feeling to have the entirety of Grand Central Station pause, become nearly silent, and witness Grace & Patrick exchanging their vows. It felt like the entire city turned out for these two love birds. Who wouldn’t?

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Now for… THE RINGS!

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And then they said “I DO!” Cue  the tears, where are my tissues?!  Grand Central lit up in a roar – it was ridiculously amazing to hear hundreds hundreds of voices rally in celebration! I absolutely love mom & dad’s expressions in the next photo.

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 And now for my favorite series of group photos of all-time. Grand Central Station is super crowded, so we knew there would be challenges with managing the crowds, corralling the wedding party, etc. But we managed to pull it off!

The fresh-off-the-press newlyweds!

The fresh-off-the-press newlyweds!

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And then just some of the two lovebirds, before we depart for the festivities in Brooklyn!!

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Ok, time to go!

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Patrick whisks his bride away, and off we go to… Gowanus.

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That dress though…

When guests arrive at their destination in Gowanus, they’re greeted with a full brass band. Because it’s essential to parade around the neighborhood to celebrate!

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And after parading around Gowanus for a bit, it’s time to party at The Loft!

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Gowanus Loft, in all her glory, was brimming with light for the reception. We danced, we ate, we laughed, we sang, we cried. Bust mostly, we laughed 🙂

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Amazing art installation pieces by Sarah Brook

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A special thank you to Grace & Patrick for including me on their incredible wedding. I had the absolute time of my life and was reminded why I love wedding photography so much. I wish you both a lifetime of happiness and joy.

They made it to Gowanus, Brooklyn!

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Danielle & Tony – A Late Summer Wedding

This post will hopefully pull you all from the pre-winter gloom especially on the freezing, wet, day it is today in Brooklyn. Wrapped up in a knit blanket, sipping ginger tea and gazing out the windows as the rain pelts the glass, I remember how much I’ve missed writing and sharing my photographic stories.

As you can see from the absence of posts since mid-August, I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus from the blogging world. Alas, on this frigid day in New York, I am finally catching up. More on that hiatus later.

My first order of business: the lovely Danielle and Tony. You were first introduced to them in their engagement shoot this past spring, and on a beautiful late summer day in August, they finally tied the knot! DSC03612 - Version 2

Danielle and her wedding party, consisting of mum, sister and future sis-in-law all got ready at her parent’s colonial home in Plymouth, MA. The atmosphere while getting ready was serene: no stress, no sense of urgency, but relaxed and totally blissed-out.

DSC07845Almost every aspect of the wedding had some form of hand-made love incorporated into it. Mum and Danielle had picked the bright hydrangea flowers that morning for the wedding bouquets, and hand-assembled them minutes before heading off to the venue.

DSC08021Boutonnieres, handmade by Danielle’s co-worker, smelled of lavender and matched the groom’s swag quite perfectly.

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And now for the dress reveal. Classic, timeless, and uniquely hers, Danielle was stunning in her champagne lace ballgown. The lace train extended beyond the satin skirt of the dress and created quite a dramatic illusion at the venue (see below!!)

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I just love Danielle’s reaction when she finally put her dress on! This is the real deal!

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This regal bride-to-be is ready to go! Mixing the soft and subtle make-up with blusher and simple updo make Danielle one heck of a classic beauty. Would you agree?

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The Venue: Southers Marsh Golf Club (http://weddings.southersmarsh.com/) in Plymouth, MA. Panoramic views of open green fields, hills, and tall pines created quite the dramatic backdrop for the wedding.

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Need I say more? The venue also came complete with a gorgeous tent for the reception.

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Back to the nuptials. Close friends and family gathered under the bright sun and big blue sky in the late afternoon on August 31st, 2014. The beautiful Bridesmaids prepare to make their way down the aisle…

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Both mum and dad walked Danielle down the aisle, arm-in-arm. She’s the first of the brood to tie the knot! Can you tell they’re all just a little excited?

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And finally, everyone’s here! Danielle and Tony exchanged their vows in a touching, short and sweet ceremony.

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And they sealed their love with a kiss… (it’s so so cute I can barely take it!)

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Following the ceremony, the bridal party was whisked away in individual golf carts (I recklessly drove mine ahead of the group to get a head start on portraits) up to the 10th hole. Let the stunning group photos commence!

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Just Married!!

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Now for some one-on-one shots of our bride and groom.

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And my favorite…. what I call the “Victory Kiss”

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The night was followed with delicious food, first dances, hilarious toasts, unforgettably romantic moments, crazy line dancing, and cake.

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Danielle, Tony, and their friends & family danced and partied into the early hours of the morning. I am so grateful to have witnessed the love in the room – it buzzed and buzzed away all night long, and from what I can tell, will continue to buzz for the entirety of their lives together. Danielle, Tony, congratulations on finding each other and opening your hearts to a life full of love and happiness. Happy life to you two!

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Mary-Reid & Mike – Wedded Bliss

This may very well be the longest and most heart-felt post in the history of this blog, even though its history is fairly brief.

Let’s go back to the year 1998 – I am 9 years old and our family of 6 had just moved to Framingham mid-way through September from the tiny woodsy town of Madison, NH. I was that fourth grade new-girl-on-the-block, essentially. The awkward shy one, no less.

My clearest memory of that first September day at school was entering Mrs. Carbeau’s classroom: everyone was seated in a small circle in the center of the room, hushed with all bright eyes on me. I quietly took my seat in a perfect little open spot within the circle and I was slowly introduced to each student. I looked around and saw Mary-Reid, Joanne, and Hannah for the first time and said to myself, “these are going to be my best friends”.

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That’s us! From left, Joanne, Myself, Hannah, and Mary-Reid

Fast-forward to 2004: We’re still together and yup, the very best of friends.  However, at some point amongst our teenage wanderings, Mary-Reid meets Mike. Their love was both effortlessly poetic and passionate and one couldn’t help but smile when you saw the two of these love birds together. They were the epitome of true classic high-school sweethearts. I mean look at the photo from prom!

Mary-Reid and Mike: Senior Prom 2007. For real people!

Mary-Reid and Mike: Senior Prom 2007. For real people!

And then in early March of 2013, I receive a phone call at 1:00pm from Mary-Reid… there’s a certain distinguishable tremor of excitement in her voice, and then the famous words I’ll never forget: “Mike Proposed!!!!!”. I can’t say I was terribly surprised – it was really just a matter of time before Mike made the best decision of his life 🙂

Fast forward once more my dears to August 16th, 2014. The most absolutely crisp-yet-perfectly-balmy August morning. The wedding day. Location: Mary-Reid’s family home on Prospect Street. We spent years and years running around the big historic colonial and jumping into the pool on summer days, and now it was time for it to be the perfect setting for Mike & Mary-Reid’s wedding!

The setting: Family Home on Prospect Street

The setting: Family Home on Prospect Street

This wedding was truly like no other in that so many family and friends poured their hearts in to making this day perfect for the bride and groom. From catering all of the food themselves in the barn, to placing perfectly crafted fondant flowers on the 3-tiered cake, to hand-altering her daughter’s wedding gown, to growing wildflowers all summer long for the bouquets, to setting tables and pressing linens, and everything in between that you could possibly imagine. They got it done!

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Just shy of 4:00pm, every little detail finally falls in to place…

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After spending hours running around lighting hundreds of tea lights, hanging dozens of lanterns, setting each plate just-so, and tying together the bouquets, we ladies finally enjoyed some well-deserved pampering!

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And now for a bit about the gown. Mary-Reid’s wedding vision stemmed mainly from Anthropologie’s wedding off-shoot, BHLDN. Short for “Beholden”, they offer ethereal and whimsical wedding inspirations from cake toppers to stunning hand-beaded gowns. In the winter this of this past year, Mary-Reid and I essentially camped out in a nicely heated car (beginning at 4:00am no less) at their first-ever trunk show in Philly. We had no idea what to expect, but we were determined to find the one. Long story short, we did! And oh my goodness, is she a thing of beauty!

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Bridesmaid dresses were key additions to Mary-Reid’s inspiration for a romantic garden wedding, and fortunately for us ladies, we too got to don some gorgeous BHLDN gowns!

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Again, thank you Mary-Reid for selecting these gorgeous gowns for us to wear! I think you can see that we loved wearing them…

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From the left: Joanne, Xenia, Mary-Reid, Hannah, and Myself. Note the drawn curtains to keep sneaky peekers from peeking!

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For having pulled off planning an entire wedding, Mary-Reid looks absolutely serene and peaceful just moments before walking down the aisle. We had a few moments to glance through this window to see the groomsmen make their way down first…

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And before you know it, I had to drop my camera (couldn’t possibly have hid it behind my bouquet now!), and walked down the aisle of my dearest friend’s wedding. The ceremony was nothing short of incredibly intimate and exceptionally beautiful – there truly wasn’t a dry eye in the garden!

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That’s right ladies, He put a ring on it! Below are some of my favorite shots of my favorite two love birds…

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If this isn’t true electric love then I don’t know what is 🙂

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And of course some group photos of the ladies and gents up by the barn…

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And the obligatory bling ring shot with Hannah…

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And more importantly, the cake! Crafted by the exceptionally talented hands of Mary-Reid’s aunt, maid of honor Hannah, and the bride herself. See the connection between the design on the wedding gown? Thought so!

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Sometimes I have a difficult time expressing my love in words, and I often find that actions speak volumes when it comes to doing so. Not only was this wedding a pure manifestation of love between two souls, but a perfect example of how far humans will go for the ones they love. Each and every person in attendance found a way to lend a hand (or two!) to the bride and groom to ensure their day was overflowing with joy, bliss, and love.

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To my dearest friends Mary-Reid and Mike: you have already built a wonderful life together these past 9 or so years, but this is just the beginning of a most beautiful thing. I admire your strength, unconditional love and support for each other, and am certain your marriage will light the whole earth. Through thick and thin the two of you have grown into an unbreakable pair of lovers, friends, and true partners. I know you will have nothing but a lifetime rich with love and happiness. Thank you for having me be a part of this unforgettable moment in your lives!

Danielle & Tony – Part II Engagement Shoot

I told you there would be more of these cutie pies! Danielle & Tony swap the threads and we head off again into the late afternoon for more engagement photography in the Pine Hills, MA. Oh and their adorable pup Coco came along as well 🙂 The warm evening light around 6:30pm and full shade coverage makes for an excellent natural lighting setting.DSC03700 - Version 2

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DSC03770Mark your calendars for August 31st, when this adorable duo will finally say “I Do!”

Danielle & Tony – Engagement Shoot Part I

I honestly can’t think of a better way to spend a glorious Sunday afternoon than with two people madly in love with each other. This past Sunday I had the pleasure to meet Danielle & Tony and capture their electric love with my camera(s) in tow. They’ll be saying their I Do’s in just a little over two months. This collection of my personal favorites from our balmy June afternoon together serves as Part I of their engagement shoot. Yes, there will be a part two, and stay tuned for the scene/ outfit change 🙂

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We ventured on down the winding dirt road of the Pine Hills (MA) and came across one of those iconic open fields. Needless to say, we stopped here to begin the shoot.

She Said Yes, of Course!

That’s right, ladies. He. put. a. ring. on. it. And it’s quite gorgeous too!  A combination of Danielle’s mother’s diamond and their own intricate design.

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And amazingly, we didn’t attract a single tick in this field! I am still shocked (and doing tick checks!).

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Sneaking in a few kisses here and there is always allowed in my book.

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Beautiful Bride to Be

The Beautiful Bride to Be.

Road Together

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He put a ring on it

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 The big day is just right around the corner on the 31st of August. In the meantime, you’ll find this adorable pair decorating their new dream home, playing with their adorable pup Coco (photos to come, I promise!), and taking long strolls into the sunset.

Stay tuned my lovelies for a change in scenery and outfits!

~ em