It all started with a fateful phone call from a very good friend of mine. Her sister was recently engaged, and she was wondering if I'd be willing to fly out to shoot the wedding.
Would I ever!!
I flew from Portland, OR to Troy NY the day before the wedding. The hotel I was at was walking distance to the venue, so I spent the evening scooping out the area. The next day, I hitched a ride to the brides home where she and her bridemaids, her mother, her soon to be MIL and family were all getting ready.
Catherine was such a relaxed bride! Everyone was chatting, enjoying music and mimosas, coffee and bagels.
Carina did such an amazing job with everyones make up! Not only did Catherine look amazing, but her flawless job lasted through the ceremony, through dinner, through the reception and past midnight as we rung in the new year! If you're in the Saratoga Springs area of NY and you're needing a quality make up artist, she is your gal. Check her out on Instagram here!
Can we talk about this dress for a minute? It makes me want to get married again. The dress was from @lilysaratogo, designed by @martinalianabridal. Catherine had the sleeves added on - make entirely from bead work. Seriously one of the most elegant wedding dresses I have seen to date.
Now this is where I'll enter my two cents about having a 2nd shooter. While I was at the brides home, my 2nd shooter was back at the hotel with the groom. She was able to capture him getting ready, and follow him to the church where we were all able to meet up. I love having those images because they really come together to tell the full story of the day. If you're on the fence about having a 2nd shooter, I'm here to tell you that it's nearly always worth it. All of my packages include a 2nd shooter by default - that's how I help to tell your story.
At 1:30 a limo showed up at the brides house, and I hopped in for a ride over to the church. Nerves and excitement were high!!
Catherine and Paul got married at St. Ambrose Church. The ceremony was a traditional Catholic Mass, and the alter was still adorn with fabulous Christmas decorations. It was quite the backdrop!
After the ceremony the family opted to take family formals right at the alter. I've never heard anyone say that the family formals are their most favorite part of a wedding day -- and I get it. I try to make them fun, quick and virtually painless. We had a good time swapping people in and out around the couple, and we were done in 20 minutes. Win win!
After the ceremony we had some time to kill before the reception was to start. As it turned out, the bridal party and their significant others were all staying at the same hotel that I was staying at, and we all went back there to freshen up. Before leaving to head to the reception I staged a posed picture of the bridal party right there in the hotel lobby. Can't say no to some well placed drapes (backdrop!) and chairs (props!)
Reception was held at Browns Revolution Hall, an amazing location and atmosphere. As you walk into the warm and inviting entrance for cocktail hour you're greeted with hor d'oeuvres and a staffed bar.
The bride, groom and the bridal party were able to stow away their things and grab some drinks while I got detail shots of the venue. Such a gorgeous place!! I stole the bridal party, and bride and groom for some images at the venue before the guests began to arrive.
Cocktail hour was kept to the front entrance while the dining room was getting the final touches from the staff. The ambiance in the hall is just wonderful. It is so warm inviting, and the touch of elegance with all the rustic feels really makes for a laid back and memorable wedding venue.
The first dance gave way to toasts, (which had me tearing up) and then they moved into the father/daughter and mother/son dances.
Of all the weddings I have done, I have to say that this was the most emotional father daughter dance I've ever had the pleasure of capturing. There wasn't a dry eye in the room. It wasn't until I became a parent that realized how symbolic these dances really are. There is just something so monumental about raising a child from birth to adulthood, teaching them right from wrong and loving them with your entire being. Then one day -- they're off. They're doing it on their own with the tools you gave them. And in this moment you realize that they are OK, they are happy, and you did it.
Oh look, I'm crying again.
Cake cutting was next -- and the dancing ensued! This group sure knows how to party! And I've got to say -- for anyone on the fence about a date, New Years Eve was killer! The party continued well into the night and turned into an almost 'wedding after party' as we all countdown with champagne in hand and rang in the New Year! 10/10 would recommend.
When we had first arrived at Browns I had taken Catherine and Paul outside to grab some images with the exterior of the building and the Browns sign. But as midnight approached, like a freaking fairy tale, it began to snow!! I ran to find them and dragged them outside for one more shot... and I'm so glad I did!
Catherine and Paul -- Congratulations again! Thank you so much for having this Portland OR Wedding Photographer out to New York to shoot such an amazing day. Doing something I love with such incredible people was the BEST way to ring in the New Year! Cheers to many happy years together!