Category: wedding

It’s All About the Emotion!!

January 1, 2017

Photography has a transformative effect. When we look at an image we are taken back to the moment when that photo was made. We remember how we felt at the time, who we were with, what we were doing. We have a genuine emotional investment in that image. That is the POWER of photography. This image was made at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve last year. I remember the energy in the room and how everyone was sharing in the couple’s joy. It truly is a privilege to be invited into people’s lives, even if it is only briefly, to experience such moments.

New Year's Eve wedding

New Year’s Eve wedding

Tips For Planning a Multi-Cultural Wedding

April 1, 2016

As the world we live in becomes more culturally diverse so do the weddings we plan. Weddings that combine two or more religions and/or ethnic traditions are increasingly popular. So it goes without saying that the tact and consideration necessary in planning such an event can create a great deal of stress for engaged couples. There are a few steps you can take to insure that everything goes as smoothly as possible.

Communication is Key

Planning any type of wedding requires a lot of compromise so discuss with both sides of the family early in the planning process what traditions you would like to incorporate. It is essential to have a clear vision of how you would like the day to look and feel. The goal is to host an event in which both families feel comfortable and included. Try to and keep an open mind about your family’s ideas and concerns. Educate them on what would be considered appropriate behavior. You will definitely want to avoid any potentially embarrassing situations.

Keep it Personal

Many officiants from differing faiths are open to conducting the ceremony jointly. Let them know while this is your wedding you also want to honor your families’ customs and traditions as part of your day. While different cultures have different wedding customs, often the underlying meaning and purpose of these traditions are similar. If you plan to include unfamiliar elements in your ceremony, such as the Filipino custom of wrapping the couple with a cord and veil, provide brief explanations of the significance in your wedding program. This way your guests can appreciate the symbolism.

Don’t feel that you need to incorporate every custom and ritual into your wedding. If it is not possible to equally represent both the bride and groom’s backgrounds into the ceremony there are other ways to honor each family’s traditions. For example, you can feature the bride’s heritage during the ceremony and the groom’s during the reception. Offering a multi-cultural menu or including ethnic music can be great ways to incorporate the traditions of each family.

 

 

Lauren Goldenberg and Joseph Roza

Timing Is Everything

One of the biggest challenges of a multi-cultural wedding is to make sure you allot the appropriate time for all the different religious and cultural ceremonies. For example, there may be multiple wardrobe changes throughout the day. Some religious ceremonies are much longer than others. For instance, if you plan on having an Indian wedding you may have to allow time for the groom’s procession called a Baraat. Or if you are planning a Jewish ceremony you will need to schedule the Katubah signing before the ceremony begins. If you are working from the perspective of a typical American wedding day timeline, you will need to allow for extra time to address these customs.

 

Deanna Fisher and Karl Najork Wedding

Maintain Perspective

Even though a wedding is full of logistical complexities, ultimately the day is really about celebrating the love two people share. During planning process it’s easy to lose sight of this. In the end, the bride and the groom should mutually agree upon which religious and cultural traditions are most important for them to include.

Now Don’t Screw it All Up! – 5 Things to Avoid on Your Wedding Day

March 14, 2016

Everyone wants to look amazing in her wedding photos. You have picked the perfect gown, spent hours on hair and make-up, found the right jewelry to accentuate your outfit and hand picked a second-to-none photographer to capture it all. Here are 5 things to avoid if you don’t want to negatively impact your wedding day experience.

  LOOKING AT THE CAMERA ALL THE TIME

This is definitely one of my biggest pet peeves. You spot an amazing moment unfolding from across the dance floor, you get into position and compose your shot and then someone becomes camera aware and ruins the moment by saying “Hey everybody there’s the photographer – say cheese”. A wedding is the celebration of two families coming together. How would you like to remember this event, with a bunch of photos of people mugging for the camera or a collection of images of those people who are dearest to you interacting with one another in a genuine and meaningful way. This is not to say that you should never look at the camera. Certainly during those more posed photos it is necessary to do so. But when it’s time relax and enjoy the party, pay no attention to the camera. Let the real moments unfold and allow the camera to capture it. The photos will definitely look better if you do.

Bride having fun on the dance floor

Bride and Groom Hora

REQUESTING TOO MANY SHOTS

Trust your instincts, if you have done your homework and hired and experienced and established photographer there is no need to provide him with a 6 page shot list with every conceivable combination for family portraits. This is your wedding not a photo shoot. Lets be honest, there is only so much that you can accomplish in a given period of time before quality begins to suffer. Giving your photographer a lengthy list of photo requests is only going to give you quantity not quality. The goal is to document the day not to provide every family in attendance with a photo for their holiday card. 

FALLING FOR PHOTOGRAPHY TRENDS

Trends are fun, but rarely last. Do you want your wedding memories to be clichés in 35 years? Remember the best man grabbing the groom’s arm preventing him from running away or the double-exposed photo of the bride and groom superimposed over their ceremony. Keep your photos authentic and timeless. Photos of real moments and honest emotions always stand the test of time and can be enjoyed for generations to come.

 TRYING TO MAKE THINGS PERFECT 

It’s your wedding, just try to have fun. Even if everything doesn’t turn out exactly as you hoped, roll with it, and enjoy yourself. It’s always those moments that are unscripted that make your day unique and different from every other wedding in history. Embrace your individuality and let serendipity unfold. A happy bride always makes for better photos anyway.

Bride and Groom's first dance at The Venitian

NOT UNPLUGGING

We live in the digital age for sure, even 90 year old grandmas have iPhones. I understand the thrill of getting that great shot, I’m a photographer after all, but the trend of guests using iPhones and iPads to photo bomb the wedding is getting out of control. Oftentimes the groom’s view of his bride coming down the aisle is completely obscured by a sea of mobile devices being held out into the aisle. Guests no longer experience the wedding first hand because they are all fixated on their phone screens. Guests need to realize that the couple has hired a professional to capture the day’s festivities and they should just enjoy the wedding.

wedding Guest with iPad

 

When is it TOO LATE to Book My Wedding Photographer?

March 7, 2016

There are so many things to think about after the big “YES!”. Two of the biggest decisions you will likely make first are the when and where to get married. After that there is a long list of details, both big and small that need to be addressed. One of the most important is who is to photograph the wedding. Imagine having secured the most idyllic location, wearing the most glamorous bridal gown, at the most elegant reception venue and no one to capture all these details.

Each week I get a handful of inquiries from brides looking for a wedding photographer for 6 months from now, for next month, or even crazier; next week. In almost every case I have to turn them away because I am already booked. While the thought of loosing the opportunity to work with an amazing couple is disappointing, I am more troubled knowing how difficult it is going to be for them to find a quality photographer on such short notice. The simple truth is many in-demand wedding photographers book over a year in advance. As your wedding date gets closer, it will be harder to book your first choice photographer.

Because we are living in a time where we are inundated with photography, more and more, brides are placing an increasingly higher value on quality photography for their wedding. So, needless to say, finding the right photographer is pretty important.

So when is the “right” time to contract your wedding photographer? The simple answer: book your wedding photographer as soon as you secure your venue, if not sooner. I have been booked on a number of occasions before the reception hall has been retained. Some vendors, such as the florist, bakery, limos, or even hair/make-up artists may be able to schedule more than one wedding in a day. Their services typically do not extend from the bride’s preparation through the end of the reception. Photographers, on the other hand, don’t typically schedule more than one wedding in a day. So once you find a photographer that you know is THE ONE, don’t delay.

Keep in mind that there are certain times of year that are more popular for weddings. Here in the North East, October tends to be the busiest month, so if you’re hoping to get married during peak leaf season, perhaps look into booking everything that much sooner.

What if you did reach out to your favorite photographer well in advance and he is still unavailable on your date? Don’t panic, ask them for recommendations. They may know of a colleuge with a similar style who is available.

There is certainly no right or wrong time to book a wedding photographer, however, delaying will certainly affect your options.

wedding tips, NJ wedding, NJ wedding photographer

Why a “First Look” May Save Your Wedding Day

February 28, 2016

What is a “First Look”? It’s exactly what it sounds like: it’s the first time a bride and groom see one another on their wedding day. But more importantly when during the wedding day timeline should this special moment occur? There are definitely strong feelings associated with this on both sides of the debate.

Certainly some feel that it is bad luck to see one another before the ceremony. The origin of this superstition may surprise you. Back in the day when arranged marriages were the rage, the couple wasn’t allowed to see each other before the wedding at all. The wedding was merely a business transaction between two families. Fathers feared that if the groom met the bride before the wedding and thought she wasn’t attractive, he’d call off the wedding. This would embarrass the bride and her family. Therefore, it became the custom that the bride and groom were only allowed to meet at the wedding ceremony. This way the groom did not have the opportunity to change his mind and back out of the deal. The veil the bride wears was to keep the groom from seeing what the bride looked like until the last possible minute insuring the wedding would go off as planned.

With a “first look” the end game here is to create a less stressful day to insure the best wedding ever. There are definitely some benefits to doing a first look.

Enhances the wedding experience. The ability to relax and not hold back all your emotions is priceless. After photographing over 900 weddings I can count on the fingers of one hand how many times the groom got emotional when seeing his bride for the first time at the ceremony. Between all the guest leaning into the aisle to get their cell phone photos, the anxiety of being “on stage” and the realization of what is about to happen the only thing going through the groom’s mind is “try not to pass out”. When you have an opportunity to share an intimate moment and be at ease with one another the emotions can just flow. He can tell you how he is really feeling, how beautiful he thinks you look, how excited he is. I’ve seen this private exchange go on for more than 15 minutes. This would not be possible during the ceremony.

More time together. The truth be told, you will actually spend very little time alone with each other on your wedding day. People will be vying for your attention all day. After all everyone has gathered in your honor. Many may have travelled long distances to be with you. A first look will allow you more time to spend with each of them.

Attending cocktail hour. A first look often allows more control over the day’s schedule. This is especially true when both the ceremony and reception will take place at the same venue. This is because as soon as the ceremony ends the cocktail will begin. This only gives you one hour (at best) for ALL of your formal portraits. There are many portraits that need to be taken in addition to the bridal portraits. Immediate families, bridal party and extended families all need to be photographed. In most cases this simply isn’t enough time. An hour may seem like plenty, but when you consider the time it takes to rally the troops together and keep them all corralled during the portrait session not much time is left for the photos of just the two of you. You will probably want your photographer to spend some time in the ballroom photographing the room and all the details before your guests enter as well. Most couples would rather take this time to relax and enjoy that “Just Married” feeling and spend some time mingling with family and friends.

More/better photos together. When you have a first look you have more flexibility with the timeline. You can decide what photos are important to you, how much time you are willing to devote to them and block out the necessary amount of time. My experience has been the photos are generally better crafted, more diverse with more varied locations when a first look has been planned. The biggest obstacle to getting great wedding portraits is the lack of time.

Overall, the goal is to make the wedding experience more meaningful. A first look doesn’t necessarily diminish the tradition of seeing the bride for the first time as she walks down the aisle. You still experience that moment. When deciding whether or not to do a first look you must ask yourself what’s really important to you and what do you want to achieve from your wedding photos. Think about how you can realize these goals without adding any additional stress to your day. After all it’s your wedding and what better way to begin your life together than putting each other first.

first look

first look

 

Kate & Mike | David's Country Inn

July 8, 2014

It’s July and crazy hot out, so we thought it would be nice to cool things down a bit with Kate and Mike’s wedding from last February. Kate and Mike really put that personal touch on the day to make it uniquely their own from Kate’s custom turquoise inlaid cowboy boots to the burlap touches on her bouquet, even down to their choice of venue, David’s Country Inn. Built in 1840, it has served as an inn for over 150 years! Everything was true to their personalities and all looked awesome. With 150 friends and family coming out to celebrate, there was a tremendous amount of love in the room that was evidenced in all the emotion that we witnessed. It was truly an honor to share in this special day with them.

country wedding

bridal preparations

country wedding

Davids Country Inn

David's Country Inn

David's Country Inn

David's Country Inn

David's Country Inn

David's Country Inn

David's Country Inn

David's Country Inn

David's Country Inn

David's Country Inn

country wedding at David's Country Inn

Allie & Albert | The Westmont Country Club

March 26, 2014

I love fall weddings and this one was another great wedding for a great couple. We spent an afternoon with Allie and Albert back in June at Monmouth University.  That’s when I saw just how perfect they are together. They are a joy to be around as are their family and friends. They all made us feel so welcome. A big congratulations to you both, and thank you for allowing us to be a part of this amazing day.

Fall wedding

Bridal Prep

Bride and Dad

Christian Loubatoin

Groom's prep

bridesmaids

Allie and her girls gettin’ all “BRIDSMAIDS” on ya.

wedding bands

My homage to Richard Avedon.

wedding ceremony

Bell choir

They had this amazing bell choir at the ceremony that just blew me away.

Bride and Groom grand exit

Allie and Albert at The Westmount Country Club

groomsmen

Bridal party fun

The bridal party hamming it up for the camera.

bridal party Westmount Country Club

Allie and Albert at Westmount Country Club

Wedding deco, The Westmount Country Club

The folks at The One and Only Westmount Country Club always do such a fine job.

Bride and Groom first dance

Toasts at The Westmount Country Club

Emotional dance between bride and dad

Allie and Albert at The Westmount Country Club

Food Truck

The Westmount Country Club dance floor

This crew certainly knows how to party. The dancing was nonstop all night long.

The Westmount Country Club

The One and Only Westmount Country Club

bride and groom silhouette

Event Coordinator extraordinaire: Inez Bennett   

Cinematography: Our great friends at Iris Cinematics  

Entertainment: One of the areas absolute BEST bands, The Groove Shop 

Wedding Gown:  Pnina Tornai 

Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin

Food Truck:  Jaynees Party 

Alexa & Dave: The Wedding That Almost Wasn’t

March 18, 2014

I have been looking forward to Alexa and Dave’s wedding for months now. We had such a great time during their engagement shoot I wasn’t sure that we could top it. But let me back up a bit. You may recall back in September (yes, I am a little behind in my blogging again) there were rumblings of eminent government shutdowns. Typically this is of no concern to a bride and groom except that Alexa and Dave’s wedding was to be held at Fort Hancock within the Gateway National Recreation Area. Since the park is run by the National Park Service it was at risk of being closed the day of the wedding. Thankfully our goverment held out for two more days – crisis averted.

The day was a perfect fall day, sunny and just a little brisk. Alexa looked amazing in her Nicole Miller antique white crepe de chine lace back gown. The chapel train really added just the right touch of elegance. One of Alexa’s bridesmaids officiated the late afternoon ceremony which made it all that much more special. Just as they were walking down the aisle we were all treated to a spectacular sunset. Big thanks to our good friends Spinners Entertainment who kept everyone on the dance floor all night. Also in need of a special shout out is Nikki D. who did a fantastic job on Alexa’s make-up and Merri Makers Caterers.

NJ Wedding, wedding day details

Blue Fin Inn, bridal prep, nj beach wedding

bridal sandals, beach wedding, rosary beads tattoo, foot tattoo

NJ wedding photographer

Groom's prep

wedding rings, hockey, hockey player groomDave is a hockey player and coach so I couldn’t resist a little hockey inspired ring shot. He’s an awesome dude so I give him a pass for being a Rangers fan.

 

Nicole Miller lace back bridal gown

Nicole Miller Lace Back bridal gown with cathedral train

Beachfront wedding ceremony, Sandy Hook

emotional brideWhat I love about these two photos is that they were made just seconds apart. Alexa’s expressions tell of just how emotional this day was.

 

Bayside wedding

Flower girl, floral head piece

first kiss

Wedding grand exit, NJ beach wedding

beach wedding, bridal portrait

sunset, best NJ wedding photographer

Bride and Groom on NJ beach

Nicole Miller, bridal gown, lace

Fort Hancock Chapel, Merri Makers Caterers, tented wedding, reception

Bride and Groom, first dance, song

wedding reception

South Jersey wedding photographer

tented weddings

kiss, nj wedding photography

ocean county wedding photographer

NJ best wedding photographer

nj tented wedding

blue sky, beach wedding, NJ wedding Photography

 

 

 

North Brunswick Wedding Photographer: Sarah & Lane

October 16, 2013

I have to admit, I was a little intimidated at the prospect of photographing Sarah and Lane’s wedding. Both Sarah’s father and grandfather were very accomplished photographers. Her grandfather was considered Israel’s topmost culture photographer in the 1960s and 70s and her father was known and respected throughout the fashion and advertising world. Sarah is an actress and film producer which also added to my anxiety. So I knew that I had to really bring my A game.

Sarah and Lane live in Los Angeles. So I never had the opportunity to meet Lane before the wedding and Sarah only briefly. Once I had them both in the same room all my concerns faded away. They are so completely in love with one another and 100% comfortable in each others arms. They were a joy to photograph. They also know how to show the dance floor who’s boss.

Princeton Wedding Photographer

North Brunswick wedding photographer

B'nai Tikvah wedding

NJ wedding Photo

NJ wedding Photographer

New Jersey wedding photographer

Princeton wedding

Princeton, NJ wedding

Fun Bridal party

Sarah Agor and Lane Nussbaum

Sarah Agor wedding

Sara Agor

North Brunswick weddingI love the emotion in this frame while Sarah’s parents shower her with their blessings.

B'nai Tikvah

North Brunswick, NJ wedding

North Brunswick wedding

Princeton wedding

Sarah Agor and Lane Nussbaum

Sarah Agor and Lane Nussbaum

Sarah Agor and Lane Nussbaum

Sarah Agor and Lane Nussbaum

Erin & Matt: Long Branch Wedding Photographer

June 19, 2013

What’s not to love about Erin and Matt? They love the Yankees, They are from Brooklyn (one of my favorite boroughs), they love great music (possibly the best selection of music I have ever heard at a wedding ~ and I have been to A LOT of weddings!), they gave me all the time I wanted for photos, they have amazing friends. So what’s not to love? Nothing I say…they are just plain AWESOME! So enjoy a few of their photos and relish in their awesomness.

Long Branch Wedding Photography

Long Branch Wedding PhotographyThe bar is open- Mimosa anyone!!

Erin Bulkley & Matt Leskovic Wedding

Erin Bulkley & Matt Leskovic Wedding

Erin Bulkley & Matt Leskovic WeddingErin & Matt and a little behind the scenes shot of how we got the shot.

Erin Bulkley & Matt Leskovic Wedding

Erin Bulkley & Matt Leskovic Wedding

Erin Bulkley & Matt Leskovic Wedding

Erin Bulkley & Matt Leskovic Wedding

Erin Bulkley & Matt Leskovic Wedding

Erin Bulkley & Matt Leskovic Wedding

Erin Bulkley & Matt Leskovic WeddingNo Photoshop trickery here folks. Thats what the moon really looked like.

 

Erin Bulkley & Matt Leskovic Wedding

Long Branch Wedding Photography

Long Branch Wedding Photography