For all of you that know me I am a very big advocate for the environment and an even bigger supporter of wolves. I have loved wolves for as long as I can remember. With each wedding I photograph I will be making a donation to the below organizations. Click on the links below to find out more.
West Mountain Inn, Arlington, Vermont
Dan & I headed up to beautiful Vermont for Elena & Johan's big day. It was perfect weather and an even more perfect setting amongst the green mountains. Elena & Johan along with their family and friends were such a pleasure to photograph. The whole day was so relaxed and just good energy. Exactly what you would think and expect from a Vermont wedding.
Here is their story:
How we met:
We met when we were young professionals working in Washington, DC. We both worked for think tanks where the young people from both organizations would always socialize together. As a result, we were friends for a long time before we began dating. Over time, we moved in together, adopted a cat together, weathered each other's graduate school experiences, and began planning for the future.
We decided together that we would get married, although Johan still had a proposal planned. He is from Sweden, and in December 2012 we traveled to Stockholm to begin a Christmas trip to visit his family and friends. The funny thing is that Johan was doing work in Africa the week before the trip, and so he didn't feel comfortable traveling so much with the ring. So Elena carried it with her to Sweden! He booked a beautiful hotel room right on the water in Stockholm. After his proposal, we met friends in the hotel lobby for some champagne, and then went out dancing all night long! The whole city was decorated so beautifully for Christmas -- it was wonderful.
There was no question that we would get married in Vermont. Elena's parents' vacation home is one of our favorite places, and the wedding was the perfect opportunity to bring everyone together in such a beautiful place. We were so pleased to find out that a lot of people followed our suggestions and went out hiking, kayaking, and swimming that weekend! So many of Johan's friends and family traveled from Sweden for the occasion, and so we really tried to incorporate some Swedish traditions into the event, including having two close friends as Toastmasters, Schnapps toasts, and other fun things. The officiant was our close friend that brought everyone to tears. The wedding weekend had perfect weather, with blue skies breaking over the mountains just after the ceremony. The people, the location, the flowers, the music: everything was perfect. We wish we could do it all over again!
Elena & Johan
Mom helping Elena put the finishing touches on.
In the next two images you'll see my army of photographers I travel with. This assures me of NEVER missing a shot. Now if I can only get them to put their phones down and use the cameras I taught them on... ;)
Dad's reveal seeing his beautiful daughter as a bride for the first time.
The next several images were all shot on the beautiful grounds of the Inn.
What a spot for a wedding!!
The reception was held in a restored barn.
Elena getting ready for a crazy night of dancing. :)
Their first dance which also included the parents.
Classic hora festivities.
I think Johan's dad had the best time of all. :)
There were lots of speeches of love through the night.
Oheka Castle, Huntington, NY
I can finally say I shot a Oheka wedding. I have been wanting to photograph here for a long time. I have seen so many incredible images from here. It was definitely on my list. Lucky for me Gillian and Steven chose me to capture their day. The forecast called for rain all day. But after a brief shower or two the sun came out and shined on their day. They had an incredible time with family and friends dancing the night away in celebration.
Here is their story:
How We Met:
Steve and I were introduced to each other through mutual friends but nothing romantic happened because I was already spoken for. Still, I couldn’t get that goofy guy with the contagious smile and laugh out of my head. Once my relationship ended, I decided to take a giant leap out of my comfort zone and send Steve my phone number. Needless to say, he sent me a text within minutes and we went on our first date a few days later! Our first date was perfect. We talked for hours about everything…..we talked so much I even forgot to go to the bathroom and wet my pants. We both left that night knowing we met someone special and 17 months later we got engaged.
Our engagement was perfect though it certainly didn’t go as Steve planned. I had made a dinner reservation so didn’t think Steve was planning a proposal. We were visiting family in New Jersey and heading back to our apartment in NYC. I was running late and Steve was panicking about missing our dinner reservation, which was odd since usually it’s the other way around. We had about 15 minutes until our reservation and I insisted I needed to change and walk Pumpernickel (our dog). Steve ended up walking Pumpernickel so I could get upstairs to change. Once in the apartment, I was convinced someone had broken in…..not because anything was missing but rather, it was cleaner than when I left. Apparently I thought robbers clean for you too. While I’m trying to figure out who broke into our apartment, Steve is in the elevator, pressing the button to every floor and trying to tie the ring box on Pumpernickel’s collar. The rest went something like this….our apartment door opens, Pumpernickel gives a shake, the ring falls off of him, I freak out about the robber, Steve’s on his hands and knees looking for the ring and before I can question what on earth he’s doing on the floor, he finds it and the rest is history. I later found out, Steve had gone to the apartment to tidy up and show his Dad the ring!
Our wedding day was the best day of our lives. We had it at Oheka Castle in Huntington, NY…a far cry from the destination wedding with a small group of people we always talked about but we wouldn’t change a thing about it. I was beyond calm and wasn’t feeling nervous at all leading up o the wedding. That was until, the weather was awful in the morning and I was in a tizzy about the ceremony that was supposed to be outside. I had a chat with Jeff, he told me a story about his brothers wedding and he said, it’s your wedding Gillian, if you want it to be outside, it should be outside. From that point on I was back to my calm, cool and collected self, I didn’t care about the weather, the ceremony was happening outside. If I didn’t care about getting wet, none of our guests should. Ironically just as we were about to start the sky cleared and it was the most beautiful day (we believe it was all the angels we have watching from above, especially Steve’s mom who could not be with us that day but we know was looking down on us). The wedding went just as we wanted it to and it was truly the happiest day of our lives. We felt so blessed to be surrounded by the people that mean the most to us and have their support.
Gillian & Steven
LOL!! Gillian getting sprayed with something. :)
I loved the next three images so much I decided to put them all there. The light and the design of the bridal suite was amazing.
Mom helping out.
Gillian opening Steve's gift and letter to her.
Dad lending a hand to Steve as he gets ready for the big day.
Love this one of Gillian.
The grand entrance at Oheka. Loved the light, the symmetry and the couple. :)
All the kids of the bridal party. And look at that. Only one was crying. :)
A little bribery never hurt anyone.
Of course the classic image from Oheka. If you get married here you will get this image.
The proud dad walking his beautiful bride up the aisle.
Uh, what's going on here?? Actually dad is trying to block the wind as they try to light the unity candle. :)
Stone House at Stirling Ridge, Warren, NJ
Kristy & Steve had their ceremony and reception at one of my favorite venues in New Jersey. Not only for the grounds, the food and atmosphere but they have some of the nicest professional staffs anywhere. When ever I am there Carissa and Frank make me and even more important the bride and groom along with their family and friends feel so welcome it really helps with the energy for the day. Bring on the good times!! Kristy got ready in her home with her girls and then we headed over to Stone House to meet Steve. We arrived a little before Steve and spend some time capturing some portraits of Kristy on the property. We had their first reveal and walked the grounds capturing just the two of them before the bridal party and family arrived. Great day with great people.
Here is their story: :)
How we met:
I always laugh when I seem to think about the story of how Steve and I met. I had actually been set up on a blind date with a friend of a friend. I went into the date with an open mind, even though I had not had much luck with some of the other blind dates that I had gone on. When I met the guy I thought that he was very nice. It turned out, however, that he had a couple of friends with him on our date. Needless to say, Steve was one of those friends. The entire evening I spent most of my time hanging out with Steve. We laughed, we danced…he even held my purse. Things obviously did not work out with the guy that I had initially went on the date with, which was okay with me. I did, however, continue to think about Steve a lot, but I never really thought that I would see him again. Ironically, Steve had grown up next door to one of my best friends. One day I was at a softball tournament with my girlfriend. Steve was actually on the team that was playing my friend’s husbands team. After the game, we all ended up gathering around and talking. My girlfriend then kind of dropped the hint to Steve to ask me out. A few weeks later, I got an email from Steve seeing if I would like to go on a date with him. A couple of weeks later we went on our first date. That first date lasted over 8 hours! The funny thing about that night is that we met a woman who had told us that we were going marry each other. I knew from that moment on that he and I were meant to be together. After that, Steve asked me out on a second date. And that second date turned into what I would call forever!
Steve and I knew early in our relationship that we wanted to get married. One weekend in March I was supposed to go out to dinner at a restaurant in Weehawken, NJ with my parents. They told me that they wanted to take me out since Steve was away on a business trip. Once my parents and I had gotten to the restaurant, one of which we go to often, my dad had mentioned that he wanted to look at a boat that was for sale before going into the restaurant. The boat dock was located right next to the restaurant. Although I thought that was strange (because my dad does not have any interest in boats) I agreed to go with him to look at it. While walking down the dock my father was greeted by a man. This man was taking us to look at the boat. As we got closer to the boat I realized that it wasn’t a boat we were about to get onto, but a large luxury yacht. As I walked up the stairs to the yacht I saw Steve. He was standing there looking as handsome as ever, dressed in a suite. I couldn’t believe my eyes. As I looked around, I saw his mom and flowers throughout the yacht. I was beyond speechless. I thought he was away. I asked what was going on, even though in my heart I knew that this was it….he was going to propose. Steve told me that he really just wanted his mom and my parents to get to know one another by enjoying the evening together on the water. I actually believed that, too. So, we then sailed down the Hudson River with amazing views of the NYC skyline as we enjoyed cocktails and appetizers. Sunset was just approaching and the Captain of the yacht recommended we go out to the bow of the boat to get an up close view of the Statue of Liberty during sunset. The Captain said he would get as close as he possibly could with his 97ft yacht. As we walked from the top deck down to the bow of the yacht, Steve was following me. Then, as we were a couple hundred feet away for the Statue of Liberty I turned around on the bow and saw Steve down on one knee with a gorgeous ring in his hand. He told me that had fallen in love with the most amazing woman in the world (me) and he wants to love me for the rest of our lives. Then he asked me to marry him and I said YES!
Looking back at our wedding I have no regrets! We were lucky enough to have phenomenal weather all day long. I spent the morning at my parent’s house getting ready with my mom, sister, and bridesmaids. It was fun and relaxing! I was actually calm the entire time. The only time that I got especially emotional was when I did a reveal to my dad once I had my gown on. Jeff set it up perfectly! After getting ready, I went with Jeff to the Stonehouse so that Steve and I could do our reveal. I am so, so happy that Steve and I decided to do the reveal. It was that time that I cherish the most. Although the cameras were there, it was one of the most private, intimate moments that we both shared that day. Steve and I got to have our own private time. Time to see each other for the first time. Time to express how we were feeling without all of our guests being right there. The funny thing is that the reveal did not “ruin” that feeling that you are supposed to have when seeing each other at the alter. Although we had the reveal, we both got the same feelings seeing each other at the ceremony.
Overall, the ceremony and reception at the Stonehouse couldn’t have been more perfect. I got to see all of the little details come to life…the ones that I had spent endless hours preparing for. Steve and I are so blessed to have been able to share that day and evening with our phenomenal family and friends. We ate amazing food and danced all night long. I am so thankful to have had Jeff capture our amazing day, it was like he was a guest of our wedding and enjoyed it just as much as everyone invited. Thank you Jeff!
Few details from the day.
Her pooch looked a little like "WTF is going on!!" ;)
Love the lighting in this one of Kristy and her sister getting ready.
Such a great moment when dad got a look at his daughter as a bride for the first time. The tears were flowing.
I then caught this moment from across the hall.
Kristy looking beautiful on her wedding day.
The next several images were caught around the property at Stone House.
The cute kids helping out the couple for the day.
These next two are so fun. Just so much going on with everyone trying to catch their flowers before they hit the water. So many great faces. :)
Vows to each other.
Love this one of their first dance together.
Classic image against the candle wall.
Almost made it to the end of the night. :)