The Ashford Estate, Allentown, NJ
Another great couple at one of the nicest venues in New Jersey. Heather & Stephen had an unusually warm day in October. Almost 85 degrees!! Felt more like Summer than fall but it was all good times. We started the day at Heather's parents home where the girls were getting ready. Stephen met us there for the reveal which was great. We spent a few minutes at a farm with some of Heather's horse friends before heading out to The Ashford Estate. They chose to do all their portraits before the ceremony which I always strongly recommend. We finished with plenty of time for them to have a break before the ceremony. From there it was a great night of dancing and partying. I also want to thank my good friend and amazing cinematographer Peter at PF Films. One of my favorites to work with and the importance of being a team! Working together for the bride and groom. And also it was my first time working with Soroya and her team at The Finishing Touch Events. They were true professionals and also a pleasure to work with. And of course the amazing staff at The Ashford Estate and Merri Makers Catering. Thank you all for allowing me to do what it is I need to do to get the shot!
Here are some of Heather & Stephen's favorite vendors from the day:
Makeup by Michele Wilderman
Hair by Dayna Goldstein, Connie Beavers
Here is their story. Sit back and enjoy!!
Stephen’s recollection of the night that changed his life:
For years, I asked my friend, Tiffany, to set me up on a date with her little sister. Tiffany and I went to school together and had been friends since we were around 15 years old but never close enough that I made acquaintance with her family. Every now and then she would invite her younger sister to come out places and each time I would ask, unsuccessfully, for an introduction or for her to set us up on a date.
"She has a boyfriend. Forget about it," she would tell me each time.
I learned that her sister’s name was Heather and that she was a college student. Eventually I also learned, to my delight, that she was not so enthusiastic about her boyfriend.
One night I went to an informal party at an old friend’s house. This friend had recently started dating Tiffany and the party was for her. As usual, I asked her to set me up with her sister but this time she said yes! She told me that the following night they would all be going out to dinner, including Heather, and that I should come.
Now, I've already told you that Heather had a boyfriend but I was also seeing a girl. I can't recall what I had planned with this other girl but I certainly wasn't missing a birthday dinner with my real crush for it. So, that was that. I called her up and cancelled and the next day I'd be out and have a chance at Heather.
It wound up being somewhat of a late night and the next morning I woke up feeling like absolute garbage. Tiffany came and picked me up along with a few others. We then went to her childhood home to get Heather, who was home from college for the weekend.
I'll never forget how great she looked getting into the car. She started talking about how hung over she was also and told me I smelled like alcohol and that it was making her nauseous. Not the best start but I continued wooing her with my irresistible charm and soon after had her feeding me sushi from across the table. We hit it off famously at dinner and by the time we got to the bar a few blocks away I had pretty much forgotten about Tiffany, her birthday, and any memory of that girl I was supposed to be on a date with.
Heather and I had so much fun we decided to get out of there. My memory is a little fuzzy but I think I got a kiss in the cab on the way home.
The next day I texted, “I love you" and a couple days later we both officially broke it off with our significant others. Seven months later I proposed, she said yes and here we are, living happily ever after.
Heather’s version of how they met/the rest:
The night I met (fell in love) with Stephen was the night before my sister’s birthday, April 30th 2011. My sister and her boyfriend planned to pick me up on the way. As I opened up the car door, I was mesmerized by this handsome man. I was also furious that I was given no warning and dressed like I was going to a funeral. At dinner I think I awkwardly stared at him and tried my best to be witty and fun. Thankfully, by the time we got to the bar, I started to warm up. Our conversations came naturally and so did our doing monologues from Scar Face, Gladiator and Any Given Sunday. I really don’t think I ever laughed so hard with someone in such a short amount of time. The memories blur out from there, but I recall our first kiss in the cab ride home. The next day I received a text from a strange number saying “I love you” and I replied “Your hair is phenom.”- The rest is history.
He proposed to me seven months later at the Christmas tree in Rockefeller plaza and we booked our wedding at the beautiful Ashford Estate about two years out. The time since then has flown by, but did nothing except reassure us that spending our lives together was the right decision.
Our wedding day was perfect. If you asked Stephen his favorite memory, he would say the reveal. For me, the best part of the day was every moment we could step back and take in all the love we have for each other and for all of our wonderful family & friends as well. It was complete bliss.
THANK YOU. You captured such special moments, although you were working with people who have severe modeling issues. Don’t worry we’ll keep our day jobs- and so should you! You are amazing to work with and we feel so honored that you photographed our wedding day. You gave us such beautiful photos that will always have a special place in our hearts and there are no words that can ever thank you enough for that.
Heather & Stephen
Heather & her sister Tiffany who's wedding I am looking forward to capturing in February of this year!
Love this image.
Great image captured by my assistant Dan.
Their first reveal. Gotta' love Steve's reaction as well as Heather's!! :)
Heather looking absolutely beautiful.
The next several images were captured around the grounds at The Ashford Estate. I could shoot here for hours!!
HA HA!!!! Love this sequence.
Great angle captured by Dan.
Their first dance surrounded by friends and family.
A great time was had by all!!
One of my favorite images from 2013!!
WOW!! That's all I have to say about the celebration of Margaret & Carla. Right when we arrived we were welcomed with open arms. It was full steam ahead right from the get go. Jenny of Jenny Orsini Events went above and beyond with the details. Really incredible design by herself and her brilliant team. There was so much going on hopefully you'll get a small taste of it all with the photos posted. Some of the amazing team assembled by Jenny, Margaret & Carla include
A Touch of Elegance on florals and lighting
Groove shop : music
Special guests Lime and France Joli
Stationery: Paper works and events
Cakes by Stef: wedding cake
For the modern bride: card box
Video: Peter Ferriero
Tony Santana on cigars
Laura madden and staff at Pleasantdale
Makeup by Tammy Boesch
Paula Kares hairstylist
Runner by The Original Runner Company
And most important to me was my amazing team of my assistant Dan and Adrienne Irizarry second shooting for me.She helped me capture one amazing day. Together the three of us rocked!! Thank you guys. And of course working along with my friend and favorite cinematographer Peter Ferriero of PF Films is always a pleasure. One of the best out there.
Here is Margaret and Carla's story...
Carla and Margaret met several years ago through mutual friends and it was literally an “electrifying”, mutual feeling at first sight! The kind of feeling people only describe in the movies. Really. Due to a thousand mile apart distance at the time and other factors, it wasn’t the right time when we initially met. It’s ironic however, that we both met an airport (Carla is a commercial pilot – yes, very way cool and beyond sexy!)
While keeping in touch, Carla’s aviation career eventually took her to the tri state NYC metro area YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Long story short, our story is one of many hurdles; one of real love, patience, and sacrifice in every good sense of the word. It is one of deep commitment after many years of an unknown since we were so far apart (distance wise). We had and continue to build on a feeling of a complete deep connection, mutual respect, unbelievable admiration for one another, and a commitment to surpassing whatever hurdles come our way. No, it was not easy, but nothing that is worth it is.
On a beautiful night in the Western Caribbean, Margaret popped the question and asked Carla to be her wife!
While we had been engaged for several years, we came back from our 2013 Christmas holiday out West and decided this was OUR year. What were we waiting for? We both knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. Landing in Newark on New Years’ Eve, 2013, Margaret called her maid of honor, her sister, and said “this is it, please help us start researching venues.” Immediately, Margaret’s sister came up with a top three list knowing Margaret and Carla’s criteria – a venue that only holds one event at a time and one that is utterly elegant. We chose the Pleasantdale Chateau because no other venue provides what they do – it is a truly unbelievably gorgeous venue, holds only one event at a time, provides a truly gastronomical experience, and its service only truly be described in a fairy tale. It’s that’s simple. The minute we walked into the Pleasantdale and had a chance to meet the staff and tour it, we knew this was the place where we would share the most important day of our lives together, not only with each other, but with our family and friends.
What can we say? It’s still all a blur to some extent. We had our families fly in from Italy, England, Canada, friends from Holland and others from 15 states fly in! The love and support from our family and friends was just incredible! We are just back from our honeymoon and are still trying to recount the moments. It was sooooooo gorgeous, so elegant, but MOST importantly, it was a BLAST!!!! We’re both HUGE music hounds! While having the honor of having the “Groove Shop” perform (soooo soooo incredible beyond words – thankyou Addie Silver – we love you!), we also surprised our guests with two special performers throughout the night. While we both love all types of music, Margaret is a HUGE classic disco buff, - the type of music you would only hear back in the infamous Studio ’54 days in NYC. With the help of her good friend and amazing DJ Alex Garcia who spun a crazy after party, she had LIME and the Canadian sensation France Joli perform as surprises for her guests whom both completely brought down the house!!!!
The entire night just ROCKED! Carla is also a highly accomplished musician and surprised Margaret at the reception by playing bass with the Groove Shop to “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk! How cool is that? A beautiful bride in a couture wedding dress rocking out on bass at our wedding. EPIC & AWESOME!!!
From the minute we walked into the reception, to the end of the after party, (which ended after midnight by the way with a 4pm start), the dance floor was just packed and that’s exactly what we wanted ALL NIGHT! If we had to repeat it, our wedding day would never be the same. Our day was just THAT special and the energy cannot be described from the minute we arrived to the minute we left the Pleasantdale the next morning! Our wedding was truly priceless and unforgettable in every way! It completely ROCKED!!
One last note, we could not have pulled off the incredibly magical day we had if it were not for our “dream team” – Jenny Orsini Events (YOU COMPLETELY ROCK), The Groove Shop (LOVE YOU GUYS!!!), Jeff Tisman Photography (OMG with your teaser photos!!!), PF Films (Peter Ferreiro, your teaser video is a work of art!!!), A Touch of Elegance (Lisa, you BLEW us away!!!), & Paperworks & Events (Andrea and Alison, you ladies ROCK!!!). We had the very best team of vendors (truly the “dream team”) ever pull our vision, who worked closely with us throughout our planning process and completely hit it out of the park!!! Special thanks also to the Pleasantdale Chateau – particularly Laura Madden and Santiago whom we both can’t speak highly enough!!!
Love this one. I may even het one of these shirts. :)
One of the best "reveal's ever! Love the emotion in these.
Carla looking absolutely beautiful...
And Margaret equally as beautiful.
The next several images were of the two of them. They were both just so much fun to photograph.
Some of their closest amazing friends.
Jenny Orsini and her team from Jenny Orsini Events really went above and beyond on this one. I really don't have any words but "HOLY SHI*!!" :) Every which way I turned there was just amazing attention to every detail. One of the most beautiful weddings I've ever had the pleasure of capturing.
This was the runner from The Original Runner Company leading Margaret & Carla to each other.
Love this series. Just so much fun!
And of course I always come prepared with my back-up shooters only using the best smart phone technology out there...
You may now kiss the "bride". ;)
Look at this room designed by Jenny Orsini Events!!! AMAZING!!!!!
Cake created by Cakes by Stef.
The Card box holder.
Let the festivities begin!!!!
Margaret & dad.
Cala & dad's dance together.
Famous 70's icon France Joli performing at the After Party.
Small taste of the craziness that happened ALL NIGHT!!!
That's a garter Carla is throwing hence only guys below her. :)
Bad ass chicks!
Renault Winery, Egg Harbor City, NJ
Denise & Steven had their wedding at Renault Winery in South Jersey. It had beautiful grounds to get a wide variety of images. Guess it's safe to assume their will be plenty of drinking and good times when the main drink is wine. :) We did all our pics before the ceremony so Denise & Steve enjoyed the entire day & evening with their close friends and family.
Here is their story:
The first time we visited Renault Winery was for one of our first Valentine’s Days as a couple. We fell in love with the place immediately and knew we’d be back again. After a few more romantic weekends at Renault, we returned again for a longer getaway over Labor Day weekend. After a relaxing day by the pool and an extraordinary dinner at the Gourmet Restaurant, Steve took me to a statue that I’ve long admired, as the goddess it represents is where my name is derived. It was in front of this statue that he proposed. He said the day had been perfect, the evening had been perfect, and the rest of his life would be perfect if I would marry him. Of course, I said yes!
As the wedding planning process began, I had no doubt in my mind that Renault would also serve as our venue. Not only are the grounds beautiful, the food delicious, and the staff warm and welcoming, but most importantly, Renault holds a special place in both of our hearts. We booked immediately.
On our wedding day, the sun was shining and the air was warm- a perfect October day. Jeff picked out the best spot for us to do our “first look”. As I approached Steve, with his back turned, I was overwhelmed with emotions – I was excited, nervous, and anxious all at once. When he turned to see me for the first time, his eyes lit up and his smile beamed with joy. It was in that moment that I felt the most comfort. It was as if no one else was around, and the entire world had stopped so that we could envelop ourselves in this once in a lifetime, special moment. With that one simple look, I knew that spending the rest of my life with this man would bring me joy, happiness, love, and fulfillment.
Denise & Steve
Denise wore her Grandmother's necklace.
Getting ready to meet for the first reveal.
Badass one of Steven.
One of my favorites of Denise from the day.
A little game of beer pong to get the party started.
I liked the silhouettes so much I decided to put two on.
I had not met Kristiann & Nick for the first time since they live in Florida. But right away we hit it off and had a great time walking around the amazing property of Terhune Orchards in Princeton. We had pumpkins. old trucks, corn fields, barns. It really was a perfect location. I also want to thank Pam and her staff at the orchard for their hospitality!! Really looking forward to capturing Kristiann & Nick's day at The Ashford Estate in just a few short weeks! Here are some of my favorites from the day.
Since their wedding is just before Halloween I thought it appropriate to cut off their heads and replace them with pumpkins. ;)
One of my fans for sure.
Crossed Keys Inn, Andover, NJ
Justyna & Kevin had their "apple of a day" (lame I know but I had to it) wedding at one of my favorite venues, Crossed Keys Inn. Kathy and her staff are always amazing and accommodating. The light here for photographers is always so magical. The theme of the day was Apples! We did al the photos before the ceremony and Justyna & Kevin enjoyed their friends and family for the entire day.
Here is their story:
How we met (Justyna’s version): There was a crazy snowstorm in the tri-state area that week in February, 2010. I totally had cabin fever. Somehow, I convinced my room-mate, Rachel, to take me shoe shopping in her SUV. We miraculously did not get into a car accident (and yes, I did get a pair of shoes!) When we got home, in an effort to keep me entertained and herself safe for the rest of the snowstorm, Rachel decided it would be a good idea for me to sign up for e-Harmony. After a few days, I received a message from a Kevin, who did not like the “whole question sending thing they want you to do” and who wanted to exchange a few e-mails instead. I loved his sense of humor and his personality jumped right off of the computer screen. We e-mailed back and forth for that entire day and ended it with a phone call. About a month later, due to travel schedules, we finally met for sushi. Kevin was my first and only e-Harmony date!
Proposal (Kevin’s version): After discussing my intentions to propose to Justyna with our families, I began thinking of ways to make the proposal special and personal for both of us. We had planned a cruise to Bermuda and I thought what better opportunity than to propose on one of Bermuda's famous pink sand beaches. Well, as luck would have it, the ship arrived in Bermuda at exactly the same time as a tropical storm and we were confined to the ship. The ring was locked in the safe in our cabin and I began to fear that my perfect proposal would have to wait. After spending several weeks memorizing how to say "will you marry me" in Polish, Justyna's native language, I was anxious to finally ask her. Fortunately, the following day the weather cleared enough for us to leave the ship and enjoy Bermuda. We rented a scooter to tour the island and as we arrived on the pink sand beach it just didn't feel right to me. The beach was crowded, clouds rolled in and it appeared as if it would rain any moment; I decided to wait. We enjoyed the rest of our day and as we were riding our scooter back to the ship I noticed a secluded cove just off the road with a beautiful ocean view. The sun was setting and the light was reflecting off of the ocean water. I insisted we stop to take a break. I was so nervous that I forgot to get on one knee; however, I presented the ring, and in perfect Polish I asked her, "Wyjdziesz za mnie (will you marry me)?" I expected her to answer in Polish, "Tak (Yes), " instead she looked at me and said, "Is this for real?" The look on her face was priceless. It was everything I wanted out of the proposal. She was genuinely surprised and excited. I was thrilled.
The wedding: Kevin once tried to pronounce the label on a bottle of green apple flavored water imported from Poland. The butchered pronunciation was so funny to us that it became our nickname for each other and green apples are sort of “our thing.” Now, there’s a perfect theme for a wedding! The “apple” wedding had to take place at a country venue, especially since we are not the marble floor/chandelier loving types.
Our wedding day was an absolutely PERFECT day …yes, we know, almost every couple says that! But, it was exactly what you would imagine a September day to be. Crossed Keys was beautiful. The atmosphere was very relaxed and we just had the time of our lives. It all went by faster than we knew time could possibly pass.
However, we are lucky enough to have had one of the world’s boldest photographers capture this day in our lives for eternity. Jeff was amazing from start to finish – incredibly dedicated to getting extraordinary shots. At one point, Kevin and I, instead of focusing on each other, were mesmerized by Jeff, who was shooting on the ground not even noticing that he was rolling around in the dirt. But, as soon as we got Jeff’s signature prompt: “Togetherness!” , we snapped back into the magic of our day. We knew Jeff would be great, but he was way beyond that. Thank you, Jeff!
And now... their day! :)
Loved the letters. So "Willy Wonka" like
The theme of the day was apples.
Great capture by my assistant Dan.
Justyna rocking her pre-lingerie shoot.