As I scrolled through my facebook newsfeed this morning, I realized that every third person is posting about how awesome the new Hunger Games Catching Fire movie is. As much as I tried to resist the Hunger Games phenomenon, I caved and watched the first movie earlier this year.
Soooo, I’m basically barely breathing until I can get my butt to the theaters to see it! I’ve watched the trailer more times than I care to admit. We don’t need to talk about that. But what we do need to talk about is how I’ll be going for FREE thanks to Christine and Keith (who were married in September!). They surprised me with this adorable thank you gift AT THEIR WEDDING! C’mon…who in the world thinks about giving their photographer a gift on their own wedding day?! That is seriously un-real! These are two of the nicest and sweetest people in the entire world! :)
Chris and I can’t wait to break in our new mugs, and especially can’t wait for our movie date night! Thanks you both so much! :)
Memorial Day is an extra memorable holiday for this couple. Steph and Vance met at a Memorial Day picnic for mutual friends in Prospect Park. Vance, horrible with names, knew right away that he wanted to remember this girl so he kept saying her name over and over again so he wouldn’t forget it. They played lawn games and shared laughs. As Steph was exiting the park to go home and care for her dogs, Vance wanted nothing more than to run after her and ask her out. His friends reassured him that he needed to “play it cool” and prevented a total movie moment (jerks! jk). As fate would have it, she ended up coming back to the party and Vance was NOT going to miss his chance again. He lept at the opportunity to ask her out for a drink, but he couldn’t remember her name!! Obviously Steph found him completely charming regardless, and the rest is history! :)
We started their chilly Fall engagement session off with some hot chocolate from City Bakery!
I’m a little upset that CB was out of home-made marshmallows, but I’m over it…kinda.
Meet Vance – king of the smize!
Meet Steph, cutest giggle of all time! Oh and watch out Derek Zoolander, Vance has mastered Blue Steel!
This was one of the games they played at that fateful Memorial Day BBQ!
Union Square was the perfect meaningful location for their session! The wedding will be held in Prospect Park (where they met), so we wanted to take a different approach. When they first started dating, almost all of their dates would start at Union Square. It was an easy spot to meet (trains to both of their apartments), and they usually spent hours sitting on the steps by the park talking when neither of them was ready to go home!
One of these days I will play one of these guys in chess…and lose terribly!
FAVORITE! Doesn’t she have a seriously contagious smile?!
Steph and Vance, I had SO much fun with you both! Can’t wait for your wedding next year at the Prospect Park Boathouse!!!
So, you know what’s awesome? Opening up an email from Etsy, scrolling through lots of pretty wedding inspiration, and then…BAM, seeing a photo you took! It actually caught me so off guard that my first thought was “hey, I photographed a wedding with those same hangers…and those same bridesmaids dresses…and wait, wasn’t one of them named Christine too?” BEST. NIGHT. EVER.
The photo is of these beautiful personalized wedding hangers by Morgann Hill of Bragging Bags. The lovely Keri bought these for her bridesmaids for her summer wedding at the Madison Hotel. They were the perfect way to accent the gorgeous blush Amsale dresses in photos! I think hangers are the number one most forgotten item on a wedding day. Sure, every bride wants beautiful photos of her dress…but those cheap plastic and wire hangers make even the most gorgeous dress look a bit drab. For that reason, I always bring a classic wooden hanger with me on the day of the wedding…but custom hangers like these trump anything that I could bring! Congrats Morgann on having your beautiful creations featured to such a large audience!! So glad I could share in a tiny portion of your fame! :)
I am so excited to share Dave + Christa’s gorgeous wedding at the Spring Lake Bath & Tennis Club! I fell in love with Dave + Christa at their Hoboken engagement session earlier this year, and being with them on their wedding day was incredible! The whole day went so smoothly (thanks to Alida, Angela, and Montana of Juliet Events!). Christa and her maids got ready at the Johnson House Inn in Spring Lake, NJ – a location I would recommend to any bride! It was beautiful and full of natural light, my favorite!
Pop quiz: Do you know what the sixpence is for? Yea, I didn’t either. Turns out, there is a 5th line to that infamous wedding poem! “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe.”
Love Christa’s darling shoes!
Christa and Dave incorporated lots of family photos into their wedding day. My favorite detail was in Christa’s bouquet. She attached a framed photo of each of her grandmothers!
If you’ve read my blog for more than 5 minutes, you know I love first looks and have lately fallen in love with “Daddy’s First Look.” Well, I have a new favorite…Grandfather’s First Look! So precious!
My amazing second photographer (and husband) was able to capture this beautiful photo of Christa arriving to the church! Love it – good job babe! :)
The couple was wed at St. Catharine Church in Spring Lake, NJ. It’s one of the most gorgeous churches I’ve ever been in!
Mr. Pehush, you are too sweet! Thanks in advance for making us all cry!
How cute are these kids?! They are all of Dave’s nieces and nephews!
This bench is where it all started. They met at a friend’s wedding and talked for hours in this very spot!
What a good lookin’ group of friends!
See Dave? I told you it’d be worth it to wear the veil! :)
I’d been dreaming about photographing a big Princess-like ballgown for months! #LivingtheDream
Cocktail hour was outside by the pool on a perfect October day!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…I love mercury glass!
One of my personal favorite moments of the day! See that contraption on the left side of the photo? That’s a same-day slideshow I presented to the couple on my iPad. Watching Christa’s tears of joy reminded me why I do what I do. Moments like these are what I live for! :)
I wanted to jump in. Instead I photographed it. The evening ended with laughter from the dance floor competing with the crashing waves from the beach across the street. Perfection!
Credits // Hotel: Johnson House Inn // Church: St. Catharine Church // Venue: Spring Lake Bath & Tennis Club // Florist: Wallflowers // Event Planner: Juliet Events // Bouquet Charms: Thoughtfully Designed // The Dress: Stefan Jolie via Bijou Bridal // The shoes: Something Bleu // Accessories: Roberta Chiarella and Nadri // Hair & Make-Up Artist: Margie Bresciani // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Watters via Bijou Bridal // Monogrammed Pashminas: Miss Monogram // Invitations: Crane & Co. and Carlson Craft // Vintage Car: Santos Limousine // Men’s Attire: Pat the Tailor // Reception Stationery: Marrygrams // Band: Brian Kirk and the Jirks // Cake: Chocolate Carousel // Photography: Cassi Claire // The End!
Phew, that’s a lot of C’s! I am so beyond excited to share my brand new logo! I worked with the amazingly talented Jen from Paper Sushi to create the perfect new look for my brand. Creating a custom font was so important to me – I knew I wanted something completely unique that couldn’t be copied. The font I was using previously (Bombshell Pro) basically became an overnight celebrity (the “it girl” of fonts), and I realized that any pre-designed font that could be purchased can and would be used by other people. The only way to have something truly unique was to have it hand-lettered by a designer. I searched Google, Pinterest, and Etsy for weeks until I finally stumbled across Jen. Jen is well-known on Etsy for her beautiful custom stamps. She even custom designs stamps for save-the-dates and wedding invitations (hint hint brides-to-be!).
I contacted Jen with some hesitation because I really had no idea how to verbalize what I wanted – mostly because I couldn’t even begin to picture what I wanted. I knew I wanted something that was playful and fun, but also clean and beautiful. Essentially, I was looking for something that communicated my photography style via calligraphy – which seemed an impossible feat! The first few designs were a bit too playful for my taste (because of my lack of super fancy typography vocabulary!)…
But then, it was like Jen walked directly into my brain and took what I couldn’t verbalize. She created a masterpiece! It’s EXACTLY what I was looking for and I didn’t even know it! Without further ado, here is my new favorite calligraphy ever! :)
I love how Jen was able to convey my fun side with slightly playful “i’s” – they are not quite in line with the rest of the letters. She kept the lettering clean and beautiful, but it doesn’t feel stiff or uninviting. Jen even created this perfect tilted version for me to use as my signature! I love it!
As you can tell, I am in awe of Jen’s work and am beyond excited to start introducing the new look! I already updated my website and blog, and I’ll eventually get around to updating all the other places my logo appears. What do you guys think? Is Jen awesome or is she awesome? :)
Jen, you make me feel like I just got picked first for dodge ball! Thanks for everything!
It’s always so exciting to photograph the wedding of an old friend (and also really scary that I’m old enough to have “old friends!”). Erica and I worked together in high school and had a lot of mutual friends. I knew her as the completely adorable sweetheart girl that everyone loved – I’m so glad some things don’t change! Don, you are a lucky fella! :) Don and Erica celebrated their gorgeous wedding at the SkyView Golf Club in Sparta, NJ…one of my favorite NJ venues!
Loving these gorgeous matching robes! Perfect way to keep from messing up your hair!
See? I told you…she’s completely adorable!
Don and Erica opted to have a “First Look” and do all of their photos before the ceremony – I absolutely LOVE when brides schedule their day this way! Look at Don’s precious reaction…
Head over heels for Erica’s stunning bouquet from Blossom and Bee!
C’mon you two…stop being supermodels…
The most raucous-awesome-amazing bridal party!
Love this sweet moment between Erica and her grandfather!
Do you see now why this is one of my favorite venues ever? GORGE!
Erica was escorted down the aisle by her grandfather and younger brother…so beautiful!
WOO HOO! Congratulations Erica and Don!!
One of my favorite parts of SkyView is this gorgeous silo and barn area.
Cocktail hour on the beautiful tented patio was full of laughter!
Erica and Don both share a love of animals, so they decided to donate money to the NJSPCA in lieu of traditional favors.
Erica’s sweet mother-daughter dance had me in tears…
Who doesn’t love a good cake smashing?!
We ended the night outside playing with sparklers – it was soooo much fun!
Credits // Coming soon!
It’s taken me forever, but I’m finally sharing some of the images I was able to capture for my brother’s Town Hall wedding earlier this June! Fred and Michelle are planning their “big wedding” for next June 21st, but they wanted to officially tie the knot before their beautiful daughter (and my first niece!) Mia was born. It was so exciting to photograph all the little moments of their day!
Since they hadn’t picked out their wedding bands yet, they wore antique family rings from Michelle’s side of the family!
That’s my brother! :)
He was sooo excited to meet his little princess, who was born TWO DAYS after my birthday. They don’t know it yet, but I’m so going to make her have joint birthday parties with me!
Fred with his best men (my brother Kevin on the left and cousin David on the right), and a beautiful moment between mother and son before the ceremony!
The whole family…minus me. I’ll photoshop myself in later haha!
My immediate family – love them!
My brothers like to imitate my girly stance! They sooo want to be me! :)
And we celebrated with a delicious Italian dinner afterwards! Love you Fred and Michelle! xo!
I used to think it was only in movies that couples existed who actually despised each other in the beginning….and then I heard Christine and Keith’s story! It’s a real life romantic comedy! They fought like cats and dogs, but shared mutual friends which meant they continuously ran into each other. When asked if they could ever be friends, the answer was clearly “when pigs fly!” Little did they know, they’d start dating a year later and after over 8 years together they’d finally marry! It was so cute to see how many “flying pig” details they incorporated into their day! Since Christine is much more eloquent than I, here’s her description of their gorgeous wedding:
“We adore the countryside, primarily upstate NY, and knew we wanted our theme to be based around that Adirondack feel – rustic, vintage, country, and just us. We scoured across many beautiful venues along the Hudson, in the woods, and even a backyard tent wedding on a beautiful estate, but when we found that rustic vibe at Fox Hollow (so close to home!) we knew it was best for our planning process. Our inspiration shined through with the fireplace, stone walls, glass pavilion ceiling, and outdoor ceremony in a tree-lined, wooden location with a beautiful waterfall. We incorporated hints of burlap, wood, baby’s breath, twine, raffia, and lace!
Every inch of the venue was filled with DIY elements, and knowing that it was so personalized, really made the night extra special and so memorable for everyone. The centerpieces were curly willow branches in various spray painted liquor bottles with distressed and wood burned hearts to show table numbers and a quote like “laugh” or “lucky.” Embellished mason jars held flowers and floating candles to help make each table unique. Our DIY card box was that of a wooden treasure box burned and stained which matched our somewhat nontraditional guest ‘log’ – a slab of varnished wood with our symbol of C+K burned in the middle for everyone to sign. And of course, cocktail hour included a pig roast which wore Jets sunglasses and a frame with “Pigs Have Finally Flown.”
Love this moment so much! Christine is reading a beautiful note from Keith…
Both of their faces are priceless as they see each other during the First Look! :)
Christine did all of the wood burning herself! Each bouquet and boutonniere had one!
Christine, you kill me! Just look at those eyes!!
Love love love Christine’s necklace – it was originally a head piece from Maria Elena!
Flying pigs, I told ya! :)
Keith and Christine were wed by candlelight surrounded by all of their friends and family…it was beautiful!
Almost every single detail you see was hand-crafted by Christine! She’s a total DIY bride!
The father/daughter dance gets me teary eyed every time!
Credits // Hotel: The Inn at Fox Hollow // Venue: Fox Hollow // Florals: DIY via Sam’s Club // Hair: Heather from Envy Salon (Queens, NY) // Make-up: Lisa Juarez // The dress: Enzoani Diana Collection via Bridal Reflections // The pink sash: David’s Bridal // The shoes: Brianna Leigh via My Glass Slipper // Necklace & Bracelet: Maria Elena // Hair piece: Enchanted Atelier // Bridesmaids dresses: Bill Levkoff via Bridal Reflections // Men’s attire: TuxedoPark // Jets Cufflinks: Groom’s via Brookstone & Groomsmen’s via Cynthia Cool Beans // Invitations: Amy Pearson with Paisley Pear Designs // “Fortune Teller” Programs: DIY with template from Gingham Grins // Ceremony Pianist: Alex Holtzman // Cocktail hour musicians: George Barry & Kevin Barry // DJ: We Like 2 Party Entertainment // Videographer: Paul Nameck // Wine box: Made by Amber and Earth // Mini-lantern favors: Favor Warehouse // Mr. & Mrs. sign: The Art of Handmades // The following details were hand-crafted by the bride and will soon be available in her Etsy shop, Crafts & Goodies: All wood burned items, distressed bridesmaid hangers, wedding day timeline, welcome gift bags, ceremony & reception sign, place cards, menus, photobooth scrapbook, Lego cake topper, card box, wooden coasters, wood circle centerpieces (distressed & burned), and the bottles for centerpieces.
How many people do you know who have dated long distance? Probably a lot. Chris and I even dated long distance for almost two years! How many people do you know who dated long distance for FOUR AND A HALF YEARS?! These two! Matt and Christie spent their weekends traveling back and forth between Albany and Long Island to see each other. Personally, I’m so thankful for the two years Chris and I spent long distance because it allowed us to get to know each other deeply and now we are so grateful for every second we have together. I can only imagine what 4.5 years has done to equip Matt and Christie for anything and everything that life throws at them! Thankfully their commuting woes are over now and they are able to enjoy wedding planning together in the same house. To celebrate, we started off their lovely engagement session with some Milk & Cookies!
Walking around the West Village near sunset is one of my favorite things to do! I love how the light almost seems to spy on us in this hidden corner of NYC.
Everything in the West Village is so picturesque! Throw in a cute couple and we’re unstoppable! :)
Side note: how adorable are Christie’s boots?! I want them to magically appear in my closet!
Can’t wait for next June!
I’m going to estimate 90% of the sessions I’ve done in the city end up including strangers who ask to pose with the couple! This guy says he’s an up and coming model…so be on the lookout for Mr. Soon-to-be-Famous! :)
We couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the day than with sunset on the pier! Such perfectly sweet moments! Thanks for being such rockstars Matt & Christie! xoxo! :)
This is such a special engagement session for me. I’ve known the groom-to-be Patrick since the 4th GRADE! Our middle school class only had about 20 kids, so we got to know each other real well. We even played husband and wife (Tevye & Golde) in our high school production of Fiddler on the Roof! Needless to say, I am beyond excited for him and his real life soon-to-be-wifey Katie! It’s obvious from these photos that they are insanely perfect for each other. Pat and Katie embrace all things nerdy, so their choice of props truly express who they are as a couple – fun, carefree, and children at heart! My favorite kind of people! :)
Patrick proposed to Katie in 2009 on top of the Empire State Building, and Katie’s reaction in this video of the proposal makes me tear up every time! :)
A ring suitable for a Queen!
We all had a walk down memory lane when they brought out their original Gameboys from when they were kids!
They brought the Spiderman Wedding Edition comic book to help get us excited for the big day!
We played with a slinky, yo-yo’s, and Jacks on the stairs at Central Park’s Bethesda Terrace…we clearly enjoyed ourselves!
Oh and how could I forget Mr. Potato head! I really felt like a kid again at this session!
How perfect is this save-the-date?! It is so creative and encompasses them completely! Pat and Katie, I cannot wait to see what sort of shenanigans you plan for your wedding day! :)