Cassi Claire » Wedding Photographer serving NYC, NJ, PA, CT, NY

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  • Well, hey there good lookin'! Welcome to one of my dearest places on the world wide web, the home of all my favorite photos! Feel free to click around and get to know me a bit better! I'll give you a head start...I'm addicted to cereal, mint chocolate chip ice cream, and sushi. I’m married to the most incredible man in the world, and we live in Brooklyn with our two kitties. I love LOVE and smiles, and I can't wait to hear your love story!

    Feel free to take a look around the blog, check out my Featured Posts section, and stalk follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Oh, and I also love comments! I mean, c'mon, who doesn't? :)

BEST OF 2013: WEDDINGS

Wow, is 2013 seriously over already?! It feels like just yesterday I was charging my batteries and checking off my to-do list for my first wedding of the season! This year has been beyond amazing. I’ve met so many incredible people, accomplished so many goals, and even managed to sneak in some vacation time! Before I get to the photos, I’d like to thank a few people for making 2013 such an amazing year!

To my couples…Thank you for allowing me to live your wedding day with you. Thank you for letting me into one of the most magical (and sometimes hectic) times of your lives. Thank you for helping me live my dream! Your trust and support allows me to live a life of creativity, entrepreneurship, service, laughter, adventure, joy, and most importantly, love! From the bottom of my heart, thank you for choosing me! :)

To my family and friends…Thank you for your constant support and laughter! Thank you for your blog comments, your crap-we’ve-been-talking-for-over-an-hour phone calls, your genuine excitement when I gloat about being published internationally (blog post coming soon!), for not calling me pretentious or slapping me across the face when I gloat about being published internationally, and for always asking me to bring more business cards so you can hand them out at work (you know who you are…Dad)! I love you all so much!

To my husband…Oh my word, where to start! First off, thanks for bringing me home a Starbucks Peppermint Mocha – those things are legit! Thank you for giving up your weekends to spend them with me photographing weddings! There is no greater joy than re-living our wedding day vicariously through our amazing couples’ weddings. I love watching the bride and groom share their first dance and being able to flit my eyes across the room to find yours and share a silent “remember when” moment. I love seeing your face light up when you notice I used one of your photos in my blog post (and while I’m at it, thanks for proof-reading every single post!). Thank you for making it so easy for me to believe in love and marriage. Without you, I’d just be a girl with a camera.

I could go on and on, but let’s face it…I’m better with photos! Let’s kick this bad boy off with some of my favorite photos of the BRIDE AND GROOM!

One of my favorite new traditions that I’ve seen in 2014 is the FATHER-DAUGHTER FIRST LOOK. This is when a father sees his daughter for the first time in her wedding dress before the ceremony. I literally cry every time!

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And in some cases, the MOTHER-DAUGHTER FIRST LOOK! :)

 

2013 also brought me to some seriously BEAUTIFUL  LOCATIONS! Starting with this gorgeous mountain-view ceremony in northern NJ (SkyView Golf Club)…

And this beautiful Hudson River ceremony at the Rhinecliff Hotel

A beautiful Connecticut country club (Waccabuc Country Club)!

This insanely ornate church (St. Catharine) and this pool-side beach reception at the Spring Lake Bath & Tennis Club!

Madison Square Park in NYC!

And then there’s this super unique ceremony in the middle of the New England mountains of Massachusetts (Hume New England).

I loved looking down on NYC to our view from the Manhattan Penthouse!

 

Speaking of beauty, how about some of the BEAUTIFUL BRIDES of 2013! I love taking the bride aside for a few minutes – there’s nothing like a bride’s glow on her wedding day! :)

 

And what’s a wedding without your best friends?! Yea, that’s right…I’m talking about the WEDDING PARTY!! Like these bridesmaids who serenaded the newlyweds with “Going to the Chapel of Love!”

I know I silly walk with all my besties!

Kids are a guaranteed way to cute-up your wedding party!

 

There’s something about love and weddings that bring out lots of SILLY FACES!

 

Silliness aside, the wedding DETAILS are one of my favorite things to photograph! Couples spend months planning out the perfect accessories and decor to make their dream wedding come true. From the rings to the bouquets to the cake topper – everything is hand selected by the couple, and my couples have some seriously good taste!

 

Lastly, let’s look at the REAL MOMENTS of 2013. It’s like the Real Housewives but actually not at all! These are the moments where I’m so glad I have my camera in my hand – the sweet moments, the funny moments, the is-this-really-happening moments! :)

Five sisters from Italy dance to the Tarantella!

Thanks for re-living my year with me! Here’s to a happy, healthy, and sweetly blessed 2014! :)

Kristen Driscoll Alfonso - Fabulous! :)

Kaitlin Keaveney O'Brien - Love this Cassi! So amazing

Bethany Hanlon - Fantastic! If I’m ever so lucky, I’m telling you now that I want YOU for my wedding! This is my official booking. Partner and Date TBA.. LOL!

Amy Rizzuto - I love this post Cassi! It looks like you had an incredible 2013!

Michelle Joelle - Wonderful, all of your shots!

Angela Newton Roy - Cassi! This is such a great 2013 recap! I love seeing all of your favorite shots from the year. They are beautiful!! You got some really great moments from these weddings – so pretty!

WINNING PHOTO OF BRIDE & GROOM!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Looking for a fun way to waste time while simultaneously relaxing your way through your hangover, er first day of 2014? Spend it voting for your favorite photos in the annual Shoot and Share Photo Contest! I’ve been voting for the past hour lol…helpful tip, turn the slideshow feature off so it loads faster! :)

I actually won 4th place in the Bride & Groom category last year, but haven’t had a chance to share the good news yet! My winning photo was featured in the November edition of the Shoot and Share online magazine – woo hoo! Thank you Brendan and Jaimie for being so amazing in front of the camera and making my job easy! (Top photo)

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Love seeing my name among all these talented people! I feel like I can absorb some of their awesomeness through osmosis!!

 

The Shoot and Share kids must really love Brendan and Jaimie because their photo was chosen as the main image for the Bride & Groom category in this year’s contest! J&B, thanks for being so stinkin’ adorable!! :)

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In case you are curious about how the contest works…

 

Now, GO VOTE for this year’s winners!! Voting is open from January 1st – January 31st! You’ll see 4 photos from the same category, you choose your favorite! Vote as much as you want on any device! :)

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CENTRAL PARK ENGAGEMENT: ERIC + JENNIFER

Happy day-after-Christmas ya’ll! Hope you are ready for some seriously adorable winter engagement photos! Jennifer and Eric, I loved getting to know you guys and hearing your adorable proposal story! They both went to the Culinary Institute of America and can easily rival my foodie status. Jennifer and a few of her best friends planned a day-trip to the city to eat at a few different places. Unbeknownst to her, Eric had previously taken a bus up to visit her parents and ask her hand in marriage. After he got permission, he conspired with her friends to surprise her while they were all in the city. Jennifer was expecting a reserved dinner with her friends, but was left speechless when she saw Eric there instead! Given their love of culinary arts, it was only fitting that they get engaged in a restaurant! :)

Since their actual engagement took place in NYC, it was so fun to photograph the two love birds in the city that started it all! We kicked things off at the beautiful white amphitheater in the Mall at Central Park…

While walking through the Mall, we found ourselves in the middle of some sort of school trip – faux flash mob!

I love the mix of rose gold and silver on Jennifer’s engagement ring.

The Bow Bridge is just so romantic!

Congratulations again you two! I hope you enjoy every minute of wedding planning! :)

Timmy Jimenez - Omg so cute and I love that pic with the giant bubble behind you Jen!!! So f-ing adorable!!

Miucha Cardoso - Cuuuuuuuute! You guys look perfect together :)

Eric Robert Dohrman - Thank you so much again Cassi! These are absolutely amazing- I can honestly say I’ve never had more fun taking pictures. We can’t wait to show them off and tell everyone it was you who took them.

Ashley Therese Photography - Such beautiful photos!! Love the way you captured this couple so beautifully Cassi!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS 2013!!

Merry Christmas guys!! I didn’t realize how much “Christmas” I needed to cram into one post, so apologies in advance for being all over the place! Let’s start with our first time mailing a Christmas card as a married couple (even though we have been married for almost 3 years!). I LOVE Minted and have been dying for an excuse to use them…their gold foil cards make me swoon, so it was an easy choice! Since I’m a photo-a-holic, we used photos to show off our 2013 highlights! :)

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From left to right: (1) view of my favorite bridge – the Verrazano (2) we traveled to Cape May for the first time which included yummy breakfast at the Mad Batter (3) my first niece, Mia, was born on July 29th (4) we watched the inspiring NYC marathon (5) we vacationed at CAMP-of-the-WOODS with Chris’s family (6) Chris and I photographed weddings together all year long (7) my brother Fred got married at the local town hall, but the “big” wedding will be in 2014 (8) we traveled to Vegas for a photography convention WPPI (9) we went to the Central Park Zoo (10) 2013 (11) we went to Coney Island more times than I can count (12) our two kitties Penny and Sasha (13) we cruised around Manhattan – love this view of the Brooklyn Bridge (14) my best friend since 4th grade got married and I was MOH – thanks Amy Rizzuto for the photo (15) a view of our life in NYC (16) view of the Rocky Mountains from the plane to Vegas (17) another snapshot of our life in NYC (18) we saw Cinderella and Wicked on Broadway this year (19) palm tree from Vegas (20) Chris took me on the best birthday date ever which included row boating around Central Park!

Phew! 2013 was AMAZING…especially when I look back at it all in instagram format haha! This Christmas was our first year getting our own Christmas tree and decorating the house. We were so giddy (and a little neurotic) decorating our first tree. I have this thing where everything needs to match at all times! We went with a gold color scheme because it’s just so darn festive and makes me feel so happy! So this year…EVERYTHING was gold! Gold foil Christmas cards, gold stickers, gold ornaments, gold ribbon on the tree, gold backdrop for our Christmas party, gold candles, gold tablecloths, gold plates, gold napkins, gold utensils, gold cups, gold decor…like, seriously, everything…

This was also our first Christmas party! I’m not sure if it will become an annual tradition just yet…especially since half of our guests weren’t able to make it this year due to my worst enemy snow. But we had an amazing time with those who were close enough to make the trek through inches and inches of snow! :) Thank you Carla Bonnet for manning the FUNbooth! :)

I had to drag my brother in, but it was worth it! :)

YMCA! You don’t want to know how long this took to master…

A huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge thank you to everyone who made it (or attempted to make it) to our Christmas party! It meant the world to us!! And for those who were snowed in, you were there in spirit! We missed you so much but are glad you all stayed safe! :)

Oh and one last bit of Christmas love for ya’ll! My niece met my dad Santa for the first time! Isn’t she uh-stinkin-dorable?! I must say, I’ve very impressed with my dad’s Santa skills…that must explain how I believed in Santa until like 4th grade! But we don’t need to talk about that! :)

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MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!! I hope you are all having an amazing day filled with love and laughter!! Sending hugs your way! xoxoxo!

Becky Mulvey - Love love love this!

Jean Larson Cole - BEAUTIFUL PIC CASSIE MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND CHRIS,MISS SEEING YOU,LOVE YOU BOTH,GRANDMA.////

FASCINO WEDDING, MONTCLAIR NJ: ANDREW + JAIMIE

Andrew and Jaimie started dating 7 years ago while working together at Bottle King. Jaimie thought Andrew might propose on their trip to Mexico last July, but her mom convinced her that he wouldn’t dream of it! Andrew, on the other hand, knew this would be the perfect setting to ask his love to marry him. He proposed within 20 minutes of their arrival to their hotel room!! Proposing right at the beginning of the trip allowed them to celebrate all week in paradise! :)

Jaimie and Andrew were wed at the Bloomingdale Town Hall in front of their closest friends and family…

I worked with Andrew and his sister Lea back in high school at a retirement community called Cedar Crest Village – I met SO many amazing friends there!

Love, love, love!

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Pop!!

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Cutest groom’s cake ever!!! I can’t believe how realistic their pup looks! Every part of this is edible – nutso! 

Obsessed with the colors on this cake!!

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Fascino in Montclair, NJ was the perfect venue for their intimate celebration. The food was incredible, the staff was so friendly, and the ambiance was perfect!

Love this super sweet moment between father and daughter! Congratulations again to Jaimie and Andrew!

Credits // coming soon!

TIDES ESTATE WEDDING: JUSTIN + JESS

Happy one-month-a-versary to Jess and Justin! I’m so excited to share their gorgeous wedding at the Tides Estate! It was my last full day wedding of the 2013 season, and I couldn’t have asked for a better couple or party to end the season with! As you might remember from their engagement session blurb, Jess and I went to high school together so I actually knew a few of the guests at this wedding. It was so fun to see familiar faces, dine with friends, and witness true love all day long! Jess and Justin fully embraced the fall theme without wandering into cheesy territory. I love all of their thoughtful details, including the simple and classy watercolor leaves on their invitations…so pretty! Jess gifted all of her bridesmaids these hand-painted sunflower wine glasses for mimosas on the wedding day!

Love love these “something blue” shoes from Betsey Johnson!

Justin surprised Jess with this beautiful necklace which she chose to wear for the rest of the day!

This moment makes me want a sister so bad! What a beautiful relationship!

Ya’ll know I love me some “daddy-daughter” first looks, and this is easily one of my favorites! He’s so cute!

The wedding was held at the Tides Estate in NJ on the nicest day in all of November!

Justin patiently waiting for his bride…

A husband’s first duty is to carry his wife’s train all day long!

The cutest twin flower girls!

Jess creatively used a “winery in the Fall” theme at the reception. Justin even helped DIY these centerpieces by cutting the tops of the wine bottles off to be used for holding the table names. I really don’t want to even think about how big of a project cutting glass is!

Congratulations Jess and Justin! I’m so happy to have been a part of your wedding day!! :)

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Credits // Venue: The Tides Estate // Florist: Precious Petals Too // The dress: David’s Bridal // The shoes: Betsy Johnson // Accessories & Rings: Helzberg Diamonds // Hair & Make-up Artist: Anne’s Hair Spa // Bridesmaids dresses: Bill Levkoff via Macy’s Bridal Salon // Guys tuxes & ties: Men’s Wearhouse // Ring chest: Etsy // Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas // Hand-painted wine glasses: Timeless Treasures // Centerpieces: DIY wine bottles // Favors: DIY // DJ: DDM Entertainment // Cake: The Tides Estate // Photography: Cassi Claire // The End!

PRESS: NEW YORK WEDDINGS MAGAZINE

When Chris first told me that the job he applied for required us to move to Brooklyn, I was a wreck. I had just started gaining traction on my photography business in NJ, just started making friends, and just started getting close to my family again (after having lived in Miami and upstate NY since leaving home at 18). I cried like a baby. I wasn’t ready to leave again, and I certainly wasn’t ready to live in another big city. Miami was a less than enjoyable experience for me, and I really wasn’t looking forward to worrying about my personal safety every day (again).

I especially wasn’t ready to relocate my baby-business and begin the process of making photography friends all over again. A few days after we moved in to our new place in Brooklyn, I purchased New York Weddings magazine. I wanted to scope out the best of the best New York photographers listed in the vendor guide. I admired website after website, and I thought, someday I’ll be in this magazine. It was one of those things you tell yourself as an encouragement boost, but you doubt will really happen. Well, after two years of falling in love with this city, making tons of new friends, and growing my passion into a successful full-time wedding photography career…I can say that “someday” is today!

There I was, standing on the 3rd floor of Barnes & Nobles in Union Square, holding New York Weddings magazine fresh from the rack, with MY name in it. MY NAME! It took every morsel of self-control not to grab the person standing next to me and ask them to jump up and down with me! Instead, I stood there, smiling all dreamy-eyed at a magazine, completely lost in the moment. All the fear, all the worry…it was for nothing. God knew what he was doing when he moved us here. I can’t believe all the awesome I would have missed out on had I let my fears hold us back.

The best part was reading the little description they wrote about me! I had to go through an application process to even be considered for their list of recommended photographers, and apparently all of this came through in the process – woo hoo!!! A real journalist wrote about me…I still don’t believe it! Pinch me! :)

Here’s to conquering new fears and following a path regardless of how scary it may seem at the time! :)

PS: See it in their online directory too!

Love & Light Photographs - So happy for you Cassi!

Frankie P (黃浩龍) - Your reputation is well deserved! You are the most bubbly and skilled photographer that I know. ;)

Lyndah Wells - So fabulous!! Well Done!

Allison Mannella - Hooray! Congratulations to you!!!

SUNNYBANK PARK, NJ: THE RABEL FAMILY

Loved, loved, loved spending time with Brenna and her family! Brenna and I went to high school together – we passed notes in class, we tormented each other (out of love) in biology class, we partnered up on projects – I stinkin’ love this girl! We hadn’t seen each other in years so it was amazing to catch up and meet some of her family. Brenna surprised her “G-ma” with a photo shoot for her and her 5 grandchildren. For the record, I want to adopt her grandma as my own – she was so cute! :)

Love these 3 sisters! 

There was so much love and fun between them that I wanted to put down my camera and snuggle with them all! I totally want a snuggly photo like this with my own family! So sweet! :)

THANK YOU CHRISTINE + KEITH!

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.

It.

Was.

AWESOME.

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! :)

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Kristen Driscoll Alfonso - Catching Fire = amazing. Start to finish. Wow! Enjoy! :)

UNION SQUARE ENGAGEMENT: VANCE + STEPH

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!!!

ashley goodwin - what BEAUTIFUL colors! LOVE LOVE LOVEEEEEEE. And I pretty much adore the Carrie Bradshaw style stairs. :) so nyc.

Steph - Love love love love LOVE!!! Thank you so much, Cassi! These are fantastic and I cannot wait to see the rest!!

Cassi Claire - I’m so happy you love them Steph! And Ashley, thank you SO much lovely!! :)

M o r e   i n f o