Breakwater Inn and Spa: Kennebunkport, ME: Ashley & Max's Wedding

I personally think it’s pretty amazing that we get to work in a job in which it’s okay for us to tear up from time to time. And that’s good, because I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve been known to do just that. At Ashley and Max’s wedding, it is not an exaggeration to say that I had tears welling up in my eyes no less than five times. This was not a bittersweet wedding, it wasn’t solemn in any way. In fact, it was utterly and completely joyous. The tears came from watching true and unrestricted expressions of love - from Ashley and Max to one another, from their parents, from their siblings and friends. This is a couple who are not afraid to completely lay bare just how they feel about each other. It’s clear that they are able to do so because they each come from an environment that has encouraged them to completely realize themselves and to wholeheartedly love another person without an ounce of fear. 

It was all of that made what was already a spectacular seaside, tented wedding even more special. From the location, selected in part to honor Ashley’s late grandparents who had a home in Kennebunkport, to the personal and thoughtful touches throughout the day, every piece had a special meaning. And then, there is the energy. If Ashley and Max could bottle their chemistry, they would make a fortune. They are fun and silly and sweet with one another. They danced in to their reception and ran from table to table greeting their guests with high fives. Ashley playfully teased Max during the cake cutting, having him chase her on the dance floor to get his bite. Their happiness is undeniable and it is contagious. You can’t hep but look at them and know, these two are clearly meant for each other.

As the sun was setting and the reception was getting into the full swing, streams of light peeked through the clouds and shone down onto the water, right above the location where Ashley’s grandparents had brought her and her siblings during so many summers. It was one more in an evening full of beautiful moments, worthy of bringing a tear to your eye.

Bridal Gown: Alvina Valenta    |    Tuxedo: Russo Tux    |    Hairstylist: Taylor & Company of Kennebunkport, Maine    |    Make-up: Jackie Angelini    |    Invitations & Paper: Designed by the Bride    |    Flowers: Winston Flowers    |    Trolley: Intown Trolley Company, Inc.    |    Event Design & Coordination: Salvatore DeGeorge of DeGeorge Signature Events    |    Ceremony Location: St. Ann’s Episcopal Church in Kennebunkport, Maine    |    Reception Location: Breakwater Inn and Spa in Kennebunkport, Maine    |    Cake: Gayle Forte of Let Them Eat Cake

Winged Foot Golf Club: Mamaroneck, NY: Annie & Robby's Wedding

It rained the night before Robby and Annie’s wedding, fast rain that swept from side to side. As their closest friends and family were gathered inside for the rehearsal dinner, many of them eagerly took to the mic to speak about the couple. When they spoke, it became clear just how much Annie and Robby had in common. They fiercely support their friends, they embrace challenges head on. They encourage those around them to live life to the fullest and know how to throw a party that you won’t soon forget.

As Annie and Robby listened, they beamed as each compliment was bestowed upon the other, nodding in agreement as they heard some of the many reasons they were marrying one another. By the time the speeches wrapped up, the rain had stopped. The sun came out, and a rainbow appeared. It was just over an hour before the sun was about to set, and yet the sun shone in just the right way, in just the right place to add just a bit more magic to an already amazing night.

It was a mere preview to what came the next day - when Annie and Robby exchanged sweet, tear-inducing vows in her childhood church. The party that followed was, indeed, pretty spectacular - one that I'm very certain will live on in their friends and family's memories for a very long time.

Venue: Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, NY  

New Haven Lawn Club: New Haven, CT: Allie & Matthew's Wedding

We had been looking forward to Allie and Matt’s wedding since we had last saw them, standing in the sand at Baker Beach in San Francisco for their engagement session. They were newly settled in their home on the west coast, after meeting back in New York a few years before. Planning a wedding from across the country is no easy task, but thankfully Allie had some incredible help from her mother and the staff at the New Haven Lawn Club (who are phenomenal). 

From our first meeting Allie and Matt, we knew their day would be sweet and emotional and that their families would play an important role in it all. After all, it was Allie’s brother that first introduced them and who was especially happy when they became a couple.  Matt’s large family was delighted to have Allie become an official member of the family, having seen just how happy she makes Matt. And, of course, Allie's parent's complete joy in seeing their daughter marry such a kind, intelligent man was very evident from the smiles on their faces.

Allie and Matt married on what just might have been one of the hottest days in August, but they did not let the thick humidity weigh down their day. This was a day they had planned across thousands of miles, had thought about since not too long after they became a couple, and it was exactly as wonderful as they had hoped it would be.

Venue: New Haven Lawn Club in New Haven, Connecticut  |  Floral Design: Fleur De Lys Floral  | Band: Atomic Funk Project

Four Seasons Hotel: New York, NY: Kelly & Rustin's Wedding

Kelly and Rustin were both nervous the morning of their wedding day, but not a bit of their nerves were about the monumental decision they were making. There was no question in either of their minds that they were meant to be together - they had already been together for years, having first met and become a couple in high school. It’s wasn’t the vows or the commitment that made them nervous, it was more about the eyes that were going to be on them. Neither of them are particularly fond of being the center of attention. 

But from the moment they saw one another, you could almost see their nerves melt away, because if there is one place where both of them could find comfort, it was by one another’s side. Throughout the rest of their day, Kelly and Rustin were holding hands every moment they could, leaning in to one another. It was as though they were in their own world together and they were inviting their friends and family to see the magic of it, if just for one day. 

Hair & Make-Up: Once Upon A Bride  |  Bridal Gown: Mark Zunino  |  Bridal Salon: Kleinfeld Bridal  |  Shoes: Stuart Weitzman  |  Bridesmaids Dresses: Adrianna Papell  |  Venue: Four Seasons Hotel New York  |  Flowers: Floralies Inc.  |  Band: Hank Lane Bleeker Street Band

Battello, Jersey City, NJ: Ali & Brian's Wedding

Ali and Brian were married on one of those sticky humid days that seem to be most prevalent in July. The kind when a downpour is imminent and the heat slows you down just a bit. Yet, in the room where Ali was getting ready that morning, there wasn’t a hint of concern about the clouds in the sky or the moisture in the air. She was calm and relaxed, content in a way a person can only be when they know they have made the very best decision and are simply waiting the best moments that are to come. 

Of course, Ali and Brian had a day full of great moments - like when Brian first saw Ali as she came down the aisle on her father’s arm and he broke out into what just might be the biggest smile I’ve ever seen or when they exited the church to the thunderous applause of their friends and family. The impending downpour did come, not long after the ceremony, but Ali and Brian took it all in stride and embraced the opportunity for a few quiet moments inside. When the rain stopped sun finally broke through the clouds, they got to walk the docks in Jersey City and enjoy the spectacular view of lower Manhattan. 

As they sat back and listening the the heartfelt and funny speeches offered up in the honor during their reception, they would each look over to the other from time to time with a big smile. And as they danced throughout the night, Ali would lean in to Brian and have that same contented look on her face - the look of a person who knows that in his arms she is exactly where she is meant to be. 

Ceremony Location: Holy Rosary Church in Jersey City, NJ  |  Event Planning & Design: EVJ Wedding Co.  |  Venue: Battello in Jersey City, NJ

Saybrook Point Inn and Spa: Old Saybrook, CT: Yuna & Barrett's Wedding

Since the time Yuna was about thirteen years old and moved half way across the world to attend high school, she’s lived away from home. There, she fostered an independent spirit, an ability to learn new things incredibly fast and to make friends easily. All of those things came in handy after graduation when she went to Princeton University. During her first year, she decided to join the crew team - a decision that would end up changing her life. She was new to the sport but she quickly became a coxan and caught the eye of a tall, handsome man named Barrett. 

Yuna and Barrett became friends and spent some time together that year before the summer break would have them spending time apart. The following year, they decided to stay on campus together during spring break and that’s when they finally started dating. They’ve been together ever since, throughout the rest of college and as they each began their careers in Washington, DC. That’s where Barrett proposed, asking Yuna to be his wife while they each were standing under red umbrellas in the pouring rain. 

This summer they exchanged vows in front of their friends and family by the water in the gorgeous Connecticut shoreline. During her vows, Yuna described exactly how she feels when she looks in Barrett’s eyes (and made all of our eyes water in the process.) “Even though I’m 7000 miles from Tokyo, in your eyes I have found my home.”

Bridal Gown: Badgley Mischka  |  Shoes: Jimmy Choo  |  Hair & Make-up: Dana Bartone & Co.  |  Flowers: Blush Floral Design  |  Paper: Coral Pheasant Stationery Design  |  Planning & Design: Jubilee Events  |  Officiant: Mary Coburn  |  Rentals:  Rentals Unlimited  |  Linen: La Tavola Fine Linens  |  Lighting: Powerstation Events  |  Band: Sound House, Elan Artists  |  Cake: Creative Cakes by Donna

Union League Cafe: New Haven, CT: Injoong & Jakub's Wedding

Although Injoong and Jakub were at Princeton University at the same time, they didn’t meet until after they had graduated. One of Injoong’s friends happened to be at Yale for graduate school with Jakub and, upon meeting him, thought that he might just be the perfect guy for Injoong. She encouraged them both to attend the upcoming Princeton reunion with the intention of introducing them there. Once Injoong and Jakub were face to face, she knew her intuition was completely right. Jakub’s best friend was also in attendance at that fateful reunion and he, too, can testify to the undeniable chemistry Injoong and Jakub shared from the start.

When Injoong’s parents met Jakub, they saw it too. They were impressed not only with the smart, handsome man their daughter was dating, but also with how Injoong was when she was with him: happier, at ease, more herself. His parents, of course, loved Injoong right away for many of the same reasons.

If you spend only mere moments with them, you can tell right away how much Jakub adores Injoong. “You can’t fake that,” Jakub’s mother said to me during their wedding reception. And she’s absolutely right. Just take a look below and see for yourself what it looks like when a couple are undeniably made for one another.

Bridal Gown: Pronovias  |  Shoes: Menbur |  Bridal Suite: Penthouse at The Study at Yale in New Haven, Connecticut  |  Church: St. Mary's Church in New Haven, Connecticut  |  Floral Design: Fleur de Lys Floral in New Haven, Connecticut  |  Formal Picture Location: Yale University in New Haven. Connecticut  |  Venue: Union League Cafe in New Haven, Connecticut

Gramercy Park Hotel: New York, NY: Kevin & Derek's Wedding

A few weeks before their destination wedding in NYC, Kevin and Derek traveled up to the city from their home in Austin to take care of some final planning details. They also made sure to carve out some time to visit some of their favorite spots in Manhattan. In the course of doing so, they were stopped by a mother as they were walking by the Empire State Building. She told them that her son had just recently come out to her and she was moved to speak to them because the seeing them walking hand in hand down the street gave her so much hope. She hoped that one day her son would find the same happiness as they have and to be able to express that love as openly as they do. 

While that mother would not have known it, she probably would have been hard-pressed to find a couple whose love is inspiring as Kevin and Derek’s. These are two men who love one another with their whole heart and who are clearly thankful every single day that they found each other. As they exchanged vows this summer in New York with all their friends and family surrounding them, it was hard to hold back tears - even as you watched them just look at one another during the ceremony. The room was filled with love because everyone in that room knew, just like that mother, that they were seeing something truly special. And it wouldn't surprise me one bit if Kevin and Derek inspires more people to have hope and to live and love with every fiber of their being, because that’s exactly what they are doing.

Montauk Yacht Club: Montauk, NY: Alia & Frank's Wedding

The very first time we visited Montauk, we were blown away but the sheer beauty of it (the dramatic cliffs, the teal-colored water) and by the inherent quaintness of this beach town that happens to be the furthest point east on the whole of the eastern seaboard. The shops are quirky, the people are friendly and there is a laid-back, kick-off-your-shoes-and-relax vibe that hits you pretty much the moment you drive into town. The feeling is contagious; Montauk just makes you feel good. So, it’s not surprising that this place has long been a destination for families looking for some beach relaxation in the middle of summer. And it’s even less surprising that the feel-good vibes of Montauk just might also allow some summer romances to spark.

It was seven years ago when one of those sparks began something pretty special for Alia and Frank. His friend Mick introduced them, when they each happened to be on vacation at the same time. While they didn’t start dating until a few years later, they have always found some of their very best times together happened to take place in the beach town that brought them together in the first place.

After Frank proposed and they began planning their wedding, deciding where everything would take place was the easiest decision of all. They wanted their guests to experience the feeling they have when they ride into town on Rt. 27, smell that salt air and immediately feel every bone in their body relax.

And as Alia and Frank walked hand-in-hand by the famed Montauk Point Lighthouse just a few minutes after they had officially become husband and wife the sun shone on them in a way that seems to be very specific to this gorgeous place.  It was as if the landscape was admiring it’s own work in being a place so magical that it inspires people to find the kind of love you want to hold onto forever.

Bridal Gown: Monique Lhuillier  |  Shoes: Badgley Mischka  |  Makeup: Christina Amador  |  Hair: Nicole D'Angio  |  Bridesmaids Dresses: Amsale  |  Invitations: Shine Wedding Invitations  |  Floral Design: Sugar Magnolias  |  Band: Code Bleu of Skyline Orhestras  |  Cake: Leanne's Speciality Cakes

Gramercy Park Hotel: New York, NY: Ashlyn & Aaron's Wedding

If Ashlyn was nervous on the morning of her wedding, you wouldn’t know it from the smile on her face. She was beaming from the moment we saw her - already looking gorgeous even before an ounce of make-up had been applied. She sat in a velvet chair in the corner of her room at the Gramercy Park Hotel, a view of the park right before her. She was the picture of a woman completely at peace with the giant decision she was making. Because she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Aaron was exactly who she was meant to be with and that, just as he has since they started dating, he would make her happier than she ever thought possible.

When she walked down the aisle to Aaron, her armed linked with her father, she walked those steps with confidence and joy and her smile was greeted with one that matched her enthusiasm as Aaron took her hand. Their ceremony was sweet and funny, with both Ashlyn and Aaron keeping their eyes locked on one another nearly the entire time. From their heartfelt vows to their romantic first dance, Ashlyn and Aaron spent the day reaffirming to one another and sharing with their friends and family what they had felt in their hearts since the very beginning of their relationship - that they were meant to find one another and since the moment they had, their lives had become infinitely better. And that this day was just the beginning of the incredible journey they are starting together.

Hair & Make-up: Lauren & Vannessa  |  Bridal Gown: Hayley Paige  |  Reception Gown: THEIA  |  Bridal Shoes: Manolo Blahnik  |  Floral Design: Florisity  |  Groom's Tuxedo & Shoes: Tom Ford  |  Officiant: Susan Turchin  |  DJ: Jarrell Entertainment  |  Cake: Momofuku Milk Bar