Private Home: Bay Shore, NY: Emily & Patrick's Wedding

According to Emily’s family, she’s always been a pretty private person. She’s not overly showy with her emotions, she tends to keep things to herself. So when she first started dating Patrick, they didn’t know much about him. He was a mystery man to them for some time, until they finally met him. It was then, that they saw that even if Emily didn’t say out loud what she was feeling, the way she looked at Patrick gave it all away. She was crazy about him.

It turns out, that sense of privacy is something that Emily and Patrick have in common. Pat's sister, Kathleen, says that she has never seen him smile quite like he did on his wedding day. It was those moments, moments that happened all day - when Emily and Pat let their friends and family see just how much they love each other and how sincerely happy they make one another - that made their day so special. Because as Emily’s sister Annie said in her toast, this wedding day was a very public celebration for a very private couple. And their friends and family were delighted to see Emily and Pat’s love for one another with their very own eyes.


Bridal Gown: BHLDN  |  Shoes: Manolo Blahnik  |  Bridesmaids Dresses: J Crew  |  Hair: Andrew Steven Salon in Lindenhurst, NY|  Flowers: Bayport Flower House in Bayport, NY  |  Church: St. Patrick’s Church in Bay Shore, NY|   Catering: Culinary Studio in Huntington, NY|  Dessert: Pies from Briarmere Farm  |  Band: The Silver Arrow Band

Blue Hill at Stone Barns: Hudson Valley, NY: Alice & Stephen's Wedding

When Stephen knocked on Alice’s door the very first time, he had no idea that on the other side of the door he would meet the woman that would become wife. He was going door to door in a dorm at Columbia University, as a part of a fundraiser for one of his academic projects. To hear Stephen’s friends speak about his charming personality and sense of humor, it’s no surprise that in that short visit at Alice’s door, he managed to leave quite an impression on her.

When they first began to date, Stephen quite literally knocked Alice off her feet. He tried to hold her hand for the first time and Alice accidentally fell down in the process of trying to accept it. Stephen graciously picked her up and has been holding her tight ever since. As a couple, they are always looking out for one another. Alice keeps them both organized and on track, while Stephen encourages adventures - like literally climbing mountains. But no matter what new journey they embark on, Stephen is always keeping Alice by his side even when that means running an entire half marathon at her pace instead of his own.

At their wedding, both Alice and Stephen's parents and themany friends and family in their bridal party got up to offer toasts to the happy couple. In each of their words it was clear that individually Alice and Stephen are each not only smart and funny, but two of the most loyal people you will ever meet.  Together, though, they are the kind of couple whose love you want to emulate and whose care for one another is completely undeniable.

Harvard University: Cambridge, MA: Annie & Robby's Engagement Session

On a campus so rich with history, Annie and Robby’s own story began when they met as students at Harvard University. They forged a bond while they both lived in Currier House, sharing many of the same friends and creating memories in the process. Both native New Yorkers, they returned to the state upon graduation only to find themselves back in Cambridge years later for Robby to attend graduate school.

Simply put, this campus has played a big part in their lives. Within it’s meticulously adorned paths and hallowed halls are countless stories of the beginning of their life together. This is where they met, where they fell in love and where they began to foster their dreams.

We were so excited to visit Harvard to photograph Robby and Annie in the places that have played such an important role in their relationship. We were fortunate in that Annie had spent a bit of time as an student working as a tour guide, so she gave us a fact-filled tour that also happened to include the places that were special just to them. The afternoon we spent with them made us even more excited for their upcoming wedding which will bring them back down the coast to their home state to celebrate with the family and friends that are no doubt delighted to see these two smiling so brightly.

Rumson Country Club: Rumson, NJ: Lindsay & Blake's Wedding

To hear Lindsay’s family and friends tell it, she knew that Blake was someone special really early on - not long after she had first spotted him teaching tennis at the Bath & Tennis club near her parent’s home.  In fact, Lindsay knew how she felt about Blake before he had even realized that Lindsay’s interest in him was not solely based on tennis. But once he did, Blake could hardly believe his luck that he had managed to find a woman so perfect for him - smart, gorgeous and interested in so many of the same things that are important to him.

So it’s safe to say that this wedding day was one that all of Lindsay & Blake’s family and friends had been excitedly awaiting. It was even more perfect than anyone could have pictured. There was rain, yes (a lot, at times) but Lindsay and Blake weren’t going to let that dampen their happiness for even one minute. They braved the raindrops for photos, held each other under an umbrella and were delighted when the rain stopped just enough for their guests to enjoy the spectacular view from the Rumson Country Club during their cocktail hour.

And when Lindsay and Blake danced their first dance as husband and wife with their friends and family surrounding them on the dance floor - they could see was the joy of all the people important to them surrounding them in every direction. And their guests got to see, first hand, the love that Lindsay and Blake first found on the tennis courts so many years before.


Bridal Gown: Rosa Clara  |  Bridal Shoes: Badgley Mischka  |  Maid of Honor Dress: Adrianna Papell  |  Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale  |  Flower Girl Dress: BHLDN  |  Groom and Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux  |  Makeup: Miranda Richards  |  Hair: Denee Lockhart  |  Invitations, Programs & Menu Cards: Invitations Ink  |  Church: Tower Hill, First Presbyterian Church at Red Bank  |  Venue: Riverhouse at Rumson Country Club  |  Flowers and Decor: Katydid Floral Design by Kate Duffy  |  Band: Billy Stone Band from Hank Lane  |  Cake and Favors: Antoinette Boulangerie

 

Tappan Hill Mansion: Tarrytown, NY: Kellie & David's Wedding

One of the things that make Kellie and David work as a couple is how different they are. David is reserved, with a dry wit that he saves for just the right moment, while Kellie is a ball of energy, cheerful and always up for a new adventure. Together, they compliment each other perfectly. Kellie makes David smile bigger than most of his friends have ever seen, encouraging him to try new things and find joy in the smallest moments. David supports Kellie and constantly cracks her up like only he can.

If there was one thing for certain on their wedding day, it was that these two are undeniably, unbelievably crazy about one another. The bright, wide smile on Kellie’s face all day was plenty of proof alone but epic first dance they did floored all of their guests - not the least of which David’s friends who had never seen him dance like that ever before. It was a beautiful testament to just how much Kellie and David’s family and friends surrounding the dance floor and cheering for a couple whose love for one another is as clear as the looks on their faces.


Venue: Tappan Hill Mansion in Tarrytown, NY  |  Caterer: Abigail Kirsch 

Liberty Warehouse: Brooklyn, NY: Teresa & Joe's Wedding

When Teresa and Joe met several summers ago, they connected over many things. They shared a love of adventure and travel, of hard work and making time for fun, and, most of all, their dedication to family. 

That commitment was obvious during their wedding day. Their ceremony took place at the very same church where Teresa’s grandparents AND her own parents had gotten married years before - and they were their in the pews, watching their Teresa stand in the very same place they had when they said their own vows so many years before. During the reception, funny, emotional speeches were offered up by Teresa’s cousin and Joe’s brothers - their words making it clear that they were not only family, but best friends. 

They say that every couple needs a solid support system, people to cheer them on throughout their marriage. There is no doubt that Teresa and Joe have that and so much more in the family they have surrounded themselves with - both their literal relatives and the friends who stood by their side on their wedding day, and every day.


Bridal Gown: Romona Keveka  |  Shoes: Manolo Blahnik  | Make-Up: Stacie Ford Weddings  |  Flowers: Rebecca Shepherd Floral Design  |  Ceremony Location: Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Brooklyn, NY  |  Venue: The Liberty Warehouse in Brooklyn, NY

Liberty Warehouse: Brooklyn, NY: Stephanie & Evan's Wedding

If I had dreamt up the perfect way to launch our wedding season this year, this wedding would pretty much be it: a gorgeous couple, an incredible group of family and friends and a spectacular location in NYC. It was so wonderful, no one seemed to much mind the slight chill in the air or the clouds in the sky. In fact, that all seemed to add to the cozy, romantic atmosphere of the day.

You may recognize Stephanie and Evan from their engagement session we blogged last year - their sweet natural chemistry is hard to forget. If there was one common theme throughout the toasts from their day it was that these two love each other in a way that is completely evident in all that they do. They are truly one another’s best friend. And that is so clear that it never even had to be said. But, each time it was, you could see a light of recognition in Stephanie and Evan’s eyes. And whenever they glanced at one another throughout the night, there was no doubt that, for that day, these were the two happiest people in the world. Really, how could you not be when you have found your best friend and your spouse in the very same person?


Bridal Gown: Christos  |  Shoes: Manolo Blahnik  |  Hair: Styles on B  |  Make-Up: Carley Smith  |  Invitations: Bella Figura  |  Flowers: Noir Hanna International  |  Groom's Suit: Paul Smith  |  Groomsmen Suits: MySuit  |  Band: Hank Lane: Ernest Mills Band  |  Cake: Mini Melanie

Featured: Brides Los Angeles

As a business owner, trying to figure out the best way to present your work online can be overwhelming. There are so many platforms you can take advantage of and, many times, you might not even realize how effective your attempts are until you have put a bit of time into them. It’s like you’re standing in the middle of an empty stage trying to project loud enough so they can hear you in the back row but the stage lights are so bright you can’t tell if the theater is packed or vacant. 

That’s why it means so much to us when we meet with couples and they talk to us about things they saw on our social media pages or discovered things we have in common from reading this blog. One of my favorite memories from last year was a conversation I had with a mother of the brides who so enjoyed reading the stories of the couples on our blog that she asked us about some of them specifically because she felt like she got to know them. Those are the moments when I feel like my voice is reaching the back of the theater. There is an audience. That's when I feel like the time spent working on our online presence is producing what I’m really looking for: making people feel a connection to the images we create (and the couples in those images) and to expression the passion we have for what we do.

So, you can imagine the pleasant surprise it was for us when we got a message from one of our favorite wedding editors letting us know they would like to feature us in their publication. Last month Brides Southern California included us in their exclusive list of “8 Los Angeles Wedding Photographers You Should Be Following on Instagram.” We are honored to be in the company of some of the best photographers in the industry and delighted to have our Instagram feed recognized as a worthwhile contribution to the vast landscape of social media. If you aren’t following us on Instagram already, please head over and do so (@robertandkathleen). You can see our latest work and get a glimpse into our crazy, fun, bicoastal life.

How to Select a Wedding Photographer

When Rob and I first got engaged we had planned on just enjoying that time in our lives for a bit. We didn’t want to rush into planning. But then people started asking so many questions. Had we set a date? Had we selected a location? When was I going to get a dress? The questions alone stressed me out. Mostly because I didn’t know the answers. There were just so many options. I can be very decisive when it comes to work (the right moment to take a picture, how to tackle a project) but when it comes to personal decisions, it’s more of a challenge for me.

I’m the type who circles my favorite store three or four times before I go to the register to buy anything. I need to make sure there was no missed opportunity, no hidden gem, nothing that I had previously overlooked. But in the busy pace of wedding planning, that’s not always an option. You can’t always circle back to a vendor or venue because, unlike that stack of sweaters at a store, they might not be available anymore.

When it came to planning our own wedding, Rob and I decided to tackle each task one by one. Small chunks are much easier for me when it comes to large personal decisions. Whenever we started to feel overwhelmed, we would step back and prioritize. And then maybe enjoy a glass of wine.

So we know how it is, all you newly engaged couples out there, furrowing your brow and stressing over all the checklists and vendor options before you. I promise, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. And we’d like to help, at least with the one topic we happen to know the most about: wedding photography. Unsurprisingly, we believe that selecting a photographer is one of the most important decisions you will be making in your planning process. Your photos are one of the very few things from your wedding day that will increase in value over time.

Of course, we'd love to think our team includes the perfect photographer for every couple out there, but we know this is not always the case. Even if we're not what you're looking for, we still want you to have amazing photos and find the perfect photographer for you. So I've put together a step-by-step guide to help you find the perfect photographer for you. 

1: DETERMINE YOUR STYLE
There is no shortage of wedding images to look at when you’re a newly-engaged couple. From magazines and blogs to Pinterest it’s a virtual flood of photographs. Start narrowing it down to the type of images that speak to you personally.

What type of style do you like? Classic, story-telling images? High fashion, dramatic images? Light, airy romantic images? Knowing what style you like best is a good way to help narrow down the many photographer’s websites you're going to be visiting.

Do keep in mind that photography trends come and go, so make sure that you are selecting a photographic style that you will love far into the future. You don't want to look back and see that your images are the equivalent of the white bell-bottomed tuxedos that were popular in the ’70's. 

2: SEEK OUT RECOMMENDATIONS & READ REVIEWS
In most cases, your wedding day (or engagement session) will be the first time you’ll be working with your photographer. So it’s worthwhile to seek out the advice of those who already have worked with them. You can ask your friends and family who have already been married about their wedding photographer. Look through their pictures and, even more, ask about their experience. Also, ask your venue coordinator, florist or wedding planner which photographers they truly enjoy working along side. This will give you insight into how well your photographer will work with the other vendors that are part of your day.

For the photographers that you are interested in that you don't have personal recommendations for, check the web for reviews. Do they post client testimonials on their website? Check sites like Wedding Wire, the Best Business Bureau, even their Facebook Business page to see what other brides have to say.

Don't be afraid to ask a photographer for references if you can't find any online, they should be more than happy to share these with you. 

3: CHECK OUT THEIR WEBSITES
Websites are a photographer's virtual storefront. It's a reflection of who they are and the way they want to present their work. Imagine each photographer's site as if it was an actual store. Would you feel comfortable going inside? Would you be able to navigate it easily? What do you think about their images? Could you see yourself in any (or all) of them? Is their style reflective of your own? 

Does the site feature a lot of weddings? Is their work consistent? An experienced photographer knows how to work in a variety of venues, lighting situations and weather conditions. If from image to image it almost looks as though a different photographer could have shot every event, this could be a red flag. You'll probably be hiring this photographer a year or more in advance of your wedding, so knowing that their work is consistent is a good indication that when they show up for your wedding day, you can be confident that you'll love the results. 

Bottom line, how do you feel when you look the images? You should have a reaction to them. If the images don't make you emotional (make you smile, make you excited for your wedding day, even maybe make you tear up a bit), than that's probably not the photographer for you. 

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4: COMPATIBILITY
Ultimately, you should like your photographer. You should enjoy being around them. Your wedding is a day that you will remember for the rest of your life, so you want to look back with fond memories of all the moments of the day. That should include the time you spent taking pictures. Ideally, your photographer should make you feel at ease and relaxed while they are getting shots of the two of you, your bridal party and your family.

Seasoned photographers know when to blend into the background and just capture what's unfolding in front of them (like when you're talking with your father the few minutes before you walk down the aisle, during all of your ceremony and first dance) and when to step forward and make sure everything moves quickly and smoothly (like helping keep you on time in the morning and helping to gather and set up family for those important group shots). After talking with or meeting a potential photographer - ask yourself, would you feel comfortable having this person around during some of your most emotional, personal moments? 

Ask them: how did they get started photographing weddings? What drew them to this line of work? This is a great way to judge their personal level of passion for not only photography, but for wedding photography specifically. That is why it's very important to know exactly who will be photographing your day. Some large studios have a number of photographers that they work with and don't assign yours until a few weeks before your wedding. This can be problematic because even if you don't like the photographer they assigned you, there's probably little you can do about it so close to the date. 

The very best way to test compatibility is to do an engagement session. It's the perfect opportunity to see how the photographer works and to find out how comfortable you feel with them. Believe it or not, getting your picture taken can actually be a lot of fun, with the right photographer. 

5: KNOW YOUR BOTTOM LINE
We might be a bit biased, of course, but we firmly believe that photography should be a significant part of your budget. These are more than just photographs - they are the first heirlooms of your family, the images that you will show your children and grandchildren. It's not really the place where you should skimp. 

You'll probably quickly discover that wedding photography can be expensive. There is a reason for that. It's because the photographer(s) is committing quite a bit of time to you - not just for the engagement session and wedding day, but also for hours of editing, travel, and prep and post work that is a part of every shoot. That's not to mention the other expenses - employees, gear, software, shipping, insurance (health/business), etc. So, with that in mind, make sure what you have budgeted is actually realistic in comparison to how much your favorite photographers are charging. You might find that you'd be better off cutting corners in another area of the budget to make sure you can hire that dream photographer. A great photographer can make even the most inexpensive wedding look gorgeous. 

Of course, it has to be said that one of the biggest challenges in hiring a photographer is that it may seem like photography prices are all over the place. Two photographers could seem to charge the exact same amount. Let’s say one includes just a photographer (or two) for your wedding day and the other includes the photographers, an album for you, and an album for each set of parents. The second one seems like a better deal - right? Maybe, maybe not.

The most important thing when hiring a photographer is that you love their photos. Really, really love them. Because that "better deal" really loses it's value if you have three albums filled with images that you think are just "okay.” It's a much better deal to hire the photographer whose images you absolutely love. Albums can always be added after the wedding - with the full confidence that those albums will in fact be filled with images that you will adore. 

6: DON'T JUST JUMP IN
It's an unfortunately common story: a couple that hates their photos because they decided to cut a few corners and hire "a family friend" or a photography student looking to try their hand at weddings to "save money." Really, this could be one of the most expensive mistakes you could make. Nothing is as costly as a regret, especially when it comes to something like the documentation of your wedding. Hiring a friend could work, if (and usually ONLY if) that family friend is a professional photographer (we have photographed some of own friends and families weddings over the years). 

Just beware of anything that seems too good to be true. I know it might seem like photographing a wedding is an easy task, but it's one of the most challenging photographic experiences there is - a variety of lighting situations and managing a time schedule all while watching for unexpected moments to capture and arranging group photos. Professionals know just how to do this in a way that makes it seem simple. Really good ones actually have fun while doing it. Of course, there are the exceptions to the rule. Sometimes a person new to the field can do an amazing job and you could love your photos. You just have to ask yourself if that's a chance you're willing to take. 

In our home, we display images from our own family weddings - parents, grandparents. We keep those old wedding photos out as a reminder that what we do is more than just take a photo, we are preserving a memory so generations can appreciate them well into the future. It's why we take what we do so seriously. You should look for a photographer who understands the weight of the responsibility of the job they are undertaking in capturing your day.


The wedding industry is flooded with tons of options for brides and grooms. Weighing those options can be difficult, but hopefully with the help of this checklist you can find a photographer you can trust who will leave you smiling long after your wedding day. 

Venue Profile: The Ashford Estate in Allentown, New Jersey

There comes a moment for some brides to be when the wedding dress shopping becomes slighting overwhelming. She has tried on dress after dress and, while there are some serious contenders, the perfect one has proven to be a bit allusive. Each dress blends into the one she tried on before until her mind is filled with a sea of lace, beading and buttons. That is, until she does put on that perfect dress. Suddenly, everything falls into place and she can finally move on to the accessories - the veil, the jewelry, the shoes.

The same kind of thing can happen when couples are looking for a venue, too. This is especially true if you happen to be a couple planning a wedding in New Jersey which is absolutely chock-full of wedding venues. Just like that stressed-out bride, couples could become overwhelmed. Weekend after weekend of visiting hotels, touring estates and exploring ballrooms can quickly leave a blur of details in their minds. But, just like that perfect gown, their are some venues that truly stand out. One of those venues, in our opinion, is The Ashford Estate in Allentown. 

Tucked away in the southwest corner of Monmouth County, you will hardly believe such a gem exists as you enter the Ashford’s tree-lined driveway. The 30-acre estate is surrounded by protected farmland which gives it a secluded feel and will be a special treat for your guests traveling from NYC who will get the feel like they’re spending the weekend in the country. It’s the perfect venue for couples looking to hold all of their wedding events in one location since the space for an outdoor ceremony (overlooking a lake) and indoor ceremony (a gorgeous rustic barn) are equally stunning. The main estate building includes a bridal preparation room that could rival a luxury spa and multiple guest suites where your bridal party and family can get ready. The vaulted-ceiling ballroom can hold well over two hundred guests will an dance floor that can accommodate even the wildest dance moves. The room is perfect for couples interested in having large centerpieces, dynamic uplighting or a multi-piece band. We love the Ashford because it’s pretty much a photographer’s dream with tons of gorgeous locations for photos, an incredibly accommodating staff and consistently beautiful light (even at different times of the year). 

So if you’re one of those couples whose minds are flooded by the abundance of New Jersey wedding venues, we highly recommend a trip to Allentown to visit the Ashford Estate. Like that bride finding her perfect dress, you just might find yourselves breathing a sigh of relief in knowing that you have found the ideal location for your wedding.