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. 

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. 

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. 

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. 


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. 

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. 

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.

Published: The Knot Magazine (NY & NJ) and Style Me Pretty (twice in one week!)

As appealing as it may seem, I don't envy the jobs of the editors at today's most popular wedding magazines and blogs. They are completed inundated with potential weddings to publish and eager couples who would love nothing more than to see their own wedding grace the pages of the magazines and websites that were the source of inspiration for them. I'm the kind of person that circles a store at least three or four times before I make a purchase, making sure there is no hidden gem I may have missed. Pouring over piles and piles of weddings would leave me crippled with indecision.

That's why it's all the more special to us when those super-busy editors handily select one of the weddings we have photographed for publication. They see, through those piles of weddings, that our couples have a distinct style and plan their weddings to perfection. They recognize that we love capturing the intimate moments, the thoughtful details and the energy of the day.

So we are thrilled to let you know that in the last month or so, we have had not one but four weddings published! In January, Michelle & Steve’s Montauk wedding was published in the New York issue of The Knot Magazine while Jackie & John’s New Jersey wedding was in the New Jersey issue. And just last week we had two weddings featured on Style Me Pretty! First up was Megan & Bobby’s wedding at The Ashford Estate followed shortly thereafter by Jenna & Jimmy’s Philadelphia wedding.

We could not be happier for our couples who get to see their weddings published and for the many couples out there that will no doubt find tons of inspiration from the gorgeous weddings we are lucky enough to photograph.

Venue: Sole East in Montauk, New York  |  Event Coordination: Baton NYC  |  Event Rentals: Party Rental LTD  |  Bridal Gown: Haylely Paige Bridal  |  Shoes: Calvin Klein  |  Calligraphy: Calligraphy by Michele  |  Entertainment & Lighting: Jarrell Entertainment  |  Floral Design & Linens: Celadon & Celery  |  Hair & Make-up: Grace Hair Spa  |  Invitations: Minted  |  Jewelery: Anthropologie  |  Menus: Designed by Kristin

Venue: Sole East in Montauk, New York  |  Event Coordination: Baton NYC  |  Event Rentals: Party Rental LTD  |  Bridal Gown: Haylely Paige Bridal  |  Shoes: Calvin Klein  |  Calligraphy: Calligraphy by Michele  |  Entertainment & Lighting: Jarrell Entertainment  |  Floral Design & Linens: Celadon & Celery  |  Hair & Make-up: Grace Hair Spa  |  Invitations: Minted  |  Jewelery: Anthropologie  |  Menus: Designed by Kristin

Bridal Gown: Oscar de la Renta  |  Bridal Salon: Saks Fifth Avenue  |  Shoes: Kate Spade  |  Bridesmaids Dresss: Amsale  |  Hair: Luz Gil  |  Makeup: Stacie Ford  |  Event Planning & Design: Ashley Douglass Events  |  Floral Design: Blade NYC  |  Caterer: Merri Makers  |  Venue: The Ashford Estate in Allentown, NJ  |  Band: Vali Entertainment

Bridal Gown: Oscar de la Renta  |  Bridal Salon: Saks Fifth Avenue  |  Shoes: Kate Spade  |  Bridesmaids Dresss: Amsale  |  Hair: Luz Gil  |  Makeup: Stacie Ford  |  Event Planning & Design: Ashley Douglass Events  |  Floral Design: Blade NYC  |  Caterer: Merri Makers  |  Venue: The Ashford Estate in Allentown, NJ  |  Band: Vali Entertainment

Bridal Gown: L'Fay Collection  |  Bridal Salon: L'Fay Bridal in Chatham, NJ  |  Shoes: Monique Lhuillier  |  Bridesmaids Dresses: Bill Levkoff  |  Hair & Make-Up: Expert Make-Up Artistry & Hair Design  |  Flowers: Somerset Hills Florist in Basking Ridge, NJ  |  Stationery: East Six  |  Ceremony Location: St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Basking Ridge, NJ  |  Venue: Stone House at Stirling Ridge in Warren, NJ  |  DJ: Eclipse Events  |  Cake: Rudy's Pastry Shop in Bloomfield, NJ 

Bridal Gown: L'Fay Collection  |  Bridal Salon: L'Fay Bridal in Chatham, NJ  |  Shoes: Monique Lhuillier  |  Bridesmaids Dresses: Bill Levkoff  |  Hair & Make-Up: Expert Make-Up Artistry & Hair Design  |  Flowers: Somerset Hills Florist in Basking Ridge, NJ  |  Stationery: East Six  |  Ceremony Location: St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Basking Ridge, NJ  |  Venue: Stone House at Stirling Ridge in Warren, NJ  |  DJ: Eclipse Events  |  Cake: Rudy's Pastry Shop in Bloomfield, NJ 

Bridal Gown: Amsale  |  Bridal Salon: Amsale Flagship Store in New York, NY  |  Hair and Make-up: Duette Hair and Makeup  |  Shoes: Jimmy Choo  |  Invitations & Paper: PaperTree Studio  |  Venue: Fairmount Park Horticultural Center in Philadelphia, PA  |  Event Planning: Truly You Events  |  Floral Design: Petals Lane of Philadelphia, PA  |  Entertainment: EBE Milan 77  |  Dessert: Little Baby's Ice Cream of Philadelphia, PA

Bridal Gown: Amsale  |  Bridal Salon: Amsale Flagship Store in New York, NY  |  Hair and Make-up: Duette Hair and Makeup  |  Shoes: Jimmy Choo  |  Invitations & Paper: PaperTree Studio  |  Venue: Fairmount Park Horticultural Center in Philadelphia, PA  |  Event Planning: Truly You Events  |  Floral Design: Petals Lane of Philadelphia, PA  |  Entertainment: EBE Milan 77  |  Dessert: Little Baby's Ice Cream of Philadelphia, PA

Gramercy Park Hotel: New York, NY: Melissa & Trevor's Wedding

For Melissa and Trevor their wedding day was a day many, many years in the making. They have been a couple for nearly two decades, having first met when they were students together at Queens University in Ontario. Early in their relationship, Trevor quite literally swept Melissa off her feet. It was a formal dance during their fourth year and a snowstorm left the streets covered in snow, which make it fairly difficult for Melissa to walk in her heels. Trevor, being the kind of man that he is, gallantly picked Melissa up to carry her home. Sometime during that walk, however, he slipped. The resulting ankle injury is now a storied testament to his love for her.

The Canadian couple were married in the city they now call home: New York. With many of their guests traveling to the city for the wedding, Melissa and Trevor made sure to plan a wedding that was a true New York experience. From the beautiful, historic church to their classic cab and specular views (and food) at their rooftop reception, their wedding day was truly incredible. But what made it truly special was the funny and touching toasts offered up to the happy couple by the friends and family that have known Melissa and Trevor as a couple for so long. It was easy to see how they have been together for as long as they have already - they make each deliriously happy and, most importantly, make each other laugh in a way no one else ever could.

Bridal Gown: Simone Carvalli  |  Bridal Salon: Bridal Reflections in New York, NY  |  Bridesmaids Dresses: Bill Levkoff  |  Hair: Alaina Terrell  |  Make-Up: Juliana Fink from Metamorphosis New York  |  Shoes: Jimmy Choo  |  Event Planning & Design: Karen Brown New York  |  Floral Design: Adore Floral in New York, NY  |  Ceremony Location: The Church of the Transfiguration in New York, NY  |  Reception Venue: Gramercy Park Hotel in New York, NY  |  DJ: Moe Choi  |  Cake: Butterly Bakeshop in New York, NY

Central Park: New York, NY: Kaitlin & Nick's Family Session

We haven known Kaitlin and Nick for nearly five years now. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long, since the day we photographed their engagement session on what might have been the hottest day in the summer of 2011 feels like yesterday. Yet at the same time, when we see the beautiful family that Kaitlin and Nick have created, it’s amazing to see how much they have accomplished in five short years. About a year after we photographed their gorgeous Long Island wedding, Kaitlin emailed us to let us know that they had a beautiful brand-new baby girl. We were thrilled for them and thrilled for us because she wanted us to capture them as a new family of three. Since then they have purchased and renovated a home in NYC and welcomed another adorable little one, this time a baby boy.

We got to see them again this fall as we photographed them as they are now: a gorgeous family of four. We had a great time getting to see them and their little girl again and meet their beautiful son.

It’s always a pleasure to get to see couples again after their wedding (whether it be the weddings of their own friends or family when they refer us or when we get to continue to capture their journey together from couple to family) and it’s been so special for us to know Kaitlin and Nick for so many years now and see the amazing life they’re building together.

Skytop Lodge: Skytop, PA: Madeline & David's Wedding

If you asked their friends and family, you would likely hear that one of the main things Madeline and David have in common is that they take their time in making a decision. They weigh their options, do copious research, think over every possibility. It’s an admirable trait, of course, and a sign of the weight they give to the important things in their lives.

That’s why it was so remarkable that for each of them, deciding on one another did not require that kind of time, or research or heavy thought. Because they just knew. Seeing them together, you can understand how they knew. Madeline and David are two people that just fit - they are equals in intellect, in compassion and share a common desire to not only be there for their friends and family but to also make the world a better place. 

We were lucky enough to capture their rehearsal dinner and their wedding day, during which we heard many, many toasts honoring the happy couple. We’ve never seen so many people eager to step up to a microphone and they each had similar things to say - that each part of this couple have moved them and that together they are undoubtably going to do amazing things.

Ceremony & Reception Location: Skytop Lodge in Skytop, Pennsylvania  |  Wedding Planner: Fallon Carter of Fallon Carter Weddings in New York, NY

Le Chambord, Hopewell Junction NY: Priscilla & Kevin's Wedding

After spending a wonderful afternoon with Priscilla and Kevin for their engagement session up at Muscoot Farm this past spring, we knew their wedding day was going to be amazing. Because these two are just so incredibly sweet together - the energy they bring, the way they bounce off one another…they make you smile just being near them. And knowing Priscilla would be incorporating her fabulous vintage-inspired style throughout the day (from her bridal look to the decor), we also knew their wedding would be so much fun to photograph.

So when their day finally arrived and it was bright, crisp and beautiful, we couldn’t have been happier for them. But, really, it was their families that were completely overjoyed. Priscilla and Kevin’s families are thrilled that they found each other, as evidenced by the joyous celebration and palpable love surrounding them all day.

Hair & Make-up: Annalise & Company  |  Bridal Gown: Oleg Cassini  |  Bridesmaids Dresses: Bill Levkoff  |  Ceremony Location: Saint John the Evangelist Parish Chapel in Mahopac, New York  |  Reception Venue: Le Chambord Restaurant & Inn in Hopewell Junction, New York  |  DJ: Get Down Entertainment 

Gramercy Park Hotel: New York, NY: Megan & Reinor's Wedding

Megan and Reinor’s initial email correspondence was not in any way romantic.  It was a thank you email, sent from Megan to Reinor, thanking for his time and reiterating her interest in the job opening for which she had just been interviewed by him.  

She landed the job and they ended up sitting next to each other in the office. She thought he was very serious, and she liked that about him. But she also discovered that he could actually be quite funny as well. He like how put together she was, how determined and focused she was about her work and her life.  Soon, one of their favorite things about coming to work was getting to spend time with one another. So they decided to start seeing each other outside of work as well.  It didn’t take long before they fell in love. 

They married this fall in the city where they had met and started working together. It has been five years since Megan sent that email to Reinor, but she didn’t forget about it when it came to their wedding day. She had it imprinted onto cocktail napkins - a small nod to the job opportunity that led her to find the love of her life.

Bridal Gown: Monique Lhuillier  |  Shoes: Jimmy Choo  |  Floral Design: Denise Fasanello  |  DJ: Ray Jarrell of Jarrell Entertainment  |  Event Planning: Polka Dot Events of New York, NY