Stephanie and Ricky are really smart people. Like super smart, met as undergrads together at Yale, kind of smart. Then they both went on to Northwestern where Ricky is studying to be a doctor and Stephanie got her law degree. But they didn't use all their brain powers on just hitting the books and getting good grades, they also made some great decisions. One, in particular, was most important: recognizing there was something special between them when their relationship first sparked in college. Sure, they could have been reckless and young and not quite see the full potential of that relationship, but they didn't. They trusted their hearts, and their heads, and built something together. Something that lasted distance, time, and any difficulties that may have come their way. Because they were smart enough to know that in one another they had found something rare: a kindred spirit.
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We started with at the The Tarrytown House Estate in Tarrytown, NY bright and early, even arriving before Stephanie and her girls had returned from getting their hair and make-up done. Thankfully, Stephanie had left her dress and shoes behind for us so we could get started right away. As usual, we scouted the property (which, in this case especially, was quite expansive) and found a great place to bring Stephanie's Mikaella Bridalgown - in the middle of a giant tree that looked like it could have stepped right out of a fairy tale (because trees can walk in fairy tales, right?). Once we finished up the capturing all the details, we actually got a chance to spend some time with Ricky and his guys who were getting ready just steps away from the ceremony location. Stephanie arrived just a few minutes later, looking even more beautiful than usual with her hair and make-up done perfectly.
She was pretty excited to see Ricky, so we made sure to do their "First Look" right away. It's hard to say which one of them was more excited and when they finally saw each other they pretty much just melted into each other's arms and Ricky kissed Stephanie on the top of her head ever so sweetly. We spent a few minutes with just the two of them and then their families came along to join us. We did all of the family photos before the ceremony, a big relief to Stephanie and Ricky and their family members I'm sure. We always feel that family pictures are one of the most important times of the day because it's crucial to capture all of the people that have led you to this moment in your life. Once that was all complete, we headed inside the The Tarrytown House Estate for the Ketubah signing. The small room we were in was packed with their closest friends and family, all there to witness the moment when they would officially become husband and wife. Ricky then lifted Stephanie's veil and placed it over her face - signifying that it was time for the ceremony to begin.
The location of the ceremony was nearly as beautiful as the decor, with a gorgeous chuppah adorned with autumn-colored flowers. It was a romantic and emotional ceremony with many of the guests grabbing the hands of their dates or wiping tears away as they watched Stephanie and Ricky exchange vows. After the ceremony was over, Stephanie and Ricky snuck away for their few moments alone before the reception began. On their way to the reception, we grabbed a few more shots of just the two of them. The party got started the minute Stephanie and Ricky stepped onto the dance floor and the Bales Gitlin Band kept it going all night long.
We arrived a bit early, giving us plenty to time to photograph all of Stephanie's details, including her Mikaella Bridal gown. This was a huge weeping willow tree and we climbed right into the center of it just to get this shot.
I was totally in love with Stephanie's shoes, the delicate little bow and the high heel were perfect together.
Of course, Ricky was looking especially handsome himself. There's something really special about a classic tuxedo with a bow-tie.
Stephanie was so excited to finally put her dress on, she had this smile on her face the whole rest of the day.
All of the bridesmaids gathered around to help make sure each part of Stephanie's dress was absolutely perfect.
Once she was all in, the room filled with the sounds of Oohs and Ahhs from her girls, and then came Stephanie's big smile again.
Before we grabbed Ricky for the "First Look" we spent some time with Stephanie alone - how gorgeous does she look?
As soon as Ricky heard the swish of Stephanie's dress behind him, he couldn't hold back the huge smile on his face.
Once they were finally face-to-face, Ricky planted a sweet kiss on Stephanie's forehead - something he would do many more times that day.
The light was so beautiful at this part of the estate, we could have stayed their all day. Unfortunately, it was an active driveway so we had to move along. Thankfully, there were many more great spots around the property.
The wedding party was a lot of fun and totally excited for Stephanie and Ricky, they couldn't wait for the party to begin.
Once all the formal pictures were complete, we headed inside for the Ketubah signing. The Rabbi held up the Ketubah at the beginning of the ceremony, so everyone in attendance could marvel at how beautiful it was. After the wedding day, it will be hung up in their house.
After the Ketubah was signed, Ricky lifted Stephanie's veil and placed it over her face marking that the ceremony was set to begin.
Theirs was one of the most beautiful chuppahs we had ever seen - the lush mix of flowers against the bright blue sky was breathtaking.
The ceremony began when Ricky was escorted down the aisle by both of his parents.
The little ones in the wedding party were adorable and totally loved being a part of the ceremony.
Even though they had seen each other just minutes before, Ricky and Stephanie each still had the same reactions when they saw each other on the other end of the aisle.
Before Stephanie took her place next to Ricky, each of her parents lifted her veil and gave her a kiss on the cheek.
Since the ceremony was outside, we could get many different angles without interfering with the ceremony.
Stephanie and Ricky were surrounded by both of their parents and their wedding party who stood by their side during the entire ceremony.
Check out that bright blue sky against all those beautiful flowers, we couldn't believe our eyes. So gorgeous.
Jewish ceremonies are filled with a lot of traditions marking the joining of the families. At this point of the ceremony, each other offered their new child-in-law wine.
I always love learning about the meaning behind traditions. The breaking of the glass has many different meanings. My favorite is that the couple is saying that the marriage will last as long as the glass is broken - forever.
After the ceremony, Stephanie and Ricky took a few minutes to themselves, another part of Jewish tradition.
This little flower girl was absolutely adorable, once the ceremony was over and she could run around again she didn't waste a minute.
The colors from the flowers in the chuppah were carried throughout the decor in the reception as well.
The first dance, played by the Bales Gitlin Band, was incredibly romantic. Of course, it had to include a kiss on the forehead from Ricky.
There are those smiles again, seriously they didn't go away all night long.
Right after the first dance, the dance floor filled as the hora got started.
I have to say, Ricky was probably lifted up even higher than most grooms we've seen before. I think it even surprised him!
We love getting to stand back and watch the moments in horas, theres always so much fun and expression.
There were many toasts during the reception, everyone wanted a chance to get up and talk about how amazing Stephanie and Ricky are. First all four parents took a turn...
making Stephanie and Ricky both smile and blush.
Then one of their close friends got up and serenaded the happy couple during dinner.
Ok, so maybe I was following around this little girl a bit. That smile was just too cute, plus she loved to pose for the camera.
The next toasts were offered up by Stephanie's siblings - sharing a little insight about Stephanie's childhood and just how perfect Ricky is for her.
The dance floor opened up once again with Stephanie dancing with her father...
and the Ricky had his turn to dance with his mother.
We had an especially good time at Stephanie & Ricky's wedding because we had some great company, their videographers and our friends from Bruno St. Jerome Productions.
Stephanie & Ricky, thank you so much for inviting us to capture your beautiful day. We loved getting to know you both and wish you nothing but happiness!