Courtney has always been a big fan of Audrey Hepburn - her movies, her style, her grace - she loved it all. Maybe that was because in the actress she saw a kindred spirit, someone who had her feelings written all over her face, whose love of life was completely contagious, and who captivated everyone that was around her. Courtney was doing all that the morning of her wedding day. Surrounded by her closest friends and family, she was a ball of excited energy, lighting up the room with a flash of her dimples. Her friends rushed around, primping and pinning - making sure everything was perfect for Courtney. In another room, her flower girls gathered around an aunt as she showed them Courtney's parents wedding album and talked about that wedding day so many years before. It all had an old-fashioned feel, like a scene from a movie that could have even starred Audrey Hepburn way back.
When a gift from Michael was handed to her that morning, Courtney's smile grew even wider before she even opened the box. It was yet another indication that the day had finally arrived, the wedding gift from her soon-to-be husband was now right in front of her. As she peeled away the paper from the small wrapped gift, a familiar blue box peeked out from underneath. Underneath a white ribbon tied around the box was a little white envelope with a card, a message from Michael. "You can always tell what kind of person a man really thinks you are by the earrings he gives you," the card read, a quote from Ms. Hepburn herself. She laughed as she read it and then opened the box. Inside, tucked into a tiny little blue pouch, were a pair of pearl studs that let Courtney exactly how Michael saw her - elegant, classic, the epitome of understated beauty.
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It was an early morning for us - we filled up the car with our gear, grabbed some coffee, a new mix CD (yes, we still make those) and some (sorta) healthy snacks and headed out to Long Island super pumped for the day we had in store. Our energy level was heightened when we arrived at Courtney's parent's house, which was a flurry of getting-ready excitement with Courtney at the center of it all. She had already had her hair done and was having the finishing touches of her make-up done by the ladies of Drew Patrick Salon in Bay Shore. We took a few minutes to enjoy the beautiful weather outside, giving Courtney's details their very own photo shoot, including her gorgeous Paloma Blanca gown and cheery lime green and fuchsia flowers made by The Little Flower Shop.
Once Courtney was dressed and ready to go, including her brandy-new Tiffany & Co. earrings courtesy of her groom, it was time to head over to The Church of St. Patrick in Bay Shore for the ceremony. Michael was just as excited as Courtney was when we saw him before the ceremony began. He could not wait for Courtney to arrive and see her for the first time that day. It was a romantic ceremony, with Courtney and Michael each grinning consistently throughout it all - both of their dimples in full force.
After the ceremony, we headed over toward Captain Bill's The Bay View House were the reception would take place. Before we headed in to the reception though, we had a bit of a detour planned. Since Courtney and Michael met while working on the Fire Island Ferry together, they decided to incorporate that into their wedding day. They had access to their very own ferry and escorted their bridal party and family over to the island in between the ceremony and reception. We spent quite a bit of the time by the Fire Island Lighthouse, soaking up the end of summer weather with the ultimate beach session.
A short ferry ride took us back over to Captain Bill's The Bay View House and the party officially got under way as Courtney & Michael's band The Touch packed the dance floor. It's an all-male band, but they somehow play songs sung by both male and female singings that would make you swear the actual artist was in the room (I had to do a double take when they did Lady Gaga and then Katy Perry, I couldn't believe my ears). The guests were loving it, of course, with everyone crowding around Courtney and Michael in the center of the dance floor, having a virtual dimple-off. They had everything they could have possible need - each other, friends and family that love them and happiness. Because, in the words of Audrey Hepburn, "The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it's all that matters."
When you walk around Courtney's parent's house, it becomes pretty clear what drew Courtney to go work on the Fire Island Ferry. There are tons of boats, lighthouses and shore-themed touches throughout the house. It kinda set the tone for the whole day.
For her something blue, Courtney had cute peep-toe blue pumps by Caparros shoes. They also happened to fit into her wedding color scheme, of course.
We always loving capturing the surroundings of the day, whether it be at the ceremony or the reception or even during the getting ready part of the morning. Something about seeing all the bridesmaids gathered around brings back the energy of that morning.
See what I'm talking about with that smile (and those dimples)? Doesn't Courtney just make you want to smile yourself?
For any beach-y wedding, it's always a great idea to incorporate bright pops of color - really stands out against the sand and the ocean. Courtney did that with the bright colors of her bridesmaids bouquets made by The Little Flower Shop.
The gift and card from Michael, which she opened right before she put on her wedding gown.
Courtney was incredibly calm as her bridesmaids and Mom zipped her into her dress, she was totally ready to get to the church and see Michael.
Courtney's grandmother arrived just in time to watch her get into her dress. She was so much fun to watch at the reception too, on the dance floor all night long. That's exactly how I want to be when I am her age.
I loved Courtney's Paloma Blanca gown, the big bow on the back seemed so totally her.
Before we headed over to the church, we gathered together Courtney's bridesmaid for a classic group shot. I loved how they all wore the navy blue shoes as well, which matched perfectly with the guy's blue suits and pink-and-blue striped ties.
Courtney rode over to the church with her parents in style, in a vintage Rolls Royce.
Random, I know, but we got very excited when we saw that Courtney & Michael's church was almost entirely made of brick. It's not something you see much anymore and made for some really great architectural shots inside.
Courtney's father escorted her down the aisle to Michael.
One of Michael's relatives was the Priest for the wedding ceremony, which meant the mass was filled with a lot of personal touches and some great stories.
As soon as we walked into the church, Rob had a vision of how he would show off the architecture. He headed up to the balcony during the homily to grab this shot.
While he was taking some wider shots of the church, I was at over on the side of the aisle grabbing some close-ups with Courtney and Michael exchanged their vows.
This picture is one of my favorites from the day - walking out of the church shots always get me, but in this one especially love the look on both of their faces and all the flower girls in the background.
Look at that bright blue sky - you can't make that kind of stuff up!
Immediately flowing the ceremony we returned to scene of Courtney and Michael's first meeting: the Fire Island Ferry. You can read more about their very cute story by checking out their engagement session.
Michael was actually a ferry captain, so he jumped right into the wheelhouse and drove (is that the term? I know very little about boats) over to Fire Island. Courtney even got a chance at the wheel as well.
A bride driving a ferry!? Seriously, sometimes we can not believe that is just part of a day at work for us!
The view from the Ferry was breathtaking. What a great way to spend some time with your wedding party and friends?
Ok, maybe this is my favorite image of the day. I love all the seagulls flying away.
Courtney & Michael's wedding party were very energetic, they were pumped after the ride over to Fire Island. We decided to capture some of their fun energy by doing a bridal party shot right on the dock. As you might remember from this preview post, in order to get the shot we had to take off our shoes, roll up our pants and jump right into the water. Probably the most time in the water we've had all summer, as you can tell by our super paleness.
Honestly, do these two get any cuter? I love the intertwining of their hands around each other - and, of course, those big smiles.
Right past the lighthouse there were some boardwalks out to the beach so we decided to see where they led while we spent some time with Courtney and Michael.
Any regular blog reader knows we are suckers for tall beach grass, so of course we had to stop off to get in the middle of it all for a few minutes.
The shot on the left was totally Courtney's idea, she wanted to show off her shoes and did so in a way that was really her - absolutely adorable.
We always think it's important to do some classic straight-forward portraits, something that your grandchildren can look back on and know exactly what you looked like on your wedding day.
Ok, maybe this one is my favorite shot of the day - way too many to choose! The ferry waiting for them, Michael carrying her shoes, the wispy clouds in the sky - love it!
Courtney and Michael kicked off the reception with their first dance to Jack Johnson's "Better Together."
I love the motion in this image - Michael swinging Courtney out during the middle of the dance and the smiles on both of their faces.
This is a very typical scene between Courtney & Michael - making each other laugh like this is something that probably happens every day.
Cake cutting, complete with some more dimple!
Courtney danced with her father to Paul Simon's "Father and Daughter," which totally gets me every time - so sweet.
The Touch had everyone busting out their best dance moves - especially Courtney & Michael who were clearly have an amazing time, down to the very last song.
Courtney & Michael, thank you so much for letting us share in your amazing day. We have truly enjoyed getting to know you both. We hope you had an amazing time in Greece for your honeymoon. Hope to catch up with you again soon!