“…for aught that ever I could read,
could ever hear by tale or history,
the course of true love never did run smooth.”
― A Midsummer Night’s Dream
“Lord, what fools these mortals be!”
― A Midsummer Night’s Dream
A Shakespearean comedy like A Midsummer Night’s Dream is the perfect inspiration for a wedding. Though things often go awry (mostly due to misunderstandings) there is always, without fail, a happy ending. And in a Shakespearean comedy, that happy ending is almost always a wedding. But Adam and Barbara have even more special ties to A Midsummer Night’s Dream than just a shared happy ending. Pulling together a unique wedding that reflected who they are and their unique love story was important to them, and as I talked about in their engagement session blog post, both of them are nature, poetry and theater lovers. Their wedding took place on June 21st, the summer solstice, which is traditionally “midsummer night,” making their theme all the more perfect.
I felt like the luckiest wedding photographer in the world when Barbara and Adam asked me to photograph their wedding. A Midsummer Night’s Dream has special meaning for me as well, in fact, in high school I directed a production of it for my senior project. Needless to say, I quickly found Barbara and Adam to be kindred spirits. While I was bursting at the seams with excitement for their Midsummer Night’s Dream wedding, I had no idea just how beautifully executed it would be. I also don’t think I’ve ever seen a venue so transformed as what BRRCH achieved with the florals at Old Tappan Manor. A standard New Jersey ballroom was transformed into an enchanted forest complete with birch-bark escort cards, bell jar centerpieces, and tall vases of branches gave guests the feeling of dining alfresco. For the chuppah/sweetheart table, BRRCH created a canopy of branches, wisteria and other florals. Barbara’s gorgeous bridesmaids were decked in pale blue or lavender and each had their hair full of flowers. Barbara called hers a “helmet of flowers,” but I think it just looked like they each took a roll down a hill of wildflowers. And have you ever seen such dapper groom or groomsmen? In his plum three-piece suit, Adam was getting as many compliments as his stunning bride!
Despite how gorgeous every detail of this wedding was, it was Adam and Barbara’s tears, laughter and the heart-melting glances they shared throughout the day that really stole the show. I’ve never seen a bride and groom have this much fun on their wedding day or guests be more pulled into the couples’ love story. There was not a dry eye in Old Tappan Manor during either the ceremony or toasts, and I am not an exception. The Midsummer Night’s Dream theme permeated not only the decor, but their vows, which were love poems they had written to each other. Even Barbara’s Dad, in honor of their love of poetry and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, made a gallant attempt to give his toast in rhyme, much to Barbara and Adam’s surprise and delight.
If it wasn’t for these photos, I think I’d have to pinch myself that this wedding was not a dream. Did the bride and groom really just perform “Best Day of My Life” like pro-entertainers? Do I really get to photograph a bride in a deciduous forest with a head full of flowers? I wasn’t surprised by how much I liked their family and friends however. When I like a couple as much as I like Adam and Barbara, it is usually a given that their family and friends will be just as warm and hospitable. My amazing assistant shooters Mekina, Leandra and I were treated like a part of the family. I loved having those ladies be a part of my team again. It was also a blast to work with Love and You Video once more. (You’d think it’d be impossible to get the amazing footage they do given that I never see them throughout the day, but they do!)