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Central Park Spring Engagement Sesssion | NYC Film Wedding Photographer

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Spring in NYC is an event like I never experienced in California.  The week the snow has finally all melted away, the weather starts reaching the 60s, and the trees seem to almost instantly burst into bloom everywhere,  hoards of people from all five boroughs stream to Central Park and the Brooklyn Botanical Garden like prairie dogs emerging from their underground tunnels after the rain.  Everyone is always abuzz about the cherry blossoms, including me, but in some ways the main event in Central Park is really the magnolias: huge pink and white, sweet-smelling flowers that grow in clusters all over the upper east side of the park.  Like the cherry blossoms they burst into bloom very quickly but last only about a week, so it’s very hard to time a photo-shoot around them.   I was lucky enough to have 4 scheduled the week they peaked including Michael and Manuela’s, who were especially hoping for a magnolia-themed engagement shoot.

My absolute favorite thing about my job is when a bride and groom become friends.   Michael and Manuela found me in New York Magazine, like many of my couples do, and with very little knowledge of what to expect we scheduled to meet up, chat about their wedding and show them my sample albums over a glass of wine.  Less than 5 minutes into the conversation, we realized we had so much in common and bonded over our faith and shared struggles of finding a church in NYC where we felt at home.  My husband, Alex, who was nearby got roped into the restaurant and over a glass of wine, the four of us realized that we are probably going to be life-long friends.  Alex was so touched to receive an invitation to the wedding last month and so now in addition to photographing their wedding,  Alex and I also get to celebrate as guests and friends!

Much like Alex and me, Michael and Manuela have different strengths that complement each others.  Manuela reminds me a lot of Alex with her reliability, faithfulness, honesty, organization, and down-to-earth practical look on the world.  She is also has an artistic eye which with these aforementioned skills is a rare combination and makes her excellent at managing the business side of things for creative types!   Michael is also very creative as well as genial, adventurous, insightful, spontaneous, and intuitive.  Together they make one amazing couple, who I know will be an unstoppable force of love, innovation, and change wherever they decide to apply their gifts.  I feel so blessed to have met Michael and Manuela and to have been asked to photograph their wedding at the Sleepy Hollow Country Club (coming up this week!)

All images by NYC Film Wedding Photographer Caroline Frost

Highlands Country Club Wedding | NY Wedding Photographer

They met at the wrong time and the wrong place.   Stephen was a bartender at the restaurant where Bianca was a waitress, but they were both spoken for when they met.   Shortly after, Bianca was whisked away for 6 months on an Asian Tour of 42nd Street and when she returned fate arranged things a little better for them and both were single and interested.  They tried to call it quits next time Bianca had to go on tour, this time for a year, but they just couldn’t let go.  They kept calling and video chatting and stayed together and 2 years later Stephen proposed at Bryant Park under the Christmas tree.

Stephen’s heart for social justice keeps him in NYC studying for his masters at Columbia, and yes, Bianca still goes on tour.  When I asked how they made it work during the long distance stints (see, I am a big baby about leaving Alex and get seriously whiny apart from him for even one night), but they said they are used to it and Stephen loves the excuse to travel to different parts of the country and world to visit her.  It’s clear that Bianca’s easy-going,  fun-loving spirit, and Stephen’s quiet strength get them through any situation.  Even on their wedding day, Bianca and Stephen were the most relaxed bride and groom- even when there was a hiccup that delayed the schedule by an hour- both took it in stride and refused to let it hamper the enjoyment of their day.

Bianca, an avid reader of the Style Me Pretty Blog, styled this upstate New York wedding to perfection.   I love when a bride puts so much thought into her day and Bianca left no nook or cranny undecorated.  The mint and pink color scheme was so unique, refreshing and fun for spring.  Their ceremony was moving and had the guests talking about it for the rest of the night which was a long time because boy, did this group know how to party!

Thanks Carmen once again for your help capturing this beautiful day and for keeping me company :)

Um…WOW.  Isn’t she breathtaking?

Love that her dress had pockets!

Their ceremony was extremely unique- here you see the set up in the round.

Stephen’s,  father who is a pastor, officiated the wedding along with Bianca and Stephen’s current pastor from their church in the Bronx.

 Their service was so moving with poem recitations, a song performed by friends, a choral piece interpreting psalm 23 and finally this community blessing where their friends and family laid hands on them and prayed for their future life together.  Yes, they are a God-loving, Musical-theater-acting,  social-justice fighting couple after my own heart and I’m so blessed that they asked me to photograph their beautiful wedding.

 

 

 

All the single ladies

Bianca and Stephen’s friends were not only kind and easy going people like Bianca and Stephen, but they know how to party!  The dance floor was full before the DJ even invited anyone up!

Bianca changed into a shorter dress so they could dance the night away.  And they did!

Also wanted to give a shout out to Adrienne at the Highlands Country Club who was a dream to work with for both the bride and the vendors- nothing was to big a problem for her to solve.  Brides and Grooms – if you are still looking for a wedding venue- I highly recommend this romantic location only an hour and fifteen minutes away from New York City.

Peter and Dee’s Landmark Loews Wedding | NYC Wedding Photographer

As soon as I met Peter and Dee and heard about their wedding plans I knew two things about them, these are two ambitious people who will not settle for a “it’s been done before” kind of wedding.   Every detail was thought out carefully to reflect their personality and to create a unique and fun party for the guests.  From the drop dead gorgeous views at the Millenium Hilton downtown where Dee got ready, to the charming NYC east village garden, “La Plaza Cultural” where their ceremony took place, and last but not least the stunning Landmark Loews Jersey Theatre, originally built by the Hollywood film studios for showcasing silent films this wedding was a showstopper.   While their wedding showcased the timeless charm of  a silent film with the classic car, cobblestone streets, and long navy gowns and dapper black tuxes,  Peter and Dee also paid homage to Dee’s culture with the incorporation of  South Asian drummers, traditional Indian wedding outfits and henna for all the bridesmaids.  The guests were taken back to the theatre’s glamorous past with Dee and Peter’s names shining lights, at the ticket taking booth by a model dressed as a flapper passing out candy cigarettes and movie posters (photographed by yours truly ;-)) that advertised the night’s feature presentation, “The Wedding.”  Jumping out of my chair excited to show you our captures from their beautiful, unique and o-so-cinematic wedding.

Thanks to Carmen Santorelli for her invaluable help on the wedding day.  I just love having a second shooter whose taste and abilities have me confident that if by chance I were to drop like a fly mid-wedding she could carry on the show seamlessly.  Some of these beautiful photos are from her perspective of the day.

Love this moment- one of Dee’s bridesmaids sewing in Dee’s grandmother’s ring into her dress
I love when couples opt to see each other before the wedding, not only does it allow more time for portraits, but you capture that special joy of their “first look” at their future husband/wife on their wedding day
Precious moments and genuine emotions like these are why I love first looks so much!

Love these two photos below that Carmen took….

Throughout the day random strangers on the street were calling out congrats to Dee and Peter from the street

I love the meatpacking district…doesn’t it look like they could be in Portugal or Spain?

Peter and Dee decided to stop in at Pastis, their favorite Manhattan brunch spot,  and share a quick Mojito
Does it get any dreamier than this drooping willow tree at the Plaza Cultural?
Love this moment…Peter with his parents about to walk down the aisle.
 
Hey, the photo on that poster looks familiar!  ;-)  Not going to lie, I can’t get enough of seeing my photos on movie posters!  I just Peter and Dee’s creativity!

Carmen captured the first dance from the balcony above while I stayed on the floor.

Bryant Park Grill Wedding | NYC Wedding Photogrpaher

When I was first starting out in wedding photography, second shooting used to be the thing I wanted to graduate from into having my own clients and shooting my own weddings, but now that I am shooting my own, second shooting has really become more like an occasional treat!   It’s a lot more laid back than being the primary shooter, and you have the chance to really step back and think of a wedding in a more documentary way.  Because you aren’t directing portraits, it also forces you to look for the “less obvious” shot to get some variety from what the primary shooter is getting.   It’s a unique way to challenge yourself to help you grow as a photographer for your own weddings.  I especially enjoyed this wedding because Lindsay Madden is one of my fave people to hang with, and because this couple, Eric and Suzanne,  just knocked it out of the park with wedding day sweetness.  I loved how Eric’s two girls and boy were so involved in the day and how much they seemed to adore their new step-mom.  It was clearly a joyous celebration for everyone.  Plus these two were so stylish: her in her Vera Wang and Jimmy Choos, and him and his party wearing classic black and white tuxes.  There was truly an air of Manhattan elegance to the whole affair.  Thanks Lindsay for inviting me to second shoot this with you :)

While we waited for Lindsay and Suzanne in the first look location, we did some portraits. I love this one on the right.  Eric looks so James Bond.
My fave portrait of the day

 
The ceremony was on the top of Bryant Park Grill…a truly killer place to get married.
The inside was equally stunning with a gorgeous view of Bryant Park which was lit up through the night.
As a photographer, let’s just be real, the receptions aren’t usually the part of the wedding we are most looking forward to.  The lighting is often challenging and three hours of dancing pictures can get tiresome, however  with a crowd of partiers like these guys, I couldn’t help but have a good time.  I was dancing a long with everyone even though my camera was glued to my face.  Whaaat?  I’m on the dance floor anyways!  O and yes, in both of the last two weddings I did someone tried to dance with me…or more like dance up on me…but that’s another story…. In all seriousness though this couple and their family made my heart melt and this reception  was a bundle of fun.
The kids gave a speech saying that they knew Suzanne would be the best step mom ever.  Love her reaction.

Instead of the groom/mother dance, Eric danced with his two daughters…so sweet.

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