Tucked away on the North Shore of Long Island is the beautiful, John E. Aldred Estate.
It was built in 1912 and purchased for St. Josaphat's Monastery in 1944.
Alexandra, from Brindiamo Events secured the unique location for our winter wedding inspired shoot; rustic refinement meets old-world elegance in a palette of rich crimson, burnished gold & classic cream.
I'm so grateful for the delightful vendors (listed below) who contributed to this fun shoot.
It sure was a festive feast for the eyes…
It was teeth chattering cold, but John and Rachel had their love to keep them warm.
How sharp is this three piece suit?! Love the texture.
The dress was by Lazaro!
Ahhh…how I love working with Lori from Avaflora. She is a former bride and such a creative talented soul.
This bouquet had such a fun wintery unexpected mix of ruby, ivory and evergreen.
How great is the addition of the holly and poinsettiette?
The pocket square and the boutineer made my heart pitter patter. I love when boutineers lay flat against the lapel.
It's such a good day when I work with such talented folks like Adrienne from Ipanema Press who created the elegant stationery.
My favorite aspect of Lori's creations is that the arrangements take on a life of their own. It looks unique from every angle.
I can photograph her flowers for daaaays.
Some soft golden window light, right before the sun went down.
How dreamy is the red tufted sofa from Vintage Rentals?
The tablescape came together beautifully and looks as if it was made for this room.
You would never guess what we had to go through to set this up in this specific spot.
The furniture was so heavy it felt like it was nailed to the floor and we had to carry the sofa up two flights of stairs!
Why didn't my table look like this for Christmas?!
I thought these labled stationery cards from Ipanema Press were such a fun detail!
Layers of petals…
Lanterns and a festive floral arrangment lined the walkway…
Sparkle, letterpress, ruby and gold…
I love how the tapered candles set the mood…
Many thanks to Liz from Well Wed for featuring this shoot!
It's an honor to have collaborated with this wonderfully talented and creative group of amazing vendors:
Stylized / Event Design : Brindiamo Events & Design
Flowers Design and Tablescape : AvaFlora
Stationary : Ipanema Press
China & table runner : Pier 1 Imports
Red velvet tufted love seat: Vintage Rentals
Hair & Makeup : Blo Dry Bar, Glencove
Suit : Luca Falcone
Photography : Dear Stacey
I adore wedding photography, but last week when I spent savoring photographs of my children as babies and toddlers,
I was reminded all over again that my own wedding day was just the beginning of my family’s story.
These moments – all of the little memories that had escaped my mind – represent all that our lives have become together.
Our wedding was the prelude, the preface. These photos were and continue to be the chapters.
I want to capture the prelude of your great story just as much as I want to capture the chapters that follow.
I want to reunite and photograph you as you celebrate the anniversaries when it is just the two of you.
I want to photograph your family as it grows to include sweet babies, mischievous toddlers and independent school kids.
I want to help you to fill albums that you will spend afternoons looking through
and being reminded of seasons that have come and sweetly gone; leaving behind a lasting legacy.
For all of these reasons, I am so excited to announce Lasting Legacy Sessions.
Today I am opening only 10 Lasting Legacy Sessions for married couples and immediate families.
During these sessions, I will capture you exactly as you are – celebrating your first anniversary or your tenth;
hand-in-hand in a park with your pup or running through your backyard with your children.
Need some more ideas:
- Anniversary sessions: for you and your husband, your folks or grandparents.
– Beach Day: let's build sand castles, skip rocks and jump in the waves with the kids (or fur-babies).
– Holiday anticipation: Easter egg hunts, pumpkin picking or holiday decorating.
– Daily routine: maybe their endearing bedheads during a pancake breakfast and snuggles in bed.
– Activities: ice-cream date, baking, kite flying, park or picnic.
I came across this little clip and thought it summed up the Lasting Legacy Sessions perfectly…
Let's create an adventure with a Lasting Legacy Session, so we can one day…remember when.
Available Black Friday through Cyber Monday only:
50% off – one time only exclusive. You won't see this offer ever again.
- These sessions are only for wedding anniversary sessions or immediate family only sessions.
– All family members must be older than seven months (some exceptions will be made) and the location of the session must take place in Suffolk County.
– 30 high resolution images.
– Takes place two hours before sunset on a weekday (or possibly a Sunday based on wedding schedule).
– Must be photographed in 2016.
$425 (value of $850)
To book a session (or hear more about additional offerings which include: hair/make-up/flowers and albums/prints), click the envelope icon link below to get in touch!
Keeping with the Friday Feature – Happiness this week:
- My five year old son said grace for Thanksgiving. Everyone at the table cried; it was that good.
- Thanksgiving and all that it sums up.
- Black Friday Deals. YES!! One for you…two for me! ; )
I still get excited when I get an e-mail from my web-site about a prospect/client.
It's my first peek into their world.
Sometimes they tell me a little about themselves; sometimes they even talk about some of you –
and what they have read and have seen here from what I post.
Opening those e-mails is like opening up an unexpected gift. It never gets old for me.
I'm blessed to have the best clients ever.
I have much to be thankful for this year as I do every day.
This little business has gone in a direction that I never expected or saw coming,
but I wouldn't be here today without the help of the most wonderful people ever.
My family, who puts up with my crazy schedule, late nights and at times cereal for dinner.
My parents and in-laws who has gotten me through this hectic season by helping out with the kids.
Katie, my amazing graphic designer who is sooo patient with me and not only comes up
with fabulous card/album layouts, helps with editing/re-touching, but is also at times my therapist.
Not that I really need one ; )
My peers, for always setting the bar higher and making me want more from my work and for all the fabulous referrals.
My second photographers. There aren't enough words. I'm beyond grateful.
Mentors, vendors and venues who support my business and have become friends along the way.
And last but certainly not least, I'm thankful for each and every reader who puts up with my grammar hiccups,
shares in my client's memories and some of mine.
I hope this Thanksgiving you're surrounded by great stories, delicious food and cozy homes.
Enjoy every second creating new memories this year and celebrating old traditions.
Below is a peek at a gorgeous tablescape from Avaflora and lovely stationery from Ipanema Press.
I'm smitten with their work.
I love when fruit, veggies and herbs are brought into centerpieces or details!
Layering looks awesome on tablescapes!
Such a fun quirky font and a special way to greet the table guests.
I wish I had more time, I would love to do menu cards.
A beautiful centerpiece with layers, texture, depth and autumn colors.
"Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings." ~ William Arthur Ward
Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!
It wasn't unlike me to wait until the last minute.
With three kids in elementary school there is always something they need to bring in for class.
This was a bit different. This wasn't a school supply or a food item needed for a party.
I went to the shelf in my office and pulled down the box labled 2005-2010.
I brushed off the dust, like I was polishing silver. Tenderly and lovingly for I knew what it was capable of.
I closed the door to my office and as I plugged in the hard drive…the labled folders began popping up.
"Birth", "Kindergarten", "Catskills", "Fifth Birthday".
More often than not, they were just named by the date, because with a five year old, one year old, newborn and a new business, the shoe makers kids rarely have "shoes".
If they did…they're hardly ever organized.
As I clicked each folder, it was like going back in time annnd my heart melted and hurt.
The rabbit hole seemed endless, as did the days when they were babes. The tears, the diapers, the bottles and up all nighters.
There weren't too many photographs I was proud of from a photographers standpoint, but there were many photographs I was proud of the moments we made.
Kids in diapers and toothless grins banging on pots and pans, finger paint that should have been called body paint and food not just on their faces but in their crazy, unkempt hair was the norm.
What I remembered as a messy blur, looking back was actually a beautiful mess.
These days life often seems perfect from the outside looking in.
Pinterest and Instagram, oh how you slay me right down to the last detail.
The white beautiful crown molding I spy while children sit in their highchairs looked nothing like real life to me.
Behind my son in a photo was a spot where my eldest daughter, when three, wrote her name on the kitchen wall.
It stayed there for years because I couldn't find the time or the energy to paint.
I'm not sure I managed to get to the first photo before tears were streaming down my face.
As a mother, it was something I guess to expect.
But, as a photographer?! I thought I knew the importance of a photograph.
I'm the one photographing small pieces of photographic papers tucked into lockets hanging from bouquets of a child who's parent wasn't there to walk them down the aisle.
I see the milestones of my beautiful couples become husband and wife, celebrate anniversaries and go on to have beautiful babies. Constantly changing and re-arranging. Always and never the same.
I know what it's like to receive an e-mail from a bride who's mother died two months after the wedding.
I know the value of that piece of paper.
Yet looking back over the years of memories that have past…the birthdays, happy occassions, first days of school, the changes, the sacrifices, the tears and the smiles…I was unprepared.
I didn't expect to see so many details I would have otherwise forgotten; like the permanent marker from my daughter on the wall that was finally painted over with a splash of boring white paint.
If it weren't for these photos to remind me, who is to remind my children when I am gone?
This peek back into my life made me realize how much I miss photographing growing families.
Which kind of got me thinking.
Sooo, be sure to watch for a special announcement here and on FB on Cyber Monday for a one day only offer.
An ordinary moment below while being a Mom and not a photographer….
Happiness this Week
- Thankful for the trip down memory lane all because my daughter needed a photo for her 5th grade yearbook. It reminded me of why I hire photographers to photograph my own children and why I make it a huge point to try to PRINT an image that will live a far greater life in warm hands, than in a dusty cold hard drive box.
- Legacy Box - In September I put together all of our old videos and sent them on their way to Legacy Box, who will be transferring them over to digital files. They should be here any day now. I'm so excited to reminisce with family during the holiday season.
- The Thanksgiving menu is shaping up. We have a family favorite here, which is not really Thanksgiving-ish, but it's a pretty big hit. It's called "Cheesy Potatoes". It's sinful. The only bad thing about this one is that there are never any leftovers and everyone wants the recipe. Seriously.
Another favorite here is Rachel Ray's "Stuffin Muffins" which is sweet and savory. If I'm feeling creative, I'll throw some craisins/raisins in there too.
- Grabbed dinner with Mom this week. The best part was talking in the parking lot for two more hours after we left deciding upon what new holiday traditions we will start this year. So lucky to have a Mom that I can call a BFF.
- The turkey order has been placed with Whole Foods. After watching a few documentaries this year, we are trying to be a bit more mindful about eating organically, so we opted for the Organic Free Range Turkey. I have to admit, my mouse hovered over the "Complete Thanksgiving Dinner" option. I mean, how easy and who would really know?! But then I thought about Thanksgiving morning with the parade on TV in the background; the aroma, the happy chaos, the cursing, the memories for my children and decided I wouldn't have it any other way…well, let's see how it goes this year before deciding about next. ; )
- It's raining as I write this. I love the rain. Maybe not during wedding season, but when I'm cozy at home. I'm always a bit wary to admit this. It's not popular weather. Most people who hear this, will wrinkle their nose and tell me how much they miss the sunshine and wish it was summer all year round. I came across this list of "22 Things Anyone Who Loves Rain Will Understand" and didn't feel so alone.
- I bought Mums this fall. Their buds were closed when I bought them, but they appeared a bright and happy yellow. When they fully bloomed, to my surprise, they were white. Probably the last color I would ever purchase in autumn. But none-the-less, each day when I watered them, I thanked them for making me smile (am I the only one that talks to plants?!). Anyhow, as if they may have heard my thoughts, they began to paint their petals a pretty shade of lavender. Nature. Swoon.
Before you go, leave your thoughts below. I'd love to hear your "happy" this week.
When my sister got married, a factory photographer showed up and shot her wedding.
There was no connection, no relationship – just a hired service.
When her images came back, they lacked the feeling I remembered that day.
The moments were all there, but their story wasn't;
who they were as a couple and the cozy intimacy they share with family and friends.
Shortly thereafter, I became a wedding photographer.
My priority was to make my business personal.
When you work with people on the happiest days of their lives,
it's not just a service, it's a huge honor.
I don't take it lightly.
I don't want to just show up and document what I see. I want to document what it feels like.
To do that, I need to get to know my clients.
I love when they share their history with me. Their likes and dislikes.
It may sound silly, but I really want to know who their favorite people are,
the music they listen to, their favorite colors and places they love.
For an image to come to life, I believe there has to be a relationship.
Not just between the couple, but with the photographer as well.
So this all got me thinking.
While I get to know my couples on a personal level, I noticed I rarely share my world. The behind the scenes.
In an effort to hold myself accountable for more work/life balance, I decided to add "It's Personal" posts every Friday.
While it may not be the most entertaining read, I want to remind myself that happiness isn't found in the end goal.
It's found along the way in the millions of little things that happen throughout the week that bring a spark of joy.
Happiness this week:
- Amazon Prime! How did I ever do Christmas shopping before this?! And their $9.99 a month book club and movies?
- I watched Disney's Inside Out. Anyone else sob? What a brilliantly creative, imaginative story.
- Just the originals. My brother and sister are married with kiddos, but we made a date to hang out (just us) at my folks house one night.
Shared many laughs and sang Christmas music!
- When picking up wine (for the above), I passed by a bottle of Bailey's Irish Cream.
It brought me back a million years ago to my favorite drink.
Ever have Bailey's with Butterscotch Schnapps? I rarely drink, but this is a treat. It's actually dessert in a glass.
The Butterscotch Schnapps tastes like a velvety caramel.
If you're not a fan of Bailey's, try it with Kaluha. Mmmm.
For more versions of this ridiculously delicious drink, check out this site.
- Bought cozy new pajamas at Aerie for the days when the boss lets me go "casual".
Best part is, it's not contained to just Friday's here! ; ) Mix and Match Holiday plaid. Yes, please!
- Planning the menu for Thanksgiving at our house this year. Scary and exciting. Should be cleaning to get ready instead. Time to find a place to hide the laundry baskets!
- Listened to THIS song (male vocalist of the year) over and over a few dozen times.
It's the kind of song that sounds better with your eyes closed.
Looking forward to catching up with Stephanie and Steven and Julia and Jimmy during their e-sessions this weekend.
I love couples with matching first letter names!! (S+S and J+J).
They're going to kill me for posting this, but I love this memory.
We all took a vacation up in Newport Vermont this year. One of my favorite vacations ever.
Below is a cell phone shot, don't judge!
My brother and sis.
Family is everything.