The first time I met Jessica, she was teetering on the edge of a table writing
a welcome message for her guests on the mirror above.
The wedding was less than two hours away and she was in
sweatpants with a top knot and a gregarious grin.
She was positively glowing.
Moments before guests arrived, bouquets were being made by the bride
and the culinary treats was being done by Taste Art, the grooms catering company.
The Reem Arca dress sat patiently waiting for it's bride.
15 minutes before showtime Jessica hopped into her dress.
We had a mere eight minutes for photos.
DIY weddings are not for the faint of heart. They take stress to a whole new level.
To-do lists are miles long and everything that needs to be done is always finished right down to the wire,
as was the case with this amazing wedding.
The day was happy chaos and big laughs, full of style, character and tons of love.
What I loved most about Warren and Jessica was their enthusium, which was not just about the day, but each other.
When they looked at one another, they looked like kids on Christmas morning.
Full of joy and happiness.
They were affectionate, considerate and 100% present.
My kind of couple.
For those of you who have never been to the Metropolitan Building, it is quiet a treat. Built in 1909 it started out as an electrical parts factory. In 1980, a successful antique furniture rental business bought the building for storage and local artisans to share. Since then it's transformed into one of the most charming and creative venues I have ever had the pleasure to photograph in.
It's an inspiring playground for photographers and the most magical place on Long Island for a wedding venue.
Blooms designed by the bride!
Every little nook was a happy surprise.
Large windows let delicious light stream in on the worn paint, hardwood, antiques and books.
This place oozed charm and character.
Oh, the anticipation!
Nothing like some Jenny Yoo bridesmaid dresses!!
Style for miles.
It helps that Jessica is a fashion stylist in NYC.
The dapper gentlemen…
I'll just say what you all are thinking.
Jessica, you're stunning!!
They were totally in their own world and I love them for it.
This is who they were. This was not directed.
They were this excited and ethusiastic the entire day.
The human pyramids were amazing!
Footloose barefoot and fancy free!
What a yummy feast it was by Taste Art!
Mmm…it was filled with mixed berries!
How lovely is this?!
Warren and Jessica, I loved seeing all of the heart and soul you both so lovingly put into your happy day. There was so much character and personality with every detail. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be a small part of your world during such an amazing celebration.
Special thanks to DIY Wedding Magazine for featuring their wedding!
Just a quick note of thanks for stopping in.
I have not been blogging for quiet a while, but I'm jumping back in.
Hope to see you here again soon.
Before you go, leave your thoughts below!
It's looming over me. Like a shadow I can't lose. It's heavy on my shoulders.
Like Scarlett O'hara, I tell myself, "I will think about it tomorrow."
Tomorrow is almost here though, so sooner or later, I will have to think about it today.
I have tied to ignore it.
The mirror hasn't let me forget. Neither have my kids.
They tell me 90's music is considered 'old school'. How did that even happen?
I pass by the sparkly eye shadow and grab the palette of neutrals.
Who am I?
The last ten years have been a lovely blur; filled with making memories with my husband, the birth of our babies, mortgage payments, sweet vacations, dishes piled in the sink, my beautiful business and more fast food than I care to admit.
I pick up my 'Five Minute Journal' and jot down my list; three things I'm grateful for and three things I want to happen today.
It reminds me that beneath the piles of laundry, sunspots and wrinkles, the goals and dreams I dared to reach are here. Now.
My dreams have become reality.
Maybe forty isn't so bad after all.
Life is what we make it.
So I will embrace this crazy age, the reading glasses and saggy boobs.
I will slow down. Take it all in.
Reflect. Plan. Create. Dream and set bigger goals.
Life is not over at 40, perhaps I'm looking at it all wrong.
Maybe it's just beginning.
This is the year I will stop saying "I wish" and start saying "I will."
I've got some BIG plans.
Can't wait to fill you all in!
There is something about them that makes my heart happy.
The bistro lights, the old wood, the charm.
I'm smitten with the whole idea of a barn wedding.
Maybe I'm bias, but Long Island is one of the best gems on the East Coast. Well, not taking into consideration the traffic. ; )
We’re a stone’s throw away from the fast paced streets of New York City and its chic venues,
yet we’re removed enough that a drive along the water’s edge through some of the area’s smallest towns is not out of the norm.
It's the perfect place to welcome guests for a long weekend of wedding fun that allows them to disconnect
and spend time solely focused on creating new memories with family and friends.
From vineyards and agriculture hubs to gardens and private hotels,
one type of venue that I receive many e-mails about are couples looking for suggestions of barns located throughout the area.
Below is a compilation of some of the ones in our area that might be fun to check out:
1. Breeze Hill Farm: Acres of orchards surround Breeze Hill Farm, plus there’s a private beach on the premises! With such a stunning location, it comes as no surprise that the barn is gorgeous. It features classic shingles, but the elegance factor increases when the beautiful wood beams are combined with a spectacular stone fireplace. Host your ceremony on the beautiful grounds, move inside the barn for your reception, and close out the night on the patio.
2. Baiting Hollow Farm & Vineyard: Founder Sam Rubin planted a row of grapevines on a whim in the 1960s, and his stunning property is still flourishing today in Suffolk County.
3. Castello di Borghese: Castello di Borghese is the oldest vineyard on Long Island! Established by a prince and princess and still maintained by their children, the winery specializes in Italian wines. With the barn doubling as a gallery, Castello di Borghese is a stunning location for an elegant reception with rustic, Italian flair, and it will pair perfectly with a honeymoon in Italy!
4. Driftwood Farm: With a fantastic barn located on the property and some of the best ocean views on Long Island, Driftwood Farms is one of the most fabulous locations in the area. I love that there’s an option to host a tented reception overlooking the ocean, but the barn is equally as stunning and just as elegant. It’s also important to mention the luxuriously large grounds and horse stables. Welcome to the tip of the North Fork!
5. Hallockville Museum & Farm: Set back in a more rural area of the North Fork, Hallockville Museum & Farm is a working agricultural center. While the farm itself can easily accommodate up to 150 people, the Nuggles Barn is a bit smaller allowing you to either create an intimate setting or use the space as part of a larger reception with a tent. This is such a beautiful setting for a more laid back celebration!
6. Jedediah Hawkins Inn: Because it’s a hotel, Jedediah Hawkins Inn represents the most fitting place for a true weekend away with guests. By renting all six rooms located on the property, you’re able to rent out the Inn for the weekend. Host an intimate rehearsal dinner amongst the beauty of The Solarium, walk underneath the arbor as it’s transformed into your ceremony’s aisle, and toast to your guests and to marriage underneath in the barn complete with a wisteria backdrop. Your options are endless, and the food is magnificent.
7. Martha Clara Vineyards: Martha Clara Vineyards is nestled within the North Fork’s wine country, and boasts a beautiful barn that’s as lovely for a rehearsal dinner or bridal shower as it is for your wedding ceremony and reception. I can already imagine the moments I can capture for you as you exchange your vows in front of the landscape of vines before walking into the barn strung with string lights. It’s difficult to imagine a more idyllic setting!
8. The Barn at Old Bethpage Village Restoration: Old Bethpage Village Restoration is the home of the annual Long Island Fair. The Barn is a much more modern replica of the building that once served as the Fair’s main hub. Now, it features each and every modern convenience for you and up to 300 of your guests, plus fantastic high ceilings and exposed wood beams. You will, without a doubt, make quite an impression if you choose this venue!
9. Peconic River Herb Farm: Located on Long Island’s eastern end along the river, Peconic River Herb Farm is an ideal location if you’re searching for rustic gardens and greenhouses, patios and sprawling lawns, and water views! I would love to capture photos of you and your new husband in a canoe on the river on your wedding day or perhaps for your engagement photos.
10. Queens County Farm Museum: One of my favorite aspects about the Queens County Farm Museum and barn is the atmosphere. From historic buildings to greenhouses, farm animals to gardens, there are so many stunning areas for us to explore as we take your photos! Plus, there are a number of places for you to host your ceremony and reception. The North Lawn and Orchard are both gorgeous spaces to pitch a tent, and the venue also boasts a beautiful classic shingled barn with light blue shutters. Each space accommodates 200, 1000, and 120 guests respectively.
11. Salt Air Farm: Salt Air Farm is the best venue to make your dream of a garden party wedding a reality. Situated on the North Fork of Long Island, Salt Air Farm grows a vast number of varieties of flowers and fruits throughout the property. Picture wildflowers, hydrangeas, and peach and nectarine trees as your wedding’s backdrop during the height of summer and early fall. Add in a tent and a vast lawn complete with chairs and an aisle for your ceremony, and your vision is complete!
12. Southampton Historical Museum: I love when venues have a number of settings from which to choose, and Southampton Historical Museum is definitely one of them! For a more classic reception, opt for the sprawling Roberts Mansion, which can welcome up to 150 guests. For a pretty garden party for up to 200, think about hosting your guests on The Great Lawn, which also has a lovely pergola. Of course, there’s also the classic barn, and a number of houses of worship are nearby in case you would prefer to say your vows in a more traditional space.
**Edit – Below are a few more beautiful Long Island Barns!!
13. George Wrien Barn (c.1764) It overlooks the quiet waters of inner Lloyd Harbor on Long Island’s North Shore. Next to the Henry Lloyd Manor House on the grounds of Caumsett State Park, the Barn has been the venue for weddings, rehearsal dinners, birthday parties and more.
14. Hallockville Museum Farm (The Naugles Barn): Built in 1937, the Naugles Barn has been restored for use as an event venue while retaining its historic character. There is room for caterers, modern electric service, and an open floor plan that allows for various table sizes and setups. At 1,500 square feet, smaller functions can be accommodated directly in the barn while the use of a tent supplements the barn for larger events. The Naugles Barn has been featured in Style Me Pretty, Rustic Wedding Chic, TLC’s “Secret Wedding” show, Edible East End and Well Wed Magazine and is the perfect choice for people seeking an authentic and memorable event experience.
15. Jedediah Hawkins Inn – I'm absolutely smitten with this little piece of heaven. Surrounded by 22 acres of fragrant gardens and farmland, Jedediah Hawkins Inn is a luxurious historic boutique hotel, situated next to a beautiful barn on the North Fork of Long Island. It's celebrated for its history, genuine hospitality and delicious food and wine. The beautiful property and historic buildings are a spectacular stage for a wedding or special event.
Since no blog post is complete without an image,
below are a few sneak peeks from Scotty and Stacey's happy day.
More to come soon!
Before you go, leave your thoughts below!
What is your favorite barn on Long Island?
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! ; )