The View – Devin and Michael – Riviera, Long Island Wedding

It wasn’t an inquire really…or an e-mail. It was like a letter to a friend.

When I had gotten a note from Devin for her wedding date in August, I was booked. Solid. I knew one more wedding in the month of August could possibly make me check myself into a crazy house.  Yet, I couldn’t tell her no.

I told her that I probably wouldn’t be able to commit, but wanted to hear more about her day so I could find someone who was a great fit for them. She wrote me back the loveliest, long-winded letter ever…and that was it – I was smitten.

You see, these are the letters I live for.

It wasn’t just about the date, time and venue. It was about all of the little details in between. Those little details my friends are everything to me. From that moment on we go beyond the mere ‘transaction’ to a relationship.

When I asked her for a few details she poured her heart out, and I was a tea-cup taking in every drop.

She spoke of their tiny apartment that was a sewing studio and a make-shift workshop for her many craft projects that she hoped to do for their wedding. She shared their dream of one day living in a cozy lakeside mountain cabin, and the wonderful venue details such as: the cathedral wooden ceiling, the view of the water, and how they envisioned their family and friends enjoying cocktails on the wrap around deck.

Devin made me feel as if there was no computer screen or typed words between us. To me it felt like we were already friends. The kind of friends who enjoy sharing their excitement, anticipation and enthusiasm together.

She got it. Devin got the idea that life is a celebration, not just THE day. They both get that it’s in the moments they create every day with one another that will be the glue that holds them together.

***

Michael and Devin reminisced with me about their many road and camping trips they have shared all over the West visiting the mountains, canyons, and lakes. They spoke about witnessing the most amazing views they had ever seen, and how each moment was made even more beautiful because they shared it together.

The appreciation for the perfect view I think goes far beyond what we actually see. Sometimes it’s about looking in the same direction, and sometimes it’s a feeling, or who we are with that make the views even that much better.

There are many views that will leave us breathless in our lifetime.

Here’s hoping that nothing takes our breath away better though “…than our front porch looking in”.

 

 Devin created all of the fabulous stationary…

   

And so it begins….

   

Hotels are a pretty awesome place to take the preparation pictures.

They usually have large windows with gorgeous light, and the lobby’s can be fun to photograph in as well.

   

 Pretty accessories!

   

 The moments in between…

     

Devin’s Mom has the loveliest living room parlor which was a perfect backdrop for getting ready…

   

The men relaxing in the lobby before showtime…

   

The loooovely girls…

   

Devin sewed every single invite!

The amount of heart and soul that went into every detail of the day was truly incredible.

   

Greeting friends before entering the church…

   

Mike just beaming with happiness and pride as Dad gives his little girl away.

   

 A little bit of symmetry…

   

Sealed with a kiss…

   

Hooray!

   

Now that’s the look of a girl who just married her best friend!

   

Best wishes…

   

I really need to thank Mike, Devin and Mrs. Varsalona for helping to secure this location for portraits.

I think the location totally matched the mood/style of the day wonderfully, annnnd they even set aside extra time to take pictures!!!

You sure know how to make a girl giddy!

     

 The fabulous, intimate bridal party!

   

When I was taking the shot above I noticed I was losing eye contact with the bridal party a bit, and when I turned around I caught this cute kid totally stealing my thunder! ; )

   

 Have I told you how much I loved this location?

   

Cause everyone needs that traditional shot…

   

The lighting was just beautiful on their wedding day.

   

Last image before we’re off to the reception!

   

 In one of the first e-mails I received from Devin she mentioned how she loved the venue’s view from the doors walking into the reception room.

She said it reminded her of a mix between a boat-house and a ski lodge!  What a great rustic feel, right?!

   

Annnd if you look up in the middle of the dance floor (or lay on your back to take a photo; ) you’re greeted by high vaulted wooden ceilings, and medieval chandeliers.

   

Some details…

   

There was a little nook up by the bridal suite.

I love nooks. I even like the word ‘nook’. There is something about it that is just cozy.

   

One of my most favorite things to photograph is a ‘day after session’, which Mike and Devin opted for.

The sessions usually begin at sunrise a day or two after the wedding when the couples have this amazing sense of contentment. The stress of the planning is gone, and there is no time-line to worry about.

I enjoy these sessions so much because it’s sooo relaxed. And let’s face it…when are you ever going to wear such an amazing dress again?!

   

 What is it about lifeguard stands that make them so awesome?!

 And how great is the fun yellow color?!

     

Ohhhh, go on with your awesome-ness!

   

I love how natural and comfortable they are together.

   

Happiness!

   

Their shadows came out to play…

       

 I adore that a sunrise can be just as dramatic as a sunset…

   

Mike and Devin…there is just too much to say and not enough words or time. I have enjoyed every single second in your fabulous company. Thank you SO very much for including me. Thank you for making photography such a priority on your happy day. Thank you for the time you allotted, thank you for choosing such wonderful locations…and thank you for waking up at sunrise to hang out and play some more.

Much love and happiness!

p.s.

Thanks to the Knot for the wonderful referral!

p.p.s

Before you go, leave your thoughts below!

20 comments = complimentary gift for the couple

       
  1. Devin & Michael

    October 23rd, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Stacey — your words & photos are so beautiful they made us (well, me) tear up!! Thank you so much for being such an important part of our wonderful day. We LOVE everything!!

  2. Stacey

    October 23rd, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    So happy you’re happy!! Looking forward to sharing the rest with you. Thanks for being SO fabulous!! – S : )

  3. Steven

    October 23rd, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Beautiful photos. I think my favorite one is the one of Devin and Mike–they look so happy to be together and in the outdoors.

  4. Linda

    October 23rd, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    The photos are gorgeous! Stacey, you did an amazing job! This is my first time seeing the post-wedding shots, and they turned out better than I imagined.

  5. Laura

    October 23rd, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    Fabulous photos! Stacey, great job capturing a wonderful night. I love all of the detail. So happy you caught us talking to Devin outside the church. And I love the concept of day-after photos. I’ve never heard of them before, but you’re right, Devin and Mike look so happy. Very well done!

  6. Stacey

    October 24th, 2012 at 12:48 am

    Thanks so much Laura for the kind words and for taking the time to leave a comment!!

  7. Lara

    October 24th, 2012 at 3:25 am

    amazing…..

  8. Lauren

    October 24th, 2012 at 9:08 am

    These photos are absolutely beautiful. I love the sunrise shots and I think the one of all the girls laughing in the Varsalona living room is one to frame!

  9. Juleigh

    October 24th, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Looks like the perfect day! Love the invitations, I can see that you put a lot of thought and personal touches on the whole day. Congrats!

  10. Sally Townsend

    October 24th, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Devin – You look so beautiful!! Thank you for sharing your happiness 🙂

  11. Carol Varsalona

    October 25th, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    The story of a young couple blissfully in love is told so poetically in these photos. The power of the images and the beauty of the settings pop out as a seamless tale unfolds. Thank you, Stacey, for your creativity and artistry.

  12. Stacey

    October 26th, 2012 at 1:15 am

    Mrs. Varsalona thank you for taking the time to leave such a wonderful comment. You and your husband raised one heck of a daughter! I was thrilled to be a small part of such a fabulous day. Everything was so lovingly planned out. What an absolute delight it was to document their happy day! Can’t wait to share the rest of the images with your family! – S : )

  13. Mike DeVora

    October 25th, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Stunning photos of love. May God bless their union!

  14. Richard Varsalona

    October 25th, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Devin and Mike,
    The two of you look great and so do your shadows.
    Dad

  15. Mary,Jay &Matt Ebbets

    October 25th, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    What a beautiful capturing of your perfect day.
    As the years unfold may you look at these photos and remember the sweet feelings that made your heart sing that day~~~May those feelings be with
    you all the days of your married life. We had such a great time at your wedding,thank you so much for including us.

  16. Jo Ann

    October 25th, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    These photos are so very beautiful. I enjoyed looking at them so much. I enjoyed sharing your beautiful wedding with you. You both look so beautiful and so very happy. What a pleasure to see!

  17. linda blatney

    October 25th, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    Fantastic photos. Every single one out did the previous one. The best I have ever seen. What a lovely couple, who looked so at ease and SO MUCH in love. Happiness always

  18. Joyce-Lorraine Lisi

    October 25th, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    The photos and words are so beautiful and inspiring. Wish you both much love and happiness. You definitely look perfect together.

  19. JoAnn

    October 26th, 2012 at 5:56 am

    A Stunning Couple! I wish you a lifetime of beautiful small moments to treasure.

  20. Mimi Calvo

    October 26th, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Well as I sit here trying to type with tears in my eyes, I just experienced the day all over again! Magical Day….Magical Pictures

  21. Dave and DeAnn Pettinelli

    October 26th, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    On behalf of our family, including Samantha and Nicholas, thank you so, so much for allowing us to be part of your special day! Much happiness always to both of you!

  22. marianne lavalle

    October 27th, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    beautiful!!!

  23. Joyce Leonelli

    October 29th, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Beautiful photos…a beautiful story told… and wonderful memories to have forever.

  24. Kasey

    January 18th, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    Stacey,

    This session is probably my favorite, all of the locations are so unique (especially the RR cars, LOVE!) and the details in the shots are incredible. Best wishes to the couple, your love radiates through these images.

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