reception pictures

Yellow and gray and a beautiful wedding day {A New Jersey Wedding for a Texas Couple}

After getting to know my couples for sometimes two years before their big day, I always experience a moment or two that's most like a Proud Big Sister when it's time to capture their wedding day. 

For Mallorie and Eric, that was even more so the case. Mallorie's older sister and Matron of Honor Allison is one of my dearest friends from childhood. I didn't know Mallorie as well as I wish I had but I've been lucky enough to watch her journey from afar over the years. 

And with a backdrop of weeping willows and lakefront rows of white chairs on a sunny September afternoon, I watched Mallorie's parents walk her down the aisle as her REAL big sister proudly watched. 

I'll come back to Eric in a minute, but let's talk first about the INCREDIBLE Mallorie. She chose a lace-sleeved, tea-length dress with insane Betsey Johnson heels. Mallorie rocked some gorgeous long, sideswept curls and some Old-Hollywood red lips and she looked so fun and elegant, twirling, hands in her dress pockets (um, yep!). 

And Eric was handsome and happy, smiling every minute of their day. The way he looks at Mallorie is so, so beautiful. He just worships her and respects her and it's obvious with every glance. 

Mallorie and Eric chose to do a First Look (peeking at each other prior to the ceremony) and we set Eric up at the bottom and Mallorie at the top of a tall wooden staircase at the historic inn where their reception was held. After some quiet moments alone, they and their bridal party did some photos there and at the ceremony site, a beautiful former convent on a huge plot of land with the aforementioned trees and water. 

I promised Mallorie that some gorgeous images could be captured if we trudged down a hill of tall grass to the water's edge and there, with gorgeous light shimmering through the leaves and the love and comfort of those two, we froze in time some of my favorite wedding photography moments so far. 

A sweet ceremony (complete with their pup!) led to a delicious cocktail hour and hours of impressive dance moves back at the inn. 

They grabbed the mic with five minutes to go, thanked all of their loved ones and danced together, swaying in each other's arms as 100 friends and family circled them, applauding and cheering and dancing. Eric picked Mallorie up in his arms and twirled her once, twice and I couldn't help but feel those Proud Big Sister vibes I always feel during my weddings. All of their planning and preparing and thoughtful gestures for their loved ones created this beautiful day, this beautiful moment. 

 

Congratulations! Here are some of my favorite images!

 

Be sure to visit some of these amazing vendors, too:

Ceremony Venue: Rutherfurd Hall, Allamuchy, New Jersey

Reception Venue: David's Country Inn, Hackettstown, New Jersey

Florist: Calico Flowers, Hackettstown, New Jersey

Cake: Palermo's Bakery, Ridgefield Park, New Jersey

DJ/MC: This is It! Entertainment, Red Bank, New Jersey

Videographer: Noah Rosenblatt, Red Bank, New Jersey

 

Chris & Shannon {Wedding} -- A Long Beach Island Love Story

If rain on your wedding day truly is good luck then Chris and Shannon are most certainly blessed in their marriage. Even with 35-mph wind gusts, sideways torrential downpours, collapsing tent walls and a few more unexpected curve balls, these two lovebirds kept calm and didn't let Mother Nature or anything else dampen their dream beach wedding.

Despite being two of the most laidback people I've ever encountered on what should be a stressful day, the details laid out beforehand had most definitely been planned out with such care and consideration. Blues and reds and yellows popped in and out of beautiful wooden signs from Rustic Drift, a gorgeous ring, and sea-themed table runners, centerpieces, even the bottle openers! Guests signed an anchor and munched on Swedish Fish.

And you should have seen the way Chris looked at his bride, even after seeing her all dressed up and ready to go. He just beamed. And even more touching were their loved ones. There was undeniable support and love in a white tent on a corner of Beach Haven that night. Groomsmen smiling with pride, bridesmaids fighting back joyful tears, moms who nodded as if they knew they raised a good one and dads who stood back and took it all in. New babies passed around and kiddos twirled on the dance floor. And gosh was there some dancing! The dance floor was never empty!

Couples years into their marriage could take lessons from Chris and Shannon. Roll with the punches, remember the reason for it all and always, always laugh.

Chris & Shannon

6-27-15

101 Centre St/LBI NJ

Megan & Joe (Wedding)

Megan and Joe are a dream to work with if you're a wedding photographer. Let's ignore the blatantly obvious fact that they are both gorgeous people inside and out and let's focus on their love and their beautiful day.

I loved that when I first met these two lovebirds that they were so easy to talk to and share ideas back and forth; it was like hanging out with old friends. They have been organized and stuck to their vision every step of the way.

Their wedding day, honestly, was one of the most special ones I've ever been a part of (no, seriously). Whether their own vows they wrote and read to each other (Joe's actually had grown men tearing up in the church) or the never-ending laughs and smiles from the entire bridal party, it was so much fun and so sweet. Their love is undeniable.

We took a small risk in creating a no-look First Look-type picture. (Without seeing each other, Megan and Joe met on a corner of two walls and held hands and talked for a few moments before the ceremony.) I'm so glad we went through with it as it was a couple of minutes of pure emotion. They joked ("So, you still want to go through with this?") and they both dabbed moist eyes (It's amazing what a simple "I love you" means to two soulmates on such a day). I loved that moment.

In between the ceremony and reception, the bridal party stopped at Megan's mom's nearby property to take photos. It was gorgeous! Rolling hills and so much green around us on what was a fantastic day, weather-wise, too. Megan and Joe were not afraid to walk through some wildflowers or sit on the grass in order to grab a couple of really beautiful images.

Below are a few of my favorite shots. Do you have a favorite?

Megan and Joe, thank you, truly, for allowing me the absolute honor in sharing in your day and in the beginning of your marriage. You are the epitome of true love, beauty, fun and joy.

Megan & Joe 8-16-14 Bedford County, PA

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K&M <3

Elliott (7 of 11) Elliott (2 of 11)

In late September, Wendy had the EXTREME delight in being a part in a fairytale-like day for K&M. She is a beautiful, lovely lady and he could not stop looking at his new bride.

Despite a near-torrential, unexpected and unwanted downpour, we made the most of it and caught some sweet moments from their very, very special day.

Maybe because of the rain, but my favorite pics from the entire day came from the few brief moments we braved the clouds on the stoop of the Roaring Spring-area church in between the ceremony and the Altoona reception.

Congratulations, K&M!

Elliott (3 of 11)

Elliott (6 of 11)

Elliott (5 of 11)

Elliott (4 of 11)

Elliott (8 of 11)

Elliott (9 of 11)

Elliott (10 of 11)

Elliott (11 of 11)

Psssst… BIG news coming soon regarding some updates and changes to Wendy Zook Photography… stay tuned, it's exciting!!!