Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wine, Roses and Romance

When Elizabeth and Juan married, it was a beautiful day filled with romance, gorgeous locations, a series of interesting and memorable events, and a huge party that was non-stop fun and infectious dancing.

Though they are both from New Jersey and had originally intended to have a destination wedding in Spain, plans changed at the last minute and they chose the Hudson Valley as their new location. They were married in the Presentation Church in Port Ewen., NY; a sweet brick church that sits on a hillside overlooking the Hudson River and dates back to 1874.

Elizabeth was a bride that knew how to make an entrance. Not only did she look stunning in her gown with lacy bolero and perfect hair and make-up, but she was also fashionably late. Now it is common for brides to run a little late, but Elizabeth was the latest bride we had ever experienced. That did not shake Juan's nerves one bit. He was cool and calm waiting with their guests for his bride to arrive. I would guess that many grooms would be panicked after an hour, but Juan and Elizabeth are a strong couple who are deeply in love and that is all the proof anyone needs of it. Elizabeth even commented on the alter after their kiss, "Better late than never?" to which Juan gave her a smile and a nod. Another new experience for us was a ceremony completely in Spanish, which I think made the ceremony all the more romantic.

Their reception took place at the West Park Winery in West Park, NY. What an amazing setting with rolling hills and mountain views. When Elizabeth and Juan agreed to hike up to the tip top of the property for some photographs, I had to follow. The breathtaking mountain views, the sun just beginning to set and Elizabeth and Juan's fun and sweet personalities plus the added romance of their wedding day made for some great moments. Below is a clip from their wedding video of the pictures we took at the winery along with some additional stills pulled from their video footage.

There was so much dancing, it was really hard to choose only two stills for the blog. The first photo is one moment that was most unexpected on the dance floor. While dancing, Elizabeth was lifted and spun around. She was very surprised and laughed hysterically through the whole thing. The second shot is of the people who spent the most time on the dance floor and contributed so much to the fun of the reception with their endless energy and awesome dance ability. It has been many a wedding that we wish we could be on the dance floor with the crowd, but this wedding was phenomenal. What an outstanding dancing bunch!

Another unexpected moment happened just after dinner when some guests decided to commandeer the canoe that was used for chilling food during the cocktail hour. They made a valiant effort, but not before the maitre'd made his way up the hill to take the canoe back. We have never seen anything like that before and we were glad to be there to catch it all on film.

Filming Elizabeth and Juan's wedding was a great reminder of what the Hudson Valley has to offer. When you've lived in the valley for most of your life like I have, you sometimes take for granted all the beauty around you. In addition, I managed to learn a little more Spanish. Thank you to Elizabeth, Juan, and their family and friends for making this such a memorable wedding and allowing us to be there with you to capture and preserve the memories for you.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Vows on the Hudson

After four and a half years, Krista & Chris said "I Do" with the majestic Hudson River and fall's magnificent colors as their backdrop. The Grandview in Poughkeepsie was the setting for their intimate and personal wedding celebration. It was a perfect fall day; the weather was unseasonably warm, the clouds in the sky only served as a filter to allow the sun to shine a soft glow over everything, and the leaves clung to the trees in spite of the heavy winds and rains that had happened earlier in the week. How can it get any better than holding such a life changing event in the presence of the changing season? Below is a clip of their edited ceremony.

Inspired by all the gorgeous fall color and the smiles that never left their faces, we couldn't resist following Krista and Chris to capture some of their formal photography with their photographer, Cheryl Bolton-Reuter.

As we captured the cocktail hour activities and decorative details, we were entertained by Jeff Padovani of The DJ Solution playing accoustic guitar for the guests. Pumpkins were the centerpieces on the cocktail tables where everyone was sitting while enjoying the food, the view and the ambiance that the Grandview has to offer. Even as we entered the reception hall, it was dressed in fall; from the leaves on their wedding cake and tea light candle holders right down to the hand decorated coasters the bride and her bridesmaids crafted for her favors.

After their reception introductions, Stephanie Padovani of The DJ Solution read special words that the couple had written for one another to be read before their first dance. The words were serious, sweet, and fun. They talked about how they met, their first date, and conversations they had in the beginning of their relationship. My favorite lines among those written were:

from Chris to Krista, "I asked her if she used Palmolive on her hands because they felt so soft."
This was Chris' way of injecting humor during his first attempt to hold Krista's hand.

from Krista to Chris, "Now you're legally required to put up with all my quirks".
How true for all of us. I believe that this line should be added to vows.

Even after watching the video back, I don't know who got the bigger laughs or more ooohs and ahhhhs.

Wedding Details

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Starry Night and Party Lights

Colonial Terrace was the setting as Alethea & Chris tied the knot under a brilliant blue night sky while the sun set. Guests were greeted with hot cider to sip as they made their way to the dreamily decorated ceremony location. It was decorated with candle lanterns, twinkle lights under embroidered tulle, and brilliantly colored fall leaves covering the path to the alter. It was a very sweet, personal and beautiful ceremony. The look of it all was a perfect fit for the theme of Destiny and Star crossed lovers. Below is a short clip of their ceremony.

When we first met with Alethea & Chris, my husband was surprised to see a familiar face as he let them in. He knew the groom and members of his family from way back. Chris is a volunteer fireman in the Village of Wappingers where my husband was a volunteer. It was a treat for us, not only to see familiar faces at their wedding, but to have the opportunity to be a part of the photo shoot that incorporated a very special vehicle; a classic 1952 Mack Fire Engine dedicated to the memory or Chris' grandfather, who was also a volunteer with that engine company. Below are some pictures that we took along side Steve Planck of Blue Sky Photography.

I must mention some of the details. There was a very non-traditional color scheme. A lot fall bride's will choose colors that fit the season; earth tones, pumpkin orange, golden yellow, apple red... (I'm not knocking those colors. I was a fall bride too and couldn't resist putting my bridal party in wine colored dresses). Alethea wanted something a little different. She chose the most unique colors for her fall wedding and the most interesting flowers. Chris said that Alethea searched for quite a while for just the right flowers. They were absolutely gorgeous as you can see in the photos below. As it turns out, she had the beautiful colors of the fall as the backdrop for the whole wedding, so she had the best of both worlds.

The reception hall was dressed up in destiny as well. The tables were covered in shimmery blue linens to match the color in the flowers and candles adorned with stars set a soft glow over the whole room. In addition to the fire truck for photographs, Chris' heroism was honored in the cake topper; a fireman and his bride. Even his name was printed on the back of the jacket.

The party to follow was a blast! With the music pumped in by Bill Beale, the guests only left the dance floor to eat, then ran back for more. It was a party crowd and EVERYONE got on the dance floor. Below is a clip to show just how much fun was had and how much energy this crowd had to give. It was a tremendous celebration and a night that will be talked about for a long time.

Wedding Details:
Location: Colonial Terrace, Cortlandt Manor, NY
Photographer: Steve Planck, Blue Sky Photography
Reception Entertainment: Bill Beale, Surround Sound
Fireman Cake Topper: Mirror Image Studios -