Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Melissa + Rob: Take Two at Marist and The Walkway Over the Hudson

You can plan every last detail of your wedding from the venue down to the type of fork you eat with, but one thing you can never plan for is the weather.  When Melissa and Rob got married, it rained, so their plans to do photos at Marist College, where they met, changed last minute to group photos in the church and a quick set of photos during cocktail hour when the rain let up.

We wanted to make sure that they had the photo session they intended for their video, so we took them out the following week for a post wedding session with their photographer, Annette.  The great thing about a post wedding shoot is you can take your time and do things you would never dream of doing on your wedding day for fear of getting dirty or mussed up.  You also have all the time you want, so no rushing to fit it all in.  It's all very relaxed and fun and you end up with video footage and photos that might not have been possible on the day of your wedding.

Since Melissa was taking the time to get back in her gown for a second time, I showed up early to grab some shots of her getting back in the dress to start this "Take Two" segment.  When we got to talking about it, I suggested to them that we do more than one location since she was already dressed.  I offered them the opportunity to include a stop at the Walkway Over the Hudson as well since that is where Rob proposed to Melissa.  Once we got them out there, they were having so much fun, they would have agreed to go anywhere in their wedding attire.

There will be plenty more to come from their wedding day, but for now, here is 
Melissa and Rob's Take Two session at Marist College and the Walkway Over the Hudson.
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Anytime we've had a bride and groom on the walkway it's been great.  The crowds are so welcoming and warm.  We had several people give them well wishes and ask to take pictures of them and with them, but the group that really struck us were the cousins visiting from Florida that were creating a human chain across the walkway for a photo.  They asked if Melissa and Rob would join them for a photo.  What fun!

We're so glad that Melissa and Rob decided to go out with us!  We were so excited to go out and shoot it!!  It was so much fun and the footage is priceless!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Allison + John: The Time of Their Lives at Mohonk Mountain House

Allison and John were married at Mohonk Mountain House, one of our favorite places.  With it's breath-taking views, beautiful gardens, warm and welcoming atmosphere, pristine forest hillside hiking trails, serene bench look-outs and rich historic details inside and out, this is a unique location for a Hudson Valley wedding!


Our day began with Allison and her girls as they prepared for the wedding.  What a fun group!  I was expecting this based on my meetings with Allison, but it was laughter and fun between a few very touching, tearful moments the whole morning.


Allison had several special details including a handkerchief that belonged to her grandmother which she wore tucked into her garter.  She was helped by her mom and her twin sister as she put on her final details.


Just after I finished filming the rings and placed them back in their beautiful box (they're resting on the top of it in the still above), we were getting ready to send them up to the guys for the ceremony when we noticed that the box was empty.  There was a short moment of "where are they?"  Not to worry, everyone kept their cool while the search was on and got a really big laugh out of it when the flower girl revealed she had them in her hot little hands.  Apparently she wanted to be the bride.  It was such a cute and funny moment and it definitely doesn't happen at every wedding!  We were glad we were there to share in it!



Allison was so calm, easy going and excited that she smiled the whole morning.  I don't think anyone ever had to ask her to smile.  But just when you thought she couldn't get happier, she got in her gown and began to glow.  Her Rosa Clara gown looked great on a hanger, but once it was on Allison it transformed into fabulous.  For those of you familiar with the Salome model, she had the neck line altered into a sweetheart shape.  She was so comfortable and natural in it that you'd think she wore it everyday.  What a perfect dress for her!  And let's not forget the shoes.  Super cute polka dot heals that screamed personality!


These moments really capture the fun of being with Allison and the girls for their prep.  LOVE the "I'm Getting Married Bitches" cups.  It really shows that they all have a fantastic sense of humor.  Then in the midst of having some photos taken in front of the fireplace, one of the girls asked her for a booty pop and another decided to smack her.  Allison just broke out in laughter.  This is the way to spend the moments before you get married, super happy and stress-free having fun with your best friends.  I wonder if the boys had as much fun as the girls?

Allison's Bouquet, made by Meadowscent Florist, was not only beautiful, but smelled so good.  She couldn't help but share with everyone in the room.  The colors were so vibrant and they were really fresh.


We don't always get the opportunity to be with the bride as she makes her way to a first sight because often they are two different locations.  What a treat to get to walk the halls of the Mountain House with Allison and her entourage.  Along the way we met up with her Dad as he got a first glimpse of her all dressed up for the wedding.



Allison and John Decided to do their photographs before their ceremony, so we set up a first sight for them on the porch overlooking the lake.  Pictures and first looks before the ceremony are becoming very popular with brides and grooms not only because it allows them to enjoy more of their cocktail hour, but because it allows more time to get creative with their photos and creates less stress because of the rush to fit in all the pictures in an hour.  Though some couples think it will spoil the magic of that moment at the alter when you first see each other in your wedding attire, if you look through the stills from Allison and John's first look and ceremony, you'll see that all the emotion and magic were still there for them.  Allison was between tears of joy and laughter most of the time, with a couple stops at blissful love in between, once John wiped the tear from her cheek.  They're so cute together!

Off to the dock and the other picturesque surrounding areas for photos with Jean Kallina of Hudson Valley Photography.



Though they had planned for an outdoor ceremony, you just never know what the weather will be like in April.  This is the beauty of Mohonk Mountain House as a location.  Because it was just a bit too chilly for an outdoor ceremony that day, they set up the ceremony in the grand parlor.   A gorgeous room that overlooks the lake.  No compromises with this setting at all.

As guests arrived they were welcomed by the lake view out the giant picture window and the music of Jeff Armstrong, who continued to play music throughout the ceremony and onto the cocktail hour.  Their officiant was one of their friends who was performing her first ceremony ever.  She did a wonderful job!  There were plenty of fun moments even through the ceremony, but my favorite part had to be when Allison vowed "to encourage, support and inspire (John) to lead a life of learning, exploring and expanding of yourself, not your waistline."

Allison and John lit candles they made themselves with the likeness of family members in memorium.


Check out their preview clip here which features their fun and loving vows to each other as well as the many details of their wedding and, most importantly, the dance stylings of John, who impressed with his many dance moves including the robot and his best impression of John Travolta in Stayin' Alive.  Everyone else was pretty impressive too!  Jimmy Lutz of Lutz entertainment got them on the floor and kept them moving.  It was a great party!

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Allison put her stamp on every aspect of the wedding.  Here are a few a few more DIY items by our crafty bride, Allison (with a little help from her groom, John, of course).

Programs were printed, crafted and pasted by the two of them.  They looked so pro you would never know they were a DIY project.

Allison and John also made all of the cards and envelopes for their well wish jar using scrapbook papers. They asked their guests to write words of advice to them.  They plan to open one every year on their anniversary.

They made favors for each guest to take home.  Heart-shaped candles were nestled in sheer fabric pouches and attached to homemade cards with their picture and a message.

The votive candles on the tables were made by Allison as well as the needlepoint monogram with their wedding date.  Allison said that she was doing some needlepoint to relax as she was getting  her hair done that morning as well.  She's one crafty girl! 

Allison had given the staff at Mohonk two pictures of cakes she liked and asked them to take her favorite elements from each cake to make the design for her cake.  We were standing nearby when she first noticed the cake's decoration.  She was so happy with their interpretation of the designs.


Allison and John shared their last dance of the day to (I've Had) The Time of My Life complete with a lift and a kiss surrounded by family and friends.  What a perfect way to end their perfect day!

The Details

The Location: Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, NY
The Photographer: Jean Kallina, Hudson Valley Photography
The Ceremony Music: Jeff Armstrong
The Reception Entertainment: Jimmy Lutz, Lutz Entertainment
The Dress: Salome, by Rosa Clara
The Flowers: Thersea, at Meadowscent Florist, in Gardiner, NY