Smith Wedding | New York City Wedding | Destination Wedding Photography
My mom’s side of the family is all from up-state New York, so as a child, I spent many summers in some of the most beautiful country. Quite the opposite of my hometown of Phoenix, Arizona.
My grandparents lived on a private lake in the middle of the forest. We spent many summers at their home swimming, boating through lily pads, searching for beaver dams, fishing off the dock with worms we dug up, hunting the forest for blueberry/blackberry/raspberry bushes (we would come back with buckets full), hiking to waterfalls and sitting on their front porch enjoying the view and the company. My grandparents had 10 children, so as you could imagine, weeks at the lake house with our extended family was no small event. All of the grandkids slept in the finished attic, which was just one large room full of beds and couches and was one of the nosiest places in the house to be when storms passed over. My grandparents have now both passed away, but those sweet, sweet memories will be forever burnt into my memory.
In all of my time in New York, I had never visited the city. So when one of my cousins announced his engagement and plans for a wedding in the city, I was over the moon excited not only to just attend but to also be asked to photograph his wedding day. We packed up the family and headed east for what would be, one of the best wedding weekends ever.
Josh and Monique planned and executed an epic wedding. Their wedding day started at the top of the W Hotel in New York City, where they prepped for their big day with talented local make-up artists and hair stylists. The balconies and views from this room, were some of the best I’ve ever seen. Monique picked out the most glamorous details from her tan beaded wedding dress, black lily bouquet to her embellished heels.
The Bridesmaid dresses were just perfect…all different, all adorable and all re-usable for cocktail parties in the future (my kind of a dress!).
And of course, we hit typical New York traffic on our way to the church, so we were almost 40 minutes late (eek!). The priest wasn’t super happy with the long delay so he turned what was supposed to be a long Catholic mass/ceremony into a quick 10 minute ceremony. As you would expect a Catholic church in New York City to look, it was breathtaking!
With our extended family now living all over the country, only about half of them were able to make it to the wedding. Here is a picture of our whole crew (including me!). One of our youngest cousins, Jordan, Is currently battling a really mean and gross form of sinus cancer, which prevented her from being there…but of course she was there in spirit and was sent this photo to remind her how much she was missed.
The newly married Mr. & Mrs. Smith.
After the ceremony, the entire wedding jumped into a double decker bus and we got a little tour of the city on our way to HIghline Park for some more family photos. We quickly learned that you have to watch out for tree branches and light signals if you didn’t want to be knocked over.
Highline Park was a beautiful location but in hindsight, probably not the best location to get family photos…it was BUSSYY. But trust me, we pretty much stopped the entire city from walking for about 10 minutes and made it happen. To the left and right of these photos are THOUSANDS of people wanting to stampede us.
And finally some time just for the bride and groom! I love this couple so much…and gosh, aren’t they good looking together?!?!
And after a quick hair change….
And if the day could not get any better, the reception began. Food and drinks like I have never seen! Lucky for me, not only was I a photographer for the wedding but also a guest at the reception so I got to enjoy it all. I can honestly say that I have never been to a wedding reception quite like this before…the food was the best I”ve ever had and everywhere you looked there was more. I was probably too busy eating to capture pictures of it all 🙂 I think I stayed full for 48 hours after that night.
It was simply a night to remember hosted by two amazing families. I was so grateful to be a part of it and wasn’t able to even understand all of those reasons until a few days later. We have a very close family, and probably a surprising thing as my mom is one of ten children. I can honestly say, they all love each other more than words can describe. About one week after this night, one of my mother’s sisters, my Aunt Kathy, was found unresponsive in her home and unable to be resuscitated. Not only was she an Aunt, but also a second mom to this groom and his siblings as she lived with them through most of their childhood. We later learned that she suffered a massive heart attack and left this world before we were ready to let her go. She was always the life of the party and was no exception at this wedding. I will be forever grateful for this night with her and these last images of her with us as a family. Hug your loved ones every time you see them as you never know what the next day will bring.
She will be forever in our hearts.