Monthly Archives: June 2011

Pretty and pink – Marisa and Harley’s Binghamton, NY Wedding

We’ve been told that pink is the sweet side of red, and after sharing in Marisa and Harley’s wedding with pink accent colors, we are inclined to agree. Here are some highlights of their special day.

Cheers to you, Marisa and Harley. We are so honored to have been able to share with you your special day, may your journey together take you through the sweeter side of life.

Fun Idea Friday: Photographing the First Look

We have mentioned the first look before on our blog, but after Nicole and Brett’s fabulous first look, we felt that this deserved to be a part of our Fun Idea Friday post. On Fridays we try to blog about something new or different in the world of weddings.

While this tradition isn’t “new”, we think it is something so fabulous it should be a part of everyone’s wedding day. Rather than waiting to see each other when you walk down the aisle, the idea of the first look is to find a private spot before the wedding where the Bride and Groom can see each other all dressed and ready to go –  and savor that moment as a couple. We had one at my own wedding, and it was so wonderful to be able to take each other in privately before our public debut. My only regret – the photographer wasn’t invited!

On the day of your wedding, taking time out to connect with each other is the perfect way to make sure you are focused on a marriage rather than a ceremony. A first look gives you an opportunity to exchange gifts with each other, to laugh together, to cry together, and to love one another without a crowd of people watching you.

Nicole and Brett had their moment in a park. Brett found a secluded place to stand and Nicole walked behind him and put her hand on his shoulder when it was time for him to turn around.

On her way to see Brett for the first time today

Waiting patiently for his bride

Choosing to have a first look is practical for the photographer, because it allows you to take more pictures of the couple before the ceremony rather than having to take time out of the reception. But more than just being practical, this tradition is intimate; a way to touch base with the one you love before you face your family and friends as a single person for the last time.


You can tell by their faces how much these two love each other. We were privileged to be a part of their day and can’t wait to stay a part of their lives.

Wedded Bliss – Nicole and Brett’s Joyful Binghamton, NY Wedding

Some weddings make you cry, some make you laugh. The best ones do both. But for this blog post we want to highlight a bride and groom whose ceremony and reception were so full of joy, we think you will smile just to look at them.

You may remember Nicole and Brett from their engagement pictures this fall. Brett proposed on a picnic in the park and we went back to the park for their engagement portraits.

Last weekend we had the pleasure of photographing their wedding as well. We hope you enjoy looking at the portraits as much as we enjoyed taking them.

Nicole and Brett, we wish you a lifetime of joy. Thank you for letting us celebrate with you.

A Tribute to Dads: Tips for the Father of the Bride

It seems like it was just yesterday she was running through meadows, pigtails flying, grin from ear to ear, picking daisies and doing cartwheels. Now, in the blink of an eye your baby has turned into a sophisticated woman, dressed in white, glowing with joy, and today of all days will become an indelible imprint in your memory – it is her wedding day.

How did it happen? Where did the time go? Even though someone probably told you along the way that men don’t cry, you might feel a sudden flood of emotion today. It’s a day of joy (hooray, she is out of the house and this will hopefully be the last time she costs you money) and loss (you won’t be the number one man in her life anymore). In honor of Father’s Day next Sunday, we wanted to take a moment to tip our hats to those remarkable men who give so much and get so little – Dads.

So if you find yourself the father of the bride here are a few ideas for getting through this major life-changing day:

1. Bring a handkerchief and keep it in your tux. Odds are good that your calm, collected, sophisticated daughter will cry as you walk down the aisle with her, and it’s nice to be able to offer her a handkerchief in her time of need so she doesn’t have to sniffle through the whole ceremony. There may also be a teeny tiny chance that you get misty as well, so if you can find a way to pack two that is even better.

2. Give your daughter your blessing out loud. This may seem antiquated, but even if you didn’t require her fiance to ask for your permission or blessing, you may want to take a moment on her wedding day to let her know that you wish them well. A bride with last-minute jitters finds enormous comfort in the reassurance of her father that she has chosen well.

3. Consider dance lessons to surprise your daughter for the father-daughter dance. If dancing isn’t usually your thing, don’t worry! No one expects perfection from your dance. They will, however, be impressed if your dance includes a few turns, a dip, and a smile from you. These things should be achievable in less than an hour of practice – so wow the crowd.

4. Take the time to plan your toast. Wait, did you know it is traditional for the father of the bride to give a toast? Well, it is. After all, it is also traditional for you to pay for the wedding, so folks expect to hear from their hosts. Practice your whole speech beforehand to make sure you say the things you want to say (and don’t say the things you would be better of without). In this day and age of technology, you might even find that a power point presentation with accompanying embarrassing slides of her as a toddler lends itself to a festive mood.

5. Try not to take any insensitivity personally. Brides have so much pressure on them, especially in the last week of wedding planning, and it is sometimes the moment they say something insensitive, or forget to ask your opinion. Please remember, that even though today she is marrying someone and leaving you forever – you will always be her Daddy and she will always need your strength, courage, humor, and warmth in her life.

So, thanks Dads. You are unforgettable.

Do you have a tip for a future Father of the Bride? Leave a comment with your own ideas.

Becoming – Ellie’s Bat Mitzvah in Binghamton, NY

Growing up and the process of becoming who you will be is an incredible journey – full of passions and pain, sun and sorrow. One day you are a little girl, and the next you become a woman.  We were privileged to join Ellie for a small part of her journey from child to woman as we photographed her Bat Mitzvah. Check out highlights from her special day.

Ellie’s ceremony took place at Temple Concord, with a reception immediately following in the social hall

Ellie missed the first part of her party in order to donate her beautiful long hair to Locks of Love and get a fabulous new hairstyle for the celebration.

Ellie, enjoy your journey into womanhood. May the rest of your journey be as filled with laughter and joy as the beginning was. And who knows, maybe we’ll see you again in 10 or 15 years for another part of the journey.

Fun Idea Friday: Personalized Clothes Hangers

We’ve heard of personalized bags, towels, jewelry, but when we ran across this fun new idea for Bridal party gifts, we just had to share it. These awesome hangers come with whatever you like written in the wire of the hanger. For example, you could get these for your Bridesmaids and have each of their first names bent into the wire. Then there’s no risk of getting the dresses mixed up and they have a keepsake from the day. You could also go with nicknames or silly titles (I am thinking “future Mrs. Brad Pitt” or perhaps something shorter like “the fun one”).

There are lots of vendors who do this type of hanger personalization, but the picture above comes from Jana Gail Designs. If you choose to get these, look for hangers specifically designed to hold up heavy gowns. Some are too flimsy for heavy garments and though it will look pretty, a hanger you can’t put your clothes on is not worth it!

Hello Again! Jon and Fara’s Binghamton, NY Wedding

The strange thing about wedding photography is that we work so hard to make your portraits unique to you, to try to understand the couple and make it a “perfect day” – at least where your wedding photography is concerned – and then for the most part you never see us again. It’s sad!

But, amazingly, we have seen Fara before. No, she didn’t get married again and use us both times (though there is no shame in that – we would gladly photograph anyone again). We met Fara as a bridesmaid in two other weddings before she and Jon decided to tie the knot. Both of those brides were back to share in Fara’s big day and for us it felt a little like a reunion!

When the time came for choosing a wedding photographer, Fara knew exactly which photographers she wanted for her wedding day – after all she had seen our work in action twice – and she wasted no time setting up her included engagement portraits last fall.

Well, the big day arrived and it was nothing less than perfect. Here are a few images to capture the emotions of the day.

In case you wanted to know, the dress came from Wedding Works and the flowers were designed by Becky Cooper of HollyBerries.

The ceremony took place at Endwell United Methodist Church in Endwell, NY

What would a Binghamton wedding be without a carousel?

The cake came from Baked By Camille

The reception was held at the Holiday Inn Arena, and decorations were by House of Treasures.

Check out the custom made photo guest book with their engagement pictures in it. Now they have a keepsake instead of a dust collecting guest book.

Thank you Fara for being such a great bride to work with and for trusting us with your wedding. Oh, and Jon too of course! Congratulations to you both – it was a special day and we wish you a long and loving future. Who knows, maybe we’ll see some of your bridesmaids again!

Fun Idea Friday: Paying It Forward – Love and Growing up in Binghamton, NY

You’ve seen the movie Pay It Forward, right? The idea behind it is to do something nice for someone, and rather than asking for a favor in return, suggest that they repay the kindness by doing something nice for someone else – “paying it forward”. Well special events like weddings and Bat Mitzvas are usually a time when people focus on the happy couple or the teenager and make them the center of attention – but occasionally these stars decide to use their good fortune as a chance to bless others. Let’s take the special events of last weekend as examples.

This past week we had the pleasure of photographing two very special events. The first, a coming of age celebration; the second, a coming together of two great people in marriage. While each event was very different, both took the time to take the focus off themselves and use this as an opportunity to pay the love forward to someone else.

Ellie’s Bat Mitzvah

Now, when a young girl turns 13, she is thinking about a lot of things, but usually those things do not include other kids who have cancer. But maybe Ellie is not your typical 13 year old. After the ceremony, Ellie skipped the beginning of her reception and had a stylist come to the temple to cut over 10 inches of her hair to donate to Locks of Love, a charity that helps make wigs for children with cancer and other ailments. Not only did she get a fabulous new haircut and style just in time for her party, but she also helped make life a little brighter for someone else in the process.

The "Before" Picture

The moment of truth

and finally…

Way to go Ellie!

Fara and Jon’s Wedding

Fara and Jon

Fara and Jon also found a way to take all the love they experienced and pay it forward. Rather than distributing wedding favors, which if we are honest with ourselves often end up in the trash bin, Fara and Jon made a donation to St. Jude’s in each guest’s honor.

What other ways could you pay it forward? Consider some of these ideas:

1. For couples who already have all the appliances and towels you might need, register for charitable donations instead of gifts for yourself (great idea Prince William and Catherine – way to pay it forward!). Or register only for items needed at a local shelter and donate all your gifts directly to the shelter.

2. Apply for a credit card that makes a donation to your favorite charity and pay for all your wedding items on that card. Then everytime you spend money you can save a whale too.

3. Donate your leftover wedding decorations to a church or community center and help less fortunate brides have a spectacular wedding

While balloons won't last, items like vases, mirrors, and tulle are a big blessing for brides on a budget

4. Donate leftover food to your local food bank, or if it isn’t allowed send it home with guests as their favor.

5. Wear Toms Wedding Shoes. Super comfy, definitely not traditional, and Toms will donate one pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair you purchase. Outfit your whole wedding party in Toms shoes and you can help a gaggle of kids who need shoes. Plus you will find it easier to be on your feet all day, part of the added perks of paying it forward.

These aren't by Toms, by the way, but they are pretty

Have more “Pay it forward” ideas? Leave a comment and let us know! Whatever your bend toward altruism, we think it is worth it to take a moment out of your planning and consider how you can use this special time in your life to touch someone else. So go on, pay it forward!