i love when a couple writes me and tells me my photography is ‘exactly’ what they have been looking for and then i meet them and they are ‘exactly’ the kind of couple i am looking for! meet christine and jason who have to wait a little more than a year for their fall wedding at the rock island lake club, but got some practice in front of the camera during their engagement session in asbury park one pleasant summer evening….

a few minutes in america’s cup coffee & tea company to incorporate save the date coffee mugs… asbury park engagement session asbury park engagement session

it’s been done, the whole seeing the other person in the reflection of glasses, but i like this because i didn’t set it up and it wasn’t what i was going for… asbury park engagement session

always love a bright and colorful asbury park mural…. asbury park engagement session asbury park new jersey engagement session asbury park new jersey engagement session asbury park new jersey engagement session asbury park boardwalk new jersey engagement session asbury park boardwalk new jersey wedding photography

a little jaunt on the boardwalk… asbury park boardwalk new jersey engagement session

onto the beach… asbury park beach new jersey engagement session

only the earth can make up a color palette like this… asbury park beach new jersey engagement session asbury park beach new jersey engagement session asbury park beach new jersey sunset engagement session asbury park beach new jersey engagement session

what i love about this shot is that it truly is unposed. when you realize that, it makes it all the more magical. asbury park beach new jersey engagement session asbury park beach new jersey wedding photography asbury park beach new jersey wedding photography asbury park beach new jersey wedding photography asbury park beach new jersey wedding photography asbury park beach new jersey wedding photography

great evening, great shoot, great sunset with christine and jason. looking forward to their wedding next fall!

when lindsey originally reached out to me about her wedding at the barn at perona farms, i thought twice about the date. i was less than 2 months away from having my baby and her wedding date was two days after my due date for the following year which meant it could land on my baby’s first birthday. not knowing how i would feel about that, i had to think about whether i wanted to take the date. ultimately, i decided that i liked lindsey’s spirit in her email and my bets were on my baby having a birthday the day before lindsey’s wedding (and i was right!).  plus, lindsey was from back home and went to a neighboring high school of mine, her and greg met the same way my husband and i did and her parents live in the town where my mom has gotten christmas stockings handmade for family members for almost 40 years now… so you know.. it was meant to be. funny enough, lindsey did ask my very pregnant self what would happen if my baby was born on their wedding day and i had to miss her first birthday… but after i’d met her and greg, i knew they were awesome and my baby wouldn’t remember i missed her actual birthday to photograph some fantastic people, hah. when i showed up to lindsey’s prep, she had a gift for arlo. a beautiful, handmade blanket that she just whipped up! (thank you, lindsey! it’s beautiful and arlo loves it.)

Flook Messina Perona Farms Barn Summer Wedding Flook Messina Perona Farms Barn Summer Wedding Flook Messina Perona Farms Barn groom prep

alligator socks… Flook Messina Perona Farms Barn groom prep Flook Messina Perona Farms Wedding

it’s a tradition… Flook Messina Perona Farms Barn Wedding Flook Messina Perona Farms Barn wedding Flook Messina Perona Farms Barn Wedding

lindsey and greg’s wedding day was a hot day. a very hot day… so some arm and hammer spray became the secret weapon for ultimate hot wedding day comfort… Flook Messina Perona Farms Barn bride prep

sometimes brides are a bit tense as they get into their dress, i love that lindsey was full of spirit! lindsey and greg perona farms wedding lindsey and greg perona farms wedding lindsey and greg perona farms wedding lindsey and greg perona farms wedding

as an only child, lindsey wanted to have a first look with her dad. this was such a sweet moment. i love seeing brides that have strong relationships with their dads.  lindsey and greg perona farms wedding

lindsey and greg were troopers despite the heat and impending rain… lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding

love the laughter! lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding
lindsey greg perona farms barn wedding lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding

we had to step inside for bit when a downpour came, but it’s all good, lindsey and greg got to practice their first dance… lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding

signing the ketubah… are you seeing what i’m seeing? lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms ketubah

two lefties! my husband and i are both lefties. lefty couples rule!

it was a hot day… hah. lindsey and greg perona farms nj barn ketubah signing

love this exchange at the altar between lindsey and her dad… lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding ceremony

so their wedding starts almost like a joke…. ‘a priest and a rabbi’…. i love when religions come together for a ceremony. it’s such a nice thing to honor both faiths during a ceremony.  lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding ceremony lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding ceremony

does this guy look like me? this is father jack arlotta. i’ve never met him in my life. there are not many arlottas in the world, it’s not a very common name so to randomly run into another one is kinda weird. this happened one other time in rome when i realized there was an arlotta that lived two doors down from the hotel i was staying at (yes, we knocked on his door and were invited in for tea and conversation, hah). i’m sure if we sat down with family trees we could figure out our connection…. lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding ceremony lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding ceremony lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding ceremony

the threat of rain had the ceremony being inside, then outside, then inside. it was a little bit stressful, but lindsey and greg just rolled with it. lindsey peers behind her as the wind was picking up and blowing into the barn… lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding ceremony lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding ceremony lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding ceremony lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding ceremony lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding ceremony lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding ceremony

i really love jewish wedding traditions. the hora is always super fun! lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding reception lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding reception lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding reception

hah, i love the look. lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding reception lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding reception

lindsey warned me that her dad was quite the dancer… lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding reception

you didn’t know i could dance and take pictures at the same time? lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding reception lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding reception

lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding reception lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding reception

lindsey for the win! lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding reception lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding reception lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding reception lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding reception lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding reception lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding reception lindsey and greg the barn at perona farms wedding reception

you don’t hire me so you can get featured on blogs with lots of pictures of wedding things… you hire me to capture moments like this- sweetness among the chaos of the dancefloor…. lindsey and greg perona farms nj barn wedding reception

hah… lindsey and greg perona farms nj barn wedding reception lindsey and greg perona farms nj barn wedding reception lindsey and greg perona farms nj barn wedding reception

although there were some stresses with the weather and transportation issues, lindsey and greg kept their cool and had a fantastic wedding day. it was such a pleasure to work with them from start to finish. thank you to kelsey davis for assisting me.

when you come from a large family you end up with a lot of cousins… 1st cousins, 2nd cousins, 3rd cousins… most people don’t even count that far, but mary and justin’s wedding included one of my 4th cousin’s which makes him my daughter’s 5th cousin! justin is my dad’s cousin’s husband’s nephew, hah, who married his grade school classmate, mary, who is best friend’s with my 3rd cousin. how’s that for a connection?

mary and justin grew up in belmar, new jersey and stuck by the shore for their wedding. we started in belmar beach at their place, then headed to spring lake for their ceremony and some beach pics and then headed to the awesome pat’s 30 acres for their outdoor wedding reception. pat’s 30 acres was a great setting for their large guest list, accommodating kids that wanted to play volleyball and chase each other around on the big open lawn, families that wanted to compete at cornhole and giant jenga and adults that wanted to enjoy some adult beverages in the warm summer air and of course dancing for everyone!

when i arrived at mary and justin’s place in belmar beach, i was greeted by their redonkulously cute rescue pup, piglet.  rescue pup on porch at beach bride prep belmar beach

sam edelman sandals for the win! mary hoehl and justin decotis wedding mary hoehl and justin decotis beach wedding mary hoehl and justin decotis wedding mary hoehl and justin decotis belmar beach wedding mary hoehl and justin decotis wedding mary hoehl and justin decotis wedding mary hoehl and justin decotis wedding

justin’s brothers help him get ready… mary hoehl and justin decotis summer wedding mary hoehl and justin decotis wedding mary hoehl and justin decotis weddingmary hoehl and justin decotis wedding mary hoehl and justin decotis wedding belmar beach wedding

while justin’s dad is gently touching his hair to make an adjustment…

mary’s little brother gives a little pat to her hair, hah! mary hoehl and justin decotis wedding

mary’s maid of honor (and my third cousin) buttons her up… mary hoehl and justin decotis pat mary hoehl and justin decotis wedding

mary has a moment with her little brother… mary hoehl and justin decotis pat

the beautiful st. catharine’s church in spring lake, new jersey…. mary hoehl and justin decotis spring lake wedding ceremony mary hoehl and justin decotis belmar wedding ceremony mary hoehl and justin decotis belmar wedding ceremony mary hoehl and justin decotis belmar wedding ceremony

i love everything that is going on here… mary hoehl and justin decotis belmar wedding ceremony mary hoehl and justin decotis belmar wedding ceremony mary hoehl and justin decotis belmar wedding ceremony mary hoehl and justin decotis belmar wedding ceremony mary hoehl and justin decotis belmar wedding ceremony mary hoehl and justin decotis belmar wedding ceremony

i have no idea what is going on here, but i like it… mary hoehl and justin decotis belmar wedding ceremony

this little cutie pie is my 4th cousin, how’s that for cousin-counting? he was still recuperating from the shock of the organ music. babies and and wedding ceremonies don’t always mix… mary hoehl and justin decotis belmar wedding ceremony

mary and her grandmother… mary hoehl and justin decotis belmar wedding ceremony mary and justin belmar beach wedding photography

spring lake boardwalk… mary and justin belmar beach wedding photography mary and justin belmar beach wedding photography

love how mary and justin are mixed in among the colors and the spring lake sunbathers… mary and justin spring lake beach wedding photography mary and justin belmar beach wedding photography

had to take a few shots at pat’s 30 acres before the festivities started… mary and justin pat mary and justin pat mary and justin pat mary and justin pat pat

love the open air setting of pat’s 30 acres… mary and justin pat mary and justin pat mary and justin pat mary and justin pat mary and justin pat mary and justin pat mary and justin pat

i love when kids aren’t afraid to show off their dance moves! mary and justin pat

such a cool setting for a wedding… open air, string lights, picnic tables… mary and justin pat

giant jenga! mary and justin pat mary and justin pat mary and justin pat

greek wedding tradition… money dance! mary and justin pat mary and justin pat

my 2nd cousin, mary, shoving $2 bills into justin’s shirt! mary and justin pat mary and justin pat mary and justin pat mary and justin pat

how can you not just love alex’s (another 3rd cousin of mine, hah) bright ensemble! i’d love to shoot a wedding filled with wedding guests all in vibrant colors… mary and justin pat mary and justin pat

gotta end with this sweet moment when mary and her grandfather danced… mary and justin pat

mary and justin had quite a large wedding guest list, but they kept the vibe of their wedding authentic and laid-back which made for a great time for all. so happy for these two! thanks to brian leong for assisting me.

when amanda first reached out to me she had her venue, a darling victorian inn on long beach island called ‘the gables’, picked out, but she hadn’t set her actual wedding date. what she knew is that her and patrick wanted an intimate wedding at the shore at the start of the summer. i loved the sound of that and if you find yourself in beach haven (lbi), new jersey, be sure to stop by the gables, you won’t regret it. i knew when i met patrick and amanda that we were meant to be and i am so happy they chose me to be the one to capture their day. the weather was perfection, the setting was perfection and the couple… well, you can see for yourself that they are perfection… and these two are not just beautiful on the outside, they are beautiful on the inside.  amanda and patrick the gables lbi wedding

patrick got ready just upstairs from amanda at the gables… patrick getting ready the gables lbi patrick getting ready the gables lbi nj patrick getting ready the gables victorian inn lbi

(note to self: go back to gables and steal wallpaper) patrick getting ready the gables victorian inn lbi

groomsmen getting ready the gables victorian inn lbi

all the brothers getting ready… groomsmen getting ready the gables victorian inn lbi bride holding up wedding dress at the gables long beach island nj

amanda’s mom and friends help her get into her gown… bride getting ready the gables beach haven lbi wedding

love amanda’s mom’s expression as amanda is all set in her dress! bride getting ready the gables beach haven lbi wedding bride getting ready the gables beach haven lbi wedding bride putting on shoes the gables beach haven lbi wedding

while the weather was amazing, it was quite the bright and sunny afternoon and with such a beautiful setting at the gables, we took a few pictures there before heading to the beach… close up of bride and groom at the gables beach haven nj bride and groom portrait the gables beach haven lbi wedding

love this… bride and groom laughing on porch the gables beach haven lbi wedding

if this photo doesn’t make you want to visit the gables, i don’t know what would.  bride and groom together in front entrance the gables beach haven lbi wedding bride and groom portrait the gables beach haven lbi wedding

i like this picture mostly because of the dude on the left that is oblivious that he is in my picture and that fact that i could only contract one of my trained seagulls to fly to lbi and it happened to be the one whose specialty is making people look like they are wearing bunny ears… bride and groom beach portrait the gables beach haven lbi wedding

amanda had this really long and beautiful veil and she was having so much fun with it! bride and groom veil blowing the gables beach haven lbi wedding

love… bride and groom veil blowing the gables beach haven new new jersey lbi wedding bride and groom veil blowing the gables beach haven new new jersey lbi wedding

bride and groom on beach the gables beach haven new new jersey lbi wedding bride and groom walking on beach the gables beach haven new new jersey lbi wedding

what was really awesome about patrick and amanda’s day is that everywhere we went was within walking distance. guests walked a block to attend their ceremony. bride and dad walk down aisle new jersey lbi church wedding ceremony dad hugs bride at altar new jersey lbi church wedding ceremony couple at altar new jersey lbi church wedding ceremony

amanda’s brother watching on…

a good ceremony… the gables wedding ceremony lbi parents laughing

has both laughter…

and tears of joy….. minister holding wedding rings new jersey lbi church wedding ceremony

if you’ve been reading my blog throughout the years, you will know that i have a sweet spot for grandparents. i lost all of my grandparents at the age of 10 and so i always gravitate towards grandparents at weddings. amanda’s grandmother wrote her a poem and amanda read it aloud with her and how can you not just melt at the way her grandmother is looking at her while she reads it? i can’t even look at this without tearing up.  grandmother holding hands with bride smiling new jersey wedding

wee…. bride and flower girl the gables wedding reception lbi

toast time! dad gives speech the gables wedding reception lbi

guests enjoyed an amazing meal in the fresh summer air… dinner on porch the gables wedding reception lbi

after dinner, everyone moved to the back patio for some dancing and music by the awesome trio headed up by ted hammock

amanda and patrick both met while working for the government and so they entered for their first dance james bond style… first dance the gables wedding reception lbi first dance the gables wedding reception lbi the gables wedding reception lbi first dance the gables wedding reception lbi mother and groom dance the gables wedding reception lbi the gables wedding reception lbi

cute grandpa… the gables wedding reception obi bride and grandfather laughing and dancing

what i loved about patrick and amanda is how genuine and caring they both are. i watched throughout the night as they took the time to dance with each guest and you could see their love and appreciation in each and every hug they gave everyone… the gables wedding reception obi bride hugs grandfather

i love this portrait of patrick’s grandmother, it’s this in between moment of being candid and being posed. just as i was about to take her picture, she looked right into the camera and smiled. perfection.  groom dips bride the gables wedding reception lbi

this crowd was ready to dance! the gables wedding reception lbi

patrick and amanda brought their favorite bartender from back home to their wedding. so awesome! the gables wedding reception lbi

sparkler farewells are tough. trying to coordinate a lot of people who have been drinking and dancing all night to ignite fire simultaneously and hold it in the air doesn’t always work out. amazingly… the crowd migrated to the beach and it all came together for this awesome shot! bride and groom running away from camera through sparkler night beach nj

it was my honor to capture amanda and patrick’s intimate wedding at the beach. their graciousness and authenticity is admirable. they couldn’t have asked for a better setting, better food, better music or better friends and family to celebrate with! thanks to brian leong for assisting me – our most fun lighting challenge yet!

alex and greg’s wedding was one of those weddings where i got to see a lot of familiar faces. the connection goes pretty deep. i photographed jeannine, greg’s sister, and joe’s wedding a couple of years ago and so it was great to be working with their family again. i’m always delighted to see my couples again and awesomely enough, i got to see jeannine and joe last year at another wedding. along with lots of familiar friends and family, there were also two couples whose weddings i am shooting later this fall in attendance, including joe’s brother’s wedding …which makes for seven sets of siblings in my wedding roster! photographing weddings is hard work when you truly care about the experience and result, so i am ever thankful when families want to work with me again and again. so a big thank you to all the familiar faces, it was great seeing everyone again!

alex and greg chose landmark venue’s beautiful ryland inn for their mid-june wedding. an afternoon outdoor ceremony on a marvelous just-about summer day was their setting.

i loved that alex was willing to decide on her hairstyle the day of her wedding… 

sometimes getting bridal hair to stay and be perfect is a little uncomfortable…

greg’s sisters prepping…

the guys got ready in the ryland inn’s groom cottage…

brothers simultaneously adjusting their bowties…

greg’s best man helping pete, whose wedding i will shoot later this year, get his bowtie right…

… and then there is the serious bow tie adjusting…

alex’s eyes well up while reading a letter from greg…

questioning where the engagement ring goes…

that expression your new sister-in-law has when she sees you in your wedding gown…

while so much attention is on the bride when she walks down the aisle, i love this moment where greg’s parents look back to him to watch his reaction…

the look of love…

love this!

although i think it is safe today that my grooms are cool with their brides stealing the spotlight from them on their wedding day, sometimes i like to put the focus on the groom…

while the color photos of alex and greg are divine, i do love a classic black and white photo…

that look of love again…

greg’s sisters watching the first dance…

love the happy!

alex’s mom watches on as alex’s dad gives a toast…

one of my future brides on the floor. good indication she will be having a fun dance party at her wedding!

i also got to see that brooke and jon are party animals which will make for another fun wedding in the fall…

sibling dancefloor huddle…

beautiful from start to finish. again, my pleasure to work with alex, greg and so many familiar faces. looking forward to seeing many of you again. thanks to kelsey davis for assisting me.