Thomas & Amanda's The Ryland Inn Wedding Photography: Whitehouse Station, NJ

Amanda & Thomas celebrated their lively and loving wedding day at the Ryland Inn in New Jersey. It was a warm fall day that paired beautifully with their muted and soft decor (Light gray, ivory, blush pink, touch of gold). Both Amanda and Thomas began their day getting ready at the Ryland Inn, and shared a few heartfelt words through cards before they saw each other for the first time. More than excited, they ran to one another at their first look and embraced with tears. After taking in a moment together, they met up with their families and bridal party to have some fun taking photos. They tied the knot drenched in sunlight in their outdoor ceremony and met me for romantic sunset photos during cocktail hour. Their guests enjoyed a live artist painting, signature cocktails, and Auntie Anne’s late night snacks. We ended their beautiful evening with an exciting sparkler exit.

The Proposal

His Version:

The proposal process was somewhat nerve racking as I was leaving certain portions of the night in someone else's hands. I disguised the proposal as a dinner date with some of our closest friends. Amanda wasn't too fond of my restaurant choice because it was on the fancier side and not BYOB (If she only knew what was in store for her). Our first drinks and appetizers came and went without much conservation from me as I knew what was coming next. Our waitress then brought in a covered silver platter which was placed in front of Amanda. She was wondering why her dish was the first to arrive. As she removed the lid and saw a note with two roses, she looked at me and said "what are you doing?" I got down on one knee and proclaimed my love for her.

Her Version:

We had recently moved to the suburbs and we had been trying to get his friends (and their gfs) out to visit us for dinner and to see our new apartment. He arranged for them all to come out and made a reservation at a very expensive (and not so close) restaurant. I didn't know where the reservation was until a day or so before and I was so angry because it was pricey and not BYOB and we had a party of seven. It was really warm and he put on a jacket, which also annoyed me, because it made the place seem ever fancier. We arrived and there was a private room that was booked for us which also annoyed me because I thought it was over the top. We had some appetizers arrive and had a few drinks too, and then the waitress brought out a silver platter and then I noticed there was only one silver platter and it was in front of me. I remember asking him "what are you doing" and heard nothing he said, but remembered to say yes!


Wedding Planning Tip:

Space out your planning, and trust your venue to provide great vendor recommendations. Make sure to follow the instagram accounts of your vendors so you can get ideas!

 

Venue: The Ryland Inn @therylandinn

Florist: Twisted Willow Flowers @twistedwillowflowers

Cake: Palermo's Bakery @palermosbakery

Wedding Band: POSH DJS (Kenny) @poshdjs

Officiant: Reverend Richard Colonna

Videographer: Scott Montague Films

Invitations: The Papery @thepapery

Bridal Gown Designer: 

Bridal Shoes: 

Wedding Hair & Makeup by: Pink Comb Studio @pinkcombbeauty

Groom's Attire: Black Tux @theblacktux

Wedding Bands & Engagement Ring Designer: Golda Jewelry NYC @goldajewelry

Honeymoon: A Mediterranean Cruise to Italy and Greece

Wedding Planning: How to Schedule Your Reception Events

Planning Your Wedding Reception

Imagine you just said your I dos, signed on the dotted line, and now you're ready to celebrate and party! The flow of events is crucial during your wedding reception. You want to ensure you and your guests are looking your best and having the time of your life while celebrating your union.

Every wedding is unique with traditions and celebrations, but I strongly recommend scheduling all your important events within the first two hours of the reception and recommend a minimum of 2 hours of photographic coverage. Here are a few reasons why I recommend and feel this way.

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1. EVERYONE IS LOOKING THEIR BEST

Everyone is still looking their best for parent dances, toasts, and cake cutting. After heavy dancing, hair and makeup can end up less than perfect and sweatiness can show up in the photos. I find that guests appreciate looking their best for these important events.

 

2. NOT ALL GUESTS STAY LATE

 Guests, especially those with children, or who are older tend to leave the reception on the earlier side after the meal. It's best when you can include those friends and family in the events and looks better in the photos when there is a full house.

 

3. FLOW OF EVENTS

Getting all the "business" events (dances, toasts, cake, etc) out of the way helps keep the energy up at the reception. Energy & dancing typically dips between these events and can be hard to get back.

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Example of a reception timeline

7pm Reception begins

7:10pm Introductions 

7:15pm First Dance

7:20 Hora (if applicable)

7:30 Toasts + First Course

7:45 Parent Dances

8pm Dinner

8:20pm Open Dancing or Special Performances

8:30pm Cake

9pm Sparklers or Exit Photo

9:10 Open Dancing

9:30pm Photographic Coverage Ends

11pm Reception Ends

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Do I Need Photography Coverage Til The Very End?

This is a personal decision for each couple and wedding based on your specific events and preferences. We will work together to find out what coverage is right for you and your event, but here are a few initial things to consider.

1. FORMAL EXITS

Formal exits with sparklers, confetti, and other props can be a lot of fun. A formal exit can happen at the end of the evening or can be staged earlier. I especially recommend sparkler exits be staged earlier with less people for safety reasons. At the end of the evening, "Uncle Joe" might have had too much to drink and doesn't need to wield a flaming sparkler.

2. PERSONAL PREFERENCES

I have definitely had clients in the past who valued candids and reception photos over formal shots. We worked their timeline to include coverage until the very end for their favorite and most anticipated shots. On the contrary, I have had clients, who for some of the same reasons as guests leaving early, looking sweaty later in the evening, and wanting to take a break from photos end their coverage after all the events have been covered.

Please reach out if you have any questions on how to schedule the flow of events for your wedding day!

Molly & Aaron's City Grill Rehearsal Dinner Photography: Rochester, NY

Aaron & Molly's Strathallan Wedding Photography: Rochester NY

Molly & Aaron's elegant, upscale, and Irish inspired wedding day began at the Strathallen Hotel in Rochester, NY where Molly and Aaron got ready with their bridal party. Tears and champagne flowed early when Molly opened a heartfelt card Aaron had wrote to her before the ceremony. The two saw each other for the first time coming down the aisle and tied the knot at their family church where they shared a traditional Irish Catholic Ceremony. After the ceremony the bridal party headed to The George Eastman Museum to enjoy some time in the gardens for photos. Known for their fun and outgoing personalities, the reception kicked off with an Irish Blessing and shot of Jameson enjoyed by all the guests. Their reception back at the Strathallen Hotel was completed with signature cocktails, a flower wall, a cigar bar, and live music.

The Proposal (Or How they met)

His Version:

Our proposal was a family affair. Her mother, and cousins, helped set it up so I could surprise Molly. We also did it at a location that was part of the family history which was special to both of us. Being able to surprise Molly and see her joy was everything I wanted.

Her Version:

The proposal was perfect. I had absolutely no idea it was happening. We went to a rooftop bar in Rochester that my dad helped open, so its super special to my family, and I thought we were just getting drinks with my friends. Me and my girlfriends were taking pictures on the rooftop and I turned around and Aaron was on one knee. I looked behind him and my parents and aunts and cousins had snuck up to the rooftop and I was in complete and total shock. I actually didn't say yes for a full 3 minutes because my brain couldn't comprehend what was happening. It was so perfect and so sweet.


Wedding Planning Tip:

Just relax and if something is really important to your family to incorporate... just let them. We are both from huge families that were very opinionated about aspects of the wedding and we just agreed to not sweat the small stuff. At the end of the day its about you starting a wonderful life with your significant other, not having a "perfect day". Also know that at the finish line you get the most amazing prize- a husband/wife you are obsessed with.

Venue: Strathallen Hotel

Church: St John of Rochester Catholic Church

Florist: Bradley James Design

Cake: Scratch Bakeshop

Wedding Band: The Orient Express

Invitations: Minted.com

Bridal Gown Designer: Hayley Paige

Bridal Shoes: Bagdley Mischka

Wedding Hair & Makeup by: Jasmine Betances @jasminebetances_slss & Bridal Biz by Linda Vaskowski

Groom's Attire: Mens Warehouse

Honeymoon: Rome and the Amalfi Coast