It’s not every day that I get to blog about something both beautifully personal to me and yet also related to wedding photography but if ever there is a chance to do so it’s now. I was married last week to my incredible husband and becoming his wife is, besides becoming a mother, the most intensely humbling, joyous and staggeringly brilliant thing to ever happen to me. He has brought a beauty and joy to my life and the lives of my daughters that is simply luminous and I’m honored to be his wife and the stepmother to his magnificent daughters. 
This is my husband. He is the greatest man I know. 

(He is also very gorgeous.)

I cannot even begin to express the extraordinary thanks that I (and we) have to those who helped make this day what it was. Our wedding was held at Front and Palmer, a wondrous industrial space in Philadelphia and home to the brilliant catering team at Feast Your Eyes. Lynn Buono walked us through the entire process and was a joy to work with. Front and Palmer is a quiet gem of a venue in Philadelphia and the perfect site for the wedding. 
My greatest thanks goes to Brian Kappra of Evantine Design. I don’t use the word “genius” often but there is just no other word to describe this man. He is a great person and a great talent and what he did in that room was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. He took the simple vision that I had and breathed a life into it that I didn’t know was possible. There is no way to thank him without an outpouring of tears and words that I can’t string together to show him how grateful that I am that he took the time to work with us and make the experience transcendent.  
Of course you know how I (and my lovely husband) love good light and there would have been NO light in the day without Brian Toner of Eventions Productions. If you’re ever doubting whether you need that lighting package or that lighting designer for your wedding then Brian will wipe away all of those doubts. His subtle touch and incredible skill set the mood for the entire night and for that I am deeply thankful. 
And El! The leader of Carnivale, he sang me down the aisle and continued to amaze us throughout the entire reception. They truly ARE the “baddest band on the planet” and Carnivale’s rendition of “Falling Slowly” is the best thing that I have ever heard at a wedding – ever. 
Eddie Bruce, thank you for your words, your gentle calm, and your luminous friendship. Thank you for beginning our ceremony and stating the words that started our married life. I can’t think of a single soul more perfect for the job and it was an honor to stand up there with you. Having you sing to us was a moment so purely sweet and I will never forget it. 
Beke Beau was responsible for making me look presentable and Josie Sanchez from New York’s Dop Dop Salon sculpted my massive head of hair into not one but two extraordinary styles. 
As far as the rest of the details – my dress, my dress! It was the Monique Lhuillier candy dress in blush. Debbie Walp from The Bridal Garden helped me find my dress and was a dream to work with. My hair stars were from Rodarte and my custom shrug was from Carol Hannah. My shoes were the Christian Louboutin Pigalove flats. My clutch was an Alexander McQueen.

All I asked for at the Bridal Garden was “Not strapless.” And look at what I ended up with.

Our gorgeous paper suite was designed by Two Paper Dolls and the custom calligraphy on the table settings and seating chart were by Charmaine Al-Mulaifi of Everly Calligraphy. Cliff’s suit was from Tom James and our daughters dresses were from Watters, Jim Hjelm, and Amsale.
My engagement ring and Cliff’s band were from Wiseley Jewelers and my two wedding bands were a Cathy Waterman via Ylang 23 and a custom piece from Amir Chokr of The Diamond Vault in Sarasota.

Shooting my own ring, after having shot rings for twelve years, was a wee bit surreal.
Did I set up my gear and shoot my details the day before my own wedding? You bet I did. I’m just weird that way.

As a wedding photographer it’s hard to imagine what it’s like on the “other side”, so to speak. I can approach a day with a photographers’ eye and suggest to you the best way to time the schedule, when is best to do your portraits, why a first look is a good or a bad idea for your day, and all of those small details with a detached eye. Being the client is a completely different story and it’s given me a new appreciation of the day itself and what is and isn’t important. As a client, I know we must have been ridiculous – what other wedding photographer shows up to be told that her client has already shot her own details and oh, the groom has shot his own room? What other client pulls out professional gear and insists on shooting alongside the hired professional during their day-after session?  We did. and for that, Daniel and Mary Beth, our intrepid photographers, we thank you. We thank you for going above and beyond anything we could ever imagine and dealing with our awful-in-front-of-the-camera selves the whole way. We thank you for understanding how we wanted the day covered, for respecting us as clients, and for being incredibly kind to us. Each of your phenomenal, insane talents are so rare and beautiful and we thank you, we thank you, we thank you. 
And our cinematographer, Ray Roman, isn’t half bad either. In fact, he’s so talented and skilled that he’s practically a force of nature.

True story – if you carry a McQueen clutch through airport security they will think you have a weapon.
They hurt my feet. I might never wear them again. And they were worth every penny because seriously, you guys, the toes spell the word LOVE.

Besides the team of professionals that helped assemble the day I have to thank our friends and our families. My precious parents who taught me what love is. My brother who urges me to run, run, run. Cliff’s mother and father who I pray know how much I love their son. And our friends, our friends. you incredible people, many of who have carried me body and soul through some trying times. You who have Shibuya-ed with us in Vegas, been with us since the beginning, held our hands, and will forever have my heart. My Napa girls, Cliff’s childhood friends, golf buddies, my beautiful Sandra – all of you make us who we are and we are better people with you in our lives. My stepdaughters, you incredible girls who let me into your lives and let me love you. And my daughters, my hearts. You are my life.

Baby girls, I love you.

This also isn’t just a thank you to all I have mentioned already. This is a thank you to you who have trusted me to capture your weddings for you. A thank you to those I have documented, those to come, and those who are here for the first time. Thank you for working with me. Thank you for retaining me to document your day. I promise to you that I will always strive to give to you what was given to me on April 17, 2013. A deep appreciation of your family and your friends. A strong understanding of the love that you share with those around you. A kind approach to the scheduling of your day with great thought given to the elements that are and are not important to you. And most of all, a heartfelt promise to create images for you that will live in your family for generations to come the way ours will for our children and our children’s children. 
I thank you. From the bottom of my heart.

So many pretty things! All at once!
I loved these earrings. But not so much that I didn’t toss them quickly aside when my husband gifted me with extraordinary earrings just before our ceremony.
I fell into the Etsy and Pinterest trap right before the wedding. Please don’t think badly of me. I couldn’t help it. I was blinded by pre-wedding insanity.