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Wedding at 501 Union

Wedding at 501 Union

Who? : Jill + David

What? : Preparations at home and a downtown Brooklyn hotel.  Portraits at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception at a wedding venue in Gowanus.

Where?  501 Union

When? : October 2018

Family.  Family is everything.  To watch Jill and David with their families is to watch true joy, true love, and true community.  From David’s brilliant daughters to Jill’s dads walking her down the aisle together, heartfelt toasts to oh no, I’m crying again, thanks David vows, the entire day was extraordinarily moving, welcoming  and nearly explosive with joy.

It’s often hard to put wedding days into words.  I get to witness amazing things and amazing people, week in and week out.  Some people, however, radiate a little extra light into the world.  Jill and David are two such people.  As I took mental notes during the day so I could remember the event, the people, and what in the world I could say in a blog post later, things like David is an extraordinary father and I just want to hug Jill so hard every time she smiles kept imprinting themselves on my mind.  These two – they are completely special human beings.  You know what I mean – those people that just turn the lights up in the room when they walk in, push the frequency to a warmer level, the ones you just have to know and how amazing these families found each other and can I get myself invited to their next party?

During his vows, David told Jill to look at the people around them, naming how special each person was.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, mine included.  I hope the both of them keep looking around, and at each other, for the rest of their lives.  How loved they are.

Here are a few of my favorite images from their wedding


I started my day at David and Jill’s house, where David got ready with some people very near and dear to his heart.  David has two daughters who are absolute miracles, and they then traveled to the hotel to meet up with Jill while she got ready.

hampton inn brooklyn wedding

hampton inn brooklyn wedding
Jill got ready at a Hampton Inn near Brooklyn Bridge Park that I would gladly move into tomorrow. You could fit my entire apartment into the gorgeous living room of her suite.


Daisy and Jamie are amazing girls. It really was a huge honor to capture the moments of each of them throughout the day. My daughters were by my side when I married my husband, and looking back on the images of them is one of my favorite things about our wedding pictures.

silk satin wedding shoes

brooklyn wedding florist


Then it was time to get Jill ready – which means all hands on deck!

Pro tip : If you’re getting ready surrounded by those you love, let’s get them dressed first.  Set aside some time in your timeline for them to get ready – your mom, aunt, sister, dad, grandmother, man of honor, best friend, whoever is going to help you get dressed.  That way they’ll be all ready while you get ready!

bride getting ready at hampton inn brooklyn downtown

After Jill got dressed, it was time for her and David to see each other for the first time.  After battling with some very weirdly complicated sliding glass doors (We think they were sliding?  Or maybe they opened out?  They were weird, and baffled several intelligent adults completely!), they saw each other on the glassed-in balcony of their hotel.

indoor first look

Jill and David opted to give each other gifts at their first look, which I loved.  Many couples exchange gifts the morning of their wedding, but this way they got to see the other’s reaction in person!

After the first look and gift exchange, it was off to Brooklyn Bridge Park for a few moments for some portraits.

Then we hopped in Uber’s and settled in at 501 Union.  We took some family pictures, Jill and David got a much-needed break, and guests started arriving. I love this image of the 501 Union team making sure the flowers were misty fresh – see the water droplets in the air?

David’s girls walked down the aisle after him.  They’re amazing women – and how could they not be?  David is a simply magnificent, kind, loving father.

There are moments at every wedding that just stick.  This was one of those moments.  David’s girls grabbed each other’s hands as the ceremony started, and didn’t let go until it was over.

This ceremony.  THIS.  CEREMONY.  I know the phrase “Not a dry eye in the house” gets used a lot in reference to weddings, but it was so true.  David’s vows. Jill’s vows.  The tears and emotion.  The prayer circle around their rings.  The love, the family.  This was everything. After the ceremony it was time to drink, dance, and hug hug hug.  The guests wandered through the bar area of 501 Union, we took some more family pictures, documented the hugging during cocktail hour, and took some pictures of the truly exceptional decor in the reception space.

What comes after cocktail hour?  OH RIGHT.  The PARTY.

Jill’s dad and stepdad gave a toast together.  What a family.  I know I keep saying that, but it’s so purely true.  The love in that room was a vibrant thing. After dancing with her dads, Jill danced with her mom.  I loved how beautiful these moments were. Jill and David cut their cake, then presented an anniversary cake to David’s parents. We closed the night out with a few more portraits at 501 Union. Jill and David, thank you for having me to document your gorgeous day for you!

501 Union Wedding

I adored Courtney and Bryan long before the day of their 501 Union wedding.  From our very first exchange of emails to our first chats, I knew that I had to shoot this couple’s wedding!  Courtney and Bryan are both so bright, so vivacious, and so very funny.  They are kind to each other, extraordinarily loving to their family and friends, and so full of joy.  I loved photographing their engagement session on the High Line last year, and it was such an honor to document their 501 Union wedding this spring.

501 Union wedding
The dressing room at 501 Union has no windows. It’s small. It’s oddly shaped. It’s also gorgeous. We set up a lovely light, and made the most of this delightful space.
501 Union wedding bar
Courtney and Bryan even have a dog that matches the decor. How’s that for commitment to a theme? Their gorgeous black and white puppy matched the black and white decor, even down to his tiny black and white bow tie!
501 Union wedding pic
501 Union is an excellent Brooklyn wedding venue. It’s modern, welcoming, and full of brilliant bright light.
501 Union wedding bride's room
We started the day at the McCarren Hotel, documenting Bryan and his groomsmen. We then moved to 501 Union to capture the end of Courtney’s hair and makeup process. Jhenelle Hill from Prim & Perfect did an extraordinary job with Courtney’s wedding day look.
501 Union wedding cost
I love Courtney’s laugh SO MUCH. She is the sweetest soul, with the brightest smile.
501 Union wedding location
Courtney gave each of her bridesmaids such deeply thoughtful gifts. Each gift was different, perfectly suiting the person receiving it.
501 Union wedding bride
Windowless getting-ready room? No problem! All you need is some external light, an amazing bride with a bright smile, and you’re good to go!
501 Union wedding pictures
Courtney’s mother was on hand to help her get ready. I love it when moms help their daughters into their wedding gowns!
Pronovias bolero
Courtney’s Pronovias gown was incredible, but the bolero that she added was simply jaw-dropping.
501 Union wedding photographer
When we first spoke, Courtney told me that she loved dramatic light. I hope these getting ready images deliver!
501 Union wedding photographs
Courtney’s grandmother had the most wonderful reaction to seeing her granddaughter for the first time in her wedding gown.
501 Union wedding portraits
Family portraits are so very important, but I’m also always looking for those quiet moments between the formal, posed images.
Dog ringbearer
Bryan and Courtney’s dog made a fantastic appearance during the portraits. I love his fantastic ears and hilarious tongue.
501 Union wedding photographers
If you’ve ever been to Gowanus before, you know that the streets are crowded and full of traffic. I love this great green wall, and the fun shapes of the buildings behind Courtney and her bridal party.
501 Union weddings
After some family and bridal party portraits, it was back into the getting ready room to put the veil back on for the ceremony!
pictures at a 501 Union wedding
The quiet moments before the beginning of a ceremony are some of my favorite moments on a wedding day. The anticipation is so high, and every moment so precious.
501 Union wedding costs
The groom had his rings with him earlier in the day, so I didn’t get ahold of them until just before the ceremony. I used the moss from one of the centerpieces as the setting for Bryan’s ring, and I love how this image incorporates the decor.
501 Union wedding ceremony
The space for ceremonies at 501 Union is really incredible. The roof opens up to the sky, giving you a great indoor/outdoor venue.
501 Union wedding ceremony location
Bryan and Courtney had a beautiful candle-lighting tradition during their ceremony. It was really peaceful, meaningful, and lovely.
501 Union wedding decorations
Cary Pereyra of The Little Glass Slipper did an amazing job with all of the florals. I especially loved Courtney’s bouquet and the fantastic birds’ nests on the chuppah.
Wedding ceremony at 501 Union
Despite threatening rain for days, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I was so glad that they were able to open the roof and let the sun in during the ceremony. I think the light is brilliant!
Bride and groom at a 501 Union wedding
I only had a few moments with Courtney and Bryan after the ceremony to create portraits of them together. I found an alley near a BBQ with brilliant light, and I love the results. It just goes to show that you really can make beautiful images anywhere!
Green Building 501 Union wedding
I love the vintage truck parked outside The Green Building….but not as much as I love that dog!
dog at wedding in bow tie
Even the dog got in on the cocktail hour food action! Fiorelli’s Catering provided some of the best wedding food I’ve ever seen!
501 union wedding brooklyn
Courtney and Bryan are really, really great together. They’re the best of friends, and constantly make each other laugh.
The Little Glass Slipper wedding
Isn’t this bouquet incredible? The Little Glass Slipper is tremendous.
naked wedding cake
No pun intended, but I LOVE this wedding cake. The detail was amazing – and all of the flowers are made of sugar. It was really a work of art.
Cafe Wha Band
After cocktail hour, it was time to dance! The Cafe Wha band was amazing. I especially loved the bride’s dance with her father.
501 Union wedding reception
The hora at a Jewish wedding is always – ALWAYS! – a source of great moments.
501 union wedding party
For the reception, Courtney removed her jeweled bolero and let her Pronovias gown stand on it’s own. I love the feathers on the bodice!
wedding reception at 501 union
It’s always good to make sure your new spouse isn’t planning on smashing the cake in your face before you attempt to feed them!

 

Courtney and Bryan, thank you so much for entrusting me with your memories. It’s been a delight getting to know you both, and your wedding was truly incredible.  Special thanks to the tremendous Rebecca Shankman of Pink Bow Tie Events.  Just weeks from her due date, she was helping with decor, making sure the day was running smoothly, and handling the entire event with grace and ease.  I hope to get to work with you again, Rebecca!