Wedding + Vow Renewal at the Vizcaya

Wedding + Vow Renewal at the Vizcaya

Who? : Christine + Jared

What? : Wedding in Miami in 2009, vow renewal at the same venue in 2019

Where?  Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

When? : March 2009 and March 2019

Talk about full circle.  I met Christine and Jared for the first time way before their 2009 Miami wedding – we were all living in Tallahassee, Florida, and I’d been commissioned to photograph their engagement session.  I still remember walking around downtown Tallahassee (remember Gallie Alley, you two?) as vividly as I remember traveling to Miami for their wedding.  Since 2009, I’ve photographed many other things for this remarkable couple as they have since added three hilarious, wonderful children to their family.

Christine and Jared are, simply put, tremendous people.  Individually they are hilarious, warm, welcoming, razor-sharp smart, charming, gorgeous, and kind. Together?  They’re a supernova of sunshine.  It was a ferociously huge honor to travel back to Vizcaya for their vow renewal on their tenth anniversary to create some more images, this time with their children.

See you back in Miami in 2029?  I’m there if you’re there.

Here are a few of my favorite images from their portrait session in 2019:

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And a few favorites from their wedding in 2009 : time flies, am I right?

Wedding at Quantum Leap Winery

Wedding at Quantum Leap Winery

Who? : Kalen and Zachary

What? : Preparations in an AirBnB, first look at a nearby park, ceremony and reception at a winery.

Where?  Quantum Leap Winery, Winter Park, Florida

When? : December 2018

I fell in love with Susan’s work because it is pure art. Her creative eye and ability to capture the unexpected is unprecedented. We love her elegant, documentary-style photos and want her to feel free to get as artistic as she wants! We trust her fully and will be so proud and honored to hang her pictures on our walls and share them with friends, family, future children, potential employers, the checkout lady at Publix — Really just anyone we can.

As if I weren’t already enough in love with Kalen myself before she filled out my Wedding Day Worksheet, this paragraph above sealed the deal!

I first met Kalen and Zachary through email, as is often the case with destination clients.  However, we also got to meet – which is not often the case for destination clients.  Kalen and Zachary are both incredible performers at Universal Studios in Orlando, and I got to see them sing when I was there on vacation this past summer.  Seeing them in their element like that was electric; they’re dynamic talents with huge stage presences, and their love for what they do is so palpable.

I knew their wedding day was going to be uniquely, amazingly them…and it was.  From Kalen’s Broadway-themed playlist while she got ready to her sparkly makeup-kit-on-wheels-with-lights, they had me at the very beginning.  Add to that custom leather jackets, a first look near an alligator pond (we didn’t see alligators, thank goodness, Florida I’ve missed you)nighttime portraits lit by the headlights of Kalen’s dad’s vintage car, a first dance by a barbershop quartet, a sparkler exit from the ceremony to the reception, and one of the best bands I have EVER HEARD, the day was a heart explosion from start to finish.

Kalen and Zachary, you two are magic.  There is no other word for it.  I am deeply thankful from the bottom of my heart that you brought me to Florida to document your day.  And I hope you managed to get packed by the time your flight took off for Germany on Monday…

Here are a few of my favorite images from their wedding:

Alfond Inn Wedding

Alfond Inn Wedding

Who? : Amanda + Ben

What? : Destination wedding in Winter Park, Florida

Where?  The Alfond Inn

When? : December 2018

I don’t even know where to start with this wedding, so I’ll start back in 2007.  I was living in Tallahassee, Florida, and photographed the headshots for a bunch of juniors and senior theatre majors at FSU.  Years after that, I’m living in New York, and so are many of my past clients.  Those clients led me to Amanda, a FSU alumni herself.  I first encountered Amanda in Hello Dolly on Broadway, where she went on for a role she understudied (and she was amazing).  I first encountered Ben without realizing it, seeing him in Book of Mormon before I knew he was Amanda’s Ben.

Being hired to photograph this wedding was an actual dream come true. Everything about Amanda and Ben is just…yeah, it’s all excellent.  They’re crazily, insanely talented individuals.  They’re hard workers, passionate about their dreams and their craft, and true triple threats.  They’re adorably wonderfully gorgeous, just beautiful human beings inside and out.  They’re funny, ferociously love their family and friends, and love each other with a truth and depth that is just really, really freaking gorgeous to see.

And their wedding?  THEIR WEDDING.  We started the day at the Alfond Inn, with Amanda in her suite.  The rain was pouring down, streaking the windows and pattering on the pool outside.  Amanda got ready, Ben got ready.  They exchanged letters they had written each other.  (We all cried).  They prepared to see each other for the first time on a covered patio outside the Alfond – and the sun came out.  The rain stopped, the clouds parted, they saw each other (we all cried), and we took pictures outside.   The second we went back in, the clouds covered up and the rest of the day was moody and dreamy outside.

From their prep time at the Alfond before the ceremony, their sweet first look, the charm of their wedding vows, through to the gorgeous reception, the whole day was everything.  Choosing a favorite part is nearly impossible.  Was it Amanda and her childhood best friend tearing up when she put her mother’s necklace on as a bracelet?  Was it Ben, struggling to keep a straight face when reading Amanda’s letter to him, or the way his eyes actually lit up when he saw her come down the aisle?  Perhaps it was Amanda’s dad, who found a lost recording of Amanda’s late mother singing Wind Beneath My Wings (note : Amanda was in Hello Dolly with, yes, Bette Midler) and played it for the father/daughter dance?

Side note : I’ve never had to go to the bathroom and wash my face after a father/daughter dance before.  WE.  ALL.  CRIED.

Amanda and Ben, thank you.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  Thank you for being so kind and open in front of my lens.  Thank you for treating me and my team like family.  Thank you for sharing your day, your love, and your hearts with me.  I am eternally grateful.  Now go lay on a beach – you deserve it!

Here are a few of my favorite images from their wedding:

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Gucci Mane and Keyshia Ka’oir Wedding Pictures

Who? : Radric Davis (aka : Gucci Mane) and Keyshia Ka’oir

What? : Indoor ballroom ceremony and indoor ballroom reception in a hotel

Where? : The Four Seasons, Miami, Florida

When? : October 2017

Thank you so much to Radric and Keyshia for commissioning me to document their wedding day.  Expertly coordinated to clockwork precision by Kathy Romero, everything was ice and cool, cool tones from start to finish.  It was a dream to work once again with my dear friends at Ray Roman Films and to capture this wedding for such a lovely, loving couple.

Here are just a few of my favorite images from the day:

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Ritz Carlton Naples Wedding

This Ritz Carlton Naples wedding illustrates everything that I miss about living in Florida.  For those of you who know me, you’re probably already laughing – miss Florida?  I know I’m pretty clear about my distaste for the sun, any weather condition over seventy degrees, sweating, and the outdoors in general.  How could I miss living in a state that provides all of those things?  For one, I miss the light.  I miss how the sun takes its’ sweet time wandering down towards the horizon, the sun set lasting for what seems like hours.  Here in the city, when the sun sets, it’s a rush to pure darkness.  In Florida, the light fades so slowly to sunset that there is ample time to take advantage of it for portraits.  Second, I miss the kindness of Floridians.  Not brisk, rushed, rude or curt, Floridians take the time to give you directions, walk you to the beach instead of just pointing, and when they ask “How’s your day?” you know they really mean it.

It was only fitting that I work with one of the kindest, sweetest Philadelphia coordinators at this Ritz Carlton Naples wedding.  Gina Sole was ever so lovely, referring Kelly and Jordan to me.  It was wonderful to travel with her back to the state that I lived in for eight years, revisiting beaches I’d shot on less than a decade ago.  It was also only appropriate, given the lovely setting, that the bride and groom were as sweet as Kelly and Jordan.  Delightful, funny, warm, and welcoming, Kelly and Jordan created a destination wedding for their guests that was intimate, inviting, and Florida-perfect.

Macro shot of engagement ring
Good light for the ring shot? No problem. The bride’s room overlooked the Gulf of Mexico, and the sun streaming through the patio doors was luscious.
Gold wedding rings for Jewish ceremony
During a Jewish wedding ceremony, the groom gives the bride a ring, which is usually a plain gold wedding band. This ring is then placed on the bride’s right index finger. Kelly and Jordan had two gorgeous, delicate gold bands for their wedding ceremony.
Jimmy Choo wedding shoes with gold heel
After a few very dark, wintery weeks back in New York, the Florida sun was so brilliant that it almost hurt my eyes. It was really nice to be able to work with dramatic light again!
Vera Wang wedding dress for a beach wedding
The bride put great care into the choosing of her Vera Wang wedding gown, and I think it was well worth it. The dress fit her like a glove, and was just perfect for the beachy setting.
Bride putting on earrings
The quiet moments before the ceremony, or before the bride sees the groom for the first time, are among my favorite moments on a wedding day. I love this image of Kelly putting on her earrings before heading out to see Jordan for their portraits together.
Ritz Carlton Naples wedding
The Ritz Carlton Naples is perfectly situated so that the sun sets right over the water. The entire grounds are phenomenal for photography, and the winter sun just cannot be beat.
Ritz Carlton Naples wedding on the beach
Sand in your lenses, sand in your cameras, sand all in your clothes, sand everywhere. Oh, the joys of a beach wedding! It’s all worth it, every last bit, for images like this!
Portraits at a Ritz Carlton Naples wedding
The bride and groom planned ample time for some portraits outdoors, just the two of them. It’s always wonderful when a timeline goes off without a hitch (thank you, Gina Sole!) so that we can really make the most of this time.
Ritz Carlton Naples wedding portrait
The Center Court and the Tea Garden are popular locations for wedding portraits, but I prefer to leave the popular spots and try to find portrait spots that are a bit unique. The first thing I look for is light, and the Ritz Carlton Naples had that in spades.
Bride at Naples Ritz Carlton wedding
If you ever get a chance to go to Naples, GO. The beaches are the perfect mix of white sand and blue ocean. I remember the first time I went to the Jersey Shore (no offense, Shore) and thought “This is not a beach.” The sand should feel like powder, and the water should be like a warm bath. Just like Naples.
Best beach wedding
The juxtaposition of light and shadow is my favorite thing. I love having time with the bride and groom before sunset to create images with dramatic light and deep, lengthening shadows.
Cream dinner jacket
I wish more grooms would wear gorgeous cream dinner jackets, don’t you?
Nighttime beach wedding
The ceremony was set for sundown, but due to circumstances beyond our control, things didn’t get started until after dark. No worries. Pop a pretty light under the chuppah, trust in your photographic skills, and don’t even break a sweat. (Well, maybe a little sweat. It was DARK!)
Ritz Carlton Naples wedding at night
The gorgeous directional light under the chuppah was the perfect contrast to the darkness of the scene. Kelly is so gorgeous, and I love this moment of the wind catching her veil and sweeping it across her face.
Nighttime wedding on the beach
The candles lining the path helped illuminate the ceremony. It was beautiful, intimate, and very, very romantic.
Nighttime wedding ceremony
Just gorgeous.
Center Court Ritz Carlton
After the ceremony on the beach, it was off to the Center Court for cocktail hour, into the Plaza Ballroom for dinner, and then out to the Beach House for dancing!
Wedding Reportage
With just over 100 guests, the entire day had a wonderfully intimate feel. I LOVE the flower girl and her little sister having a moment just before dinner!
Ritz Carlton Naples Beach House
The Beach House was a great spot for dancing and the after party!
Florida sunset wedding
There is nothing – NOTHING – like a Florida sunset.

Kelly and Jordan, thank you so much for bringing me all the way down to Naples to photograph your wedding.  It was warm, wonderful, and beautiful – just like you both.  I hope your honeymoon is equally warm and wonderful, and I can’t wait to share your images with you when you return!

Little Palm Island Wedding : Doree + Tony

Doree and Tony’s Little Palm Island wedding was brought to me by Julie Shrek of Simply You Weddings. Julie and I had worked together many times over the years that I lived in Florida, and even though I had since moved to New York we continued to work together (albeit not as frequently as I’d like!). When Doree and Tony were planning their Little Palm Island destination wedding Julie thought we’d be a good fit – and she was wrong. We were a GREAT fit from the start, and it was with great anticipation that I flew to Florida for their three days of wedding coverage. From the welcome party at the pool to the rehearsal dinner, the entire wedding day to the day after brunch, every moment of every day was infused with love, laughter, light, and indescribable joy.

No pets. No children under the age of 18. No telephones. No televisions. Sound relaxing? It is. Little Palm Island, located just off of Little Torch Key in the Florida Keys, is a quiet, understated, luxurious getaway unlike any I’d ever experienced. There is a reason it was named a “Gold List” Number One Resort in Florida by Conde Nast in 2013, “Extraordinary Perfection” by Zagat, one of the best honeymoon locations in the US by Brides Magazine, and many, many more. Doree and Tony rented out this private island for a long weekend getaway, providing their guests with tours, trips, sunning, dancing, and exquisite dining.

Little Palm Island Wedding
The only way to get to Little Palm Island is by boat. No cars, no bridges, no traffic, just peace and serenity. When I shot this image within fifteen minutes of arriving to the island for the weekend I knew we were in for some good weather and beautiful light.
Little Palm Island
The ambience on the island is just unbelievable. Tranquil, luscious, and gorgeous.
Little Palm Island Wedding Pictures
Doree’s engagement ring and wedding band completely blew me away. I had never seen such a flawless stone of that size. Large and dramatic, the set was surprisingly delicate and perfect for Doree’s long, slim fingers.
Little Palm Island Wedding Rates
Avant Gardens was responsible for the beautiful floral decor. Based out of Miami, they brought their beautiful arrangements all the way to the Keys for the wedding weekend.
Bride at Little Palm Island
Studio Marie Pierre from Key West came to Little Palm to create Doree’s wedding day look. I’ve worked with Marie Pierre several times and each time she does such sweetly flawless work. Besides that, she’s a dream to work with, always right on schedule and sometimes even early!
Little Palm Island Wedding Photographer
Having been a Florida-based wedding photographer for eight years, I sometimes do miss that gorgeous southern light!
Wedding Ceremony at Little Palm Island
Everything about Doree’s look was flawless, from her delicate gown to her understated makeup, her simple hair and quirky clutch.
Wedding Photos at Little Palm Island
See? I told you the light was gorgeous.
Wedding at Little Palm Island
Since Doree and Tony bought out Little Palm Island for the entire weekend, the only people on island were family and friends of the couple. It made for a wonderfully intimate vacation for everyone.
Little Palm Island Wedding Ceremony
The ceremony was just at sunset. It was a deeply emotional, moving experience. The entire ceremony was so honest and pure, I was honored to be there to witness it.
Little Palm Island Wedding Photographers
Doree is grace, kindness, sweetness, and light. It’s no wonder that everyone there adored her fully – myself included!
Little Palm Island Outdoor Wedding
Thanks to the team of Simply You weddings for the perfect day-of timing. It ensured that we were photographing the bride and groom in the most beautiful light of the day.
Outdoor Wedding at Little Palm Island
What words can be used to describe the genius that is Julie Shreck of Simply You? Every time I work with her she outdoes herself. The timing is always impeccable, the schedules always run on time, the decor is out of this world, and the whole day is managed with a huge heart and massive smile. Julie is the best of the best.
Little Torch Key Wedding
So elegant, so delicate, so perfect for both the clients and the setting.
Little Torch Key Wedding Photographer
Doree danced with her father to the same song I danced with my dad to at my own wedding – Georgia On My Mind by Willie Nelson.
Wedding Photographers at Little Palm Island
The Private Stock Band kept the party going all night – and into the next day!
Little Palm Island Wedding Photos
It was also a joy to work with the cinematography team at Cineaverde. Very nice people and very lovely work!
Little Torch Key Wedding Photos
Cakes by Karol provided the lovely cake, which was as gorgeous as it was delicious!
Wedding Photographer at Little Palm Island
One of the most wonderful aspects of the entire day was the emotion. It overflowed from each part of the day and no one held back their tears.
Wedding Reception at Little Palm Island
I absolutely love this image of Doree dancing with her father.
View of Little Palm Island
Little Palm Island is clearly beautiful both during the day AND at night!
Wedding Pictures at Little Palm Island
Doree and Tony, thank you so much for bringing me down to the warmth of the Keys from the freezing cold New York winter!

This wedding can also be seen on the Simply You wedding website  as well as on the cinematographer’s site.  Enjoy!