Wedding at Battery Gardens

Who? : Sara + Michael

What? : Preparations at the W New York Downtown, a first look and portraits at Brooklyn Bridge Park, ceremony and reception at a restaurant venue overlooking Battery Park.

Where?  Battery Gardens, New York

When? : November 2018

While compiling the details of Sara and Michael’s wedding day, I asked them something I often ask my clients : How did you meet?

Sara’s answer:  We met online. I recently requested our original texts back and forth from the dating app we used (The League) and it turns out they were pretty boring – just a few exchanges and then an offer to meet for brunch. Good thing the first date was much more interesting! We couldn’t say goodbye after brunch, so Michael invited me to walk over a few blocks and see his grandfather’s butcher shop…Then we hit up a street fair…Then, I politely tried to excuse myself because I had a housewarming party to go to. I told Michael that he was “more than welcome to come”, expecting him to turn down the offer. But he didn’t! So he came with me and met a bunch of my friends, and some new people I had never met before. People kept asking how long we’d been dating and I had to awkwardly explain we met that morning…. Even all that time wasn’t quite enough, so we went to dinner that evening. 13 hour marathon date, and now 3 years later we’re getting married!

Thank goodness that epic first date didn’t end, because it brought Sara and Michael to an amazingly crisp, gorgeous fall day in New York, saying I do while the sun set over Battery Park.   It was the kind of day you see online when you google “perfect fall day in Manhattan,” orange leaves scattered on sidewalks, winter in the air, and a sunset that spiraled into a bright orange blaze.  It was another flawless marathon day in their history of marathon days, and it surely won’t be their last!

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

I’ve been asked before if I bring a styling kit or detail kit with me to weddings.  The answer is no, I love to work with what I find in my environment.  That will help me tell a story in a way that details that I brought myself never could.  This is Michael’s ring, laid on a “diamond” from the hotel decor! Michael is WONDERFUL.  Warm and kind, and loves Sara with a strength that’s immediately visible.  He’s a Crossfitter, a New York bike rider, and has a smile that could light up the city at night.  He got ready surrounded by his hilarious groomsmen, just a few floors below where Sara was getting ready with her family and bridesmaids. Sara is gorgeous, inside and out, and not just because she’s an avid yogi.  She’s a beautiful writer and speaker, chooses her words with clarity and precision, and loves with a ferocity that’s brilliant to see. After getting ready at the W Downtown, we hailed a series of Ubers and made the trek over the bridge to Brooklyn Bridge Park.  Hidden away on a fourth floor overlook, Sara and Michael saw each other for the first time on their wedding day. Instead of exchanging gifts separately, before seeing each other, Sara and Michael opted to exchange their gifts at their first look. It made this time even more meaningful, and I hope this is a tradition that catches on!  I love that they got to see each other’s faces when they opened their gifts and read their cards. After the first look, we had a bit of time to wander Brooklyn Bridge Park.  We’d been anticipating terrible weather and torrential rain, so this brilliantly bright day was an incredibly welcome surprise.  Since most New Yorkers had also expected awful weather, the park was even less crowded than usual.  Win, win! After a brief time taking very serious (and not so serious!) wedding party images, it was time to head back to Battery Gardens for some family portraits, a quick break, and the ceremony.
The moments before a ceremony are so special.  Whether you’re polishing your rings or greeting your grandmother, every second practically quivers with anticipation.  It’s one of my favorite parts of the day! This ceremony!  OH, this ceremony.  There was debate all morning about whether or not the crazy high winds near Battery Park would push the ceremony indoors.  Sara and Michael made the difficult decision to move it inside, and it was a great choice.  The sun set right through the windows, turning the whole ceremony golden. As the couple were huge fans of the outside area, and as we didn’t get to have the ceremony there, I felt it only fitting to take some late sunset images outdoors.  Cheers to these two for braving the insane winds for a few extra portraits! After cocktail hour, a few more portraits, and some detail images of the room, it was time to PARTY.  Sara and Michael exploded into the room, ready to start the dinner-and-dancing part of the night! I love the written word.  I love public speaking.  I love public speaking of the written word.  In short, I love toasts.  I love it when people stand up and speak from the heart, saying words they spent time lovingly crafted about people they adore.  After some of the most meaningful, gorgeous speeches I’ve ever heard (and a pretty rad dinner, too!) Sara and Michael took to the floor for their first official dance as husband and wife. The rest of the night was filled with dancing, more hugs, more love, and more laughter.  The kind of laughter that comes from things like locking your friends out of the reception and rubbing your butt on the door while they pretend to spank you.  You know, stuff like that.Sara and Michael, if you’re reading this on your epic honeymoon to Thailand and Laos, THANK YOU.  Thank you for sharing your lives, your celebration, and the last crazy gorgeous fall day in New York with me.  Thank you for trusting me with your memories.  I’ll follow along on your honeymoon adventures via Instagram – take your time getting back.  It’s pretty cold back home. ❤️