Joyful best-friends tie the knot, an elegant wedding transformation & adorable flower girls dance to “Let it Go”…
Lauren & Brian are best friends who fully support and trust each other. They both grew up on the east coast, but when Brian got an awesome job offer on the west coast, Lauren moved with him leaving her friends and family, too. They have since settled into jobs that they love, delved into fitness (Lauren especially loves playing beach volleyball) and made friends.
They planned their wedding from California and were married at the stunning Addison Park, a venue I have worked at several times before. For me, it is always fun to see how very different each wedding and each couple is, even if I have worked in that environment before, I try my best to make that particular set of images unique to that specific couple, their personalities and their personal style.
The transformation: All of Lauren’s preparations were at her parent’s home. Here her sister is reaching for Lauren’s dress on her sweet “Mrs. Collins” hanger. Below is an image of Lauren’s sister helping her with the finishing touches of her dress. I wanted to give her privacy, but also show the transformation– I saw this ballerina image on the wall (which conveyed a feeling of transformation for me) and the way it caught the light from the window leaving only shadowy figures reflected– what a perfect spot…
Mother-daughter portrait: Family portraits are often a key part of my wedding day photography coverage and I knew that a photo of Lauren and her mom was definitely in order. Lauren’s mom shared that she often makes unpleasant faces in photos and I accepted the challenge to get a beautiful mother-daughter photo. She is a beautiful woman and wow, what a gown! I think this is a beautiful photo of these two ladies. 😉
Chrystal and Marble: The bridesmaids headed over to Addison Park where I was able to incorporate some of those gorgeous aesthetic elements that Lauren was so drawn to– the crystal chandeliers, the elaborate grand staircase and checkerboard styled marble flooring… She was right, the pink bouquets really did “pop” against the dramatic black and white background.
Choosing the bridal party: Lauren chose bridesmaids from several different areas of her life. She chose her best friend, a childhood friend, a college volleyball teammate, a Hoboken roommate, her sister and Brian’s sister (as well as his nieces, who were her flower girls)
Brian’s party consisted of a similar,mixed grouping of people– his childhood best friend (who is his best man and now his boss and the reason why Lauren & Brian moved to California), a high school friend, a softball buddy, and his brother-in-law.
Rain? Soon after we arrived it began to rain, so we moved the first look and romantic portraits indoors. This dramatic staircase was such a perfect indoor setting. I was able to get several creative and unique angles and photos by just staying in that one space.
Vogue: We captured several different photos of the bridal party, but this one was so unique (we have a smiling version, too, but this more stark image seemed to really fit the feel of the dramatic space. I kept key members in the foreground, so I could focus the attention on the bride and groom, maid of honor, best man and two flower girls.
Ballroom Decor: While everyone else had some “downtime” before the wedding, I was able to capture a few images of the ballroom while it was completely decorated but still empty. Lauren’s pink and gold uplighting really seems to emphasise the florals and chandeliers.
Adorable flower girls: Brian’s nieces were the flower girls and the little girl in glasses is actually also his goddaughter. It is very clear that they loooooove their uncle. When they saw him they ran to him as if he never had moved across the country to California.
Molly is quite the charmer- She kept hugging Lauren (at her knees haha) at the wedding and burying her face in her sequined dress! Since the wedding she keeps asking Lauren & Brian to get married again for another party! Here they are at the start of the ceremony…
Joyful Ceremony: During the ceremony Lauren & Brian had the hugest smiles on their faces. Lauren shared that she was so happy that the day had finally arrived and that they two of them have grown so much together over the past 5 years.
Time to eat! Cocktail hour at Addison Park is always stunning. There were several stations like the one featured below as well as plated horsdevours which had a playful feel. They had a vodka luge, macaroni & cheese “lollipops”, seafood, a carving station, a pasta station and many more.
Playful first dance: Lauren and Brian had huge smiles on their faces all through the first dance, too. Lauren was serenading Brian during the song which seemed to keep them both giggling. They also kept whispering in each other’s ear which was pretty sweet, too.
Sparkle on the dancefloor: The DJ was awesome and kept the guests out on the dance floor all night. The up-lighting changed to different colors throughout the night. I like how the blue lighting is such a nice contrast to the gold ceiling draperies and really catches the blue in Lauren’s mom’s gown.
A Disney Moment: The twins enjoy singing “Let It go!” from Disney’s frozen, so their uncle and aunt humored them by having the dj play their request and joining them on the dance floor– it was really sweet.
At the end of the night, the rain finally slowed to a drizzle and Lauren was so excited to be outside that she threw off her shoes and literally ran outside with Brian. It was freezing and windy but neither of them seemed to notice as they slow danced under the arch. I love their body language here…