Park Chateau Estate Wedding Photographers: Lisa & John

A timeless, romantic, Spring wedding at the newly opened Park Chateau Estate

Lisa & John were first introduced to my work over 5 years ago when I photographed her cousin, Thomas’ engagement and wedding!

Lisa reached out to me looking for someone who could capture more traditional images in a modern, unique way (see above) as well as more candid moments that feel intimate and capture emotion (see below).

Lisa shared, “The amount of research Lisa did before our wedding day was immediately clear once she arrived. You would have never known that the venue was brand new or that Lisa was not local to the area (she actually photographs weddings all over the East coast– NYC, DC etc).  Yet she had so many specific ideas that she had planned and thought of throughout the day.”

I captured many aspects of the stunning Park Chateau Estate and Gardens, but I really like this “bird’s eye view” of the gardens.  Lisa explained, “We booked our venue based off of drawings and renderings at the construction site about one year ago. We did not see the finished product until 6 weeks before our wedding and it was more beautiful than we ever could have imagined! The Park Chateau is designed to look like a French Chateau with extensive Versailles like gardens.”

I gave this photo a surreal “miniature” effect using a tilt-shift technique…

I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself, though… we actually began the wedding day and Lisa’s parent’s home.  I started by photographing the wedding details.  Lisa’s beautiful bouquet was created by Brandywine Floral Design.  

Lisa’s crystal encrusted Badgley Mishkas were amazing!  Here I combined her shoes and rings into one image.  I used dramatic lighting and contrast and focused in sharply on the rings, while allowing the crystals from her shoes to blur into the foreground.

Lisa shared, “I loved getting ready at home surrounded by my parents, grandparents, and bridesmaids. It was an intimate setting and the perfect way to start a busy day. I have always been close with my parents so planning the wedding with them by my side was an easy process.”

Lisa “said yes to her dress” at the famous Kleinfeld’s Bridal, the same place that her mother purchased her gown over forty years before!  Again I used shadowy dramatic lighting, I think it really adds to the sense of anticipation… also her dad’s “first look,” seeing his daughter in her wedding attire is priceless:

Lisa wore a cathedral length veil, what a beautiful bride!

I liked the way Lisa’s diamond engagement ring caught the sunlight along with the beading on her dress.  I really like the dramatic contrast in this image:

Lisa continued, “My family has supported and encouraged me through all the adventures in my life and always taught me to dream big. I attribute my curiosity, positive outlook, and sense of familial tradition to them and how I was raised. Through example, my parents and grandparents have shown me what it takes to have a loving, committed, and everlasting marriage.”

Lisa’s grandparents were so excited to see her in her wedding gown!  Her grandfather even got a little teary-eyed…

Lisa’s bridesmaids were stunning in their blush floor length gowns…

A real-life Cinderella moment!

The men prepared for the day at Lisa’s brother’s house.  Kris photographed the men’s preparations while I photographed the women.  Here John’s father shares a story which has everyone smiling.  Sometimes it is those little candid moments that show the most on a wedding day.  John is standing behind his father in all white.

Kris photographed a few more traditional portraits while he was with the men, including this image of John with his immediate family:

Looking very dapper, gentlemen…

Lisa and John exchanged their wedding vows in St Mary of Mt Virgin Church in New Brunswick.

I like how Lisa and her father are illuminated in the doorway as all lines lead to them in this photograph.

I manually set my exposure and am constantly changing it to achieve the look I want.  This is the same exact location and lighting, but I have changed my settings to let in that beautiful light!

John’s full attention was on Lisa as she walked towards him.

John shared, “When I saw Lisa walking down the aisle I felt so incredibly happy! I couldn’t wait to tell her how beautiful she looked!”

John & Lisa shared, “We were both overwhelmed with amount of love and support surrounding us. Our favorite part was having everyone we love celebrate with us in the same place.”

Sometimes it’s the little things, here a bridesmaid wipes away a tear delicately with her handkerchief:

I was totally enamored by the incredible murals and frescos in Saint Mary’s.  I climbed up to the choir loft so that I would be able to capture the entire scene.

Here is a much more intimate view of the same moment during the wedding vows.

The recessional was so beautiful, I couldn’t help but post a few photos from it.  This one captures all of the columns and arches as well as the bridal party and church full of wedding guests…

This one, only a few seconds later shows the happy couple as they walk out of Saint Mary’s sanctuary.  I really like the lighting here and the guests joyful expressions.

The bridal party passed out ribbon wands to the wedding guests who gathered outside of the church.  Lisa had mentioned to me during her initial consultation that she loved a photo I had captured at Tammy and Eric’s wedding that had an interesting, low perspective in front of the church that captured the whole facade of the building.

I’m so pleased that I was able to capture her wedding from a similar angle for her here:

As Lisa shared, she booked the Park Chateau Estate and Gardens based on artists renderings and the excellent reputation of the owners who also own the Nanina’s in the Park and the Park Savoy.

Transportation was provided by Express Coach Limo.  Lisa and John’s driver was excellent and even coordinated with me so that the Rolls Royce could be parked at just the right spot for this photo.  I really wanted to show off the front of the Park Chateau.

Lisa shared, “Lisa went the extra mile and took the time to talk with us before the wedding to go over a timeline for the day.  She made the day go smoothly and we never felt rushed or on a tight schedule.”  Here Lisa and John enjoy a walk in the gardens:

Wow, another fairy tale moment 😉

John shared about his bride, “I fell in love with Lisa’s positive attitude and spontaneous silly sense of humor. We laugh a lot when we are together and I knew right away that our chemistry was something special.  We work well together because we complement each other, but we approach problems differently so we can help each other work things out in ways we couldn’t do alone.”

Wow, this hall!!!  I loved it all– the oil paintings, marble staircase, beautiful wall-mounted chandelier and beautiful window light.  This was my attempt of fitting all of that beauty within one photograph.  🙂

Each room of the Park Chateau has a very different feel.  This one is so soft and romantic.

Lisa and John wanted to spend some time alone during cocktail hour in the suite that overlooks the gardens.  I stayed for a few minutes then went downstairs to photograph cocktail hour.

I really wanted to pull out the stops when it came to creativity for this final romantic shot.  I wanted something that would truly be unique and interesting.  I was able to frame their near silhouettes in the window while picking up the highlights on Lisa’s face all while capturing their reflection…

Kris stopped at the cocktail hour where there was a raw bar, martini ice luge, sushi station and so much more!  Here is a little teaser…

I moved down to the ballroom and was absolutely blown away.  It was so light, bright and romantic.

Lisa chose a mixture of tall and short centerpieces featuring hydrangeas, roses, foxgloves and lilies…

Pink and gold accents appeared throughout…

Lisa and John were given a moment to peek in at the ballroom without any guests inside, they loved it!  Lisa shared, “We knew it was a location with a wow factor and we couldn’t wait to share it with our guests!”

This bridal party was ready to party!!!

Lisa and John opened the reception with several wedding traditions, one of which was the first dance.  Here John kisses Lisa’s cheek, Kris used a shallow depth of field to keep them in focus while allowing the wedding guests to remain present but to put all of the attention on Lisa and John.

John’s college acapella group performed for the wedding guests, they were awesome :).

Lisa’s father made a joke about this being the last time John would have the upper hand, hehe…

The band, Hank Lane Productions were great and got everyone out on the dance floor.  The guests had a blast!  Here are a few of the moments that Kris and I captured:

The Viennese Dessert offerings at the Park Chateau did not disappoint.  I have so many incredible photos of food that it was hard to choose just a few.  There was a cannoli bar, chocolate fondue station, freshly made gelato, bananas foster, literally thousands of decadent desserts.

One of the highlights for Lisa was the confetti cake.  She explained, “On our first date, John and I talked about how we both wanted a funfetti wedding cake so I knew we needed to make that happen. We asked the bakery at the last minute and they made it work for us!”  Shout out to Conca D’Oro Bakery!

The library…

Happily ever after 😉

What a perfect ending to their day…

Lisa and John thank you for entrusting me with capturing such a significant milestone in your lives.  It was such a pleasure to work with the two of you, your friends and families and the new Park Chateau!  I hope that these photos are exactly what you were looking for, an eclectic mix of traditional and candid photos capturing all of the beauty and emotion of your wedding day!

Update, I just received the sweetest message from Lisa, “We cannot thank you enough for such beautiful photos!! It is hard to imagine these are our wedding photos after following your blog posts for years. You captured the essence and feeling of our wedding day as well as all the details in the most incredible and unique way. We will cherish these photos forever and cannot put into words how appreciate we are of you and Kris.  Looking forward to seeing the full set!”

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