Timeless Elegant Classic Palace Wedding: Lauren & Steven

A timeless, classic, elegant wedding at the Palace at Somerset Park

Lauren & Steve reached out to me looking for a wedding and engagement photographer that would capture all of the emotion, details and highlights of the day to allow them to re-live their wedding day over and over again and take them back in time to their wedding day.

We began the day photographing wedding day details, from preparations to details.  We use top-of-the-line equipment and bring unique perspectives to really make those details stand out.  I tried a couple different approaches to each, but these are my favorite photos– they look so sophisticated, elegant and dramatic…

There was something about this scene that caught my eye– it was the repetition of the numbers one and two and the symmetry and balance of it all.

A wedding day is all about two becoming one and this photograph captures that sentiment in an artistic way.  Two young women, two bouquets, two candles, two paintings, a scene cut in two, a reflection– then you have one photo, one mirror, one fireplace, one bouquet, one bride, one candelabra.

I don’t know if I’ve explained it well, but I really like it!

I captures a few more creative shots of her dress and details, but there is something really nice about this simple, classic, room arrangement that fits Lauren and Steven’s style so well!

Lauren’s dress is from Kleinfeld’s Bridal in New York City and is so unique.  Wait until you see it on her!!!

I was playing with the idea of balance again and really liked the idea of capturing what is going on at two rooms at once.  As Lauren and her mother prepare to take down the wedding dress, Lauren’s maid-of-honor gets finishing touches on by hair and make-up.

I love how much is backed into this one image– you can see all of the intricate detail on Lauren’s wedding gown as well as her jewelry and hands.  It is a simple shot that shows so much and gives a real sense of the intimacy of this moment…

Steven shared, “Lauren is a kind-hearted loving person with a beautiful heart.  I met her 12 years ago in Princeton and have been blessed ever since to have her in my life.”  Lauren, you are breathtaking!

Lauren shared, “Steven is loving, genuine and family-focused.  He pours his heart and soul into everything that he does.  He also has a great sense of humor!”

Here Steven gathers with several family members pre-ceremony.  Naturally everyone is smiling and laughing.  He’s a really great guy!

While we captured bridal party pictures later, Steven wanted to make-sure to grab a quick photo with all of the important men in his life that were gathered together in that moment…

Lauren shared, “Steve and I have different personalities but share the same sense of humor.  Also, he cooks dinner for me every night after work and when you can find a man that will do that for you, you know they’re a keeper!” 😉

Looking very relaxed and dapper, Steve– the tuxedo look is a good one on you…

Lauren shared, “My favorite part of the day was our ‘first look’…to see the look on Steven’s face when he turned around was priceless!!!  It also felt really calm and it was nice to have it just me myself and Steve. It was a great moment before the day got really busy.”

Steven said, “Lauren was Stunning! Amazing! I could not have imagined something more beautiful! She truly blew me away!!!”  I wasn’t sure which ones to share to I combined a few of my favorites in this collage:

Lauren and Steven stepped out into the Palace Gardens together…

Steven shared, “Lauren is bubbly, funny and not afraid to joke around, I love that!  One of the things that strand out most about Lauren is that she will always pick you up when you’re feeling down. She will go above and beyond to bring a smile to your face. She has a beautiful heart to go with her beautiful smile.”

I love the classic, timeless, elegant feel of this photograph…

I feel that this photograph has a similar look, but I really like the natural feel and framing of it.  They are framed by the building and trees and all of the focus leads straight to them.

Lauren and Steven had planned for an outdoor ceremony on the Palace’s terrace, but it started to rain.

I had wanted to capture a unique vantage point above the couple and when I peeked down at them I noticed all of the care Steven was taking of Lauren’s dress in the rain.

It was a sweet, simple, natural reaction that shows what a caring and compassionate person he is!

I captured a more traditional shot of the couple (I love to give them a good variety) and we headed inside to finish up their romantic photography.

Lauren and Steven were honestly awesome about the rain.  I knew how much they and really wanted the outdoor ceremony, but Lauren remarked, “We wanted a ceremony space that had an indoor option too, so that was a good idea!”

I knew another element that attracted Lauren and Steven to The Palace at Somerset was their chandeliers.  I focused on one of the chandeliers and allowed the silhouetted couple to blur into the background, carefully focusing all of the dramatic attention where I wanted it.

Blacking out the room was a strategy for me in more ways than one, as staff members busily gathered to set up the space for an indoor ceremony yet are invisible in this shot…

I moved in a little closer and captured this intimate moment.  I kept several elements of the decor in the frame as well to bring in that timeless, classic aesthetic…

Lauren shared about the look of her wedding, “Classic and elegant, we tried to stay with in a color scheme that mirrored different shades of champagne.”

A Touch of Elegance and The Palace worked in conjunction to provide Lauren with this stunning champagne flower wall.

It was beautiful and brought some of that light, romantic outdoor feeling to the indoor ceremony space…

The family had gathered pre-ceremony for photos, and was ready and waiting for us when we arrived.  I love her mom’s gown!  So beautiful…

Lauren mentioned that Steven was a “family man” and I got to witness it first hand with sim seeing several of his family members.

Steven remarked, “I wouldn’t be the person I am today without my parents.  My dad and I have a unique relationship, he has given me much of the humor I use today, and his bold personality lives through me!  Momma taught me to have a big heart and to love unconditionally. It’s her love that made me the caring man I am. She will always be the first love of my life.”

He continued, ” My grandma is the core of my father’s family.  We all live, laugh and love with and because of her. My step dad, John, has been in my life since I was young. His compassion, love, and understanding are part of what prepared me for my life adventures with Lauren. I am truly grateful to have John in my life, and am very lucky that he loves me and always cared about me!”

I have more traditional photos of all of these important people in Steven’s life, but really like these candid images…

Her Lauren’s cousin and maid of honor leans on her shoulder, these two are super close and it is adorable…

She is also absolutely stunning!  I love the elegant black lace gown with the pop of white roses…

Lauren & Steven knew from the beginning that they wanted to “keep it simple”

The indoor ceremony began– it was classic, elegant, sophisticated, all the things that Lauren was hoping for…

During the ceremony Steve got a little chocked up, Lauren reached out and literally touched his heart:

How happy are they?  And wow, that wall!

While I captures a lot of close-up photos that show all of that excitement and emotion, I also wanted to really show off all of the beautiful elements in the room and give a sense of the space as well.  I found this unique vantage point that allowed me to capture the chandeliers, columns, curtains and floral decor…

From the ceremony, guests moved to an extensive cocktail hour.  I love the layers in this photo, it really gives you a sense for everything going on– chatting, drinking, eating– you can even see a chef in the top left corner and a woman holding her drink in the bottom right…

Lauren & Steven were so excited about the jazz pianist that they told me about him on the first day that we met as they described the nice, elegant atmosphere.  The baby grand was all shined up and had interesting lines and patterns…

Lauren explained, “We tried to stay with in a color scheme that mirrored different shades of champagne. The Sahara Roses in our flower displays gave a splash of champagne to our center pieces, and a few blush pink roses allowed for us to incorporate the rosé look.”

I envisioned this moment happening before it actually did and adjusted all of my manual camera settings to maximize drama.  😉

I noticed the light from the bridal suite silhouetting the couple and the up-lit column silhouetting the MC.

It really gives you a sense of the atmosphere and anticipation…

Here Kris captured a more traditional shot of this moment.  I love their joyful expressions and that the best man and maid of honor are so happy as well.  It is such a classic, emotional moment, being announced for the first time as husband and wife…

I have many photos of their first dance, but I really like the authenticity of this one:

The father-daughter dance– Lauren shared, “My Dad was very nervous for the first dance. He kept telling me jokes and making me laugh!”  Lauren’s smile is so bright that you can see it in this wide shot :).

I love that you really get a sense of the space in this photograph and that you can make out faces of individual guests in the background as they watch Lauren dance with her father.

Steve’s dance with his mom was an emotional one.  I used a special lighting technique that really highlighted their intense connection…

Dinner time!  The guests had several courses, I liked this fun perspective ;).

Steven shared, “Anthony and I have been through many good times together. Ups and downs, we always find the best in every situation. A way to laugh and smile, that’s what we are good at. His speech brought me back to the good times we have had. I appreciate his portrayal of me, i may be a silly goofy guy, but when time comes to be serious I make sure I step up and make the right moves not for myself, but for my loved ones. I love Anthony, he is a big reason I am the man I am today.”

Here is a photograph of Anthony’s speech…

The flower wall that A Touch of Elegance designed for the ceremony space was moved to the sweetheart table and created a unique reception backdrop as well…

Mazz entertainment opened up the dance floor and the crowd was on fire!  They were so much fun and had a fantastic evening…

Lauren shared, “My Mom and Dad seriously had the best day ever!”  Here you can see Lauren between her father and mother out on the dance floor, they really all do look like they are having the time of their lives… 

Mazz Entertainment provided vibrant reception lighting and kept the party going all night long.

Here you can see nearly every guest out on the dance floor…

The Palace brought out their A game with an assortment of desserts from flambe to cannoli to everything in between…

Lauren and Steven steeped outside for a moment of quiet as the rain subsided.  They stood out in the garden together as I captured this image using a tilt-shift technique…

They walked to the iconic front of the venue as the storm clouds moved at twilight, the scene was spectacular!

Lauren & Steven, thanks so much for choosing to have me capture all of these moments (and more) during your wedding day.  I hope that it provides that “return ticket” back to this very special day in your lives.  I hope that these photos allow you to enjoy all of these memories over and over again!

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