Photographing Natalia and Dan’s beach wedding was one of the most joyous, blessed and inspiring moments of my photography career. I am so grateful to have been able to witness and document their incredible day surrounded by a loving group of family and friends.
When Nat and I met our freshmen years of college, I don’t think either of us imagined that 8 years later she’d be getting married on the pristine beaches of Westhampton Beach New York and that I’d be there to photograph it! I’ll let the Nat take it from here:
Dan and I met 10 years ago – we were going to rival high schools in our hometown of Stamford, CT. We met one night at a pool party of a mutual friend over the summer, and Dan was so nervous that he didn’t talk to me the whole night. Over the next few weeks, we slowly became friends and then eventually started dating. We haven’t looked back since.
Dan proposed on a summer day in Strawberry Fields of Central Park. We were going on a picnic and were walking on a path in the woods to find a good spot. I was of course on my Blackberry and completely oblivious; when I turned around, Dan was on one knee. I was in complete shock, it was totally unexpected. Afterwards, we had our picnic and went on the row boats in the park – a favorite of ours since we moved to the [New York] city.
[How adorable are Dan's cousins who were the ring bearer and flower girl?!]
(I just love this image of Nat’s parents hugging her and Dan, with them framing a shot of Dan’s parents watching with emotion.)
One of our favorite moments was during our ceremony. After walking down the aisle with my parents on each arm, my face was streaming with tears. When I turned and faced Dan for the first time, they certainly didn’t stop. I knew I would need a tissue and I reached for Dan’s pocket square, which he then took and dabbed my face for me. We both shared a laugh and took in everything for a moment before we started our ceremony.
[Nat and Dan included handfasting during their ceremony, a ritual that uses ribbon to symbolize the joining of the two in marriage.]
[There wasn't a dry eye during the exchange of vows. Here, Dan's siblings and parents look on.]
Dan and I looked at quite a few venues in the Northeast – all we knew is that we wanted to get married on the beach. Our friend casually mentioned that we should check out Oceanbleu/Westhampton Beach during one of our many trips to look at venues, and when we stopped by, Dan’s reaction was immediate – this was the place we were going to get married. It was exactly what we were looking for – a beautiful beach for the ceremony, an outdoor tent for cocktails and an open ballroom looking out onto the water for the rest of the night. It struck the right balance of beachy with the sea breeze flowing through the room and festive with the lanterns and pale blue and white striped draping hanging from the ceiling.
Our favorite detail from our wedding were our escort cards and table name cards. Because we’ve known each other for a very long time, and our close friends and family were coming from all over the world, we wanted to show how much we cared for each other and everyone who shared our special day with us. For our escort cards, we decided to use pictures of each guest with one or both of us. To keep with the nautical theme, we tied small monkey fist knots to hold each photo. For our tables, we picked pictures of us spanning the years and placed those on top of larger monkey fists. Instead of numbering our tables, we decided to name them after places that we’ve been together that held a special place in our heart. It was certainly a labor of love to tie 100+ knots!
[The band kept the guests showing off their dance moves on the dance floor all night long!]
[Nat sharing a dance with her father.]
Wedding: September 14, 2012
Ceremony & Reception: Westhampton Bath and Tennis / Westhampton Beach, NY
Caterer: Oceanbleu Beachfront Catering
Shoes: Anne Taylor
Accessories: From the bride’s grandmother
Flowers: DIY with flowers from CP Flowers Direct
Cupcakes: Sweet Element / East Orange, NJ
Band: Bud Maltin Metropolitan Music
First Dance: “Crush” / Dave Matthews Band
Groom’s Attire: Jacket and shirt: Charles Tyrwhitt / Bowtie: High Cotton Ties / Pants: Calvin Klein / Shoes: Sperry
Maid of Honor dress: Bella Bridesmaid
Honeymoon: Bora Bora