I have been locked out of my blog since January.
Seven months of silence over here.
Having a voice in the wedding community has always been such an important part of my work, and honestly my mental health.
Sharing what I know about a wedding day, things done right, things that can improve, or even what to wear, is equally as important to me as taking the photos of the couples.
Now, be warned, this wedding is so near and dear to my heart that I might be accused of gushing… but I have been holding back so many words with this blog being blocked, it’s about time some things started pouring out again! And is there really a better soul to be gushed over?
We all fell in love with both Loren & Bobby during their NYC engagement session *(yes, you should click on the link, it’s worth it) and Loren’s yellow dress choice for Grand Central Station had us all sorts of swooning, and naturally it had people asking me all about her wardrobe.
There were also a few questions after that session on whether or not I had photoshopped any people out of the grand staircase shot, considering it is known for nearly always being bombarded with people rushing to get to their platform, or simply clogging the steps to take their own photos of the iconic New York spot. The answer is absolutely not. The crowds parted like Moses was standing next to me, I’m pretty sure the angels sang, and we snapped those shots that I consider absolute gold.
Naturally, I was excited for their wedding date to get here.
Are you still clicking back to the NYC link and checking out their photos?
I did the same thing. Here are a few more before we skip ahead.
Scroll around as much as you’d like to.
These two deserve all the time.
Now, for their wedding day, they kindly and thoughtfully rescheduled their wedding exactly one million (okay, three) times due to the ever changing status of this pandemic. Even with all the waiting, all the planning, and the impossibly adorable save the date mail outs, this whole weekend seemed to fly by way too quickly.
Through traveling for work, it sure felt like I have flown in to every major airport in Florida. And yes, I have even flown into the wrong airport before to shoot a wedding… don’t ask… (or do ask, and I will tell you that of course I included that in that couple’s wedding blog).
This, however, was the correct airport, correct wedding, and it was my first time flying into the Palm Beach Int’l airport, and I loved it.
Right away I made my way to the Singer Island Hilton, dropped all my gear off, and headed straight over to the pre-wedding festivities at Johnny Longboats, “a .8 jaunt from the hotel” as the bride included in the wedding website. Every couple should consider creating a wedding website, and referring to it as much as possible. You know what? I think I will dedicate an entire blog post to wedding websites.
Back to Johnny Longboats! You could feel the excitement just looking around at all the hugging and cheers-ing *(new word?) that was happening. This is a crew who loves to travel, loves each other, and loves to travel with each other. It’s not every weekend that we get to see everyone in one spot! I reconnected with all the people that I had only “seen” online during the pandemic and during my RV travels… and it was like no one skipped a beat.
If I told you that a few hours in, there was full on Irish dancing happening in the inside dining room and that on the outdoor patio there was a former football player possibly falling asleep while telling his own stories to anyone who would listen. *(please comment if you remember how long ago he played, what team, and if I’m even remembering the correct sport, this is obviously vital information to a wedding blog.)
Now, I give myself a strict bedtime before every wedding I’m about to shoot… but even with the strict bedtime, I somehow made time to make it all the way down to the ocean with one of the bridesmaids and back up to my room to hang all my clothes to dry while I still got my peaceful sleep to prep for the excitement happening the next day.
Typically, when I am staying at a hotel to shoot a wedding, there are many obstacles keeping me from the wedding party. Slow elevators and inconsistent golf carts to other buildings to name a few. This weekend? There were only a few steps from my door to the bridal suite where the bridal group was prepping. That’s wonderful and possibly dangerous. I wandered in before way before my start time, in my pajamas, just to check in with everyone and snap a couple little detail shots. And just so everyone’s clear- I wouldn’t ever show up in my pajamas, unless you’re Loren, and have already been with me in the most ridiculous situations throughout life.
Besides, how could I not get carried away with these details? Have you guys seen real roses dipped in gold? How about a letter written from LaCroix wishing you the best of luck on your wedding day? Had a photo session with a bride dipped in Funyuns? I mean… laying in them… with them… on them? And yes, check out that gentle reminder disguised as her “something blue”.
And that was just the bridal suite.
Heading over to the groom’s room was a hoot, and don’t worry, by then I was dressed to take on the day.
As a typical wedding where I am going from a bridal suite to a groom’s room- there was a whole lot less of “getting ready” going on… but enjoy this gift that includes all the lyrics to their song, Collide, oh you know, casually written out specifically for them, with their names added in, by Howie Day. Anything but typical! Yes, I put in the link with their song to open in a new tab so you can hum along while you still look at the rest of their photos. You’re welcome.
Back down the hall to the guys and gals in the bridal suite, having absolutely no fun popping champagne
Now to get this bride into her dress. You’ve already fallen in love with her style in NYC, so when I tell you her gown she chose for herself and the dresses she chose for the ladies did NOT disappoint, I obviously have photos to prove it.
While all the beautiful hubbub was happening, I wandered back down the hall to check on the guys. Look who I found getting all dressed up!
I could tell these two were ready to finally see each other and get this party started.
Right before their first look…
There will be an entire blog post on why it’s fun to do a first look, but why I’ll never force you to do one. Every first look needs to be wanted. Extra space in the timeline to hang out with your significant other and your entire wedding party? Sounds dreamy to me.
Throw in a first look with the father of the bride? Not every girl is blessed enough to have this sweet moment, so if you are… carve out two minutes and make it happen.
Once both of the first looks were done, we cracked open the claws and kicked off the celebration! You could tell every single person was down to make the wait for this wedding more than worth it.
You might not be able to tell the difference from the end of the wedding party wrapping up formal portraits and the official wedding ceremony actually starting… and I’m fine with it. Everyone should define “flower girl” and “ring bearer” on their own terms- and I think Loren and Bobby made the right call with having a Claw Bearer. White Claw, here’s your chance to sponsor this wedding… after the wedding? We’ll make it work somehow.
Now, it’s also perfectly acceptable to have a “traditional” adorable flower girl come down the aisle before your grand entrance. Like I said, do you. I mean, have you seen a happier bride? Do all the fun things!
The next blog topic I’ll be posting on will be everything concerning ceremony time. All the variables that go into saying “I do” and how you can make it feel personal. Every person who was lucky enough to be a witness to this ceremony could feel what it was about. We felt a part of it. Even while I was trotting around the back of the space with my zoom lens, I found myself truly locked into what was happening during their vows.
In order for everything to happen: all of the hair and beauty prep and wardrobe getting ready to be on time to have the first look, all the time to take portraits with the wedding party before the ceremony, there had to be someone behind the scenes orchestrating every moment. This master of time and space was Lindsay of LEP Weddings & Events, and she was wonderful. I mean, who is there waiting for the couple with a glass of champagne to toast as soon as you walk back down the aisle as newlyweds?? It’s this gal.
Now, to say that these two weren’t even that shocked that we ended up getting completely washed over by a wave during the start of their first set of portraits probably says more about how much they know me as a photographer than anything else. Creativity with me as your photographer comes with an asterisk that you may possibly get a little more than sand and a simple breeze grazing the bottom of your wardrobe while creating all the magic.
After we Bobby & I wrung out our shoes, (Loren is the smart one who went barefoot, sorry Bobby) we enjoyed cocktail hour, listening to the acoustic guitar playing while the waves came in, which is most likely the most peaceful sound you could listen to as you take in everything that just happened.
Every detail I saw made me smile. It was all so much of the bride’s humor mixed in with both of what everyone loves about the two of them. The puns, the music, even making sure to provide the most hand sanitizer *(I’ll tie that into the bride’s mild to extreme hypochondriac tendencies), it was all filling my heart up to the brim with joy. We made sure to include family that had to watch via FaceTime. It’s totally the same as having a family portrait, right? I am just so thankful for the whole video call or live stream option these days. It’s incredible that if you do have to miss out, you can still feel a part from far away.
While the entire wedding party made their ridiculous and hilarious entrances, Loren & Bobby hid away from the crowd in the cutest, coziest little vintage mini truck I ever did see. I’m a such a sucker for all things unique, and this next shot was just screaming at me.
Turns out all the guests were screaming for the bride and groom, so I had to let them out eventually. Then the party just took off. Immediately, their guests pack the dance floor, before they even had their first dance, and gosh… what a pile of goose bumps. This crowd was ready to celebrate.
From this point on, the dance floor wouldn’t quit, and we never asked it to.
While the dancing was going then the catering started, I was keeping an eye on the colors happening outside. It was well worth it to peel ourselves away from the amazing food to catch this sky, y’all. This sunset was more like a giant batch of colorful cotton candy floating around above the ocean just for us. Behind the scenes, Lindsay was there with drink refills for them before they even headed out onto the beach… it was just as glorious as it looks.
We came back in, ignoring the sand on our feet, and joined right back into the shenanigans. The speeches killed, the music somehow made the guys start getting way more casual with their dress shirts… and now picture a dessert bar with everything you want to order, at the cutest bakery, including gluten free options. (and yes, I tried more than a cake pop, just to be confident that I could write that everything was delicious… and it was.)
After an entire weekend of celebrating, you may choose not to do a full exit complete with sparklers, bubbles, balloons or what not, and that is perfectly fine. That doesn’t mean I have to just walk out. After the long wait for this particular wedding, we created a moment for that last shot vibe to wrap up their night! They rocked it like we all knew they would.
Congrats forever and ever, Loren and Bobby!! Hope you have enjoyed reliving your perfect day.
What a team of vendors. If you are in Florida and looking to party for any reason, please get in touch with Lindsay! Here are some of the links that made this day such a hit:
Venue: Hilton Singer Island Weddings Instagram: @Hiltonsingerislandweddings
Reception DJ: Good Vibes Entertainment
Gown: Willowby Watters
Balloon backdrop: @Browardballoonandbackdrop
Photo booth: @yourockphotobooths