The one thing I love about weddings is the organized chaos that surrounds the early part of the day. There’s no such thing as a relaxed pre-wedding time, and I never know what type of situation I’m going to walk into when I arrive. When I got to Sandra’s parent’s home the morning of her big day, the front door was wide open and people were running all over the place. Tiny dogs were yapping, family members were calling up stairs in Arabic, makeup was scattered everywhere, but there was this feeling of intense joy all around.
After a little bit of searching, I found Sandra surrounded by her parents and and a set of adorable chihuahuas in the second floor kitchen. She had just received a magnificent bouquet of flowers from Jason with a heartwarming note to “the love of his life.” Emotions were high and tears of joy were hard to hold back. After a few quick photos, Sandra donned her dress with the help of her gorgeous bridesmaids, and we dashed off to the first look in a drool-worthy mid-century Cadillac sedan.
I always try to make the first look a private moment, without friends and family hovering about. This time was no different, however, the nearest isolated space was a decent distance from the cars. Jason leisurly made the long stroll from the parking lot to the clearing where Sandra stood nervously waiting for her dapper groom. Her eyes lit up as he touched her shoulder and spun her around. The two embraced and all the craziness of the day was gone in instant.
The ceremony took place at St. Philips Church in Saddle Brook, NJ, a lovely post-war Catholic edifice teeming with natural light and a perfect place to tie the knot. Jason and Sandra were all smiles as the priest blessed them in front of family and friends. The high point of the ceremony was just following the first kiss, as Sandra’s sister Sarah took the podium and belted out a beautiful rendition of “Here I am Lord”.
There’s something that needs to be said about choreographed first dances. While a little more challenging to photograph, a perfectly nailed dance routine is a sight to behold and the final photos are worth the effort. Jason and Sandra tore the place up as they mambo’d through a staggering rendition of Rosemary Cloony’s “Sway”. The only word that came to mind was fierce as the two cut through the dance floor with a look of passion and joy on their faces.
The rest of the night was a blur of dancing, drinking and festivities. The reception was a true blend of Jason’s all-American family and Sandra’s Lebanese heritage. Laura Jordan dazzled the room with her belly dancing skills as friends and even grandma tried to give her a run for the money. At one point, the couple were held high above the crowd as the two held onto their chairs for dear life. It was truly a spectacular evening and I was so glad to be a part of it.
St. Philips Church
Saddle Brook, NJ
The Seasons Catering Hall
Washington Township, NJ
City Sounds Entertainment
East Hanover, NJ
Hair and Make Up
Ten Hair and Make up
Englewood Cliffs, NJ