Every year, I get the rare privilege to share in the most private and emotional moments in the lives of people whose names I barely knew a year before. It’s almost impossible not to get caught up in the moment. To forget this is a job and to feel like family or a close friend for just a few minutes during a ceremony or first look.

I had met Lea when she was a bridesmaid at Tara and Chuck’s wedding. The few words and photos I shared with her then must have made an impact, because the two signed me on as their wedding photographer only a few minutes into our consultation. As they walked out my door, I realized that I was going to become fast friends with both Mike and Lea, because the two reminded me so much of Allison and me. They are so much more than significant others; they are best friends and you don’t need to read Mike’s Facebook posts to know just how much Lea means to him (I’d pull out some examples, but Mike might shoot me).

Their wedding took place on a brisk afternoon at The Manor in West Orange, just a few blocks from my family home. The place has so much significance to me. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was the first fancy restaurant I took Allison to when she graduated college. Lea and Mike shared their personal vows in front of a hundred or so friends and family, and I swear there wasn’t a dry eye in the room as Mike poured his heart out when it was his turn to speak. Emotions flowed, smiles lit up and tears were shed. This was one of those moments that caused me to pause, slow down my shutter a bit and take in the joy in the room. It was a moment that made me realize just how much I love being a wedding photographer and how glad I am to have the greatest friends and clients in the world. 

VENDOR INFO

Reception Hall
The Manor
West Orange, NJ
www.themanorrestaurant.com

Entertainment
DJ Hunter w/ Barry Herman Entertainment
Livingston, NJ
www.barryherman.com

Videographer
Villanovisions
Colonia, NJ
www.villanovisions.com

Florist
Caldwell Floral Elegance
Caldwell, NJ
www.caldwellsfloralelegance.com

Make-up
Sam Chaplin MakeUp Artist
Freelance
www.facebook.com/BeautyArtBySamantha

Wedding Gown Designer
James Clifford
Purchased @ Park Ave Bridals
Verona, NJ
parkavebridals.com