After years of photographing brides, I am beyond excited to share my very own wedding experience! If you didn’t know, Roman and I finally tied the knot. We’d been engaged for over three years, and to be honest, planning my wedding seemed unfathomable. I sadly lost my father in 2020, which was a huge push for me to get married sooner rather than later. I have been to so many weddings in my lifetime, and let me tell you, and it’s both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I’ve seen it all and felt I knew what to expect. A curse because I found it so hard to cut down my guest list (pre-pandemic)! I now know the horrors of “if we invite them, we have to invite them!”
I wanted to invite friends that invited me to their wedding. But, quickly, my guest list grew to a large number that I knew I wouldn’t be able to accommodate. Especially if I wanted to create the wedding I really wanted. This is why it took me over three years and a global pandemic to finally tie the knot. Luckily, a small and intimate celebration was easy for me to go along with since one of my favorite weddings I’ve ever photographed was less than twelve guests. I didn’t even tell some of my closest friends! By cutting down the guest list, I could splurge on what I was going to wear, the flowers, and my hair and makeup! And most importantly, my wedding photographer!!!
Booking Wedding Vendors
Searching for a wedding photographer was easier for me than you would think. I have been following Samm Blake‘s work for over three years. We first met at a photography workshop where she was the instructor. I learned so much from her in that class, and I could tell she was a genuine person from the way she taught. Luckily for me, Samm shoots a lot of elopement sessions. Her style and artistry are like no other, and she was the first vendor I booked. There aren’t enough words in the dictionary to describe how beautiful her photography is!
Roman and I decided on a wedding date of November 11th because it is also our 7th dating anniversary. I borrowed this idea from Jamie and Asaad. They were married on their anniversary as well! After we’d secured Samm, I had to book the rest of my vendors. This is where being a wedding photographer came in handy. I’ve been able to work with so many people and see everyone’s incredible work already! Plus, I had some gorgeous ideas from past weddings.
Our florist was Fernando of FDK Florals. I first met him at Kathy and Steve’s wedding in 2019, and I could not get over how stunning and different his floral arrangement was! He was so accommodating when it came to what I wanted and blew me away with my flowers and Jefe’s dog leash. My wedding cake idea was from Maria and Jeff’s wedding. She ordered the berry chantilly cake from Whole Foods, and it did not disappoint! I stuck flowers on top, and everyone commented on how beautiful my cake was. Roman also got his groom’s cake from Eileen’s Cheesecake (a staple in our home but also the best cheesecake in the world).
Finding My Wedding Wardrobe
Okay, okay, wardrobe time. If you know me well, you won’t be surprised that I wore a pantsuit! I always knew I wanted to wear some chic and cool for my wedding day. I’m a bit of a tomboy, so a white Helmut Lang pantsuit was a perfect option! I bought my outfit on Net-A-Porter at 50% off and got it tailored by the fantastic local tailor in our neighborhood, The Stanton Tailor (thanks, Pablo)! My wedding heels were Saint Laurent. My glam squad included Ann of All Brides New York and Koji Ichikawa, both incredible hair and makeup artists in the fashion and beauty industry. Each of their work has been published all over the world in various fashion magazines.
As for the rings, I am lucky enough to be a close personal friend of the owner and founder, Jenifer Thai of IO Collective. She gifted Roman and me some beautiful accessories that I look back and couldn’t have imagined our day without them! These consisted of pandemic bride and groom wedding masks from Etsy, as well as my “something borrowed.” She mailed me her vintage Chanel pearl earrings, which were to die for. Not to mention she helped create the most beautiful cushion cut eternity band for me! Jenifer picked out each diamond herself.
Rain On My Parade
After all of this researching, planning, and organizing, it still rained on my wedding day. To all of the brides out there that have experienced this (or will experience this), I completely understand the stress of something you cannot control. It’s quite a crushing feeling to wish the rain away and still wake up to grey skies and wet roads. But, you know what? Our rain and umbrella photos are some of my very favorites! At the end of the day, there is not a single thing you can do to combat crappy weather, so my best advice is to go with the flow and enjoy every single moment!