10 Wedding Photography Tips For Your Big Day! : NJ Wedding Photographers

1. Prep: About a month out, set up a meeting with your photographer to go over your timeline and details.  The big day flies by for most brides, and the more details you work out before hand, the less you have to think about on your special day.  This is a great time to give them your shot list and mention any special guests that you want images of, like college friends or people coming from oversees. 

2. Details, Details: Let your photographer know if there are any special details that hold meaning, like a grandmother’s veil or the to-die-for table linens that were specially made.


3. Family Dynamics: Inform your photographer of any family situations that they need to be aware of.  It can be awkward for everyone when your photographer keeps asking your divorced in-laws to squeeze together and smile. 

4. Shot List: It is a great tool for a photographer to have a shot list.  A professional photographer will already know the standard photos but it is great to go over what those are in your prep meeting.  Give them a who’s-who of family names and any special shots.  Examples of special shots may be college friends, your mother’s siblings, or a cousin shot. Try not to give them a Pinterest board of other work or 6 pages of requests as this can hinder their natural eye and make for less emotional shots.

5. Pad the Schedule: Hair and makeup are an important part of your day.  I always recommend leaving a little extra time in your schedule, as sometimes in the flurry of activity and bridesmaids, it can take longer then expected.  We love to have a bride be almost ready when we arrive with just the finishing touches of hair and make up.

6. Get Mom Ready First: Many brides love to have their mother, sister or maid of honor there to help them into the dress.  It makes for beautiful intimate photos. Whomever you want there, make sure that they are dressed and ready when you step into the dress.

7. Bring the Family: Once your dressed it’s wonderful to have a little time for your immediate family photos.  If possible make sure they are all at the same location.  It’s a beautiful memory and makes the later portraits shorter, which is wonderful if you and your hubby want to enjoy cocktail hour.

8. Keep It Private: Friends and family will surround you all day and that is amazing, but it can be intimidating for a first look.  We recommend taking that time just for the two of you.  It makes for more intimate, emotional images.

9. Put Your Friends to Work: Large family photos can be hard to wrangle.  If possible it can be great to do big family shots after the ceremony on the steps if there is shade.  This lets everyone enjoy the rest of the party.  Appoint a good friend who is not in the photos but knows who everyone is to help gather people.

10. Sneak Away: The last half hour of cocktails, right before sunset, is a gorgeous time for photos.  It can also be romantic to have a minute to take a deep breath and enjoy the company of your new spouse!

A Baltusrol Golf Club Wedding: Newport Meets New Jersey: New Jersey Wedding Photography

Gail & John Henry met on vacation at beach in Newport, RI, and quickly bonded when they both found out they lived in Beacon Hill in Boston.  The next five years flew by with summers at Newport Beach.  John Henry knew his beautiful bride-to-be well when he planned out his proposal on a Christmas holiday at his family home in Rhode Island.  He took a little detour and arranged a private tour of The Vanderbilt Hotel for Gail, who is a talented interior designer.  It was chilly and it took a little coaxing and a glass of champagne to get her out onto the patio deck, but, as she stepped out, she saw John Henry shivering with a photo album of their favorite moments together and he dropped to one knee and proposed! The bride grew up in New Jersey, where she learned to play golf at an early age with her dad, and her family's life revolved around Baltusrol Golf Club.  John Henry realized very early on that he would have to learn to love golf if he was going to be accepted into the family.  Lucky for him, he was a natural at the game and quickly won the family over with his warmth and good nature.   For their big day, there was no other place that they could imagine than the Kennedy family's home away from home: Baltusrol Golf Club.  Gail worked with Lynda Dandenau to create a Chinoiserie theme for her wedding, mixed with classic country club appeal and a little golf for good measure.  They started with peonies and dogwood, and wanted to keep the look playful with bright navy blue and conch shell pink.  J Papers in Greenwich helped custom design the pagoda that was engraved on the invitations to introduce the chinoiserie theme.  Each detail was crafted to perfection.  Not even the intermittent thunder and lighting could keep her spirits down.  The minute the sun came out from behind the clouds, she kicked off her Kate Spade's, grabbed a cocktail and a putter, and headed for the course with her handsome new husband.


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Mantoloking Yacht Club: A Perfect Day on the Water: New Jersey Wedding Photography

It was through a mutual friend that Lindsay and JJ met.  The couple had grown up in neighboring towns, but their paths did not cross until after college.  They met at the Fourth of July Mantoloking Centennial Celebration, and were set up on their first date the following weekend.  On their one-year anniversary, JJ proposed on the beach in Mantoloking, and Lindsay happily said yes! Their love for their beach town made it an easy pick for the location of the ceremony and reception.  On September 28th, the stunning bride got ready at her family’s home just a short walk from the church.  Her Liancarlo lace dress was just the right mix of elegance and airiness to fit the shore location.  Her bride’s maids each chose their own style of beautiful blue J. Crew dresses, which went perfectly with their hydrangea bouquets that were skillfully put together by florist Kate Duffy.

The ideal weather made it an easy walk to the church, St. Simon-by-the-Sea.  The joyful couple made their vows surrounded by loving family and friends before walking to the reception at the Mantoloking Yacht Club, just two blocks away.  A large tent had been assembled for the big day, decorated with the signature flower.  The couple’s florist, Kate Duffy, doubled as their party planner and found no detail too small, from the mason jars filled with lemonade and paper straws, to the sparklers at the end of the night.  The love that filled the room was apparent, not only from the smiles on everyone’s faces, but the hugs and tears that came from the dances and speeches.  The New Power Soul Band got every single guest on their feet, while the beautiful bay view at sunset took everyone’s breath away. The cake held a lot of sentiment for the bride, coming from a favorite childhood location, the Oldwick General Store, which managed to survive Super Storm Sandy.  It was truly a special day.


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Bonnet Island Estate: Rustic Elegance at the Shore: New Jersey Wedding Photography

Whitney and Jason first connected in February 2011 online, using Jdate.  They met for their first date at Caffe Reggio in the Village and were immediately inseparable.  Over a year later, Jason planned to surprise Whitney with a trip to Captiva, Florida, when Hurricane Sandy hit the Jersey Shore.  A week later, he convinced Whitney to go on vacation anyway, where he got down on one knee on a beautifully secluded beach and asked her to marry him. They chose the scenic Bonnet Island Estate in Long Beach Island for their special day.  The picturesque boathouse chapel was beautifully decorated with a birch huppa, flower petals lining the aisle, and candles in every window.  Whitney made a stunning entrance in her Anne Barge wedding gown, with its delicate details and flowing veil.  Florist, Katydid, created an elegant bouquet that tied in perfectly with the rustic theme of the wedding.  Two more special details were added to the arrangement in order to make it complete: a broach that belonged to Whitney’s grandmother, and a single orchid in honor of her other grandmother.  The bridesmaids were gorgeous in their blue Lela Rose gowns, while the men looked dapper in their Dante Zeller tuxedos.

With big smiles and warm hearts, the couple tied the knot before taking a stroll along the winding paths around the estate.  Inside, seating arrangements were creatively hung on an old barn door, and the beautiful reception hall was decorated with charming, rustic details.  The tables had a touch of burlap and lace mixed with pastel flowers, large glass lanterns, and delicately caged candles.  Creative Video Editing Films captured the night while Kim Sozzi and the Creations Band got the party started as soon as the newlyweds made their first appearance as husband and wife.  The lovely couple ended the night with a four-tier cake from The Bake Works.

Ocean City New Jersey Engagement Session: NJ Engagement Photographers

I am just so trilled for Kristy & Jeff's upcoming wedding!! With their ceremony at one of my favorite churches Christ The King in New Vernon and a reception at the newly renovated Maplewood Country Club I know it will be just stunning.  For their engagement shots Kristy  & Jeff chose one of their favorite dating spots Ocean City NJ. Looking back on these I can still feel the warm sun and beach breeze. Martinelli_01


Bonnet Island Estate 2013 Tasting: Bonnet Island Estate Weddings

We had a wonderful time this Sunday at the amazing Weddings of Distinction venue The Bonnet Island Estate.  This beautiful private estate in Long Beach Island is a serene retreat for your wedding.  Merri-Makers Catering with over 30 years of catering perfection offered a tasting for their brides to be.  Chef McCann, winner of the national 2006 Chef of the Year by International Caterers Association, offered up a scintillating selections of appetizers, salads, entrees and deserts.  Sweet favors by The Bake Works were handed out to guests.  A selection of Weddings of Distinctions best vendors was also on hand to offer advice and show their products. Bonnet_01Bonnet_02Bonnet_03Bonnet_04

Katydid Signature FLoral & Event Design created a lush English romantic table with ivy details, mercury glass vases and silver candlesticks.  The table paired beautifully with invitations by Stephanie Somodi of Designing the Most Inviting Day.  Her classic nautical invites and new silk boxed invites are just stunning.  For something different Katydid also created a modern ice blue table collection which we paired with Stephanie Somodi's gray raw silk boxed invitation with art deco mirror inserts.


Michele of the award winning  MDS Floral Designs created open & airy table settings. Her first setting inspires romance with classic ocean pastels and elegant high orchid centerpieces.  Another setting was a nod to rustic elegance with burlap table runners and blue antique bottles filled with sweet nosegays.  Invitations by Stephanie Somodi completed the look with soft blue invites with beach details.


Magnolia Exquisite Florals & Event Design went for a rustic country feel with white washed lanterns and birch candles which paired wonderfully with Stephanie Somodi's formal invites in rust tones with tassel accents.  For a different feel Magnolia also showcased a whimsical beach table with shell accents.


Clarks Landing Yacht Club: A Classic American Wedding:New Jersey Wedding Photographers

Nikki & Chris touched our hearts.  They are a such a kind couple full of warmth and love. Photographing their wedding was like being part of the family for the day and we are so grateful to have been a part of it. This classic wedding took place at Clarks Landing Yacht Club in Point Pleasant New Jersey overlooking the beautiful marina.  Nikki picked out a stunning  Alita Graham layered dress from Kleinfeld Bridal in New York with a delicate headpiece from  Haute Bride paired with  Badgley Mischka reinstone heels.  For the bridesmaids Nikki went to Park Avenue Bridal in Verona NJ and picked out chiffon dresses in periwinkle blue by Liz Fields. Elan Hair Studio of Sea Girt did a beautiful job on hair and makeup for the girls.  The boys picked out classic suits and  Vineyard Vines ties.   Purple Iris Flower of Point Pleasant crafted a cream rose  bouquet for the bride and peonies & hydrangea bouquets for the girls.

A quick boat ride with the happy couple started out the day.  The view at Clarks Landing Yacht Club greeted guests as they arrived for the outdoor ceremony overlooking the water.  Afterwards appetizers and cocktails were waiting while  DJ Bill Barbato owner of Weddingsetgo announced the shining couple.  Just as sunset came Nikki & Chris strolled along the marina to take in the day.