Krystal + Mitch / Rehearsal Dinner

 

When Krystal + Mitch invited me to shoot their Miami wedding, I knew I was in for a HUGE treat. Aside from the fact that they are both ridiculously gorgeous, stylish and fun, it was obvious to me that their entire weekend was going to be bursting with love and magic.

I was of course, completely right, as I watched their worlds collide (Krystal is originally from Miami + Mitch is from the UK) in a burst of love and joy. Their friends and families could not have been happier, and their perma-smiles and endless laughter lasted all weekend long.

Theirs is a love that I love, and it was so special to be a part of it! Here are a few shots from their rehearsal dinner, where they both showed off their amazing style and obvious excitement for what was to come! Make sure you check out their wedding - it was BEYOND!

 

Gayle's Wedding Shower

"Coca-Cola Tea Party" is probably not up-there on the list of most common bridal shower themes, and this is exactly why I love Gayle. 

Her Park Slope bridal shower came complete with Coca-Cola cake, fresh tea sandwiches and her signature vintage flair. It was a blast to pop champagne and celebrate  with her loved ones and friends. And if you think this is gorgeous...just wait till you see the wedding! 

Kathy & Jon's Getting Ready

Some of you may recognize Kathy & Jon, whose city hall wedding I'd previously posted a few months ago. While I was lucky enough to capture their first (of 3!) weddings, I was even luckier in that my dear friends asked me to officiate their third and final Brooklyn wedding. 

Obviously this is a huge honor, and while I never expect to shoot a friend's wedding (everyone wants their friends to have fun and not work on their special day, of course!), when Kathy told me that they decided NOT to have a photographer capture their "getting ready" moments, I could not resist and just happeneddddd to bring my camera along to take some "snapshots" (in between ironing my own dress and doing my own makeup that is!) of my buds while we prepared for their big moment.

The Wythe Hotel is one of my favorite places ever, so it was even more of a treat to capture them in one of the most beautiful places in Brooklyn as they got ready with their families.

 Thanks for letting me be a total photo creep! Congratulations you two! 

Happy Spring!

I know I've been gone a while, but I promise it hasn't been because of a lack of weddings!!! If anything, May was a whirlwind of love and celebration :)

For once, I actually found myself participating as bridesmaid, officiant & maid of honor for 3 different wedding celebrations instead of photographer and it was SO HARD for me to keep from shooting everything!! I obviously couldn't contain myself, though I tried. 

It was truly an honor and a blessing to witness 3 of my best friends (and cousin Alex, who married one of them!) in the world marry the loves of their life! 

Super shoutout to Katie Rebecca Events  who did a phenomenal job for my cousin (and new cousin!) Alex + Che's wedding. GORGEOUS, GORGEOUS stuff!! 

11221653_10100252771411207_6685170243015803070_n.jpg

Time in my favorite place (California, duh) also meant time for an impromptu vacation. After all of the lovey events were over, we knew some r&r would be in order, so we took our own little "honeymoon" (we couldn't stop joking it felt like one, it was that perfect!) to Joshua Tree. As a Californian, I'm super embarrassed it was my first time, but it lived up to allllllll of the hype. 

We also tacked on a drive to the Salton Sea, Salvation Mountain, and all the way up PCH to San Francisco, where we discovered the most beautiful places by accident (aka the best way). We also spent lots of time soaking in the rays with family and friends in LA, and I can't even describe how hard it is to be back in NYC . Overall, an amazing trip! Big news coming soon :) 

 Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset
 Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset
 Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset
 Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset
 Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
 Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset
 Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset
 Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Bride Highlight : Shihyen

I have been really blessed to have been asked to shoot so many gorgeous weddings at so many varied and beautiful locations. I was particularly taken with Shihyen's wedding at Alger House last Fall, and honestly, I'm shocked it's taken me this long to work on the edits! 

 While her entire wedding at Alger House was beautiful, my favorite images were the simple, quiet moments I captured of her throughout the day, and thus - my first Bride Highlight is born!

There was a magic to the space and the light and mood that day. I can't wait for the warm light to return to New York! Someday, someday. Until then, I will live vicariously through Shihyen's magical wedding day. 

Midtown Wedding / Getting Ready

One of the most underrated part of a wedding day is the getting ready part. To be honest, it's one of my favorite parts of the day. The anticipation is building, everyone is buzzing and the energy is always, always euphoric. Nervousness is part of it too, but it's the good kind of nervousness. It's more butterflies than barf-ies, and the build up is truly such a joy to be part of! You're surrounded by loved ones, you're primping, you're about to marry the love of your life! 

What better feeling is there than that?!

The getting ready and the first look were my favorite part of Sarah & Elliott's day. I spent my getting ready time with the boys as they primped (in the manliest way possible of course - there's always whiskey nearby for a nervous groom) and it was so much fun to watch Elliott's face light up when he saw Sarah for the first time in her (gorgeous) gown.

Congrats you two! 

City Hall Wedding / J + S

I am a sucker for romance, and I have to say - there is something SO romantic to me about city hall weddings. I know it sounds weird coming from me, lover-of-over-the-top-and-perfectly-exectuted-wedding-decor, but beyond the paperwork and fluorescent lighting, there is a genuine quality to a city hall wedding that I think is majorly underrated and sometimes lacking in your typical  wedding celebration.

Juliana and Shivanck-JPEG-0242.jpg

My favorite part of spending the day in the courthouse (because it really is almost a full day - those lines are loooong) is sitting back and watching each couple and their respective entourage (or lack thereof) buzz with excitement, waiting for their number to be called and then finally (finally!)  being summoned into that bright pink room to say their vows.

As you can imagine, NYC city hall is brimming with couples from all walks of life. Some arrive with a full on-wedding party in princess style dresses and tuxes -  others arrive in jeans and sweatshirts, with no one else even there to snap a post-nupital wedding shot for them.

 I think the thing that really attracts me about a city hall wedding is that it is probably the simplest way that a couple can declare their love and commitment to each other. It's not about anyone else but them and the bond they share,  and there is nothing more romantic than that! (.....other than the California desert wedding I will someday have, of course!...)

Anyway, enter J + S, who happen to be the sweetest and a perfect example of everything I mention above. The love and excitement between them was truly a joy to witness, and I felt so lucky to be able to capture their special day alongside their closest friends and family. 

Congratulations you two, I wish you all the best! 

js.jpg

Bonjour de Montréal!

Or, more specifically, hello from Old Montreal! It's my first time in Canada and I am surprisingly charmed by this city - it truly feels like I'm tucked away somewhere in Europe - completely insane to think this is only a 50 minute plane ride from my apartment in Brooklyn!

 Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

I'm very thankful to have the opportunity to travel to new and (not always so) far away places to meet my clients for work. My favorite thing in the world is to travel alone - not because I don't miss my man and wish he was here indulging in this amazing place with me (because I do, and CANNOT wait to come home to him!) but because it forces me  to embrace the rare opportunity to truly be present with myself, with little to no distraction.

 Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Traveling alone forces you to listen to the world around you and inside of you. It's a rush, trying to maneuver around a new city by yourself and absorbing it all in your own head without the ability to share it with anyone! I've tried going to bars or restaurants by myself in Brooklyn to mimic the experience but it's just not the same. There's something about exploring somewhere new that creates this framework for serendipitous happenings that you just can't force. 

That said, exploring Montréal has confirmed two things - the first being that I was clearly very, very distracted in my high school french class and the second being that the world is just better when it's summertime/not freezing, no matter where you are! 

I'm currently staying at the Auberge du Vieux-Port, a tiny, historic building overlooking what would be an amazing view of the St.Laurent river, were it not completely covered in snow and ice. 

 Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

I mean, it's still beautiful (look at that!?) but grey skies and frozen moving bodies of water < sunshine and warm salty breezes! 

I know it's technically Spring, but these benches and I just don't believe you. 

I know it's technically Spring, but these benches and I just don't believe you. 

My street -  Rue de la Commune! 

My street -  Rue de la Commune! 

& my home this weekend! If i could bring this bed home with me, I would #cloud

& my home this weekend! If i could bring this bed home with me, I would #cloud

 Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset
 Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

Lovin' all of these neighborhood details! Swoon swoon swoon!

 Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

Planning my routes and doing some research for meetings! Yes to endless cups of coffee! 

 Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
 Processed with VSCOcam with lv02 preset

& I'm off! I've decided that everywhere in Montreal smells amazing (Like an Equinox, like firewood, like fresh mountain air, like the sea) EXCEPT inside of cabs. This is where all of the terrible smells in the world live. I'm convinced.

Hotel view from across the street, near the St. Laurent. Gorgeous. 

Hotel view from across the street, near the St. Laurent. Gorgeous. 

 Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset
 Processed with VSCOcam with lv01 preset

I've really enjoyed my stay and can't wait to return here someday when it's warm!! I'm off to Toronto tomorrow, but not before I finally try a famous Montreal bagel for breakfast! Will keep you all posted on how it holds up a classic NYC bagel. 

xo

Hibernation style

Does it come as a surprise to anyone that I'm not-so-great at snow/cold/winter in general? You'd think after 8 (!!!) years in NYC, I would have gotten used to this by now, but you know how it goes. You can take the girl out of California but…she's definitely not going outside when it's freezing!

10.jpg

I do have to admit, it is nice to have a legitimate excuse to stay inside guilt-free and catch up on my writing / reading / movie-watching / cookie baking!

I specialize in making particularly ugly baked goods that generally taste much better than they look...

I specialize in making particularly ugly baked goods that generally taste much better than they look...

so there is obviously not going to be an "after" picture of these cookies! 

so there is obviously not going to be an "after" picture of these cookies! 

I'm definitely no master baker, but I love doing it anyway! Who doesn't love the smell of cinnamon and sugar on a snowy Saturday??  

2.jpg
3.jpg

I've really come around to loving our apartment lately, too. Everything feels cozy, everything finally has a place! It's so important to have a space - especially in this crazy city - where you can comfortably disconnect from the madness! 

5.jpg

Have finally started to fill our apartment with little mementos from our travels. The pinecone is from an amazing day we had in San Francisco and the seashells are from the Rockaways, Santa Barbara and Zuma.

4.jpg
6.jpg

Speaking of special mementos,  I was lucky enough to spend the day with one of my oldest and dearest friends Monica and her new husband (!!!) Paul in California to shoot their post-elopement wedding photos! Here's a little sneak peek at one of my favorites from our session - I'm so happy to have been able to play a tiny part in their new journey as husband and wife!  

I'm off to finish retouching these so that I can deliver them to my beautiful bride, but wanted to take a minute to wish her an amazing post-bridal party, which I'm missing in California today :( Love you lots & hope you've received my other little surprise by now! 

websitemonica.jpg

travel + videos

should be packing for my flight in a few hours, but rainy, muggy weather makes it so hard to be productive! I've been sipping a latte for what seems like hours now just to avoid having to officially start my day!  Lucky for me, I'm flying straight into sunny, 81 degree weather (!!!!!!!)  very, very soon, so expect full productivity mode to kick in & this blog to finally pick up!

I'm really looking forward to seeing my friends, family and my beautiful home state. I am on vacation from work until mid-January, and I plan on NOT checking work related email at all on this trip…which sounds great in theory, but it's giving me so much anxiety! It's been ages since I've truly disconnected, so I know that I need to take this time and enjoy every second of it! 

B & I will be taking a little road trip up the coast to San Francisco next weekend, and then driving back down to spend New Years' Eve at a secret location (he doesn't know where yet, so I'll save that one for later!), just the two of us. I was hellbent on keeping it quiet and love-y this year so I took on the planning for this one. I want to welcome 2014 with a delicious home cooked meal, good wine, my man and some wideeeee open space - the opposite of New York, basically! 

In the meantime, though, I will say that it's been a lovely last morning in Brooklyn! B's working through this weekend, so I've been shamelessly indulging in my favorite guilty pleasure all morning, which I want to share below.

The only thing I love more than shooting a beautiful wedding is a watching a beautiful wedding video. I know what you're thinking - almost all of my friends eye roll when I gush or send them one of these…but when done right, they resonate with me as much as a good photograph does. There's an art to making a really great, short wedding film - they've come a lonnnng way since those terribly produced videos your parents have made you watch as a kid! I love the build up to the big moment and the fluidity of film - the music, all of it. Gush gush gush.

I would love to try my hand at one some day, but for now, I love indulging in other people's love stories (which is the core of my love for all of these things!) and seeing it through someone else's eyes. Here are a few of my favorites! Happy tears. 

california sale!

1471327_908075512577_1963723857_n.jpg

Super excited to announce that I will be in California for almost a full month for the first time since college this Dec - Jan! If you know me at all, then you know that few things in life make me happier than spending time in my home state! Especially so much time. I'm exploding with happiness at the thought!


So, if you're in need of holiday photos with the fam, headshots, engagement photos, save the dates, whatever -  I AM YOUR GIRL!  


That said - I am having a holiday sale for family portrait sessions booked before January 5th! $200/hr for a session :) & if you're on the east coast, I'm happy to accommodate if you're ready to shoot anytime before the week of Christmas!  


Drop me a note & Happy holidays everyone!! 


xx v 

fresh + clean!

1378458_885573751287_1994465230_n.jpg

If there's one thing I love, it's a new start in a fresh space....and I'm so excited for this one! Just want to welcome you all to the new & (hopefully) improved A Heart String Weddings site! I really wanted a clean, happy space to fill with all of the amazing events I've been lucky enough to cover & I think this is it!  

All previous blog promises aside, I will be updating with tons of my personal photos, adventures, etc, so keep checking back! 

I also wanted to take this time to thank everyone who has supported this venture in every way, shape & form - it truly means a lot!

Extra special thanks to the amazingly talented: Falcon, Kate, IleneJulienne and Carmen - all of whom I have had the privilege of working with this year. Thank you!