When I envisioned my wedding day on October 29, 2011, I pictured a crisp and sunny afternoon in Central Park, with glorious plums, burnt oranges, and deep reds circling above us in a flurry of leaves eager to drop—nay, cascade—down around our feet, as my new husband and I posed for photos in wedded bliss. What I actually got was a historic blizzard, the likes of which hadn’t been seen in the tri-state area in October since the Civil War. Instead of leaves falling delicately about our feet, full trees crashed down, power lines dangled over highways, and the electricity went out in my parents’ house in Northern New Jersey mere moments after my hair stylist positioned the veil in my freshly-coiffed hair. In short, the vision for my “fall chic” wedding at the Central Park Boathouse quickly turned into a Winter Wonderland.
Before having a full-on panic attack, I remember Berit reassuring me—as my father and husband-to-be frantically searched for back-up locations where the wedding party could take photos—that in her experience, these unexpected change of plans always lead to a photographic gift. She told me that despite the weather and the need to revise the image I had in my head for the perfect backdrop for our wedding photos, there would emerge photos that were spectacularly special and unique that we would never have captured otherwise.
She was right. When I look back on the photos from my wedding day, I see a playful image of my bridesmaids and I, huddled in front of the door of my parents’ house, smiling and laughing in disbelief as the snow danced around us. I see my father in his tuxedo shoveling the driveway. I see my bridal portraits against a backdrop of majestic white. I see the glow from hundreds of candles in the Boathouse’s rustic reception room offsetting the snow still falling outside onto the lake. I see an abandoned martini glass stained with my pink lip gloss beside my pearl-beaded clutch and my bouquet of all-ivory garden roses (wrapped in my grandfather’s handkerchief)—an image Berit later told me she took because it was “totally Lauren.” I also see our formal wedding portraits in the majestic Riverside Church where we exchanged our vows that look like something out of a Victorian novel. In short, I see special and unique shots that my husband and I treasure honed by Berit’s professional and talented vision.
I learned two important lessons on the day of my wedding. The first was that you must always have an equally beautiful and perhaps more reliable back-up plan for the location of your wedding photos, especially if you’re planning on taking photos outside. You just never know when Mother Nature is going to give you a little wedding gift you wish you could return. The second lesson was that spending the extra money to have a wedding photographer who is a consummate professional and who understands your personal vision for the day is invaluable.
While some may attempt to save money by hiring a less in-demand photographer or pass the job off to an amateur friend or family member, for me, having Berit on hand to not only keep the entire wedding day unfolding in a timely and organized manner but also to find the photographic gifts in our new and impromptu photo location was priceless. She turned what could have been a truly heartbreaking dilemma into a fabulous and singular opportunity.
In the end, our wedding was a timeless, incredible event that no blizzard could spoil. All of our professionals and guests showed up. My husband and I said “I do.” Most importantly, Berit was there to capture every beautiful moment, from the formal walk down the aisle to the impromptu dance-offs between groomsmen. And while Berit graciously offered to take my husband and I back out to Central Park after our wedding to take portraits that fit my original vision, we declined, because Berit’s ability to capture our actual day became an even more beautiful and incredible memory.
“Well, hello there! Allow me to introduce myself: my name is Lauren Fanelli Teague and I am a writer and adjunct college professor in literature working on my Ph.D. I am, more importantly, a fan and client of Berit Bizjak’s, who not only shot my own wedding in October of 2011 but my two best friends’ weddings as well. Recently, she took gorgeous and precious photos of my 9-month-old daughter.
I suppose you could say that at this point, Berit is part of my family, as she’s been present to capture so beautifully two of the most important experiences in my life. Imagine my excitement, then, when she graciously asked me to write a monthly blog for her website, Images by Berit, to cover and present ideas, current trends, and sage advice in the bridal stratosphere, while highlighting Berit’s unique and gorgeous portfolio of wedding albums and engagement portraits, among other things. Berit’s committed work as a professional wedding photographer combined with my experience as a bride (once a bride, always a bride!) and my love for writing seemed a happy synthesis of energies and a great opportunity to participate in the ever-evolving bridal community. And so, without further ado, we present September’s post. We welcome ideas, recommendations, and comments any time!”
Get GORGEOUS: Current Bridal Hair and Makeup Trends
Every bride has a vision of how she wants to look on the day of her wedding. Whether she hopes to showcase a smoldering eye and elegant chignon or a dramatic lip and old Hollywood barrel waves, her desire to look “the part” reigns supreme. Ultimately, however, every bride wants to look like herself—albeit the most glamorous, stunning version. Veteran makeup artist Meryl Schwartz Proctor of Ashimoto Essential Beauty (www.ashimoto.com) attests to the current trends in bridal makeup: “Brides today still want to look like themselves. However, we are seeing more of a smoky eye with the use of neutral tones in taupe, mocha, and rich deep hues of chocolates all done with techniques of brushes that leave the eye with a beautiful smoldering look that photographs amazing.” Runway models in the Spring 2014 Pronovias bridal collection fashion show indeed rocked a hypnotizing, smoky eye, dew-kissed cheeks, and neutral lips. They also awed in oversized chignons, exhibiting a fun modern take on a classic bridal style. Hair bling—as seen on models in Oscar de la Renta’s Spring 2014 bridal collection fashion show—also set the runways ablaze! Brooches, combs, necklaces, and bracelets glittered and wowed under long gossamer veils, chic birdcage veils, and on their own as the perfect accessory to a polished bridal look. Naomi Burton, hair magician and owner of Cranford Hair Company Salon and Team Wedlock (www.teamwedock.com) speaks to this new trend in hair baubles: “As we move into the Fall of 2013, brides are now starting to richen the tone in their hair color and also go for the more classically-structured glamorous updos (i.e. the chignon and very artistic side swept updos). Alongside these beautiful updos, we are seeing more embellishments in the hair, such as a gorgeous diamond brooch as opposed to a crown or tiara. This accessory just adds to the class and sophistication of the old-made-new updo.” And fortunately, hair bling is a versatile accessory—working with a myriad of materials including lace, satin, silk, and organza. If the bauble you choose also has sentimental value (something borrowed, perhaps?) all the more memorable and on trend!
Color You Happy
There is something to be said about the bride who wants all of her bridesmaids to be comfortable and happy on her wedding day, and so generously gives her gals free reign to choose their own dresses and even the color that flatters them best. On occasion, this freestyle approach can create an interesting and fun wedding palette, but usually, the overall result is a wedding party that looks more discombobulated than adorably quirky. Certainly one doesn’t have to demand (though many do) that all her maids are dressed alike from head to hem to achieve wedding portraits that are cohesive and elegant. But, choosing perhaps one color to work with (even if the shades slightly vary and the dresses reflect each maid’s personal style) can transform the look of one’s wedding photo session into one that is enviably chic and unique. A photographer’s view of the ultimate product of one’s wedding album is incredibly resourceful; he/she can be a keen asset in guiding a bride towards a vision she feels reflects both her current style and one that will remain fresh and contemporary through the years. A photographer can also be a bride’s best friend in terms of helping to manage the timing of her wedding day. A photographer’s experience and understanding of how most wedding days unfold (from prepping for the ceremony to shaking a tail-feather during the last dance of the evening) can help coordinate the logistics of the day to assure that the happy couple achieves their vision. Common issues that often derail important timelines are hair and makeup prep running over, drivers getting lost, and other professionals advising the couple without “closing the loop” on communications with all involved in making the day a success. So in addition to your wedding coordinator (if you have one), by all means lean on your photographer to use her singular vision to help orchestrate your day to a smooth and seamless finish. Your job is to have that extra glass of champagne and savor every delectable moment. Cheers!
Congrats to the happy couple! We had a great day – and the sunshine cooperated very nicely. Beautiful everything, and a shout out to one of the best MOH hip-hop speeches I’ve ever seen! Hamilton Farm was awesome, it’s always a pleasure to be there.
Adriana and Don had a beautiful June wedding this year, and chose the amazingly gorgeous Ashford Estate in Allentown, NJ, for their reception. I love working here because of it’s uniqueness and the unbelievable attention to detail from the entrance into the mansion to the gardens and individually designed guest rooms. There are always plenty of options to take creative photographs, depending on the couple’s tastes and as always, where the beautiful light is! There afterparty was so much fun – desserts galore – and I’m sure went in to the wee hours with hand-rolled cigars, and plenty of homemade cannoli for Adriana’s grandfather. Their Victorian color palette was so beautifully and creatively put together by Michelle at MDS Floral – I loved them all! Kudos to the amazing professional team, including Amy Dimes from The Finishing Touch Event Planning, Sonia Rodriquez Bridal hair and makeup, Damon Deitz of Absolute Media for videography, Main Street Caterers, Dave Elgart Ensembles for cocktail entertainment, and the Hank Lane Orchestra. It was such a pleasure to photograph and work with all of these professionals, not to mention Adriana and Don and their families .
The Preparation: we had a beautiful summer day in June for Adriana and Don’s wedding. The preparation was at Adriana’s home. I loved the victorian feel of her wedding, from wearing her grandmother’s broach to the beautiful floral design by MDS Floral Designs. My sincere appreciation and gratitude to The Finishing Touch event planning staff, Damon Dietz of Absolute Media Productions, my colleague Scott Bush for his photography assistance, and a shout out to Sonia Rodriguez Bridal hair and makeup. More to follow on their beautiful day at The Ashford Estate..