Month: October 2012

scarlett + amanda

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Another gorgeous wedding at Becker Farms and Vizcarra Vineyards!!

Scarlett and Amanda were the first engaged couple that came to meet with us after New York State legalized same sex marriage, and we were so excited to have the opportunity to work with them! They are absolutely beautiful people, and their love for each other was so visible. We had a blast getting to know them at their e-shoot, so we knew that their wedding day would be pure awesomeness, and we were not disappointed. They definitely “brought the awesome” on their wedding day, and the resulting photos are some of my favorites of all time. More to come on that later. :)

These two are some of the hardest working people I have ever met!! It seems like their jobs really keep them hopping! I was absolutely thrilled, though, that they were able to share some of their favorite wedding day memories with us, so that we are able to share them with all of you. Look for those throughout the post!

Scarlett’s gorgeous black wedding gown was custom made by D’Lola Couture.  STUNNING.
Amanda:  “Hanging out in our honeymoon suite with the bridal parties getting our hair done together and reminiscing over funny memories and just enjoying each other’s company. Up until the point where Scarlett left the room to go into a separate area to get ready, we were together, taking in all of these moments that made such a beautiful start to our wedding day.”
After everyone was ready to go, we set up a “first look” at the hotel so we could head over to Becker Farms and start taking pictures before the ceremony!  These two are just too cute.
I have photographed this structure so many times now, but it never gets old.  I just LOVE this shot!!  (And, I definitely love my TS lens, even though it can be annoying at times.)  ;)
Amanda:  “The clouds parted and the sun came out within an hour of the ceremony…yay! No rain!”
I love this story that Scarlett shared!  Those last few moments before you walk down the aisle are often some of the most memorable.  :)

Scarlett:  When we were waiting for the ceremony to begin, they asked if we wanted a couple of shots to calm our nerves. I said “Yes!” more so for Amanda. I knew she could use it and she wouldn’t unless I did. I ordered a shot of Bacardi. Amanda got her shot and I got mine. We did a little toast and she drank hers down. I took a sip as I can’t even gulp water, let alone strong liquor. My father was standing next to me looking at me with a quizzical face. I held up the shot and asked him if he wanted some. He asked what it was, “rum.” He asks to make sure he understood me correctly, “rum??” “Yes, rum.” He takes the shot glass and says, “ok” and takes a swig. My aunt spots what is happening from a little away and comes over quickly, “what’s that?” Me, “rum, want some.” Her, “yes!” She takes the shot glass and takes a swig. My grandmother sees what’s going on and approaches, “que es eso?” “Rum” “Ay, rum?” “Si, rum, quieres?” She looks at me with a look asking if I’m sure I want her to have some. I push the shot glass to her, she polishes off the rest of it and hands me back the shot glass, now empty. I thought, it’s a good thing I didn’t need that for nerves.

Scarlett:  “We kept the ceremony true to ourselves. I have always adored Madonna growing up and to this day. I loved when the instrumental, “Like a Virgin” came on and I got walked down to that. I wanted to be outside to watch our niece and nephew as they walked down to the Chicken Dance. I had to wait for the video to see that. It was great to see the crowd hear the song, pause in confusion and then suddenly start doing the chicken dance in their seats. When I was up there and the traditional “Here Comes the Bride” came on and I saw Amanda I was very excited.”
This awesome shot was taken by Hector…I am SO proud of him.  He has grown so much as a photographer over the past three years that he’s been with us.  
Amanda:  “I would say the ceremony, only I was so nervous during the whole thing I barely remember it!  I do remember the feeling of holding Scarlett’s hand and being introduced as Mrs. and Mrs. Riu – what an amazing feeling!”

Scarlett:  “We wrote our own vows. When Amanda read her vows to me, it was a wonderful feeling since I knew they came from the heart.”

Amanda:  “Dodging twigs while sneaking a photo-shoot between the rows of vines!” 
Amanda:  “Sharing the most important night of my life with my closest friends and family members. I wouldn’t have changed a single thing.”

Scarlett and Amanda had one specific request:  a shot that somehow incorporated a rainbow of light.  We brainstormed, and tried out different options for about a month before their wedding, but nothing was really blowing us away.  About two days before the wedding, Ben came up with the idea of using six gelled flashes to light up six apple trees the colors of the rainbow.  It was a great idea in theory, but we didn’t get to test it out ahead of time, so we didn’t know exactly how it would look.  Toward the end of the reception, we excused ourselves to head out into the orchard and set up for the “rainbow” shot.  We did a few quick tests, and we knew that this was what we had been looking for all along.  It was perfect!  All of the credit goes to Ben for this idea – he is a lighting genius.  If you can imagine it up, he can make it happen!  This will forever be one of my favorite shots.

Amanda:  “That moment when I first realized the dream of a photograph using rainbow lighting was not only going to happen, but was so ingenious and cool that all I can say is our photographers are worth every penny (and probably more, but we can say that now that we are paid in full ;)”

Here is a little bit of wedding planning advice from Scarlett!! Thanks so much for sharing – these are great tips about planning a long-distance wedding!!

“My advice, like others before, definitely plan to see each other before the wedding and then take as many pictures as you can pre-ceremony. You are all fresh and pretty and don’t have to take up a lot of time after the ceremony. The old superstitions of not seeing each other came from the old traditions of arranged marriages when you had no idea what you were going to marry. It makes it easier on everyone and you can get a lot better “first look” shots if you aren’t stuck to two angles from an aisle.

Amanda and I wanted to have the legal document when marrying. Since there are many states that do not recognize same sex marriage, this meant we had to have a long distance wedding. We choose the great Western New York region since most of Amanda’s family lived there. Planning a long distance wedding has many additional nuances that go along with it. You cannot quickly go and meet with a lot of vendors and it’s not as easy to find references. My advice to other couples out there planning a long distance wedding is to pick a place that will take care of most of it there and then ask them for references of who to use. This way you are picking people that have worked together before and can help to pull the wedding together with you. Plan for a couple of extra trips to the area to meet with the perspective vendors and then just go with your gut on who you like. If you are a same-sex couple like we were, expect to have someone hesitate when they are trying to come up with the “right way” to ask you certain questions. And when they do, keep yourself open and answer their questions and give them extra information that you know they are wondering but don’t think it is politically correct to ask. We worked with a wonderful set of people, most who hadn’t yet done a same-sex wedding. It was a great learning experience for all involved. Becker Farms was great. Since we were long distance, Amanda was very nervous about things being pulled together. The day before the wedding we went for our rehearsal. All her nerves about things being ready were calmed as she saw they were professionals who have done this many times before and had it together.

More advice, keep true to yourself. If you are traditional, go for it. If you are not, go for it. If something doesn’t exist, make it up.”

Scarlett and Amanda – thank you so much for choosing us to capture these wonderful memories for you! Thank you, also, for giving us a special lighting challenge!! We love challenges, and definitely had a great time putting our heads together to come up with the perfect shot for you. You are both amazing ladies, and we adore you! Here’s to a lifetime of happiness together!! Much love, J + B :)

kathy + kerby

Filed in weddings shot by on at

Kathy and Kerby’s wedding day was one of those days that made us remember why we love our job as much as we do.  There was no stress whatsoever – just an overwhelming amount of love, and it was an amazing day to be a part of.  It was one of those perfect summer days, where the sky was a brilliant shade of blue, and it was HOT, but because we were right on the water there was a lovely breeze.  It was our first time shooting a wedding in the Keuka College chapel, and all I can say is WOW.  It is stunning in there!  It was also our first time shooting at the Harbor Hotel in Watkins Glen, and we certainly hope it will not be our last!  Incredible scenery!  But, of course, what really made this day unforgettable was the wonderful couple we got to spend it with.  :)

Kathy and Kerby were kind enough to share some of their favorite wedding day memories with us so that we can share them with all of you! Look for those throughout the post!

I love this image of Kathy’s mom helping her get ready – she looks so proud of her daughter, and so happy!  I also love that Kathy had her wedding date stitched into her dress – how cute is that?!
Before the ceremony, we were hanging out in this room in the basement of the chapel.  It wasn’t too exciting (cinder block walls and all), but there was a giant chalkboard on one of the walls that was begging to be a backdrop.  I love these so much!!  (Almost as much as I love the one of Kathy taking a shot of Bailey’s!!!)
Ben spent a little bit of time with Kerby and the guys before heading over to the church.  Kerby looks like he might be rehearsing his vows in his head, here, but I’m just guessing.  ;)
Hello, gorgeous chapel!
And, we’ll kick off the favorite wedding day memories with this one from Kerby!

Kerby:  “Standing at the front of the church, surrounded by friends and family, waiting for Kathy to enter.”

Kathy:  “Right before I walked down the aisle when I was standing outside of the chapel with just my dad, it was so quiet and peaceful.  I was so nervous and excited, but those moments holding my dad’s arm are very special to me.”
Kathy:  “We each wrote our own vows and didn’t share them with each other until the ceremony, and Kerby’s were so amazing.  For our ring exchange, the nerves had finally subsided a bit, and I really took the time to take a deep breath and soak it all in.  There was so much love in the chapel it was overwhelming.”

Kerby:  “We had written our own vows and I was excited to both hear and say them for the first time.”

Kerby:  “Our ring exchange – the nerves began to dissipate by then and I could absorb what was happening.”
Kathy:  “I loved the limo ride to the reception with our wedding party – it was so much fun!  I was so excited and we were MARRIED!!  It was the pre-party to the reception, and all the nerves were completely gone.”
Kathy:  “Walking into the cocktail hour and seeing all our loved ones and getting to talk to them was so much fun.  I wish I could have stretched that hour out to spend more time chatting with people!  Kerby and I also walked into the ballroom alone to see it for the first time, and I was so overwhelmed I cried.  It was beautiful and perfect for us!”

*Side note:  having a signature drink is SUCH a great way to add a personal touch to your wedding day at pretty much zero additional cost.  This sign is off the charts adorable!

Ahhhhhh, the shoe game…always a crowd pleaser!  Definitely makes me smile every time!!  ;)
Kathy:  “The whole entire day was just amazing with our family and friends who traveled and made time to celebrate with us.  We’re so blessed!  The very best part was marrying Kerby.”

Kerby:  “The five hour celebration with our closest friends and family members there to support us!  And, at the end of the day, I was married to Kathy.”

This photo will forever remind me of the fact that someone snatched one of our lights while Ben was setting up this shot, and he couldn’t chase after them because he would have had to walk away from all of the other lights to do so.  So, he just waited until we came outside to take this shot, and when he told us what had happened, Kerby was instantly ready to go with Ben, find the light thief, and take care of business.  Kerby is definitely someone that you want to have in your corner in case one of your lights gets taken…TRUST me on that one.  I am literally grinning from ear to ear right now as I remember this night, and think about how much I adore Kathy and Kerby.  :)
Oh, oh, oh….this was so fun!  It was a “dollar dance” of sorts, but not at all the version where you have dollar bills taped to you and stuffed into your cleavage.  It was a classy dollar dance, where friends and family lined up and put a dollar in a basket to dance with either the bride or the groom.  It was SUPER cute, and they got to spent a tiny bit of one on one time with the majority of their guests – I loooooooved it!

A little bit of advice from Kathy and Kerby:

“Give yourselves as much time as possible. We had 18 months, and that really gave us time to pick the vendors and locations we wanted. Pick great vendors!! We chose people who were professional, who answered our questions and were willing to work with us, and the most important thing – we picked people we liked. We consider many of our vendors to now be our friends and we are fortunate that we were able to work with such a talented group of people who went above and beyond to make our day wonderful. Remember the most important thing – at the end of the day, if you are married to your best friend, the person you love, then the day was a success. That thought got us through some of the crazy days! Enjoy it, all of it! It’s such an amazing experience!!”


Kathy and Kerby – thank you so very much for choosing us to photograph your amazing wedding day. We are so grateful that you found us, and we feel honored to now be able to call you our friends! You are such incredible people, and together you make one phenomenal couple. Hope to see you soon! Much love, J + B :)

  • Ani SAYS...

    I am a childhood friend of Kathleen’s…these pictures are BEAUTIFUL!! My fiance, Lynda, and I are getting married Memorial day 2014 in Bath, NY at my parents house. Kathleen recommended you. I tear up every time I look through your pictures and comments. I look forward to looking through more pictures!

  • Mike SAYS...

    really nice work…I can always get a good feel for how the wedding day went from your blog posts, and this day seemed to be a great one!

  • Ginn SAYS...

    What a great walk down memory lane Ben and Jen :) You guys did such a beautiful job capturing the day and how genuine and beautiful Kath and Kerby are as individuals and a couple! Love the pictures!!!

  • Kathleen & Kerby SAYS...

    We LOVE them. Thank you so much Jenn & Ben! They are so amazing. We’re so fortunate to have found you guys! :)