Connecticut & NYC Gay Wedding Photographer

Dear anyone who wants to get married somewhere with giant iron doors, rolling grass fields, and what kind of look like Roman ruins surrounded by picturesque gardens: a Crane Estate wedding is for you. And anyone really. Like, I can’t imagine someone walking into the gardens and being like, “Naaaah, I saw something better.” Somehow this castle is plopped down among so much New England charm, I stopped to get ice cream at a teeny tiny homemade shop just down the road. I have seen many wedding venues and love where I got married….but woah, Crane Estate is just incomparable. I always show up a bit early to survey a new place and see where the light is. I quickly established we would need an entire weekend of just shooting to play with all the places I wanted to shoot.

With Kathleen and Liz, the magic of Crane Estate was brought to life. The two fun-loving ladies spent time before the ceremony rehearsing their first dance, a choreographed hip-hop routine to a song by none other than Justin Bieber. At another point, they persuaded me to get on my hands and knees to photograph some passing turkeys – quite an adventurous duo, and I was happy to be a part of the merriment.

The day itself was tinged with yellow, from Kathleen’s suspenders to the sunflower centerpieces to the lemon place cards. A color scheme like this is ideal for a summer wedding. As Kathleen and Liz, officially married, walked down the aisle amid a sea of bubbles, I realized that weddings aren’t just about storybook venues; they are about celebrating with the people you love. And, of course, starting Bieber dance parties.

Venue: Crane Estate // Florist: Diane Foote & Cathy Cross // Caterer: Fireside Catering // DJ/Band: Jim Horgos
Cupcakes: Georgetown Cupcakes // Hair: Solari Spa // Makeup: Making Faces // Dress Shop: Lord and Taylor // Suit Shop: J. Crew Ludlow

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Natalie is always making fun of me for the weird positions I bend myself into for a shot. Or the odd things I’ll stand on (sometimes not the smartest things either, yikes) to get just the right angle. But being a wife-wife photography team, she can pick on me that way because she has seen me doing this for 7 years. I noticed going through about 100 shots of us at weddings that I’m somehow shooting in the water without shoes. A lot. Like, gross water that I’m not really sure should ever be wandered into. Note to self: scrub your feet super hard after weddings with a billion pumps of soap and body wash. Ewww.

Yes, you’ll notice I have a handful of outfits I wear religiously. Black eyelet dress that has pockets. Check. Pencil skirt from banana republic on clearance with my target button up shirt. Yup. And my flowy black skirt with a belt that I wear with that same target shirt that is the best thing ever invented. It’s perfectly soft, sweat proof, and formal enough. Why didn’t I buy 8 of them?? My shoes go in waves. Right now I worship my ecco blue flats with arch supports. And my curly, crazy hair? It has to be loaded with leave-in conditioner, brushed as straight as possible and tightly squished into a bun. Because there is *so much hair*. Apply devacurl hairspray and gel like woah. Ta-da!

I love all the backstories and moments to these photos. My favorite one is me grabbing the hand of Marlena and guiding her out for her first look. She had closed her eyes and I was making sure to give her good guidance so she could see her soon to be wife. It was about 5 seconds of the day but having a photo of it makes me crack up (I look like I’m dragging her) and also makes my stomach flutter thinking of all the happy moments I get to be part of.

I honestly LOVE what I do. I love that I’m lucky enough to have a wife with a passion for photography and people the way I do. She always has my back. Seriously- every time I jump up on a chair for the Hora, Natalie is right there grabbing my back to steady me. She protects me from the guests that might bump me and shove me off (that’s happened prior to when I began to shoot with her).

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“Hiring Kelly Prizel as our wedding photographer was the best decision I made second only to marrying my wife.”- Chelsea

There are almost 9,000 miles between New Zealand and New York City, but Chelsea and Theresa made the trip for a summer elopement in Central Park. I got their email 3 years ago asking if I was free and we have been talking back and forth since then! As theater people, they were hardcore planners but even so, with a wedding around the globe they needed the amazing help behind Onederland Events.

The couple got ready in a quaint apartment they had rented with friends, sharing laughs and joking about the craziness of putting on a dozen shoes and dresses in such a small space. Chelsea made purple necklace bowties for those guests wearing dresses so that everyone could match.
Once everyone was in their finest, we headed to Ladies Pavilion in Central Park for the ceremony. Excited energy filled the space, as the brides held hands with their best people before the officiant began. Afterwards each attendant stood up and said something about Chelsea and Theresa, and let’s face it, everyone teared up.

The festivities continued with a picnic and bubble blowing on Cherry Hill. Big, red, picnic blankets to plop down and relax on. A wedding picnic in Central Park felt kinda surreal. It was so relaxed with the guitarist Frank Persico. I’m a sucker for acoustic guitar since my wife is an avid guitarist. We watched the crowds on Bow Bridge but the hill was all ours. As we walked over and I took a few photos of Chelsea, I could hear Theresa whisper to herself, “Isn’t she just beautiful?” She is. They are.

  Ceremony: Ladies Pavilion // Picnic: Cherry Hill // Planner: Onederland Events //
Caterer: Perfect Picnic // Guitarist: Frank Persico // Videographer: 15 minutes of frame // Officiant: Rev. Annie Lawrence

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Walking towards Cherry Hill, we could just see our wedding picnic blankets waiting for us. The whole bridal party made a big cheer.
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