Connecticut & NYC Gay Wedding Photographer

Talk about a winter wonderland! Danielle and Ray’s elopement took place on an unusually quiet February day in New Haven. Normally the town is buzzing with Yale students beginning their spring semesters, but the streets were clear for the bride and groom. A dusting of snow coated the ground – quite the change from the three feet New Haven got just a week earlier.

Their family and friends, who were present for the ceremony, cheered on the couple at New Haven City Hall as they prepared to exchange vows. Danielle’s mom was especially thrilled and kept embracing her – too sweet.

Once the ceremony concluded, we headed outside to brave the cold. The couple and their guests strolled through downtown New Haven for a bit, until most of them got cold feet (no pun intended). Danielle and Ray wanted to continue enjoying the beauty of the winter day and stayed out for an hour or so. During couple shots, a gust of wind almost blew away Ray’s scarf and hat, but he kept a brave face. And speaking of outerwear – check out how cute Danielle’s heart gloves are! Very fitting for an elopement near Valentine’s Day. There is something special with each season, and winter weddings are a prime example of that.

After spending quite a bit of time facing the elements, the wedding party headed to Zinc Restaurant for an intimate reception. This wedding captured a couple’s love for their town – and for each other.

The excitement of an elopement lies in its spontaneity, but it is also equally important to be prepared. If you and your partner are considering an elopement, be sure to contact your city hall to find out what you need to bring along in order to get a marriage certificate and on the day of the ceremony itself. That includes your driver’s license! A stress-free elopement is the best kind.

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Autumn in New England is beyond picturesque. If you have the opportunity to be in the area between late September and November, be sure to visit Lyman Orchards in Middlefield, Connecticut. I headed there last October with Sarah and Shannon so we could experience the foliage for ourselves and go on a little adventure.

It was the perfect crisp fall day with blue skies and bright leaves abound. The festivities began in the pumpkin patch. Windy conditions made for prime snuggle weather, and Sarah and Shannon wrapped up in a blanket to face the cold. At one point gusts were so strong that the two had to hold onto the blanket for dear life to avoid it blowing away! We later meandered to the rows of apple trees, where things got dangerous (apple fights pack a mean punch!). Luckily, Sarah’s adorable matryoshka doll pin remained intact.

After stocking up on seasonal produce, Sarah and Shannon embraced their inner children and decided some leaf pile appreciation was in order. They threw handfuls in the air with great abandon, and I got to experience my favorite part of this job – capturing the fun of being in love. Things were going swimmingly, and to switch this up, I suggested a few static shots of the two of them lying in the leaves, which might have been a mistake… Someone approached and asked me if the people I was photographing were alive! The girls were good sports about it, though, and the day turned out to be a wonderful kick-off for the fall engagement season.

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Judie officially declared Charlotte and Jay married. Jay took a sharp breath, looked around and seemed to hold that breath. And hold it. Charlotte grabbed his hand in glee but he was still holding that breath. The smile was plastered on his face but he was wandering aimlessly a bit. I asked him if he needed to sit down….he did. That old saying where love takes your breath away was actually happening. Jay kept looking at his new wife and then back to the ceremony site, then to his friend’s faces. He couldn’t say anything.

“Ok, Jay, deep breath now, feel the calm of Central Park.” I was trying to get him to level his breathing, no interest in passing out people, and he just kept beaming. Jay started to take deeper breaths. Charlotte had both his hands and was snuggled up beside him on a Central Park bench inside the Shakespeare Garden. We made some jokes and Jay felt he could sign the marriage certificate, his hands shaking a little bit.

That hookey line about “Ohhh, he took my breath away!” seemed like a bad romantic novel. But it was like a giant energy ray was just bursting out of Jay’s face the whole day. I could feel almost tactically the love Jay felt for Charlotte and vice versa. They had traveled from the UK to NYC to become legally married. Their friend’s joined for the trip, all as supportive as you could wish. And all the energy and love…well it just overwhelmed Jay for a few minutes. And he was just happy to be in the moment, be present and get married.

My chest tightens when I look at their photos. Or any of my couple’s photos. I just feel so much JOY getting to capture an elopement in Shakespeare Garden. Be there as a groom gets to hear he’s now legally married. Watch as Charlotte DIYs her flowers in the hotel room. Mazel Tov Jay and Charlotte!
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