Connecticut & NYC Gay Wedding Photographer

Intimate dinner weddings. A few loved ones. A few friends. You have built a small community and you want to sit at the same table as them on your wedding day! Candy, the wedding planner, and I have worked many weddings together, but small dinner party weddings are something couples keep coming to her to plan because I just don’t see anyone else doing them so well!

Fernando and Neil came up from Texas to get legally wed in DC. With destination weddings, they tend to already narrow down the guest list. But these gentlemen made the wedding feel like like they were hosting an elegant dinner party with a very important beginning- after more than 20 years, they were finally going to be married. The Donovan House Hotel has dark walls and dim lights surrounds the whole hotel.

Candy filled the hotel with candlelight to reflect the mood, and I couldn’t help but feel like a rainstorm had just swept over the city, killing the power, and we were all going to sit down and make the best of it with candle flames bouncing off the walls. It was time to take the very nicest things out of the fridge, before they spoiled, and actually enjoy them- not wait for another day. But there was no rainstorm and there was power- but Fernando and Neil knew how to make everything feel special and yet never stuffy. You can’t be stuffy with people you have known for decades. Sitting around these tables were the key people Neil and Fernando could call. They are the ones who would answer the phone at 3am if they needed help. Or the ones waiting for them at the airport.

These people had waited so very long to watch Fernando and Neil get married. And this wedding team, every single person, made this intimate dinner wedding just that.

Venue: Donovan House Hotel with Holland Mitchell overseeing the evening
Planner: Candy + Co.
Officiant: George B. Walker
Caterer: Zentan
Cake: SugarBakers
Floral and Decor: Bella Figura

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How do I dress for an engagement session?
Now, the various answers to that often asked question is an entire post itself. But one of the biggest things I try to emphasize is: layers! Dressing in layers for your engagement session gives us lots of options and photographs really well. That cute black blazer Kristen has on? You could take it off and have a whole new look. But even with us keeping it on, it gives the eye a lot more to look at and makes her mint green shirt pop. And Robyn wore a collared shirt- it wasn’t a huge difference in color from her sweater she layered on top. And that’s why it worked! Small little things to break up an outfit work wonders.
My go-to advice for engagement outfits: Layer. Easiest way? Bring a cardigan or blazer. I personally love either a colorful blazer or a black/gray/navy blazer with a super bright top. Robyn today is showing this off in style.

I know everyone worries about their engagement outfit. Robyn and Kristen immediately asked “Is this good? Does this work??” when I met them in South Street Seaport. Before I could say anything, Robyn said “I know you said not to wear anything with a brand or words on the front but…” and I cut her off. Yes, she broke my rule. But she broke it for the best phrase, “Follow your heart”.
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I love August, when the Yale academic year starts to get going, and college kids start filling streets that were once still. The ebb and flow of the academic year in New Haven is something I like. I get the city to myself for breaks and summer…but then I miss the energy that the kids bring. Many of my couples are Yale Alumni, often coming back to New Haven to do their engagement session where they once were students. Maybe they met here and fell in love. Maybe they never got the chance. But New Haven pulls them back. Catharine and Paul silently held onto each other for the whole session. Yes, it was a Yale engagement session but New Haven also has a beach that many of the students love to come to. Paul would crack a smile when their dog would snuggle up, asking for pets. Cool fall air means close contact to keep warm. So we spent most of the shoot listening to the waves, keeping off the chill, and I just stood back to give them the chance to reconnect. Reconnect with this place they loved so much, now together as a family, puppy and all.
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