Connecticut & NYC Gay Wedding Photographer

Ashleigh and Cari and their too-cute-for-words daughter Madison, flew in to New York from Florida ready to elope in style. And they did. Cari looked absolutely GQ from the start. Totally smoking in her gray vest and purple tie. And I absolutely loved Ashleigh’s dress because it sort of encapsulates all an elopement can be. It was a freaking CONVERTIBLE dress. How bad ass is that? So for our trip to City Hall, the dress was short, sophisticated, and flirty. Perfect. Tulle was reserved for Madison.

After an victorious exit with Madison from City Hall, Cari and Ashleigh were ready for some romance. They wanted epic shots in quintessentially New York places. We started at the Brooklyn Bridge, where the couple was warmly greeted with congratulations by passers-by. They’d never been to New York, so everything about the experience was new to them, and it was wonderful for me to experience New York, and all its sights and sounds, through their eyes.

Once we got to Central Park the romance kicked into high gear. Ashleigh converted her dress, and all of a sudden their was a delicious swirl of tulle surrounding her. I LOVE tulle. There is so much you can do with a tulle dress to give motion and shape to photographs. It kind of makes me drool. From Bethesda Fountain to Bow Bridge, Cari and Ashleigh kissed and cuddled and made being in love in New York City look fabulous.

Want to see iconic New York and get great photos? Let’s chat about your dream New York City images. Cobblestone? Brooklyn Bridge? The highline? Bow Bridge which has been in dozens of movies?
gay couple on bow bridge kissing

bride in short wedding dress with daughter

lesbian couple first look

lesbian family with daughter getting married

city hall ceremony

 bridge giving vows during city hall elopement

hugging after city hall ceremony

flower girl dancing near brooklyn bridge

cheering gay family after wedding

lesbian couple walking on brooklyn bridge

gay couple kissing on brooklyn bridge for elopement

bridge applying makeup at city hall

closeup portraits of two brides

gay elopement in central park

gay couple kissing on bow bridge

bridge playing with iphone

gay elopement on bow bridge

When someone tells me they have a surprise for their spouse beforehand, I get all sweaty and nervous. Can we pull it off? I’m SUPER bad at lying. My nervous, I’m totally lying 100% habit is to smile really big and laugh uncontrollably. Yeah, super slick. Carrie was going to pull off a first dance in central park. I just had to get out of the way and lie through my teeth about needing Ashleigh to…actually I have no idea what I said. I was so focused on distracting her for a minute so that Carrie could run to her bluetooth speakers, press the on button and run back to start her first dance, that I could have said anything. But that moment when the music went on and Ashleigh realized it was music for HER and not random central park music? She burst out smiling and threw her hands around Carrie’s neck. They swayed to the music, somehow not many tourist were nearby, letting the music just fill the air. Yes, they eloped in New York City. But they had their first dance too.

central park first dance

gay couple dancing underneath central park arch

bridge showing convertible wedding dress

gay couple having elopement in central park

Marissa grabbed Marlena from behind and wrapped around her soon to be wife tightly. Both women just stood looking at each other for a second, suprised to see each other actually ready to get married. But not too stuffy since Marlena still had plenty of hair on her dress from a good nap their cat had taken inside the tulle. Each reached out and grabbed the other, hugging so tightly, it was hard to make out that both of them were crying until sniffles had to be dealt with. Veils had to be adjusted. Tears had to be dabbed to ensure no makeup was smeared. I could have stood 2 feet from these ladies and they wouldn’t have cared because they wouldn’t have noticed.

hotel northampton crying first look two brides lying in northampton park

There are lots of routine, boring things you do every month or week or day to just keep things going. Since I was 18 and learned how to do a self-exam of my breasts at a Pride event, that’s been a boring monthly thing I just do without much thought. My grandmother had survived breast cancer once 25 years ago and is now battling it again. It’s spread all over her body now, recently showing up as a giant tumor in her brain. We found out about the brain tumor about a month ago. I scrambled to get things together to go down to Virginia to help my family and most importantly, Grandmother, during a very tough time. We talked and talked about pictures I was finding in boxes. I figured out how to push her wheelchair as we went in for her radiation treatments.

So last Tuesday I jumped in the shower, and without much thought, starting giving myself an exam. It took all of 5 seconds for me to feel it. A lump. My thoughts just stopped. Can’t be. I felt again. It was still there.

Do you really want to keep feeling for it? Maybe it will just go away? I suddenly didn’t want to do the exam anymore. I didn’t want to feel that weird thing sitting in my body. Whatever it was. I went to bed not wanting to think about it. Be overwhelmed by it. But the first thing I did when I woke up was to feel for it. It was still sitting there.

Honestly, my first thought was “Fuck. It’s really still there?”. I thought maybe it would be absorbed into my body. Or hormones. Or the fact I’m so exhausted from working that I just was feeling normal breast tissue and I was doing something wrong. I know a bit about breast cancer and knew the chances were super slim it was anything dangerous. But it was a lump. I called my mom to see if she had ever felt a lump. She hadn’t. Which made me feel extra horrible. But she tried to reassure me with all the stats I already knew.

Then I had to call my doctor. That made it official. Yup, I found a lump nurse and I’m not totally freaking out. Yet. So that’s where I found myself, in my socks and exam gown. My biggest hope was that she would not feel the lump. Or feel it and be like, ‘Silly girl, that’s just *insert normal thing you find in your breast*’. I had been thinking about my own boobs way too much at this point and just wanted to be told the issue didn’t exist. But she found it right away. Again, my thought was, “Fuck. It’s really still there?”. I’m lucky to have a level headed internist that actually talks to me. She talked to me about cysts and various other things. And she told me point blank she wasn’t worried. We needed to get me a ultrasound but it was such a slim chance it was cancer.

Walking out of the office, I got a little freaked out and felt a little scratchy in my throat. I wanted her to say it was nothing 100%. I wanted her to not even feel the lump. I wanted it to be normal. But the ultrasound appointment reminded me it was something I needed to actually get checked out. Even if it was a small chance.

So right now, this lump is just sitting with me. I’m waiting till my appointment to get the ultrasound. Whatever it is, I’m darn glad I do self-exams. I’m darn glad my grandmother fought her own breast cancer so bravely. And I’m darn sure that there are other young women who are waiting to get their own test results. Are finding their own lumps. Whatever it is, it’s ok to get that scratchy feeling in your throat. To start being afraid of your own breasts. Like they are not your own body parts. Don’t wait- call the doctor. Get it checked.

This post was written before my ultrasound appointment. I’m blessed enough to have wonderful technicians and doctors walk me through the appointment and results. My lump is a cyst, not cancer, and I don’t have to get a mammogram. My grandmother waited 6 months after finding her lump to go to a doctor. Fear consumed her and then she had to be brave and fight for her life. Don’t ever wait. Don’t let fear paralyze you. Reach out. Do self-exams. Be aware.