"We want you to shoot our wedding, but if our budget is too low for you, we have a friend with a nice camera who can shoot it for us instead..."

Like so many working couples, R&C planned their wedding on a budget. Great photography was very important to them (the groom C is a visual artist), and they wanted me to shoot their wedding, but they weren't sure of my rates. When they reached out to me through a mutual friend, I was so excited to shoot their wedding that I created a custom package just for them: fewer hours of coverage, no bells and whistles, just exactly what they needed (and could afford) to document all the best moments of their intimate elopement.

No way was I gonna let this amazing couple entrust their wedding day to a "friend with a nice camera"; we talked openly about their budget, and found a way to make it work <3

A flowergirl holds the hem of a wedding dress while the bride gets ready at Tarrytown House Estate

The flowergirl plays with the hem of the bride's wedding dress in the hotel suite. The bride R chose a sleek slinky white dress with rhinestone details, and had it hanging by the window when I arrived to document the day.

A flowergirl watches the mother of the bride help the bride into her dress before the ceremony

The flowergirl looks on as the mother of the bride helps her daughter R into her wedding dress before the ceremony.

Mother of the bride wipes the bride's tears with a tissue while getting ready for her wedding day

The bride R felt strong emotions once she got into her dress and turned around to face her mother; as a candid documentary photographer, these are my favorite moments to capture. I worked silently and allowed the moment to unfold without direction or interference.

R&C chose Biddle Mansion, a venue at the Tarrytown House Estate on the Hudson as the setting for their intimate DIY elopement.

Attendees included family members from both sides, and a handful of close friends. All in all, R&C had about 20-25 guests: a perfect, relaxed, comfortable micro wedding. The February weather was a little chilly up in Tarrytown NY, but the bride and groom were surrounded by the warmth of their guests' love, and love for one another <3

A friend officiates the wedding ceremony as the bride and groom exchange vows in front of the stained glass windows

The ceremony space at Biddle House was lovely: original stained glass windows bathed the ceremony in natural light, while a friend of the bride and groom officiated the wedding.

Weddings guests laugh and cry while watching a wedding ceremony at Biddle House in Tarrytown NY

Our friend the flowergirl was getting pretty bored during the short ceremony, while family and loved ones looked on in laughter and tears as R&C exchanged vows.

The bride laughs while the groom reads his wedding vows during their ceremony at Biddle House in Tarrytown NY

The bride and groom wrote special vows to one another; their ceremony was punctuated by laughter and happy tears as they read their vows, which were filled with inside jokes.

A groom places the wedding ring on his brides finger during their wedding ceremony

I love the intimate eye contact here between the bride and groom as he slips the ring onto her finger; I'm always watching and waiting to capture the perfect moments of touch and eye contact.

After the ceremony, everyone dried their happy tears, and recessed to a small cozy restaurant called Cellar 49 located inside Biddle Mansion.

Sadly, Cellar 49 has closed since the pandemic (R&C got married back in February 2019), but it was a lovely space and I'm so glad we got to celebrate there. The ambiance was kind of cave-like, with stone walls and dark wood. Not easy to light as a photographer, but me and my trusty bounced flash made it work. I always come prepared for all lighting conditions; even if you get married underground in an actual cave, I can make it work :)

Bride and groom laugh and toast champagne during their reception at Cellar 49 in Tarrytown NY

Everyone sat together family style at a long table, with the bride and groom surrounded by loved ones and laughing at all the jokes, toasts, and impromptu speeches shared by their guests during dinner.

The bride shows off her homemade garter.

Here's the bride R showing off her homemade garter, which the groom later pulled off with his teeth! Too hot to handle :)

The groom laughs as he tosses the garter to his guests.

The groom C laughs as he slingshots the bride's garter across the restuaurant.

The bride's bouquet is labeled with a sticker for the bouquet toss.

The bride tossed her bouquet, and you can guess who caught it...

The flowergirl tosses a bouquet to the wedding guests after catching the bride's bouquet.

The flowergirl! Yes, she caught the bride's bouquet toss, and then she wanted to toss some flowers herself to the guests.

A flowergirl cries from being tired during a late night wedding reception.

Despite all the fun and flowers, the flowergirl started getting tired and cranky (weddings are LONG days for little ones). It's all good though, as the reception was winding to close anyway.

Who needs a DJ?! After the reception, the happy couple and their friends threw an impromptu dance party in the lobby of Biddle Mansion...

The bride and groom slow danced to their song (playing on a friend's iPhone). The older relatives gathered the leftover cake to take home, put on their coats, and shuffled toward the doors.

Married couple dancing to their song at the end of their NY wedding.

As their friends watched from the lobby couches and their families got ready to drive home, R&C danced their first dance together as husband and wife like they were the only two people in the world.

A bride kicks off her shoes and dances with her friends after her wedding day.

Later, someone upped the tempo with some dance tracks on their iPhone, and the bride kicked off her shoes and danced with her girlfriends in the empty lobby.

All in all, R&C had an authentic, affordable, and meaningful wedding. They stayed true to who they are and who they love, and celebrated with their favorite humans.

I'm honored that R&C invited me to document their day <3

Don't forget to bundle up warm for the long drive home...

A flowergirl wears a coat that is too big for her and the sleeves drag on the floor.

This coat is taller than the flowergirl :) Something tells me that's not the coat she arrived in!