destination wedding

Villa Sheherezade Dubrovnik wedding: Lynn and Kristof by Ryan Brenizer

180813-050916 ILCE-7M3 85 mm.jpg

When Lynn inquired with us, we thought for sure we were being scammed. What would you think if your phone chimed and you read a text message from a strange number: “Quick question. Are you available for our destination wedding in Dubrovnik, Croatia this year? We live in London. I’m from Taiwan and he is from Belgium :-)” And the date happened to be fast approaching and the only weekend that month we were free? It all sounded too good to be true: She might as well have said that she’s a Nigerian prince.

But it turns out that not only are Lynn and Kristof very real, they are also an amazing couple who match each other in zeal for life and each other, if not in height. And so we were on our way to Dubrovnik, an area long known for its beauty and now exploding in fame as the site of much of the otherworldly beauty of Game of Thrones.

Under the planning guidance of Matthew and Bertie at Matthew Oliver Weddings and local coordinator Marcela at Dubrovnik Wedding Inspiration, their wedding took advantage of all the amazingness the area has to offer. The rehearsal dinner was set on Lokrum Island, where Lynn was overjoyed by the preponderance of peacocks and bunnies that have overtaken the island.

The ceremony was a gorgeous affair in the five-century-old Sponza Palace, officiated by a dear friend and mentor, who ensured it was touching and deeply personal. Afterward, Lynn and Kristof headed to the reception on their own boat, speeding down the harbor to the fantastic Villa Sheherezade.

The reception was filled with surprises. Kristof’s best man is a rare combination of entrepreneur and professionally trained clown, and he gave a lion dance performance before revealing himself to the crowd … by taking off the head and blowing a giant fireball.

But nothing could top what Kristof had for Lynn. To begin the dancing, he took her over to the cake-cutting and said “Lynn, I promise I will never stop surprising you.”

And then the sky exploded into fireworks.

That’s the sort of energy and love we’re talking about, and we are so excited that we were able to tell this story.

Stylist: Christine from CC Wedding Studio in Taiwan
DJ: Jordi Ruz from Ibiza
Venue and staff: Anamarija and Lindita Adriatic Luxury Hotels
Video: Justina from HDmoments (their video teaser from the wedding here!)

Chatham Bars Inn Wedding: Pei and Ben by Ryan Brenizer

One of the many, many things we love about our job is that people tend to get married in the sorts of places you might want to go anyway, especially people with excellent taste like Pei and Ben. Early October in Cape Cod? Sure, we can do that.

It was a picture-perfect fall day … at first. But, you see, it was a wedding day, and part of the manic fun of weddings is that they bring a coterie of chaos. And so, right when we would be outside, on the water, far from shelter … came the rain. But Pei and Ben were troopers, and really, really wanted to spend some time on the water -- so much so that they didn't mind even when the rising tide trapped them on the dock, forcing them to be carried to shore by very strong and extremely helpful Inn staff.

That is just a small piece that shows a lot about them -- the fun they can have alone together, their drive, but also a sort of ability to roll with the punches required when walking on a wet beach in a wedding dress.

Thanks so much to Lindsay Arenson at Simple Details Events for making this such a beautiful day, and to Lindsay Hite for backing us up with her great work!

Ashford Castle, Ireland wedding: Casey and Ford by Ryan Brenizer

It's hard to overstate the beauty of Ashford Castle: It was something so profound that Casey knew she had to share it with her friends and family, even though absolutely none of them, Casey and Ford included, live in Ireland. But maybe, for a second, let's not put it center-stage. Let's focus on the bonds that made Casey and Ford plan a complicated multi-day celebration in an Irish castle just to show their friends and family a good time, and the bonds that made so many of these friends and family show up that they completely sold out the castle.

And it's not a small castle.

Ireland is an incredibly gorgeous country -- the cliches are true. There are colors of green that don't exist anywhere else, times when you have to turn down the saturation in your camera just so reality doesn't look fake. But, of course, it comes with a lot of what the Irish call "soft" weather: Rain, and a lot of it.

So yes, it rained on this wedding, but … well, all you need to know about the mood is that, after days of carousing together, there was enough joyful energy left that festivities were still going strong by sunrise.

Thank you to Olivia Buckley for her fantastic planning work, making a wet, complicated event come out perfectly, and to Casey and Ford for kindly planning their Ireland wedding just at the right time for our "working honeymoon" in the best place we could imagine.

Harbour Island, Bahamas wedding: Ann and Bill by Ryan Brenizer

This is Harbour Island:

You see that tiny, glowing beacon in a place so quiet and dark and peaceful that stars New Yorkers have never dreamed of come out to shine? That is a place to get away, where a plane to a different plane to a boat to a golf cart will take you to beaches of pink sand, perpetually pleasant afternoons, and a simple feeling of “This is it. This is what it’s been all about. This is what you were waiting for.” Sort of like marriage.

I love when I get to shoot for the same family again. I’ve shot for sisters, brothers, and cousins of previous clients, but Ann and Bill’s wedding was the first time I got to photograph the wedding of the father of a previous client, Jessica. When you come out to a remote island and spend the day as two photographers among only 40 guests, you really have to integrate well, and Ann and Bill made it so easy. They were warm, as happy as you could imagine in such a perfect setting, and so deeply connected to their friends that the bridesmaids, daughters of one of Ann’s friends, felt like members of the family.

The wedding was perfect against all odds — the weather holding strong even though the eight weather apps my paranoia requires told me that it rained on every other Bahaman island at ceremony time. A raucous young brass band led the guests from an intimate dinner to a beach reception, which was more wild than 40 people should have been capable of. (This is another advantage to the highly-walkable, virtually car-free island: No reason to stop partying.)

It was an honor just to be here, a pleasure to spend the day with these people (some for the second time), and one of the highlights of my entire year that I got to do it all with the amazing Tatiana.