manhattan wedding

Housing Works Cafe wedding: Evan and Nora by Ryan Brenizer

I think it says a lot about Nora and Evan that our first impulse isn’t to tell you about their wedding, but to tell you about them. Because they’re awesome. Funny, smart (congratulations on that dissertation, Dr. Nora!) and brimming with the sort of nice that you still feel after they’ve left the room.

The wedding was pretty great, too. We love everything about Housing Works … from their mission to their donations to photographing a wedding surrounded by amazing books. They took it to the next level by hand-crafting decorations, building time into the schedule to build their own chuppah and adding hundreds of paper cranes they and their friends had painstakingly crafted.

Oh, and they have great taste in neighborhoods. Not only are Nora and Evan sort of our neighbors (geeking out over all the same local haunts we do), Evan and his friends got ready in our studio!

On a gorgeous sunny day Evan and Nora met each other in the Brooklyn Heights promenade. A short jaunt across the bridge brought us to Housing Works and a ceremony officiated by three friends. The reception was catered by Pies ’n' Thighs (as good as they sound) and coordinated by Brittney at BLB Events.

New Year's Eve Angel Orensanz wedding: Jenna and David by Ryan Brenizer

Jenna and David managed to pack in a heck of a lot into their day: Not only was their wedding at the Angel Orensanz Center also a New Year's eve party, we stopped in for photos at …

Not bad for a freezing December day. And, of course, it was packed with the kind of love and joy you get when you put 200 friends in a gorgeous space with ample reasons to celebrate.

It's wonderful that Tatiana and I not only get to spend New Year's Eve together, but doing something that we love: Capturing the story and union of some really great people.

Russian Tea Room wedding: Adriana and Stephen by Ryan Brenizer

Like so many of those who keep making the choice to deal with the complication and expense of living in New York City, Tatiana and I are huge fans of its culture, idiosyncrasies, and history. So we were excited at the outset when Adriana and Stephen came to us with their wedding in New York's iconic Russian Tea Room, which has connections to Adriana's family. Of course, most excitement came from Adriana and Stephen themselves, and how fun they were to work with.

We asked Adriana what was most important to her while planning the wedding, and … well, we have to swear this isn't a paid advertisement: "Booking our photographers!" You see, Stephen wanted to become a wedding photographer himself in part from seeing our work, which is one of the biggest compliments we could possibly get. Adriana reached out to us the day after they got engaged, and kept it as a surprise to Stephen for a while. "I wasn't above planning our wedding around your schedule - anything to lock you in!"

As avid photographers themselves, it might not be a surprise that the photos were one of their favorite parts. When planning weddings, we know that the thought of mid-reception photos isn't for everyone, since it takes a few minutes away from valuable action, but for some couples it's a perfect time to actually get to see and talk to your new partner amidst all the chaos.  "It was so wonderful to just be able to steal a moment away and go off without anyone knowing where we went (or realizing we were gone) so we could enjoy some time alone and take more photos."  She also fondly remembers her brothers -- Ken, who officiated, and Adam, who "sobbing like a baby during my dance with my dad - it was super sweet."

Family appears prominently in their memories. Stephen remembers Adriana's sister having a brief but "extremely intense" show of emotion at the wedding. "(She's not one to ever really show emotion - so it was amazing!)"

Guastavino's Wedding: Max and Ashley by Ryan Brenizer

There is something extra-special about photographing a wedding for a sibling of a previous client -- it's a sign of trust and appreciation, not just for us but of one sibling for the other. And we love stepping back into families that we had already come to appreciate. Ryan had photographed Ashley's sister's wedding in 2012, and it was such a thrill to see familiar faces in such a personal, lively setting.

It was also a thrill to get to know Max and his family, and to return to the amazing Guastavino's, a place as thrilling to photograph in as it is hard to spell. One of the great things about Guastavino's is how easy it is to host every part of the wedding day there, taking the extreme logistical difficulties of Manhattan traffic out of wedding planning.

It's a place made for a good party, and with the help of Hank Lane Music and countless additions like cotton candy passed out on the dance floor, it was a great one.

Of course, the only sad part is when one of these wonderful families runs out of siblings.