Although I pride myself in being a great photographer no matter what, I create my favorite work and deliver the best client experience when I truly connect with my couples. The first time sitting down with Brianna and Brandon to discuss their 26 Bridge Wedding, I immediately vibed with them. After getting past the basics, we chatted for an hour about Brianna step-dancing and Brandon’s favorite flash tattoos spots. After that I knew we were going to have so much fun at their wedding.
Fast forward a few months, after a lovely engagement session featured on TheKnot’s How They Asked, and I was at Dumbo’s greatest industrial chic wedding venue 26 Bridge. But I arrived with a bit of a pit in my stomach. Rain was forecast all day, scrapping most outdoor photo options. One of the groomsmen had a family emergency and wasn’t able to make it. And most bonkers of all: their wedding was being filmed by an enormous camera crew for a reality show.
But once I got inside and got to spend time with the incredible couple, I knew everything would be fine. They truly embraced the mantra of Jinkx Monsoon and let every stress go like water off a duck’s back.
Like any good 26 Bridge wedding, we embraced the industrial elements. The grittiness contrasted perfectly to show off Brianna’s gorgeous Lazaro gown and Jimmy Choos. Brianna got ready with her best gal pals in the bridal suite, laughing almost the entire time they got glam.
Brandon got ready just a few blocks away at the Hampton Inn with his groomsmen who made him look especially dapper — and wiped away a few happy tears. After some emotions at the hotel though, the fellas were all laughs and hugs for portraits together.
Brianna and her bridesmaids were all giggles, and when the whole wedding party got together to show off their sunset-inspired ombre of colors together, the fun could truly not be contained. Throughout all of this, I dodged film cameras and carefully cropped out the production crew. I snapped a few individual portraits of the happy couple in some specially designed lighting before the camera crew had to reset their equipment before the ceremony.
The marriage ceremony was exactly how every other service should be: short, sweet, heartfelt, personal, and FILLED WITH LAUGHTER. Their officiant, a close friend, had everyone inside 26 Bridge in stitches with inside jokes about the bride and groom. After the first kiss, they celebrated all the way back down the aisle and out into the foyer.
Even though storm clouds obscured the golden hour tones that Brianna and Brandon had infused their color palette with, we braved the rain outside briefly for some portraits. In these crazy conditions, I love that this gorgeous couple delivered both gleeful joy and absolutely stunning Vanity Fair moments. And their shots with family were pure love and hugs!
The cocktail hour was all about delicious bite size morsels from Caribbean Pearl, plus warm yellow, orange, red and fuchsia florals to brighten up 26 Bridge’s dark, romantic atmosphere. Their guests totally understood the vibe, with folks noshing and goofing around. Everyone felt the warmth despite it being a being a stormy winter night.
After being introduced to the reception with their wedding party as hype men and women, Brianna and Brandon enjoyed their first dance, a cake cutting and some moments at their sweetheart table before Brianna changed into a flowing, while still fully snatched bridal jumpsuit from Je Suis NYC.
She was so stunning in it I begged them for one more little portrait session, and probably screamed “YES! OH MY GAHD! HOLY SHIT!” the whole time out on Dumbo’s cobblestone streets. I would have even jumped for joy, but Brandon beat me to it — literally clicking his heels. Although that might have been to show off his new pair of Jordans he threw on for the rest of the night.
The rest of their reception was a full out fuckin’ party, which tributes from their sorority sisters and fraternity brothers. Although I was never a part of Greek Life in college, I could feel the palpable love and sense of community from Brianna and Brandon’s amazing friends. Then everyone — and I mean EVERYONE, you can clock Grandma on the dance floor too — got down to the Afro-Carribean beats by DJ R2DA for hours later. It was seriously one of the best nights of my life, and even though I was working, my connection with Brianna and Brandon made me feel more like a friend documenting such a loving day. Although this wasn’t my first or last 26 Bridge wedding, it might always be my favorite.
**NOTE: This wedding was in December 2018, before the COVID-19 pandemic and necessary social distancing and community procedures were in place for large gatherings. I am currently photographing socially distanced micro-weddings, engagements, and portrait sessions. Inquire here for more information about scheduling a safe and fun photoshoot soon!
Planner: The Unruffled Bride.
Venue: 26 Bridge.
Hotel: Hampton Inn Downtown Brooklyn.
Caterer & Rentals: Caribbean Pearl.
Desserts: Jus Desserts.
Music: DJ R2DA, Jaime Woods.
Florals: August Sage and Violet.
Wedding Dress: Lazaro.
Bride Jumpsuit: Je Suis NYC by Senami Atinkpahoun.
Bridesmaid Dresses: Lotus Bridal.
Bride Shoes: Jimmy Choo.
Groom and Groomsmen Suits: Macways Suits.
Engagement Ring: J & J Zaidman.
Wedding Bands: Kay Jewelers.
Hair: Gabrielle Corney.
Make-Up: Make Up by Abi Artistry.