While planning their Metropolitan Building wedding, Ben and Paul felt some serious pressure.
First off, it was forecast to happen during a hurricane just a few blocks from the East River’s threatening storm surge in Long Island City. Thankfully, no hurricane came.
Second, they picked a historic date for those in the LGBT Community: birthday of the one and only Beyonce. And they definitively payed homage to Queen B all day long (more on that later).
Lastly, I felt some hardcore pressure since these gorgeous guys had chosen to tie the knot in the incredible Metropolitan Building, the #1 on my I-CAN’T-WAIT-TO-SHOOT THERE LIST. The industrial space is a former electrical factory turned event venue. I so desperately wanted to shoot a Metropolitan Building Wedding because the space comes with an entire floor of prop storage frequently featured in Vogue and an airy art deco floor for them to customize and party in. On top of that, I really connected well with these guys as fellow theater buffs living in Astoria referred to me by a close friend, so I would not let them down.
I was excited, but anxious for this wedding, and I can only say that I am SO proud of these images. I hope they capture a truly intimate, jovial, sweet and altogether amazing day I had the privilege of witnessing.
The Big Day
I absolutely love how giddy Ben’s mom was to take photos with her son on his wedding day.
Have you ever seen a more fabulously styled mixed gender wedding party? I don’t think so.
Since Ben works in publishing, I thought he’d appreciate his wedding party catching up on some reading – while he caught some PDA from Ben.
For what you now may be able to tell, the Metropolitan Building’s third floor should been on the top of my dream photoshoot location lists – and it’s funky and far out opportunities will not disappoint. I was a huge fan of the natural light and sea of chairs. Below is one of my favorite moments of the day, when they heard through the floor boards the arrangement of a favorite song they’d shortly be walking down the aisle to. Here is one of those ‘happy tears’ moments that is just magic as a wedding photographer.
Musically inclined grooms, Ben and Paul serenaded each other at the piano we stumbled across. But what do you sing to your boo before you walk down the aisle? Beyonce’s ‘Love on Top.’ Obviously.
With so many mirrors around, you have to stop for just a little preening.
While the happy couple were smart and kept the accessories to a minimum with their bold blazers, Ben added a sentimental touch and wore the pocket watch of his late father, assuring his Dad was by his side both in spirit and physically.
As actors back in the day, Ben and Paul filled the day with musical theater, including a reference to the cult hit film ‘Waiting for Guffman,’ a string quartet serenading the crowd with selections from ‘Sundays in the Park with George,’ and tables named after Sondheim shows.
The couple’s friends treated them to sweet songs, passages of their favorite books, and assurances that Ben’s late father would be so proud. It’s easy to say everyone got emotional, and this sap had to photograph through his own ugly crying.
Formal portraits were a nice mix of classic family moments and kooky friend groupings – a perfect mix in my book.
Some people really know how to make an entrance. Some people choose snazzy outfits (Ben and Paul had it covered). Others go for having an excited crowd ready to receive them (check). But Ben and Paul opted for an entire choreographed dance with their wedding party to the one and only Beyonce’s “Get Me Bodied.” On that note: Beyonce should always be considered when planning an awesome entrance.
Sometimes I feel like I’m pulling teeth to have my couples show each other genuine emotion in front of a camera, but Ben and Paul were so sweet and open with their affection and joy. They will forever be in my Top 5 favorite couples.
While most wedding cake toppers wouldn’t make much sense with the figures holding a knife and a rolling pin, it was perfect for Ben and Pau,l who met on a production of ‘Sweeney Todd.’ Ben, an avid baker, channeled the show’s Mrs. Lovett and made a selection of pies for the evening to accompany the cake. Although he left out her signature ingredient: humans.
While I am not the hippest person in New York City, I can confidently say the rest of the evening was lit, turnt, oozing swag, and altogether a kickass party. Kudos to their guests who entertained the crowd with splits and break dancing. I also was a fan of the praying to the groom during Madonna’s ‘Like a Prayer.’
The boys finished the night with a synchronized ’boutonniere’ toss, which two happy couples in the crowd were excited to receive!
Since one of our lovely grooms works in literature and publishing, I thought it’d b appropriate to show off their rings beside the dictionary definition of love. Although whatever the words Merriam Webster actually settled on, I think Ben and Paul’s affection and kindness shown to each other their whole wedding day was an even better example of L-O-V-E.
As a huge fan of weddings at the Metropolitan Building, I offer 10% off all wedding packages at this venue. Just mention Ben and Paul’s wedding in your first message to me to take advantage of this discount!