When I sit down with a couple at my first meeting, I can usually get a quick read on whether or not a couple will book me. But when I first got together with Savannah and Preston, I just kept saying to myself, “They’re way too cool for me!” These recent transplants to Brooklyn met working at music festivals and regaled me with tales of all the incredible performers they got to see and meet. Preston casually talked about the amazing work he does at Google, and Savannah mentioned her own career that has spanned from teaching in China to plans to releasing her own album (available on Spotify!). To top it all off, they both had the most gorgeous flowing locks, had picked one of the trendiest new venues (Dobbin Street Event Space) that everyone in Williamsburg is buzzing about. I was convinced I’d only ever get to say “oh I met them once!” when someday I saw them on an awards show.
They HAPPILY proved me wrong.
I’m so grateful I got to document their amazing day at Dobbin Street. From getting ready in the sunny bridal suites to portraits in what felt like endless golden hour and the amazing sunset ceremony overlooking downtown Manhattan’s skyline, it was completely a photographer’s paradise.
One of the best parts of the day for me was the inclusion of their pooch, #JakeTheDog, while everyone got dressed and in the background of a lot of portraits. He was looking dapper, and kept the vibe incredibly chill when folks can otherwise feel really anxious. I also love that Savannah had her girl squad – many of whom she worked with on the festival circuit – help her with every aspect of getting ready from hair and makeup to setting up tablescapes and florals to hauling in bar supplies. They weren’t just jacks of all trades, they were queens of them. Who run the world? Bridesmaids! Plus at the end of the day they all still looked stunning. Guys, take note.
The casual vibe of the space and day let everyone feel right at home, so portraits were a breeze with these guys. Savannah and Preston wanted a very low key first look, and then just some sweet moments with themselves, their families and wedding party. I love all the variety that the space had — from graphic walls inside and out to a gorgeous shady courtyard with a bold blue staircase. Making portraits I always feel guilty dragging people around a lot but everything was so centrally located I really got the chance to be creative. And then we took a quick jaunt down Dobbin Street to some of the amazing murals and graffiti that Williamsburg is so known for nowadays. It was a total blast to walk around the ‘hood with their wedding party entourage, especially recreating an Abbey Road vibe.
After taking a moment for everyone to center themselves and be present, the whole wedding party made their way up to Dobbin Street’s rooftop terrace for the ceremony. Savannah and Preston opted for a simple, intimate wedding service with a friend of theirs officiating. Other than acknowledging their pooch when they walked down the aisle, they only had eyes for each other. I personally could have stared at the perfectly timed sunset right behind them all night, but they were so in love it was impossible to take my eyes away from them. Also, a note on sunset ceremonies: These guys did it right by making sure the ceremony planned to conclude right around sunset. I’ve shot a lot of couples who plan ceremonies to start at the exact moment of sunset, but don’t factor in starting late because of tardy guests or extenuating circumstances. Add that to a longer ceremony, and your first kiss can end up in the pitch dark. Especially with gorgeous spots like Dobbin Street that have killer views, the right call is to have sunset occur right during cocktail hour so you and your your guests can really enjoy it and take as many golden hour selfies as possible. Plus, if your first kiss is right at the start of golden hour, the emblazoned sky will match your fiery love for each other!
And that leads us right into the golden hour cocktail hour itself! I felt bad tearing myself away from the fun cocktail hour upstairs to get some of the details downstairs in the reception space, but the classically elegant place settings and tablescapes just had to be shown off. I particularly loved how they embraced their new home of NYC which chic signs of different neighborhood names for instead of just table numbers. Back on the terrace and rooftop, things were getting really fun as folks sprawled out on the rooftop to enjoy hors d’oeuvres and each other. I have to sing the praises of a space like Dobbin Street again for having enough area to actually let guests sprawl out and not clump together during a party. As a thicker dude, I can have trouble navigating a tighter space and remaining inconspicuous enough to get candid moments, but this was a dream.
Then comes the true fun part: THE PARTY! Preston and Savannah’s parents kicked off the reception with blending a roast of the bride and groom (just a little mockery) with actually heartfelt toasts (just enough to tear up, but not full on ugly cry). Savannah also took to the mic to serenade Preston with an original song. Live performances are always one of my favorite things to see at a wedding, and I particularly love grabbing a few shots to know it’s captured, then stepping back to not intrude on the memory making. Then the music was turned over to the badass female-owned DJ team at Stylus Entertainment (who I was so lucky to meet years ago working at Battery Gardens) and got everyone onto the dance floor with my forever-favorite dance songstress: Robyn. From then on it was just a great time for everybody. Folks let their hair down, kicked their feet up (on the tables even), and danced the night away. #JakeTheDog also made some dance floor appearances, completely stealing the show all day.
Savannah and Preston finished off the festivities with the increasingly popular sparkler exit. Although I am always scared to photograph these new traditions (who can trust drunk party guests to not set them on fire while walking blindly backward through an alleyway of small fireworks!), everybody took it slow and just loved cheering on the newlyweds with love and congratulations. With no burns and many smiles, it was a perfect end to a great wedding at Dobbin Street.
Venue —Dobbin Street
Catering — Compartí
Cake — Magnolia Bakery
Bride’s Gown — Hayley Paige
Bridesmaids Gowns, Menswear — David’s Bridal
Rings, Bracelet — Brilliant Earth
Bride Shoes — Everlane
Rentals — Broadway Rental
Florals — Groom’s Family
Second Photographer — Julius Motal