Behind the Scenes: Hoboken Venue Checks

Photo of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Jersey City to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

Hi everyone!  This weekend I took a trip to Hoboken to prepare for the wedding of Francesca and Rory, which will be happening this Saturday.  I simply cannot wait for their big day to arrive.  They have a beautiful wedding planned (with the help of event planners, Hold Your Hand Events), and plenty of time packed into their wedding day schedule to make sure that we get the photos this wedding deserves.

Photo of the W Hotel in Hoboken to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams
The happy couple planning the details of the reception at the W Hotel

Let’s start with the church itself: St. Anthony of Padua in Jersey City.  Though you would never know it from the outside,…

Photo of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Jersey City to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

…the church is simply gorgeous inside.  Of particular interest to me, photographically-speaking, is the upstairs balcony from which I should be able to get some great overhead shots during the ceremony.  Though the church is quite dark inside, with the benefit of my high-powered Canon 5D Mark III camera, there should be no problem photographing the ceremony without the disruption of flash.  As with all ceremonies I shoot, I will only be using flash during the procession and recession so that I don’t annoy any guests.  Also, the pillars along the side aisles make for great camouflage, so I can safely catch all the action and still not be an eyesore.

Photo of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Jersey City to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Jersey City to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Jersey City to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

If we have time, I would love to shoot some fun photos of the bridal party in front of a colorful mural I found on a side street across from the church, or even get a shot of the bride and groom in front of this beautiful stone wall.

Photo of Jersey City to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of Jersey City to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of Jersey City to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

After the ceremony we have two hours set aside for photos: that means photos of all the family, the bridal party, and the bride and groom alone.  I think we will probably start with the bridal party at the Hoboken train station.  The train station is simply beautiful inside, and if we can time it right so as to avoid an onslaught of commuters, we should be able to get some very unique photos that truly capture the spirit of Hoboken.  I would also love to get some shots of the bride and groom alone in the station.

Photo of the Hoboken train station to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of the Hoboken train station to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of the Hoboken train station to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of the Hoboken train station to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of the Hoboken train station to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of the Hoboken train station to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of the Hoboken train station to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of the Hoboken train station to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of the Hoboken train station to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

Next up are waterfront photos.  The reception for the wedding will be held at the W Hotel in Hoboken, which is located on River Street.  Weather permitting, I would love to shoot at Pier C Park, which is located directly across from the hotel and has a fantastic view of the NYC skyline.  This spot will be perfect for all of the family photos, some remaining group shots of the bridal party, and more photos of Francesca and Rory alone.  Best of all, Pier C is so close to the W.  When considering a spot for family photos, you always have to ensure that family members don’t have far to travel.  Everyone is going to be wearing their best shoes and fancy clothes, so you don’t want anyone to have to walk far to have their picture taken.  In addition, you have to consider any elderly or infirmed family members that may not be able to walk far.

Photo of Pier C Park to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of Pier C Park to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of Pier C Park to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of Pier C Park to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of Pier C Park to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of Pier C Park to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of Pier C Park to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams
NYC weather in June being what it is, I have to have a rain back up location in mind, and I found the perfect spot inside the W Hotel.  The cocktail hour will be held at Lulu’s inside the W, and the bar has a wonderful patio with a view to the NYC skyline.  It is completely covered, and is a great spot to have in my back pocket should I need to use it.

Photo of the W Hotel to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams
The patio at Lulu’s
Photo of the W Hotel to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams
The view from the patio

There are tons of hidden gems within the W Hotel itself that will be wonderful photo opportunities, mainly for photos of Francesca and Rory alone.  The downstairs lounge is where we will most likely stage the ‘first look’ — that is, the time when Rory sees Francesca in her wedding dress for the first time.  Though the couple won’t be seeing each other for the first time when she walks down the aisle, this is still a beautiful moment that both captures the look of love as a groom sees his bride for the first time and still allows the convenience of getting photos out of the way before the ceremony.

Photo of the W Hotel to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of the W Hotel to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of the W Hotel to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams
The staircase in the downstairs lounge at the W

Photo of the W Hotel to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of the W Hotel to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of the W Hotel to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of the W Hotel to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

Finally, the reception itself will be held in one of the largest ballrooms at the W.  Of particular note here is the fact that the windows and overhead skylights allow in so much natural light.  I can’t wait to photograph this reception!  The ceilings re very tall, but they are white, and this is great for bouncing flash later in the evening when it gets dark.

Photo of the W Hotel to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

Photo of the W Hotel to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

One last spot to note: Francesca and Rory’s rehearsal dinner will be held at Amanda’s Restaurant on Washington Street in Hoboken.  This restaurant has such an elegant feel.  The family will host the dinner in the back ballroom for about 30 guests.  Take note of the beautiful chandelier!

Photo of Amanda's Restaurant to accompany an article on venue checks by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams

Be watching this blog for photos on Saturday of the rehearsal dinner, and Sunday for photos from the wedding.


If you would like to see more photos by Hoboken wedding photographer, Kelly Williams, be sure to visit her website.

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