Last week I shared Jasmine and John’s fun Astoria Park engagement photos. So, for this week’s blog post, let’s see how it all turned out with photos of their amazing Terrace on the Park wedding. Prepare yourself for equally fun and fantastic photos that include butterflies, a Buddhist ceremony, and of course, a beautiful bride.
Meet Jasmine and John
In last week’s blog post, I told you all about Jasmine and John. They met in 2007 through a shared devotion to Buddhism, and have a very entertaining proposal story that you should definitely read. Now, let’s jump forward to the wedding day.
The Butterfly Wedding Dress
Jasmine and John are not a ‘cookie cutter’ couple. As such, they made sure that every detail of their Terrace on the Park wedding was as unique as their individual personalities. From their attire to the events of the day, each moment of their wedding was personalized. Take for instance, Jasmine’s gorgeous wedding dress and veil. While the elegant dress was bought at BHLDN, Jasmine hired a talented seamstress to bring her vision of a butterfly wedding dress to life. The dress and veil are decorated with airy, organza butterflies in memory of her dearly departed sister.
The Work-of-Art Bouquet
Like her wedding dress, Jasmine’s bouquet was a true work of art. Hand crafted out of papier-mâché, the bouquet is actually a set of molded hands by artist and friend Jessi. The hands, when assembled together, look like flower petals. At the center of the bouquet was a feather, to mark the passing of Jasmine‘s sister, and a portrait of John’s departed mother. In case you are curious, the bouquet was sturdy, yet lightweight.
We started the day at the couple’s Astoria apartment, where I began by photographing Jasmine’s stress. With all of the details photographed quickly, it was time to launch into the ‘getting ready’ photos. It was quite an emotional moment as Jasmine zipped into her dress with her sister, Marilyn, and friend, Jessi. That said – as I tell all my couples – never worry about letting the tears fall. Waterworks are always great for photos.
But it wasn’t all tears. We had some fun during the getting ready time as well. The couple made sure not to see each other before their official ‘first look’ in Astoria Park. However, they did sneak in a quick handholding moment in between door frames right before we left for their portrait session. It was a cute, and completely spontaneous, event that I am so glad I captured.
The First Look & Portraits
While I was originally worried that rain was going to put a damper on Jasmine and John’s wedding day, their first look went off without a hitch. Of course, it helps that we had completed a dry run of their portrait session the night prior. It was extremely hot and humid on their wedding day, so I cut my shot list down by half so we could return to air conditioning sooner. As with their rehearsal dinner mini session, we took photos in Astoria Park along the waterfront, in front of the Hell Gate Bridge, and underneath the Hell Gate Bridge arches. Jasmine and John had their bridal party join us for the end of the portrait session, and the photos we took together are some of my favorites.
The Butterfly Release
In order to accommodate Jasmine’s dress, the couple had rented a full bus to get the bridal party from Astoria Park to the venue. Once we arrived at Terrace on the Park, the couple had a butterfly release with the immediate family. This was a very intimate moment to celebrate the passing of loved ones. This was also my first butterfly release, and it was such a special event.
At the release, Jasmine and John explained the significance of the moment to the family members present. They then opened the box together and woke up the butterflies. Apparently, the little buggers had been taking a nap, and quite a few of them needed to be helped out of the box. The ceremony ended with a magical, Snow White moment when a butterfly landed on Jasmine’s finger.
A Terrace on the Park Wedding – Family Portraits
Due to the heat and humidity, everyone wanted to pile back inside the venue for family portraits. We had originally scheduled to take photos on the penthouse roof, but another party was already underway. This didn’t prove to be an issue at all, because Terrace of the Park has plenty of beautiful interior spaces for small and large group photos. We ended up taking all the family portraits in the ballroom lobby.
A Terrace on the Park Wedding – The Buddhist Wedding Ceremony
Next up was the Buddhist wedding ceremony. The ceremony began with chanting and the display of a scroll from the couple’s personal altar. Photos of the scroll were not allowed, and I made sure to follow the couples wishes. After the chanting portion of the ceremony, the event followed a traditional wedding schedule with the exchange of rings and a big kiss at the end.
One of the biggest highlights of the ceremony was John’s nephews, who served as the adorable ring security force. They even had fake ear pieces to complete their bodyguard look. Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention the fantastic singers who performed during the ceremony. Jasmine comes from a theatrical background, so she was able to call on friends and family to perform three songs.
A Terrace on the Park Wedding – Cocktail Hour & Reception
Finally, it was time to party. The cocktail hour began with the usual exhaustive spread from the Terrace on the Park catering crew. The lively atmosphere of the cocktail hour segued perfectly into the reception. The party included several very touching speeches, a hilarious cake-cutting session, and even pyrotechnics. What more do you need when you say ‘I do’?
Enjoy the images, and I will have more photo adventures for you next week!
Are you planning a Terrace on the Park wedding soon? Drop me a line if you have an event planned before December 10, 2023. After that date I am headed to San Antonio and hope to work with you down south. Looking for a few more Terrace on the Park wedding tips? Check out this article here.
If you would like to see more images from my wedding portfolio, then please visit my website – KellyWilliamsPhotographer.com
- Wedding dress – BHLDN, Jenny by Jenny Yoo Charlotte V-Neck Open-Back Wedding Gown
- Tailor for wedding dress – Sew in Love
- Butterflies – Tarnavskaya Studio, Etsy
- Bride’s shoes – Margaux, ‘The City Sandal’ in champagne
- Bride’s hair stylist & makeup – Dmitris Letsios
- Bridal party attire – David’s Bridal
- Wedding rings – Holden
- Bride’s necklace – Metropolitan Gems
- Ceremony & reception venue – Terrace on the Park
- Caterer – Terrace on the Park
- Bride’s bouquet – Jessica Browne-White, aka Dreamscapes Ink
- Bridesmaids’ flowers – Paper Flowers on Etsy
- Wedding cake – Elite Bakery
- Wedding cake edible butterflies – Sugar Robot, Etsy
- Guest favors – LaBenida Hui
- DJ – Bravo Sound
- Photobooth – Bravo Sound
- Transportation – M&V Limo