As the quote goes, ‘The best things in life are worth waiting for.’ Thanks to the pandemic, Rachel and Nick had to jump through several hoops to reschedule their wedding. So when their big day finally arrived in April of last year, the day was all the more special. So before any other variants hit the news, let’s dive in and check out the Rachel and Nick’s Riviera Waterfront Mansion wedding photos in today’s blog post.
Meet Rachel and Nick
First, let’s meet Rachel and Nick. These two met in college playing for the same volleyball team. Here is Rachel’s summation of how they feel in love: ‘Sometimes you meet people and you just instantly click. We met while playing for the volleyball teams at John Jay College in 2015. We ended our spring semester by getting waffles from the beloved Wafels & Dinges cart, but didn’t speak much until the fall semester when he randomly found my lost ID. However, there were always romantic feelings bubbling beneath the surface. Flash forward to New Years Day 2017 when I walked to Times Square where Nick was working in order to give him a New Year’s kiss. After a strong two-year friendship, we couldn’t deny that there was something more and started a relationship.’
So how did Nick finally pop the question to Rachel? ‘After a day of touring the Alcázar of Seville (for any Game of Thrones fans, this was the location used for the Water Gardens of Dorne) and enjoying tapas and sangria, we returned to our hotel. I went upstairs to have a bottle of wine opened and when I came back to our room, Nick had opened our balcony doors and was playing our song. Next thing I knew, he was down on his knee popping the question. Cue tears and asking if he was serious about 100 times (I really could not believe what was happening) before saying ‘yes’ to forever with the love of my life.’
Getting Ready & the Ceremony
Such a romantic love story would have to have a traditionally romantic ceremony, no? The day began at the Courtyard by Marriott in Farmingdale where the incoming light for the getting ready photos was glorious. The next stop would be Rachel and Nick’s family church, the Parish of St. Barnabus the Apostle in Bellmore, NY. As one could guess, Rachel and Nick decided to not see each other until the bride made her walk down the aisle. The church is beautiful, and comes complete with my favorite architectural feature — a choir loft. You can’t beat a good choir loft for the perfect ceremony wide shot.
First Look vs. Traditional Photography Timelines
In case you’re curious, here is how your photography timeline is affected if you decide to not see each other before you walk down the aisle. With a ‘first look,’ you have the opportunity to take all of your photos ahead of your ceremony: bride and groom portraits, bridal party portraits, and family portraits. This means you take care of all of your photographic ‘chores,’ so to speak, and can then simply enjoy your day pre-ceremony without having to sit and smile for the camera.
With a traditional timeline, you can take photos of the bride and her family, and the groom and his family ahead of time. All other photos, however, will need to be taken after the ceremony. In Rachel and Nick’s case, they left plenty of time in between the ceremony and the reception to take all of the necessary portraits. You should plan for 30 minutes for family photos, 30 minutes for bridal party photos, and 45 minutes to an hour for bride and groom photos in either timeline.
Rachel & Nick’s Riviera Waterfront Mansion Wedding Photos
Since a few family members couldn’t go to the reception venue immediately after the ceremony, we took all of the family photos at the church. Next stop was the Riviera Waterfront Mansion for the bridal party photos and then the bride and groom portraits. The Riviera Waterfront Mansion is a one-stop shop for great photos. There is a precious gazebo, stunning view of South Oyster Bay, and a lovely little garden for any photographic needs. We were racing the clock since ominous clouds were starting to form overhead. This actually worked to our favor since it cut down on the harsh highlights and gave us a magnificent waterfront background that was free from glare.
The reception had plenty of activities to entertain the guests. There were some great speeches by the best man and made of honor, followed by a surprise performance by Rachel’s uncle. The evening ended with a dramatic bouquet toss from the balcony. (No lights were damaged in the act.) Finally, guests were welcomed to a dessert buffet where they could toast their own s’mores.
Rachel and Nick’s wedding was a fantastic evening many years in the planning. I would like to give a quick shout out to Samantha and the staff at the Riviera Waterfront Mansion who did a wonderful job taking care of the guests. Enjoy the images and I’ll have more photo adventures for you next week!
Want to see how it all began? Check out Rachel and Nick’s engagement photos at the Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium here.
Want to see even more Riviera Waterfront Mansion wedding photos? Check out Jessica and Dan’s big day at the mansion here.
- Ceremony venue – Parish of St. Barnabus the Apostle, Bellmore, NY
- Reception venue & caterer – Riviera Waterfront Mansion
- Wedding dress – Lotus Bridal, Mineola
- Bride’s hair stylist – Pure Bridal Beauty
- Bridal party attire – Birdy Grey
- Rings – Gennaro Jewelers, Bellmore
- Florist – Tim’s Florist
- Cake and dessert – Campbell’s Bakery
- DJ – After Hours Entertainment
- Photobooth – After Hours Entertainment
- Videographer – Live Authentically
- Invitation – Minted
- Special transportation – Mark of Elegance Limousine Service
Getting married soon? Drop me a line, and let’s chat about your photography needs.
If you would like to see more images from my wedding photojournalism portfolio, then please visit my website – KellyWilliamsPhotographer.com