After a slight social media respite, it’s time to jump back on the horse and publish a new blog post. Today I am pleased to share with you photos from the Brooklyn restaurant wedding of Jessica and Stephen. Unfortunately, bad weather put a damper on their plans for the day. If you will recall in mid-March we had a ‘bomb cyclone’ of snow and general nastiness…yep, that was their wedding day. The good news is that the photos still turned out lovely. Find out how it all transpired in today’s blog post!
How Jessica and Stephen Met
Let’s start the blog with a little love lesson. Jessica and Stephen met while working together. Love developed over a shared affection for snacks. Ladies, if you are looking for a way to lure in a man, try Jessica’s method and always have goldfish crackers on hand in your cubicle.
As for the proposal, Jessica and Stephen had already gone ‘fishing’ for rings together, so the actual asking wasn’t a huge surprise. Still, the location of the proposal was epic – at least by Brooklyn standards. After a meal of sushi, Stephen asked Jessica to marry him under the arch at Grand Army Plaza.
Bad Weather Preparation Saves the Day
Jessica and Stephen, along with their respective families, were staying at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge. Many Brooklyn couples use the Marriott as their ‘getting ready’ hotel of choice since the hotel is fantastically located and reasonably priced. I’d like to add another reason to choose the Marriott: the lengths to which the hotel went above and beyond the call of duty to rescue Jessica and Stephen’s wedding day photos.
Since New York City weather can change on a dime, I don’t normally start to worry about the forecast for any shoot until 48 hours prior. But that said, the prediction of a dreary wedding day was looking to be 100%. As such, I started thinking about indoor backup locations several days ahead of time. In particular, I needed different backgrounds for both the bride and groom portraits and the family portraits, as well as enough space for the ‘first look.’ I called over to the Brooklyn Marriott and spoke with the head of events, Johanna, who could not have been kinder in accommodating Jessica and Stephen.
Most hotels have a no photo policy for the lobby area, but Johanna encouraged us to use the murals on the hotel entry level for any portrait needs as well as the lobby lounge area for family portraits. The results, as you can see here, were gorgeous. While the weather outside was frightful, the light coming in through the windows was magnificent. And although I had to move the first look to the couple’s hotel room, the room more than large enough to photograph this special moment.
Taking all of the photos in one spot turned out to have a timesaving benefit, which resulted in a relaxed bride and groom. The original plan was to have the first look at the plaza in front of Borough Hall, and then move to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade for bride and groom photos, before finally taking a car to Grand Army Plaza for some family photos. (I’m exhausted just typing this.) The upside of bad weather meant that all the photos were taken in one location and we simply had to go from the hotel to Olmsted Restaurant on Vanderbilt Avenue.
Ceremony and Reception at Olmsted Restaurant
With all formal photos out of the way, we jetted off to the restaurant. Guests had already arrived when the bride and groom made their entrance. The room was set beautifully, but simply, with small flower arrangements at every table. There was also a few instant cameras on each table for guests to enjoy. Note the Chinese double happiness sign that served as the focal point for room décor.
As a sign of respect for Jessica’s culture, the ceremony began with a tea ceremony. During the ceremony, Jessica and Stephen served tea to every member of both families, starting with the parents. After the tea ceremony, the groom’s brother officiated as Jessica and Stephen said ‘I do.’
The staff at Olmsted was very kind. Meals were served family style and the grand conclusion of the dining experience was s’mores with chocolate chip cookies served tableside. You know how much I love participatory events at weddings, so I could not have been more excited to photograph dessert. All of Jessica and Stephen’s guests – regardless of age – were thrilled to get in on the action. I mean, why serve a basic wedding cake when you can have s’mores? Indeed, the family that melts marshmallows together, stays together.
Enjoy the images and I’ll have more photo adventures for you next week!
If you like these Brooklyn restaurant wedding photos, then check out images from Lisamarie and Frank’s River Café wedding.
Interested in scheduling some time to chat about your upcoming Brooklyn restaurant wedding? 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
- Getting ready hotel – New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge
- Ceremony & reception venue – Olmsted Restaurant
- Wedding dress – BHLDN
- Wedding rings – Edcora Fine Jewelry
- Special jewelry – Magnolia Jewelers
- Florist – BW&P Floral