Flushing is a very busy neighborhood in Queens. But fear not, you never have to venture out into the chaos for good photos at a Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel wedding. Instead, you have everything you need for great images within the doors of the hotel. In today’s blog post, I’ll be sharing with you photos from Wendy and Joe’s Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel wedding and show how you can look great from your first look to the end of your reception.
Meet Wendy and Joe
Wendy and Joe met the really old-fashioned way… at church! It was truly divine intervention that brought these two together several years ago. They bonded over a shared love of nature and a close set of the same friends.
On their first date, Wendy and Joe visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art and then took a long walk in Central Park. In case you missed my previous blog post, Wendy and Joe re-enacted this first date for their engagement shoot. While the Met was actually closed on the day of our photo shoot due to the Met Gala, we still captured some wonderful images in the Shakespeare Garden. During the shoot, Joe strummed his guitar and the couple rocked out to the Beatles in the middle of Central Park.
Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel Wedding – First Look & Portraits
So that brings us to the couple’s wedding day. Wendy and Joe expected a lot of family to arrive for the wedding. With the chaos of coordinating everyone’s schedules plus the busy street traffic in Flushing, the decision was made to take all the photos inside the hotel.
The couple would be seeing each other before the ceremony, so I knew I needed a place for the first look plus different backgrounds for the bride and groom portraits. Unfortunately, due to the timing of the day, the family portraits would have to be taken around noon, when the sun was at its highest. As such, I needed a shady spot so that everyone would look their best without harsh shadows.
Luckily, the hotel had everything we needed, photo-wise, on the main patio. During the time of Wendy and Joe’s wedding, the hotel was undergoing extensive construction. The main patio has a beautiful garden area planned and lots of landscaping, but this was not available on Wendy and Joe’s wedding day. There were, however, pops of color by way of potted flowers, and the ceremony space had a beautiful iron gazebo. Furthermore, the patio has a large covered roof in the middle. The shade provided by this roof was perfect for both the family portraits and the first look.
All of the bride and groom portraits were shot mere steps from one another. I simply used different lenses and depths of field to create a totally different feel for each photo.
Sheraton LaGuardia East Hotel Wedding – Outdoor Portrait Locations
And while Wendy and Joe opted to stay inside the hotel for their portrait session, you also have some options outside the hotel. I would recommend the Spicy Palace restaurant located on the corner of Prince Street and 38th Avenue. The exterior of the restaurant has fun, colorful murals that are supposed to transport you to exotic destinations. You also have a bit of grass available at the James A. Bland Playground, located at the corner of Prince Street and 40th Avenue. Finally, I’m always a fan of incorporating your environment into your photos. I recommend a few traffic blur shots either in the foreground or background. If you can’t get rid of the crowds, then let them be part of your portrait session.
With the first look and all portraits out of the way, it was time to begin the wedding festivities with a tea ceremony. The hotel kindly provided a side room that was set up with two chairs and a tea set. The couple were given gifts and in turn they showed respect to their family members by offering each person a cup of tea.
Ceremony & Reception
Next up was the ceremony. Wendy and Joe’s pastor is an experienced speaker, and his words of wisdom during the sermon were both moving and entertaining. Take note that the ceremony space is completely outdoors, allowing for some great photos of airline traffic overhead.
After the ceremony, it was time to party. In addition to the usual speeches and cake cutting, the groom put on a surprise performance for the bride. Wendy was overjoyed when she saw Joe break out his guitar to sing a love song to his bride.
The dance floor was definitely a lively place during Wendy and Joe’s wedding for guests of all ages. Wendy and Joe are of the age where everyone is having babies. As such, they made their wedding a very welcoming place for families. The kids had a great time on the dance floor and the DJ played a few songs just for the kids. This was the perfect way to let the little ones get their energy out and also great for photos.
Finally, note the amazing food that was served! Dinner was Chinese banquet style with many courses. Dessert was served as a buffet, and included a traditional rice cake.
Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the wonderful DIY decor throughout the reception space. Wendy has many creative friends – including Nancy and Jeff, whose Bear Mountain Inn wedding I photographed several years ago. Wendy’s friends helped her immensely during her wedding, not only with her bouquet and flowers, but also with the fantastic photo booth at the back of the reception room. THIS is what friends are for.
Enjoy the images, and I’ll have more photo adventures for you next week!
Are you planning a Sheraton LaGuardia East wedding sometime soon? Drop me a line, and let’s talk about your photography needs.
If you would like to see more images from my wedding photojournalism portfolio, then please visit my website – KellyWilliamsPhotographer.com
- Makeup and hair stylist – Reiko Utsugi
- Groom’s attire – Enzo Custom
- Cake & desserts – Martha’s Country Bakery
- Ceremony quartet – Art-Strings Ensembles
- Reception band – RSVP