Meet Gianna and Ryan. A gorgeous couple whom I had the pleasure of meeting back in July 2019 -- click here for a glimpse of their engagement shoot pictures blog post.
Here is a little snippet of their love story
These two met in high-school and were friends for three years before they started dating! Their families have known each other for over 40 years; Their grandfathers knew each other through Ryan's father who remodeled Gianna's kitchen! How crazy is that?
During Easter of 2019, Ryan proposed to Gianna in the cutest way. During the family 'adult' Easter egg hunt Ryan planted the ring inside a plastic Easter egg for Gianna to find. Everyone was told that there is a very special prize this year and the hunt began! Her grandfather held onto the plastic egg and at the end of the hunt hands the egg to Ryan. Ryan opens the egg and gets down on one knee and pops the question... without a doubt Gianna said yes!
And the rest is history!
It was a gorgeous day to get married!
The day began at a family friend's home, where Gianna got ready for her big day. When I arrived I began taking photographs of her gorgeous dress and wedding details -- some of my favorite photographs to capture. The soft pinks, and dusty lavender were the perfect combination of colors for her day. Her bouquets were handmade and looked it...elegant and royal.
Once the girls were all in their robes and ready I snapped a few photographs. Then it was time to get Gianna in that gown! She glowed. The dress looked like it was made for her and seamlessly molded to her. Gianna knew this was her dress the second she saw it at the bridal shop. She saw it on the mannequin and knew it was the one. I love it!
The house has beautiful natural sunlight pouring through the windows, which definitely makes for a happy photographer. Gianna gave her mother-in-law a touching gift and wore her mother's wedding ring on her right hand. A tribute to her mom that made her feel as if she was right there with her on her special day.
After we got some pictures of Gianna and her bridesmaids I headed to Lucien's to meet Ryan and his groomsmen. All of the guys were excited for Ryan who definitely seemed a little on the nervous side, just jitters though! I made sure to get a few photographs of some cheers-ing, getting ready, and some fun group shots. Ryan gave all his guys initialed cuff links and wanted me to make sure I captured a photo of them! They looked awesome! After getting some photographs of the guys practicing their model skills outside of the venue, and getting a few more photographs of Gianna and her girls...we were ready for a wedding! Gianna wanted to feel like a princess on her big day, and she absolutely did. She looked stunning and like royalty sitting on that couch.
Their beautiful ceremony was held at Lucien's Manor. A breathtaking room full of natural light from an extraordinary glass ceiling. Dazzling chandeliers decorated the room and sparkled in the light -- this venue was perfect for Gianna and Ryan.
Down the aisle came the handsome groomsmen, gorgeous bridal party, and the cutest flower girls! Then it was Gianna's turn...the look on Ryan's face when Gianna walked down the aisle -- wow. These two decided on not doing a first look, so this was extremely important for me to get a photograph of! Ryan's face says it all. If I am not mistaken, there were even a few tears shed.
Gianna's grandfather escorted her down the aisle, which was a truly beautiful touch to the ceremony. Their vows were handwritten to one another and love gleamed in their eyes. The officiant, Leslie Woodward includes a wine ceremony during her weddings. Ryan and Gianna each added wine to the carafe then each poured a glass for the other. They sealed their vows with a kiss as the sunlight filled the room.
I loved this venue and this space. We were able to utilize Lucien's Manor's garden space for bridal party and bridal couple photos and it was perfect. Such a beautiful landscape with gorgeous architecture. A bridge, gazebo, and brick path to a little private wooded area were among some of the stunning backdrops we utilized.
Ryan and Gianna had been perfecting their posing since their engagement shoot and had their nuzzling an dipping photographs down pat! They were perfect. When the sun filtered through the trees towards the end of our photo time, I smiled...they were perfect moments which made for some perfect photography.
After the cocktail hour, their reception began with a bang! The new Mr. and Mrs. were announced with huge sparkler as they walked down the stairs. Every last detail was exquisite and royal, which truly captured what Gianna envisioned for her big day. Their first dance was out of a movie-- so dramatic and full of emotion. The spotlight beamed on them as Beautiful in White by westlife played in the background! Friends and family surrounded the happy couple and the night was full of good food, fun toasts, and lots of dancing. I definitely held back a tear as Rascal Flat's "My Wish" played for Gianna and her grandfather's dance.
I loved witnessing the always hilarious and cute shoe game, the bouquet toss, and garter toss! Their cake was gorgeous as well as absolutely delicious! During the night we were even able to sneak away and snap a few more photographs! I always love getting a few pictures at the end of the night. It wraps the whole day up and captures that "WE DID IT!" vibe at the end of the night!
A gorgeous and beautiful day for a beautiful couple. I think and hope all of their royalty wedding dreams came true! And this lucky couple will be spinning each other around in circles in Saint Lucia for their honeymoon.
I reached out to Gianna after, and she said her day was everything she ever imagined and more. She felt incredibly blessed and lucky to have had her grandfather walk her down the aisle. Her most memorable moment was leaving the chapel and realizing this was the moment she has always dreamed of!
Gianna's advice to future brides is to soak it all in -- it flies by!
Thank you for choosing me to capture your wedding story. Getting to know you both and being able to give you photographs and lasting memories of your big night is truly an honor. I look forward to being able to capture future memories for you as your love and family grow.
Thank you so much
Officiant: Leslie Betts Woodward 856.625.4464
Hair Stylist: Maria Donnelly 856.905.2187
Makeup: Tina Basile 856.366.0216
Venue: Lucien's Manor https://luciensmanor.com/
Caterer and Cake: https://luciensmanor.com/
Band/DJ: Addendum http://www.basaramedia.com/dj-entertainment
Videographer: Basara Media http://www.basaramedia.com/dj-entertainment
Wedding Gown: Kay Bridal https://www.kaybridals.com/
Ed and Gina | A Valentine's day Wedding | Ocean City, NJ City Hall | New Jersey Civil Ceremony | New Jersey Wedding Photographer
Meet Ed & Gina
Meet Ed and Regina. These two met in quaint Smithville, NJ by the bridge and fell for each other instantly. They fell deeper and deeper in love and eventually Ed sealed the deal. It was Christmas Day when Ed proposed to Gina on the beach in Cape May, NJ. On the most gorgeous beach, Sunset Beach, might I add. Of course Gina said yes and the rest is history.
They both decided there was not a better day to get married than on Valentine's Day. Ed and Gina got married in their favorite city, Ocean City, at the city hall. They both love the city and the beach so it was perfect!
Ed had contacted me at the beginning of the week about photographing their wedding ceremony on Valentine's Day. I luckily had a cancellation, and was excited that I was able to photograph these special memories for them!
For Gina's wedding look, she went for a retro style. She looked absolutely stunning in her wedding fascinator with the bird cage netting and fur shawl. Her bouquet is handmade by Gina herself.
Their rings are both antiques they found on amazon!
I loved all the small details intertwined into their wedding day. Small intimate weddings are so special and make photographing the special moments a little easier. I loved being able to capture their vows and first kiss as a married couple.
The city hall had a gorgeous marble staircase. I couldn't resist utilizing it! We got some beautiful photographs inside on the staircase and then went outside to get a few photos in front of city hall. It was a tiny bit chilly, with a breeze. Wind can be your friend sometimes. It definitely helped create some gorgeous shots with Gina's wind blown dress and hair! Definitely added onto the retro ambiance we were going for!
Ed and Gina both wanted to get a few photographs on the boardwalk. Of course I couldn't say no! If you're getting married in Ocean City, NJ then boardwalk photographs are a must! The chilly wind didn't phase the newly weds and we had the boardwalk all to ourselves!
We snapped a few photographs in front of the famous Music Pier, got some ocean shots, and snapped some shots at one of their favorite places on the boardwalk! Shivers is an old-fashioned candy shop that makes some decadent chocolate and the best salt water taffy. It was so special getting photographs in one of their favorite spots on the boardwalk.
Documenting these kinds of memories are why I love my job. This intimate ceremony was so beautiful and fun for me to capture. It seemed like fate that I had a cancellation and Ed reached out to me. I hope I get the chance of seeing them again in the future so I can continue to tell their love story through photographs.
Thank you so much again for the privilege and honor of capturing these special moments for you both! Congratulations Ed and Gina and Happy Valentine' Day!
Melana and Mike...Engaged | A Batsto Village Engagement session | South New Jersey Engagement | New Jersey Wedding Photographer
𝒴𝑜𝓊 𝓀𝓃𝑜𝓌 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝒶𝓇𝑒 𝒾𝓃 𝓁𝑜𝓋𝑒 𝓌𝒽𝑒𝓃 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝒸𝒶𝓃'𝓉 𝒻𝒶𝓁𝓁 𝒶𝓈𝓁𝑒𝑒𝓅 𝒷𝑒𝒸𝒶𝓊𝓈𝑒 𝓇𝑒𝒶𝓁𝒾𝓉𝓎 𝒾𝓈 𝒻𝒾𝓃𝒶𝓁𝓁𝓎 𝒷𝑒𝓉𝓉𝑒𝓇 𝓉𝒽𝒶𝓃 𝓎𝑜𝓊𝓇 𝒹𝓇𝑒𝒶𝓂𝓈.
Meet Melana and Mike
Melana and Mike met through mutual friends while boating in the summer of 2013. Little did they know they just met their forever. Their second date was at Chickie's & Pete's in Atlantic City and after dinner they people watched on the boardwalk. That was when Melana knew this was something special.
Five years later on their anniversary Mike sealed the deal. Melana and Mike have a tradition where they order their favorite Chicago pizza, Lou Malnatis, open a bottle of wine, and have a movie night on their anniversary. This year was a little different though. After a long day of work they both were settled in, wearing comfy clothes, full from dinner, and about to clean up the kitchen before their movie. As Melana turned around about to clean the kitchen, Mike was down on one knee! Of course through tears she said yes! On top of it all, her best friend showed up all the way from Boston with a bottle of Champagne to celebrate! It was the perfect proposal!
Mike and Melana have been together almost seven years now, and engaged for almost two. And the rest is history!
These two were so much fun. I had so much fun! It was the perfect day at Batsto Village for an engagement shoot -- a beautiful location for a beautiful couple. They both have never had professional photographs taken..and I must say they are definitely pros now! We even got the fur babies included in the fun!
Look at that rock! Melana's ring was absolutely stunning. Ring shots are some of my favorite to photograph during the engagement session. The intricate, delicate, and gorgeous details all come to life. I try to incorporate the elements around us and find contrast that makes the ring pop. I also love photographing these rings because they are all so unique. It reflects the bride's style and is such a personal piece of jewelry.
You can find these two traveling especially to the Key West or Vegas, trying new places to eat, and spending time with their fur babies Rocco and Nikki. They both love each other's sense of humor. They try to not take life so seriously and could be found always being silly or goofy. They're big kids and like to laugh through life together. Melana and Mike are both very hard-working, and make a point to enjoy the time they get with each other.
Did I mention this was their first time getting professional photographs? They killed it! Their poses were so fluid, and they nailed every photograph.
I love these sessions at Batsto. There are so many opportunities and backdrops for photographs. But I know what you are thinking. Where is that favorite door of yours Maria? Don't worry I could never neglect my favorite spot!
I always inquire what my couples envision for their wedding day. Mike and Melana both agreed that they want their celebration very casual, laidback, and intimate with all of their friends and family enjoying themselves. They picture a beautiful day with crisp fall leaves decorating the trees, surrounded by the people they love, and delicious food!
Melana and Mike, I look forward to watch all of your wedding day dreams come true in October! Thank you for such a fun time and thank you for the honor of capturing these memories for you!
Meet Aj and Ashley
AJ and Ashley met at a mutual friend's party. They exchanged snapchats that night, but it was awhile before either reached out. They talked on and off and slowly something started to form. A year later they started dating and they have been together ever since!
Ashley and AJ got engaged in the happiest place on earth...Disney World! They were taking a vacation with AJ's side of the family and on almost the last day of vacation they spent the day at Epcot. Next thing Ashley knew, AJ was down on one knee right in front of the Epcot ball! His family made sure to get tons of pictures for them!
You can find Ashley and AJ spending time with their sweet nine-month old daughter, Isabella or bonding over football. They love the Baltimore Ravens and visit Baltimore every year to see a game! The rest of the football season they watch and bond over the games at home! The thing Ashley loves most about AJ is how he always makes her feel so loved. AJ loves how Ashley always puts his needs before her own. They are a perfect match.
We spent the morning at Batsto Village to capture a rustic look for their engagement photos. You already know how much I love photographing this location, but once again... I love photographing here! It was a cool Sunday morning with no wind and the perfect filtered sun peaking through the clouds! I had fun with these two, and they are so cute together. Their smiles are perfect and AJ mastered the nuzzle and snuggler pozes perfectly!
Ashley wanted a rustic location and my mind instantly went to Batsto. I love all the old architecture with so many different textures. The old stone, bricks, and worn wood capture rustic in its entirety. We got some great photographs by the old barn and the smaller blue door. The photographs of them sitting in front of the old barn are breath-taking and some of my favorites!
You may be wondering...Maria where is that infamous blue door you gush about? Well don't worry...we got some perfect photographs in my favorite spot! These two rocked it! It is my job to guide you through the poses and let you know what looks good and how to move your body to get the best angles. By the end of the session I will declare you models. It is truly that easy! Ashley and AJ didn't need much coaching. They made my job so easy and they look phenomenal in every photograph!
And that ring...
I always encourage couples to bring a change of clothes because they can change the look and style of your photographs instantly. A casual outfit and a dressy outfit are the perfect go-to's. Casual clothes capture a more relaxed vibe, and dressy outfits make everything look so polished! After AJ and Ashley changed we snapped a few more photographs by the old mill. I love how seamlessly they mold together in these photographs. You can see how comfortable and in love they are with each other.
I am looking forward to their October wedding. They are getting married in a beautiful church in Margate, NJ and are planning a backyard reception at AJ's family's home. Their ceremony and reception will both be intimate and comfortable for them. I know their day will be perfect because it is their dream wedding day.
Ashley and AJ, I loved getting to know the both of you better and can't wait to capture your special day. Thank you so much for honoring me with the opportunity and I'll see you in October!
Meet Perry and Kristina. They met while working at the same company in New Hampshire. Kristina joined Perry's team in 2015 and sat at desks next to each other. Work required them to pick a Saturday to work and they coincidentally picked the same day. They ended up getting drinks afterward and the rest is history.
On July 7th Perry made a day of plans for them while they were visiting Ridley Creek State Park in Media, PA. They had just gotten back from a trip to Croatia, so Kristina was definitely not expecting a proposal that day. When they arrived to the park there was a pebble path leading to a basket with Kristina's name on it, two envelopes, champagne, and some chocolate. The first envelope contained pictures of the two of them throughout their relationship and within the second was a picture of a dog. They had just recently put down a four-legged friend and Kristina had really been wanting another. The picture of the dog came with a message introducing herself as an adoptable dog named Dollie in Allentown, and that she was excited to meet her and see if she could be part of their family...and that Perry had an important question to ask Kristina. And then Perry proposed!
Kristina said yes of course, and they brought Dollie home the next week. Now you can find Perry and Kristina spending time with their dog, being outdoors, hiking, going on trips, going out to eat, and going to Sixer's games. One thing they love most about each other are their easy-going personalities. They both love to try to stay positive and not stress about the small things.
I had the pleasure of meeting up with Kristina and Perry at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. The weather was chilly, but had that perfect hazy sunshine. Everything was decorated for the holidays and it was beautiful!
We started out at this beautiful gazebo and worked our way throughout the grounds. These two rocked it and were the perfect models! The architecture at Longwood Gardens always creates such a dreamy landscape for photographs.
The Garden's have a beautiful fountain and main courtyard outside, however during this time of year they feature seasonal flowers and decorations inside the conservatory, so that's where the crowds were. This was my first time here not during the busy summer season, and we took full advantage and got to enjoy everything without any people strolling through it. The symmetry in every building, statue, fountain and garden is so aesthetically pleasing-- a photographer's dream. Kristina and Perry looked picture-perfect as they melted in seamlessly with every position and backdrop.
We headed inside to the Conservatory after spending a good 45 minutes in the chilly air. It was exquisite. The conservatory is always beautiful, however during this time of year it is decorated with poinsettias and Christmas decorations which was truly stunning. We had to work fast as it was busy with people, but these two were awesome and patient with me trying to get the best shots. I think they came out perfectly!
We went to the orchid's greenhouse which is always a great spot for some photographs in the conservatory. I have several photos in the this spot and it never disappoints. I love the lines of the greenhouse and every time I come here I think to myself...I have to get them to stand by this arch!
Before leaving the conservatory we ventured through the summer garden, the banana room, and the succulent room. The colors of summer were very vibrant and alive with the bright pinks and purples! The succulent room is one of my personal favorites as well!
Of course I saw another great spot, so we had to stop and snap a few more. Perry and Kristina had the poses down pat and we even went into advance posing. They walked, snuggled, and danced! We had fun, and it was a great session!
On my way out of the park I stopped to take a few photos along the way of the scenery. Longwood Gardens never disappoints and it is a beautiful location all year-round. If you have a chance to visit them I highly recommend it!
Perry and Kristina envision a laid back and stress free day to celebrate with their friends and family. They are getting married August 2020 at the breathtaking Anthony Wayne house in Pennsylvania and it will surely be magical. I am looking forward to seeing all their dreams come true as they say I do.
Thank you so much Kristina and Perry for letting me capture these memories for you, as always it is such an honor and congratulations on your engagement!
Photo of the Year 2019 | Baby Bernie | South New Jersey Photographer | Mays Landing New Jersey Photographer
Memories by Maria
Every photo has a story and every story will have many photos.