I’ve been spending a lot of editing hours watching wedding movies in the background, and love seeing what Hollywood assumes a wedding should look like. It’s always different (and always missing photographers), but aside from no photographer, they’re much like every wedding I get to photograph! No two weddings are the same. I may be a wedding professional, but brides and grooms are not. This is likely the first time they’ve ever had to plan a wedding, so they’re going to start with the most important decisions for their best day, and then fill in the details.
One of those important decisions for Janie and Michael’s wedding day, was getting married at the chapel at Mount Saint Mary’s in Watchung. Having gone to school there as a young girl, Janie was destined to get married at it’s chapel! Now, this chapel is just stunning. Planted high up on a hill in Watchung, you can’t miss it from the road below. Adorning the main archway, Blue Jasmine created the most beautiful arch of florals and fall inspired leaves!
I knew Janie and Michael wanted to get a picture in front of their floral arch, but they didn’t see each other until Janie walked down the longest aisle ever. The pictures we took right in front of the arch were taken just moments after they became husband and wife. I mean moments. Wedding planner, Joan Glenn from 6 Degrees of Celebration, literally escorted the newlyweds out the door, with me following, and held the doors closed so we could get a few pictures there before the masses exited! It was the most exciting and speedy part of the day! Scroll down and look at those faces! That is genuine excitement so soon after they said their “I dos!”
After we spent about 3 minutes getting pictures in front of the chapel and Mount Saint Mary’s main building, they were off in their limo heading to Natirar!
I think everyone had the same thought as we climbed the hill up to Natirar. “I swear those leaves were green this morning but are golden this evening.” I think it was actually the way the perfect fall sunlight was streaming through the trees that really lit them up! Before the guests arrived for cocktail hour, we took Janie and Michael’s wedding party and family out over the hill for photos and were so spoiled by the gorgeous light streaming through the trees and over the park. The only thing that made it better was a fun group of people full of laughter as we took their pictures.
We finished pictures of Janie and Michael just as the sun disappeared behind the tall pine trees and then it was onto the party! I think there are way more dancing pictures in this blog than usual, but if I’m really going to present this wedding in a true light, the dancing pictures must stay.
When it came time to toast the new Mr. and Mrs., Janie’s Dad started off welcoming their guests and giving a background story to how Janie and Michael started their relationship in high school, went to college together and have been inseparable ever since. Following his hilarious story was Janie’s sister’s toast and finally Michael’s college roommates’ speech. While I cannot recall all of the details of the stories told, one thing was very evident. This room of 200 guests was a close group. They had been around for a lot of the newlyweds’ lives. Every person there probably had hundreds of Janie and Michael stories. It was the biggest family I’ve ever seen.
Janie and Michael, thank you so much for making us part of that family and inviting us to document your beautiful wedding! We loved every minute of it! Soak up some of that Hawaiian sun for me! Thank you also to Barbara Wentzel for your amazing assistance, as always.
Photographers: Lauren Kearns Photography and Barbara Wentzel
Venue: The Mansion at Natirar
Ceremony: The Chapel of the Immaculate Conception
Wedding Planner: 6 Degrees of Celebration
Hair/Makeup: Beauty on Location
Invitations: The Papery of Philadelphia
Florist: Blue Jasmine
Videographer: Shane Kress
Lighting: Fabrico Productions
Groom Attire: The Black Tux
Transportation: A1 Limousine
Rentals: Party Rental Ltd