Nothing can top starting off a wedding better than two dashing grooms running your way, bursting with happiness on their wedding day! There are many people in this world that take their right to get married for granted, but not these two. Although they have been a devoted couple for years now, it was not until July 24, 2011, under the Marriage Equality Act, that two men or two women could legally get married in New York Sate. Thank you Governor Andrew Cuomo! Finally!
Josh (left) and Jason (right) decided to do their wedding day portraits in Dumbo, the neighborhood underneath the Manhattan bridge overpass. The neighborhood that was once quiet is now a bustling artist colony and offers incredible views of the bridges with the quaint charm of the cobblestone roads and unique outdoor art pieces.Photographing Jason and Josh walking from one place to another was so much fun. They could not keep their eyes off of each other!! Their smiles said it all!
After an hour or so of running around Dumbo the guys told me that they had letters to exchange. The sky had just started to let out a few sprinkles, not enough to make us run for cover but enough to clear out the tourists. We found a little spot with tables and chairs set up and it made for the perfect setting to share their letters. Greg and I ducked behind bushes and used our long lens to give them some space.
The letter exchange was so beautiful to witness that it was hard to focus my camera because I started to tear up myself!!! We were so happy that Jason and Josh took this time to sit and read the letters. We knew as soon as we got to the venue it would be full speed ahead without a chance to steal a moment. Welcome to the old Brooklyn Navy Yard- home of Stage 6 at Steiner Studios! The Brooklyn Navy Yard, commissioned by Thomas Jefferson, was once a bustling place. During the second World War the yard employed 70,000 people 24 hours a day. When I went to Pratt Institute in the 90′s we would walk by the Navy Yard and it was a ghost town! In 2004 the Navy Yard was converted into Steiner Studios the largest US film and television production studio complex outside of Hollywood. What a difference!The walls were covered with posters of movies and television shows that were filmed here- here are two that I’m sure we all know! (When Greg and I arrived at the Studio for our venue walk-through there were a bunch of FBI agents outside. Instantly I was filled with that “ohhh what happened” feeling until I realized that they were actors on a break!)
The scene was set, Jason and Josh wanted their wedding to have the same buzz and excitement as a movie premier!The guys were dressed to perfection in their tuxes. Josh was wearing J Crew and Jason was wearing Bonobos. I love the cufflinks they added to have some wedding day bling!Before the guests arrived Jason, Josh and their family members went upstairs for the Ketubah signing. Josh was raised Jewish but Jason was not. Jason with his love and respect for Josh and his religion took a 40-week course to convert to become Jewish!When all the signatures were done, the Rabbi asked each set of parents to say a few private words to their son.Then he asked them to switch and have a few private words with their new son!!
The newly joined family gathered around for the Rabbi’s last prayer.Meanwhile down below, the guest were arriving on the red carpet and getting photographed in front of the step and repeat to start their night off like movie stars!How cool is this step and repeat!!!???Upon entering the Studio the guests found their table placement on this creatively set up table showcasing pictures of Jason and Josh throughout the years. I love how beds of grass held the names of the guests.The Grooms Party!!! I can’t tell you how many times I said bridal party! We all laughed as we realized how bride-centered the wedding industry is! Not for long in New York State! Jason and Josh’s groom party was made up of (left to right) Josh’s sister-in-law and his brother. Then on the right we have Jason’s sister and his brother-in-law and his sister-in-law with his brother! I love how the ladies got to wear white dresses!!!The flowers for the bouquets and the boutineers were magnificently done by Barbara’s Flowers and perfectly tied into the essence of the whole day. Wait until you see the table pieces!Josh is escorted down the aisle by his parents.I love this image, so much emotion on Josh’s face as he watches Jason being escorted by his parents to the chuppah.I love this image captured by Greg of Jason walking towards Josh.The setting was stunning, chrome boxes with grasses alternating with candles created a line for your vision to the unique chuppah. Then a view of the city like no other was just icing on the cake.Jason and Josh exchange their vows and wedding rings.The Rabbi reads from the Ketubah about love, devotion and commitment to one another.Finally it’s that time everyone eagerly awaits for in a Jewish wedding ceremony! The smashing of the glass and then the kiss! Mazel Tov!!!Married!!!!Brace yourself for the magnificence you are about to see! These two put on a cocktail hour like no other we have ever seen! Waiters were lined at the doors for the guests, greeting them with signature drinks and food so beautifully displayed. Incredible job done by caterers Abigail Kirsh.The cocktail tables were like works of art featuring some of Josh and Jason’s favorite foods.Jason shows off his new hardware!The sun finally set bringing the lights alive! It made for an awesome backdrop to these stunning couples!As we were leaving the cocktail hour to head to the reception I looked back to see this. The chuppah blowing in the night breeze glowing in candlelight with the city as its background. Stunning!Between the red carpet, the step and repeat, the beautiful ceremony and the beyond cocktail hour, I’m not sure the guests could be blown away again. I was wrong. As the guests walked into the reception room they were greeted by tables set so grandly I even saw some of the waiters take pictures of them! And I’m sure they have seen it all!
Everything was a perfect execution of the vision Jason and Josh had for their wedding day. Chrome Vases set on a mirror with candles holding lofty white orchids. Look carefully on the table and you will have a smile brought to your face from the sight of their dog, Lexington, all decked out in the same bow tie as the groomsmen! In the guests honor they made a donation to Bideawee, an organization for adopting animals.
Jason and Josh were announced into their reception and were greeted by family with hugs and dancing!Everyone was going crazy but what Josh didn’t know was that Jason was about to surprise him……with a first dance that they had planned on skipping- sung by their favorite vocalist Reina!! She took the stage replacing the other singer and when she started to sing, Josh turned around… he couldn’t believe his eyes or ears! What an amazing experience for everyone, us included!!!He ran up to hug her but couldn’t take his eyes off Jason and ran back to give him a big hug too!Great job Jason, you pulled it off!Time for one of the best parts of a Jewish wedding – the Horrah!!!This image cracks me up!!!! While most Jewish people know the wild ride they are about to receive as the chairs are lifted, Jason sat cross legged, pondering it all in a cheeky way!The ride may have been more wild than he anticipated but with great style and form he remained cross legged!The band True Blue- Faze 4 Orchestras was beyond incredible! We have heard this band before and I was so excited when I saw them setting up, we just knew it would be a night of great dancing and fun!The parents took turns welcoming the guests and delivering heartfelt words to the newlyweds!They each then escorted their mothers to the dance floor for a special mother son dance.Then it was Jason and Josh’s brothers’ turn to give their speeches. Their proud mothers watched and enjoyed this display of brotherly love… and humor!The Grooms Party was in hysterics!The cake was cut and Jason and Josh thanked everyone for coming to the wedding to help them celebrate!
Jason and Josh picked very elegant wedding rings. If Josh had not told me to look, I would have missed the personal engravings on the inside saying “Beloved Jason” and “Beloved Josh”.
This is picture of Josh and his father both holding their family’s Kiddush cup that was used during the ceremony. It belongs to Josh’s great grandfather and is over 100 years old.
I usually don’t include pictures like this on the blog but I couldn’t resist because it has a funny story. We were told that there was going to be a large group photograph during one of the dance sets. Large, how large?! This is what goes through a photographer’s mind. A large group picture during a reception… possible torture! I think Jason and Josh may have been thinking the same thing! We were told that it would be all set up and ready when we arrived for the picture. Oh I’ve heard that one before. Well wrong I was. We passed through the doors to the deck and there perfectly set up and standing in an incredible formation were over 30 smiling faces and 2 empty chairs front and center! I started laughing in disbelief! The guys took a seat, I took a picture and everyone was back to the dance floor! Amazing!! I do believe we can thank Jason’s cousin Nadia for this, fantastic job Nadia!
To get the crowd revved up again, not that they needed it, Mohitos served in a unique way were passed around the dance floor!
One of the singers from the band came out to the crowd to play! She was amazing!The party was sensational! The dance floor was packed every song, everyone was singing along and having the best time!My new fondness for redheads! (For those that may not know, Greg and I gave birth to a boy last year who shocked us all by being a redhead!)Jason went nuts for the sax’s solo, the man was so talented, as talented as Jason is a dancer!As it should be, no one had more fun than the grooms! Jason and Josh, your wedding was perfection from the creative and unique details to the bountiful love you two have for each other! Congratulations! Thank you for the honor of documenting your amazing day, it was our first wedding with two grooms and I hope not our last!!!One last view of the stunning setting here at Stage 6!One last image! This photograph was taken a couple of days before Jason and Josh’s wedding. We did a venue walk-through and as we were saying our goodbyes I noticed the incredible shadows created by the late day sun!!!
I’d also like to give a special to Eric Hoffman who did a fantastic job coordinating the day and making sure that everyone was well taken care of, even us vendors!