manhattan wedding

Mikey + Marisa | A Downtown Wedding

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Marisa contacted me a few short months ago, “I came across your beautiful work and would love to know if you could be interested in shooting my courthouse wedding in June?” She gave a few locations- the Queens Courthouse, Flushing Meadows Park, a restaurant in Long Island City. She’d found me through a Facebook group that we were both a part of- a fan club for the My Favorite Murder Podcast

Although we bonded over our true crime obsession (it was the day after the Golden State Killer was captured and we were LIVING FOR IT), I had to email back and let her know that I was regretfully unavailable for her desired date/time. And so, life went on.

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Then a few days later, I got another email. “Kara. We are now considering a different date. Maybe in Central Park. Maybe close to Manhattan. Would this new date work with you?” At this point, I’m thinking…. okay…. their wedding is about 2 months out and they don’t have a date or location selected. Yikes. But Marisa explained: her fiancé was in South Africa, awaiting his visa approval. They weren’t entirely sure when it would happen, but they figured a June wedding was a safe bet.

I emailed back- the new date was a go! 

She emailed back- the new date was no more. 

I emailed back- let me know if it changes. 

She emailed back- the date has changed!

I emailed back- somebody is interested in your date!

She emailed back- we’re ready to commit. We’ll book you for the date. We’re pretty sure it’ll be that day.

And it was. On the day of their wedding, Mikey had only been in the country for about a week! We started in City Hall Park and did some couple shots and formal family photos. It was so nice and quiet in the park that day, the weather could not have been better, and everyone’s spirits were high! We snuck over a “do not cross” fence into the green grassy area of the park (what’s the point of a park if you can’t cross over into the greenery, NYC??) and got some adorable shots! They were just so happy to be with each other finally, and it showed in their photos!

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We had all met up at this location prior to their wedding, and Marisa had literally shrieked when she saw a Nathan’s Hot Dog cart. She made a point to let me know that there would be cheese fries in her wedding day photos. And we all know- the bride is always right.

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Family members slowly started rolling in, and we began taking a few fun family photos. If you’ve ever talked to me about weddings, you might know I roll my eyes at every formal posed photo I ever have to take. Family portraits are different, because almost every mother, aunt, and grandmother wants a formal posed photo (I think it’s probably a generational thing). I was so happy when Mikey and Marisa let me know that they’d prefer a more casual approach.

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Guys… we did all of this in AN HOUR. Like… less than an hour actually. Do you need a photographer who is FAST for them courthouse weddings and elopements? It’s me, y’all. I am like lightening. I am like Usain Bolt, but with photography and definitely not with running. But the whole under an hour thing was mostly planned, because we had to run to the actual ceremony!

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Mikey and Marisa were wed in the most adorable little Tribeca restaurant, Two Hands. They stood in the room, surrounded by a literal circle of their closest friends and family, and they spoke into each other the most heartfelt, handwritten vows. I laughed. I cried. I took a lot of photos.

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When you have a small, intimate wedding, you really share the day with your guests. You don’t stand on a podium, removed from your loved ones. You are right there with them, and when you cry- they cry. Love filled the room from one side to the other; it was contagious.

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My favorite part of wedding days lies somewhere between “I do” and “let’s dance!” Mikey and Marisa didn’t disappoint on either front. As much as I cried during their vows, I equally laughed during the reception and dancing.

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