July 27, 2023
I recently had the absolute joy of photographing a NYC wedding and I can honestly say it was one of those stay-with-you forever moments that I’m still not one hundred percent over. Infact, I’m not sure I ever want to be.
Aside from the glorious attention to detail, the deeply heartfelt moments and the sheer serendipity, this was a wedding celebration close to my heart as the location is one of my favourite places. This was my second wedding in NYC, made only more special by the fact that this time I was shooting as part of a husband and wife team with Ross Kerr Films.
Once we’d dragged ourselves through a shared bout of jet lag, it was a trip of revisiting old traditions (His and Hers Big Gulp sodas, always) and making delightful new ones by fully embracing being tourists in NY and shooting the most incredible wedding on camera and film.
But now, prepare to join me on a journey filled with love, serendipity, and unforgettable moments as we delve into the ridiculously special wedding of Kassie and Serena in the heart of New York City.
Their love story is not only a testament to the power of fate but also a celebration of their shared values and unwavering commitment to each other.
A Match Made by Fate
Sometimes, the most beautiful love stories unfold in the most unexpected ways.
For Kassie and Serena, their journey began with a twist of fate. I just love this story. One evening, Kassie joined her friends for dinner, and as conversations turned to dating apps and how individuals present themselves online, curiosity piqued her friend’s interest. Despite not using dating apps herself at the time, Kassie’s friends convinced her to download one called Her, designed specifically for lesbians. Little did she know that this seemingly innocuous decision would change her life forever.
The very next day, Serena, a dedicated dental student, was navigating the stressful demands of her studies and so had totally put dating out of her mind. Her sister, convinced that something extraordinary was about to happen for Serena, urged her to download the very same dating app. As fate would have it, Kassie appeared as one of her matches, and the universe began weaving their love story together.
The Wedding Morning
Kassie and Serena chose to get ready separately at The Wall Street Hotel, their rooms located down the hall from each other. As destiny would have it, they had both arranged gifts for one another, only to discover that they had chosen the same heartfelt token – another poignant symbol of their deep connection and shared values.
Set within an industrial venue offering a breathtaking view of Manhattan, with its modern aesthetic and urban charm, the Rose Rooms perfectly encapsulated the essence of Kassie and Serena’s love story, reflecting the vibrancy and dynamism of their relationship.
When the time came for them to finally lay eyes on each other, emotions spilled. Kassie’s reaction to seeing Serena walk down the aisle with her sister by her side, was a beautiful moment of pure love and joy – a testament to the undeniable bond they shared.
Their wedding ceremony was not only a celebration of their love but also an opportunity to make a meaningful statement. Serena’s best friend, Kurt, had the honour of officiating the ceremony, and he crafted a truly remarkable and deeply personal script. Recognising the privilege they had to marry when so many face challenges and the erosion of rights, Kassie and Serena’s ceremony served as a poignant reminder of their commitment to activism and their unwavering support for marginalised communities.
In a deeply heartfelt moment, the couple exchanged vows they had written themselves, pouring their souls into words that reflected their love, promises, and dreams. It was a profound expression of their devotion and a testament to their shared journey ahead. And there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
A popcorn bar and refreshments awaited the guests and Ross and I did our thing; candidly capturing and forever preserving the love and support surrounding them amidst the joyful mingling of family and friends. My favourite.
Kassie and Serena chose the iconic and utterly beautiful New York Public Library as the backdrop for their couples portraits, a location that perfectly suited their shared passion for literature and their self-proclaimed “nerdiness.” As they posed for the camera, passersby stopped in awe, capturing their own photographs and offering congratulations. It was almost impossible not to, their love was magnetic.
We sat them at a small, intimate table, gifting them a few more precious minutes alone – a quiet respite to savour their love – something that I always try to incorporate into the wedding timeline. Even in the middle of the bustling city streets, their happiness radiated and Ross and I captured the tenderness and affection shared between them from afar.
Returning to the hotel, the day continued to unfold with unforgettable moments. Their timeline experienced delays caused by traffic but with it brought an unexpected gift – an opportunity for Ross and I to spend time with the newly weds in their hotel suite; simply chatting, enjoying food, and relishing in the day so far.
As the couple changed into their second outfits, the time had come for a second ‘first look.’ Serena changed into the most beautifully exquisite Chinese dress. Featuring a stunning phoenix design on the front, the dress symbolised womanhood, and the back bore a resemblance to Serena’s mother’s wedding dress from four decades ago – a homage to the legacy of love within their family. An absolute showstopper.
The reception took place at Park Asia in Brooklyn, where Kassie and Serena shared a Chinese wedding banquet. As devoted vegans, they put their unique twist on the traditional banquet, ensuring that authentic Chinese cuisine was vegan-friendly. The guests were treated to a culinary feast that showcased the rich flavours and cultural heritage of Chinese cuisine.
The couple chose desserts from their favourite vegan donut shop. A delightful treat that perfectly reflected their personal tastes and if possible, made the evening even sweeter.
Throughout the night, amidst the laughter and celebration, speeches were delivered, and the dance floor beckoned. The first dance was set to Lionel Ritchie’s timeless classic, “Truly,” a song that encapsulated the depth of Kassie and Serena’s love and left a lasting imprint on everyone’s hearts. (Seriously, it’s been playing in my head on repeat ever since).
As the night continued, the dance floor remained alive and vibrant, filled with friends and family joyously celebrating the love and union of Kassie and Serena. Their wedding was not just a celebration of their love, but a testament to the power of love itself—the power to transcend boundaries, ignite change, and inspire everyone around them. And inspired we were!
Kassie and Serena’s New York City wedding was a remarkable celebration of love, activism, and the power of connection. A love that was as natural and genuine as it was captivating.
From their chance encounter to the heartfelt vows, from the iconic cityscape to the intimate moments, their wedding day embodied the essence of their love story. It served as a reminder that, amidst the chaos of the world, love has the power to bring people together, ignite change, and create moments that will be cherished for a lifetime.
The seemingly casual moments throughout the whole experience have become cherished memories for both Ross and I, forging an instant connection and making us feel like a part of their family. This is exactly how we want things to go on a wedding day and exactly why we do this job.
And now, why we do this job together.
Already booked me and interested in adding film to your wedding package? Get in touch.