Chiara + Dan. Chiiiiiara + Dan. Chiaraaaaa + Daaaaan. Guys, seriously. Chiara + Dan.
I have looked forward to this wedding since the day I met these two for their engagement session last year (to refresh your memory: GIANT RABBITS). Because these two are seriously something special. Fun fact: They met while sharing a coed hostel room in Barcelona (Chiara was studying abroad in college; Dan was being a drunken British tourist walking headfirst into bunk beds). If there exists a better argument for life not being entirely random, I don’t honestly know one. Luck or fate or God or the universe (take your pick) brought together two extraordinarily charming, emotive, intelligent and darned funny people. And if I could shrink them down and carry them around in my pocket all day every day I would. And I don’t care if that’s a really weird compliment. It’s just how I feel.
But enough about me! This pair has been waiting so patiently to see their wedding photos (and this post is a doozy!). Let’s hop to it, shall we?
Chiara wrapped a piece of her mom’s wedding dress around her bouquet. Her momma also made her bracelet. :)
Hello, beautiful. :)
I love this photo. Love it.
What do you do when you’re in a wedding dress and it’s hot as hades? Stand in the cake refrigerator, of course!
Chiara’s mom made all of the flower girl dresses. By the way, these little ladies HAD BRITISH ACCENTS. So yeah. Heart explosion.
That’s an itty bitty braid of porcupine quills in her hair. A native american tradition.
Dear Daniel was already dressed up by the time we got to him. But we did catch him reading the sweet letters that he and Chiara exchanged. (She called him her groomsicle.) ;)
HANDSOME! See Dan? You’re so much more than an accent. ;)
Chiara’s godmother officiated their ceremony. (P.S. That’s Dan’s mom in the background.)
Do we need to stop to talk about how gorgeous Chiara is? Because we can, but it will take a really long time.
So I was just going to post the following adorable photo of Chiara and her ladies…
But this one is really much more representative of their personalities. :)
Same thing goes for the gents’ (+1 lady!) side:
How awesome is that fascinator, by the way?
And it’s wedding time!
Waiting to walk down the aisle. Renato was alllll jokes. Although, I don’t know if there’s ever a time when Renato isn’t all jokes. :)
Seeing his bride for the first time.
So, if you do this job long enough you’ll see a lot of the same ceremony elements repeated, but this was a new one on me and has to be the best I’ve ever encountered. Chiara + Dan’s mothers both brought water from their home towns (Dan’s came all the way from England!), which they poured together in that there jug (which I’m sure has an official name that I’m forgetting), then they each drank from it. How lovely is that symbolism?
Dan’s reaction to Chiara’s vows. :)
I said this when I posted this photo on Facebook, but I’ll say it again: I don’t think Chiara + Dan would change anything about their wedding day… except for the choice to have their guests sprinkle (barrage / bombard / attack) them with lavender during their recessional. While it made for pretty great photos and they powered through it like champs, it looked… rough. And it was stuck everywhere—in their hair, down their shirts, in their mouths. But hey, they smelled great. :)
Lavender fiasco, exhibit B:
I fell in love with their mothers. I mean, how could you not?
High five, friends—it’s reception time!
Renato’s speech was… fun. And not just because he stopped in the middle of it to say that I’m the best photographer of all time. ;)
Chiara + Dan’s speeches were touching.
Meanwhile, Dan’s brother’s speech was far and away the most inappropriate I’ve ever heard. Ever. Naked photos of Dan were circulated. Dozens of keys to Dan’s apartment were collected from previous “paramours.” Disgusting facts were shared. I laughed myself into tears. And I kid you not, I have no less than a dozen photos in a row of guests with their hands on their foreheads making this exact same face. Which I’m quite certain is exactly what Dan’s brother was aiming for. So… success!
Then we snuck out for portrait time!
I’m not a big “normal portrait” gal (everyone looking at the camera and smiling), but that one on the right? Come on.
Credit for this beauty goes to my main second shooter squeeze, Nicole!
Favorite. I love this.
Favorite. I hate to toot my own horn (lie), but this is perfect and provided a nice quad workout. :D
And some first dance action. :)
I don’t normally post bouquet toss photos, but I kind of nailed this one, so…
Chiara surprised Dan with a super hero groom’s cake that had Spiderman (catching a burgler in his web), Superman and Batman on it. You only need to know this because otherwise the next photo will make no sense.
Boom is right, my friends. What a joyous wedding yours was. Lavender shower aside, it was perfect in every single way, not least because of the precious community of (sometimes inappropriate) friends and family you’ve gathered around yourselves. You are splendid human beings whom I am honored to have met. And I’m just going to get it off my chest and say to you now that I hate that you live in New York, because it makes it very difficult for me to show up at your doorstep for laughter and smart conversation and, I’m assuming, a pretty good cup of tea. Thank you, really, truly and with all honesty, for choosing me to photograph your wedding. You are lucky to have found each other, and I am even luckier to have been found by you. I hope you love your photos. Boom. :D
Venue | Quarry Hill Botanical Gardens
Planner | Kelly, Kelly & Company Events
Catering | Park Avenue Catering
Florals | Jamie, Studio 13 Designs
Hair + Makeup | Catalina’s Skin & Body
Videographer | Sarah, Twenty Twenty Studios
Cake | Harvest Moon Café
DJ | Kaveh, Sound In Motion
Oh, and I can’t post this wedding without sharing the following gem of myself. Listen, when you’re in the middle of portraits and your bride just can’t stand her veil and porcupine braid anymore and you want to take some photos of your groom without his top hat on and you don’t have anywhere convenient to put them… friends, you put them on me. Blammo. :D