New Jersey Outdoor Wedding | Monmouth University Wilson Hall

This beautiful outdoor wedding in New Jersey felt like the perfect way to start the Summer! It was the first day of June and the weather was gorgeous.

Ashley & Thomas contacted me just under a year before their wedding date, so I’ve gotten to know this couple during that time, and I consider them friends. I couldn’t be happier for them! They are so much fun and know how to kick back, have a good time, and thoroughly enjoy the company of whomever they are spending time with. When we did their engagement session in Sandy Hook, we hung out afterwards at a local spot off the bay and had some drinks. Tons of fun! You can see that session HERE.

Armed with my knowledge of how lovable this couple is, I found it quite fitting that Ashley & Thomas were surrounded by tons of friends & family, as well as a large bridal party of awesome friends. I loved the time in the early part of the day when Ashley was getting ready. All of her friends adore her and were fighting back tears as Ashley shed some of her own while reading Thomas’s letter to her. I admit, I shed some tears too – it was so touching! And, they gushed over her when first seeing her in her dress, just the best group of girlfriends!

Our first look and bridal party photos were taken at Monmouth University Wilson Hall, which was a beautiful backdrop! I wish we had all day there. After our early-in-the-day fun, we headed to the venue and photographed their families and ceremony. Ashley & Thomas each had a glass filled with sand (Ashley’s sand from Long Branch beach, & Thomas’s from his golf course, Emanon) and they poured the sand together as a representation of their union. Once they spoke their vows and sealed their marriage with a kiss, it was time to party! Their band, Mission Dance, was so energetic and no one could resist going out on the dance floor.

Ashley &Thomas had a tower filled with cupcakes, topped with a single layer cake, which they cut together and enjoyed feeding to each other. Ashley couldn’t resist taking a few extra bites to enjoy the tasty confection :). At the very end, they pulled me aside and told me how happy they were to have me there and thanked me. I was so touched and moved, I had to hold back some tears, again! It seriously made my day. I felt so special!

Thank you Ashley & Thomas for the honor of being your wedding photographer. I’m so, so happy for you both and can’t wait to see you again soon! Big, big hugs, and cheers to you!


Interested In Working Together For Your Upcoming Wedding?

First Look & Bridal Party Photos: Monmouth University, Wilson Hall
Ceremony & Reception: Branches Catering
Florist: Marquis Floral by Kim
Cake Artist: Chocolate Carousel
Makeup Artist: Vanity and Mascara
Hair Artist: Belleza Salon
Bride’s Dress: Seng Couture, Stella York
Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids
Men’s Suits: Mens Wearhouse
Videography: Blue Moon Productions
Band: Mission Dance
Photographer: Rachel Watkinson Photography

 

W Hotel, Hoboken NJ | Intimate Wedding | Kimberley & Tom

It was at the W Hotel in Hoboken, New Jersey that Kimberley & Tom shared their intimate wedding ceremony with family and friends, as well as their fur-babies, Gamma & Waffles :).

Kimberly and Tom have their own businesses, running a nonprofit organization WE of Hudson County, and The Cuddly Cottage which involves caring for the doggies of Hoboken and beyond! Their love and passion for their dogs––Gamma and Waffles––is clear, so it’s obvious why they made sure to include them as part of their big day. Gamma wore the cutest little tutu dress, and Waffles looked sharp in his tiny tuxedo. I think everyone was dying of cuteness overload!

Kimberley and Tom took care of everything for their wedding day by themselves, and really succeeded in making it creative and special for their guests. They had a Photo Booth station, a guest sign-in book, Polaroid cameras, disposable cameras on the tables, a lovely brunch buffet, delicious oysters, and mimosas and bloody Mary’s that were free flowing. It was a fun atmosphere!

I can tell that Kimberley is an artist at heart and chose to do things that spoke to her. Her red dress was the statement piece and her crown and veil were unique. All of the vendors that they used were local, speaking to this couples love and appreciation for local artists. While exchanging their vows, they used inspiration from the HBO series, Game Of Thrones, and spoke the words as they put rings on each other’s fingers - “I am yours and you are mine, from this day until the end of my days”. That was a fun moment!

Once the sun came out, we went out on the path next to the Hudson River and captured some beautiful shots of the new Mr. & Mrs. Coming back to Lulu’s, at the W Hotel, there was dancing, fun activities, and lots of pictures & Polaroids taken against the photo backdrop. I was so sad to say goodbye to that wonderful day with this amazing couple, as it was filled with positive vibes, caring people, and fun energy. However, I know it won’t be the last time I see them:).

Congratulations Kimberley & Tom! Please give Gamma & Waffles a treat for me, and I can’t wait to see you again and have fun talks over coffee!


I love photographing intimate weddings, let’s work together!

Ceremony & Reception Venue: W Hotel, Lulu’s
Florist: about-designs
Hair & Make-Up Artist: Marisa Dreesen
Lashes: Amazing Lash Studio, Hoboken
Bridal Gown Alterations & Crown: Adrienn Braun
Veil: Adrianna Gonzales
Photographer: Rachel Watkinson Photography

 

Intimate Wedding Ceremony in the Mountains of Northern New Jersey

Erika and Eric eloped in the beautiful mountains of northern New Jersey at The Mohawk House in Sparta. They had an intimate ceremony inside the lodge followed by a walk outside to take portraits. Their ceremony took place in mid-March and we were lucky that there was still snow on the ground because I think it made for a beautiful backdrop. Erika and Eric are so sweet and I was really excited to be a part of their secret wedding ceremony and I truly felt very honored to document it for them. Eric was in awe of his bride, as she looked stunning, and it was so touching how he helped her with her dress, opened all doors for her, and did his best at every turn to make sure she was having an amazing time.

They wanted to share a special first dance to the song, “Earth Angel.” They also emphasized the importance of photographing the first slicing and tasting of their cake. I must say, that cake – made by Vaccaro's Bakery – was incredibly delicious.

From the first time I chatted with Erika, I could sense she was a very sweet soul and I really loved talking to her. Eric and Erika's love of their fur-baby kitties made me so happy, especially because one of their cats reminded me of my very first cat :). They decided not to bring them to the ceremony, but honored them with little cat cut-outs that were put on top of the cake. Yay!

Capturing elopements is such a lovely privilege because, by the end, I feel such a connection with everyone involved and I’m overjoyed for the couple and their family and friends! The fact that I was able to witness and document these kind-hearted, wonderful people getting married makes me feel really special.

Erika and Eric, thank you so much for choosing me as your photographer. I’m incredibly happy for you guys and wish you the very best on your new adventures together as husband and wife!


Are you interested in eloping or having an intimate wedding ceremony? Let’s talk!

Ceremony and Reception Venue: Mohawk House
Cake Artist: Vaccaros Bakery
Officiant: Pure Bliss Ministries

 

Farmhouse Garden Outdoor Wedding | Kelsey & Bill

It was a beautiful and warm afternoon for Kelsey & Bill's wedding day in the backyard gardens of The Sage Farmhouse. The soon-to-be-newlyweds were very relaxed, but at the same time, so excited to get married!

Kelsey had her bridesmaids on hand to help her get ready, and her Mom to help specifically with her wedding dress. I loved that Kelsey decided to wear Tieks for her wedding day shoes. She preferred their comfort and knew that donning a pair of golden flats was the right choice for her.

When I took Bill outside to get him ready to see his bride, he was so happy and couldn't stop smiling and laughing. When Bill finally got to see Kelsey for the first time that day, he managed a little twirl so that she could check him out, too – it was really cute!

They had an intimate ceremony and were excited to spend the rest of the night hanging out with their friends and dancing. Kelsey was super excited to do a bubble exit, and I have to admit, I also love bubbles! Of course, it was awesome to photograph them under a cloud of bubbles. All the kids loved it too! We had so many people there to help create the magical world of bubbles that surrounded the bride and groom.

Their wedding cake was also really important, because not only was it fabulously delicious, but it was a wedding cake in the shape of a lighthouse! Bill had proposed to Kelsey at the Barnegat Lighthouse in New Jersey, so they thought it would be really fun to incorporate that into their wedding.

Kelsey and Bill were just the sweetest people and were so laid back the entire day. Nothing would stand in their way of having a great time! I'm so happy I was able to get to know these two and to help them document their wedding day with their closest friends and incredibly sweet families.

Congratulations Kelsey & Bill!


Interested in my wedding photography services?

 

Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Sage Farmhouse
Florist: Kenny's Flower Shoppe
Cake Artist: Creative Confections
DJ/MC: Chris Marx Events
Bride’s Dress: Modcloth
Bride’s Shoes: Tieks
Hair and Makeup: Chrome Salon
Second Photographer: Jes Terkowski

Booth Park, Nutley NJ | Simple Summer Wedding Inspiration

This past Summer, my Photographer friend Olivia, wanted to put together an inspirational shoot and collaborate with other local vendors.  I was honored when she asked me to join the team!  Olivia wanted a wedding style that was simple and could be put together easily, even in one’s own backyard. We went to Booth Park, in Nutley NJ, and everyone joined in to set it all up. It was a perfect Summer evening (besides the loads of bug bites i got, haha) and we started about two hours before the sunset so we could take advantage of that beautiful, evening glow.  Our model, Marie, looked like she stepped out of a fairytale in her Vesa Brides dress.  We even got a surprise visit from Olivia's cute pooch!  Every vendor that came together for this was awesome and I am a fan of them all. Below are the photos that I had taken, but please visit Olivia’s page and Instagram for more of her images. I hope you find some inspiration!

Be sure to also visit Red Oak Weddings to see the featured blog post there!

 
 

Creator:  Olivia Christina Photography
Photographers:  Rachel Watkinson Photography & Olivia Christina Photography
Florals/Wardrobe & Prop Stylist:  Ronya And Co.
Bridal Gown:  Vesa Brides
Model:  Marie Hickey
Makeup:  Makeup By Samantha Linn
Hair:  Styles On Location
Rentals:  Party Rental Ltd
Hand Lettering:  Lace And Belle
Chalk Drawing:  Chalk + Co.
Cake:  Flour Bomb Cake Co.
Cake Pops:  Jou Jou Pops

New Haven, CT | Wedding | Ruby & Hassan

Ruby and Hassan’s love story started across the Atlantic Ocean in Hassan’s home country of Morocco.  Ruby, a school teacher from Connecticut in the US, went abroad with a group of fellow educators.  Hassan happened to be one of the lucky ambassadors that showed the group around.  And, as we now know, Hassan and Ruby soon sparked their connection over dinner and mint tea!  

Even after Ruby came back to America, they stayed in touch and maintained a long distance relationship.  After a year of dating long distance, Ruby ventured back to Morocco to teach with Hassan.  Their great life adventure has continued ever since.  With both sets of parents present, Hassan proposed with a beautiful ring of tanzanite and diamonds set in white gold, from Ruby’s Jewelers of course.  They returned to America and had their official marriage ceremony in the backyard of Ruby’s parents home.

On the day of their “other” wedding celebration, I knew it was important to take lots of photos outside of Ruby’s parents house because it’s the setting of so many joyous moments in Ruby’s life.  Plus, I must say, that Ruby’s parents have a gorgeous garden and I couldn’t resist photographing amidst all of the beautiful colors!  

Hassan’s family traveled all the way from Morocco and France, while Ruby’s extended family traveled all the way from Taiwan! We took family photos right outside and I just loved the moment when Ruby’s Mom leaned over to give her a kiss.  She was so proud and filled with love for her daughter.

The wedding was filled with friends and family from all over the world!  It was amazing to see the love that brought everyone together to celebrate these wonderful souls.  Ruby started the day in a traditional white wedding dress and then changed into a traditional Kaftan dress that was handmade and hand-embroidered by expert Moroccan seamstresses.  It’s a traditional dress worn at Moroccan weddings. Ruby chose the colors and design together with Hassan’s parents.

Traditionally, at Taiwanese and Moroccan weddings, the bride can have several dress changes.  Ruby also contemplated donning her traditional red Taiwanese wedding dress, called Qipao, for photos. But, luckily, we already captured her beauty in that dress during their engagement session – found HERE

One of the memorable moments for me was when Ruby’s brother, David, made his speech. He cracked a lot of jokes, but one of the things he said that stuck with me, was about how Ruby took a risk.  She took a risk on her heart, to open it for Hassan, to go back to Morocco and live with him and his family for a year. They both took a risk to get married, move to America and start a life together. If they never took those risks, they would not be where they are today, together, in love, going on adventures and soon experiencing one of the biggest adventures by welcoming a baby into the world and into their hearts.

I can’t wait to see them again and meet their little peanut! It was my privilege to capture the memories of Ruby and Hassan’s wedding day, but an even greater privilege to be their friend :).

 

Princeton University, New Jersey | Wedding | Alyson & Jordan

Princeton University was the perfect spot for Alyson and Jordan to have their wedding.  They met back in 2006 when they were both at Princeton acting as resident advisors for a Summer school program.  Since they were both attending different colleges, Georgetown and University of Wisconsin, they kept their long distance connection alive by staying in touch, occasionally meeting up, and even studying together abroad in London.  Over the next few years, their relationship grew and they were finally able to move in together in New York City! (You can see their NYC Fall engagement session here)  It was back at Princeton where Jordan proposed to Alyson, the same place where they had met.  So sweet!

It was a perfect summertime wedding, and the two chose to do their reveal where Joran proposed.  The expression on his face when he turned around was so cute, he could not stop smiling, and why would he?  Alyson looked stunning, a picture perfect bride in her two-piece dress.  Alyson kept the florals fresh and natural with a variety of greens and pops of white.  The bridesmaids wore a neutral, elegant palette of creams and beiges, while the groomsmen looked very handsome in their navy blue suits.  During the ceremony, Alyson and Jordan read their vows to each other which were touching and also brought out the laughs.  When Jordan got a little emotional, Alyson reached over and touched his arm so sweetly which calmed him down and centered him as he went on to speak his words.  There were small emotional tears, including the bridesmaids, as the two exchanged their stories and love for each other.  The ceremony and reception took place at The Nassau Inn.  During the cocktail hour, the bride and groom joined their alumni friends for photos while singing their school songs, and laughing and cheering each other on. 

It was my sincere pleasure to get to know this lovely couple.  I’m grateful they chose me to be apart of their day as they start another chapter in their journey together.  I can’t wait to see them again and hear about their awesome Grecian honeymoon!

 
 

Ceremony and Reception Venue:  Nassau Inn
Florist:  Kristin Rockhill Design
Cake Artist:  The Caketeria
Band/DJ:  Ambient DJ Service
Makeup Artist:  Make Me Up Eva
Hair Artist:  Kimberley Maugeri
Bridal Gown:  BHLDN
Bridesmaid Dresses:  Show Me Your Mumu
Officiant: Lauren M. Seber
Stationary:  Alaina Ching -alainaching@gmail.com
Ceremony and Cocktail Music:  Sweet Harmony Music

Ninety Acres | Wedding | Jamie & Mark

It was a cloudy day on April 1st, 2017.  It poured the day before, but the skies were holding back the rain and created the perfect light for Jamie and Mark’s wedding.

Jamie was getting ready at her parents home, the same house that she grew up in. It was very special to her to be able to be in an environment that was relaxing, comforting and felt exactly like, well... home.  

I thought it was super-sweet that one of the more important moments to her was getting a picture with Roxy (Jamie and Mark’s cutie-pie Boston Terrier) and her parents on the front steps. This was a place where so many pictures had been taken of her over the years of while growing up. School dances, holidays, prom and now, her wedding day.  All of the details that were part of the day and around the house were so adorable!  The front door had it’s own wedding day decorations, there was an amazing smelling candle (properly called ‘Wedding Day’), white M&M’s, little black confetti cut-outs of a bride and groom and her grandmother’s paper doll with a cool pop-out skirt that she had on at her wedding. Roxy had her own special collar and pearl leash, and the list goes on!  It was so much fun to see all these little special touches all over.  I knew that her family had put a lot of time and effort into making it special for their daughter.  I also have to gush about how adorable Jamie’s parents' home is and how absolutely sweet and welcoming they are!  Every room was so cute and clean and the powder-room…glorious! I’m pretty jealous:).  

I spent most of my time photographing the details in Jamie’s old room.  I get a bit emotional when I think about it – here I am in the room that this sweet and fun girl grew up in, with soooo many memories; and now here I am, photographing her, along with all the special things and people in her life on her wedding day. It was such an honor to have been a part of this experience.

Jamie and Mark had their intimate wedding at the beautiful, expansive and historic Ninety Acres property in Peapack, New Jersey.  They had their own private room for dinner which was decorated beautifully including flowers from Jardiniere Fine Flowers and place cards by Dove House Handmade.  Jamie and Mark wanted to keep their wedding private and special with just their immediate families to celebrate the ceremony and dinner.  And later that night went to go party with their friends on a rooftop bar in Morristown! It was a really sweet way to enjoy the day and evening.  Mark’s brother officiated the wedding and brought a bunch of laughs.  It was funny and sentimental, there were laughs and happy tears. Mark also brought out the inner comedienne of Jamie, cracking jokes and having fun with the cake ;)  

It was such a pleasure to be able to spend that time with both families and share those moments with all of them. And by the end, I was giving hugs to everyone because I felt so warm towards and excited for them.  By now, the bride and groom are off in New Zealand and Australia, or another amazing island on an adventure or just relaxing.  I know they are having an amazing time because this honeymoon has been a special part of their plan for a long time.

Jamie and Mark, thank you so much for having me be a part of your wedding day. You and your families are incredible, funny and kind. I’m honored to have been the one to capture the moments and details of what is now a whole new, awesome chapter in your lives! :)

Venue, Food & Cake:  Ninety Acres, Peapack, NJ
Bride’s Dress & Veil:  BHLDN
Bride’s Shoes:  Frances Valentine
Hair:  Samantha Cruise, Vanity Salon
Make Up:  Bethany Moffa
Flowers:  Jardiniere Fine Flowers
Invitations & Place cards:  Katy, Dove House Handmade

Pirate Wedding

If anyone knows Kym and Peter, (a.k.a Pirate and Mermaid!), they know that this couple is always up for fun and adventure!  Kym and Peter met back in 2007-2008 at a local beachfront hub, Oceans 234, in Deerfield Beach, FL.  The two different circles of friends that they knew and hung out with ended up crossing over after some time and these free spirits connected over fun, friends, drinks, adventures and dolphins.  Well, a lot of their connection began with the sea, as Peter was the captain of a yacht and Kym doing studies on oceanic cone snails.  If fact, an impressive first date was in the early Florida Summer days of 2008.  Peter used his captain appeal to “reel” Kym into a Bahamian rendezvous.  They cruised the beautiful blue waters, diving amongst the corals and wrecks, spontaneously kayaking and snorkeling with tiger sharks, and nighttime fires lined with conch shells on a far out, private sandy key.  These two knew they found magic in each other and continued their relationship over the years.  Their love brought a new magical blessing in 2011 when their daughter was born and lit up the lives of everyone who met her.  She made such a sweet flower girl at her Mommy and Daddy’s wedding.  With Peter’s family originally from South Africa, now living in Australia, and Kym’s family from the east coast of America, having the wedding in Hawaii made perfect sense as an excellent halfway point for both families and friends from all over.  I’m so happy that I could be included on this absolutely special day for Kym and Peter, and to be able to partake in the celebrations and festivities that took place over this Pirate Wedding weekend!

Central Park New York City - Engagement Photos - Kristin & Tom

One night, Kristin and Tom met each other in New York City around Union Square at one of the lounges around the park.  On one of the coldest days in Winter, Tom proposed to her in Union Square and surprised her with a photo session as he got down on one knee and asked for her hand in marriage.  It didn’t matter how cold it was because the look on both of their faces was pure joy and happiness!  Now, living up near Central Park, it was the perfect location to photograph them where they love to spend most of their time, walking, running or just strolling along enjoying time with each other.  On this particular evening, the weather was perfect and that golden light of the setting sun illuminated their constantly smiling faces.  Kristin and Tom are such a sweet couple and stylish couple, and looking back at their photos brings a smile to my face.  I love how Tom was such a gentleman as we walked through the park.  He was always attentive to Kristin, making sure he laid down his handkerchief for her to sit on and always knew how to make her giggle.  We all had such a great time walking and exploring new areas of the park and enjoying the beauty all around us.  There were turtles in the pond, a rat and a raccoon nibbling on some cat food together, and we even saw someone catching a fish on one of the bridges.  I’m honored to be their photographer and getting to know them more during their engagement session allowed me to truly see their amazing love. 

Pump House B&B Wedding - Sarah & Mark

   Hello world!  So this is going to be my first real blog, and I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to blogging, so I hope this turns out the way I'm picturing it in my mind.  Moving right along...

   I had the amazing pleasure of photographing my dear friend's wedding.  I remember when I first found out that Mark, now her husband, had proposed.  They were down in Florida with family and they were on the beach and there was a rainbow across the sky... and it was all just magical.  I also remember when she sent me a text to FIRST tell me and said that she thinks she might need me to photograph her engagement.  I was like, "Sure!" not fully realizing what she meant.  Then it slowly dawned on me, "Wait, engagement photos? For Sarah?...OH MY GOD!!"  I thought it was hilarious that I didn't put the two together.

   Sarah is not only a dear friend, but an amazing

artist

.  I am proud to say that I own a handful of her amazing artwork :)  I knew that this wedding was going to be unique and Sarah would know exactly how to turn her ideas into reality.  I cannot say enough about how she designed SO many details of her wedding with her own visions and skills.  She made everything from the "Save the Date" cards, to the wedding invitations, to the candles made from fallen tree limbs, the photo booth props, the message boards and the list goes on!

   Being able to go on this journey with her was such an honor.  From trying on dresses, which turned into another awesome story, to hearing about the venue they chose and knowing about the little details, I felt like I was right there with her along the way.  So, to see the big day finally come to fruition was so cool and so special.  And, I'm so lucky to have had Mark and Sarah believe in me to document their wedding day and capture some amazing photos of the two of them as they start this new chapter in their lives.  Love you guys!

Vendors

Venue:  

Pump House B&B

Flowers:

Gibbs Farm

- gibbsfarm@gmail.com

Music:  

Must Be the Music - Mike Simmons - INFO@MUSTBETHEMUSICDJS.COM

Bride & Bridesmaid Dresses:  

David's Bridal

Groom's Suit:  

Men's Warehouse

Catering:  

Ard's Farm