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

 

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

Sandy Hook, NJ | Engagement Session | Ashley & Thomas

Right after the Labor Day holiday weekend, I met with Ashley and Thomas at Sandy Hook, NJ to photograph their engagement session. It was a beautiful sunny day, and very, very hot! These two will be getting married in June of 2019 and I’m so excited to have the privilege of photographing their big day. Ashley and Thomas were a little nervous at first, but I told them by the end of our session, they'd be pro models and ready for more!

We started off simple, first by the beach entrance, then walking out to a patch of wild shrubs where the light was pouring in beautifully. Next, we got sandy by some small sand dunes, then cooled down a bit by walking at the water’s edge, and of course got wet from the waves. The water felt SO good. After being at the beach, we all ventured out to a little walkway that led out to the bay. The light was gorgeous at this point and Ashely and Thomas were plenty warmed up in front of the camera.

We ended our session as the sun set over the bay and we took advantage of every last bit of light. Ashley and Thomas were amazing – they braved the heat, the waves, the sand and all those buzzing bugs. But, it was all worth it in the end for the amazing memories they made and the moments captured between them.

After their engagement session, we stopped at the little bungalow on the mainland overlooking the bay. We had some amazing thirst-quenching sangrias, shared stories, and had lots of laughs. It felt so good to connect with them!

Ashley even showed me the video of when Thomas proposed. It was brilliant! They went on a hike and when they got to the top of the mountain to take a break, Thomas suggested they take a picture. So he set up the phone to snap a few photos. Little did Ashley know, he actually had it recording them! After a moment of “cheesing” for the camera, Thomas turned to Ashley said a few words to her, and got down on one knee. Ashley was surprised but was quick to take off her glove and give him her hand. It was the cutest thing! When they got home, it was also a surprise to Ashley to have their families waiting in their apartment ready to congratulate them both!

Reviewing their engagement session photos brought a smile to my face. Thomas always knew how to make her laugh, and I loved seeing the smile on his face as he looked at his fiancé. I’m so excited to document their wedding! They are going to be such an awesome bride and groom. I know that they are going to have a blast and will party hard with their friends and family. Thank you Ashley and Thomas for a great evening at the beach, I can’t wait to see you again soon! :)


Interested in photographing you & your love?

Secret Proposal, Ocean City NJ

When Brendan first reached out to me about wanting to propose to Megan and have it photographed, I was super excited! Proposals can happen really fast, so I think it is really cool to be able to document the moments.

He had his approach all planned out and was preparing for this special day for a while. Megan, of course, had no idea. So, on to the sneaky planning of how to capture Brendan proposing.

The secret proposal was going to take place in Ocean City, NJ. This is where Megan had been going every Labor Day weekend with her family since she was a little girl. Brendan started accompanying the family almost every year while they were dating, so this place held a very special meaning for the two of them.

The couple first met in college and they were good friends for a while, got to know one another over time, and began forming a special bond that would lead them down this beautiful road.

Brendan told me where he would like to propose, and because there was rain in the forecast, we waited until the day of to pick the right spot. As I waited on the boardwalk, as a normal pedestrian enjoying the day, the Sun came out ten minutes before Brendan and Megan arrived. The light literally came out just for them!

As soon as they arrived and turned the corner to walk to the designated area, I went into photographer stealth mode, making sure I stayed down and out of sight and started shooting. The two talked for a moment, and before I knew it, I could hear an exclamation of joy from Megan, right before Brendan got down on one knee. Whatever he must’ve said, definitely gave away what was about to happen! Brendan kneeled and Megan’s reactions were just the best! She was so happy and surprised! Once I finally revealed and introduced myself, even I was giddy and high off of their amazing energy!

As we went on to take photos of the now newly engaged couple, it was only natural we discussed all that went into the planning. The little details that were revealed all made sense to Megan at that point; trying on a family ring that her Mom was curious about, her Dad suggesting to wear something nice to dinner that night, the fact that Brendan and Megan were staying a whole extra week for a little vacation. There were other little clues along the way that Brendan was good about keeping under wraps.

We walked down to the beach, played in the water, nestled in some sand dunes and grass, then ended up back near where the proposal took place, by the boardwalk. These two were so adorable in front of the camera! I loved every moment with them. We made some wonderful memories and captured amazing moments together. I am SO happy and excited for them as they start this journey. And, I am extremely thrilled and honored to have been there to witness and photograph their love. Congratulations you two!!


Interested in documenting a proposal?

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

NYC | Lifestyle Session | Baby Zooey

James and Joy welcomed little Zooey into the world in early October. I photographed their newly expanded family a little over a month later, so Zooey had a little time to relax and acclimate to her new surroundings before being captured on film :). 

James and Joy’s cozy home was the perfect spot for our session because we wanted to make sure everyone was warm and relaxed, and we also wanted the family pets to get in on the action! I love photographing in-home, lifestyle sessions because of these reasons. It gives the family an opportunity to just – be.  

We started in the living room area by one of the windows, moved into Zooey’s room, and then ended our photography session in the master bedroom where there was ample, beautiful light.  We shared lots of laughs and made some great memories.  

I hope both parents and Zooey will look back at these images and feel the love that was palpable in the air.  There were so many sweet and precious moments during our time together, and I am proud to share some of those here.


Interested in having a family photography session?

Morristown, Speedwell Park | Engagement Session | Jamie & Mark

When Jamie told me she would like to take her engagement photos in the Winter, I thought, “How cool and different!” I know that I was really hoping to get some amazing snowy shots and I had visions of fresh powder and being lost in an enchanted forest! I’m not sure if Jamie was thinking about getting lost in a forest, but I was pretty sure she was thinking the same as me…fresh, white snow!  Well, the season changed to Winter, and we only had one snow storm, and the rest of the Winter season was quickly going by with no snow in sight and unseasonably warm.  I thought, well, we can still go on a great nature walk and capture some beautiful moments!  We set our date to get together for the engagement photos, February 9th.  And, wouldn’t you know it…a big snow storm was coming our way! I made sure to get my snow tires on so that I can be prepared.  Unfortunately, the blizzard raged on throughout the day and Jamie was smart enough to tell me to not go driving, thank you Jamie! ;) So, we decided to wait for the morning after.  Jamie and Mark looked amazing for their engagement session with pops of red and classic jackets.  And, Jamie's hair was ridiculously gorgeous!  I'm very jealous :) After a quick run-around with cute, little Roxy, their Boston Terrier, in the front yard of their house,  we all made our way down to the park that Mark and Jamie walk Roxy often.  The fresh snow and the brisk, cold air was exhilarating!  Mark had Jamie cracking up so much, which in turn had me laughing too.  Watching their love and connection was so sweet and I am so happy for them.  We went back to their house to capture some fun, warmer moments inside their first home together.  Once again, this fun couple had me cracking up!  They are so funny and sweet with each other.  And, their home is so cute!  I loved hearing about what they did to fix it up and renovate their kitchen to make it truly theirs.  I can’t wait for their beautiful, intimate wedding in April, the countdown is on! 

Charleston

In early October, I went down to Charleston, SC with my boyfriend.  It’s our third time going down there together, but I have been going down there for years.  This particular time was the first time my Mom had visited Charleston and the first time on a LONG time my Dad had been there.  I first went down to Charleston based on a friend’s recommendation, telling me it’s one of the most beautiful places and I will fall in love.  I was slightly skeptical, but they were right.  The first afternoon and evening I was there, I fell in love.  The smell of jasmine was everywhere, the houses, the gardens, the old glorious trees and the sound of fountains and frogs.  BAM, it was magical and I was under it’s spell.

After that first trip, I realized that my Granddad had been going down to Charleston for decades!  I always knew that he had been going down south to go to the Yorktown reunions, but I had no idea that the

USS Yorktown

had made it’s final resting place in the Cooper River.  So, once I knew that, I used that as a good excuse to go back down to Charleston at least once a year to go to the reunions with my Granddad.  The USS Yorktown is the ship that he was on in WWII, so it has a very special, deep meaning for him.  Today, my Granddad is 93 years old and lives in Charleston the majority of the year and volunteers on the Yorktown almost everyday.  People LOVE him!  They love his knowledge of the ship, his tours, his stories, his jokes (he’s full of jokes!) and the fact that he’s 93 and can get around that ship better than most people.  He is AWESOME!

The reunion weekend this year was a little different.  I was really looking forward to taking a lot of beautiful  pictures with my film camera and showing my parents the beautiful town.  Unfortunately, good old Hurricane Joaquin  decided to come through and really made a mess.  The reunion was cancelled along with pretty much everything that was planned for that weekend.  Museums were closed, stores were closed, tours were not running and restaurants….sooo many restaurants were not open.  It was kind of a struggle for all of us to find someplace to eat.  Luckily, the restaurant at the Renaissance Hotel was serving a limited menu of their bar food, which was very yummy.  They were so understaffed that people working in the hotel tried to help out the restaurant staff.  

Anyhoo, it was an adventure.  It was also an adventure trying to get back to our place.  We were staying downtown and there were so many streets that were flooded and roads that we dare not go down because our car was so low to the ground.  I basically said, “Screw it!”, and we put on our hazards and carefully drove down one-way streets.  Not many cars were out driving at that point anyways.  It was a little nerve-racking for a while there.  But, our car didn’t stall and get stranded and we made it back.  Charleston got hit, but other places in South Carolina got hit even harder.  Hurricanes and forces of nature are no joke and can be a scary and devastating event. :(

I felt really bad for my parents.  They really missed out on a lot of beauty and to top it off, they both got sick right at the end of the trip:(  I’m hoping my Mom will at least go back down soon to go to all the places she missed.

Putting the negative to the side, one place that was open was the

Firefly distillery

.  That was a good place to go sample some flavored spirits!  Too strong for me though.  I had more interest in the goat that was on the top of a spiral staircase outside.  And, although

Angel Oak

was closed, we were able to stop there and take some photos in the rain and through the fence.  I’ve had a magnet of a photo of Angel Oak on my fridge for years, so it was really cool to see it in person.

Also, I was able to meet a girl that I follow on Instagram,

Catherine Ann Photography

.  Catherine is a wedding photographer in Charleston and I’m not sure how I found her on social media, but I loved her work.  So, it was awesome to meet in person!  She’s talented, adorable, intelligent and was so helpful when discussing photography.  I look forward to spending more time with her and going around to photograph in nicer weather!  And, it’s always a pleasure seeing my friend

Rebecca

.  Also, another talented artist that specializes in painting and I’m a big fan of her work!

Well, I think that’s enough out of me.  I could go on forever, but I won’t and will post some of the pictures I was able to take while down there.  Until next time Charleston!