Reconstructionist Jewish Wedding – Commander’s Mansion

Reconstructionist Jewish Wedding – Commander’s Mansion – Alex & Adam

Alex and Adam held their wedding on a pleasant cloudy June day at the Commander’s Mansion in Watertown, Massachusetts. The Commanders Mansion is a stately old building dating back to 1865. The history of the building is not without minor controversy, and is certainly worth a read. Take a look at that light filtering in through the old glass windows, that, my friend, is a photographer’s dream. The ketubah signing, in particular, shows off the charm of the building.


Rabbi Alex Weissman and Rabbi Adam Lavitt are both, well, rabbis, so, as you can imagine, the day’s ceremonial bits were very well orchestrated. This was to be expected, but still, the eloquent and heartfelt words of their friends and family during their tisches, and Rabbi Jacob Staub‘s words as he officiated under the chuppah, were overwhelmingly moving.


What I couldn’t have seen coming, was that Adam and Alex would be so delightfully, infectiously, playful. This made our portrait session a total pleasure. The duality of attending to the spiritual realm with intelligence and intention, while holding deep reserves of playfulness, was brought to light metaphorically in their dress. Both wore a harmonious and subtle blazer-shirt-tie-pocket square combo, that matched their boutonnières to a T, but down below, they wore silver and gold Chuck Taylors!


One of my favorite moments of the day happened during a toast Alex’s mother gave. She quoted at length from a beautiful poem, and not until she was through, did she reveal that she was quoting Rabbi Adam Lavitt, her new son in law. I leave you with the poem:


This is balance:
The world is entirely consumed by darkness,
then brimming with light.
The seasons approach one after the other,
bring unbearable heat, bitter cold and everything
in between. Joy fades. Loss
makes space for growth and new life.
Balance is not a perfect blend
of extremes. It is something that takes place
inside a larger system. It is a perspective,
an awareness that makes space for us
to fully experience winter and then spring,
light and then darkness.
Darkness and then light.
Life of all Worlds, thank you
for giving us the strength
to allow our world, our heart,
to be big enough for it all.



Venue : Comander’s Mansion

Catering: Cuisine ChezVous

Officiant : Jacob Staub

Florals : Celebrated Flower

DJ : DJ Red Dawn


Classic Church and Topsail Tent Wedding – Jocelyn and Tom

Classic Church and Topsail Tent Wedding – Jocelyn and Tom

The story of how it came to be that I photographed Jocelyn and Tom’s wedding is on the complicated side of things. Jocelyn reached out to see if I was available to photograph her wedding on the Sunday of Memorial Day. She is an incredible storyteller, and went into detail in her initial query about the history of her grandma and grandpa’s house where the reception would be held. The house actually had it’s 300th birthday this year. There was a fabled apple tree, apple pies, peach jam, and a grapevine Robert Frost had written a poem about. Jocelyn and Tom were high school sweethearts at Exeter where they both rowed on the crew team. Very sad for me! I was booked Sunday, but I was available Saturday, so I cheekily suggested they change the date of the wedding to Saturday.

 

By mere chance, or some celestial tinkering, Jocelyn and Tom changed their wedding date to Saturday, and booked me as their photographer! I anticipated the wedding with excitement all year long, and when it finally came to pass, it did not disappoint.

 

The wedding was a classic. It started in the Exeter church, and ended with joyous dancing under a topsail tent. The thing that struck me most about their wedding was how right it felt. They were surrounded by family and friends who could see with great clarity how happy Jocelyn and Tom made each other and what an incredible match the two made. Each, in their own right, is a force to be reckoned with, but together, they are indomitable. Woe to anyone who should impede their path. They had their first look on a worn marble staircase at Phillips Exeter Academy where they had first met and forged their connection. I made couples portraits of the two down at the Exeter Boathouse, the site of their first date! I could go on and on about the wonders of their wedding… Thank you again for being so lovely to work with, Jocelyn and Tom.

 

Many many thanks to the talented Cara Brostrom for coming on as a 2nd photographer.

 

Sitting Bride Groom Portrait San Francisco Wedding Photographer

 

Bride’s Dress: Amsale from The White Gown

Groom’s suit: Custom made by the Black Lapel

Florist: Cymbidium Floral

DJ and/or band: DJ Jodi Entertainment

Catering: Stone Oven Catering and Las Olas

Invitations: Crane & Co


A Wedding in the Forest – Gideon and Lina

A Wedding in the Forest – Gideon & Lina

Gideon and Lina’s wedding ceremony was nestled into a forest, with live trees bent into a glorious arch as the altar. I’m not sure I’ll ever top that. We used the opportunity to make couples portraits in the forest. The guests’ outfits ran the gamut from the traditional Norwegian dress of Lina’s family, to Gideon’s open collared shirt and brown wool suit. The two children stealing the show in every other image belonged to Gideon and Lina and, were part of the wedding party, and gave me life all day long. Guests used a rowboat to head back to the reception from the ceremony site. There were assorted berry pies, red canoes, croquet, oh, and the dancing, stick around for that…


Temescal Beach House Wedding Alx & Chris

Temescal Beach House Wedding Alx & Chris

Alx & Chris had a lovely intimate wedding at the Temescal Beach House up in the hills of Oakland, CA. From the moment I met Alx she had a crystal clear vision of what she wanted on her wedding day. For the photos she wanted to have a formal photo with every guest. We were going for the simplicity of the wedding photos from the 1930s. Alx brought a cowhide rug, a vintage theater bench, and a couple assorted chairs. Those few items made styling the group portraits fun and easy. It did not hurt that the two had such fashionable wedding guests. Alx and Chris had done a lot of thinking about the parts of a traditional wedding ceremony that they appreciate, and the parts that they wanted to change. After Alx and Chris read personal vows to each other, they had their assembled guests read a communal vow. I was inspired by that turn!

                                        


Kaaterskill Inn Wedding – NYC – Rachael & Neal

Kaaterskill Inn Wedding – NYC – Rachael & Neal

Rachael and Neal caught a spectacular, toasty June day for their wedding.  They chose the eclectic and lovely Kaaterskill Inn, in Catskill, New York for their wedding venue. The house, the barn, the farm, were all a dream to explore. I thought on it this morning, the two things that defined their wedding for me are a freeness and lightness of spirit, and a pair of extraordinary close-knit families. It’s always an honor to photograph a wedding, but, these two, and all their people were remarkably relaxed around me, and this helped me to create just the type of photographs I like best, natural, unposed, emotional, gestural, and joyous portraits. Thank you, Rachael and Neal for trusting me, inviting me in, and being such easy, fun, and loveful people.

              


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