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Vanita & Bryan’s South Florida Destination Wedding at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa

Posted on October 8, 2013

I recently had the pleasure of photographing Vanita and Bryan’s very colorful and festive destination wedding at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa. Here’s their wonderful story!

Vanita and Bryan met at the Eve of the Eve holiday party at Union Station in downtown Chicago on December 30, 2011. In Bryan’s words: “Vanita was walking back from the ladies’ room with some friends as I was on my way to the men’s room. She was absolutely gorgeous. I gathered up the courage to approach her and was able to convince me to give me her number. The next day we met for coffee. The day after we went to the Bulls game and the day after that I had orchids delivered to her. Later that same week, I took her out to dinner, asked her to be my girlfriend and she said yes!”

Vanita’s story: “On December 30, 2012, we decided to go back to the Eve of the Eve. While at the party, it was announced from the stage that Bryan and I were the winners of a raffle prize. Completely surprised, I ran up to the microphone with Bryan. Once on stage, he explained that a week before, he had flown to Florida to ask my father’s permission to marry me. He then got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife and I said yes!”

From this incredible proposal, their magnificent wedding was planned at the magnificent Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa. For a large Indian wedding such as Bryan and Vanita’s, the sprawling Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa was a perfect location. With its spectacular views of the Atlantic ocean and its many ballrooms to choose from, the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa is an excellent choice for a South Florida destination wedding. Vanita and Bryan’s wedding took full advantage of all this venue had to offer, with their ceremony taking place outside overlooking the ocean. What a terrific experience for their guests as well! The inside rooms offered more than adequate space to host their large wedding event.

While photographing Vanita & Bryan around the Diplomat Hotel, I couldn't help but notice the awesome blue neon walls inside the gym. I couldn't resist this opportunity, and in no time we were taking pictures in the gym. Vanita's red Indian wedding sari was the perfect contrasting color against the gym's super cool walls.

Here are some details about Vanita and Bryan’s elaborate wedding fashions. Vanita and Bryan both had custom wedding ceremony outfits purchase at Saahil Boutique in Chicago. Vanita’s custom wedding reception outfit was from Studio Elite in Chicago and Bryan’s was from Brioni. The bride’s jewelry came from Devam in Boca Raton, Florida. Hair and make-up was created by Marz of Miami and Vanita’s hair clip was from Jill Zaleski Designs in Chattanooga, TN. The bride’s shoes were by Stuart Weitzman and the couples’ rings were from Trabert and Hoefer in Chicago.

The Diplomat Hotel has an expansive lobby that is the perfect location for family bridal portraits. The hotel features glass walls and a very large skylight on the atrium ceiling. With all this soft natural light streaming in, the hotel lobby is a great spot to create portraits that feature flattering lighting.

BELOW: This beautiful photo of Vanita was taken by our staff photographer "Liz". You can see more of her photography by looking under the gallery menu at the top of our website.

Outdoor oceanfront weddings with the Atlantic ocean in the background is one of the most requested spots brides and grooms look for when having a South Florida destination wedding. The Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa delivers this and more - it is the perfect place to say "I do" with a perfect oceanfront location.

A wedding photographer photographing an Indian ceremony needs to be ready for anything. With so many interesting and unique traditions happening during the ceremony, there is no shortage of photo opportunities.

There are many small details and emotional moments to capture during a traditional Indian wedding ceremony. As a South Florida wedding photographer, I love to shoot such weddings, as they are rich with colorful traditions and make for absolutely incredible photos!

Vanita poses before the Indian wedding mandap set against a gorgeous Atlantic ocean backdrop. She is displaying the intricate henna work applied to her hands the day before.

The Westin Diplomat's ballroom was amazingly decorated for this event. The large ballroom used for this wedding was transformed from a blank slate into a dreamy reception room.

Ballroom decor looks even better when set against a spectacular ocean view!

Indian weddings often feature bright and festive colors. Vanita and Bryan selected different shads of pinks, reds and white for their flowers. Purple and yellow uplighting accented the room.

The night was non-stop fun and included traditional Indian dancing (see the 3 girls in the photo below.)

Yummy appetizers served to the lucky wedding guests.

A lavish dinner of steak and prawns followed. Better leave room for dessert!

The guests had a great time!

Vanita and her sorority sisters take a photo break. Weddings are always a great opportunity to see friends whom you might not have seen in a while. What a great reunion this was!

Vanita is a little embarrassed by something Bryan said during their speeches.

Toasts to the newly married couple!

Another lovely couple - Brittany and Allen. I photographed their wedding last year at the Ocean Reef Club and they sent Vanita and Bryan to us. Here Allen attempts to adjust the elephant's trunk to no avail.

The cake cutting!

We would like to extend our thanks to Vanita and Bryan for having us be a part of their special day. It was a great experience for our team and we congratulate the bride and groom to the fullest!

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Jenna & Brad’s Spectacular Four Seasons Palm Beach Wedding

Posted on September 11, 2013

What a gorgeous wedding this was! A beautiful bride, handsome groom, amazing flowers and one of the most luxurious venues in town – the Four Seasons Palm Beach! Everything came together beautifully at Jenna and Brad’s recent Palm Beach wedding. The incredible catering team at the Four Seasons Palm Beach played a great part in the success of this wedding as well.

Jenna & Brad's Wedding Day from Jeff Kolodny on Vimeo.

The magnificent - absolutely jaw-dropping décor for this event was created by Daniel Events. They did not hold back, creating an outdoor ceremony site to die for and a ballroom that had a WOW factor for sure – amazing everyone who entered the room. The magic of the evening was brought to life also by Steve Chase of Chase Music and his lively band that kept guests on their feet all night long.

As a South Florida wedding photographer, I just love photographing Palm Beach weddings. Jenna and Brad’s decision to have a Four Seasons Palm Beach wedding was definitely a great choice. This 5-star beachfront luxury venue offers everyone one would want their guests to enjoy when coming to town to experience a Palm Beach wedding. The hotel offers a sparking outdoor pool, pristine stretch of beach, tennis, a spa, water sports, personal training, yoga and Pilates sessions. There is also a lovely restaurant, Graze, to dine at as well as The Atlantic Bar and Grill. The hotel even offers a Friday night clam bake! The sophisticated décor is clean and crisp, the hotel exudes an overall aura of elegance and modernity. The Four Seasons Palm Beach is a perfect location for an upscale high-end Pam Beach wedding that leaves guests simply in awe.

As beautiful as the hotel is now, it is actually undergoing a major renovation very soon – just to keep everything looking sharp and new for incoming guests and wedding clients. This busy Palm Beach wedding venue seems to have become very popular with both Floridians as well as those planning a South Florida destination wedding. We seem to receive calls from both – the out of town clients are thrilled to be able to offer their cold weather friends and family a nice warm place to come to celebrate! The Four Seasons Palm Beach does not disappoint – between the warm Florida ocean just outside its doors to its elegant heated pool, there are several fabulous spots for northerners to work on their tans!

I hope you enjoy this glimpse of Jenna and Brad’s awesome Four Seasons Palm Beach wedding! Many thanks to Jenna, Brad and their families for having me capture their special day.

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A fabulous South Florida photo shoot at the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort

Posted on August 22, 2013

Recently I had the great opportunity to participate in a photo shoot along with the talents of Jacqueline Goldman of J. Morgan Flowers and also featuring the magnificent gowns from Boca Raton Bridal. The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort provided the perfect backdrop for the shoot, with its unparalleled beauty. Its interior shimmers with beauty and its outside areas are just as impressive. The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort is located on a pristine stretch of beach in Bal Harbour, just across the street from the fabulous Bal Harbour Shops and just minutes from the energy of Miami’s South Beach

Also on the shoot was the superb South Florida make-up and hair artist, Tatjana Terzic. She is one of our favorite hair and make-up artists by far – every bride becomes absolutely ravishing once Tatjana does her magic! She did an amazing job on our model, Erica Schellenger for the shoot. Many thanks to Tatjana for her tremendous contributions at the St. Regis Bal Harbour photo shoot.

Jacqueline Goldman and wedding planner Aviva Samuels of Kiss the Planner did most of the planning for the shoot, coordinating all the details with Victoria Chase of the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort as well as other contributing vendors. We called upon Tatjana for her talents and Jan Cochran of Boca Raton Bridal to assist in finding the perfect model and the latest in wedding gown fashions. Jan brought along absolutely incredible designer gowns, including one by Kenneth Pool, another by Elizabeth Fillmore and also one by Lazaro. Everybody truly came through with flying colors and the shoot went off without a hitch.

Several rooms in the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort were completely transformed by Jacqueline, who really has taken her company, J. Morgan Flowers to new heights. Her keen design sense and eye for something very different really came through at this shoot. You will see from these photos just how creative she is – using mirrors and lounge furniture to enhance a room’s overall look. Her floral designs were simply breathtaking and vastly unique in their appearance.

As a South Florida wedding photographer, taking part in these types of photo shoots is a real treat. I have plenty of time to work with the models and make sure that everything looks great. Photo shoots that are done outside of an actual wedding afford a photographer the benefit of time, whereas at a wedding there are so many details and people that need to be photographed that often time runs short. It was an absolute pleasure to participate in this photo shoot with such amazing South Florida vendors and professionals as Jacqueline Goldman of J. Morgan Flowers, Jan Cochran of Boca Raton Bridal, Aviva Samuels of Kiss the Planner, make-up and hair artist Tatjana Terzic, and Victoria Chase of the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort. Many thanks to all of them for their enormous contributions to the success of this photo shoot. Let’s do it again soon!

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Nicole & Zach’s Miami Florida Destination Wedding

Posted on July 16, 2013

This lovely couple was actually referred to us from another Cleveland client whose wedding we had photographed a few years back here in South Florida. Both Midwesterners, Nicole hails from Cleveland and Zach is from Chicago. They met in Chicago at a bar and one of their first dates was to watch an Ohio State football game – Nicole is a huge fan.

Many brides and grooms like to do a "first look" and Nicole and Zach were no different. Their special moment unfolded on the patio overlooking the gazebo at The Palms Hotel & Spa. This emotional exchange almost always elicits a tear or two from bride and groom alike.

The reason they chose to have a South Florida destination wedding was that Nicole grew up coming down to South Florida to visit her grandparents. Each year she and her family would travel to Miami from Boca Raton every time. This is not uncommon among our clients – many have traveled to Florida to visit grandparents and other relatives and then when it comes time to plan a wedding, the lure of South Florida wins out as the location. For Nicole and Zach who love to travel, The Palms Resort & Spa was very resort-like and just exuded a feeling of “Old Miami.” They absolutely loved the lawn and event space and especially the old boutique feeling of the hotel. The Palms Resort & Spa was just the right size for their destination wedding, as Nicole explained - they felt as if everyone staying there was “just for us.”

Nicole and Zach’s wedding was very elegant and festive. Jessica Masi was their
“day of” wedding planner and she did a wonderful time insuring that everything was on track for the event. Higher Ground provided the musical entertainment for the evening and kept the guests on their feet! Petal Productions created the gorgeous floral arrangements and décor, while Edda’s Cakes provided the beautiful wedding cake. Lutz Karpf designed Nicole’s hair and make-up, while her dress was by Lazaro and shoe by Manolo Blahnik. Zach was equally decked out in designer duds - a Versace suit and Ferragamo shoes.

I did my best to photograph Nicole and Zach at as many different locations around the hotel as possible. The photos below were taken on the front patio of The Palms Hotel & Spa. There are so many fabulous locations both inside and outside The Palms that it is hard to get to them all, but I certainly try to visit as many as possible within the time allotted for picture-taking.

The Palms Resort & Spa is a fabulous location for a wedding – situated on a pristine stretch of Miami Beach, the hotel offers a top location and a boutique feel, as it is not as large as some of its local counterparts such as the Fountainbleau Hotel, Loews Hotel or even a Hyatt or Marriott. Couples planning a Miami destination wedding will appreciate the more intimate feel – it’s perfect for couples who want their guests to feel comfortable and practically recognize everyone they see at the hotel. The ocean and proximity to the rest of Miami is unbeatable. As a South Florida wedding photographer, I always enjoy photographing weddings at The Palms Resort & Spa – aside from its obvious attributes, the Catering staff is tops and a pleasure to work with every time.

Nicole and Zach had a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony, complete with the drinking of the wine and the breaking of the glass. Theirs was a destination Miami Jewish wedding and their guests enjoyed every moment!

Bride and groom share a kiss and make their way back up the aisle as Mr. & Mrs.!

Mr. and Mrs. Pinkert strike a pose on beautiful Miami Beach.

Making the most of the beautiful grounds The Palms Hotel & Spa has to offer! Many brides and grooms search for a hotel with a gazebo - and this one has one of the nicest in South Florida. It is a most popular site for ceremonies and photos at nearly every wedding I photograph here.

Nicole and Zach's special cocktail, based on the groom's last name, "Pinkert."

Petal Productions' gorgeous bouquets and the yummy wedding cake!

Dreamy decor created by Petal Productions. The ballroom was totally transformed for Nicole and Zach's reception.

Nicole and Zach danced the night away along with their guests to the incredible sounds of "Higher Ground."

What a fabulous night! Bride and groom share a toast and a kiss!!

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Jillian & David’s Destination Wedding at the Four Seasons Palm Beach

Posted on June 25, 2013

When I asked Jillian why she and David selected the Four Seasons Palm Beach for their destination wedding, she explained that her sister had married there 6 years ago and had a fabulous experience. Her parents live locally and they knew they were going to have a South Florida wedding – and they definitely wanted a hotel as over half of their wedding guests were out-of-towners. While Jillian and David did visit several Palm Beach venues, they knew right away that the Four Seasons was the right choice for them. As Jillian explained, the Four Seasons Palm Beach is beautiful, modern yet classic with fantastic service and amazing food. She felt they couldn’t go wrong - and they didn’t!

This spectacular wedding featured several shades of metallic silver in the bridesmaid/mother of bride dresses to silver linens as well as champagne menu cards, programs and other details. The bride also wanted a really organic look. This was achieved through the use of branches in the chuppah, to the birch, driftwood and succulents as the centerpieces. All of these ideas were brilliantly brought to life and executed to perfection through the artistic talents of Xquisite Events. The party was rocking all night thanks to the musical talents of Heatwave. Jillian was beaming on her wedding day in a magnificent Vera Wang gown with a belt by Sareh Nouri and finished with sparkling Jimmy Choo shoes.

Jillian and David met 3-1/2 years ago at their mutual friend’s apartment in New York. David had recently been accepted to Michigan Business School and on the night they first met, he was ready to celebrate and grab some drinks with friends. Jillian had been babysitting that night and not in the mood to go out. Her friend convinced her it was a good idea and out she went! Finally, at the end of the part at their friend’s apartment, David and Jillian caught each other’s eyes and started talking. The conversation continued at a bar in Manhattan called Irving Mill and they ended up dancing the night away and as Jillian said, the rest is history!

Photos taken in the "Living Room" at the Four Seasons Palm Beach.

The guys!

Jillian was extremely involved in all aspects of her wedding plans. As an event planner in New York for a non-profit organization called the Foundation for Jewish Camp, she has more knowledge than most when it comes to planning large and fabulous events. As Jillian and David live in Jersey City, NJ and most of their friends live in New York, this truly was a destination wedding for their friends.

The bridal party poses for a photo by the chuppah.

Elegant ceremony set-up by Xquisite Events.

Let's get married!

Spectacular wedding decor created to perfection by Xquisite Events. Looks pretty cool from overhead too!

First dance as husband and wife.

Now it's time to have FUN!

Jillian and David pose with one of South Florida's premier bands, Heatwave.

There was no shortage of sweets at this Palm Beach wedding! In addition to the wedding cake, there was a yummy dessert and a decadent candy table.

As a South Florida wedding photographer, I always love learning as much as possible about the brides and grooms whose weddings I photograph. Each has a unique story to tell and often much of their personality shows through in the look and feel of their special day. Jillian and David were a wonderful couple to photograph and I hope that the photos posted here will help you get a good feel for the job and excitement of their incredible destination wedding at the Four Seasons Palm Beach.

And now the finale - a true Kolodny special - the groom pushes his bride on a luggage cart!

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