Jeff Kolodny Photography Blog Jeff Kolodny Photography Blog en-us Gabri & Jeffrey's Destination Wedding at the Eau Palm Beach Wed, 12 Aug 2015 15:09:00 GMT
We recently photographed Gabri and Jeffrey's gorgeous wedding at the Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa. This amazing couple lives in New York City and I asked them to tell me their story so that I couldshare it here.

Jeffrey is looking sharp!

Jeffrey and Gabri met in a serendipitous way in December of 2011 in the lobby of their Boston apartment building; later that day Jeffrey left a package for Gabri with a dog treat, his card, and a note saying "I was getting my dog treats and thought of you and Scarlet -Jeffrey" The two went on a date where they both ordered the same dish and had a wonderful time; from then on the two knew they had found something special.

Gabri and Jeffrey chose to have their wedding in Palm Beach, Florida because their grandparents live close by and otherwise would not have been able to attend their wedding. The two are very close with their grandparents and made their attendance and comfort a priority. They also loved the beautiful beach scenery.

Bling is always a good thing!

Gabri's very unique wedding gown was designed by Vera Wang accented by Jimmy Choo shoes.Jeffrey's tuxedo was by Ermengildo Zegna. Bridesmaids wore Amsale, Joanna August and Dessy.Team Beauti created the hair and make-up styles for the bride while her wedding band was fromGreenwich Jeweler and the groom's ring was by Tiffany.

Mike Sipe Entertainment kept the guests on their feet all night and Xquisite Events and FrostHandled all the flowers and décor for the affair. Cheryl Clisby & Co. were the event planners for the Wedding.

This South Florida Palm Beach wedding was also a destination wedding, as the bride and groom dolive in New York. Many couples from up North choose to have a Florida destination wedding, as either their parents or grandparents live here. It just makes sense. Also, it allows their guestsfrom out of town to come here to Florida and make somewhat of a vacation around thewedding. It works out well for everyone involved! Plus our year-round good weather is definitelya strong incentive as well. South Florida weddings are very popular among not only locals butalso many, many out of towners. Our clients often do not live here – in fact we have clients fromas far away as overseas! South Florida destination weddings hold much appeal especially for people who live in colder climates as well.

This wedding featured some really pretty details - a la Xquisite Events.

Just breathtaking!

Let's get this party started!

Mouthwatering cuisine by the Eau Resort Palm Beach Resort & Spa.

Yummy for sure...

We hope you've enjoyed this glimpse of Gabri and Jeffrey's wedding! We want to thank both ofthem and their families for including us on this very special day in their lives.

Andrea & Jesse's Boynton Beach Engagement Shoot Fri, 17 Jul 2015 17:47:00 GMT I grabbed my camera and shot theses photos right around the corner from my house. Having some farmland and some really cool fountains close to home makes it east to grab a camera and make some fantastic photos.

A Traditional Jewish Wedding at the B'Nai Israel in Boca Raton, Florida Mon, 22 Jun 2015 23:38:00 GMT
A Traditional Jewish Wedding at the B'Nai Israel in Boca Raton, Florida

From The Knot: Real Weddings

Alina Shetyn, 27, and Rafael Foss,34 met on new year's day in 2012. "Our love for each other only grew stronger and more stable with each moment that passed," says Alina. They were engaged that December. The couple made each decision for the wedding together. "We were extremely involved with the wedding planning and no detail was left unturned," says Alina. Both the ceremony and reception at the B'Nai Israel in Boca Raton, Florida, were decorated with white decor and elaborate accents. White fabric draped along the ceremony aisle with floating white cymbidium orchids at the end of each row. Alina and Rafael's huppah was accented with white garden. After the ceremony, guest walked into the cocktail hour to the music of live violinists. The reception was set with grand tall white centerpieces, lucite chiavari chairs and silver linens bathed in pink light. Guests were then met with more music. "We had a 12 person band and a huge stage built out to accommodate everything," says Alina. The couple also did a choreographed first dance to "Wanted" by Hunter Hayes. Buses were available at the end of the night to take Alina and Rafael's guests to their hotels. "Since most of our guests traveled from either another state or another country we wanted to show them how thankful we were that they came to witness our wedding day," says Alina.

From The Big Fat Jewish Wedding

Alina & Rafael's Decadent Russian Jewish Wedding {Boca Raton, FL}
This beautiful Russian Jewish wedding is a fairytale wedding come true.
From the Alina's cinderalla wedding ballgown, to the 7 tiered wedding cake, you are going to be swept away in joy and happiness with this happy couple.

Bride Alina and groom Rafael got married in Boca Raton, Florida, the heart of the sunshine state. Their wedding was blissful and full of tradition.

We're happy to share Alina's story with us about the wedding!
Tell us about the wedding
Our wedding was a traditional Russian-Jewish wedding. It was romantic and elegant and the night was a fairytail. We had our first look and photos at the Boca Resort; it was the most beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky.
That night we went to synagogue B'nai Israel in Boca Raton, FL. We had an hour and a half cocktail hour with six stations and 23 passed o'dourves, we had ice sculptors and drink flunes. Then, it was time for our ceremony. (We meet with our rabbi four times before our wedding so he can really get to know us and our story!)
Then it was time for the reception. We had a 12 minute horah which was ruff ha! We had a 12 person band with a DJ and the night was unbelievable! Guests could choose from five entrees for dinner, and the drinks were flowing all night long. The wedding cake was to die for, it was a surprise from my husband. I had shown him a picture of my dream cake, and he made it happen.

Could you tell us about any special wedding customs/clothing you had?
For our traditional conservative ceremony, my mom and I walked around my husband Rafael seven times before we started the ceremony. Also, the horah was 12 minutes long and was the first dance of the night kicking off the celebration.

After every toast we kissed for a couple of seconds. In Russian tradition, it is custom for everyone to say 'Gorca' which means 'bitter' after making a toast. Since you take a sip of alcohol, which is bitter, your kiss makes it sweet.

What was the inspiration for your wedding?
Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted a fairytale wedding, and thanks to our families we got that. The reception room had chandeliers and amazing uplighting. We had a live band, plus over the top food. It was an over all amazing experience!

What was the hardest part about wedding planning?
I had a wonderful wedding planner, Joni Scalzo from Your Special Day by Joni. She saved my life. I'm very organized and a perfectionist, which is a gift and a curse, but she always kept me calm. The hardest part for me because of my traits, was hoping that all the vendors remembered everything we discussed and all the details came together.

Did you any DIY?
Not a DIY bride, but to save some money my husband and I put together all the wedding programs all 150 plus and tied the ribbons for them.

What was your favorite part of the wedding?
My favorite part of the wedding was when I started walking down the aisle and I finally saw my future husband standing on the other side. It was a moment in time.

Eve of Milady White Tulle, Lace Ballgown

The bride chose an Eve of Milady ballgown with a lace bodice and tulle skirt from Boca Raton Bridal. "It was my princess dress," says Alina.

Black Tulle Skirt David's Bridal Bridesmaids Dresses

The bridesmaids wore black dresses from David's Bridal with a sweetheart neckline and elaborate black tulle ruffled detail on the skirt. Each held a bouquet of hot pink roses.

Custom Groomsmen Tuxedos and Hot Red Boutonnieres
The groomsmen wore custom tailored black tuxedos with black vests and bow ties from the Tux Shop in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

B'Nai Israel Embracing Couple Shot
Rafael and Alina became engaged while on a walk with his family in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec. After reading a poem he wrote for her, Rafael proposed with billboard that read "Alina will you marry me?" says Alina.

Simple White B'Nai Israel Ceremony Aisle Decor
Alina and Rafael decorated their aisle with cylinder vases of floating white cymbidium orchids, draped white fabric and a rose lighting design cascading onto the aisle runner.

What 3 words of advice do you have for future brides-to-be?
Smile! No matter what is happening there is always a camera or an eye on you.
Mazel tov Alina and Rafael!

From the Modern Jewish Weddiing
your guide as you head to the chuppah

In the case to be made for bling today's Modern Jewish Wedding is the evidence.
Mrs. Foss (AKA the Bride Alina) looked like a princess on her wedding day. I mean just look at her blinged out shoes. She added a beaded headband, a beaded belt on her Cinderella ball gown and 3 beaded cake tiers as a part of her 7 layer cake.
Any wedding that uses the Pantone Color of the Year, Radiant Orchard in uplighting for the room gets two thumbs up from us. How can you not fall in love with the lighting effect on the Princess gown during the Hora?
The Modern Jewish Wedding Details
Alina and Rafael were married at the Reform congregation B'nai Israel. They had a traditional Russian-Jewish wedding which included the Hakafah.
The couple had their first look and photos at the Boca Resort. Then they went to the synagogue where first there was 90 minutes of cocktails with six food stations and 23 passed appetizers. The pre-ceremony reception even included ice sculptures.
After the ceremony, it was time for a party that lasted long into the night.
Alina wrote, "We had a 12 minute hora which was ruff ha! We had a 12 person band with a DJ and the night was unbelievable! Guests could choose from five entrees for dinner, and the drinks were flowing all night long. The wedding cake was to die for, it was a surprise from my husband. I had shown him a picture of my dream cake, and he made it happen.
Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted a fairytale wedding, and thanks to our families we got that. The reception room had chandeliers and amazing uplighting. It was an over all amazing experience!
After every toast we kissed for a couple of seconds. In Russian tradition, it is custom for everyone to say 'Gorca' which means 'bitter' after making a toast. Since you take a sip of alcohol, which is bitter, your kiss makes it sweet.
My favorite part of the wedding was when I started walking down the aisle and I finally saw my future husband standing on the other side. It was a moment in time."
Her advice to all the Modern Jewish Brides reading this, "Smile! No matter what is happening there is always a camera or an eye on you."
Mazel Tov Alina & Rafael.

Jeff Kolodny Photography brought us this stunning, Miami gem, and we couldn't be more thrilled! Alina and Rafael are a gorgeous pair and their special day matched them perfectly. With an elegant temple wedding in Boca Raton at Congregation B'Nai Israel and an entirely too-fun after party, this fall day is simply one for the books. From tears of joy to boisterous laughs, so many emotions are captured amongst these images, and we love getting to feel apart of them all. Alina and Rafael were the sweetest of couples, and we're so glad that their perfect, dream wedding came true!

The Couple

Rafael is very passionate about everything he puts his mind too and loves growing his businesses. He loves to unwind by playing basketball a couple times a week and hitting the gym and sauna on his free time. Seeing his friends and family is a big must and just unwinding with a movie on the couch with his wife is also nice and relaxing.

I love to spend time with my family. Rafael and I see our parents probably once a month and enjoy every moment with them. I love to travel. We just got back from our 3 week European honeymoon and it was incredible. Spending time with my friends and catching up is always a good time.

We are both Russian and Jewish and want the same things out of life. Ever since the first time we meet on New Years Eve 2011 we have been inseparable.

Our Love Story

Our journey began not to long ago when we finally locked eyes on January 1, 2012, just a few hours after the New Year arrived. We spend every weekend together building on our magical chemistry. Our passion for one another developed into a daily eternal bond. Our love for each other only grew stronger and more stable with each moment that passed. We did our fair share of traveling throughout the year together, but one vacation came to be as unforgettable as any couple can dream up. We got engaged on 12/24/12 in Mont-tremblant, Quebec. Even though our real journey together is only beginning we are extremely blessed and fortunate to have found ourselves to be married.

Words of Wisdom

Smile no matter what is happening around you on your special day, because there is always someone watching plus a camera crew and photographers!

What's Next

We recently got a new puppy, Teddy, a golden doodle and have our hands full with him. We are in the process of looking for home and expanding our family. In the mean time we plan to do some traveling and spending time with our friends and family.

Boca Raton, Florida Elaborate White Huppah Décor
The couple's huppah was decorated with ivory fabric, chandelier lighting and arrangements of white garden roses at each post.

Alina and Rafael's Kissing Recessional

Silver, White Reception Decor Under Pink Lighting
The couple decorated their reception with silver table linens, crystal chandeliers, lucite chiavari chairs, grand floral centerpieces and pink lighting.

Unique Crystal Rhinestone Embellished Tiered Wedding Cake
The couple's wedding cake was a surprise from Rafael. He had the seven-tier cake replicated by the VIP Caterers from a picture Alina gave him. "It was a real centerpiece of the night," says Alina.

Alina and Rafael's Reception Hora Dance

The couple was lifted up in the air by their family and friends for a traditional hora dance.

Nicole & Federico’s Miami Wedding at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Sun, 21 Jun 2015 20:55:00 GMT

The couple chose Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne for their wedding simply because of their incomparable service and elegance. They knew that our big day would go off without a glitch! As they said, it was simply perfect. Not to mention, the scenery is stunning.

As a South Florida wedding photographer, I have to say that the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne remains one of my absolute favorite wedding spots. There is simply no place like it. Located on Key Biscayne off of Miami, just the location itself exudes a feeling of being in a remote tropical place. You really feel transported while there. The hotel's unparalleled beauty and grandeur cannot be matched anywhere in South Florida. From the inside grandiose lobby all the way to the outside gazebo area and pristine beach, the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne is tropical elegance to the max. Whether you are planning a smaller wedding or larger affair, the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne is the perfect venue to impress and wow your guests and is sure to create a most magnificent backdrop for your Miami wedding celebration.

Nicole and Federico's wedding, while not large in size, was super elegant in every way. Susan Wesselhoft from Grande Affaires created all the décor and transformed the wedding into something really special. The bride had two dresses – both were Allure purchased from Molly Bride in Jupiter, FL. Her shoes were Jimmy Choo and her jewelry was Swarovski. Hair and makeup were done by Marz Makeup. Federico and the guys wore tuxedos by Cardita Formal ware of Stuart, FL. Entertainment was provided by Junior's Entertainment of Miami, FL. Finally; Anna Caterbone of the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne beautifully coordinated everything for the bride and groom to insure that the wedding went off without a hitch.

Many thanks to Nicole and Federico for having me photograph their very special Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne wedding! I very much enjoyed working them both and their enthusiasm was very much appreciated! It always make my job more fun when I have a couple who is excited about helping to create great pictures on their wedding day.

Courtney & Aaron's Destination Wedding Fri, 19 Jun 2015 15:43:00 GMT


Sunshine ahead, darlings! No, no, there's no need to rush outside, you can find all the warm rays you need right here in Courtney & Aaron's wedding in Florida, shared today by Jeff Kolodny Photography. And, goodness, is their day dripping with beauty and romance — red rose bouquets, a candlelit reception...oh, and did we mention the stunning portraits on the grounds at PGA National Resort & Spa? There's no doubt about it, friends, this was one stunning day. Browse the gallery, and you'll see what we mean!

From the lovely bride...

Aaron and I met at the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce in November of 2012. I had just helped move my father's company from Cincinnati, Ohio to Northern Kentucky that past February. When we were finally moved into the new location, I decided to join the Chamber in hopes of meeting local businesses. In December of 2012, I decided the only way to meet local business was to get involved. So, I joined the Business Engagement committee and Aaron happened to be on the committee! Love did not happen right away. We ended up showing up to the January 2013 meeting early and got to know each other for a bit before the meeting. Aaron is a Financial Planner and I am all about bringing new business to her father's company. I encouraged Aaron to come and introduce himself to TBS Meat Distributors in hopes of getting some added business. Little did I know, I would meet my best friend and husband-to-be in the weeks following his visit to T.B.S. We got engaged in November of 2013 and decided to wed on Valentine's Day 2015. PGA national was the venue of choice. Not only is it home to the Honda Classic, but it is also a beautiful venue. We both enjoy playing golf and so do our friends and family who would be attending the wedding. PGA has accent colors throughout their resort and the magical color is RED. Perfect for a Valentine's Day wedding! Being a destination wedding, we decided it was only practical to hire a wedding planner. Boy, is that a must in the wedding world! We hired Your Special Day by Joni and with her help came all of the other fabulous vendor recommendations! Being Catholic, we wanted to have an outdoor Catholic wedding, which is very hard considering priests do not like to marry outside of their congregation. We searched and found Franciscans of South Florida Catholic Ministry. Father Luis R Lopez was willing and able to come marry us. The day was perfect!

From The Knot

A Red and White Valentine's Day Wedding at PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Almost a year after Courtney Brown (31) and Aaron Seyfried (32) met through a Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce committee meeting, they became engaged. Aaron got down on one knee at a local restaurant and proposed with a pear-shaped diamond halo ring. The couple worked with Your Special Day by Joni to put together a red and white Valentine's Day wedding in 15 months. For them, PGA National Resort and Spa was an easy choice, as Courtney and Aaron have a shared love of golfing. The couple lined their waterfront Catholic ceremony with a red aisle runner alongside white folding chairs. After Courtney and Aaron said "I do," their holiday celebration continued with an outdoor cocktail hour that included balsamic figs, mini lump crab cakes and truffle macaroni-and-cheese tarts. White linens atop family-style and round tables, white rose centerpieces and flameless candles on silver candlesticks decorated the indoor reception, where red-heart-accented table numbers pointed the couple's 82 guests to their seats. All enjoyed a duet entree of Barolo-braised short ribs and risotto before they were treated to a slice of the couple's four-tier white wedding cake with a red fondant bow topper. For future couples, Courtney shares: "Enjoy the day. It goes by fast, so just take 30-second breaks and snap memories in your head! This is a day that will last a lifetime!"

Emily & Andy’s Boca Raton Resort Wedding Sun, 14 Jun 2015 18:39:00 GMT
This fabulous couple said that Boca Raton Resort was the one and only venue they looked at when deciding where to get married! Having recently moved to Boca, the Boca Raton Resort made a definite impression on them right away. In Emily's words, "The moment we went in and met Jillian (Stevens) we knew this was our place. We had our ceremony and reception in the Cathedral Room and nothing could have ever compared. It was the perfect place for our guests because it had activities for the children, beaches, and all types of rooms, suites, and condos for bigger families. There is nowhere else we would want to go. We also could do everything on property. We didn't have to use transportation to get from place to place - we held everything on site, the guests loved that!"

Working with Joni Scalzo, owner of Your Special Day by Joni the couple achieved their goal of having a truly gorgeous South Florida wedding. Although there was no specific theme, Emily and Andy wanted to have a simple, yet classic affair. She wanted fun colors such as blues, purples and pinks. She said the navy contrast with the blush turned out even more beautifully than she had ever expected. Brett Woods of Boca by Design was the florist for the event and made Emily's dream wedding come to life.

As a South Florida wedding photographer, I always ask my clients about how they met and what was special about their first days together. Emily had lots to say: "Andy and I met in Fayetteville, Arkansas. I was in college attending the University of Arkansas and he was working. I went to Arkansas for school from Indiana without knowing a single person. I met Andy my junior year of college. Needless to say, I finished out college dating Andy. After college, I decided to pick up and follow my dream and move closer to my family in Boca Raton. I moved and waited for Andy to follow. We spent many months apart working and establishing what we wanted to do with our future. It was the weekend of St. Patty's Day 2014 and Andy was coming for a visit to check out Boca to see where he was coming to move - he had never been to Boca. I was going to go pick him up after work and go to a cocktail party at a friend's house. However, my sister decided to pick me up instead and Andy called and said his flight was delayed and so I thought nothing of it. The cocktail party was on the beach. I got to the beach and I see Andy standing there in a circle of roses and candles down on one knee asking to marry me...I was in total shock. I had no idea he was there or that he was even going to purpose for that matter!

Andy and I love our families and they are a HUGE part of our lives. That is what our wedding was mostly about. I had a Steelers garter that was a total surprise to Andy because he is the BIGGEST Steelers fan I have ever seen in my life. We even have a dog named Steeley. Andy wore the garter on his arm the whole night...we still have it he still loves it. We are just a silly couple that likes Angry Orchard and Rum and Coke from Arkansas living in Boca who loves to dance."

Howie Mandel just happened to be staying at Boca Raton Resort and Club and was happy to mingle and pose with Emily and Andy!

This amazing ceremony decor was created for the bride and groom by Boca by Design.

Beautiful reception decor by Boca by Design made the Cathedral Room at Boca Raton Resort & Club look fantastic.

Emily and Andy had a truly festive Boca Raton Resort wedding. They hired the band Euphoria to keep the party rocking and rolling all night. Emily's hairstyle was designed by Boca Raton Resort Salon while Matt Cramer did her make-up. All programs and invitations were crafted by Salutations of Boca Raton. Her dress and veil were from Angelus Bridal, while her party dress was purchased at Saks Fifth Avenue. Jewelry was by Swarovski and the groom's suit was by Vera Wang Men's Wearhouse.

Brett & Troy’s South Florida Engagement Shoot Thu, 21 May 2015 23:05:00 GMT
South Florida engagement shoots are always a pleasure for me to shoot – especially when shooting at a place I haven't been to before. At Brett and Troy's suggestion, we planned their engagement shoot at Birch State Park in Fort Lauderdale. What a gem! This park offered so many great places to take amazing photos that it was absolutely wonderful to work there. Not to mention, I had attractive and enthusiastic subjects as well!

As a South Florida wedding photographer, I am often called upon to shoot in new and unusual spots. This always is something to look forward to. I just never know what I will find that will inspire me in a new setting. As far as photographing South Florida engagement shoots, Birch State Park was truly one of the more interesting new places I've visited. Not only did it offer fabulous and lush greenery, but also a lake where the bride and groom could take out a canoe. This allowed for some really fun photos.

I hope you will enjoy this glimpse at Brett and Troy's recent South Florida engagement shoot. I am also looking forward to photographing their South Florida wedding later this year at Temple Kol-Ami Emanuel in Plantation. They have been a pleasure to work with so far and I know that their enthusiasm and excitement will continue right through their wedding day and beyond! Working with couples who are really interested in working with me to get great, spontaneous and fun photos is ideal and I always try my best to insure that the picture taking process is enjoyable and not an arduous task.

Here is the sweet story of Brett and Troy's romance!
Brett and Troy met four years ago through a mutual friend while they were both in relationships. When Troy found out Brett was single, he strategically contacted a mutual friend to "set them up". They are getting married at Temple Kol-Ami Emanuel in Plantation on December 12th. Brett was named there and her father is extremely involved in the Temple. Troy proposed to her only 10 months after dating her because she was exactly what he was looking for throughout his entire life. They both feel they are living a modern day fairy tale and when Troy proposed, he asked her if she would like to live happily ever after together.

Alana & Roy’s Elegant Miami Wedding at the Coral Gables Country Club Thu, 07 May 2015 18:45:00 GMT

Joni Scalzo of Your Special Day by Joni did a terrific job of organizing and planning this large South Florida Jewish wedding. Also contributing to the beauty of the day was the fine work of Petal Productions and the masterful hair and make-up work done by Tatjana Terzic and her team. Both the band, Higher Ground as well as Vision DJs were on hand to keep the party pumped. Ana Paz created a wedding cake to die for and the bride couldn't help but marvel at it's beauty.

Alana and Roy met at work. They are both interpreters and were working at a video relay center. She invaded his cubicle and threw herself a dance party the second day they worked together! The rest is history! One of the more important things they share is his first and her second language, American Sign Language. Much of his family is Deaf and it works out that they can all easily communicate! They also share a passion for life, travel, and adventure!

They selected the Coral Gables Country Club because it had the perfect "feel" for their wedding: grand, elegant, and classy. They loved the chandeliers, wood floor, and overall grace of the property. In addition, the food was fantastic as were the staff! (From the start they were limited on venues due to the size of their party, but the Country Club was big enough to accommodate their party and more!)

They did not exactly choose a theme for the wedding per say, but they knew we wanted something elegant, sparkly, and with a hell of a dance party! The majority of the wedding party came in from out of town, and it was quite a diverse bunch! They had Marines, Israeli Dancers, Deaf folks, Jewish family, and a slew of others! Roy broke tradition and opted for a best woman, Kristen. The wedding also included Sign Language Interpreters and a special mix of flower arrangements to ensure clear sight lines for signed communication. Petal Productions masterfully created low arrangements for tables with Deaf guests and high arrangements for those with only hearing guests. The room had to be carefully arranged so the Deaf guests could see the interpreters from where they were sitting. This took some extra time and care.

The couple enlisted the help of Apex Interpreting (see below), as many of the guests were Deaf.

Show stopping decor by Petal Productions.

A big WOW for this magnificent Ana Paz cake.

Here is the complete list of vendors:
Photography & Video: Jeff Kolodny Photography, Inc.
Flowers: Petal Productions
Cake: Ana Paz
Dress: Patricia South Couture
Veil: Maritza
Rhinestone headband: Erica Koesler
Earrings: Erica Koesler
Shoes: Audrey Brooke (Royal Blue shoes for my Royal - Roy's full name is Royal).
Bridesmaids: Watters and Watters and Wtoo
Bridesmaids Jewelry: Etsy: CharmingEndeavours
Groomsmen: Tuxes from Patricia South
Linens: Over the Top
Band: Higher Ground
DJ: Vision DJs
Limo: FTL Limo
Wedding Planner: Joni Scalzo - Your Special Day by Joni
Hotel: Embassy Suites
2nd Hotel: The Biltmore
Venue: Coral Gables Country Club
Hair and Makeup: Tatjana Terzic and team - Looking Like a Star
Sign Language Interpreters: Apex Interpreting
Invitations: Etsy: Design Quintessentials
Rings: Littman Jewelers
The ceremony musicians! Elegant Musicians.
Rabbi Rothstein
And that my engagement ring is passed down from my great grandmother!

Miami ended up being the perfect place for a March 1st wedding. Most of Alana and Roy's guests sought respite from a long, cold winter up north to join in this tropical celebration. Both bride and groom could not have been more thrilled with their amazing families and vendors for the perfect day and perfect South Florida Jewish wedding!

Sam & Elisa’s Wedding at the Trapp Family Lodge in Vermont Wed, 18 Mar 2015 01:20:00 GMT
This was another fabulous destination wedding for us! It was actually a destination wedding for many of the guests, as they were from all over the world – including Chile, Australia, California, New Zealand, and Minnesota – too many places to mention! It was the most interesting and diverse group of wedding guests we've ever encountered. As both the bride and groom grew up on the ski slopes, many of their friends and guests were avid skiers as well. That was something many people there had in common.

This was the wedding of Sam von Trapp and Elisa Sepulveda. Sam's family owns and operates the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. Elisa was raised in Chile and her stepfather is the owner of a magnificent ski resort in Portillo This is actually where she met Sam, who was a ski instructor at the resort at the time. Sam and Elisa have known each other for 13 years believe it or not, which is one reason why their wedding day was so highly anticipated by family members and friends alike! Sam's "singing" family and their history of leaving Austria back in the 1930's was the inspiration for the Broadway show and later the 1965 film, The Sound of Music. Sam's late grandmother, Maria, was the actual Maria that Julie Andrews portrayed in the film. His father, Johannes, was Maria and Captain von Trapp's last child. Several other relatives, including Sam's Aunt Maria and Aunt Rosmarie also attended the wedding. The von Trapp's history is so unbelievably interesting. The Trapp Family lodge has a magnificent collection of photos and memorabilia of the family's long history, plus in each room there is a book with more photos and information about the family. We didn't have time to read the whole thing so I bought it at the gift shop to read later at home.

We really can't say enough about both Elisa and Sam's families. Everyone we met was gracious, friendly and most hospitable. They are all really great people in every sense.

We were also really impressed with the Trapp Family Lodge itself. We've been to Stowe many times, but had never stayed at the lodge. Everything there was impeccable – the staff was friendly and helpful, our room was comfy and large and the overall surroundings magnificent. Also, the cuisine at the lodge was to die for! Check out the "TASTY STUFF" section of this blog to see cuisine photos from the Trapp Lodge. We were given the opportunity to photograph (and taste) many of the meals that were served over the course of the weekend. As you'll see from the photos in this post, the scenery around the lodge is just breathtaking. Also, we are usually in Vermont in the winter, so seeing the green rolling hills in the spring was really neat.

Sam and Elisa's wedding weekend started off with a rehearsal dinner in the Mozart Room of the lodge on Thursday evening. It was a delicious meal, including soup, salad, a game course and an entrée. There were many entertaining and emotional speeches made during the dinner and the bride and groom were filled with emotion as their many guests and relatives shared story after amusing story for all to hear. A delectable dessert table was set up later in the downstairs lounge, where the guests were invited to a welcome reception and live music.

The next night, we were invited to the groom's parents' home for a cocktail party. Johannes and Lynne, Sam's parents, were terrific hosts as they opened up their magnificent home to all wedding guests. It was a great time and we took the opportunity to photograph Sam and Elisa in a more casual atmosphere before their wedding day. We photographed the food served here as well and as many people as possible as they enjoyed the party in this beautiful, rustic home.

As Saturday approached, so did the rain clouds. By 2pm, however, the clouds began to lift and the sun finally came out. After several days of on and off rain – this was truly perfect timing! There was definitely a concern about rain, as this was pretty much planned as an outdoor wedding. The ceremony was at a chapel that was built by one of Sam's late uncles (Werner von Trapp) over 50 years ago. To reach this chapel, one has to basically hike uphill through the woods to get there. It is certainly a pretty trek, though, and well worth it! The chapel is made of stone and so quaint – only about 4 people actually can fit inside, so the ceremony was conducted right in front with wedding guests and musicians standing all around in the woods.

From there, we hiked down the mountain with Sam and Elisa and took pictures along the way. There were just too many picturesque spots to stop at all of them! The cocktail hour was held outside amidst a forest of birch trees followed by a reception in a huge white tent. The meal at the reception consisted of a huge variety of passed hors d'oeuvres as well as sumptuous food stations that included a magnificent cheese table, sushi, raw bar, crudités, carving station, fruit and of course, dessert. A high-energy band rocked the tent until 1AM – the dance floor was constantly filled with energetic guests boogieing the night away!

Now this is something we have never seen at a wedding before – a lamb roast on a huge open fire pit! Elisa wanted the lamb to be ready to eat at 2AM, so it was set to roast for HOURS before! Also available to roast were marshmallows and all the makings for smores – so yummy! Guests wandered out of the tent periodically to check out what was happening at the fire pit – it was also the warmest spot around, as the Vermont evening air was quite chilly.

Sam and Elisa and all of their guests had an incredible time during this festive wedding weekend - and so did we!

The grounds of the Trapp lodge is home to a herd of unique Scottish Highland cattle. They are very friendly.

Rehearsal dinner set-up in the Mozart Room at the lodge.

Same and Elisa share a moment in the doorway of Sam's parents' (Johannes and Lynne) gorgeous wooden home.

The path on the way to the chapel was a steep climb through the woods...

Elisa with her bridesmaids and flower girls, nieces Annie and Stella (left to right).

Elisa is emotional as she speaks to her maternal grandmother via cell phone.

The girls have fun making the trek to the chapel.

Sam and his groomsmen pause for a photo on their way to the chapel.

Sam looks on as Elisa's father walks her up the (somewhat muddy) aisle to her.

Have you ever seen wedding guests situated like this? Unusual and beautiful!

Sam's two aunts - Rosmarie at left and Maria von Trapp at right. Maria is 94 years old and one of the original "children" portrayed in The Sound of Music.

Wedding reception set up in a beautiful huge tent. Look at those rustic flower arrangements - perfect for this wedding!

Same and Elisa enjoy a speech by Elisa's mother, Mary.

Ok - now this is something you don't see every day! There was a huge open fire that was used to roast a lamb as well as marshmallows and all the makings for smores. This fire burned way into the night - the lamb wasn't even eaten until 3AM! Guests gathered around the warmth of the fire for hours.

Karina and Joseph’s South Florida Fair Engagement Shoot Sun, 08 Mar 2015 14:44:00 GMT
I had a blast photographing Karina and Joseph's recent engagement shoot at the fabulous South Florida Fair. This annual event boasts tons of terrific rides, all kinds of fabulous food, and and incredible array of colorful backdrops. Karina and Joseph dressed perfectly for a shoot here, in retro attire that blended in perfectly with the surroundings.

As a South Florida wedding photographer, I always look forward to the opportunity to photograph engagement shoots in different places. The South Florida Fair was definitely a unique location for such a shoot. It's held annually in the month of January and is a very popular attraction for both locals as well as tourists to the area. You can get a good glimpse from these photos at the many attractions and areas the fair has to offer. One really interesting spot is "Yesteryear" – this is a permanent display of old Florida homes and items of the past. It is very authentic and a great place for vintage looking photos.

South Florida engagement shoots are very popular both with couples getting married here as well as visiting couples who are getting married elsewhere in the country. There is something divine about coming to this tropical place for romantic photos to be taken. Many couples opt to have their engagement photos taken at the beach, while others prefer to go to a park or other unique location. Downtown Cityplace and Delray Beach are two popular spots for photos as well as the Morikami Japanese Gardens

I was glad to finally have the opportunity to do an engagement shoot at the South Florida Fair as I knew that it had more to offer in terms of backgrounds than most other places. Karina and Joseph just blended in perfectly in their cool retro outfits and really got into the spirit of things. Their enthusiasm and fun loving nature really comes through in these pictures.

If you are looking for a South Florida photographer to capture your engagement shoots and aren't sure where might be a good place, definitely speak with him or her and express your preferences in terms of the type of setting – whether urban, beach, park or other. I always do my best to make proper location suggestions to my couples so that their engagement photos achieve exactly the look and feel they are looking for. A really great photographer should be able to make any location work well, but for sure some places are better than others.

I hope you enjoy this glimpse of Karina and Joseph's fun and retro engagement shoot at the fabulous South Florida Fair!