Four years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I had just arrived to a wedding I was preparing to photograph in La Jolla, CA. I’ve never been great at directions, so of course I was lost, walking around trying to find the right hotel where the bride was getting ready.
I heard a sweet voice from behind me. “Are you Mike & Joc’s photographer?” Shannon said with a smile on her face.
Omg, yes! Someone coming to my rescue. ;) Shannon was walking with her boyfriend (at the time), Roger and they kindly offered to show me the way to the bride’s suite. We chatted for a bit and I loved how they were both so friendly. It was a simple and kind gesture, but it went a long way!
It’s crazy to think how quickly time flies. May 2014 was the first time I met this lovely couple, but I had absolutely no idea that four years later, I would end up in the beautiful city of New York with them, photographing their wedding day.
Shannon & Roger chose to have an intimate elopement in New York City, one of their all-time favorite cities. They expressed that photos and video meant a lot to them, so it was a HUGE honor when they hired Pat & I along with our favorite videography team, At Last Wedding Films to fly out to NYC to document this special day for them. They are always SO great to work with, so I knew they would create magic for Shannon & Roger’s wedding film. And I was right!
If you haven’t seen their wedding film yet, you need to go watch it RIGHT NOW. [Insert all the crying & heart eye emojis right here]
Most wedding days, I have such a limited amount of time to photograph bride & groom portraits…which is sometimes a huge bummer when it gets cut short because this is pretty much my favorite part of the wedding day!
So when we started building the timeline of their wedding day and I found out that I would have pretty much from sunrise to sunset, photographing them in the most epic locations in New York, I could not contain my excitement.
Oh, Pinterest.….but I mean, can you blame me?
Shooting a wedding in Manhattan was on my bucket list! So naturally, I spent way too many hours pinning and researching locations. I appreciated so much that Shannon & Roger gave us the creative freedom to take them wherever we thought would photograph best. They were just focused on soaking in these special moments with each other, and that is truly what I LOVE.
Pat & I arrived to New York a few days early to enjoy the city and do some location scouting. There were a few places that I knew would create breath-taking, timeless photos while showcasing the beautiful city of New York. Some of the spots I really wanted to get were Brooklyn Bridge, Dumbo Park, Top of the Rock, Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, Bow Bridge in Central Park, Grand Central Terminal….just to name a few.
We got up before sunrise to beat the crowds. Roger and Shannon shared a romantic first look at Grand Central Terminal then we headed to Central Park for some photos. That was one of the best decisions because we were able to snag some amazing shots with absolutely no photo bombers in the background. YES!
Although we were all freezing, I loved how Roger & Shannon were so positive through it all and totally up for anything. They let me be creative and even climbed on top of a random snow hill because I just knew it would be such a cool photo!!
“Anything for the shot” …right? ;)
We made a last-minute decision to head to the Top of the Rock (Rockefeller Center) before the ceremony and I’m so thankful we did. It had THE most incredible views of Central Park, Manhattan and the downtown city skyscrapers. More beautiful than I had imagined!!
Next up was their ceremony at Central Park. The exact location is called (I believe) the Bethesda Fountain and Terrace. Their vows were so heart-felt and personal. They both lost their mothers and it was beautiful how they honored their parents during the ceremony.
Several times while we were in New York, we’d stop to listen to some of the street music, singers on the subway, rappers, and other musicians. But wow, I felt like we got lucky for their ceremony! There was a man who was singing romantic love songs as Roger and Shannon walked up the aisle for the first time as husband and wife, then as they shared their first dance together.
To me, that was one of the most beautiful & romantic parts of the entire day.
We finished the day on Brooklyn Bridge. After hitting some traffic on the way there, I knew we didn’t have long before the sun would be gone so I had to take advantage of the remaining golden light we had! THIS is exactly why we scout for photo locations in advance.
The light was quickly fading, but we got all the shots I was hoping for. And the feeling after finishing those last photos on Brooklyn Bridge was indescribable.
Photographing joyful couples in love (especially in an unforgettable place like NYC) is surely one of the most rewarding and fulfilling jobs in the world.
Enjoy some of my favorites from this elegant, fun, winter elopement in New York City!!
*And don’t forget to watch their wedding film At Last Wedding Films!
Getting Ready Location: Grand Hyatt New York
First Look Location: Grand Central Terminal
Wedding Ceremony Location: Central Park, NYC
Hair & Makeup: Lucy of Miss Harlequin
Florals: Scotts Flowers NYC
Officiant: Honeybreak Officiants
Videographer: At Last Wedding Films
Photographer: Charissa Magno Photography