Rachel and Chris had a picture perfect cool day for their November wedding at the Smithville Inn in Historic Smithville, New Jersey. I visited the area a few weeks before the big day to get some inspiration and I began anxiously counting down the days until their wedding!
We started the day at the Sublime Hair Boutique, a new salon in the Village owned by Lisa Aiello, where Rachel and bridesmaid Ashley got ready. Lisa and makeup artist Marcie did a fabulous job and made the experience a lot of fun for the girls. The bridal party split up in separate rooms, with the guys at the Colonial Inn and the girls at the Barn, as they got ready for the long day ahead of us. They were reunited for Chris and Rachel's first look, which was a lot of fun to capture... Rumor has it Chris kept his sunglasses on for the big reveal so no one could see him cry. ;)
After running around the Village Greene for photographs, the ceremony was held at the Smithville Inn just after sunset. It was short and sweet and the vows made me tear up... a portion of the vows were dedicated to the daughter they're expecting in just a few months. The reception hall was decorated beautifully in orange and black and it was filled with a fun crowd who loved to dance.
Chris and Rachel's Smithville wedding was the biggest wedding I've photographed to date, so I felt a mix of pressure and excitement leading up to the event. I brought along an assistant, Bud Ryan, who has an interest in learning photography, which eased some of my nerves. He was a big help and having a second shooter enabled me to capture some moments from a different angle. It turned out to be a fun, beautiful day!
Here is Chris and Rachel's love story, as told by Rachel:
"Chris and I have always known each other but never really hung out with the same crowd. My best friend Ashley and Chris's twin brother Ryan started talking one night at a party and then we all started hanging out. At first I wanted nothing to do with Chris! He kept trying and trying and I knew from the first time we kissed in Ryan's kitchen that he was the one I was going to marry. We have a connection like no other. Chris and I started dating February 25, 2011. He changed my life in so many amazing ways and takes care of me like no other. We are truly so lucky and blessed. I found out I was pregnant on July 6, 2013 and it was the best day. We were both so excited! Chris proposed to me on a private beach in Harvey Cedars with my family there. It was beautiful and unexpected. I couldn't have been happier. We planned our wedding literally in one week and it was my absolute dream wedding. Everything was so perfect. Life is great and I cannot wait until February 28th to meet our little princess Ava Raye!"
- Bride & Bridesmaids' Dresses: David's Bridal
- Groom & Groomsmen's Outfits: Express
- Bridal Party's Shoes: Converse
- Jewelers: Atlantic City Jewelry and Tiffany & Co.
- Hair: Lisa Aiello of Sublime Hair Boutique
- Makeup: Marcie Muniz of Scissor Sisters Salon
- Florist: Peggy Ann the Girls Florist
- DJ: Xtreme Sounds Entertainment
- Videographer: Cinematic Moments Video