The Grove in Cedar Grove, New Jersey was the scene for the Jewish modern Orthodox wedding of Ariela and Azi. This was my first time primary photographing this type of Jewish wedding, and let me tell you it was one of the most energetic and fun dance floor crowds ever! I absolutely loved documenting this day for them, witnessing the deep traditions and customs, and pretty much being treated like one of the family.

After Ariela and Azi’s first look and portraits, Ariela was led by her mother and Azi’s mother into a cocktail hour where lots of guests greeted her and shared their best wishes. After about an hour, Azi was led in by dozens of his friends and family where he “veiled” his bride, also called the bedeken, which indicates the beginning of the ceremony.

The ceremony was traditional, and immediately after the ceremony our newly married couple were paraded upstairs where they would finally be alone for a bit. When they were ready, Azi and Ariela entered the reception room where dancing immediately commenced. Ariela with the women, and Azi with the men. After a few hours of the reception, the men and women joined forces and danced together until the lights were practically turned off!

This was a great day indeed.

Meet Ariela and Azi, in their own words:

How did you meet? We met the oldest way in the book – Azi’s mom and Ariela’s aunt. They walk together every Monday, so while Azi would usually never go out with anyone his mother suggested to him, – he figured he would hear about Ariela EVERY MONDAY FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE if he said no.

The proposal: We went to a concert at the NY Philharmonic at Lincoln Center (which we went for our third date), and when it was over Azi proposed at the reflecting pool. Afterwards, we had champagne on a friend’s roof in midtown overlooking the city followed by some midnight sushi and doughnuts at home.

What’s next on your calendar as a couple? Taking things one day at a time…

How/why did you choose your venue? Not too far from either of us with a beautiful updated space. Historic house and garden on the property were a nice bonus.

What were some of your favorite moments from your wedding day? Seeing each other for the first time and dancing the night away with friends and family!

Any advice for future couples planning their weddings? Be patient with each other and don’t stress too much – things have a way of working out.

Thank you to Ariela and Azi for inviting me to photograph this amazing day for you and 300 guest! Congratulations. 🙂

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I’ve photographed ten weddings so far this year, and I haven’t fully blogged a single one yet. And I miss it! So I figured what the heck, let’s start with the latest wedding and work my way backwards.  First up is the incredibly fun wedding of Michelle & Ethan – and the closest wedding to home I have photographed all year. 🙂

Michelle got ready in her old bedroom at her parents’ home in Califon, New Jersey, and from there we headed to the ceremony in Long Valley at Our Lady of the Mountain RC Church.  This church is special in so many ways- it’s how Ethan and Michelle first met, and also Ethan’s grandparents were married there.

After the ceremony wrapped up we all headed to Hawk Pointe Golf Club in Washington, NJ where 200 people partied their asses off. And I mean it! What a fun crowd it was to photograph. Michelle and Ethan’s friends and family jammed the dance floor all night long, truly enjoying each other and having some good old fashioned fun.

Congrats to our bride and groom! Here are my favorites from the day. Enjoy!

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Some of Michelle and Ethan’s other fabulous vendors include:

A few weeks ago I hung out with Stacey & Jeff and they did a couple things that I also love to do: stroll around a city and make a few pit stops for an icy beverage. 🙂  This session was a lot of fun for me, as I got to know these two kinds souls over some good laughs and good beers.  We met up in Jersey City, which as you can see has one of the best views of lower Manhattan.  As Woody Allen would say: “It’s really a knock-out, you know?” I agree.  And so are Stacey & Jeff.  Enjoy my favorites from our time together! 🙂

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Samantha & Nate made it official this past Saturday!  What an amazing and emotional day it was for them. They held their wedding at the modern and classy Gramercy at Lakeside Manor in Hazlet, NJ. Here are your teasers!

Friday was sheer perfection: the perfect couple, paired with the most perfect venue and beautiful spring weather, Ashley & Curt’s wedding was divine. Enjoy these teasers!

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Remember Jen & Bobby from their engagement session last summer? Well their wedding day finally arrived!  Here are your teasers. Enjoy!

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Saturday turned out to be a glorious day in the City of Brotherly Love! And see for yourself. Meet Meghan & Dave, who married at the Cira Center in Philadelphia. This wedding was amazing, and you’ll have to wait for the complete blog post next month! But in the meantime, here are your teasers….

When was the last time we had a really nice spring day? Well, it wasn’t the day I met up with Charis & Steve in High Bridge, NJ for their engagement session! It wasn’t supposed to be dreary and rainy, but Mother Nature had different plans for us.  It’s all good though, because we dodged the rain for a bit and got some great coffee at the super cute Scout’s Coffee Bar.  This detour turned out to be pretty appropriate for these guys as they frequently go out for coffee and brunch.  After the rain moved out so did we! We ended up at Lake Solitude to finish their session. Thanks Charis & Steve for being so patient, and a big shout out to Nicole from Scout’s for welcoming us to her coffee shop. Enjoy these previews!

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