The Scoop- Juliet’s Bat Mitzah

Juliet celebrated her bat mitzvah on November 1 surrounded by her family and friends. I was able to join her for the reception at the Doubletree Hotel in Allston, MA. It was a smash success. The young guests played games and danced with exuberant joy throughout the day while the adults enjoyed each other’s company in the neighboring room. They came together to celebrate Juliet and this important milestone.

Juliet wore a smart skirt and jacket for the ceremony at her synagogue, but she changed into this gorgeous dress for her grand entrance at her party. Huge applause accompanied her walk in.

bat mitzvah enters her party at doubletree in allston m

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Sneak Peak: Juliet’s Bat Mitzvah Celebration

This weekend, I photographed Juliet’s bat mitzvah celebration and I had one amazing good time. Juliet and her friends were full of energy. I am still exhausted simply from being in the same room as them. They danced, they played games, they laughed, they sang. It was so much fun.

To kick off the sneak peak, here’s one of Juliet during the hora.

juliet-bat-mitzvah-the hora at bat mitzvah in newton ma

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Lick-Wilmerding Celebrates 20 Years with Al

Dr. Al Adams has guided Lick-Wilmerding High School (also known as the California School for Mechanical Arts) over the last 20 years. Last weekend, they celebrated his innovative headship with a smashing gala. The school raised over 1 million dollars in support of an endowed tuition fund named in Dr. Adams’ honor. On top of that amazing achievement, everyone had a great time.


Dr. Al Adams showing his appreciation for a superb video

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Derby Dazzle

We seem to have a fashion theme going on recently. And today’s topic is HATS!!! Yup, we got to indulge in some amazing hat photography this weekend.

While meeting with Barbara from The Log Cabin and Delaney House, she shared that she was coordinating a fundraiser for the Holyoke Merry Go Round with a Kentucky Derby theme. We thought that sounded like great fun, in addition to being a good cause, so we jumped at the opportunity to document the Derby Dazzle.

They already had the horses so all that was needed were some fashionable ladies wearing fashionable hats, a couple of races, betting, and prizes. All of which were in abundance at the event. The hats were stunning- from homemade to couture and everywhere in between. I loved the thought that went into so many of the choices. With bright colors, feathers, horses, and horseshoes, creativity inspired these stunning headpieces.

derby08_holyoke_Purple Hat at the Derby Dazzle

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Cassandra Holden Custom Dresses

Local designer Cassandra Holden held a fashion show last week at the Skera Gallery. Dave and I had the pleasure of attending and catching a few images.

I should mention, however, that this was not your typical runway experience. Cassandra creates custom wedding dresses. They are designed for specific people, not for the mass market. And they are truly one-of-a-kind. In order for her to share her work, she invited the owners of the dresses, the ones for whom she designed, to be her models. They were fabulous. And so were the dresses.


Cassandra and her clients are not bound by tradition, though they are not immune to its influences. Many of the dresses incorporated colors- from subtle pinks to brown to crimson. In other cases, she helped brides modernize a grandmother’s dress. These may well have been my favorite dresses because not only did they look amazing, but they were rich with stories.

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Signs of Spring at Smith

What a treat to visit the Smith College Conservatory last week. The bulb show certainly brought fabulous color. And I was equally astounded by the variety of tulips and other bulbs. On top of all of that, the smells were intoxicating. It has been a busy couple of weeks but this was certainly a welcome respite. Here’s a few images from our visit….

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Let Them Eat Cake!

Perhaps my favorite part of wedding planning and the part I am sure I didn’t get enough of was the cake tasting. Of course, now we go to the bridal fairs (see entries- Bay State Bridal Expo, Westin Copley Place Bridal Expo, and Western New England Bridal Show) and we get to taste bits of cake from around the state. Hooray!!!! I have enjoyed a lot of cakes recently. And I would have to say that Konditormeister makes a mean chocolate cake and Ivy’s Fine Cakes and Pastries makes one awesome lemon. But it isn’t just the taste that is important for a wedding cake. It has to look amazing, too. And people’s imaginations run wild, especially after watching shows like The Ace of Cakes. So the cakes have become a showcase of someone’s style.

Cakes by Deborah- Asian influenced wedding cakes- Hatfield, MA

Check out these beauties by Deb from Cakes by Deborah.

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Take Your Pick of Amazing Wedding Sites

After meeting the people promoting their sites at the Western New England Bridal Show, we were wowed by the options. It is clear that whatever you are looking for, you can definitely find it in Western Massachusetts. There was such a range- from fabulous hotels to historic estates with spectacular grounds to upscale restaurants.

We met Holly and Michael from The Hotel Northampton at the Baystate Bridal Expo. We had already known about the Hotel from visiting Northampton last spring. It is a gorgeous, historic building; we were looking forward to getting to know the people who worked there. I am so glad we did. Holly and Michael are amazing. They really know what they are doing and they provide the highest quality service to their brides. Holly is at all of the weddings, an extra level of guidance. Her couples are so lucky to have her.

The Hotel Northampton will help you with everything and even create a beautiful and great-tasting cake for your day….
Hotel Northampton Wedding Cake

Check out their website for more info.

If you are looking to have your reception at a restaurant, check out the Westwood Restaurant and Pub or Chandler’s Restaurant. Tracy and her crew were in the booth next to ours. This was their first time at one of these shows. They had an elegant and professional look. I am sure their events are pulled off without a hitch.

Here’s a few images of their scrumptious chocolate fountain and their sample table setting….
Westwood Restaurant and Pub- Chocolate Fountain for Weddings

Westwood Restaurant and Pub- dinner setting for weddings

Chandler’s provides an upscale, warm and romantic environment for bridal showers, rehearsal dinners, and wedding receptions. I met the catering manager, Amanda, at the show. We are looking forward to working with her and taking some images of an upcoming event for the restaurant. We will definitely share the pix when we take them.

If you are looking for an historic estate, you have so many amazing options. The Harding Allen Estate in Barre, MA is a stunning site. This grand mansion evokes memories of opulence and style form the roaring twenties. The catering services are provided by a groumet chef. The grounds are filled with flowers in the summer and changing colors in the fall. And to top it off, owners Grace and Carmin have the experience of three generations in this business. We will be working with them to create some images of their estate very soon.

A little closer to the Pioneer Valley, check out The Carriage House at the Barney Estate, Emma’s Place on Wilder Pond, and King Philip’s Stockade in Springfield. These city owned properties provide a breadth of options with green space in abundance.
Or if you would like to plan a weekend get-away for your guests, try a retreat in Vermont. The Mountain Meadows Lodge is a lakefront property in Killington; here Anne and Bill will take great care of you so that you can relax and enjoy time with your guests. Some of the special touches available here include a “rowboat” bar, hikes to nearby waterfalls, farm animal feedings, and my personal favorite a campfire with marshmallow roasting and s’mores. We can’t wait to check the place out in person!

Western New England Bridal Show in Springfield

We had a fabulous time meeting brides and vendors from our local area at yesterday’s Western New England Bridal Show in Springfield‘s MassMutual Center. Everyone here has been so welcoming and generous. We couldn’t be happier about our move and we can’t wait to create some fantastic images for these wonderful people.

Let me take this moment to congratulate the winners of our free engagement session, Kelly and Lenny. They will be getting married in Saratoga, NY at the Saratoga National Golf Club in June of 2009. Congrats to you both! We are excited to work with you.

Speaking of fantastic images, Dave took a break from the booth to go enjoy the fashion show. We haven’t done any runway work in awhile so he was glad to get back into the game. Here’s a few from the show put on by Bancroft Bridal….

Dave said he was excited to try a different perspective. Typically when shooting fashion, we stand at the end of the runway. This time, he was able to move around and check out some different perspectives.

We met Tara, the boutique manager and daughter of the owners. It’s a family operation which translates into great service and great attention to detail. Their one goal is to have “happy brides.”

Here are a few pix of the dresses you can find at their shop….

And kudos to the DJ Network for the great music.

We would also like to thank Lisa and Jim Powers of CJC Events and the MassMutual Center Event staff. They all did amazing job!

Great Bridal Expo at the Westin Copley Place

We had a great time meeting everyone at the Westin Copley Place Great Bridal Expo yesterday. We loved sharing our work with all of you and getting to hear about their wedding plans. It sounds like people are going to be creating some very memorable weddings, with sites both far away- Atlanta, the Carribean and Trinidad- and closer to home- Newport, the Berkshires, Cape Cod and downtown Boston. And one bride I met will be getting married at her parents’ home on the North Shore.

Of course there were also some amazing engagement stories. One groom brought his fiancee to Palm Springs for a vacation and proposed on the top of a mountain. Another took his out to see the lunar eclipse. Under the moonlight, he reminded her that the last time there was a lunar eclipse the Red Sox won the world series, which I am sure most of agree was a pretty amazing day. But, he told her, no day would be better than this one if she agreed to marry him. She did. And that makes two wonderful events to coincide with the lunar eclipse.

We can’t help but be inspired by all of the creativity and love we saw yesterday. We look forward to talking with you again soon and learning even more about what you have planned.

In the meantime, allow me to congratulate Kara Kearne and Jason Saylor (wedding date October 2, 2009) who won the engagement session we were giving away. We will be in touch soon.

See our booth and a past bridal show here.

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