If you are anything like me, you have always wanted to be a part of a TV production- to see what happens backstage, so to speak; to watch as the characters move on and off screen; to observe the camera crews and the director. Well, Dave had just that opportunity when he photographed Christina and Ed’s wedding for WeTV’s My Fair Wedding. He followed the planner and star of the show, David Tutera, as well as capturing the bride and groom and their wedding details. So you feel like you were actually part of the shoot. Since I posted about the book earlier this week, I thought I would share the behind the scenes photos today.
Tutera is not only an amazing planner, he’s a fabulous designer. He created a beautiful Mexican inspired wedding for Christina, whose Riviera Maya destination wedding had to be canceled. His first stop was to check on the decor at the hotel where the reception would be. His team was already doing a great job; he added a few more touches to the look.
Next he visited the bride who was in the process of getting her hair and make-up done.
Never a private moment on a TV show.
This is when he reminded Christina of the 3 dresses she tried on. He is about to tell her which one he chose for her. (This also happens to be one of my fave moments each episode of the show. I can’t help loving that they don’t know which gown he chose. The suspense is super fun. And while most women wouldn’t want someone else to chose this most important of all dresses, I actually would have loved it. I had such a hard time figuring out what to get.)
Before and during the ceremony, there is tons going on both behind the camera and in front of the camera. These portraits show how David is working to make sure that everything goes off without a hitch. Before the ceremony he is checking to see everything is in place. As guests arrive, he greets them and helps them get where they need to be. During the ceremony, he is watching here, there and everywhere.
Being on a public Staten Island beach with lots of cameras, the wedding was sure to draw a crowd.
Still, the crew was pretty inconspicous during the ceremony. One team all the way back and two teams on the side at the front. No guests’ views were interrupted. As photographers, we pride ourselves on putting the wedding first. After all that’s why we are all there. So it is really nice that Tutera’s team also has this in their mind, even when their work is for TV.
After the ceremony, whether for TV or not, David brings his couples into the reception hall before all of the other guests, so that they can actually take a moment to enjoy the space he has created for them. So they can check out the details they have thought about and planned with him. Christina and Ed are clearly enamored with their colorful chocolate cake.
Their first dance in the dreamy tropical space.
One question we get about the show and working with David is: Is he really that nice? The answer is absolutely 100% yes. He is a truly down-to-earth, caring gentleman AND he likes to have a good time. He doesn’t dance at every wedding but when appropriate, he will enjoy the party with the couple and their guests. Enjoying a moment with the bride.
Dancing with a bridesmaid.
Clearly he felt a connection with this group and they with him. They even invited him into their group hug.
The folks who make it a televsion show. Yup, that’s a lot of paparazzi.
I am literally doing a little dance; I am so proud of my partner in all things. Dave’s work was recently published in David Tutera‘s My Fair Wedding book!!! We just got our hands on a copy and it is fabulous. Each chapter is devoted to a different episode and has great tips for your wedding- tips ranging from choosing your dress to engaging with your guests to permit needs to thematic choices. Really practical. And of course the photos are amazing!
Here’s a few pages from Dave’s Chapter in the book. Yup, a whole chapter. Did I mention I was proud? He photographed Christina and Ed’s Mexican dream wedding. They had initally planned a destination wedding in Riviera Maya, Mexico, but had to change their plans suddenly. With no time whatsoever, they were at a loss. David Tutera created a stunning Latin inspired wedding in Staten Island. They were even able to wed on the beach. Amazing!
And now a few details that actually aren’t in the book for those who want more.
Christina’s dress was one of the first from the David Tutera by Faviana bridal collection. It’s perfect for both the ceremony and the reception; the skirt below the flowers can be removed for a fun party dress.
If you’ve watched My Fair Wedding, you know that David makes the decisions. The brides can voice their opinions, but in the end, the buck stops with Tutera. Once he decided on the Latin theme, he included it at every turn. The bridesmaids dresses, for instance, were light, airy and supremely colorful.
As I mentioned, they were able to host their ceremony on the beach. It was quite breezy.
David transformed this corner of the beach into an oasis with tropical plants, orange and yellow roses, green turf and gold chiavari chairs.
The string ensemble enhanced the mood with beautiful music.
Blue skies and puffy white clouds with an oceanview. Oh my!
In the distance, the clouds weren’t quite as playful, but I love the bridge peaking through them. And a chance to see what was going on nearby at the beach.
Everyone went inside the hotel for the reception. The colors and theme were carried through into these spaces as well.
Cocktails with fruit.
A Mariachi band started off the party with Mexican flair.
A very romantic, warm dinner table. Roses dripping from everywhere and amber plates and glassware.
Bringing in the tropical flowers and more vibrant colors on a chocolate cake. Mmmmmm…..
To end the day, what could be better than fireworks?
The bride and groom were definitely surprised and happy with this ending!
Congrats to my hubby, Dave Lee; to our friend and fellow photographer, Critsey Rowe, who is also published in the book; and of course, to the man behind it all, the extremely talented, warm, and charming, David Tutera. It is such an honor and pleasure to work with David and his team- consummate professionals and creative geniuses!
Check back soon for a behind the scenes look at the making of this season 2 episode of My Fair Wedding.
Jackie and William’s premiere was last night and it was so great reliving their wedding with them. They were married a few months ago but they have been so busy we hadn’t had a chance to get together. It was wonderful to catch up and to enjoy a really leisurely afternoon, into evening, viewing all the photos.
You may recall that Jackie and William celebrated their ceremony and reception at a private women’s club in the Back Bay. While we aren’t able to share photos that show a lot of the interior, I picked out a few images that don’t show the space, but give you a sense of the emotion of the evening.
Jackie and William stealing a moment after dinner.
Soon after, they made their way to the ballroom for their first dance as husband and wife.
Then the dancing really got going. They had an intimate wedding, but all of the guests took their turn on the dance floor. The party was raging, with some fabulous 80′s music. And perhaps one of my favorite memories of the evening, the club staff always takes a spin on the dance floor- a special house tradition. And so we figured we would too. We got to party with our bride and groom. Very very fun!
After everyone left for the evening, we spent a couple more hours with Jackie and William doing some night portraits around the city. We started by their very cool vintage Cadillac, outside the club. Loving the feel of the brownstones and the way the car is a character in this image (those are William’s words, but he is so right).
And we met them at the Boston Harbor Hotel, where they would start their honeymoon.
Catching the reflection of the BHH’s Atrium on the waterfront.
And one of my absolute fave’s, in front of the hotel, with the city streaming passed them. A very cinematic capture by Dave.
Jackie and William’s wedding really was an amazing event. So I want to thank all of the people who made it so very special:
Getting ready venue: Boston Harbor Hotel and the club
Ceremony and reception venue: Back Bay private women’s club
Wedding dress: Vera Wang
Groom’s tux: Brooks Brothers
Floral Design: Edison from Madison Floral
DJ: Mike Love
Cinematography: Naomi, Jack, and Lauren from Generations Cinemastories
And so much gratitude to Jackie and William for including us in your beautiful, beautiful day. We are so glad we could capture these photos for you. It has been an absolute joy.
On the radar, there was a rain cloud stretching from New Hampshire to Washington, DC and it was moving East at a steady pace. We had been watching the weather reports all week long, dreading what was to come for Maren and Steve’s wedding. They had chosen the most beautiful location for their destination wedding- an estate by the water in Portsmouth, RI- with an outdoor ceremony in the gardens. And they had planned a photo tour prior to the wedding which would take us around Newport‘s stunning coastline. Of course, this required a rain-free day. Dave and I were certain we would be relegated to Plan B. I brought the red umbrella for whatever photos we would be able to take outside.
What we didn’t count on was Maren and Steve’s good fortune. We had no idea they had some kind of extra special karma hanging out in their corner. Because what unfolded was nothing short of a miracle.
Maren got ready at the Pelham Court Hotel- a sweet boutique hotel with a great suite for our bride and her ladies. She didn’t seem at all concerned about the weather, which at that point was all sunshine in Newport.
She and Steve saw each other for the first time in the courtyard of the hotel. I love this moment where they get a good look at each other. And I love that Dave purposely captured the blue sky as part of the image. He wanted to make sure they had at least one photo with blue skies from their wedding day.
We took a couple of portraits in the courtyard. We actually had to have them sit in the shade, because it was still so bright out.
Then we headed off to Ocean Drive, for photos along the rocky coast line. As we drove there, we could see the storm clouds getting closer.
Check it out in this image. Towards the west an ominous sky.
In the same spot, but toward the east, the bridal party got to enjoy a few more moments of beautiful blue.
At this point, the sky was getting dark fast. Steve asked his groomsmen to bring the umbrellas to us, just in case. They were ready for the worst. Strangely the storm seemed to stop and hold it’s position.
We were able to capture a few more at this spot, and even stop at another along the coast.
I was so glad that we had been able to get those photos in. I figured that was all the luck we would have and was prepared for the inevitable indoor ceremony. When I arrived at the Glen Manor House, I was greeted with blue skies again. What?!? I thought. Then I saw that the gardens were set up for the ceremony. I honestly thought the coordinator had made a mistake. She told me she had checked the radar and it looked fine. I was shocked but happy.
Then of course, the skies turned to gray again. Didn’t bother the ring bearer one bit, though.
Maren and Steve took a moment to enjoy the view of the water, gorgeous even with the gray skies.
Then the ceremony began. And unfortunately just as the bridal party made their entrance little drips of water started falling very lightly to the ground. This is it! I thought. Now it’s going to downpour on their ceremony. The pessimist in me came out. I couldn’t help being concerned for all of the guests and our truly fabulous couple. And just as quickly as it had started, Maren walked out, and I kid you not, the drizzle stopped.
Not one more drop fell. Crazy? Maybe. True? Yes. A miracle? Absolutely.
Post script- I suppose all this sounds a bit overdramatic. And I can be prone to that, but just to give you a sense of how bad this storm was, everywhere but at Maren and Steve’s wedding that is, check out this article.
Huge congrats to our friend and colleague David Tutera for being featured in Vogue: Japan. And we are so excited that they chose one of our photos to highlight his amazing work. That’s right, we were recently published in Vogue Japan. International and chic, no?!
I’ll be honest I can’t tell you all about the article our work is part of, because, as you would expect, it’s in Japanese, but what I can gather is that they were highlighting several vendors celebrated in the international wedding industry. They focused on florists and event planners, in particular. And David Tutera, whom we have worked with on several occassions, was number one on their list. It’s no surprise as his work is astounding- it completely captivates all of my senses.
If you want to see more of David‘s work, definitely check out:
More of David’s designs still to come from a fall episode of My Fair Wedding.
Your wedding invitation is the first glimpse that your guests will get into the style, theme, vision you have for your wedding. It’s also a great opportunity to personalize their experience.
For our wedding, Dave and I actually created our own invitation (way too much work and we totally should have worked with someone else to make them), but we were really happy with the way they turned out despite (or perhaps because of) all our effort. They included our wedding branding (a double happines with the hebrew for "I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine") as well as a photo we had taken at our reception venue. It was very much our style and totally spoke to what our wedding would be- a marriage of two cultures as well as two people, set in a beautiful natural space.
At the most recent Baystate Bridal Show and the Great Bridal Expo, I had the opportunity to meet a few different stationers (Cordially Yours Invitations & Calligraphy, Emerald Invitations, and Goosefish Press) all of whom offered exquisite invitations. I love the creativity and unique qualities. Goosefish Press creates amazingly sophisticated one of a kind letter press invitations. Cordially Yours and Emerald Invitations offer a wide range of styles and colors to chose from.
They also offer other ideas such as programs and thank you cards.
And perhaps my favorite invitation of all- perfect for a Bachelorette Party!
So very excited to share the news that we have been published in the Spring/Summer 2010 issue of grace ormonde WeddingStyle. Absolutely love this wedding magazine- chic, elegant, fashion forward designs and style aplenty. If you are planning a wedding, you should definitely check out their current national and New England issues. Tons of great stories, real weddings and inspiring ideas.
We submitted images from this fabulous Plaza Hotel wedding in New York City. It was designed by the trend-setter David Tutera and his talented team. With his table decor, he not only defines the space around a table, but creates a feeling like you have been transported to whole other world. All of your senses are enticed. It’s an amazing experience. We are thrilled that we could share one of his signature designs with Grace Ormonde readers.
If you would like to see more from this wedding, definitely check out our story from the wedding.
And if you would like to see other David Tutera wedding designs and ideas, check out these posts- NY Metropolitan Club Wedding, NY Gotham Hall Wedding, Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer Inspiration. More of David’s designs still to come from an episode of My Fair Wedding.
Cover image by Jade Studio Productions.
Dave and I had the opportunity to visit Castle Hill on the Crane Estate in Ipswich and all I can say is WOW!!! One of my friends had gotten married there a few years ago and was telling me about the venue, I was so excited to see it as he had nothing but positive reviews. But honestly it is even better than he described.
First of all there are multiple fabulous options for an outdoor wedding. I know it is hard to think about that right now with the first serious snow just melting and more on the way, but that was always the way I pictured my wedding. I am pretty sure I am not alone on that one. So if you are like me and felt an outdoor wedding was your first choice, you have 3 great options: on the lawn facing the beach, on the lawn facing down the hill towards ocean views, and in the Italian Garden.
A few photos of option 2:
A few from option 3 (I think this is what I would do- I love the feeling of this secluded garden space- feels like ancient ruins)
Laura Daly and her team are great. They will also have a perfect back up plan, in case the weather doesn’t cooperate. We got a peek at the indoor option and it truly is lovely.
The best spot for cocktail hour, in my opinion, is on the back patio. I love this location because you get to enjoy the sweeping views of the water and have the gorgeous architecture as a back drop. Plus if you wanted to do a group photo it’s an excellent location for that.
Side note, awesome story, these two griffin statues were given to the Crane family as a gift from their servants. They had the sculptures custom made to protect the house. All I have to say is that the Crane’s must have been amazing employers to generate that kind of love from their staff.
Then you have two options for your reception as well. You can host the party indoors- the spaces are grand and elegant. Or outdoors on another patio. You could even tent the outdoor space.
And I just had to share a few of my favorite details from the site.
Dave and I enjoying the view.
I almost missed these bas relief sculptures of the cranes. Very cool and very appropriate.
All in all, I was amazed by the beauty of this wedding venue and the thoughtful consideration of their events team. I also really appreciate that they are making efforts to be green and provide environmentally beneficial resources, plus when you have a wedding at a historic site like this, your rental fee contributes to the greater good. Not a bad way to celebrate, in my opinion.
Me oh my- I am so excited to share more from Lauren and David’s amazing day at the Castle Hill Inn.
With the rain far behind us, we captured a few images of our happy couple with the beautiful scenery whenever we could steal them away.
And then we spent the rest of the evening photographing all the joy- and there was lots.
Lauren and David definitely like to have fun. They are so playful together. And Lauren must have had about a thousand different facial expressions to show her happiness.
After the first dance, the hora.
Each couple went up in turn, Lauren and David first, followed by Lauren’s parents, and then David’s. His mom was a little nervous I think.
David’s cousin gave one of the toasts and he rewarded her with a huge thank you hug.
Dancing got underway in full force. Lauren’s parents, so fun.
I loved this moment. Just before they fed each other the cake, there was definitely some teasing going on. And Lauren, all with her eyes, says, "Please."
Then more dancing. Lauren made sure to have a little time with each of her grandfathers.
And with her girlfriends.
Lauren’s sister was a great help throughout the day, and also enjoyed a little time on the dance floor once the party got underway.
Maybe the best thing about a destination wedding, like this one in Newport, is that everyone has more time together, because all of the guests stay for the weekend.
Lauren enjoys another chance to connect with friends.
I have to close with one of my favorite images from the day. We had this amazing sunset over the water. Such a beautiful place to spend a couple of moments as newlyweds.
Many thanks to the professionals who helped make Lauren and David’s day so special.
A big shout out to Nancy and her team at Castle Hill. Nancy was truly amazing, top notch all the way.
Also special thanks to Rocco Michaluk of Video & Vision. It was really great to work with you.
And for helping to complete Lauren and David’s vision:
Floral Design (more on this in a later post because WOW! gorgeous work): Laurel Lane of Laurel Lane Floral Design
Wedding cake and groom’s cake: Scrumptions
Invitations: Ruth at The Party People
Other printed materials: Judith Carroll at Papers
For creating Lauren and David’s personal looks:
Hair and Make-up: Jen Murphy and Frank Antonio from Frank Antonio Hair & Makeup
Lauren’s wedding dress: Romona Keveza from Bridal Reflections
Bridesmaid dress: Lazaro from Fontana’s
David’s attire: Georgio Armani
Groomsmen’s attire: Calvin Klein from Century 21
Plus a huge thank you to Lauren and David and your families. It was such a joy to be a part of your day and to celebrate with you.
Make sure to check out their slideshow as well.
When last I wrote about Erin and Darren’s fabulous Boston wedding, I shared their story up to the ceremony. Picking up where I left off… the ceremony was held in the Wharf Room at the Boston Harbor Hotel, with views of the waterfront as the back drop.
Having spent their courtship in London, it was only fitting that they import their rabbi, a former Bostonian himself who now lives in England, to perform the ceremony. Their close friendship with their officiant made for a very special and meaningful ceremony under the chuppah, with lots of personal stories and lots of smiles.
This picture totally makes me laugh. All eyes are on Darren, except for Erin’s mom, who can’t take her eyes off her daughter.
Fortunately, Darren said the right thing. He stomped on the glass and sealed the deal with a kiss. And Erin and Darren exited with absolute joy.
We then ventured upstairs to the Rotunda, my absolute favorite part of the hotel, for cocktail hour. Some guests enjoyed the views on the patio outdoors. Others mixed and mingled indoors. Many hadn’t seen each other in a long time. Family members reminisced and passed around old photos.
All were ushered downstairs for the reception to get underway in the Wharf Room. Erin and Darren kicked off the party with their first dance and guests soon followed suit.
As Erin danced with her father, her mom looked on.
Erin and Darren listened as toasts were given by their closest friends and Darren’s brother.
Fun, fun, fun. Following some of the formalities, a little Irish dancing. Which as it turns out is a lot like Jewish dancing only with different music. It is just as fun and crazy and enthusiastic. And for these two, it melted into the hora, which culminated in this men’s group dancing in a wild circle.
With that, I have a few thank you’s and kudo’s.
First, special thanks to all of the professionals who made Erin and Darren’s day amazing:
Michael and his team at the Boston Harbor Hotel, the beautiful venue with the amazing staff
Teresa and her talented crew from Mimosa Style for their floral creations
DJ John Dudley for the reception entertainment
Lisa Husseni for the ceremony music
Vows and Anahit Alterations for helping Erin find and perfect her dress
David’s Bridal for the bridesmaids gowns
Jean Yves for the groom and groomsmen attire
Judy at Four Season’s Hair
Make-up by Caitlin Murphy
Erin and Darren, you two have been absolutely wonderful to work with through and through. I was going to title this entry Beauty and the Beast, as I thought "Beauty" aptly described Erin and "Beast" alluded to Darren’s life as a wrestler, but I couldn’t do it, because there really isn’t anything beast-like about either of you. Thank you so much for welcoming us into your day!
For anyone who would like to see more, you should definitely check out their slideshow.