Oceancliff: Jen & Patrick's Oceanfront Wedding

I met Jen and Patrick at Rosecliff Mansion at the annual Newport Bridal Show. Patrick looked at my work and said:” I am going to call you. Soon. “ … and he did. Nothing feels better than clients valuing your work and all you put into to it, to capture one’s wedding day as authentic as possible. It takes a lot of questions on my end, getting to know them, meetings over coffee or wine - or both and good chemistry. Luckily we had all those thing and by the time I met them again it was pretty clear, this is going to be awesome. I was super excited.


Jen and Patrick got married at Newport’s Oceancliff Resort, right on the water. After the first look we jumped into my car and drove to Fort Adams for photographs in the old Officers Quarters, which were SO cold - because it was winter - but so worth it! We had a blast! After being done there we headed to Brenton Point Park Beach and took some more photos on the rocks. We witnessed a nature phenomenon. A sun dog! I don’t know if you have ever heard of it, I didn’t. Please google it, it is fascinating. By far the most amazing thing I have seen so far in nature and we happened to be there. Breathtaking.

After finishing up the portraits and heading back to the venue, the ceremony was about to begin and there was no stopping this wedding party. Everybody just had an amazing time. The weather was chilly, of course, it was December … but that is what you want for a winter wedding right on the ocean. 65F wouldn’t cut it, with all the stunning Christmas decorations. It was simply perfect.

I woke up the next day, with a wedding hang over… that all of us photographers have a day after the wedding.. Heavy legs, sore arms.. exactly like you would feel after a heavy workout. But I couldn’t help myself but think.. omg, I will miss these guys. This was one of my favorite weddings to photograph.

Thank you Patrick for knowing what you wanted in terms of photography and going for it! It means everything. Please enjoy the photographs. They truly are special.

A very special thank you to Dave Paek for coming up from NY to photograph this event with me. Always so much fun. Can’t wait for the next one.


Vendors

Venue: Oceancliff Hotel, Florist , Dress, Catering and Cake , Hair and Make up, Photographer Stefy Hilmer Photography, Band Sugarbabies , Stationary




Belle Mer: Ashley & Stephen's Newport Love Story

Ashely and Stephen got married on November 11, 2018 at Belle Mer in Newport.

I met Ashley at the Newport Bridal Show, which she attended with her sister and mom. They had a blast causing around the historic halls of Rosecliff Mansion, drenched in wedding spirits. I knew after our little chat that we would hit if off and offered to meet me at my studio in downtown Newport to meet with her fiancé Stephen as well, to talk about details and answer all their questions. I think it is always so special if you meet a couple and you can feel the same energy and mind set, simply the perfect combination. You can imagine how thrilled I was when Ashley emailed me and confirmed they pick me to photograph their big day.

A couple of month later we met for their engagement photos. Prosecco on board we toured the beautiful cliffs of Jamestown, Brenton Point Park in Newport and ended with a sunset at Castle Hill’s famous lighthouse. We had a blast. I could’t wait for they wedding day to arrive.

After tying the knot at Immaculate Conception in Cranston, we jumped into limo with the bridal party and went to Ochre Court, the Cliff Walk and the Elms for photographs. Yes we had some grounds to cover but we did it.

The reception was at Belle Mer, a Longwood Venue in the heart of the Newport harbor. I love the simplicity of the place with its contemporary features, the openness and not to mention the view over the harbor with the Newport Bridge in the background! It is one of a kind. It was a magical day, filled with love and laughter. I couldn’t have wished for more. We were blessed with the most beautiful wether, followed by a typical Newport sunset. I am talking… out of this world colorful. It was perfect.

The reception was filled with lots of laughter and dancing, fun speeches and a band that kept them on their toes.

A special thank you to Dave Paek for coming up here from NY to photograph this wedding with me!

Vendors:

Venue Belle Mer, A Longwood Venue, Florist Flowers by Semia, Dress, Catering and Cake A Longwood Venue, Hair and Make up, Church Immaculate Conception in Cranston, Photographer Stefy Hilmer Photography, Videography Peter Freed, Band , Stationary , Transportation Rock Star Limo,

Whitby Castle: Basha and Marcin's polish celebration

Basha and Marcin got married on October 28th, 2018 in Rye, NY. I met Marcin, when I injured my shoulder in 2015. He worked at the physical therapy place I was sent to. When he asked me about my photography business and that he proposed to his girlfriend I was thrilled being considered to photograph their wedding. After meeting Basha, I knew we were a perfect fit and photographing their wedding will be amazing. We are all Europeans and we share the same humor and view on life. To describe these two… To call Marcin a goofball, is an understatement. He is such a happy human being and he spreads it around and you can’t help it but laugh. Basha’s biggest trade I think is the endless patience she has to have to let him be. These two are an inspiration to me. They figured it out.

Basha and the girls got ready at her parents house. These girls know how to celebrate. I had the best time capturing those moments for them and being a part of this special day.

When Marcin arrived at her house for the polish blessing from the parents before heading to church, everybody was just simply overjoyed with love and excitement. It was quite a different ceremony and I was able to experience similarities, but also differences in religion. This is one of the parts I love most about my job. Different cultures, different ceremonies, always new experiences.

After church we headed to Whitby Castle in Rye. This one of a kind Golf Course location was the perfect setting for portraits and bridal party photos.

Basha and Marcin practiced a ton for their first dance and surprised us all with a choreographed piece, which was amazing! I don’t really have to tell you how well Europeans can party so I leave it up to your imagination.. or check out the photos! The rest of the night was a mix of dancing and singing and I truly loved to capture this day for them. I wish we could do it all over again.

Melissa & Doug's intimate Hudson River Wedding at the Harvest in Hastings on Hudson

Melissa and Doug got married at a wonderful venue in Hastings on Hudson, called the Harvest on Hudson. When I met with them first to talk about their wedding, I was so fascinated by their story and the deep love they have for each other. Doug just went through two rounds of chemo. I have never met a person so full of life, love and positivity. He is an inspiration to me.

When their wedding day arrived I was so excited to be capturing their love and tying the knot. The Harvest on Hudson is a tuscan looking venue, right on the Hudson River. Their ceremony was outside on the patio, followed by the cocktail hour and a sit down dinner.

We did a first look to save time later after the ceremony for enjoying their family and friends. The Hudson River is the perfect background for stunning portraits, especially when the sky gives you amazing clouds to play with.

The ceremony was one of the most moving I have heard in a long time. Not because of just the words, but because of their story and looking in their faces just made me realize how powerful love can be. Everybody was in tears. Including myself. This is what makes my work so wonderful.

Since it was a daytime wedding we stayed a little longer after the reception and took some sunset photos at the venue first and then went to the Tarrytown House, where they stayed to take more sunset shots on their roof top terrace. What a view. See for yourself. I hope you will enjoy the photos.

A special thank you to Dave Paek for coming out to shoot with me. Can’t wait to work with you again soon. You are such an inspiration.

Rachel & Michael's Boston Wedding at the State Room

Rachel and Michael got married at the State Room in Boston. It is a Longwood Venue. If you ever looked into wedding venues to pick for your special day, don’t look any further. They have a bunch to choose from and each and everyone of them is unique and stunning in its own way. The State Room is a overlooking the Boston Harbor and has breathtaking views.

Rachel and Michael picked the Langham Hotel to get ready with their bridal party, family and friends. It is right next to the Post Office Square Park, where they met to see each other for the first time. The weather couldn’t have been any better. Blue skies, sunshine all the way.

After taking portraits at the park with the two of them and the bridal party after, the family joined for family portraits with the bride and groom. I took the bridal party on a different route to the State Room so we could do some more fun shots on the way.

Arriving at the venue everything was all set for the ceremony. Lady Slippers Designs created the most beautiful arch for those two to get married. Simply stunning. When I visited the venue prior to the wedding day for scouting I saw this photo in front of my eyes. Rachels father walking her down the aisle, with the Boston Harbor in the background. A powerful moment in a stunning scenery. This photo ended up winning one national and one international award. The photo gods were good to me and it just happened to all fall into place. The bride and groom were thrilled once they found out.

After the reception everybody was just ready to party. And a true party it was!!! Please check out the photos and see for yourself. This is why I love my job. To capture the love and laughter, all these emotions. It simply makes my day.

Vendors:

Venue A Longwood Venue: State Room Florist Lady Slippers Designs Photography Stefy Hilmer Photography Videography Simile Productions Lighting and Entertainment Fine Tune Entertainment Cake A dream of Jeanne Cakes Invitations Minted

The Ballyowen Country Club: Lina and Steven's Wedding in the Country

Lina and Steve approached me after meeting with me at a bridal show in NJ. The reason they stopped at my booth was only partly my photographs, the other half was the Russian chocolate I had on my table. Lina is from Russia and I just happened to receive these chocolate as a gift from my painter, who finished up painting my house. I would always treat him with German goodies while he was working and he returned the favor in bringing the Russian chocolate.

After Skyping with these two, we knew we found each other. Fast forward to the engagement photos, which we took near Tuxedo in NY in a beautiful park setting. It was just too much fun. Check out the link if you like.

Their wedding was for July 21st, 2018 at the gorgeous Ballyowen Country Club in Hamburg, New Jersey. It wasn’t super sunny but we got some amazing clouds to work with, which to me is sometimes even more interesting than just simple blue sky. It makes the photos more dramatic and gives them an extra edge.

The ceremony took place outside, overlooking the golf course. It couldn’t have been a more peaceful setting. Despite the fact that some golf balls made funny sounds while flying by! LOL

Once the reception started, there was no stopping them. The dance floor was packed and everybody simply enjoyed the love they have for each other. Lina and Steven are truly special and I am forever grateful they picked me to photograph their big day.

A favorite from this day.. the peach gummy bears got for everyone to take home. OMG!!! SO good!

Rachel & Matt's Private Estate Hudson Valley Wedding Celebration

Rachel and Matthew got married in the beautiful Hudson Valley in a small town called Chatham on a private estate, overlooking the mountains.

They started their celebrations the night before with their rehearsal dinner at the Rivertown Lodge in Hudson, NY. A very artsy town, with lots of great restaurants and galleries. People gathered from all over the country to celebrate Rachel and Matthew’s big weekend. They had dinner inside and then went outside to a tent area to continue their party and enjoying everyone’s company.

The next morning the bride and groom got ready at Matthew’s family estate, in separate rooms - of course - getting ready to see each other for the first time, surrounded by family and close friends. Proceeding with portraits after around the estate, which couldn’t have looked more stunning with all the flowers in bloom, the pool and the stunning views.

The ceremony was outside on the lawn in front of the house with gorgeous views overlooking the mountains. It was filled with funny stories about the bride and groom, important accomplishments and steps of their life’s, alone and together. The deal was sealed with breaking the glass and everybody was ready for cocktails around the pool and the big party in the tent after.

Rachel and Matt hired a fabulous band for their reception, which was held in a tent they put up the day before right outside the house. It was perfect. The esthetics of the design starting with the shape of the tent, the floral designs, the rustic tables and the round bar in the middle of the tent. It was out of this world. Matthew’s mom Meryl envisioned most of it. It was tasteful and so well executed with the help of Ashley Douglas Events. The reception couldn't have been more successful. Everybody was on their feet dancing the entire night. The band wouldn’t give them a break until the end of the celebrations. What a day. It was perfect.

A special thank you to Jeff Tisman, who came out to shoot with me. Always a pleasure and so fun.

Vendors

Wedding Planning Ashley Douglas Events Photography Stefy Hilmer Photography Videography Michael Tosner Catering Great Performance Catering Tent Company The Greenwich Tent Company Lighting Social Event Decor Hair Julia Mcntosh Make up Lumous Make Up

Siasconset Casino on Nantucket: Kelly & Harry's Island Celebrations

Kelly and Harry got married on Nantucket on June 9th, 2018 in the most beautiful surroundings of the island.

Their rehearsal dinner was at the Sankaty Golf Club. I am talking beautiful scenery, overlooking the golf course at sunset, a cozy dinner room with lots of candles and filled with love and laughter. Hands down, this was the most emotionally expressive wedding I have photographed so far. So many happy tears. It was so beautiful.

After getting ready at separate houses, the couple met at the famous oceanfront street in Siasconset for their first look. Words cannot describe the feelings these two have for each other. Time was limited so we took our portraits and headed down the the walkway to meet eh bridal party for more photographs and then making our way towards the church.

The church in Siasconset is the cutest one I have seen in a long time. Very intimate and cozy, but bright and elegant. Since Nantucket is an island and Siasconset a fairly small town, the church will be used by both religious parties. Catholic and Christian, depending who needs it for the day. This makes so much sense even though I never experienced this before. The ceremony was full of stories and love and beautiful musicians and singers to go along with it.

For their reception the Kelly & Harry picked the Siasconset Casino. A super open and cozy space, which they transformed into an elegant ball room with the help of Soiree Floral. It simply looked amazing. I am fascinated by floral designs in general.. no idea how they do it! It takes a certain, very unique eye to envision an empty room and filling it with just the right amount of flowers and colors.

As soon as the party started the dance floor was never empty. Biggest highlight of the night next to fabulous, heartwarming speeches and lots of tears on the bride and grooms side - Harry’s dad singing on stage! Excuse me… ROCKING on stage. The room was ecstatic. One of the groomsmen took his job super serious and offered me a different angle… from sitting on his shoulders! How could you I say no?! I had a super awesome time photographing this wedding. Can’t wait to get back on the island in 2019!

Enjoy the photographs!

A special thank you to my friend and college Patience Cleveland for coming all the way from Maine and shooting with me!

Vendors:

Venue Sconset Casino, Wedding Planner Nantucket Island Events, Florist Soiree Floral Designs, Catering and Cake Island Kitchen, Hair and Make up Lyndsay Simon Church Sconset Chapel, Photographer Stefy Hilmer Photography, Videography Meg Simone, Band Red Hook Orchestra

Ledges Hotel in Hawley, Pennsylvania: Sharon & Carmen's Dam Wedding

These guys are the REAL troopers out there! Let me explain why!

We all know how planning a wedding is stressful, drenching and over all mind blowing in the first place. I think we can agree to that. After having to change venues TWICE because of unforeseen circumstances they finally found their perfect spot! Ledges Hotel in Hawley, Pennsylvania.

The night before the wedding the government of PA had to make a call. The dam close to the town of Hawley needed to be opened to avoid a complete flooding of the neighborhood. Side effect… the wedding venue will be flooded as well since the river passes right by the hotel. Check out the link, it is a breathtaking spot. So my sweet, sweet couple got a call at 9.30pm the night before their big day with these news. NO WEDDING VENUE!!! Can you imagine???!!!! What a nightmare. It left a bride in tears and a hands on groom to safe the day.

The venue on top of the hill moved out a bridal party and made it happen for them. Thank god!!! How much more could possibly go wrong?! So instead of facing the waterfall, we did the fist look in a school hallway and it drizzled/rained.. a lot… like all day!!! It didn’t really matter.

So much for planning your big day and having it all under control. At the end of the day the most important thing happened. They got married.

I learned a lot from these two. No matter what stands in your way, you will figure it out. Together!

We truly loved photographing this wedding. Not only because these are two amazing human beings, but more so because everything went wrong. Seeing their love for each other, no matter what happened, it simply couldn’t shatter their spirit. Inspiring!

Check out their photos. Look at their faces, their love and laughter. I felt truly honored to be a part of this special day.

Thanks for coming out Jeff to capture this with me. Always so much fun to shoot with you.