Oh, that South Beach Vibe. Ashley and Thomas’ New-Jersey-Meets-South-Beach sure lit up the skies! What a PARTY! These people threw down in every way; with love, with laughter, fun, and dancing. I knew this wedding was going to be epic because I did Ashely and Thomas’ engagement photos in Miami some months before and we had an instant rapport. I love that by the time I got to their wedding, it felt like seeing old friends again.
My trusty second shooter Mike and I started at the welcome party the night before the wedding on the Spa Terrace of Eden Roc in Miami. People were chillin’, drinking wine, and enjoying the beautiful weather and scenery that makes Miami Beach one of the prettiest places on earth. Now, I know there’s a long story behind this, but apparently, Thomas has a reputation for breaking plates for no reason. You can imagine, I am sure. So, it was a bit of a surprise to me when after Thomas gave a heartfelt thank you to their guests for joining them that he broke a plate and mayhem ensued! All his buddies dog piled on him, and that’s when I knew this wedding is going to be one for the books, and I wasn’t wrong.
On the wedding day, we tag-teamed photographing the guys and girls getting ready. Sometimes when I walk into a room on a wedding day, there’s some tension. Just that kind of nervy-did-we-remember-everything kind of vibe because throwing a wedding is a lot of work and there are so many moving parts. I never got even a whiff of that during the getting ready, and it was so great. Ashley and Thomas did it right; they hired vendors they trusted and lived their day. I’m telling you that makes a HUGE difference in the photos!
Speaking of feeling comfortable, Ashley did me the honor of being able to be in the room as she got her gown on, and I appreciated being able to capture those moments for her. It’s a trust I don’t take lightly, but I believe that by building a rapport before the wedding is what makes the difference. Capturing that moment is so special, and if you’re getting married and are considering not having it photographed, let’s talk. It’s not as intrusive as you might think, and those photos will be really meaningful in the years to come.
First looks! I love ‘em!! We did one with her brothers, and with her dad. Oh, man the emotions. They just flowed on this day, and nobody tried to stop them. You can tell how proud Dad is of Ashley; it just radiated from him. It set the mood for the first look between Ashley and Thomas, too. Nothing but love all around for this great family, and just a reminder that if you don’t hire me as the photographer for daughter #2’s wedding, I might just show up as a guest because you people know how to do weddings right.
Whooooeee, it was hot that day. I mean, it was MIAMI HOT. We “borrowed” some cold towels from the spa and hit the lawn for some quick portraits before the wedding. When I say it was hot, I mean, man…they were troopers. You could see the sweat from Thomas’ knees through his pants!
Oh, this ceremony. I swear to you, I got misty-eyed all over again when I edited the photos. This ceremony was emotional, and I didn’t see any dry eyes at all. You could just tell that even though they had their wedding in a nice venue, it was about the love, man! It’s always better when it’s about the love and not the “stuff” that makes up a wedding day. Ashley’s speech to Thomas was amazing. Flat out. So amazing that Thomas started to read his vows, realized he couldn’t top that, so he stopped and said: “I just love you, that’s all I got.” And, scene. Que photographer trying to manly-cry behind the camera.
The reception was held on the event lawn with a killer white dance floor, and the details were simple and elegant. As suspected, the night started in high gear with dynamic entrances by the bridal party and Ashley and Thomas and moved into heartfelt and hilarious toasts. I love this photo of Ashley winking at Thomas. These moments are so fleeting at a wedding, and it’s my favorite thing in the world when I get a shot like this, it’s like a tiny found treasure of the day.
Tom and his mom on the dance floor. I’d say more about this photo, but I’m not crying, you’re crying.
When the dirty beats started laying down, the dance floor filled and the party never stopped. Never. Stopped. I even brought back my alter ego Old School Beat Boy Mike and busted out some four on the floor steppin’ because, man, you just couldn’t help it! At times, I couldn’t even elbow my way on to the dance floor, so I am so glad my second photographer Mike got this EPIC shot of Thomas getting lifted into the air by his buddies. What a great series of photos! Usually, it’s the ladies you see leading the party at wedding receptions, but not this crowd. Thomas’ buddies were like can’t stop won’t stop all night long. Pandemonium in all the best ways.
Ashley and Thomas, I’m left without words when I think of your wedding, and how our friendship has grown, but I tried to find them to write this blog post. Your wedding made me believe there is someone for everyone. Cheers!