Elizabeth and Johnny’s wedding at Birch Hill Catering in Castleton-on-Hudson, New York will forever hold a special place in our hearts! Arturo and I knew their celebration was going to be one for the books after photographing them last year for their Playland Park engagement session. I can’t begin to explain how long it took me to organize my thoughts as I sat down to write this blog post, due to the sheer joy and excitement I felt as we documented this beautiful wedding day! Family is so important to Arturo and me, so one of our favorite aspects of a wedding is seeing all of the love and support the couple receives from their family and friends as two become one. Johnny and Liz were surrounded by endless amounts of love from their friends and family all day long!
A BIRCH HILL CATERING WEDDING
I couldn’t get enough of Elizabeth’s bridal details! She wore a stunning Pronovias gown and cathedral length veil, which paired wonderfully with her beautiful Badgley Mischka heels. Johnny and Liz were both surrounded by their closest family members as they relaxed and got ready for their wedding day. Elizabeth shared a sweet first look for her dad right before we her first look with Johnny. Both of Liz’s first looks were hands down two of my favorite moments of their day!
Their wedding party was such a fun bunch to photograph, and definitely made sure the soon-to-be Mr. & Mrs. feel plenty of love! After their portraits were finished, we headed to the church for Johnny and Liz’s ceremony! Once they were pronounced husband and wife, the newlyweds shared a romantic first kiss before heading down the aisle as their guests cheered them on. The joy that surrounded Johnny and Liz on their wedding day was truly beautiful!
After finishing family portraits along the Hudson River, we drove back to Birch Hill for newlywed portraits. I knew Elizabeth and Johnny would absolutely rock their portrait time, because they had done so during their engagement session last June! These two were up for almost anything and as a result, Arturo and I created some of our all-time favorite wedding day portraits!
Liz and Johnny both come large Italian families, so almost all of their 200+ guests packed the huge dance floor all night long. It was definitely a fun group of people to photograph, especially when That’s Amore came on! Everyone gathered into a large circle, arms around the shoulders of the people next to them, swaying back and forth, singing the lyrics all together. There have definitely been times in my life when I wished I came from an Italian background, but seeing this family sing and enjoy this song together made me wish for those Italian roots more than ever!
THE LOVE STORY
Funny as it may sound, Johnny and Liz aren’t 100% sure when they first met! Both Johnny and Liz’s grandparents owned condos in a small beach town off of Atlantic City in Brigantine, New Jersey, where they both spent their summers growing up. They were playing on the same beaches and probably passing right by one another all those years without even knowing it!
As it turns out, their families have known each other for a long time, but Liz and Johnny actually became friends at the engagement party celebrating Elizabeth’s sister, Carolyn and her husband, Rich, in 2012. Liz even knew Johnny’s mom and became close friends with her long before she and Johnny ever met!
Elizabeth and Johnny hung out a lot over that year leading up to Carolyn and Rich’s wedding, going out together in Stamford and New York City, always just as friends. Liz eventually asked Johnny to be her date to the wedding, again just as friends. Because Liz cared so much about her friendship with Johnny’s mom, she knew that if she ever dated Johnny that she would have to be 100% sure that this was it.
On the July 4th weekend of 2013, Johnny and Liz drove down to Brigantine together to his family's house. That weekend it all came out and they admitted their feelings for each other, making them inseparable ever since. Just after their 4th anniversary, Johnny proposed while they were back visiting Brigantine Beach, which was followed by a beautiful celebration with both of their families!
These two are best friends whose personalities and interests complement each other perfectly. We are so honored to have been part of such a wonderful day in their lives. Congratulations Elizabeth and Johnny! Wishing you both a lifetime of happiness ahead!
Elizabeth’s shoes were nothing short of fabulous to complement her “old Hollywood glam” bridal style!
I loved capturing these sweet father-daughter first look moments Liz shared with her dad!
The weeping willow tree was a perfect spot for Johnny and Elizabeth’s first look!
As we were transitioning into wedding party photos, Liz looked over her shoulder across the pond… I just couldn’t help snapping a few bridal portraits!
I just adore these two sweet sisters!
Look at all that beautiful light!!
The joy and laughter Elizabeth and Johnny share are truly contagious… you can’t help but smile when you’re with them!
Luckily there were a few bubbles left over from the ceremony exit, so we took advantage of the soft breeze that day and decided to add some bubbles into a few of Johnny’s and Liz’s newlywed portraits!
Isn’t she elegant?!
The sun was just right for a few last portraits in front of this birch tree!
The centerpieces for each table included beautiful florals as well as old books and romance novels. Elizabeth and Johnny brought their personalities into their wedding style, merging their interests with a classic and timeless vibe!
Carolyn delivered a heartfelt speech to her sister and new brother-in-law that definitely touched the hearts of everyone in the room!
I hope you enjoyed this Birch Hill Catering Wedding! Do you know Elizabeth and Johnny? Show the newlyweds some love by commenting below!
Reception Venue: Birch Hill Catering | Wedding Planner: Mariposa Events | Photography: Shaina Lee Photography | Ceremony Venue: Sacred Heart Church | Floral Design: Poppy Tree Floral Designs | Hair Stylist: Melissa Scrofani, Westchester Hair & Makeup | Makeup: Essie Cohen Makeup | DJ: FM Entertainment | Bride's Wedding Gown Designer: Pronovias | Bridal Salon: Pronovias Flagship NYC | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka & Kate Spade | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Hayley Paige | Bridesmaids' Dress Boutique: Bella Bridesmaids (Westport, CT) | Groom & Groomsmen's Attire: Ridge Squire Formal Wear | Cake: Kathleen Van Sicklin | Invitations & Paper Goods: Always Impressive | Engagement Ring & Bride’s Wedding Band: Yorktown Jewelers | Groom’s Wedding Band: Genesis Jewelers
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHERS
Shaina Lee Photography is a husband and wife photography team serving Connecticut, New York, Hawaii and beyond. We specialize in timeless, elegant, and romantic weddings while celebrating all couples in love.
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