There are some couples whose weddings we feel like we are destined to photograph. Daniella and Andrew were one of those couples.
Daniella contacted us in the summer of 2011 asking if we could fly to New York to do her engagement session. Andrew had just proposed the day before she wrote us. As it turned out, we had a photography workshop planned in New York a few months later, and asked if we could shoot her Manhattan engagement session as part of the workshop.
We instantly fell in love with these two. Daniella always has the biggest smile on her face and is warm and engaging with everyone she meets (and as a former dancer, she is a dream in front of the camera). Andrew is quiet and serious at first, but so hilarious and fun once he gets comfortable with you. Despite the connection we felt with them, I’ll be honest and admit that because they didn’t have even the vaguest idea of their wedding plans yet, I never expected them to actually contact us again. I thought, it could be five years before they actually get married, and who knows if they’ll still like our work at that point.
About a year later, Daniella emailed saying the wedding date had been set for the Glen Island Harbour Club just outside New York City. In the time between, we were able to meet up with them a couple more times just for fun, for drinks with Daniella in New York when we were there for another wedding, and in Dallas where they were attending a wedding and we were, of course, photographing one. So by the time their wedding weekend arrived, they had become our friends.
Daniella is originally from Israel, and Andrew grew up on Long Island. So they planned a serious (and emotional) Jewish wedding ceremony, with an energetic dance party afterward. Daniella and Andrew wowed everyone with a choreographed first dance (Daniella proving she has maintained the grace and precision of her years as a dancer). In fact she chose her wedding shoes based on what would allow her to dance for the longest amount of time without pain. She had shoes custom-made, with comfort as the priority. “I just want to dance!” she told me that morning.
One of my favorite moments from their wedding, however, was a more surreptitious moment that the guests never saw. Their wedding cake was decorated with black fondant icing. After the cake cutting, Andrew, who is notoriously polished, refined and meticulously groomed, realized his teeth and tongue were black from the icing. I followed him and Daniella into the ladies bathroom where he tried flossing, scrubbing, and rinsing with mouthwash, all without success, to get his mouth back to normal. It was a hilarious, real-life moment you just can’t predict when you’re planning your wedding. I’m not sure Andrew found it as funny and cute as I did though.
We were fortunate to have a very talented friend helping us with this wedding, Joseph Victor Stefanchik, of Washington, D.C., who was one of our idols when we were first getting into wedding photography. Joseph was one of the first accomplished news photojournalists to start doing weddings, and he was by far one of the biggest and respected names in the industry. I used to go to his website and look through his photos with awe, wondering how he was so freaking good. So even though we have gotten to know him well over the years, it was still surreal to look over and see him shooting in the same room with us! We will always be fans, and are beyond grateful that he contributed his expert eye and lighting experience to this very special wedding. You will see several of his photos in the slideshow above.
Daniella and Andrew, you know how special you are to us. And we know we’ll be seeing a lot of you in the years to come. Thanks for bringing us along on this adventure. We can’t wait to see what life has in store for you.