When I first received Natalie & Mihir’s very first email, I was beyond thrilled for more reasons I could possibly count. After having photographed two of her cousins these past few years, the probability that we were going to pull off a hat-trick with this family was simply wishful thinking on my part – but here we were, on a Sunday afternoon along Race Street Pier with these two love birds and the most adorable little dog I’d ever seen. And as if this awesome-train couldn’t get any better, these two will be tying the knot where Karis and I first met over 11 years ago! Natalie & Mihir first met in med school, and now call Philadelphia their home. How much love do they have for their city? Lots, apparently. I mean, their dog’s name is “Franklin” – need I say more? After kicking off their Philadelphia engagement session with all that gorgeous light on Race Street Pier, we wandered through a random cobblestone alley before settling for the night at a local biergarten. Seriously? Bestest. Engagement. Session. EVER!
It’s been quite a while since we last had a chance to celebrate with our couples on Long Island – so we were thrilled when we knew we would be returning here with Felicia & Dan for their beautiful summer wedding at Lands End in Sayville. The day was unseasonably cool, with just a perfect mix of sun and clouds, allowing us to take advantage of every little nook and cranny the grounds had to offer. From the beachfront to a nearby marina (where we sorta kinda interrupted a raucous birthday party), there were certainly no shortages of smiles and fun. Along with some very thoughtful DIY details from these two dog lovers, and some of the most photogenic kids we’ve ever put in front of our lenses, this was the most perfect summer wedding in every sense of the word!
Venue: Lands End in Sayville, NY // Catering: Lovin’ Oven // Officiant: Pastor Thomas Walsh, Centerpoint Church , Massapequa, NY // Hair: Ahern Beauty // Make-up: Adelyn’s Canvas // Dress: Alfred Angelo // Shoes: Blue by Betsey Johnson // Groom’s attire: Theblacktux.com // Jewelry: Village Jewelers in Huntington, NY // Entertainment: Central Park the Band // Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas & Minted // Favors: DIY // Cinematography: Montague Films
In this world, there are two types of men: men who belong on the cast of The Expendables, and men who wish they were on the cast of The Expendables. Here we have a groom who was once a (and maybe still is) a fitness guru, spends his workdays working with steel & iron, and pretty much casually brushed off a work-related eye injury so he could wrap up an engagement session with yours truly not long ago. But like most men, they have easily exploitable weaknesses; and in Nikko’s case, it’s his beautiful new wife Susan, along with his incredibly fascinating collection of coral. You probably didn’t see that one coming, did you? Susan & Nikko couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day to exchange their vows at the picturesque West Hills Country Club in Middletown, NY. Susan & Nikko incorporated all sorts of DIY and personal touches to their outdoor wedding ceremony and tent wedding reception, which included a butterfly release (my first ever)!
Venue & Catering: West Hills Country Club // Ceremony/Officiant: Steven Roth // Hair: Stephanie Enaco // Make-up: Mara Kohn // Dress: Watters Wtoo Kennedy Gown // Shoes: Bella Belle // Groom’s attire: Mens Wearhouse // Jewelry: family heirlooms and gifts //Floral: Peony Designs // Decor: DIY // Entertainment & Cinema: MSV //Stationery: DIY
If you were to compile a list of first-date ideas, the Top 5 will almost invariably involve some type of beverage (usually the caffeinated kind, which occasionally leads to the alcoholic kind). As luck would have it, Ken just happened to be working at such an establishment offering such types of refreshments (again, the caffeinated kind and not so much the non-caffeinated kind) when Mara came into his life (or maybe it was the other way around, depending on whom you ask). That being said, it just seemed apropos to kick off their engagement session where it all started, inside a quaint, cozy coffee shop in the heart of Haddonfield. And in true Ben Lau Photography, we somehow managed to work our way towards the waterfront, and wrapped up the afternoon with the non-caffeinated beverage option – but who really pays attention to those kinds of details anyway :). But seriously, look at all those wonderful colors; the Camden waterfront’s such a great engagement session idea, so we’re definitely coming back in the future!
I remember chatting with Denisse over a shoddy Skype connection over a year ago, separated by over 6000 miles and 15 time zones, and learned that she was essentially planning a “destination wedding” back to her home state of NJ. Such is the life of a military family, I suppose; where home is literally wherever the heart is, wherever that may be. If there’s anything I can possibly say about this wedding, aside from the near-perfect weather and the lovely details the bride and groom incorporated into their wedding day at the Rock Island Lake Club, it’s that this couple officially wins the award for being one of the most efficient, decisive, results-driven individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure of photographing. Rain clouds approaching and we’re only 75% done with family pictures? Get ‘er done! When my flight arrival/departure to Denver allowed us exactly 5 hours to squeeze in their gorgeous Colorado engagement session for the day? Get ‘er done! It costs HOW MUCH to fill the custom Mr & Mrs balloons for the wedding day? Just get ‘er done! As we can safely conclude, Denisse & Gregory managed to pull off one helluva party against all odds, all with giant smiles on their faces (as it should be!).
Venue & Catering: Rock Island Lake Club // Ceremony/Officiant: Father Tom at Blessed Kateri Church // Hair: Senada K // Make-up: Andrea Ventura from Artist Make Up Academy // Dress: Kleinfeld Bridal // Shoes: Badgley Mischka // Men’s Attire: Mens Wearhouse // Jewelry: Nordstrom // Floral/Décor: Kim Auriemma // Entertainment: DJ Bill // Stationery: Wedding paper Divas // Cinematography: Live Picture Studio