Updated: Feb 17
Over the weekend, we had the opportunity to shoot video for Erica and Michael’s wedding, and it was amazing! We connected with Erica and Michael a few months ago when her mom, Mary, reached out to us about shooting a wedding video for their big day. Our close friend, Will, was going to be shooting photos for them and he recommended us.
The venue was at Liberty House in Jersey City. Laura and I hadn’t had the opportunity to shoot here yet, but when we looked it up, we knew it was going to be beautiful! I feel like we’ve been shooting at a really diverse range of wedding venues this year, and this definitely added to that. In March, we shot at the Smithville Inn, which was like a tiny village filled with shops in southern New Jersey. A few weeks ago, we shot on the boardwalk in Atlantic City and inside Resorts Casino. And this weekend, we had the chance to shoot against the New York City backdrop.
The day started around 1:30 in the afternoon at the Hyatt House hotel in Jersey City, about fifteen minutes from Liberty House. Erica and the bridesmaids were getting ready on the 11th floor and Michael and the groomsmen were getting ready on the 7th floor. Laura hung out with Will and took videos of the bridesmaids and Erica getting her dress on, while I stayed with Will’s friend Kalen and took some video of Michael and the groomsmen getting ready in the room and also on the rooftop bar. Their trolley to Liberty House showed up around 3:00 and took Michael and the groomsmen to the venue first.
I rode with the groomsmen on the trolley and took some photos (for Will) and video of them posing and hanging out as we made our way over. The air conditioning on the trolley didn’t seem to be working, but it didn’t put a damper on anything and there was a cooler filled with water bottles that helped cool everybody down.
I took the trolley ride back to pick up the bridesmaids. I took some staged and candid photos of them as well, and met up with Will, Kalen, and Laura at Liberty House. While I rode the trolley back and forth, they were all able to move their cars to the venue.
Once we were all at Liberty House, we set up for the first look. The first look was scheduled for 4:00 and the lighting was a little harsh at the time so we were looking around, trying to find a place where the sun wasn’t in their eyes. We ended up landing on a spot that was a few steps from the building.
After the first look, we took Erica and Michael around Liberty State Park. We took some shots of them at the old rail station and a few on a hill with the New York City skyline in the background. These were some of my favorite shots of the day. My favorite shots on a wedding day are the ones that really highlight the soul of the venue and these definitely did that.
The ceremony was outside and overlooked the skyline. Usually when it comes to the first kiss as a married couple, I play it safe. I usually zoom in close and get a standard shot straight down the middle. It’s a once in a lifetime chance and I don’t like to get creative and try something new. I can’t ask them to stop the wedding and do it again. But, this time, I took a chance and I think it paid off really well. Laura was already shooting straight down the aisle with her camera, so I took it as an opportunity to try something new and take advantage of the beautiful view we had. I did a panning shot where we skim across the New York skyline and land right on Erica and Michael as they leaned in for their kiss. I think it came out really great.
During cocktail hour, we took some video of the table settings for the reception. Each plate had a menu and a custom cookie on top. Right before the reception started, we took out Erica and Michael again to get a few more photos and videos of them against the setting sun.
For the reception, there was a band that played and everybody was really into it! I don’t see a lot of bands at weddings nowadays, but when I do, they’re always a hit. Just outside the glass windows of the reception, the New York skyline shined bright in the night sky. There was an outdoor patio with fire pits where guests hung out to take a break from dancing. Laura and I aren’t huge city people but the view was absolutely perfect. We ended the night with cake cutting.
Erica and Michael grew up together as high school sweethearts and we were able to see their relationship make it to the next level after 12 years. Laura and I felt super honored to not only capture their big day, but to share it with them as well. We wish Erica and Michael the happiest of futures together and we can’t wait to start putting together their video!