On the 14th June, this is how most of my conversations started.
Other person – “You’re not American are you?”
Me – “No, I’m from Ireland.”
Other person – “But you live in NYC right?”
Me – “No, I’m here for the wedding”
Other person “WHAT?! You came all this way to shoot this wedding! Wow! You must be good!”
Me – *****gulp*****
Okay – so that’s pretty much true but there is a slight caveat. I’ll go back a bit.
A year or so I got an email from Elaine (the beautiful bride). “Hi, do you know anyone in New York who shoots with a similar style to you?”. My response was with a very enthusiastic “Yes! ME!!!! When are you getting married?!”. Now fast forward about 4 or 5 emails and it’s been decided. Elaine and Mark are getting married on the 14th June and it just so happens that I’ll be in America and can “swing by” New York to shoot their wedding at the tail end of my honeymoon. I know – my honeymoon. But honestly, how could I resist? A few days and nights in New York is hardly a chore. Awesome! It was on! The mad part is how Elaine found me. She saw one of my images on Pinterest, pinned it, then started to see other shots from the same wedding. She then thought that I was based in the UK. Then a few emails later realized I was Irish. So is she and so was Mark but had both been living in New York for over 15 years! This was going great!
So fast forward to the 12th June – Dee and I fly into New York after the most incredible road trip on Route 66 from Chicago to LA. We’re tired but totally pumped about this wedding and on the first night we go out to meet Elaine and Mark and all of their family and friends in the city at The Cask Bar & Kitchen. It was a great night and a lovely way to mix with everyone and get to know people before the day itself – if only I could do this for every wedding! Talk about a relaxed couple (yes, yes, I know I say that a lot but…) I only found out the address of where Elaine was getting ready the day before the wedding by a quick text. No stress or panic here I can assure you.
When I arrived that morning to their apartment in Long Island City I was blown away. The view was utterly spectacular! Looking right across the bay and over to upper Manhattan. I honestly felt like I needed to pinch myself. Crazy weird for me. About 20 odd stories down and sitting on the river was a yacht. That yacht would later be where Elaine and Mark would tie the knot in front of all of their family and friends and it was one of the most amazing settings for a wedding I’ve been lucky enough to witness. As for the rest of the day it was ridiculously good fun. I had such a laugh and I was supposed to be working! The people there were just brilliant and as I had no car I got to drive around everywhere with Elaine and Mark (and their dog! how many brides would ride in the car with their dog?!) and then of course I got to jump on the awesome party bus to head to the late night bar and saw things that my eyes may never recover from!
Mark and Elaine are two of the most welcoming, warm, friendly, kind and ridiculously generous people I have ever met in my life. I was spoilt by them – in fact scratch that – Dee and I were both spoilt by them and they made sure that we both had an amazing time in New York. Elaine and Mark, I cannot thank you both enough. For trusting me with taking the photographs and having me there as if I was a old friend rather than vendor for your entire day. It for sure was one of the highlights of our time in America and considering we were on our honeymoon that’s saying something.
I cannot sign off without saying this and Mark and Elaine will probably hate me for this – but – If you ever find yourself in New York City then you have to go visit Mark and Elaine’s amazing restaurants. They have two and are opening their third, in fact it may well be open at the time of writing but I’ll have to check. Make sure to visit the The Cask Bar & Kitchen (the place we all met two nights before the wedding), and Banc Cafe (Where Dee and I had our final date on the last night of our honeymoon and were spoilt rotten!). I promise you you’ll be in for a treat and you’ll be given a really warm welcome. Sorry M&E but I had to do that!