I am so excited to blog this wedding today!
You might remember Jada and Michael’s engagement session from just a few weeks ago, where I climbed up a waterfall with this sweet couple and their two adorable kids. I loved this couple’s sense of adventure, but even more so the genuine love and compassion they have for each other. I just could’t wait for their wedding!
Jada and Michael’s wedding location, Croton Point Park, is just gorgeous. I used to go there chasing sunsets with my mom, I’ve been there photographing sunsets and engaged couples, I’ve gone on secret hikes in the woods – but somehow I had never seen a wedding there! I knew there were SO many beautiful spots for pictures, from weeping willows to a beach, to grassy knolls and hills.
I think that’s what Jada and Michael fell in love with! They planned their wedding all the way from their home in Northern California. They’re an easygoing couple, very down to earth and both share a love of nature. When Michael found Croton Point Park, he told Jada, “This is it.” And they had to look no further.
On the morning of the wedding, Jada and Michael got ready in separate cabins at the park! Jada was getting her hair done nearby, and Michael’s groomsmen helped me hang her beautiful dress on the cabin to get a sweet shot! Then, I found all her bouquets. Jada and Michael’s friend Kim literally GREW all these flowers in her garden. That’s right. She is a gardener and literally transported the flowers down from Maine in buckets. She sat on the floor near the big refrigerator in the lodge putting together the bouquets, boutonnieres, arrangements and flower crowns all morning. And they were all gorgeous!!
When Jada arrived, the flower girls got dressed into their pretty fairy dresses. They were so cute frolicking around – it must have been a little girl’s dream! Jada did her own makeup with the help of her sister in law, and then she got dressed. She looked so stunning on the porch in her wedding gown. We took some beautiful portraits of her and caught some gorgeous light Then, she was ready for the first look!
Michael was so ready to see Jada, smiling from ear to ear beneath the willow trees. We all drove to the other end of the park for this, because we just couldn’t pass up this beautiful spot! When Michael and Jada first saw each other, they were all smiles and shared such a sweet embrace. Then, we took pictures of them in the tall grasses, and near these trees with beautiful ivy. Good thing Michael is a biologist, because one of them was poison ivy – so we stayed clear of that one! We drove to the top of the hill to grab some more panoramic views and take pictures by a cool old house. It was so great to have all this time with just the two of them – that’s such a dream for me as a photographer!
When we got back, their guests had arrived and were waiting for the ceremony to start at a spot between the cabins overlooking the Hudson River. Kim placed the flower crowns on the little girls (can it get any cuter?!), assembled the chuppah, and everyone took their seats. Then Michael and the guys started down the hill, the flower girls (and guy) came, and finally the beautiful bride. Their ceremony was so nice and intimate. Jada’s mom even rapped a sweet poem she wrote for the couple – so fun! Before the end of the ceremony, their daughter Isabelle started crying, and Jada and Michael were pronounced husband and wife with her in their arms. (They’re such great parents!)
Then, we took family photographs and photos with all the flower children and the bridal party. We caught some sweet light just before we headed inside the lodge for the reception! I’m so impressed, that all the vendors, all the decorations, were completely brought in by the couple. It was a simple location overlooking the Hudson, but they really brought in a fantastic team. Jada and Michael were introduced and they danced a choreographed first dance! (Isabelle even joined them on the dance floor for the end). Then, their guests enjoyed a long time of talking and mingling, eating a buffet style dinner, playing lawn games outside and hanging out on the patio.
At sunset, the light was so beautiful we couldn’t pass up more photos! Jada, Michael and I headed down a set of stairs (and Jada may have hopped a short barricade with her wedding dress) that took us right to the Hudson River. We climbed down some rocks and there we were, in awe. I captured such sweet moments between them, and the shot of them looking at the sunset is one of my favorites! Then we caught some beautiful light coming up the stairs – it was so worth it!
Back inside the lodge, Jada & Michael’s awesome band from California was playing, and guests were dancing some more. Then, their friends gave wedding speeches and their son Elijah even took the mic to tell a few “knock knock” jokes that got the whole crowd laughing and smiling. Jada and Michael cut their cake (and threw some in each other’s faces too!) We ended the night with a private sparkler exit and some beautiful night photos.
It was such a joy capturing this sweet couple’s story. They have so much genuine love and joy that just oozes out of them. Enjoy their photographs!
Aren’t these flowers gorgeous? I can’t believe they came right from a garden!
Izzy loved her mom’s flowers – such a sweet moment!
Jada you’re stunning – love that smile!
Love this of Michael and his son – they have great smilies too!
LOVE! So dreamy amongst these willows!
Isn’t Jada’s smile heartwarming? It’s seriously contagious.
Coolest wedding band I’ve ever seen! I called that instrument a banjo – but learned it’s a mandolin!
Ahh how cute are these kiddos?!
This shot is the best! This probably happens at home!
Not sure who are the bigger kids
Don’t they look delicious?! Loved the cool wood cupcake tiers too.
These decorative parasols became something fun to play with really fast
A Mister Softee truck passed by and Elijah got a cone – but he was nice enough to share with his sister!
That is some sweet air Izzy!
A special thank you to all of the wedding vendors who made Jada & Michael’s beautiful day possible! Sorry I can’t list literally everyone, so many people helped make this day happen!!
Venue: Croton Point Park Lodge
Photographer: Kerri Lynne Photography
Ceremony Officiant: Ryan Boiardi
Band: Gunsafe (Arcata, CA)
Hair Stylist: Back Stage Salon (Croton on Hudson, NY)
Florist: Kim Lockrow (Islesboro, ME)
Wedding Dress Boutique: David’s Bridal
Chefs: Alex Tauber, Andrea Howarth, Luis Macia
Food: Continental Organics, B’s Nest Deli, Blooming Hill Organic Farm, Downtown Bistro, Black Cow Cafe, Peekskill Brewery, Rockland Bakery
Cake & Cupcakes: Molly’s Cupcakes (New York, NY)
DIY: Invitations, string lights, paper lanterns, favors, chuppah, lanterns, favors, cupcake tiers, decor, sound system
Rentals: Atlas Party Rentals
And a huge thank you to my second photographer Aaron Berger – your work is incredible as always!