Brandi and Toni had been planning their wedding for what seemed like forever. They found the perfect venue just outside of New York City and had the most coveted wedding date in a long time, 10.10.2020. Like many other couples, the current pandemic shattered all of their original plans. My heart broke for them when they had to make the difficult decision to cancel their wedding. Brandi and I had many long talks about what they would do instead. She even considered simply eloping at the local court house. I told her that she should still do something special, but whatever she decided, I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
Brandi and Tony’s story started five years ago when they met on instagram. They chatted for a while before finally deciding to meet in person! Tony had told me that the first time he hugged Brandi, he knew she was the one (HOW SWEET IS THAT!?!). When Brandi introduced him to her family for the first time, even her grandmother was impressed. She has commented that it takes a lot for her to like someone her grand daughter is dating, but Tony was different.
I have known Brandi since our career paths crossed many years ago. So watching her meet Tony, fall in love and build a life together has been amazing. I couldn’t have picked someone more perfect for her ever. Seeing how Tony and Brandi’s son became so bonded to one another was magical. They are truly the most adorable family all! I was so sad when Brandi and Jayden packed up to move to New Jersey to be with Tony, but looking back… I am so glad they did.
While their wedding day wasn’t the grand and elaborate affair they had originally planned, it turned out more beautiful than they ever could have imagined. They got to celebrate in the back yard of the home they started together, surrounded by their closest friends and family. There were many points in the day that they and their guests shed tears of pure joy and happiness. Their entire day was filled with love from start to finish.
After their short and sweet ceremony, Brandi and Tony wanted to head into New York City for their husband and wife portraits. It was about an hour drive with traffic. Tony had asked me if there was any part of New York City that I wanted to take their photos in. Having never been, I told him that I was open to whatever they wanted to do. Tony, originally from Queens would know all the best spots, so I trusted his judgement.
The car ride was full of laughs and talk as Tony gave us a mini tour of some of the places and buildings we passed by. The drive felt so fast, but maybe thats because he was weaving in and out of New York City traffic at lightning speed! It wasn’t long before we arrived at a small pier that had a distant view of the Statue of Liberty. So we made our way onto the pier to perfect position them with the gorgeous view in the background! What felt like a calm day was so breezy next to the water!
After the pier, we made our way to a brick building near by where we could be out of the wind that was taking Brandi’s hair in every direction. What I didn’t expect was before heading to the next location, Tony was going to introduce me to the BEST Key Lime Pies I have ever had. He told Brandi and I to head to the car while he and Kyle headed to a small alley and returned with hand held size pies that tasted out of this world!
On our drive to the next location, I spotted a sidewalk with perfect glowing light and trees that would make for some of the dreamiest photos. They thought I was crazy when I asked them to pull over and get out of the car. I guided them over to the sidewalk lined with litter and graffiti and asked them to trust me. I am so glad they did, because they ended up with some AMAZING portraits from that one location.
We then headed to another quaint alley way with a perfect view of the Brooklyn Bridge. In true New York style, we had a narrow sidewalk and hundreds of cars to work around, but it did not disappoint! With limited space, we quickly headed to our last location of the day. Tony had picked a spot that had a vintage carousel and a view of the New York City Skyline AND the Brooklyn Bridge. These were definitely my favorite portraits of the entire day.
Time flew by and before we knew it, it was time to head back to Brandi and Tony’s house. We arrived to the most quaint reception their families had set everything up for! The night was filled with laughter, music, yummy cake and even a little dancing! Brandi and Tony shared the sweetest first dance but her grandparents followed with a dance that almost stole the show!
I walked into Brandi and Tony’s house as a stranger on their wedding morning, meeting most of their family for the first time. But Kyle and I left feeling like we have known her parents, their siblings, aunts and uncles our entire lives. It was a trip we will never forget. Saying goodbye at the end of the night was hard, but I know when they are home to visit, catching up with the family will feel like reminiscing with old friends.
Brandi and Tony, Kyle and I are so truly thankful to have you both in our lives. Watching your love blossom over the last few years has been amazing. I cannot possibly think of two people more deserving of such a special day, surrounded by so much love. I am truly humbled and honored that you chose me to create memories I know you will cherish for the rest of your lives. I know you two will have a long lasting and strong marriage. I cannot wait to see where life takes you. Never stop picking on one another, loving one another and putting each other first. You share a love that will withstand the tests of time!