Sneak Peek: Kay and Jack

This past weekend the two most wonderful people got married and I couldn’t be more happy for them! Kay and Jack wanted a Mystic wedding so they could truly be together with family and friends. The backdrop was the historic Spicer Mansion for the weekend, complete with a ceremony and epic dance party at Latitude 41. I always say wind is my favorite weather and we got wind (might’ve been mixed with rain but I was able to make the most of it by opening the front doors of the mansion and letting it all in. Think magical veil blowing. You have to scroll down and see the photo Kay and her mom. SO much magic.)

The day started with me arriving at the mansion early to set up my gear (I was excited to get there and with the rain I didn’t want to miss a beat.) To say I was excited when I showed up doesn’t quite explain it. If you need anyone to be as or more excited about your wedding than you already are. . . you’ve picked the right photographer for the job. I pretty much had to contain my ooohing and ahhhing over every beautiful texture, surface and detail. This place is a photographer’s playground, a history lover’s daydream, and an art lover’s museum; I happen to be all of those things. Kay and Jack told me that photos of themselves wasn’t really their thing, they are so humble. I have a different opinion. . . just look at these two! They look like they stepped out of a chapter from the Great Gatsby.

When Kay and Jack are together the whole room lights up and everyone starts dancing. Let’s be real, everyone starts jumping and swinging their hair and pointing at the ceiling, channeling their inner Mick Jagger. When that dance floor opened up, I saw every fun night they had before this day, how close they were with their friends, and how they are the glue to so many friendships in that room. They bring people together. They are perfect together.

The storm of day added to the fun atmosphere and of course Kay played in the rain. How many brides can say that! She is smart, gorgeous, and such a force that I couldn’t help but call her hurriKAY. She brought enough sunshine in the room to light up any grey skies that we had. Jack is just as awesome. He is driven, motivated, accomplished and on top of it all, the life of the party.

Their wedding was TIMELESS. Between the tuxes and the mansion with a bookcase that opened to a speak easy. . . I could’ve easily forgotten what decade we were in. Classic and timeless was the vibe with loads of fun dancing. These two didn’t let any second of their day go by without squeezing as much fun as they could out of it. I know these two live every day like this. We are all so happy for you, Kay and Jack. Cheers to finding the love of your life and marrying the heck out of each other! You two are awesome.

Wedding Panner- Detaille Weddings & Events, Cindy Sanchez Lark

Venue- Latitude 41/Coastal Gourmet Group, Mystic

Getting Ready/Rehearsal/After Party- Spicer Mansion, Mystic

Hair & Makeup- Simply Gorgeous by Erin, Samantha

DJ- Beat Train Productions, Spicer Henderson

Photographer- Stella Blue Photography, Erica Stinziani

Second Photographer- Candice Jeffrey

Florist- Candi’s Floral Creations, Candice Millard

Lighting- EZ Occasions, Karina ALvarez

Transportation- Joshua’s Limousine

Can it get any more fun than this!!! I don’t think so. . . but I am willing to take a shot at it next season! Thank you to all my families and brides this season for making me see and photograph the beauty in life in so many ways. I love this work. Thank you.

A special thank you to all the vendors who made this day so beautiful and to Candace Jeffrey Photography for second shooting this wedding and so many others with me. It is an honor to have such professionals by my side. Supporting one another in this industry is where it is at. Thank you!

Sneak Peek: Tom and Christina

Tom and Christina’s wedding was the most intimate celebration with their closest family and friends. There could have been 150 people there and it felt like 20. Christina and Tom and their families made everyone in that room feel their welcome. The Branford Yacht club was the perfect backdrop for this gorgeous day. I heard they can special order you these clouds when you book the Yacht Club;)

These two started their story together when they were just kids in high school. College and a few jobs later they are inseparable. The groomsmen joked at how when they were all studying at UConn people never saw him. They literally made up reasons why Tom wasn’t there, but everyone knew exactly where he was in every free moment. He was visiting Christina who was studying in New York. This next chapter will be the best yet for you two.

Trying something new here by celebrating the “officially” Mr. and Mrs. with a blog post. Feel free to share with friends and family while you await your full gallery you two.

THE SHOT LIST: What every photographer wish brides knew.

So shot lists are on your mind. Search the internet and there are no shortages of looooong lists of shots that you might want to tell your photographer to take. 

When we start talking about the shot list, I wish that brides knew just one thing. Although we all love a good list. . . the more you put on a "shot list" the less candid photos you will get. What does that mean?! Well here's the real deal, we are watching and listening to find those authentic moments. It's harder than it looks. It takes a lot of patience and being in the moment to capture a beautiful candid. So the more time you give us away from looking at "the list", the more time we have to be in the day and photograph it as it unfolds. That's all!  I am lucky I have been photographing wedding for a long time and have never seen some of the shot lists my photog friends show me. Maybe it's just because Stella Blue Brides value being present as much as possible on their wedding day. Whatever it is, I have lucked out. 

Here are some examples of a list that you SHOULD give your photographer.

1. Special/Immediate family members that you and your hubby want a photograph with. A good photographer should ASK YOU for this.

2. A special person who might leave early (due to health or age) and you should focus on. 

Here are some examples of a list that you SHOULDN'T give your photographer.

1. Photo of me and my husband from the back with me looking off into the sunset.

2. Backs of chairs with handmade signs and me and my husband kissing. 

the list goes on. . . but you get the idea.

Hire a photographer you love and be in your moments, cuddle with your groom, and wear your heart on your sleeve for just this one day. You will find these are more amazing pictures than you could ever dream up for a list. And remember, we've got this and you've got a lot of getting married and partying to do! 


INSPIRED: The Impossibly Creative Cassie Stephens

sorry not sorry this is not a wedding post.

Besides my lovely brides, I love photographing artists and entrepreneurs in their element. Are you an artist or entrepreneur? I would love to photograph you doing what you love most.  

You all know I am a wedding photographer, but it was a windy road getting here and that road continues to throw me curves. I found photography in high school and pursued it to college, but I couldn't figure out how to make photography into a living. I started teaching photography. I fell in love with teaching kids and eventually teaching art. Cassie was one of those amazing artists/teachers that I met in my first years teaching. We both started little blogs at about the same time to make connections with others in the very lonely world of teaching. 

Watching Cassie soar into her best self has been completely inspiring. Through the years she has become kind of an "art teacher legend." What really intrigues me though is her fashion and how she has taken a little hobby of making accessories and turned it into how she expresses herself. I keep telling her that one day Target with pick up the Cassie Stephens line. Although I have retired from teaching to seek out my best self as a photographer, I have continued to be inspired by her. I know you will be too.

About Cassie:

Cassie Stephens is a designer, artist, art teacher and leader in the art education world. She hosts conferences, speaks to thousands of educators, but most importantly amazes her students each day with an outfit that compliments her lesson. All of these fashions are created by her! Whether she transforms a vintage piece, sews it from scratch, knits it, needle felts it, paints it, it is how she expresses herself. Let's be honest, everyone who knows of Cassie asks "how does she do it?" I think I have the answer. . . she just does what she loves. Nothing is more motivating than finding what you love and doing it.

Now go find what you love and do it! 

Here is my lifestyle shoot with the IMPOSSIBLY CREATIVE CASSIE STEPHENS! After you check out these photos be sure to follow her on instagram

You've Got to Roll With It. . . or Swim With It!

Chelsea and Shaun tried to explain to me just how laid back they were when we spoke on the phone. EVERYONE says they are laid back, go with the flow, but when it comes to weddings usually that isn't the case. I get it. But Chelsea wasn't lying! She planned her Newport ocean side wedding in just a few short months. Every detail was thought of. From the delicate flowers, cigar bar, beer cozies, patio games, epic dancing and lobster dinner. One thing they didn't plan for was a tiny crack in the dock. As the ring was passed it slipped fingers and through that tiny crack in the dock. In true Chelsea and Shaun fashion, even though their hearts sank at first as they watched their ring drop into the ocean,  they buoyantly brushed it off in a split second. These two always seem to rise up like the bubbles in their champagne. Nothing can keep them down or away from a good time. Chelsea and Shaun are the most down to earth couple you will ever meet (and you can see it in their families too!) We continued the party, I continued photographing away, all the while her dad was hatching a plan to get the ring back! The venue called a scuba diver! They were surprised with a SECOND ring exchange at their reception! It was an unbelievable wedding and the only thing that topped all this was the joy that Chelsea brings to everything and everyone she meets. Shaun and Chelsea your wedding was the best party ever because of your laid back vibe that focused on the fun! It was such a pleasure see you two having the time of your lives with your family, friends and each other.  Congratulations. 


Special thanks to Candace Jeffrey our second photographer for this event. If you are wondering if you need a second photographer check out the groom getting ready photos and scuba diver! I would never have been able to wait for a scuba diver while photographing the family photos and what a great memory it was! Thank you Candace!






Lindsay + Justin - Haley Mansion, Mystic

This was a special wedding for me because this couple (like so many of you, I have become very close with.

It is clear that is their way. Every person in attendance was prepared with their tissues and had a love for this couple that was either familial or as close as family. That is what they do. They open their arms to so many people and all that love is returned, but especially on this day. If you didn't have your tissues handy, you were in trouble. They wrote their own vows and told about how they first met. It is clear they have been by each other's side ever since. They aren't the typical couple  because they work together. They spend so much time together and yet their respect and adoration is ever present and makes us all a little more aware of how we treat each other and love each other. Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Hanover! Your wedding could not have been more meaningful and beautiful. Remember, this is just the beginning! And what a gorgeous beginning it is. Cheers my friends!


Your Photographer


A special thank you to Rachel Black of Rowanberry and Lavender for the epic groom shots and so many more that I get to deliver to Lindsay and Justin! Thank you for being a great friend and co-shooter. We rock it with some very strong girl power and support and this wedding was no exception. 

First Look Explained!





Three Reasons Why I Love First Looks

1. Enjoy the day! Imagine your family photos are done how and where you want (not rushed on a patio that you don't choose) and you are free to enjoy your cocktail hour. Hey! You will even get a few extra portraits in there (usually 50-100!!!) because your photographer was given the gift of time. 

2. You can TALK to each other. When you traditionally walk down an aisle and see each other for the first time all dressed up you can't tell each other how great you look. You can't spin around and show the back of your dress. Exchange a note. Hug. This is what I love most about the first look. The love that can be expressed.

3. It is the best anxiety erasure for the groom I know! The groom is usually sitting in a little room waiting with his best man and then he is hurried out to the front of the aisle with clammy hands. What does he see? Sometimes 60-300 people staring at him while he waits. Moments seem a whole lot longer when you are standing there. All while he is standing there,  you are surrounded by your girls chatting and getting support. For the quiet groom this is an amazing stress reliever. This is definitely not a private moment for him with you. It is powerful but it is a very different feeling. 




The Best Day of My Life: After the Wedding

I have a problem that annoys a lot of people. I am an eternal optimist. That is why I photograph weddings. I pretty much walk around with a bluebird on my shoulder,  a Disney tune in my head and if something doesn't work out it "wasn't meant to be." But in marriage that isn't always how it works. There are times when it feels like you are paddling upstream and you wave at the other people passing you by so effortlessly. You feel like you surely must be doing something very wrong. Because it was so easy when you first met. He or she was so interesting, there were still things learn about each other, and most importantly he/she was just so darn cute. But then there are comfortable times followed by some hard times, happy times and more comfortable times. Me and my husband have to go along our separate paths most days. He works a lot and I work a lot. My daughter started to notice this trend recently. We tried to not make too big of a deal about it and keep things status quo. This is just real life right? 

One morning, Nick (my husband) went into work at 6am which made me and Stella really happy because it meant that he was going to get out by 6pm. These are the days when we feel like a "normal" family and we love them. He is usually tired, but from somewhere he finds enough energy to play with our daughter (which always amazes me as I would be crying in the fetal position if a 12 hour shift was my "easy" day.)

Well Stella decided that she was going to do something special for us. "Mommy, you and daddy are going on a DATE NIGHT!!!" I explained to her that we all wanted to be together so that wasn't going to work.  Whenever Nick has an early night we love being able to be all together. She quickly decided that we needed to go to the grocery store to buy some food because she was going to make dinner. She wanted to bring "date night" to our house. We got a recipe out and went and bought the ingredients. Then she decided we HAD to have wine at this dinner. Because every date had wine and she was going to be the waitress to pour it. Alright! 

When we got home, I started making dinner. Stella came out into the kitchen with her best version of a waitress outfit. Her blackest dress (it had leopard spots but hey, it worked) and an apron. She asked for a piece of paper. As I am cooking, she kept asking me how to spell words. I quickly figured out she was making a menu. She set the table and put out the menus and waited and waited.

Sure enough he came home way after 6 and Stella screamed "Daddy!!!!" She pulled him aside and demanded he put on a "tie" for dinner with me. Then she demanded I put on a dress and high heels. This is a very big thing to a five year old diva . . . high heels. Whenever life seems a little off kilter. . . a pair of high heels are sure to put everything back in place. So I did. While I was getting dressed (thinking that I might break her heart if I didn't) the doorbell rang. "Mommy go get the door!" I came out to see Nick leaning on the door frame, with a tie on, straight out of an 80's movie. I almost expected to see a Deloreon in the driveway. Stella greeted him like a real server and showed us to our table. With the records playing, she danced through the whole cold dinner. There are going to be hard days and this little girl wasn't going to let those hard days get the best of us! She was so happy to see us happy. 

I was seriously crying like a baby when she brought us out the menus. I was crying because I knew this was the best day of my life so far without a doubt. When she was a baby, I went to psychic healer. I was tired and he was away and I needed some advice. She ended up telling me that this baby was going to be a great healer. At the time I thought I was raising a future Dr. but now I see what the medium meant. Stella does this sort of "healing" thing in so many ways for so many people. Even though we don't have the things a normal family strives for like extra time and extra money, we have enough because we love each other so much. With her simple gesture of "date night" Stella made us see that. 

Some days, especially this day, I have to pinch myself because this is real life. 

Published! Styled Bohemian Chic Momma

This blog, Beyond the Wanderlust, is such a breath of fresh in air in the blogging world. 

Can you imagine how excited I was when they choose the first shoot in our new studio as a feature? (More to come about our new West Hartford studio!) 

Check out some of the images from that photoshoot and click on the link to read the amazing article the mom wrote. 

 Stella (my daughter) just HAD to hold baby Brooklyn! She thinks she is her babysitter:)

Stella (my daughter) just HAD to hold baby Brooklyn! She thinks she is her babysitter:)

Surprise Proposal

Sara and Mike's first date was on a hike. So when Mike called to tell me he wanted to do a surprise proposal (disguised as a photoshoot) I knew we had to go to White Memorial in Litchfield. 

Then the coolest thing happened. Sara contacted me all on her own wanting a photo shoot for her and Mike! So the stage was set. Sara thought she was doing the planning, all the while Mike and I were plotting and planning how to make the perfect day for Sara. 

Mike you really surprised her, and it is not easy to surprise a girl! The best was after  the proposal was over, Sara would just say "huh?" to herself, and then a few minutes later "huh!!" as if she was just putting it all back together! Congratulations on finding the love to live your life with! Seeing a couple that cares so deeply for each other makes me feel so honored to be a photographer.

And here it is. . . the MOST perfect day ever. 


High Definition Version


Special thanks to 

Kelly Hart of That Girl . . . we love the beautiful hair and makeup and you are the best secret keeper.

The West Street Grill- thanks for helping our couple celebrate in the "best seat in the house!" 

Guys take careful notes! Contact me about your surprise proposal ideas, let me help you make it amazing. 

Beth + Jason

Selfishly I'm going to talk about myself as a photographer for a minute! Working with a couple like Beth and Jason was a photographer's dream. We started with an amazing engagement session at Harkness Park which really helped us get to know each other and get comfortable with the camera. They also did a first look (which I highly recommend!) and planned lots of time for bride and groom portraits. Beth was so considerate of my need to make amazing pictures, she even asked me which color of uplighting would photograph best! All this attention to detail made for a seamless, fun day, with once in a lifetime photographs that will make amazing heirlooms for generations to come!

Beth and Jason sat in my office about a year ago and I knew I wanted to work with this couple. You could see there was a connection that was built on mutual respect and love. During our short meeting, I could see Jason's respect and love for Beth as he deferred to her on every wedding decision (smart man!) and Beth's love for Jason as she gave him smiles that said everything to him. They are the kind of couple that knows what they have is special, and won't take their love for granted. Whether it is an opening of a door or a sweet look from Beth, they are always showing their love. These are the kinds of things that amazing couples build their marriages on. 

Their wedding day was perfection! It was the perfect Connecticut summer day with a warm breeze and blue skies. We started out at the Avon Old Farms Inn and celebrated their wedding at The Riverview in Avon. There is so much to think about on your wedding day, but Beth and Jason left much of that to their vendors (smart couple!) and soaked in their moments from the first look to the first dance, they were always present. This is a modern love story in that they met online, but is truly a classic love story, filled with chivalry, fun, and friends that fall in love. Congratulations to Beth and Jason! What an honor for me to capture your love story! Enjoy your honeymoon and all the chapters to follow. This is a marriage that will be for the books. 


Connecticut Country Style

There's something about diamonds and cowboy boots that go together like peanut butter and jelly. We just love how pretty this look is without being too fussy. Because let's face it, dancing is so much more fun in cowboy boots then high heels! 

Sandy models as the girl next door, or in this case the girl in the field;) 

Makeup, hair and styling by Kelly Hart of That Girl

Jewelry by JCREW 

Apparel courtesy of Polished Boutique in Branford, CT

Flowers courtesy of Always Bloomin' in Plainville, CT

Thank you Kelly for inviting me to photograph all of your hard work! 

What to Know About: BRIDAL PORTRAITS

Although I shoot most of your wedding day documentary style, I absolutely love to change it up and pose a few amazing portraits.  Brides who decide to steal away for a few minutes for bridal portraits never regret it!

How do you get the most amazing bridal portraits without taking too much time out of your day?

1. Take time BEFORE the ceremony. Ideally right after your hair and makeup is finished. Make sure this is put in your timeline as well, to ensure you get time to feel beautiful before the hustle and bustle of your wedding day.

2. Let the photographer choose the space. I am always looking for the right light. I will choose an even, beautiful lighted place over an epic view for most of your portraits. Great light shows off your eyes and skin best for closeups. 

3. Have fun and play! Feel like spinning in your dress? Do it! If you have a veil let's play with it to get some amazing looks. The more you trust your photographer and let go the more fun you we will have.               Fun = amazing pictures.

Check out these gorgeous bridal portraits and details from a recent photo shoot at South Farms Venue in Morris, CT.

 Invitations by South Mountain Press

Invitations by South Mountain Press


VENUE: South Farms in Morris, CT

MAKEUP:  The Beauty of Makeup

HAIR: That Girl. . . Kelly Hart

DRESS:  Brides to Be in Glastonbury

INVITATION SUITE:  South Mountain Press

FLOWERS: Stylish Blooms 

PETITE FOURS: Meline Daniel

Antique Table: Swank Pierce Antiques in Canton

Vintage Fur: Antiques on the Farmington




South Farms

After years and years moving from city to city, I realize, you can take girl out of the country but you can't take the country out of the girl. So when I heard about Ben Paletsky opening South Farms venue for weddings in Morris (a stone's throw from where we grew up) I had to go see it for myself. The farm has been hosting extremely popular (and I hear entertaining) farmers markets for a while now, but this is it's first season as an event venue.

It is still under construction but it is not hard to see the vision. If you can't see it yet, I will help you out, I am styling a wedding shoot at the farm in March so you can see how amazing this place is for the Connecticut bride. We will be collaborating with the best Connecticut vendors for this shoot that is inspired by New England style.

Ben Paletsky is the owner, farmer and man with the plan. It's sort of the "field of dreams" of wedding venues. You would think there would be a lot of historic barn venues in Connecticut that value local and environmentally responsible practices, but there just aren't. Until now. . . 

 Ben Paletsky-owner in one of many small gathering rooms called the "Bull room" the doors still open up as they used to back when the farm used to raise bulls. 

Ben Paletsky-owner in one of many small gathering rooms called the "Bull room" the doors still open up as they used to back when the farm used to raise bulls. 

 The views are endless. Every sunset deserves it's own toast!

The views are endless. Every sunset deserves it's own toast!

 The Bull Room

The Bull Room

 This is the OLD barn where the hay used to be stored. . . not part of the venue yet. A true piece of Connecticut's history being restored lovingly piece by piece. 

This is the OLD barn where the hay used to be stored. . . not part of the venue yet. A true piece of Connecticut's history being restored lovingly piece by piece. 

The main venue is under construction so I'm going to wait to post BEFORE and AFTERS. 

So let's get down to details. 

  • Hosts 300 guests and 600 guests with added tent.
  • Loads of onsite parking that your guests will be able to walk in heels to your wedding in.
  • Heat and AC all the amenities you will need. 
  • Preferred vendors to keep life simple (you are renting just the venue, let their planner help with the rest)
  • All the the charm that is authentically Connecticut. I do believe this is a little corner of heaven. 

Winner Winner

It was a really stormy day for the annual KC 101 bridal show, but Connecticut brides know how to drive in the snow! 

Though we weren't able to bring the entire bridal show setup because it was, well. . . blizzard like, we brought the important stuff, THE WORK.


I got to meet a lot of very awesome girls.


All of the KC101 Brides who signed up for our mailing list won a Bridal Book when they choose Stella Blue Photography to be part of their wedding day. This is my way of saying thank you for coming out in the storm, sharing with me the wedding plans you've been dreaming up and introducing me to your family and friends. 


$100 Gift Certificate to South Mountain Letterpress goes to 

Stefanie D.



Allison H.

Hope you had as much fun as I did meeting local talent and spending time with friends and family. 



KC 101 Bridal Show

This Saturday, January 24th from 11:00-4:00 you can find Stella Blue Photography at the KC 101 Bridal Show at the Oakdale Theater.

We will of course have some exciting specials and giveaways only available to show attendees. 

We will be giving away 

1. A CUSTOM BRIDAL BOOK valued at $250. for one lucky bride who books Stella Blue Photography. 

2. $100. gift card to South Mountain Letterpress. You can see their amazing work on my business card. This is a husband and wife team who value vintage typography, quality materials and design. How about some Letterpress Save-the-Dates?

3. A BRIDAL PORTRAIT SESSION! Let's make some beautiful portraits of you in your dress before or after your wedding in a private two hour photo shoot. Who has time on their wedding day to take photographs in all the locations they dreamed about? A field, a beach, a mansion, a horse farm, any place you can imagine, we can take your bridal portraits. This is the perfect way to  make the most of your hair and makeup trial and have a great time doing it. Did I mention you will receive all the files and a photographers selection of 3 8X10 prints?

Good luck girls!

Hope to see you all there.

Here's the link!