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!

xo

Your Photographer

Erica

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!

 

 

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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. 

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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

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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.

HERE IS THE GIVEAWAY RESULTS!

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.

 

Stella Blue Photography BRIDAL PORTRAIT SESSION

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! http://jenksproductions.com/kc101bridalshow.html