Pullman Hotel Miami Wedding
I feel that if all I cared about was “photography” I would have burned out years ago. I kinda look at photography as the “magic carpet ride” from one experience to another. I don’t look at it as a “job”, or a label for myself (“photographer”). No.. It’s very much my little space ship that takes me from place to place on different adventures, where my life is enriched from the experiences and people that I encounter along the way.
The driving force within me, and my business has nothing to do with holding a camera and “taking a picture”… it’s the addiction, and lust for a new story to tell, or a new personal connection to be made with someone special. The end result images that I create for clients, are what in turn fuel my little space ship, and addiction for something much greater, and meaningful then just another “beautiful shot”. This is what being a wedding photographer means to me.
Now on with the story of Katie & Jonathan…
It was Katie’s 21st birthday weekend (2008) and at the time she was in school up in Tallahassee, FL and never missed a FSU game in the fall! This particular weekend one of Katie’s good friends came up to surprise her for her birthday. She brought her best friend (who was Jonathan’s cousin) and Jonathan also came. As a group they all spent the weekend together going to clubs, tailgating, attending the FSU game and then going to a house party afterwards. That same night, after the party Jonathan and Katie found themselves talking, and talking until 6am the following morning. Unsure if it was fate, or perhaps some of the magic card tricks that Jonathan performed for Katie (yes literally tricks with a deck of cards), but she was head over heels for him already.
Regardless of the fact it was now Sunday, 6am, and Jonathan had a loooong drive ahead of him back to Stetson.. he didn’t want the time with Katie to end. He invited her to breakfast, and somehow managed to put his number in her cell phone with her knowing it (another clever trick ;-). Half way on his long drive home he sent Katie a text message “so, when are you coming to Stetson?”. Katie remembers telling her roommate, Natalie at the time that “this guy is crazy if he thinks I am going to drive all the way to Stetson after only one weekend together!”
Katie told him “you will need to come back to Tallahassee because it was a game weekend, and I’m not going to miss it!“. They spoke a few times during the week, and Katie did not think he would make that long trip again. The following thursday, Jonathan asked if she could pick him up at the train station in Jacksonville (which.. was 2hrs away from Katie!). She asked Natalie for her advice.. and told her to go for it and gave her the car. On the drive to get him, lots of things went through Katie’s head.. and was even worried he may not show up! (funny enough he just about missed the train too!). When she finally got to the train station,
she looked over and saw him standing there with his little backpack and glasses armed with the biggest smile on his face.
I think it was this moment in which Katie knew that this was going to last. On the drive back to Tallahassee they spoke in the car as if they had known each other for years, and it could not have been more perfect.
After this, they continued dating and spent the entire next year doing the long distance relationship back and forth, and spent all of their school breaks together in Miami, FL. As if that was not hard enough.. they then spent another 4 1/2 years of long distance dating when Jonathan attended medical school in the Dominican Republic! Meanwhile, Katie went to law school at FSU. It was very difficult to say the least said Katie, because while in school they only saw each other once every 2 or 3 months, and sometimes 4 months before seeing one another. Looking back, they agree that this in fact made their relationship very strong and at times it was put to the test. Today, Katie feels that she would not have finished law school nor passed the bar exam without him by her side.
After Jonathan graduated and matched at his residency (in Boca Raton) they both moved in together June of 2014, and Katie found a job in West Palm Beach, FL. At this same time they also got a furry little friend (seen in pics below). At this point they had been together for 8 years!
Christmas (2015) they decided to host a family party at their house.. and what was funny, and ironic is that Katie had no idea.. but, she was in fact planning her own engagement party… after a bit of family gathering, and gift exchanges among everyone.. Katie started to realize that she had not received any gifts from Jonathan.. and it was at this very point that he then stood, commanded the room and starts to make a speech. Eye’s filled with emotion, Jonathan gets down on one knee and proposes to Katie in front of both of their families.
She said yes. ..and it was beautiful.
Katie, Jonathan.. let me say that I can not express how happy I am that my little photography “space ship” landed in a place where we all got to go for a ride. From our first meeting, to the unforgettable engagement session that we did with you, wedding planning over pizza, and then being apart of the big day.. it’s this —experience— that I am grateful for. My life is made a hell of lot more interesting through the interactions of people like you both. Thank You for that.
So here’s to the beautiful couple inside and out.. who have worked hard at what will no doubt be a life long lasting relationship AND inspire others to follow your heart no matter how hard logistics maybe.
(Soundtrack to this wedding edit: Cranberries. Album: “Everyone Else is doing it, so why can’t we?”.)
Texture, Dimension & Mood! This is the idea behind all of my creative “detail” shots.
Eight bridesmaids is A LOT! You need to really, REALLY be on top of the wedding day logistics, and listen to the experience, and advice that I offer in terms of how to make this happen on the wedding day without massive delay, and lost creative opportunity. I actually created a full wedding day timeline for Katie that outlined when she, and everyone needed to be camera ready for hair and makeup.. and this was a great help to ensure that everything ran smoothly with a wedding planner. ( I have to be a planner at times too! LOL).
This is Sissi.. (above, makeup and hair) and you can learn all about her, why she is great here!
Sexy, soft, and very wedding (above shot of Katie). Beautiful flowers provided by Rodri Creations.
Mom helping out with the dress.. so pretty!
Ah yes, the furry little friend! It must be that brides are seeing the behind the scenes video I did at this wedding, where I barked like a dog and got an incredible reaction from everyone (and got the shot too!). The image on the right shows a small picture of Katie’s dad who.. is not with us. Tho.. he was right by her heart all day, and captured by me to be remembered forever.
How cute is that dog and bride pic?
Seriously stunning bride, and that Italian Eddy K wedding dress is just on another level! Huge shout out to Brittany of Brittany Burns Bridal of Boca Raton for going above and beyond for Katie RUSHING this dress from Italy, and getting her all fit up just 3 weeks before the wedding day!
Jonathan with best man.. some prep shots. I love the shots with dad here. You may or may not be able to tell, but he was holding back tears while seeing his son get ready for the big day. You know.. I have a 4 year old son (at the time of writing this) His name is Austin, and one day (I hope) I am there standing next to him just like this.. and when and if I get to do that I can assure you I will have many, many tears and be so proud. So, I fully appreciate all of the “little” moments that happen on the wedding day, and relate them with my own life. Gotta get at least one GQ shot of Jonathan! I was in a conversation the other day with another bride.. and they said they did not want to do a “first look”.. and thought that it would be better to wait and see each other at the ceremony. While that sounds like a nice thing (and very “traditional”) you will never be able to compare to the results you are seeing here. THIS is where you get the best reactions, intimate setting, and a real chance to have some true moments. Not to mention a better background, more time, and the chance to get ALL of the creative shots out of the way before the ceremony, and thus you get to —actually— enjoy the cocktail hour and wedding with your family and friends. Should I go on? 😉 Some really nice decor over at the Pullman Hotel Miami! Nice area for first look, great big rooms, nice colors to work with for styled shots, and accommodating ball rooms. This is one of those moments ^^ Now, I need to be very CLEAR here.. this is the “Church of the Little Flower“. It is beautiful, it is epic, and it is a nice place. However… However… They will dictate where we as the photographer can stand to get shots.. and while I personally don’t mind that.. I want you to know that normally we would be standing at the alter looking down the main isle when the bride walks in.. but, we were not allowed to do that here. Just so you know 😉 Stunning flowers by Rodri Studio Party time with the “crazy hour”. Unreal fun for everyone!