Paul was the first client I zoomed with when the pandemic first started in the Spring of 2020. We discussed her wedding at The Pavilion at Crystal Lake in Middletown CT on that call, and got completely immersed in the details. We laughed, so hard, chatted about the most random things and just got to know one another in the most comfortable, authentic way. At one point I stopped abruptly because I realized that I had completely forgotten about the crushing reality of the pandemic. All of the fear and uncertainty had been gone for that hour that we talked. Once I realized that, I burst into tears. Paula was my touchstone for my past life, pre pandemic, when these kinds of calls were the norm for me. At that moment, in that unknown, I remembered how much I loved being a photographer. I remembered how connecting with my clients was my most favorite part. How earning their trust and comfort was so important to me. We both cried together, and bonded.
Flash forward to today, winter of 2022, with the pandemic still happening and changing. Today we are learning to navigate it as best as we all can. Having beautiful celebrations together amidst uncertainty and change. Paula and Justin’s wedding was for me, a new touchstone of hope amidst the uncertainty. A reminder of how less fearful I am. A reminder that we CAN weather these storms together and find hope and joy in it all. Much like the photo above. Yes it was SO COLD out and snowy but we all found such joy and excitement there together and created something so beautiful, together.
Paula and Justin together are the embodiment of pure joy. They are both so fully themselves together and separately. I have literally never heard such personable and funny wedding vows before! I need to extend a shout out to Matt Fink, their videographer, for referring me to Paula and Justin. THANK YOU for allowing me to connect and create with such wonderful humans!
Creative partners for Paula and Justin’s magical winter wedding at The Pavilion at Crystal Lake, Middletown CT, Paula’s own words, OMG she is hilarious I wish you all could just hear this woman on the daily!
@therealjamalalami (washed/conditioned/roller set/flat ironed)
(aka Maid of Honor/Older Sister of the bride curled the bride’s hair the day of)
I got the dress from here:
Wedding Dress Marketplace
Bride’s Shoe Situation
During the First Look
Dr. Martens USA
Vans (I ordered a custom pair)
The Groom’s + His Crew’s Outfit Situation
The Black Tux
The Cake Situation
One of the bracelets I was wearing
The Henna Situation
The Video Situation
Matt Fink of DMO Films
Our Hashtag Situation
So it snowed. It was freaking MAGICAL and I was literally praying for little to no wind to knock this gorgeous snow off the trees and you know what? It TOTALLY WORKED! Paula got ready in the Lake House, right on the Pavilion at Crystal Lake property. Super cute and super convenient!
Her hair and makeup situation at the Pavillion at Crystal Lake was filled with so much laughing! The team was amazing.
Maybe the best wedding day boots I have ever seen!!! They were also super soft for Dr. Marten’s! Made me want these super badly. I do have a shoe problem, I just need to admit that here!
Justin’s sisters were his maids of honor and were so adorable peeking from behind the car to watch the first look.
These two!! I just loved this spot at The Pavilion at Crystal Lake for their first look.
Enter: MAGICAL SNOW FAIRY STUDIO
I was so choked up here because I get how my couples want to just live out their fantasies. Like how we all scroll on Pinterest for ideas and just can never images seeing ourselves in those moments that others may scroll by wishing that was them. THIS WAS ONE OF THOSE MOMENTS. I couldn’t help shouting, GIRL. YOU ARE LITERALLY A PINTEREST BRIDE. Which is a strange compliment I realize, but Paula got what I meant. It means so much more than those words. She got teary here too, and we had that moment. Like, holy CRAP. Here we are!!!
Then here we were, back to laughing and cracking jokes!
Know this: I GOT YOU. I will hold your shawl or your keys and phone in my bag. I will help make you the MOST comfortable so we can create some magic, together!
One of the most important pics to get was this one. I mean, hello we are on Crystal Lake, people!
There was such a balance of tears and laughter here, I couldn’t even!!!
So many fun moments for their wedding. I loved seeing what a good time everyone was having jus talking and laughing and dancing!
Also they had fun watching the Super Bowl- the bottom right pic shows these guys with their wi fi booster and iPad watching the game!
I love these kinds of photos. Is this an award winning photo? Nope. Is this anything a venue would post on social media to attract more business? Probably not. But this is one of the MOST FUN photos for my couples to sit and poke through and see what ALL of their guests were doing. Who was chatting it up, who was scrolling (literally no one in this pic!) who was dancing with who, what’s up with the folks taking the selfie in the front! I LOVE THIS STUFF. I remember doing this very thing with a ‘toss away’ off shot from my wedding at the ceremony right before I walked down the aisle. I LOVED looking at what my college friends were doing, who was chatting up my sister Chi Chi, or where my work friends were. It’s such a special and fun and super random photo that you don’t even know you want. But you do. Trust me!
I welcome you pointing to something special happening, asking me to get a photo. I TRULY WELCOME THIS!
More Super Bowl viewing over here LOL
When I take photos of the parents of the couples dancing it up or chatting with friends I always think about what I will be doing at my kids weddings, should they choose to marry someone. Parents are super important! Maybe she is known for cutting a rug or maybe she never does and this is something special! Or maybe the gem in this pic are the people in the background. I will never know, but I love how it feels like a treasure hunt!
Paula and Justin did something I have never had anyone do, in my over 20 years of experience photographing weddings. They cleared the Pavillion at Crystal Lake out. Literally it was me, the DJ and DMO Films. They danced their hearts out to a song, alone. I loved it! What a special way to end the night!
Paula and Justin. WOW. What a wedding!!! I am so grateful to know you both and am excited to be your lifetime photographer. You two are so special!!! Congratulations to you all! XOXOXO
To see more magical weddings by CT wedding and event photographer Carla Ten Eyck, click the links below: