There are many things to love about being a destination wedding photographer, but one of the things I love the most is that I am not only being given the opportunity to enjoy the big and beautiful cities of the world (like our recent trips to London and to Dublin, ) but I am also privileged with opportunities to explore the hidden gems that the world has to offer. Hillary and Ryan’s wedding in the Catskills, NY fell into the latter category. From the moment we left the interstate, and started our journey through the winding backcountry roads en route to Big Indian, NY: population 696, we knew we were in for an interesting experience. We were not disappointed 😉
We arrived at Full Moon Resort for the rehearsal dinner, and were delighted when the evening ended with a perfect roaring fire and a lovely little sing-a-long. Everyone was super chill, and we were excited to spend the next day hanging out and photographing!
Hillary had one request for her wedding day… Snow. All she wanted was a little snow. A wedding in the Catskills in the winter gave her a strong chance of having that request fulfilled, but when we woke up the morning of her wedding day, there was no real winter weather in sight. It was a little overcast, and chilly, but not cold, and there was nothing but a little light rain in the forecast 🙁
A really fun feature of Full Moon resort, is that they have various different cabins, houses, and other buildings all over the campus, and everything is basically within walking distance. Hillary and her people were getting ready in one cute little house, while Ryan and his people were getting ready in another. They were close enough to pop back and forth easily.
There were lots of lovely pockets of light and fun little spaces to shoot…open and airy hotel rooms are wonderful for shooting prep time on a wedding day, but there’s something exciting about having a gorgeous sun porch on which to shoot your bride getting ready!
Right around this time…while making a mad dash from one house to another, the weather decided to take a turn on us. The drizzle that was supposed to start in the evening went ahead and kicked in early, so we started planning for an indoor location for our first look…just in case.
Final touches…a little behind schedule, but looking so good!
Remember that sun porch I mentioned earlier? We were very excited to have that as a first look location option…particularly once the aforementioned drizzle turned into a downpour! I love how these turned out!
A huge benefit to being a destination wedding photographer is the fact that being on location gives us more flexibility to deal with things like unexpected downpours in the middle of your portrait time on your wedding day. When we realized that the rain was not going to let up before the sun went down and the ceremony started, we started planning to do a portrait session with Hillary and Ryan the next morning. This alleviated stress for everyone involved, and we headed down the road to the ceremony.
Remember how I said it was raining? When we walked into the ceremony building, it was raining pretty hard, but halfway through the ceremony the thunder started! It was kind of amazing listening to the storm rage outside while Hillary and Ryan committed their lives to each other…
Okay, I know I am talking about the weather a lot in this post…but this weather was completely insane. We headed outside after the ceremony, expecting to see torrential rain…and instead we were greeted by heavy sleet and a solid sheet of ice covering the front porch…this weather just could not decide what it was supposed to be doing 😉
Once we were all safely inside of the warm reception hall, it was time to relax and enjoy the party…and that is exactly what we all did!
(you can never go wrong with light sabers…remember that 😉 )
Hillary and Ryan didn’t just do the typical cake ceremony…before the bride and groom cut the cake and shared it with each other, Hillary and her girls participated in a fun southern tradition. The cake pull.
The weather outside of the reception hall was still vacillating from rain to sleet and even sometimes snow. But inside? It was a perfect party.
The reception wrapped up, and Hillary and Ryan headed off into the crazy weather with plans of meeting us the next morning for a portrait session.
Honestly, we had no idea what to expect from the weather the next day…I think the last thing that we expected was to wake up to snow. Not a lot of snow, but it was falling in huge flakes, and it was sticking just enough. Hillary was going to get a few portraits in the snow after all!
Hillary and Ryan, we loved our trip to the Catskills! We enjoyed spending our weekend with you and your lovely families as you celebrated your love. Thanks so much for allowing us the opportunity to capture your wedding day!
Special thanks to the amazing wedding professionals who made this fantastic wedding happen!
Wedding Planner: Melanie Warner
Venue: Full Moon Resort
Florist: Elderberry Design and Flowers
Hair and Makeup: Lisa Amato