Lauren and Michael met in 2006 and have been inseparable ever since. Their friends and family will all tell you that these two were always meant to be together. Lauren’s dad even said that, when he met Michael, he thought, “This is the right guy at the wrong time” because of how young they were. Their relationship endured through the rest of the high school, college, and beyond – their Westmount Country Club wedding was a testament to the strength of their love and commitment to one another. We’ve known Michael for years and have had the pleasure of documenting his relationship with Lauren from his perfectly planned proposal, to their beautiful sunrise engagement shoot, and on to their big day surrounded by tons of friends and family. Spending this much time with a couple adds a level of comfort and emotion to our work with them that is just amazing.
The big day started at Salon Panico in Ridgewood, NJ for Lauren and her bridesmaids. Meet our beautiful bride!
Lauren’s sister, Allison, was her Maid of Honor and stood by her all day and night.
The girls at Salon Panico did an incredible job with everyone’s hair and make-up!
After the salon it was time to head to Lauren’s grandmother’s house where all the girls’ outfits were waiting for them. The personalized hangars are just one example of all the amazing little details Lauren and Michael used to celebrate their wedding day.
Then it was time for “the dress” to go on and for Lauren to put the finishing touches on her look! Lauren looked incredible and is a natural in front of the camera!
After all that hard work with hair and make-up, Michael made Lauren cry with his note (though the tears turned to joy when Lauren saw the gorgeous diamond and pearl bracelet he’d gotten her!)
Time for one last shot with mom and dad before leaving for the church!
In the mean-time, Michael was at his parents’ house with the groomsmen. They started the day pretty laid-back, just hanging out in the dining room.
Michael’s tuxedo was waiting in his childhood bedroom – a nice touch with some of his old knick-knacks.
Michael finished getting ready and opened a beautiful set of cufflinks Lauren had gotten him.
Awesome socks for the groomsmen! If you were paying attention above, you should be able to spot Michael’s pair!
Dapper gentlemen, ready to roll!
The ceremony took place at the beautiful Church of St. Elizabeth of Hungary in Wyckoff, NJ. Just before the ceremony, a downpour passed through, leaving clear, sunny skies while turning a blistering sumer’s day into a mild afternoon that was welcomed by all!
Lauren’s father walked his beautiful daughter down the aisle.
And Michael was moved to tears when he saw Lauren for the first time.
Lauren and Michael sat hand-in-hand with huge smiles on their faces for the entirety of the ceremony.
Father John, formerly of Don Bosco (where Michael went to school) gave a brilliant homily and offered gifts (salt and a candle) to the newly married couple.
Lauren and Michael’s first kiss as husband and wife. Look at Michael lifting his leg unconsciously – he seriously loves this woman!
Married! Lauren and Michael planned a cool exit complete with bubbles!
We spent some time on the church grounds taking family portraits and then kept Lauren and Michael behind for a few minutes to take advantage of the amazing colors that resulted from the earlier rain and wet grass.
Then it was off to the one and only Westmount Country Club in Woodland Park, NJ. This venue is just incredible – the staff is very professional, the two wedding rooms are so separate that we never saw or heard the other event going on, and the grounds are gorgeous and well-maintained, offering a ton of great photo opportunities and an awesome space for the couple and their guests. Check out this entrance!
The cocktail room!
And the Continental Room, where Lauren and Michael spent the entire night celebrating with those closest to them!
The main wedding cake was beautifully designed and made – looks delicious!
Lauren had commissioned a special groom’s cake – they both love jet-skiing – that Michael hadn’t seen yet. The cake (and his reaction) are spectacular!
We spent some time outside during the cocktail hour with the couple and the wedding party.
This whole group was just awesome all day. They kept Lauren and Michael relaxed and had such a good time. What a joy to work with such fun people!
Then we sent the wedding party back into the cocktail hour and kept the newlyweds all to ourselves for some shots inside the Westmount.
After a nice relaxed cocktail hour, it was time for the big party to start! The first order of business was the grand entrance for Lauren and Michael along with their first dance as husband and wife! Father John said Grace, the Maid of Honor and Best Man gave funny, sincere toasts, and Lauren’s dad had some very nice (and emotional) words for the happy couple.
As the sun set over the Westmount, we stole the couple for a few minutes and took some shots around the grounds. The sunset was gorgeous – but it’s once night falls that the Westmount really shows its true colors!
After dinner, it was time to cut the cake.
And then it was time to party into the night! The music was provided by Brian Kirk and the Jirks who were utterly amazing.
Lauren and Michael tore up the dance floor with the friends and family all night – this was one of the best parties we’d ever been to!
Michael and Lauren surprised their guests with a Sweets Truck, which had candy, pastries, and other goodies. Nobody at the wedding knew this was coming and, when guests left, it was an enormous success!
As the party got more and more intense, the brass section brought out their best antics and really immersed everyone in the party atmosphere!
As the lights came on to end the evening, it was time for one final Bruce Springsteen song (NEW JERSEY!) and one final kiss in front of the entire crowd.
Congratulations, Lauren and Michael. On a personal note, we want you both to know how happy we are for you and that we can’t wait to see what happiness is in store for you. On a professional note, thank you for choosing us and allowing us so much creative freedom – it was a pleasure and an honor to document your wedding! Enjoy your honeymoon in Italy – you deserve it and each other!
– Stellar Year Photography