Brooklyn Bridge Park Engagement Session • John Branch IV Photography


One of the things we love most about photography is how much you can tell about a couple just by the way they look at each other. John & Sakinah are head-over-heels in love, and their body language says it all.  We absolutely adore this Brooklyn engagement session from John Branch IV, and know that this is just the beginning of a beautiful marriage. 

From John: John & Sakinah both work together and are super in love. Like the giggly type of love. You can see it in these photos. We had an amazing time roaming around Brooklyn Bridge Park and Prospect Park capturing their love.

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Meet-the-Maker • Jessica Watson Photography


We're so excited to introduce you to one of our newest Vendor Guide Members, Jessica Watson Photography! Jessica's passion for photography, and love for story-telling shines through in all she does. We love her style, her real, unobtrusive approach to documenting the most special day of your life, and the way in which she loves her couples. Get to know, and we're sure you'll love her too! 

Tell us a little bit about you, and how you got started! 

I think my passion for telling stories was always there. When I was little I used to run around the house, snoop on my family and than pretend I was a journalist writing about all the exciting things that happened that day (they were never really exciting!) haha. As I got older, I let life catch up to me...i was working 2 jobs, was a single mom and going to school full time. I didn't feel like I was doing anything for me. At the same time, my boyfriend had bought me a camera for valentine's day. It was a Nikon D3200 and I was absolutely in love the moment I took my first photo. I started using my college electives to take photography classes, jumped into any community I could find and devoured youtube video after video learning everything I could about taking photos!

What services do you offer and/or what do you specialize in?

I specialize in wedding photography and senior portraits. I love telling people's story...whether it's through their wedding day or through their style. My favorite thing to hear when my clients look through their pictures is "I remember that!" or "That is sooo _!". I don't believe in taking pictures of people posed as statues. I want their real personalities to shine through, emotion to be felt when you look at a picture and the memories to swarm over you to the point where you're brought right back to that very instance!

What makes your business unique?

I think that every photographer is unique in their own way, since we all see things differently. I would say my style is more toward a romantic, fun, airy look that makes me a bit more unique. But aside from my photographic skills, I would say that the whole experience I give my brides is unique in itself. Being one of "my brides" means more than me just showing up on your wedding day. I help my couples with choosing their vendors if they need it, I have sat with them to pick out colors for the guys tux's, I've planned elaborate engagement shoots or helped with little wedding day details. My couples text, message and email me whenever they want (yes some at 2am!) and know that I'm there to help them. Stress free wedding day...that's what I am always pushing on my couples. I want them to enjoy their day, celebrate their love and then they'll be able to see that in their pictures for years to come!

What is your favorite part of working with couples?

Just getting to know them. Every wedding is different and every couple is different. I love hearing stories about how they met and fell in love and I always make sure to ask.

One piece of advice for couples?

Don't stress over this day, when it's all said and done in years to come, this really is just a day. The important thing to remember is that your love is always there. So don't sweat the small stuff, don't argue over which cake to chose, just enjoy that you are planning a celebration with the one that you love, and get to start your new life together!

Childhood career aspiration?

Oh that was all over the place!! One day I wanted to be a journalist for the New York Times, than a writer, than on Broadway, maybe an archaeologist who traveled the world, a business owner (I did that yay!) a stay at home mom or whatever else peaked my interest that week. I ended up as an accountant for my career...but hopefully will be able to provide couples with gorgeous images full time soon enough!

Hidden talent? I play piano and sing (yes at the same time). I don't do it for many people, not even friends and family, but it's my quiet, home alone indulgence!

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Red Oak Weddings Newsletter

Classic Spring Wedding at The New York Athletic Club • Rick Messina Photography


Oh gosh, there are just not enough ways to say "we love this wedding". We could look through this one 100 times and never tire of it, it's that good! Maggie + Patrick's wedding day is full of everything that a classic New York City wedding should be: a stunning lace dress, the most perfect shade of dusty pink bridesmaids dresses, men in bowties and the sophisticated backdrop of the New York Athletic Club. Every smile, kiss and stolen moment was captured perfectly by Rick Messina

From Rick: Maggie is intelligent and kind. Patrick is a classic gentleman of the rarest kind. She is known for her selflessness in helping others. Patrick is also well loved. Patrick is best know for his acts of kindness toward others. It's no wonder these two found one another and fell in love....

Maggie and a group of friends used to watch "The Office" together every Thursday night, starting her freshman year at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. During her sophomore year, one member of the group invited a friend from high school who had just transferred - Patrick. They became close friends, and stayed so all throughout college. After a school dance, just before graduation, something changed and their friendship turned into what would become a beautiful romance.

Sometime later on a typical trip to visit Patrick’s family and their alma mater, Holy Cross, on one of the most beautiful spots on campus, Patrick proposed. Maggie says, “I was shocked, and forgot to say yes. The first question I asked after I realized what was happening was, “do my parents know?!" Yes, Patrick had gone to speak with them the Sunday before. My second question was, "do your parents know?" The answer? "Nope, we're going to tell them right now!" The only question that remained to be answered was an obvious yes from Maggie. 

Maggie and Patrick decided to get married at the church she grew up going to two blocks from her parents house where she got ready the day of her wedding. “It was so special to have that time walking from the house to the Church with my parents -- bridesmaids up ahead and a group of neighbors tailing behind.” says Maggie.Patrick surprised her with two captains chairs from Holy Cross with their names and class year carved on them. They were waiting on the altar for them to sit in. Maggie says, " I saw them before I walked down the aisle and knew exactly what they were, and I was so happy I cried.""The reception was just what we wanted -- a big party. We still smile about how so many of our loved ones traveled from near and far to celebrate with us. Everyone ate, drank, danced, and had a great time." explains Maggie.

Maggie and Patrick had a small table at the entrance when you walked in to their reception-- you could say it was a Holy Cross table. They had the school's banner that is necessary for every HC wedding for the school picture, plus a drawing of Fenwick Porch her parents had gotten her as a graduation gift (the same spot where they got engaged 4 years later), and two blow ups of they college ID cards that her maid of honor had given to me for Christmas. They wedding is full of NYC vibes, great lavender and citrus colors in beautiful gladiolas and hypericum berries in her bridal bouquet as well as mauve bridesmaid dresses and bouquets. 

Photographer:  Rick Messina Photography | Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Brooks Brothers | Dress Store: J. Crew | Dress Designer:Maggie Sottero | Floral Designer: mc kenna's florist | Band: Bud Maltin Metropolitan Music | Makeup Artist: J.R.S. Makeup Artistry, LLC | Reception Venue: The New York Athletic Club

Red Oak Weddings Newsletter