Oh friends, we will never tire of weddings at Blue Hill, and this gorgeous wedding from Laura Lee Photography is a wonderful reminder why! Jaclyn and Colin's wedding was the perfect blend of rustic elegance, with high-end, sophisticated details set against the wood and stone backdrops of the farm. From Jaclyn's almost-backless Nicole Miller gown to the bridesmaids dresses in a bold blue and stunning summer florals, every detail is more beautiful than the next. Our favorite part though? The way these two glow when they're looking at each other. Absolute perfection.Read More
Were you dreaming of summer yesterday with the nearly 70 degree weather we had? Oh good, because today's wedding will absolutely keep that dream alive for one more day! Amanda and Andrew's wedding at Crystal Springs is full of love, thoughtful details and a whole lot of sunshine. From the mismatched bridesmaid dresses to the gorgeous views, everything about this wedding will stop you in your tracks.Read More
Classic weddings will always have our heart, and this gorgeous summer wedding from Laura Lee Photography is certainly no exception. Ashley + Steven's wedding at the Thayer Hotel was absolutely stunning, but the obvious connection these two share is truly the most beautiful part of it all. From Ashley's timeless dress, to the pale blush BHLDN bridesmaids dresses and the elegance of the Thayer Hotel, this wedding is one we'll be loving for a long time.
From Laura: Any wedding at the Thayer Hotel in West Point, NY is beautiful, but when you add in two people like Ashley and Steven, you can’t help but shed a few tears and have your heart beat a little faster. Ashley and Steven met on New Years in 2010. They were both at a bar with friends and happened to meet, share a dance, and share a first kiss at midnight. This moment became the turning point in their life that neither of them were expecting, but welcomed with open arms. Since their first date five days after meeting, they have become inseparable best friends and their love for each other is truly unparalleled.
On the wedding day, the weather was hot. Like really hot! 90 degrees and barely a cloud in the sky. We were doing the first look in the early afternoon and when Ashley and I went outside I greeted Steven, who was already crying in anticipation of seeing his beautiful bride. It was the most emotional first look I’ve photographed to date I couldn’t help but shed a few tears myself. Ashley looked absolutely stunning in her Sareh Nouri gown and Steven was left speechless. They exchanged hugs, tears, gifts and cards and I am so thankful we got to capture these moments.
From there, we went into the ceremony, which overlooked the Hudson River on the lawn of the Thayer. It was absolutely stunning! The shade started to creep in, which we were so thankful for. Family and wedding party portraits were next and the heat was killing us! When it was time for bride and groom's portraits, we found the most magical spot of land where the sun was glowing through the trees. I had to pick my jaw up off the ground MULTIPLE times because I was just in awe of how gorgeous and in love Ashley and Steven looked.
Here’s a few things I love that they said about each other when I asked:
Steven, what things do you love most about Ashley? There are many things about Ashley that I love but above all would be her presence. Whether I have a good day or a bad day I always know I will have someone to listen to me complain but more importantly laugh and joke around with. Most nights we fall asleep historically laughing and I honesty don’t know why. Never would I ever have imagined finding someone with a similar sense of humor and personality. Getting out of work there is nothing better than coming home seeing the smile on the face of the beautiful little blonde woman I have been inseparable from the last 4 and a half years of my life and knowing that I can grow old with her.
Ashley, What things do you love most about Steven? Steven is the most down to earth, genuine, and kind man. He is patient and understanding, and loves me wholeheartedly, flaws and all. I count down the minutes at work and rush to get home to him, because I know my other half will be there to share in the joy of a day, cheer me up after a bad day, and love me unconditionally. That is what I love most about him, he loves me unconditionally. He helps me be the best version of myself that I can be. I love that I can look at him and see ham as my boyfriend, my fiance’, my husband, a father, a lover, a friend, and a partner in crime. He is everything to me.
We couldn't be more excited to introduce you one of our favorites, Laura Lee Photography! Laura is not only one of our incredible preferred vendors, but she was also instrumental in getting Red Oak Weddings launched and one of our brand photographers. Needless to say, we love her. She's a big dreamer and doer, and and oh-so talented. Get to know more about her, below!
Hey friend! I’m Laura, of Laura Lee Photography and I absolutely LOVE what I do. My soul comes alive when I get to document love and life through my camera and I am so blessed to wake up each morning telling extraordinary stories through this medium. Most days you can find me in pajamas in my office, dreaming up my next grand adventure with Scott, my incredibly supportive and handsome boyfriend!
I am a lover of all things outdoorsy: mountains, lakes, forests, beaches, cliffs, you name it. I love hiking, paddle-boarding, skiing and kayaking, amongst many other things and wish I was cool enough to rock-climb. I have an obsession with elephants (real ones and collecting them), and every August I make time to frolick through the sunflower fields by my house. My favorite part of summer (or any season, really) is sitting out by my fire-pit with a glass of Riesling and a s’more in hand with friends and family surrounding me with endless laughter. I’m rarely ever found without a warm blanket wrapped around me, and If my wallet didn’t frown upon it, I’d probably buy everything in Anthropolgie Home and Free People. I believe Country concerts are the best from the lawn seats, and that life is too short not to show off my horrible dance moves. I can’t WAIT to hear your story!
My photography style is organic and timeless. I capture authentic, genuine emotions of adventurous couples in love and I am SO lucky to call that my job.
Tell us a little bit about you, and how you got started in photography.
My passion for photography began when I was just a year old. We had a dark room in my house growing up (as my mom was a photographer) and I remember crawling in there constantly out of curiosity for the things she was creating. At age 3, I proclaimed I wanted to be a photographer when I grew up and I constantly attempted to take pictures on our vacations when I was just a toddler! This passion never really went away, but got buried by school until 2012.
I couldn't quite put my finger on why I was drawn so strongly to photography until I studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2012. On my first night in Copenhagen, I popped into a cafe with a few friends from school. A lonesome traveler walked through the door with a suitcase bigger than me and I desperately felt myself yearning to know his story. From this day forward I didn’t leave my dorm without my camera in hand. I became a storyteller. Travel stories, love stories, legacy stories. I wouldn’t have my life any other way.
What services do you offer and what do you specialize in?
I specialize in weddings for joyful, authentic, adventurous couples in love! I love outdoor weddings and anything to do with mountains, travel, lakes-- you name it. This lifestyle of loving the outdoors was instilled in me growing up and I just love the way life slows down when you go outside for a breath of fresh air. I LOVE organic, natural details on a wedding day...especially when they are meaningful to the couple!
I also specialize in lifestyle, branding photography for creative entrepreneurs! This sets my heart on fire. I love documenting the creative process, the maker, and all the way through to the finished product for creatives. I went to design school so I think I fell in love with all types of creative outlets when I was there.
What makes your business unique?
I think my couples get a wonderful experience working with me (I might be biased!) But to me, photography, and weddings especially, is so much more than just taking pictures. To me, it’s not about weddings, it’s about marriages. It’s not about transactions, it’s about relationships. It’s not about one day, it’s about a lifetime. And it’s not about pictures, it’s about people. I love what I do and I think when I bring so much passion to every wedding or photoshoot, my couples and clients feed off that energy and you can feel it in their pictures. I also think my style of “posing” is very authentic and unique and is sure to capture the personalities of my couples!
What is your favorite part of working with couples?
I could go on forever! But I think my ultimate favorite part is seeing strangers become friends and telling their unique story. I don’t think I’ve ever left a wedding where I didn’t feel like I ended with two new (or maybe more) great friends. This is a business where you need to love and serve people, and ultimately, I just love people! I also love when I get to see the finished result and can see their story unfolding in their gallery or the pages of their wedding album. Everyone’s story is unique so it makes for quite an exciting career!
One piece of advice for couples?
Just one? Okay..if I had to choose, it would be: Let love grow! My mom always told me growing up that when you find the person you’re meant to be with they won’t try to hinder your other relationships, friendships, personal time, etc. They will allow you to grow, and be the best version of yourself you could be. I searched for that for a long time and I am SO thankful that I found that now. It’s the most wonderful feeling in the world!
Childhood Career aspiration?
Photographer. Seriously, I think I was born with it in my blood.
Coffee or Tea?
Um, wine? Just kidding. I like both and try not to drink either too often! I go through stages. This week it’s tea.
Wow great question! Um, I used to play violin, piano, guitar and drums...but I’m probably horrible at all of them these days (although I can play anything by ear on piano)...so because that’s not really a current talent let’s go with Ping Pong!! I’m pretty nasty at it in my opinion.
Ask anyone in the wedding industry about a first look, and you're guaranteed to hear a wide range of opinions. First looks are one of those topics that people either love, or love-to-hate. Whether or not you love them, you have to admit - the reactions from the couple are priceless! We adore everything about this Black Bear Golf Club Wedding, sent over by one of our Preferred Vendors, Laura Lee Photography! The gorgeous setting, the dress, the floral crown ... but that first look is definitely our favorite. Check out all the gorgeous pictures, below!
From Laura: Jess and Dave worked for the same catering company. Jess was a chef and Dave was a server. After working 2 events in 2 days in 2 hot garages straight, Dave asked Jess out for a drink. He proposed at Natirar Park which Dave says is where he started to fall in love with her. The florals were natural and full of wildflowers and herbs to incorporate Jess's culinary background and her bohemian dress and floral crown really brought out her personality perfectly! It was SUCH a fun day and gorgeous weather out on the golf course. They had an outdoor ceremony on the patio and danced like no tomorrow (me included) all night long. It was an absolute blast! Jess's ring is a family heirloom and very special to her and Dave incorporated elephants into his cufflinks, his favorite animal! I loved all the little touches of details they had that made their wedding unique to their personalities! My favorite part was their first look, Dave cried so much, which in turn made me cry and it was seriously so beautiful!
We love when couples this outside the box, and Morgan and Mike did just that with their engagement session! This session from Laura Lee Photography is quintessentially fall - full of gorgeous colors, lots of laughter and a couple totally head-over-heels in love!
From Laura: Morgan and Mike's second (and their favorite) date was at a Winery for a wine and paint night! When we were discussing ideas for their session we all agreed it would be super cute to do it at a winery and buy a canvas for them to paint their Save The Date on! It was so much fun and I was thrilled to document a little piece of their life and story together in these pictures. We followed up the session with wine tasting (of course) and had an absolute blast!
Today's the day! Red Oak Weddings is officially live, and we couldn't be more thrilled! But before we dive into everything that lays ahead for this brand-new business, we should probably tell you how we came to be.
I'm Jillian, editor + founder of this new space. I'm also the owner of Bella Carta Boutique, a stationery studio right here in northern New Jersey. As a small business owner, I struggled to find a way to connect with local couples. There were so many opportunities to advertise on a national level, but I really wanted to work with couples from the tri-state area. Surely a site had to exist that focused on local weddings... a site that had the look and feel of the big blogs I read every day, but was focused solely on local weddings and vendors. Turns out there were a few, but none felt like the right place for me. I craved an online space that focused on well-designed, authentic and creative weddings. A blog that was as beautiful as the weddings it showcased. A space I was proud to advertise on. When I couldn't find what I wanted, I had this crazy idea to start my own. Here we are, six months later, and I'm ready to share this space with all of you.
Red Oak Weddings is a wedding and lifestyle blog devoted to assisting and inspiring couples planning their wedding in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We're looking to redefine the typical wedding, raise the bar on creativity and become the destination for brides and grooms planning their wedding in the tri-state area.
Red Oak Weddings will serve authentic, purposeful businesses who want to attract a specific bridal client. Namely, couples who place a high value on design, working closely with local vendors, and creating a one-of-a-kind wedding. Our community will be a place for like-minded creatives to collaborate, inspire, and connect with local couples planning their wedding.
We're so happy you're here! Take a look around, follow along on social media, and be sure to check back every day this week for lots of pretty.