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The Wedding of Sarah & Kris: Notre Dame, Frelinghuysen Arboretum, and Meadow Wood Manor

Sarah & Kris couldn’t be a more picture perfect couple. I booked their wedding from afar– Sarah & Kris live in Seattle but  they planned their wedding to happen in her parents’ church, Notre Dame in North Caldwell, New Jersey.  Normally I meet with clients in person before a wedding, both for a consultation and for the engagement session, so I was delighted to meet these two and find them to be absolutely sweet together– and I was blown away by the gorgeous dress Sarah picked out from Lea-Ann Belter!  I arrived early with Zack and we split up to shoot bridal details and Sarah’s makeup and hair– the artist, Magda Nyitray, was finished early, which was lucky, as Sarah ended up needing a bridesmaid to do a little sewing-fix for a broken hook-and-eye. You simply cannot plan too much cushion time in your wedding day for unexpected situations like this! I can always fill extra time with more pictures, after all… after their lovely church ceremony the wedding party and family units and us all drove over for a round of group pictures at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum… having completed the family groups and wedding party we let them all head to the reception at Meadow Wood Manor while Zack and I finished up with a quick set of couple portraits (which I’m so pleased with!)  Cocktail hour was just getting under way when we arrived and the rest of the night was extremely well-orchestrated.  I’ve got to hand it to Meadow Wood Manor, they run a tight ship, and it shows in the service.  I have thought for years that everyone would be better served if the guests and photographers were fed simultaneously, so that we’re fed and finished by the time the toasts or parent dances commence– which usually happens right as we’re being told that our dinner is ready in some other room.  Unfortunately most venues feed the photographers and other vendors ‘after the guests’ as though they’re worried they’ll run out of food or something… but it makes for a really rushed scarfing-down of a plate of food, and meanwhile as the guests eat of course there’s very little for us to do but go around and shoot table portraits of folks who really don’t want to be photographed with food in their mouths… Anyhow this is the first and only venue I’ve ever been to that employed this timing, which was, as predicted, totally effective and awesome!  So Kudos to Meadow Wood Manor!  I was also impressed with their extensive desert bar spreads, which complemented the wedding cake by Gourmet Touch Bakery.   Nothing can make or break a wedding quite like the reception music, and we had some amazing dance floor action thanks to the fabulous Hank Lane Band.  I have never seen a groom so successfully dip a bride– and so FAR down low to the ground!  You could tell these two both love to go dancing, and so do a lot of their friends and family.  What a pleasure to capture this wedding!  Thanks and congratulations to Sarah & Kris!

The Wedding of Sarah & Kris: Notre Dame, Frelinghuysen Arboretum, and Meadow Wood Manor from Sarah Tew Photography on Vimeo.


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