We had a great start to our year capturing Melissa and Mike's micro wedding out on Staten Island, New York. For these two, this day has been in the making for over a decade, since they were high school sweethearts! Though the pandemic has forced us all to remain flexible, readjust and change lots of life plans, Melissa and Mike accepted this with grace. They knew they wanted to still keep their original date for their wedding ceremony, and they pushed their larger reception at The Ryland Inn to later this year.
Melissa also happens to be one of Jenna's best friends, they met freshman year at Monmouth University in Long Branch, NJ, so being able to share the memories of her wedding day was even more special! The morning began at Melissa's family home, and despite the fact that there was not a huge crowd of bridesmaids there getting ready, you'd never have known it - as their house was still filled with laughter, excitement and music while Melissa's family watched and helped her get ready for her big day. Heartwarming moments and tears of happiness were shared with her Mother, Father and brothers - as they were in awe of the beautiful glowing bride she was - clearly adored by them all!!
We then hopped in the car for a quick drive over to Mike's childhood home to check in on the groom! He too was finishing up getting ready with his parents and brother as we arrived. This happened to be the exact spot that he proposed to Melissa after taking her out to an "end of year" dinner. They went back to his house and he surprised her by getting down on one knee surrounded by rose petals, candles, lots of photos and their family and friends. The happy vibe there this day was no different - it was smiles all around as the family fastened boutonnieres and mom's corsage, and gave some last minute words of wisdom to the handsome groom before heading to the church.
We next found Melissa and Mike at the altar of St. Joseph- St. Thomas Parish, surrounded by gorgeous stained glass windows and ready to exchange vows and I do's! It was a beautiful service and the happy couple was joined by family and close loved ones who were able to witness their union. As they excitedly exited the parish arm in arm and brimming with love and happiness, waiting outside was a classy white Rolls-Royce, ready to drive the newlyweds in style over to Conference House Park, our destination for bridal portraits.
The park is set right on the water at the southern tip of the island, and although there was a definite chill in the air that day, (standard weather for us here on the east coast in January!) - you never would have known it by looking at Melissa and Mike! They were on cloud nine - blissed out with post wedding happiness and so in love with one another laughing and joking without a care! We had a great time exploring the grounds and embracing the revolutionary era historical buildings that were there. The Conference House, (the park's namesake) - and the Biddle House were a dream to shoot around. We were even able to pull the Rolls right up in front of the Biddle house to capture some truly stunning shots of the happy couple.
Our day ended with a celebratory champagne pop and toast shared by the bride and groom before they were whisked away in their fancy car to enjoy more time with their families. Though this day may not have gone exactly how it was originally planned - the most important thing is that outcome was still the same! Mike and Melissa cemented their long-time love for each other, and can now begin the next chapter of their love story, while still getting to look forward to a second celebration!
Melissa and Mike - We wish you both a lifetime of happiness together!
Ceremony Location: St. Joseph St. Thomas St. John Neumann
Photographer: Etched in Oak Photography
Videographer: Jessica Giardino Films
Makeup Artist : Alex Simone
Hairstylist: Alex Giacalone
Dress Shop: Angel's Bridal
Groom Attire: Black Tux
Florist: Wicked Florist