Alyssa & Ari // 4th of July in Hackettstown, New Jersey

Alyssa and Ari were married on July 4th in Hacketstown New Jersey. Her dad actually found us through flickr and emailed me asking about weddings. We quickly hit it off and they booked us. That is the first time I have had the father be the main point of contact for everything pre-wedding. Lucky for me, her dad wasn’t some cold, grouchy man angry at how much this wedding is costing him like we see on tv, haha. He is such a nice guy and just adores his daughter. I have a really weak spot for fathers who outwardly love their daughters so I liked him right away. We have had some amazing dads this year.

Because of television, we all have this idea of New Jersey. Well this was none of that. Hackettstown is just a small place and it was lovely.  Alyssa and Ari actually live on a small farm and are part of a co-op which feels over 10 families I believe.

Oh! I forgot I have quite the story of getting there. I was pretty excited for this wedding since I liked them so much so I planned a lot of time. I am not a good flyer so we left for the airport with a time of time to spare. I would rather sit there and wait over risk being late.

Well, I put the wrong airport in the GPS. We parked out car, took a shuttle in and then wondered why united wasn’t there. I asked a woman who worked there and showed her my itinerary only for her to tell me we are at the wrong airport. I about died. I then go from calm because we have a lot of time to a stressed out mess. Initiate frantic heartbeat and a tsunami of tears. We got back to our car as fast as we could and started driving. I felt like such an idiot. This is why I always plan tons of extra time, you can never predict when your going to make stupid mistakes. Luckily, the security lines were not busy and we made it to our gate 10 minutes before boarding.

The ladies at the united desk were os rude and unprofessional to me. They told me my seats were not confirmed and we might not sit together even though I called earlier that day to confirm them. Again, not a great flyer, so I double check to ensure Ryan and I are sitting together. I tell them calmly that we had a rough day getting here and I’m just nervous but nope, they give me a bad attitude and send me off. Eventually they call us up to the desk and she slaps down the tickets on the desk and says nothing to us. So rude. When we were boarding the plane, the lady who took the tickets made some snarky comment to me about how we ended up sitting together in the end and I just said kindly to her that it’s just been a crazy morning and she says “oh you just like drama” which was completely uncalled for and unprofessional. They were rude from the first second I walked up to that desk and I was patient and kind to them through it all and she still had the nerve to be rude to me.

Needless to say, we will never fly united again. I sent in a complaint and what do they do? They offer me $75 off my next flight with them. Ridiculous.

With all that said, thank goodness we left so early because we made it to the flight in time and all was well. As a side note, we usually always leave to have an extra day there for scouting and such so if we didn’t make our flight, we would have still made it there for the wedding.

Once we got there, everything was awesome. Our hotel was great, everyone involved with the wedding were wonderful to us and we ate a lot of meals at Longhorn Steakhouse which was, and always is, great. :)

Alyssa purchased a wedding logo from me as well and used it in the greatest ways for her wedding! I really hope to do a lot of them next year, the ones I have done this year have just been really fun to do and so awesome to see them used so much at the wedding.

Whew! Now let’s begin all the snazzy photos :)

She had TWO dresses. Both were absolutely lovely. 
This is such a cool idea for a boutonniere. Probably my favorite ever. 
These Shoes! OHHHH these shoes. The second she showed them to me I about died. I just love them. They fit her personality just perfectly. This is Ryan’s shot which was done on the hood of their car. 
I am so glad they wanted to do a first look. We did all of their first bride and groom session at their house since it was very green and special to them.
Can’t forget about the kitty! hahaha
…and of course, this giant turtle was hanging out there too. 
Alyssa was just so laid back and happy all day. She was really a joy to be around. I LOVE her thick bangs and giant hair. When I first saw her that morning I was just thrilled to see how big her hair was. I LOVE big hair. This was also the first bride we have ever had to have thick straight across bangs. I like it! 
Her parents were just wonderful. I absolutely love this photo. I just find only traditional family photos to be boring and they just don’t really show the love, they just show who was there. Families who are into expressing themselves more is always great to have. It just makes me love what I do so much when I can take great family photos at a wedding and not just fall into a habit of only doing traditional family stuff. That is certainly something I’m putting a higher priority on this year. 
Just to show how awesome her parents are, they had secret hello kitty items on them! Alyssa loves hello kitty and had a cute hello kitty cake topper so they thought they would surprise her by joining in. :)
While waiting to walk over to the ceremony location, her dad comes up to me and shows me this pin and asks me to pin it in there so she is just peaking out. haha I love it!
Alyssa had so many great details. The fans were a BRILLIANT idea. I took a couple, haha. She used her wedding logo in everything and I was just so proud to look around her whole wedding and see my work used in so many cool ways. :)
I LOVE their ceremony site. Oh my word. The trees were just super cool.
Gotta make sure you get that shot! I do sometimes wonder if guests think we don’t let anyone see the photos that we take? haha I especially love that both Ryan and I took the same photo but from different positions. 
Great use of the logo, right?! I love that they are in those jars and the ribbon is super simple, but just perfect. It’s laid back and lovely all at the same time.
This was at their cocktail hour outside. How cool is it that bird just hanging out up there?
Her dad used to be in a band and did a bunch of weddings back in the day so towards the end of the reception he joined in and he was really good! It was a lot of fun to watch everyone enjoy this part of the reception. 
I did a blog post about this ring shot already but it’s only right to include it in with their wedding. I’ve been thinking about this shot for a while and this just felt like the right time to break out Mr. T! This is certainly one of my favorites. 
The reception was earlier in the day so when it was over, we did a few more bride and groom shots around Perona Farms in her second dress. 
This is probably my favorite of the day. 
My new staple shot, they do it so well! I just love how their awesome style is shown off here. It’s just perfect if you ask me. :)
Yet another awesome way to use a wedding logo! 
So get this, since Ryan and I met in 2007, we have NEVER seen fireworks together. Thats crazy, right? After we were finished with bride and groom photos and our day was technically over, we decided to tag along with them for fireworks. We got there literally right as they were starting so we had zero time to get anything set up but Ryan did his best with the little time we had. I figured we just can’t have a 4th of July wedding without any fireworks.

Oh, and if you’ll notice, that’s her THIRD dress! I didn’t even know about that one until that night. It had beading on the middle that looked like little firework explosions even. It was adorable.

We had such a great time at this wedding. It was just super laid back and everyone we met there was just awesome. I was happy to be working on the 4th of July when it was for such wonderful people who we could really tell appreciated us and what we do. It makes just a world of difference to us when our clients understand us and enjoy who we are and our work.

We felt so appreciated and loved the whole time we were there and just can’t thank you all enough. We hope you enjoy the photos! :)

August 25, 2011 - 5:39 pm

Mandy - I ADORE the one with the little girl behind the bushes and the one just after the first kiss. Very well done! What a beautiful day.

September 3, 2011 - 4:24 pm

Brooke Summer Photography - These are gorgeous! I definitely never think of New Jersey on this way. :) Beautiful work!

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