Abi & Josh – Wedding at the Crystal Plaza, NJ
A wedding in the middle of the winter … with snow! When Abi and Josh arrived at the Crystal Plaza, the snow started to come down. Even though it was bitterly cold outside, Abi was keen on getting at least some of the romantic portraits outside, and she toughed it out for a while. (We weren’t too concerned about Josh’s discomfort – he had a tux.) The beautiful snow-covered scene in the photo above, was actually the empty parking lot of the Crystal Plaza before the guests arrived. When the cold became too much, we continued the romantic portrait session inside, as well as the family and bridal party photos.
This was a wedding again where I had high expectations of the couple – with Abi and Josh’s affection for each other, and their spontaneous energy they showed during their engagement photo session, I really looked forward to photographing their wedding. You have to love it when a couple is so supremely easy to photograph and photogenic.
This should be transparent in their wedding day photos as well – Josh’s reaction during the First Look when he saw Abi for the first time in her wedding dress … all the way to the very end of the wedding reception. When the house lights came on at the end of the reception, the band didn’t respond to the chants of “one more song”, so the guests continued the party ….
I sent a Q&A set to Abi & Josh, and here they are with a few words about their wedding day:
How did you first meet?
On a 10-month volunteer teaching program in Israel. We started falling for each other on day 1 🙂
Why did you choose the Crystal Plaza as your wedding venue?
The beautiful and elegant, yet laid-back atmosphere. Every single staff member was so pleasant and helpful. We’ve never experienced service like we received at the Crystal Plaza.
Tell us about your dress, shoes and other accessories!
I got my dress at the Bridal Garden, a salon in NYC that collects dresses donated from trunk shows. I got a GREAT price on it, and it looked amazing. I wanted a sweetheart neckline, something form-fitting, NO lace whatsoever; my magical alterations guru added buttons all the way down the back. I absolutely felt like a princess. I wore my sister in law’s veil, which had a piece of my mother in law’s veil sewn in. Love the family heirloom aspect of that. My mom gave me my beautiful necklace and earrings as a gift, to become a new family heirloom 🙂 Last but not least, that big sparkly belt was, believe it or not, an Amazon.com purchase, and it brought my whole outfit together.
What was your wedding inspiration?
We kind of fell into the color scheme- Crystal Plaza lends itself nicely to gold and neutral colors, with its already gold trims and crystal chandeliers. Honestly we pretty much let the decorators just do their thing. This bride shrugged and said, “Doesn’t matter to me, as long as we’re married at the end of the day,” more times than anybody could have predicted she would. The result was a wedding that will stand out for a long time.
What was your favorite moment during your wedding day?
Abi: Walking down the aisle – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bigger smile on my husband’s face 🙂
Josh: Kissing her for like, a full 20 seconds.
Also my band surprised me by jumping up onstage, handing me drumsticks, and playing a set of 4 songs (my bride had evidently arranged that one beforehand!)
Also our guests wouldn’t let the party end- the band was finished so our guests went a-capella and sang like, 3 more songs until management gently told us it was time to go!
What advice would you give to future brides for their wedding day?
During the planning stages, decide which aspects of the wedding are important to you, and which are not. (Good food; good Rabbis; and the ceremony itself were the only pieces that were critical to me). And, at the end of the day, you get to marry the man of your dreams! What could be better?! Also, eat something. Eat a lot. Ask your venue/caterer to package up leftovers for you to take home. Eat it all.
What was the biggest surprise on your wedding day?
from Abi: I just felt so loved by everyone who attended, and I guess I should have expected that, but it still came as a surprise. Also, Bohemian Rhapsody. I’ll NEVER hear it the same way again.
From Josh: I had no idea what she would look like in a wedding dress and it was everything I could have hoped for and more. Also that thing about playing with my band for a few minutes! That was awesome.
Why did you choose me for your photography?
1- You shot beautiful pictures for my brother’s wedding, so we already trusted that the pictures would be sharp and professionally/beautifully composed.
2- During that wedding, you made all of the photography so much fun that I knew we would have a great time having you shoot our wedding. We certainly did!
What’s next on your calendar as a couple?
Honeymoon in Alaska!
Abi + Josh
Josh’s overwhelmed reaction to seeing Abi during the First Look.
Abi and Josh’s mom planned a surprise for him – they had his old band get together on stage (with Josh on drums again), for an impromptu set of their old songs.