Sidoti {The Wedding}

Dawn and Todd

The Bridge

January 3, 2015

The moment I came to the hotel, I knew it was going to be a seriously gorgeous wedding.   First off, Dawn is a seriously stunning lady, and secondly… she has some pretty great taste!!

 

I mean, just check out those rings!

 

 

The daughter of the bride (a.k.a: the flower girl) took her job seriously from the first moment! She had her basket in hand long before she was even out of PJs!:)   And what are hotel beds for, but JUMPING!?!

I am in love with practical brides… one pair of pretty heels… and one pair of DANCING shoes!:)

 

What a view from the top of the Cook!:)

Todd was not to be outdone… he’s looking dapper in that suit of his!

Dawn and I came down to the entry to meet up with Todd for their first glimpse.  We used this pillar for them to hold hands around… You can sense their anticipation to see each other!:)

And there they go. Love their delight in each other!

And then came the waterworks.  I think she kinda likes him.

We had a few minutes to wander around the hotel and take some pretty photos to remember the day by.  Dawn is just so gorgeous, it was not hard to get a beautiful photo!

Ahh, and the socks!:)Wedding colors!

She’s just happy to be in his arms!

There may not be any snow, but don’t be fooled… it was SUPER cold!

So… on with the fur coat!

 

Dawn and Todd wanted to make their wedding day extra special.  They chose to do quadruple duty on their big day… and it really became a day to remember.   They were Baptized, Christened, Married and had their first Communion together all in one morning!

 

You can really sense their daughter’s excitement as her dad gives her a quick squeeze before the ceremonies begin.

 

The sun streamed in those beautiful stained glass windows during the Priests Exhortation.

It was pretty brave of Dawn to be baptized with her wedding hair and makeup. She told me that the priest promised to be careful with it, and he was.  After the baptism, they quickly changed into their Christening Robes.

And now, as members of the Catholic Church, they left the room to change into their wedding clothes.

There was a bit of a down time… and all the kids lined up with their tablets in the hall.

Then came our flower girl’s big moment!  She did an awesome job with those petals… then hung up her basket and played the wedding march for her mom to walk down the aisle.

Her brother did awesome as the ring bearer too!

I am not sure if Dawn’s dad can smile any bigger… but he’s trying!

Married!!   I just love this moment… she realizes that after the Kiss… she’s NOT the ONLY one wearing bright red lipstick!

And then their first communion.

She thought ahead for the kneeling too! Check out the bottom of their shoes:

 

 

Todd’s not the only one that walked away with some snazzy socks!

These kids were ecstatic to ride in a car filled with balloons and all decorated with cans!  It was a pretty big day for them, but this was just FUN.

Dawn had hired a horse drawn carriage … so we took advantage of it!  We took a few photos with the gorgeous mountains and moon in the background.

When we got to The Bridge, the night time cold had truly set in. The glowing lights of the resturant were a welcome sight.

Once inside, everyone enjoyed drinks and tapas prepared for them by the amazing and detail oriented Bridge chefs.

 

If you like good food, this is the crew to make it for you! I love a good bit of seafood… and this stuffed halibut filet was so delicious!

Dawn had prepared so many things to make her guests comfortable.  She had a kids room filled with games and kid type snacks… all the way down to providing dancing shoes and an adorable peppermint hot chocolate mix for each of the guests.  Talk about considerate!

 

Since the parking was a couple blocks away, the horse drawn carriage stayed on hand to ferry people back and forth.

Truly a unique venue, The Bridge Resturant sits on an actual bridge over Ship Creek.

 

Dawn’s sister in law made this gorgeous cake! Great job!

The first dance was super sweet.
And the mother & son, father & daughter dances were equally as special.
And then the serious partying began.
You can tell that this was just a fun party… Adults and kids alike had a blast dancing their legs off!
The evening ended with a few more photos… this time with a long fur coat to help Dawn out.  We took  a quick walk over squeaky snow to make this photo on the walking bridge nearby.
Dawn and Todd! Thanks so much for allowing us to be a part of your gorgeous wedding day! You two were amazing!!
Here is a link to the entire set.  >>>>>>>>>CLICK HERE<<<<<<<<<<

Mir {Wedding}

Sydnee & Hecter Mir

Our Lady of the Snows and the Alyeska Lodge Hotel

The very last day of 2014 marked the very first day of Sydnee and Hector’s marriage!

 

Sydnee is an Alaskan girl, through and through. Hector is from Florida.   Of course they wanted to share a true Alaskan experience with their Florida family and friends so they planned a sweet ceremony at the very largest ski resort in Alaska: Alyeska Resort in the Chugach Mountain Range.  Little did we know that Alaska had its own plans for the weather and the Floridians lucked out with some shockingly mild temps.  Where they wanted snow and crisp, cold weather, they got rain and mud. It was breakup on New Years Eve.  The weather didn’t dampen their spirits one bit! It was a party to remember.

When we met up with Hector in his room, he was just about ready. His groomsmen were on hand to help him with the final touches and we got to deliver a very sweet gift from his bride to be.

Sydnee had a very special handkerchief embroidered  with their very favorite saying as a sweet gift for her beloved.

I am just loving the hammered silver rings for Hector! So unique!

 

Hector cleans up pretty nice!  Both Hector and Sydnee are actually professional opera singers, so I imagine they both have lots of practice.

Love this one. He pulls off the “Humphrey Bogart” look so convincingly.

I adore his two toned tux! So handsome.

When I had arrived at the hotel, I had never met either Sydnee or Hector. We had done our entire consult over the phone. Imagine my delight when I saw that Sydnee is so absolutely adorable! I knew it would be a great day.

This one while her hair in the pin curls is almost my favorite photo of her in the entire set.  I say almost because they are all so great and she is so gorgeous!  But this photo has a clean 50′s look that makes me super happy.

 

Gah! Those sparkly shoes!

 

When I saw the reflection, “I” was the one singing opera. Which should never happen. Especially in front of these guys.   STUNNING.

I am officially holding back from sharing every photo in the blog. If you are one of the lucky that happen to have a password, scroll down to the bottom and click the link. Oh yeah- it will be worth it.

It was totally dark by the time we got to Our Lady of the Snows.   It was still decorated for Christmas, so we were able to do a couple of long exposure shots to set the scene.

Juniper berries, candles and little birds decorated the cute chapel.

 

Hector has some pretty special nephews and niece! Of course they love to tickle Uncle Hector! You can tell they just adore him.

 

Its time!

Sydnee’s veil was her grandmothers.  Such stunning lace.

Oh my goodness… the photo of the flower girl with her ears plugged during the long ceremony  just makes me giggle every time!

Communion is such a sacred moment.


Mr. and Mrs. Mir!

 

You know, sometimes its when the flash doesn’t fire or other things happen that you find the gold and true connection. Despite its technical imperfections, I just love this shot.

 

The guests all bustled on over to the Alyeska Resort. They had the cutest way to assign tables! A bottle of champagne for each person with their table number inscribed!

 

Meanwhile, Mr and Mrs Mir took a few moments to make some nice photos to remember the day by.

While I have this photo with classic processing as well… sometimes fun and funky turns out to be my favorite.

And some silhouette fun! Love how the flash shines through her dress!

Before we went into Alyeska Resort, we took a moment to set up the tripod for a long exposure shot with some light painting to set the scene:  Check out how you can see the chalet clear up on top of the mountain!

Snow White (AKA Sydnee) and Her prince’s table was decorated with all things glittery gold and rustic country Alaska. It was super cute.

 

Its no doubt where all those good looks came from. Wedding photos from family decorated the entry.

The grand entrance!

The couple immediately went into their first dance. They sang their song to each other the entire time.

If you like some good Alaskan food… check out this platter of King Crab legs for the wedding feast.  Mighty tasty!

Hector was pretty happy about it anyway, haha.:)

 

The toasts brought everyone to tears and giggles depending on the moment. Toasts, and the emotions that come from them, are always among of my favorite moments of a wedding day.

 

 

Check out this great idea:

Sydnee and Hector had a sweet customized cigar bar for all those that felt the need to posh it up and enjoy the starry night! Look at those sweet custom labels mixed in with those fatty-big-daddy cigars!

 

Haha, Hector!

And… .. . Haha, this guy!  Love the gents cracking’ up in the background!

I would be remiss in not pointing out the fantastic party atmosphere provided by DJ Spencer Lee out of Anchorage! It was hopping!

Sydnee and Hector had a dance where they honored the longest married couple… and these two win.  Aren’t they the cutest thing?  Seriously, my heroes.   As a lady who has been married for 17 years myself I can tell you, it’s hard work, but oh-so worth it!

And there you have it… the longest married couple with the shortest married couple. Love it.

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Mir!
Sydnee and Hector, thanks for inviting us to experience your beautiful New Year’s wedding!  (Or should I say “New Mir’s Wedding”?)
Friends and family, >>>>>>>>CLICK HERE<<<<<<<<< to se the rest of the photos.

Ray {The Wedding}

December 27, 2014

Danielle & Robert Ray

Glacier View Alliance Church

When I shot their engagement session last summer, I just knew that these two would have a very special wedding.

 

Danielle is the proud mom of some pretty special little guys, so when Robert took her on, he also took on a big, fun, crazy, energetic, messy, and incredible  job of a lifetime.  And it is going to make a difference for these three little men.

I was very excited and happy for Danielle when that moment came.

I met up with Robert at the church he grew up in. The church that would forever be special because of the promises he would make there that day.

 

 

 

Danielle had some really unique flowers for her day… they were all made out of slivers of wood. Gorgeous and lightweight… she gets to keep them forever!

Robert was looking super handsome in his grey suit with teal accents.

 

Danielle did so well with all of her handmade details. Check out this little box she stained, decorated and customized for her little ring bearer son to carry! So cute!

She’s almost ready!

Love her burlap embellished garter and her “I DO” finger nails.

Oh yes, she really is that gorgeous.

Holy Schmoley… I just love these ones. Stunning.  (And not just on the outside. She is a gem!)

For the first glimpse, they held hands on the corner, and then came around to see each other for the first time. They were filled with joy!

We went on a little drive and found some mountains for a few quick photos.  In case you are wondering, winter photos are COLD.  They did a great job looking so natural while freezing their tails off.

Ok, one more of this gal. Can’t resist.  (There are a ton more to see in this set, but I don’t want this blog to be too long, haha)

The rest of her beautiful bridesmaids did great out doors as well.  We had just a few moments before the dark came, so we made the most of it.

 

I totally believe in bribing kids for photos. In this case, I bribed with silly faces. “Ok boys… if you give me three handsome smiles, I’ll let you make the silliest face you can think of.” Totally works, and I end up with some really fun photos!:)

Danielle is so detail oriented… I loved finding all of her personal touches everywhere… Even the candle lighter for the unity candle was covered in burlap and lace to match with the theme.

The youngest boy was the ring bearer, and the older ones carried signs that said “Here comes” and “The Bride”

^And the littlest flower girl took it upon herself to pick up all the flower petals that the other flower girl had laid down. It was adorable and hilarious!

During the ceremony, Robert took a moment to make some very sweet promises to the boys. No one in the room could keep their eyes dry.

Married! Mr. & Mrs. Ray!

Haha, what a ham.

 

Off to the reception!  Burlap and lace were everywhere! It made it so elegant with a side of rustic.

 

A snack mix and hot chocolate bar were there for everyone… There were even crushed candy canes and marshmallows to make the perfect cup!

 

Check out this cake! I can’t help but think that the boys had a hand in picking out the topper.

 

Since it was close by, after the reception we stopped on over at my studio to make some gorgeous photos with this beautiful couch.

At this point, it was pretty much pitch black dark out. I really had to rely on my experience with shooting in very extremely dark scenarios.  But I always love it when I do!

Gorgeous, Danielle!

I know I am sharing a ton of these, but I just can’t resist!

Mr & Mrs Ray, I am wishing you a lifetime together that is even more beautiful than any photo I could ever make.

Want to see more from this set?

>>>>>>>>>>Here is a link to the entire set of photos<<<<<<<<<<<<<

 

And here is a shout out to Shannon, my amazing second shooter and snow shoveler for the day.  Thanks for freezing off your finger prints while holding light stands  for those last photos in the dark!

 

 

Kelly and Trace in Washington DC

December 19, 2014,

What an adventure!
Kelly and Trace flew me and my amazing second shooter, Oxana, to Washington DC to make some beautiful photos of their wedding. When they booked me, they took advantage of the free session that was promotion for booking that month!

They decided to use their session for photos of their rehearsal dinner after party at the Pentagon City Ice Skating Rink. The Pentagon City Ice Skating Rink is like all the rinks Alaskan’s think doesn’t actually exist except in cheesy Christmas movies. But there it was… including an outdoor fireplace and big guys playing the tuba for no apparent reason other than to get a little bit of change.  (Yes, they really do that)  It was pretty neat.

Check out the adorable slide show!

 

 

The next morning, we woke up at the bleary eyed time of 3am to meet the couple in the lobby of the Ritz Carlton in Pentagon City in order to shoot as many photos as possible before the monuments were cluttered with tourists.

When Kelly came down the staircase she was an absolute vision.

 

 

Kelley and Trace are from Alaska… and just like the rest of us, they love all things Kaladi Brothers.  For the un-indoctrinated and under-caffeinated amongst us, let me help you out.  Kaladi Brothers (n): The makers of the world’s best coffee. In many parts of Alaska the term “Kaladi’s” is interchangeable with the word “coffee” and usually preceded with the words “I need some”.

 

It was a nice touch to have a special shipment of  Kaladi’s coffee shipped down to Washington DC, brewed and ready for our early morning adventure.  I was thankful for the warmth and extra kick myself!

^^Every Alaskan man knows the way to a woman’s heart, haha.

 

Trace is a sneaky guy.  Apparently before he and Kelly were engaged, Kelly always wore her grandmother’s ring despite the fact that it was missing some of the diamonds.   One day, sly Mr. Trace asked if he could have the ring fixed for Kelly as a gift.  After it was fixed, he returned it to her down on one knee.

 

We all loaded up in the bus to head to the monuments.

Sure it was 4am… no sense in not jamming out to the fun music the whole way there!

 

It was PITCH BLACK while we were outside shooting.  And COOLD.   Anyone who tells you that people down in the states have it easy with their winters… don’t believe them. It was freezing!

I was thankful That Trace and Kelly were able to withstand it as long as they did.

 

 

So many beautiful places to play… but we ended up using the columns of the Lincoln Memorial for a majority of our shoot.  Quick was the order of the day.:)



 

All the beautiful bridesmaids out there just about froze! We still managed to get some gorgeous photos despite their discomfort.

 

As the sun began to rise, there was a pop of color coming out behind the Washington Monument. Such a romantic setting!

By then, Kelly was in a need of a warm up.  She hopped in the bus to go pick up her father for a surprise.

As we made our way to the Vietnam Wall which is just over the hill from the Lincoln Memorial, I just had to pause and enjoy the gorgeous sunrise.  It was breathtaking.

You can see that the US Capitol behind the monument and to the left is covered in scaffolding. Other notables are the Smithsonian Castle to the right of the monument and in the foreground just past the reflecting pond is the World War II Memorial.

The city was just beginning to wake up. We spotted this fun little runners club in their festive Christmas clothes.

The Vietnam Wall was decorated with wreaths with a red bow.  And in the corner of a wall was a Christmas Tree covered in handmade ornaments from all over the world.   Many had hand written letters of gratitude to the many soldiers that gave their lives.

Trace takes a few moments to contemplate.

When Kelly arrived back, she brought her father, a Vietnam Veteran, to his very first visit to the wall as a surprise.

His raw emotion as he remembered his brothers  was very touching.

It was just after sunrise and my very favorite memory of the day. Everyone else hopped on the bus to ride to the War Memorial where the wedding was to be held.  I decided to run ahead and beat them there to get photos of them  arriving.

I literally had the entire Washington Mall all to myself to be thankful and savor the great sacrifices of those that made our great nation what it is today.

 

The War Memorial was just gorgeous as the sun peeked out above the trees.

 

These two… the flower girl and ring bearer nearly stole the show.

 

Married! Mr. & Mrs. Stevens!

I think they are a bit happy!

 

Gorgeous!

And then we were off to the Reception at the Ritz.

 

Oxana and I enjoyed a few moments of silliness in the elevator on the way to the reception.

When we arrived at the brunch reception, Trace and Kelly were understandably snuggled up by the fire with cups of… you guessed it… Kaladi’s.

The Ritz had prepared a beautiful wedding brunch.  Pastries, fruit, breakfast meats, chef made omelets and all the essentials were there for our dining pleasure.

 

So many great moments at the reception.





The little ring bearer told me: “I need to take the very best pictures, so I am just going to follow you around and do what you do!”.  Oh my goodness so cute!


Trace and Kelly,

Thanks so much for including us in your beautiful Washington DC wedding.

 

Click HERE to see the rest of the photos from your beautiful day!

 

Zagyva {the wedding}

Chris & Katie

 

When I met up with Chris at his Eagle River home I just had to smile. This was one happy guy!  Most brides are the ones that I watch because they are so excited and exuberant for their wedding day. But for this wedding, Chris was the one I watched. He was ecstatic to marry his “soulmate” Katie.

 

 

 

Oh my! This ring bearer stole the show from the minute I met him. He is Chris’ nephew… and full of personality!

But Chris is not to be outshone… What a handsome guy!

 

Chris and I went on over to the B & B where his family were staying to do some family photos… and this happened.  He had a custom made bracelet for each of his three sisters and the gift simply overwhelmed each of them.  What a special moment with tears all around.

We left Chris to help his last minute wedding preparations and then drove across town to Katie’s childhood home.  She was just finishing up her prep.

 

I wish you could meet Katie. If you know her, you know what I am thinking about. She is about the sweetest person on the planet.  (Except my grandmothers… and then only maybe.)   All of her bridal photos were taken at her childhood home in Eagle River, Alaska:

 

I think at this point we can all agree, Chris is one lucky guy!

I am trying to think of how to describe her…

She is the vibrant girl next door with lots of joy… but she cares about everybody so deeply. I like her a lot.

I think the guests were feeling the excitement! The wedding was moments away from starting.  The ring bearer and flower girl peeked out the window to see the limo containing the bride, waiting outside.

And then it was time!  Chris’ expression as he watched his beautiful bride wavered between confident… to stoic… to overcome with the emotion of the moment.  Goodness… he almost made ME cry.  A couple of times!  (And you know I go to weddings quite a bit!)

But once he had her in arms length… there was nothing but joy.

While the guests enjoyed a scrumptious pizza reception, we snuck away in the limo to make some pretty photos in the pitch dark Alaskan autumn.

Good thing they had their love to keep them warm!

When we got back to the reception, it was time to cut the cake!

I love the fountain!  Classic!

 

When they went to cut the cake, the flower girl got a little too close. Some frosting fell on her head!  It was hilarious!

 

The first dance was so sweet…

Chris surprised Katie with a recording of a song he had written and sung himself… It was actually really beautiful and sweet!

Katie and Chris, we were so delighted to spend your lovely wedding day with you! It was such a simple and sweet day filled with so much deep love.