(So we’ve had so many fun weddings this Summer, we haven’t gotten a chance to find some more FAB Finds for you this week, so that feature will return next Friday. If you haven’t yet seen them, be sure to check out Part I and Part II of Joy and Jerry’s wedding before reading this one.)
While it’s true that our lunch meeting a few months ago with Joy and Jerry solidified our belief that we were indeed a perfect match, our bond with them actually started much, much earlier – upon Joy’s first phone call to us. She had seen our work at Hotel Monaco and immediately felt a connection to it. When Bill got off the phone, his eyes were sparkling with excitement and the possibility of working with such an amazing, thoughtful couple. They truly got it. Immediately. They completely entrusted us to capture this special and beautiful time in their lives as it unfolded in front of us. After seeing the stunning art on their walls, we were especially honored that such creative people and art lovers chose us for their wedding day. Serendipity.
Music has always an important part of their lives, too, from the parties Jerry frequently threw, where Joy and Jerry met for the first time, to having so many friends in the business. So it made sense to have a strong musical presence at their wedding. Just as the couple kissed for the first time, the Howard Gospel choir, walking two-by-two in through the rear courtyard gate, began singing as they strolled to the front to regale Joy and Jerry and their guests with a medley of Amen/This Little Light of Mine. The couple began swaying and clapping with the music, which really got their guests into it as well. What a fun surprise for their guests and everyone found it quite the perfect end to Joy and Jerry’s ceremony. As the choir sang, Joy and Jerry then signed a Quaker-style marriage certificate and invited all of their guests to do the same after Joy and Jerry welcomed each of them personally nearby.
This was the first time we had personally worked with one of DC’s best wedding planners, Jodi Moraru and her incredible team, including Thy Parra, and we had so much fun with them! Jodi was absolutely amazing in making sure all of the logistics (and there were quite a lot of them, beginning a load-in starting on Thursday) and always had a cheerful smile on her face. It looked like she was having just as much fun as we all were. Joy, especially, worked closely with Jodi to make her incredible vision a reality. Joy and Jerry had selected Dragonfly Floral, the very talented husband-and-wife team of Thom and Marcy to, along with incredible lighting by Atmosphere, create just the perfect environment for the evening. We’re so blessed to be a part of such a wide variety of weddings from lovely down-home, easy-going affairs with just a few family members in attendance to glamorous events, and the lighting used at their wedding was like being at a concert. Well, that was exactly what was about to happen.
As guests began filing into the gorgeous Astor ballroom, an opera singer sent lilting sounds through the air until all had found their tables. At that point their good friend Jimmy, who served as hilarious MC for the evening, welcomed everyone and after a few jokes, announced the happy couple into the ballroom for their first dance, accompanied soon thereafter by their parents. The couple then welcomed all of their guests personally by table, as they were seated together through one sort of connection or another. Jerry came up with hilarious nicknames for each table which brought roars of laughter from all of their guests as they described the people attending and how important they all were to the couple.
One of the big hits of the evening was a slide show presented on three large plasma screens throughout the room and expertly put together by cinematographer Martin Andrews. It was perfectly timed to the singing and piano playing by one of their close friends, Boris Skalsky, a professional musician. One of the cool things Martin did was, instead of simply fading out and into the next childhood photo, he filmed a hand appearing alternately from left and right, placing a photo on one of two stacks. Each stack showed, in succession, a series of school photos of Joy (on left) and Jerry (on right), from younger to older, much to the delight of their guests. Everyone loved it.
Following a beautifully plated dinner put together by the St. Regis staff, Haydee in particular, and periodic toasts to the couple made by various close friends, everyone got ready for some serious dancing. Dumpstaphunk, Ivan Neville’s band, kicked off the funk and immediately got the crowd on their feet, really setting the mood for the rest of the night’s festivities. They played hard for two solid hours before giving up the stage around midnight to the night’s next act, See-I, comprised of many local members of Thievery Corporation. So things shifted from funk to reggae, but the emotion level remained high for those in the ballroom. A few sauntered back out into the courtyard for a brief respite in the cool night air and to grab bite-sized desserts from the dessert bar in the cocktail hour-turned-studio Astor lounge, just outside the ballroom. See-I wrapped up close to two a.m. and the DJ finished up the evening around four a.m. These people could seriously dance, Joy in particular, who could really get her groove on. It was so awesome to be part of it all. We kept pinching ourselves in between pressing the shutters!
Thankfully we stayed at the St. Regis that night and could barely get our gear into the elevators and upstairs before collapsing into bed, still laughing. It was such an amazing and emotional day for us and for Joy and Jerry, of course. We had a wonderful time with them and their families, and offer our most sincere congratulations to them both. Thank you, Joy and Jerry, for making us such an integral part of your perfect celebration!
The guided meditation led by Claire. What an incredible and meaningful way to include your guests in your ceremony and thus your marriage.
Gorgeous terrace + amazing light + wonderful people = very happy photographers.
Bill’s perfect just pre-kiss shot!
Howard choir comes in singing! We still get chills remembering it.
The wedding certificate everyone signed before heading off for cocktails.
One of Anne’s favorite shots of Bill’s.
Love that glow! Props to Todd Christofaro (hair) and Carl Ray (make-up) for their fantastic work.
Love Jerry’s Mom looking at them in this shot and that the couple sat by their Mom’s. Such a touching and thoughtful detail.
Bill nailed this one – all the band members in one shot and that stage was huge!
No photos please. 😉
Ok, then that’s a wrap! Thank you so much for visiting and Friday’s FAB Finds will return next Friday!