Being asked to photograph anyone’s wedding is an honor I don’t take lighting. Being asked to photograph a FRIEND’S wedding is THE HIGHEST honor bestowed upon a photographer, in my opinion.
A little backstory: I lived in Manhattan for 3 years doing a number of jobs. One of those jobs was in marketing and led me to working with a company that staffed events. One of those people at the staffing company was Jillian, a petite gal who was also from the midwest and loved all things performing, cocktails and 90s hits!!! We became each others go-to contact for various projects and eventually, I started collabing with the event space she managed, Meaux Space, to start building my photography portfolio. We came up with concepts and styled events in the space together. Eventually, we became pals. I owe a lot to Jillian (and the rest of the Meaux team) to the start of my photography career.
Fast forward to a few years later after us meeting, Jillian and Gerome got engaged!!! And good ole ‘rona did her thing and brought all plans to a halt. Jillian + Gerome aren’t the giant celebration kind of people to begin with so they decided to host a small ceremony in New York City to make things official. Sadly, this meant that most of their family would not be able to join in person due to travel restrictions and safety concerns – Jillian’s family lives in Indiana and Gerome’s in the Phillipines. But that was okay, eventually they will be able to bring both families together.
We focused most of the day on portraits and photos of the two of them (and their dog, Cannoli). We started at a nightclub Gerome works at that had been shut down completely due to covid so we had the whole place to ourselves. I’ll let the photos do the talking but think of a cabaret with discoballs and red booths (totally out of the box and a fun challenge, I loved it!!!). From there, we headed to Meaux Space where no more than 20 guests would watch Jillian + Gerome exchange vows with their families watched via video stream. Cocktails and individual apps followed but there were still a few surprises. Gerome’s parents performed a song in a video recording so they could still enjoy their first dance as official life partners. Jillian’s Dad recorded himself putting on his best suit and passed on the father-daughter dance to her best friend who was able to be there in person (are you crying yet???).
Of course Jillian + Gerome would have loved to have their immediate family there to witness their marriage but I know they were happy with how they went about their wedding day. And I was happy to travel back to my other big city home to give them the gift of commemorating this chapter in their lives so they can remember it exactly as it was. 2020 be damned but these kids are married!
Ceremony Venue & Decor: Meaux Space
Space Attendants/Bartender: Mustard Lane
Chalkboard sign: Deven Anderson
Floral, neon sign and disco balls sourced by the bride
Catering: GIANO Restaurant NYC
Bride’s jumpsuit: BHLDN