Hi! I'm Laura! I'm a NJ + Hudson Valley NY based wedding and brand photographer for adventurous couples in love and creative, heart driven brands. I'm a storyteller at heart and am so blessed to call this my job! My photography style is organic and timeless and I can't wait to hear your story!. 

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Raphael Vineyard Wedding | NY Wedding Photographer | Claire and Mike

Last weekend, I had the pleasure and honor of celebrating the wedding of Claire and Mike at the beautiful Raphael Vineyards in Peconic, NY. Every single moment of their day, from the bride prep to the reception, was absolutely beautiful despite rain threatening our celebrations all day! Today, I am SO excited to share the details of their beautiful day!

 

The moment I started my consultation call with Claire and Mike over a year and a half ago, I prayed that they would become a Laura Lee couple! Just minutes after we hung up, they emailed me to say that they would love to work with me as their wedding photographer!! I was beyond excited. Since then, each and every one of my experiences with them has been absolutely wonderful. Their wedding was one that I had been looking forward to for so long!

 

Claire and Mike met at St. John’s University School of Law in 2011 during their orientation. Later that year, at their law school semi-formal, they shared an impromptu dance-off together that ended in Mike asking for Claire’s number! … To Suberbass by Nicki Minaj haha!!

 

Mike proposed during one of their weekend getaways together. I absolutely LOVED reading Claire’s account of that day. She explained all the amazing details of the proposal at Bedell Cellars that day – even Mike’s clever use of the same song they danced to at their law school semi-formal years ago!

 

You can read the FULL story of the proposal and see some of their amazing photos from their engagement session earlier this year at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens on the Laura Lee Photography blog. Just click HERE. And, let me just say, you don’t want to miss these pictures. This has to be one of my favorite engagement sessions to date! Not only are Claire and Mike the sweetest couple, they are also AMAZING at posing and outfit choice. The spring flowers were in full bloom during this session, complementing the pinks and whites in their outfits perfectly. These photos are to-die-for!!

 

Fast forward a few months later and here we are – Claire and Mike’s wedding day! These two are the type of people who let no detail go unturned – the more I learned about their wedding, the more I continued to get excited!

 

Claire and her bridesmaids got ready in a beautiful bridal suite at the hotel where Claire had her hair and makeup done. The room was absolutely perfect with so many beautiful little details. It rained most of the morning and we were all praying that it would stop in time for the couple portraits outside. And it did (eventually)! Hooray!!

 

It was SO fun to second shoot with Scott for this wedding. We went down together on Friday night to Long Island and ended up staying in the same hotel where the bridal and groom’s suites were located. I cannot tell you how great and convenient this was – on the morning of the wedding we just hopped over to the suites and started to shoot!

 

Their ceremony took place in a beautiful old church on Long Island. Claire and Mike shared their vows together amongst friends, family, and God. Best of all, it rained all morning and cleared up just as everyone was exiting the church!

 

We took a few of the wedding party photos on the steps of the church before heading inside to do family formals on the altar. After that was done, we headed over to the reception venue to finish the couple portraits and a few other photos during cocktail hour.

 

When we arrived at the reception venue, we had 8-minutes before the rain was going to start. Thanks to my minute by minute weather app, we knew that the rain was going to stop in about 30-minutes which provided a sense of relief for everyone!

 

Because of the rain, we had to make some magic happen with the timeline so we could still do portraits outside. While it was raining, we went into the wine cellar in the basement of the venue and took pictures amongst the hundreds of wine barrels. I just LOVE the intimacy of these photos so much!

 

Once we finished taking photos in the cellar, Claire and Mike went into a private room to enjoy some cocktail hour food. The second the sun came out, they were ready to get outside for some more pictures! They were just amazingly flexible, I could not ask for more as their photographer!

 

We did the wedding party pictures as well as some of the bride and groom portraits in the vineyard. Claire was such a trooper about going outside with the wet ground in her dress and veil! The vineyards were stunning – I could not imagine going to this venue without getting photos in the vineyards. And, holy crap did these portraits turn out!! Claire’s dress had one of the longest trains I’ve ever seen. And same with her veil. The photos are absolutely dreamy!!

 

After the portraits, we went inside to their beautiful reception room. We took pictures of their cake as well as the room before the guests entered. Following that, we snuck out during their two-hour dinner to do some more family formals since the timeline was all out of whack from the rain. We could not have asked for more beautiful skies and views from the balcony of the vineyards below!

 

Once everyone had finished dinner, they moved to the cocktail hour room for the reception. The room doubled as a dance floor and party room where the guests all got down on the dance floor with their band, Hank Lane!

 

Scott and I left at the end of the night with such full hearts! It was amazing to share this together, watching these two say I do and being a part of the celebration! We headed back to NYC to get halfway home without the traffic in the morning and I’m pretty sure I smiled ear to ear the whole way (with a full heart and sore feet!)

 

Claire and Mike, thank you for letting Scott and I join you on this amazing day! It has been just incredible to get the opportunity to work with you two, learn about your love story, get to know you and your families, and celebrate your true love for one another. I cannot wait to see all the years to come in your lives together unfold!  

Thank you to these incredible vendors for making this day possible!

 

Wedding Planner: The Day of Company

Wedding Cake: Have Your Cake Ltd.

Bride’s Dress Boutique: Pronovias

Bride’s Dress Desginer: Pronovias

Bridesmaids Dresses Boutique: Bridal Reflections

Bridesmaids Dresses Designer: Hayley Paige

Groom Attire: Bar III

Groomsmen Attire: Joseph Abboud

Florist: Flowers by Freyhammer

Band/DJ: Hank Lane

Videographer: Bilski Productions

Hair Artist: Hair by Lillie

Makeup Artist: Erica Does Makeup

Stationary Design: Jessica Leigh Paperie

Catering: Raphael

Ceremony Venue: St. Isidore’s RC Church

Reception Venue: Raphael Vineyard

Veil Designer: Basia Custom Headdresses

Transportation: North Fork Trolley

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