Reeds at Shelter Haven Wedding Photographers: Allie & Tim

A sweet, nautical wedding on the bay of Stone Harbor…
Allie was first introduced to my work by her wedding venue, The Reeds at Shelter Haven in Stone Harbor.   She liked how all of my couples looked very natural and at ease, and said that she was able to experience that first hand during her own Boat House Row engagement session in Philadelphia and again on the wedding day.  I think that level of natural comfort can be seen in the image above.
She said she was impressed by my crisp, bright photography and my use of different photographic styles.  She liked how I was able to create an editorially inspired group photo and pose the bridal party as if they were in a magazine spread, and then also capture more emotional, artistic images, too.  The next image has a more artistic feel.
I captured her reflection off of the artwork in her bedroom– it showed umbrellas (which I thought gave a little nod to the beach vibe of her wedding) and I liked the lines that it created and how they meshed with the lines of the blinds in her window…
Allie absolutely loved her dress.  It was Carrie by Hayley Paige.  In the photo below you can see the crystal straps, and draped, sweetheart bodice.
It was perfect for her and she said she was so comfortable and happy to wear it.
Family is very important to Allie.  She and Tim chose The Reeds because of having fond memories of summers at the shore with Allie’s family.  They enjoyed relaxing at her parent’s beach house and being on the bay.
Allie’s wedding day preparations began at her parent’s beach house.  Here her parents are seeing her as a bride for the first time– you can see how close they are:
The architecture of their beach house is lovely, I like this aerial perspective of the winding stair.  I think the lines of the stairs are interesting and I like the way her white dress pops against the dark wood.
I also like how you are able to see some of the crystal detailing on Allie’s veil and keyhole back of her dress.  It also offers and interesting view of her bouquet….
Here is her reveal to the bridesmaids.  I included Allie’s arm and part of her dress in the frame to help to tell the story.  You can see that she is turning the corner and all of her girls have such fantastic reaction to seeing her in her wedding gown!
Allie said that selecting her sister as her maid of honor was an obvious choice.  “When I went to college in Baltimore and Kim was also living in Baltimore, as well, we became more like friends than sisters.  I know that she will always be there for me.”
Here you can see a watercolor portrait of Allie and her sister as children.  I wanted to emphasize the portrait and show that it wasn’t just something that happened to be in the background.  I used a shallow depth of field and focused on the portrait while allowing the sisters to be soft, framing the painting in the foreground.
Allie chose a navy and coral color scheme as she wanted a preppy, nautical look that was fun and vibrant.  The ladies bouquets are wrapped and navy and white striped ribbon.
I think that vibrant, fun feeling really comes across in this next photo– the vibrant green lawn and landscaping in the background while the ladies laugh as Allie’s veil is caught by the wind.
Again the wind was really on our side as I photographed Allie’s bridal portrait in front of her parent’s house just before we left for the Reeds.
As we arrived at The Reeds I noticed several seagulls flying in formation, checking out activity on the deck that overlooked the bay…
Allie and Tim chose to have a first look.  This allowed them to be able to enjoy cocktail hour with all of their weddings guests and to take their time and enjoy the venue together without missing the reception.
They stood on the deck of The Reeds for their first look.  Tim had his eyes covered and was so happy to see his bride-to-be!  He said, “When I first saw her, I thought she looked beautiful!”
The bridesmaids didn’t want to miss the moment and viewed it all from the balcony of their suite– here they are waving from above, haha…
Tim shared, “One of the many things that made me fall in love with Allie was how much she loved her family, and how much it meant to her to also love my family and friends. She has told me about how nervous she was the first time she met my parents, and it was because she really cared. A few nights before Allie met my parents, she spoke to my brother on the phone. Brian said, even over the phone you could tell how much she wanted to make a good first impression and how much Allie cared for me as well.”
I think you can really see the affection that they have for each other here and you can also get a feel for how big Allie’s heart is.  I like the natural feel of this photograph and the way that the wind has captured a single strand of Allie’s hair. It just feels right.
While I love to capture more candid moments like the ones above, I also enjoy traditional portraiture as well.
Here you can see genuine smiles, flattering poses and the docks, bay and beach houses subtly in the background giving a sense of location.
Here Allie laughs as Tim kisses her hand.  Tim’s manners were one of the first personality traits that caught her eye.  She shared, “I knew on our first date that he would be my husband, I just knew. He was such a gentlemen!”
She was really impressed with his kindness and how well-mannered he was…  yes, this is another reflection 🙂
Tim and Allie compliment each other well.  They are both caring, supportive, family-focused people.  I think their body language conveys much of that care and support in the next photograph.
Allie shared, “We are looking forward to so many years of anniversaries, and raising children together some day.”
I like the bright, natural lighting in this photo– for me it conveys purity.  I also like how the light fixtures in the background provide a little sparkle and seem more modern and futuristic.  😉
Allie had mentioned enjoying the Vogue/Vanity fair inspired group photos that she had seen on my website.  I created one for her using the lobby of The Reeds at Shelter Haven.
The bridal party was great to work with– they were all on-the-ball and ready to go, even Allie’s little nephews were part of the portrait!  If you haven’t heard about their involvement in the proposal, you might want to check out their engagement story, here.
Allie & Tim’s ceremony was on the lawn on the Reeds.  They loved the open-air ceremony and reception concept.  This is a wide, aerial view of the wedding processional.  You can see the wedding guests, lawn, bay and houses…
Allie shared, “For both of us our favorite part of our wedding was probably our ceremony. Our philosophy throughout the wedding planning process was that as long as our ceremony went well, the rest would be icing on the cake. Our ceremony really meant a lot to us as it was the time in which we actually got married and became officially a Mr. and Mrs. before God, our family and friends. Not to say that the rest of our wedding wasn’t great (it was!!), but as a couple we were looking forward to the ceremony and were ready to be Mr. & Mrs. Timothy Pacek.”
I love this next scene– from the happy couple surrounded by thier closest friends and family, to the background and wow– the florals!!!
Manic Botanic created amazing floral arrangements throughout the day.  The creativity and uniqueness of these pieces, and the way they were tailored specifically for Allie’s event conveying that bright, preppy nautical feeling really impressed me, and I see a ton of floral arrangements.  😉
Throughout the heartfelt ceremony, Allie’s nephew continued waving his “here comes the bride” sign.  He was adorable and it was so sweet to see his little hand pop up and wave the sign from time to time.
Here you can see Allie’s mother noticing him, too.  Look at that little hand!  (I certainly have photos of him processing down the aisle as well, but this moment was truly unique and made my “highlight reel”) 😉
I love the elegance and simplicity of this next image.  As Allie and Tim listen to their reading, they hold hands.
Their hands stand out, rim-lit by the sunlight– they are symmetrically balanced, flanked by the florals and you can also get a closer look at some of the intricate detailing on Allie’s wedding gown while also seeing a vague outline of some of the beach houses in the background.
The ring exchange– again so classic, elegant, simple and beautiful.  I  kept her ring and bracelet (showing a heart shaped lock) in sharp focus.  You get a feel for the intimacy and purity of this timeless moment.
Man and wife…reeds-stone-harbor-best-wedding-photographers-unique-creative-artistic-authentic-291
Large navy blue pom-pom balls were tossed as the bride and groom recessed down the aisle.  It was a fun gesture that was so celebratory, fitting and joyful.  Watch out, Tim!
Speaking of celebrations, here is a unique perspective of Tim and his groomsmen toasting on the deck…
Allie & Tim’s preppy nautical theme was elegantly executed using navy and white stripes, rope and pops of coral.
They cleverly used *beach tags* as place cards, having them personalized for the event.  The reception centerpieces looked as if the flowers were anchored in the sand by a knotted rope and surrounded by coral.
Again, unbelievable work by Manic Botanic!
I think I caught Tim wiping a tear from his eye during the first dance.  I focused on his hand and love the way you are able to see his wedding band and Allie’s dress sparkling.
The best man’s speech was a little long, haha…
Allie’s dance with her father was very special.  I really like the expression on his face and the sparkling bokeh in the background…
Allie shared that not only was her family amazing, but she also really was looking forward to having wonderful “in-laws.”   She said, “Tim’s family was always so welcoming, that I felt like a Pacek, long before I actually was Mrs. Pacek.  It made our love that much sweeter knowing that I would be a part of his loving family.”
Tim surprised his mother by having the band play “Wind Beneath My Wings” for their mother-son dance.  She used to sing it to him when he was a baby.  This thought touched her very deeply…
Tim also had a special song picked out for the cake cutting, “Sugar” by Maroon 5.  Whenever they heard the song, Tim would pretend to smash cake in Allie’s face, haha.   So Jen, Tim’s sister, offered to help protect Allie.  She put together a whole kit of things– goggles, a poncho, etc.
Allie recalled, “I was definitely expecting a cake-smash, but, in true Tim fashion, he didn’t smash cake in my face when we cut the cake.  He did however put a little bit of cake on my cheek when we got back to our seats and no one was looking.”  😉
The Tribecca Grand Band provided entertainment for the night and was phenomenal, so talented!!!  They could play anything and really had everyone on their feet.
Allie mentioned, “Everyone just loved the band. My favorite moment was when the DJ started rapping to Beyonce, it was so unexpected and fun.”
I have several photos of band members, but this one is really unique, I love the vibrant colors and lighting it really gives the impression that he is singing something that is full of soul…
To say that people enjoyed the reception would be a huge understatement…
It was very important to Allie to have time to appreciate the sunset and get a few minutes alone with Tim as the sun set on their wedding day.
While it was cloudy most of the day, there was a vibrant strip of sky just at the edge of the horizon.
I liked the unique look of the sky and the gulls dipping down low in the bay.  Here they are silhouetted against the reflection of the orange sky.
reeds-stone-harbor-best-wedding-photographers-unique-creative-artistic-authentic-461Allie and Tim, It was such a pleasure to work with you and your families and friends during this whole process, from the engagement session to planning to the wedding photos, and we still have albums to go :).
I hope that these wedding photos captured the love, joy and heartfelt emotion of your friends and family members.  I hope that they are just the sort of unique, crisp, bright, vibrant, stylistically eclectic photographs that you were hoping for.  These are just a few of my favorites, there are hundreds more coming soon!
I’m so excited to hear what you think!

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