Tarra and Ashley flew from California to New York to be married at City Hall, and they got in touch with me to shoot their ceremony about a month in advance. I could tell from our calls and emails that I was going to love them both, and I was right! These two are so in love, which makes it easy and rewarding to do my job, but they're also funny, silly, and genuine.
I met them at their hotel in the Bowery for some portraits on the roof, and they showed me their veils, bouquets and wedding skirts, which Ashley made herself! From the Bowery, we headed toward City Hall, stopping at the intersection Bowery and Canal for portraits along the way. The song "Ho Hey" by the Lumineers had meaning for them, and part of the song goes,"Took a bus to China Town, I'd be standin' on Canal and Bowery. She'd be standin' next to me . I belong with you. You belong with me . . ." I'd never heard of this song before we met, but it's really catchy and really sweet.
Then, we went to City Hall so they could get married! I had the honor of not only being their photographer, but also their witness, so I signed their marriage licence. They took a number and a seat and were smiling, laughing, and crying happy tears while they waited to hear their number called.
When they were called into the South Chapel for their ceremony, their officiant was so warm and inviting. He gave the impression that he genuinely loved his job. He must have married hundreds of people in his career, but he never treated Tarra and Ashley like their wedding was one of many. As expected, I cried behind my camera for pretty much the entirety of their short ceremony.
After their ceremony, the three of us explored the city, while strangers gave them well-wishes and asked to take pictures with them. We stopped in City Hall park, where we all had a spontaneous dance party and made friends with one of the resident squirrels. We walked the Brooklyn Bridge and stopped at the Brooklyn Bridge park, where they played on the playground, took in the stunning view of the Manhattan skyline, and rode the carousel.
After all that marrying and walking, the 3 of us were pretty famished, so we headed back to Manhattan for food. Before we made it there, a construction worker stopped the three of us to congratulate Ashley and Tarra. Then, he did something amazing. He handed them what looked like a giant rock and told them it was a piece of the Brooklyn Bridge. They'd been doing repairs on it that morning, and he wanted to give them a piece of the bridge as a wedding gift. (He just made them promise not to tell anyone his name!)
These amazing ladies have a piece of one of the most iconic bridges in the world, cut from it on their wedding day, and given as a present from an anonymous, kind-hearted stranger. That's incredibly cool.
We ended our time together at a little Italian restaurant, where another stranger told them he'd been seeing them around the city all day, starting with their portraits on Bowery and Canal!
Tarra and Ashley - Yours was my first City Hall wedding, and you both made me fall in love with photographing elopements. Thank you so much for having me capture your wedding day!