Weddings Gone Wild
I get asked all the time, "What's the craziest thing that's ever happened at a wedding?" And, well, I wish I could just pick one. And I wish I could spend all night telling you all the stories, but instead, take a look through these images and see for yourself. It just takes one image to sum up the story.
Here's a list of my favorite moments from the year. Everything from piñatas to epic dance moves and secret elopements, I'll be sharing these these moments under #weddingsgonewild so follow @onenightcereus for more.
That time Jessica and Theresa DJ'd their own wedding
When they first reached out to me, Jessica and Theresa sent their proposal video, which included a montage of all of their friends and family showing how special these two are. I knew being part of their day was going to be wild and beautiful, which manifested in a drag queen, dancers, an 18-lady bridal party, and the brides getting behind the DJ booth. Who needs a wedding when you can have a rave?
That time Patrick surprised Julia with a flash dance
Patrick and his dancers rehearsed this completely over video chats from Brooklyn, Chicago, and Dallas. Later the DJ played an entire K-pop dance set and Patrick busted out his light up sneakers. These two have major moves!!
That time Steffi + Dave eloped in their neighborhood church before the big wedding
They had the 'real' wedding planned out in Montauk, but also wanted to commemorate their love in their special places here in the city with just 14 of their closest family and friends. We met at their church, St. Patrick's Old Cathedral in Nolita, then hailed a yellow cab to the cobblestone streets of the West Village for a celebratory brunch at Malaparte.
That time Josh and Jack's friends threw love notes on paper airplanes
With so many international guests coming in, Josh and Jack came from St. Louis to have a destination wedding in NYC so that their guests could enjoy the city while they were in America. On arrival, guests were asked to write a message and fold it into paper airplanes that were set to fly at the end of the ceremony. (Shot for Chellise Michael Photography)
That time Meaghan and Nick secretly eloped then invited their friend's to his "birthday party" 2 weeks later
They told me of their Tinder love story over beer and popcorn. They were going to have a secret elopement at City Hall then throw a birthday party / wedding at a bar in Williamsburg. After the city hall ceremony, we stopped for celebratory drinks and tater tots, then partied with their friends at Humboldt & Jackson a couple weeks later. (Shot for Chellise Michael Photography)
That time Dean and Joni went up on a Tuesday
Literally. There was no stopping these two from getting outrageous with a weekday wedding.
That time Patrick and Allie led a brass band and all their guests from ceremony to reception
Does it get any better than parading with a Baltic brass band through the streets of Brooklyn Heights along the Promenade to Dumbo? (Shot for Chellise Michael Photography)
That time Erica and Brandon set off sky lanterns on the coast of Cabo, Mexico
Okay before you imagine a Pinterest-perfect moment of a thousand paper lanterns filling the night sky, let me stop you right there. Shoreline winds and paper propelled by fire do not play well together. But it does bring everyone together to huddle around one lantern at a time and then cheer viciously when it finally takes flight. And don't worry, I'll be the sober one who kicks sand on the PILES OF FIRE BEFORE THEY CATCH THE BRIDE. (Shot for Folk & Follow)
That time Molly and Camilo planned a full wedding in 5 weeks
What was going to be an intimate elopement turned out to be a full on wedding planned in barely over a month. The only way to release all that energy? A traditional "La Hora Loca" aka The Crazy Hour where masks and Colombian rum shots are passed around the dance floor while I try to not get stampeded.
That time Jill and Eddie got married in two different bars
Met at a bar. Got married in a bar. Actually, two bars. The ceremony was held at Baron's in Bed Stuy, and the reception at Gran Electrica in Dumbo. Emotion was overflowing in both venues all night long.
That time Jessica took all our breaths away
This will be the cheesiest title of them all, but it's really true. I didn't spend the morning with Jessica as she got ready, so when I arrived to her hotel room I went up the stairs and saw her standing like a goddess blowing in the wind. I got chills and then tears. I couldn't wait for Philip to see her too. (Shot for Chellise Michael Photography)
That time Colleen & Jason busted out a piñata
This is an official statement that I will no longer photograph any wedding unless it has a piñata filled with Cheetos and lottery tickets.
That time Anna + Ansel had a co-ed bouquet toss
One tradition I don't often see anymore is the bouquet toss, which determines who's next to be married. Typically it's reserved for the single ladies, but that's no fun, so a bunch of her guy friends also joined in the festivities. So for this shot, I wanted to get a unique perspective and stood among the crowd to capture the flowers just before they land the hands of someone's fate.
That time Susan and Paul had a black tie bbq
I can't remember what happened the last few hours of their wedding because I went into a delicious food coma thanks to Blue Smoke catering. The photos tell me there were a whole lot of donuts, bubble tea, dancing under the disco ball.
That time Manuela and Andy partied with 450 guests
Being completely honest, when these two reached out about their wedding at a ballroom in Times Square, I told them I might not be the right photographer for them. But then I met them and fell completely in love with these two beautiful souls. While it was going to be a grand affair, they still wanted it to be intimate and personal. That manifested in a spoken word poet, a surprise video Andy made for Manuela, a running man dance off, a serenade to TI & Justin Timberlake's Dead and Gone, and an afterparty with Chances With Wolves. I love these two.
That time Irene and Ryan had an intimate backyard reception after their destination wedding.
Yes to intimate destination weddings and hometown celebrations. Especially if that's in Cabo then the backyard of Frankie's Sputino. (Shot for Chellise Michael Photography)
That time AnnaRae & Eduardo drove from Connecticut to elope at City Hall
One Thursday morning, I got a frantic call that a last minute photographer was needed for an elopement happening in 3 hours. AnnaRae and Eduardo were catching a ride from Connecticut straight to New York City Hall. I packed my camera bag and headed downtown. "Look for tall Latino in blue blazer," her text read. I met them at booth #12, documented their sweet ceremony, then headed to Dumbo for the murals. Their faces say it all! (Shot for Eloped)
That time Emily & TJ were married at the tip of New York
The fog, the foliage, the cliffs! I'm in love with Montauk. We drove all over the peninsula, from Gurney's to this private "backyard" to Gin Beach and then Camp Hero for the ceremony, then to the reception at their own home.
That time Jen & Dan eloped on vacation
Hailing all the way from Australia and New Zealand, these two took a North American tour of Mexico, Texas, and New York where they decided to get married on their hotel room balcony. Then we took a walk around Grand Central for classic NYC photos.
That time Kathleen and Mike left their wedding to perform in a play
The morning of her wedding, Kathleen, an understudy to Zoe Kazan in the play Love, Love, Love, got the call that she'd have to uphold her stage duties that evening. So they said their I Do's, then off we went on the F train to the Roundabout Theater where she was center stage yet again, then traveled back to Brooklyn for the reception where all her guests were still partying. Definitely an 'only in New York' story. Even the New York Times published it!
That time Shannon & Craig eloped on the Greenpoint waterfront
A bride, a groom, an officiant, two witnesses, and me. Simple, profound, cosmic.
That time David & Judy were ready to dance
The DJ accidentally skipped over the surprise portion of their first dance, but here they are moments before.
That time Taylor wore blue
She proposed to him, and she wore blue. Their night of revelry atop the Nomad Hotel was exactly 'them' - featuring a casual ceremony, heartwarming toasts, and the most delicious 6-course tasting menu I'd ever seen.
That time Courtney went crowdsurfing
It's nearly the last song of the night and the dance floor hasn't shown any signs of rest. The next thing you see is a pair of shiny heels by your face. (Shot for Chellise Michael Photography)
That time I was a guest at Elise & Nick's wedding
Last but not least.. I had the immense pleasure of witnessing my own two friends say their I do's. It was so special to enjoy their day as a guest, but of course had to take a few photos of my own too. So when Elise said "Just shoot it exactly how you'd want to," that kind of meant taking over the Instax camera and shooting her reception entirely on Polaroids.