Philadelphia Wedding Photographer | Ritz Carlton | Laurie + Andrew
Laurie and Andrew were married on one of those days that make you say, “go home, weather, you’re drunk!” The previous day was a lovely 60 degrees. People were wearing shorts. Then the ice age hit and we were dealt school closings across the city, snow, and 20+ MPH winds. It was cold and blustery but it was a story and they looked good. Really good.
Laurie had originally contacted me for their Philadelphia City Hall wedding. As these things sometimes do, the wedding grew. And grew. And grew. She got back to me to let me know that the plan had changed from a 5 minute ceremony at City Hall on a Thursday to a full ceremony at the Ritz Carlton followed by an extended cocktail hour there with even more friends and family. (The Thursday date stayed.)
I met Laurie in her suite. She was getting her hair and makeup done and unperturbed by the city hubbub. Philly had been so prepared that the roads were absolutely fine and hardly anyone was in the city because of work closures.
I sought out her gown and made an audible gasp when I saw it. It was a strapless high low white dress with cobalt blue patterned flowers on it. (As a wedding photographer, you have no idea how exciting it is to see something so different!) There was a fur wrap and duck boots to complete the ensemble. She was gorgeous, relaxed, and had incredible style. I was all aflutter.
She borrowed the diamond earrings and necklace from her mother and carried with her an old silvery purse. The rings were new. She clearly had the blue thing figured out.
I found an empty room for the two to have their first look. I turned off the lights and it was just them.
From there we bundled up and braved the elements. I had gloves and boots and about 7 layers. Laurie and Andrew forged on by sheer force of will. We made our first stop at Rittenhouse Square. Heavily bundled passers-by must have thought they were out of their minds.
From there we hopped back in the car for a trip to lovely little Addison Street where Andrew’s brother lives. Jonah, Andrew’s 4 year old son, peeked out to see how things were going.
We originally had plans to go down to the Schuylkill River Trail but decided that the wind and cold would only be more ferocious there. We stopped on Broad Street and City Hall for a hot second before frostbite set in.
Back at the Ritz Carlton we thawed out and relaxed a bit before the ceremony. Jonah had had a fever for a few days and wasn’t feeling 100%. Laurie (or Corrie, as he calls her) sent him into giggles with talk of poop and farts. Always funny.
In the quiet moments before the ceremony, I got some portraits of the bride and groom. Despite her “Thomas Jefferson hair,” Andrew found Laurie to be stunning. He loves how tough she is. He loves how she is with Jonah. She was his first and last date from Tinder.
Andrew has trouble with cameras. I chided him about it but he’s handsome as hell when he’s not blinking. He’s incredibly superstitious. He keeps a picture in his pocket of his parents, brother, and himself from when he was a kid. He always wears mismatched socks for big games (he is a producer for CBS Sports) and today was clearly a big game. It is a habit he took from his late father. Laurie is hard to surprise so Andrew took her out for water ice last June. They “just happened” to come upon some friends of theirs in the middle of a proposal. He stopped the proposal, took the ring, and popped the question to Laurie.
Their intimate ceremony was held on the balcony at the Ritz Carlton overlooking the lobby. It pulled in Jewish traditions as well as meaningful readings and a lollipop offering to Laurie from Jonah.
I was able to convince them to go outside one last time so I could get some wedding pictures with those snow boots with the evening light. I would have photographed them all day long all over the city if I could have. Alas, we made it fast!
They invited more friends for an extended cocktail hour in the Ritz. There was loads of laughter, candy, and even a DMX sighting (yes, the rapper). Some heartfelt toasts and a cheesecake cutting later and they were off.
The rest of the evening held revelry at Howl at the Moon and then they were heading off to a romantic Honeymoon adventure with a dozen of their closest friends.
It was perfect in all of its chilly, crazy, colorful ways. Thank you so much for having me there as part of it. At the end of the night, Laurie confessed that we might be kindred spirits. I think she might be right.
“I wouldn’t leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times; I’ll take the bad times
I’ll take you just the way you are”
~ Billy Joel, Just the Way You Are