Wedding Blog

Sietse and Megan's NYC City Hall Elopement

Sietse and Megan's Wedding | NYC City Hall Elopement | International Couples | Apollo Fields Wedding Photography

Elopements have such a special place in my heart. There are a million different reasons couples choose to elope and endless possibilities for how their day can go.

Dialing down the formalities opens up a lot of possibilities: Less pressure, less vendors, more adventure, more spontaneity. Megan and Sietse did NYC City Hall right. Sietse is Dutch and his close family was able to travel to New York along with Megan’s immediate family to help them celebrate.

It poured all morning and it actually made me a bit nostalgic— our own wedding was on a damp October day, so rainy weddings always bring me back. We got so lucky though, because the weather actually let up after their ceremony for portraits and one of the best parts was that the streets were so much less crowded!

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One of the “quirks” of City Hall is that you don’t get to choose your time for your ceremony. After you have checked in and signed some paperwork, your number will get called and you’ll get your own chapel for the wedding to be officiated. (Pro tip: choosing a weekday around off-peak hours is SO much better for your wait time and cuts WAY down on the chaos!! It also means that your fave photogs *wink wink* are much more likely to have availability & flexibility on their calendars!)

The New York City location is beautiful and iconic, with gorgeous architecture down by the Brooklyn Bridge and lots of vintage details. It truly is an experience and something about our CRAZY rainy morning added to the romanticism of Megan & Sietse’s day. The train downtown was quiet and gave me time to get into a good head space before the day, but as soon as I got back up to street level, the skies had opened up and it felt SO NEW YORK— people in suits and heels and briefcases doing that walk/run where the hustle is real but they somehow never stride more than 10 inches at a time.

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The streets were a sea of umbrellas but my eyes were glued to the streets because of the dreaded walkway puddle (you know the one… at the edge of the curb that only looks like it is 3 centimeters deep but if you step in it you are soaked up to your thighs). Pulling my equipment suitcase down the street, I popped into a bodega for a hot coffee and then over to City Hall. I met up with Megan and Sietse and got the warmest introduction to their families. The energy was buzzing with anticipation and that universal hum of family.

Our number was quickly called and before long, we were all huddled in a quirky pink room swapping “I do’s” and “Me too’s”. Short, sweet, and to the point— City Hall is a well oiled machine but in no way a cop-out. The antiquated notion that eloping is only for shotgun weddings and young, flighty lovebirds is long gone. Couples today are able to CHOOSE to elope in order to honor their relationships in a way that serves them and the innermost nucleus of their friends and family.

Cheers to Megan and Sietse! Enjoy these sneak peeks:

Photography | Apollo Fields
Venue | NYC City Clerk

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Elopements are dope!

And I looooove to capture them. Let’s chat about your plans!!

Matt and Julie's Sapphire Point Engagement Photos

Matt and Julie’s Sapphire Point Engagement Session | Dillon, Colorado Engagements | Lake Dillon Photography | Apollo Fields Wedding Photographers

I’ve never described a view as “sticky” before, but that’s the word that came to mind after we wrapped Matt and Julie’s engagement session at Sapphire Point in Dillon, CO. It was like the feeling I got as a kid when it began to get dark and there was just one inning left in our wiffle ball game. “Just one more inning, mom!” It’s this feeling that this moment is all that exists and to leave it would be to deny yourself an experience that you will never get back. Call it juvenile or dramatic but I think 12-year-old me and 31-year-old me might be on to something.

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Our first meeting with Matt and Julie happened in one of our favorite places—a brewery. Oasis Brewing Company in the Highlands neighborhood of Denver, CO, is a multi-level, exposed-brick venue with rustic wooden tables and industrial steel beams to anchor the open, charming space (I actually helped re-open it in March 2018). Once we grabbed a beer we all took a seat at one of the banquet tables along the wall and chatted about Matt and Julie’s wedding in Littleton, CO, in May 2020. The conversation mimicked the space in which we spoke: laid-back, organized, and youthful yet sophisticated. 

Matt (a lawyer) and Julie (a teacher) represent the kind of couples that we are grateful to attract and meet. Matt and Julie know what they want, aren’t afraid to ask questions, and their communication is a wonderful mix of professional, candid, and casual. These conversational cornerstones allows us to navigate the complexity of wedding photography, i.e. “what do we get?” or “what are we paying for?”, with ease. Instead of bogging down the meeting in the details, we candidly ask what they are looking for in wedding photography as we all casually take a sip of our beer. This way, we can deliver a customized package based on their priorities rather than trying to sell them products or services they’re not interested in. Of course, we don’t expect every one of our couples to know what they want like Matt and Julie, but it’s definitely something we’re grateful for when it comes down to the brass tacks of wedding photography (totally thought it was “brass tax” until I Googled it). 

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Fast forward a few months and we’re meeting Matt and Julie at Matt’s family home in Dillon for their engagement shoot. We were welcomed by his mother and father, two dogs, and a brilliantly blue Colorado sky quickly approaching our coveted golden hour. We began by taking a stroll down by the cliffs of their home for a more casual start before we made our way up to the photographer-and-chipmunk occupied Sapphire Point (seriously, there were adorable little chipmunks scampering everywhere). Luckily, we came on a Sunday night when it wasn’t that busy, we don’t even want to imagine the amount of hikers we would have photoshop out of a picture on a Saturday afternoon.

The love was real, the mood was romantic, and the view was...sticky. Everything about Matt and Julie’s engagement session made my eyes and heart want to stay but it was starting to get dark. It was an experience I may never to get to live again exactly, but perhaps that’s the best way to appreciate a moment. To allow your desires to remain a bit unsatiated, to walk up the hiking path away from the view so that your mind clings to its pristine image in all its glory. I can still see that sunset when I close my eyes, and even though I won’t know how that wiffle ball game was supposed to end, maybe I’m not supposed to. 

Enjoy Julie & Matt’s Engagement Photos:

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Breweries and happy couples… these are a few of our favorite things…

Hanging with Matt and Julie after their Sapphire Point engagement photos! What better place to connect than over a craft beer! If that makes us hipsters then you should expect handlebar mustaches on both of us shortly!

Ashley & Nick's Wedding at the Evergreen Lake House in Colorado

Ashley & Nick’s Wedding | The Evergreen Lake House | Colorado Mountain Weddings | Apollo Fields Wedding Photography

When I woke up on the morning of Ashley and Nick’s wedding, I rolled over to see Heather staring at the ceiling, eyes wide open like she’d either seen a ghost or drank too much coffee.  These are the excited jitters that run through a wedding photographer’s veins that send most thin-skinned photographers running for the hills. The morning of a wedding is like being in the shoes of a performer in those final moments of waiting backstage on opening night, knowing full well what is on the other side of the red velvet curtain.  

The pressure that’s slowly been building in the pit of your stomach like a dull pain starts to climb to the bottom of your throat and it’s up to you to swallow it back down. Whether an audience of spectators or a guest list of family and friends, meeting their expectations is an uncertainty that can drive an artist at their core. The worst of them quit and exit stage left; and the best of them, well, bring the fucking house down.  

Fast-forward twelve hours and I’m dancing behind the DJ booth, and Heather is on the dance floor camera in-hand.  Ashley and Nick’s wedding couldn’t be going any better. When we first arrived at the house where Ashley and the bridesmaids were getting ready, we expected to walk into a hurricane of hairspray and a tangle of hair straighteners (as is tradition); instead we were greeted by a group of beautiful, calm and organized girls in floral robes who were ready to party.  The atmosphere at the boys’ house was more of the same (except for the floral robes).  The rest of the day transpired as planned with less logistical hiccups and more amazing dance moves, and it had us analyzing just what it was that made their wedding so seamless to us as photographers.

Obviously Ashley and Nick were well-prepared, but it was their energy and trust that set the tone for their wedding.  For example, both wedding parties, despite being large groups (7-8 people/each) were down to clown but still listened to and followed our dictation.  When it came to family formals, romantics, and the first look, Ashley and Nick totally put the ball in our court, trusting us with where to go, when to do it, and what angles to take.  That’s not to say our couple’s shouldn’t generate photo ideas or looks of their own, but rather that that trust in our professional and artistic vision 1) makes our jobs a breeze and 2) allows our couples more time with their guests.  This is all not to mention the deep, genuine love that Ashley and Nick have for one another which made photographing them a joyous experience composed of one-part envy and one-part melt-your-fucking-heart.  Nick was crying before he even turned around for the first look! (Sorry, not sorry bud!)

So when it comes to the pre-wedding jitters and meeting the expectations of such an event, the uncertainty is just part of the ride.  Some weddings are obviously more difficult than others, but it often comes down to the tone that the couple sets for the day. That tone is so important because it stems from the current health of the relationship at a point in time where they’ve both deemed their love worthy of an official union.  As wedding photographers, we embrace the unknown with our artistic hearts, but are always hoping that a couple’s trust and energy will reign supreme.    

Enjoy the pics from Ashley & Nick’s epic wedding:

The Vendor Team:

Photography and Writing: Apollo Fields
Venue: Evergreen Lake House
Florist: Wandering Poppy Co.
Entertainment: DJ Guy
Wedding Cake: Small Cakes Colorado
Decor: Event Rents
Dress:  Aisle Chic
Shoes: BHLDN
Jewelry: BHLDN
Veil: Needle Button Wardrobe
Suit: Men's Warehouse
Rings: Rogers & Hollands
HMUA: WedLocks Bridal Hair and Makeup
Stationary: Shutterfly

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Hey, it’s us…

…We are Heather & Terrence: the husband-and-wife duo of Apollo Fields! We had such a great time at Ashley & Nick’s wedding and absolutely love heading back to our old stomping grounds in Colorado. REACH OUT to say hi!

Our First Colorado Wedding Weekend of 2019

Colorado Outdoor Wedding Photographer | Apollo Fields | Long Island Wedding Photographer | Golden, CO | Longmont, CO | Altona Grange Hall | The Pines at Genesee | Clear Creek |

Wow. What a weekend. Two weddings, an engagement shoot, a maternity session and all of the friends, outdoors, and craft beer in between.  Back when I was bartending in New York City in my mid-twenties, my older regulars would always say, “your twenties are great—but just wait for your thirties,” and I never quite believed them because my life was dope AF.  But now as we come back to New York after this epic extended weekend of professionalism mixed with genuine connections and long-lasting friendships, I’m beginning to understand what they were talking about.

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    At Apollo Fields we like to be as connected to our couples as much as possible.  That means spending time with them and their families, laughing through the embarrassing stories, and working through the inevitable bumps in the road that hosting a wedding brings. At Naomi and Johnny’s outdoor wedding in Colorado this past weekend at the Pines at Genesee, we saw some familiar faces (Naomi’s cousin is Dylan Kintish, whose wedding to Alli Bell we shot in the August 2017) and embraced new ones.  We’ve sort of become their family photographers and we’re loving every second of it!  Every wedding we shoot we get a little better at inserting ourselves into these wonderful intimate circles that envelope our couple’s lives; and every wedding we shoot our storytelling ability gets that much stronger, especially as we develop these long-lasting relationships with our couples and their families.

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    Speaking of lasting relationships, we captured these maternity shots of Lindsey and her husband, Jeff, who got married in November 2017 at Grant-Humphrey’s Mansion. It humbles us to know that our previous couples trust us to continue to document the most pivotal moments of their lives. In the coming weeks, once Lindsay and Jeff’s baby is born, Heather will also be their newborn photographer and storyteller, and it’s these deeper connections that enrich our hearts long after we hear the couple say, “I Do.”    

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    Another wonderful couple of ours, Casey and Thomas, had an outdoor wedding in Colorado at Altona Grange Hall in Longmont this weekend.  Our trusted photography associate, Sara, captured their destination wedding beautifully, telling us of their community-centric approach.  Casey and Thomas held a two-hour cocktail hour to offer more time to connect with their guests who traveled a long way to enjoy their special day.  They even gave a personal heartfelt toast to express their gratitude to all who made the trip. We love when our couples explore the customizations of wedding planning and cater to their values rather than outdated traditions.  

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    Then there was this engagement session in Golden Gate Canyon State Park with our dear friends, Kat and Brett.  I developed a great relationship with Kat while bartending at Oasis Brewing Company in Denver, but it was this session that made me realize our friendship is in for the long haul.  Kat and Brett are goofy but professional, serious but light-hearted, and celebrate their rough edges with a self-deprecating elegance. Documenting these intimate moments brought us all closer together as we helped them conquer the shyness that freezes most couples when they pose in front of the lens.  “We couldn’t imagine anyone else taking these photos,” Kat said.  Funny thing is, I couldn’t imagine anyone else taking them either.  It made me think, who else should document these intimate moments in your life other than people who make you feel most comfortable, most yourself, and most happy?  I don’t mean to toot our own horns (OK, maybe I do), but this entire trip set in cement what Apollo Fields is all about.

    At Apollo Fields, we connect with our couples. We embrace the raw and the genuine. We don’t settle for anything other than what your soul carries. We don’t just want to be a part of your wedding day, we want to be part of your lives.

So if my twenties were about exploring the world to find myself, then my thirties are about finding who I want to spend my life with.  And I gotta admit—after this trip—our lives are looking pretty damned good.

We Just Landed in CO for a Rad Wedding Weekend!

Wedding Photography Lifestyle and Travel Blog | Destination Wedding Photographers in Colorado and NYC | Terrence and Heather Huie | Apollo Fields Weddings

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Well it’s finally here.  Wedding season.

We’re so pumped that we feel like Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson in Wedding Crashers—well except the fact that we’re actually invited to the weddings we’re attending!  

I like to say we are invited because that’s how we feel about the relationship with our couples, how each of them welcome us into their lives and give us the responsibility and privilege of documenting some of their life’s most precious moments. Of course, we take great pride in the professional service that we provide, but it’s the families and friends that we meet along the way that make us grateful to no end.  Jes and Emma got our season off to a heart melting start a couple weeks ago, but we just landed in Colorado to officially kick it off with a bang!

Aaand it’s snowing...in May.  Well it’s actually not all that unheard of in Colorado this time of year, but we planned to hit the ground running and make our way to Boulder to meet up with one of our couples, Kelly and Alec, for an outdoor engagement session today but mother nature had other ideas (usually we are all for weather but this is all gray, freezing rain, no mountain views, and no light whatsoever).  So we’ll be rescheduling that for later this trip! Kelly and Alec are a wonderfully thoughtful couple who got engaged on a picturesque bridge in Amsterdam and will be hosting their outdoor wedding in Boulder this August at Wedgewood! (Let’s hope it doesn’t snow :) ) Shout out to our close friends, Matt and Kerry, who will be hosting us while we make the most of our time in one of our favorite places!

Tomorrow we head back down to Denver to begin the wedding weekend for Naomi and Johnny.  Their rehearsal dinner is at New Terrain Brewing Company (hell yeah!) in Golden and we can’t wait.  We just shot their engagement session in Norfolk, Virginia at a gorgeous trail head and brewery (finding a theme? :)) a couple months back and we’re so excited to meet their friends and family.  If they’re anything like Naomi and Johnny we’re in for a heartfelt weekend.  On Saturday, they’re hosting their wedding at The Pines at Genesee, a gorgeous outdoor wedding venue in Golden that we’re very familiar with.  We can’t wait!

The same night, Casey and Thomas are getting married at Altona Grange Hall up in Longmont and we’re so excited for them!  Our awesome associate, Sarah, is covering their wedding while we kick some ass in Golden and I know she’s going to do a killer job as always. They are a couple who dated in high school, lost touch, then eventually serendipitously reconnected in Chicago five years later.  It’s funny how love seems to find us in the strangest ways. Here’s to the mysterious machinations that bring us all together!

Finally, we finish the trip with our dear friends Kat and Brett.  Kat and I met working together at Oasis Brewing Company where we immediately connected over our unique blend of dark humor and entrepreneurial professionalism.  I’m stoked to shoot their outdoor engagement session in Golden Gate Canyon State Park and look forward to sharing a laugh or twelve while we catch up over a beer (okay—there’s definitely a theme here).

All we ask as your wedding photojournalists is to show us your true selves.  Unapologetic and unflinching, embrace the relationships that you’ve all deemed worthy to invest your life into.  After all, these people are your partners, your secret-keepers, and your livelihood. Open your eyes and hearts and we will be there to capture it all.    

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Our Travel Dates:

Thursday, May 9: Boulder
Friday, May 10: Golden
Saturday, May 11: Longmont + Golden
Sunday, May 12: Arvada
Monday, May 13: Denver
Tuesday, May 14: Arvada >> FLY BACK TO NYC

We have a lot of weddings and shoots, but since we like to work hard + play hard, we are loosely planning on having a meetup Monday evening at Oasis Brewery to see some of our favorite faces. All are welcome, as usual :)

XO,
Terrence & Heather

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Non-Traditional Wedding Planning and Inspiration

DIY Wedding Ideas | Non-Traditional Wedding | Farm Wedding Photographers | Apollo Fields Wedding Photography | Ramsey, NJ

As wedding photojournalists we’ve had the privilege of documenting people on the best day of their lives. Surrounded by friends and family, our wedding couples celebrate their love with the traditions their families have taught them. But what happens if a couple doesn’t have any traditions? Or what if they do but they don’t have any connection to them? Please take these words as a license to create the wedding that best defines your relationship. Borrow from different traditions or create your own. There are no rules.

Heather and I chose to have our wedding at her aunt and uncle’s private farm in Ramsey, NJ, because: 1) they allowed us to, and 2) it was our closest connection to a meaningful tradition. The owners of Honeymoon Acres, Aunt Pam and Uncle Rick got married there in 1996 and we wanted to honor their union by following in their footsteps. Far from perfect, the farm is a haven for animals and family gatherings, treating four legged creatures with an equal-if-not-greater-hand than our relatives. There’s humility in recognizing the value of every animal on this earth and Pam and Rick never forget that and neither will we.

When you’re planning your wedding and getting caught up in the inevitable whirlwind of varying opinions remember this: you are the stewards of your own love. It is you and your significant other who are taking this expedition together — your brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, other relatives and friends can be safe places to stop along the way — but you two are the captains. It is you two who determine the course and to cede control of your wedding day is to allow others to briefly steer the ship. If you are okay with that, fine, but know that a ship with interim captains can wind up in uncharted waters. Please forgive the dramatic analogy but I cannot overemphasize the peace and fulfillment that comes with choosing the way you wish to celebrate your love.

Heather and I decided to celebrate ours by having our friend, David Miller, officiate our mala bead ceremony (see previous post). We took this route because of something that, ironically enough, a pastor said to us at a wedding: “it’s funny, I’m probably the person in this room who knows the least about the couple getting married, yet I’m the one speaking to their loved ones about their relationship.” It was all backwards for us, so picking a friend was a no-brainer. One of the other things that David did was pass our rings around to everyone in little nests, letting our guests cradle the symbols of our love in their trusted hands. We later tried to swap out the garter/bouquet toss for a stuffed animal toss to remind ourselves of our inner children — but just like children we somehow misplaced our stuffed animals. We ended the night with a Jewish tradition, the horah, because who doesn’t want to be lifted into the air to look upon the faces of your friends and family as they have the time of their lives?

Your wedding day can be many things. Why settle for traditions that are outdated and empty? Why not borrow the ones you like? Why not create something new? Why not take the opportunity to create a community that celebrates all the best things in your life. Your wedding doesn’t have to be lavish or expensive, all it has to be is you.

Photography: Alexis Cohen & Derek Morf for Apollo Fields

Farm Venue: Honeymoon Acres, Ramsey NJ

Our Wedding Video Compliments of Mary Erny

Our Wedding Video | Honeymoon Acres, Ramsey NJ | Apollo Fields Wedding Photography | DIY Weddings | Farm Wedding Video

When we began wedding planning, the photography was a no-brainer: We knew that we would want to go through the business and use our associate shooters. But when it came to doing a video, we didn’t really have a specific vision. We knew we wanted something but somehow it kept falling lower and lower on the to-do list as our season was flying by with shooting our own weddings and prepping for the big move!

My sister is also in media and has spent most of her career camera-in-hand as well. We didn’t have a formal “wedding party” but she was part of the crew that we wanted up there with us and as so, we didn’t want to put too much pressure on her to also shoot video. But she was so awesome and stepped up and got some great coverage and put together this sweet video for us!

I just love watching it and seeing everyone’s faces and getting to re-live the awesomeness of that day. Everyone talks about how fast it goes by and I can 100% say that is true! The whole thing feels like a blur but watching the video and going through the pictures is the best way to bring back all of the celebrations and joy of the day. Also, Rumor is way too cute during the ceremony. I mean, how many dogs literally jump on their owners during the first kiss!? Unreal.

The farm looked so beautiful and we loved having all of the animals around. We couldn’t imagine getting married without the dogs there, but having the horse and donkey and pig and goats and all of the other four legged friends just made it that much more indicative of us. We love casual and personal weddings so we knew when we were planning what we wanted that we weren’t about to have a formal or traditional wedding! Instead, we broke outdated traditions but embraced the ones that actually spoke to us. We made it our own and I wouldn’t have wanted to do it any other way!

So here’s a huge thank you to my sister, Mary, for not only helping us the whole weekend, but also sneaking in some great footage of the day!


– watch our wedding video below –

Our Wedding at Honeymoon Acres in Ramsey, NJ

Our Wedding | Heather and Terrence Huie | Honeymoon Acres, Ramsey NJ | Apollo Fields

Despite attending and photographing countless weddings, I never knew how I would feel on my wedding day. Would I get cold feet? Would I cry helplessly at the altar? Would my vows live up to what I hear in my heart? I really wasn’t sure, but now I can say that it was without question the best day of my life. Typically I avoid using superlatives and hyperbolic statements like “the best day of my life,” because I believe they don’t really tell you anything, but it was the best fucking day of my life. (I usually don’t use curses either, but I guess I’m breaking all my rules today.)

On Saturday, October 6th, 2018, a quintessentially grim and misty northeastern autumnal day, I wed Heather Erny in front of our closest friends and family at her aunt and uncle’s farm in Ramsey, NJ. Honeymoon Acres, as aunt Pam and uncle Rick like to call it, is a beautifully-manicured farm splashed with wild sunflowers and potted mums, a vintage 1950’s Ford with big round headlights and an entire family of farm animals. The amount of work that Pam, Rick, and both of our families and friends put in to wrangling all of the animals (roll call: 1 pig, 1 horse, 1 donkey, 2 goats, 1 cat, and 4 dogs), making all of the food, and assisting in the general logistics of the day will have me grateful for many years to come.

For those of you who don’t know, Heather and I decided to make and serve all of the food for our wedding day. Many called us crazy, as we only arrived in New York on October 1st from our road trip back from Colorado, leaving us five days to set the place up and prepare all the food—but with the help of our family and friends we did it. We made a fresh pasta bar consisting of truffle mushroom linguini, vegetable lasagna, pumpkin and butternut squash ravioli and a classic spaghetti and meat sauce. As we ladled and scooped generous portions to our guests donning our respective aprons, I couldn’t help but speak with an Italian-American accent to move the line along like I was running my own Long Island deli. We didn’t plan to serve everyone ourselves but we were having fun, so we did—to our relief nobody went hungry.

As dinner waned and the scotch shed opened, our wedding was now in full swing. The small potting shed that we converted into a whiskey tasting room exploded with laughter, warmth, and old stories. The dance floor in the garage-turned-banquet-room jumped beneath the Edison lights, uniting the older and the younger in a musically-induced exuberance. All around there were smiles, especially from the farm animals living their best lives as moonlight entertainers. Fairytales aren’t just for storybooks, anymore, I thought.

Then came the speeches. Justin and Grace spoke on mine and Heather’s behalf’s like they knew the most intimate thoughts inside our diaries. Great friends never fail to recognize the greatness in those closest to them, for they keep their company for those exact reasons. It’s only until we throw each other on stages with microphones that we realize how well our friends really know us. We should do it more often, for all of our sakes.

Perhaps the thing I was most excited about our wedding, with exception to swigging whiskey on the dance floor as “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” by George Thorogood played, was to announce the surprise Heather and I had for Pam and Rick. For twenty years, Pam and Rick have been going to Negril, Jamaica, in late winter, but for the past few years financial troubles have stymied their tradition. As a way to say thank you for hosting our wedding, Heather and I asked the Dj to play their wedding song from when they got married on Honeymoon Acres in 1996. When they tried to retreat to their seats after the song’s conclusion, we kept them out there and told them we’re all going to Jamaica in three weeks and the animals are already taken care of. They cried. We cried. Everyone cried.

On a day filled with so much love, I cherished every minute. Even when Heather and I stood at the “altar,” a bunch of red begonias that Rick planted in the shape of the heart, as a light rain fell upon our shoulders, I remained grateful. During our ceremony, our officiant, David “Killer” Miller, spoke with equal parts comedy and soul, the very reasons we chose him. On a day where the bride and groom are supposed to be celebrated, I’ve never felt more part of our communities.

Here’s to everyone who helped, whether giving the animals haircuts or drinking whiskey in the scotch shed, because without you, it wouldn’t of been the best fucking day of my life.

Photography: Alexis Cohen & Derek Morf for Apollo Fields

Venue: Honeymoon Acres, Ramsey NJ

Dress: Maggie Sottero

Flower Crown: Allendale Flowers

DIY Wedding Tip: Buy a KitchenAide and Make the Food For Your Wedding

Apollo Fields Wedding Photographers | DIY Wedding Tips | Cook Your Own Food For Your Wedding | How To Feed 100 People | Ramsey, NJ Farm Wedding

Many called us crazy, others called us stupid, some called us crazy and stupid. But for us, hosting a dinner party, albeit one with 100 guests, was just another day at the office. We knew it would be hard work to make the food for our own wedding, but when we thought about doing that which defines our relationship on our wedding day, making a fresh pasta bar and serving it to our guests was simply something we had to do.

First off, I have to thank KitchenAide for making such a reliable product. Without Fernando/Fernandina (our unisex name for our KitchenAide), Heather and I would’ve worked pasta dough by hand until we could barely hold a fork and knife. Instead, we managed to churn out four fresh dishes to accommodate veg heads and meat lovers alike. The crowd favorite was the pumpkin and butternut squash ravioli served in a sage brown butter sauce; followed by the vegetable lasagna with herbed ricotta; long slices of zucchini and fresh tomato; then it was a classic — spaghetti and meat sauce made with fresh tomatoes and roasted red peppers; and finally a dish for the more nuanced palate, the truffle mushroom linguini. Fern handled the entire workload like a champ as his/her constant purr eventually became white noise in the bustling kitchen at Honeymoon Acres.

But Heather, Fern, and I can’t take all of the credit. With any great event, it comes down to the team who can pick up the slack when they’re called upon. Whether it was Heather’s sister, Mary, and her fiancé, J, rolling out pasta dough and making raviolis with a handy tool our family friend Dr. Amy gave us, or my brothers Matt, Tom, Kevin, and sister-in-law Morgan dusting cutting boards with flour and popping those raviolis into boiling water, everyone played a crucial part. I remember the first thing I saw after I got all dressed up in the back room was coming into the kitchen to see Matt wearing Heather’s apron with flour all over it. It made me so happy.

Serving Our Food To Our Wedding Guests:

Perhaps my favorite part of the wedding, though, was when Heather and I served the food to our guests before serving ourselves. We originally planned to only serve the first few plates, but we were having so much fun that we didn’t even want to take our seats. When we finally reached the end of the line, we walked through the barn into the dining room to a resounding applause. People were so grateful for the fresh food, but they were even more excited to share that they’d never been to a wedding where the bride and groom were the last people to be served. It didn’t even occur to us that the newlyweds are usually the first to eat because every time we hosted a dinner party at our Colorado home we’d always served our guests first. We didn’t think dinner at our wedding should be any different.

When Heather and I first started hosting dinner parties in our home in Colorado, we were amazed by how much fun it was. Perhaps it was me turning 30 and leaving the Jameson shots in Irish pubs for someone else (or some other time :)), but there was something about new and old friends brushing elbows around our table that meant something more to both of us. As we now settle into our interim Long Island home the reason became very apparent when a friend of ours came over for a few fingers of whiskey. It was the simple act of bringing people together, about creating community, about filling a space with jokes and laughter that provided us with happiness. I didn’t know at the time but that’s why I felt the way I felt when I saw Matt in Heather’s flour-dusted apron on our wedding day—it was him being part of our community.

There are few days when our communities come together with such a fervent energy to contribute to a cause, but our wedding days are such opportunities. We’ve seen families and friends fall flat and we’ve seen people band together and the result always lies within the glue or gluten that holds us together (Sorry, I couldn’t resist the pasta joke!). Here’s to everyone who played a part, including Dawn and Sandy who volunteered their time to bartend and make the rest of our food look pretty when it came time to serve those most important to us.

For those getting married, remember that the miscues of your wedding day will be forgotten in time, but the efforts of your communities will linger in your heart like the flavors of a delicious meal. Don’t be shy, be bold, and do that which defines you. With a little bit of luck and a lot of thought, your communities will have your back.

Your Immeasurable Friends,
Terrence & Heather


How To Make Homemade Pasta

This is one of our favorite foods to cook for guests (usually sub 100 people, but who knows!) because it is SO easy and who doesn’t love pasta? And fresh pasta is just the best! For real, once you have the homemade stuff, you’ll never go back to boxed again.

We love it so much that we have an entire recipe – perhaps our favorite one – in The Immeasurable Cookbook dedicated to the stuff. Which, *shameless plug* you should totally go out and buy now if you haven’t already.

Before we decided to take on all of the cooking for our own wedding, we used to make the dough by hand and use a super simple, cheap hand crank pasta maker. I hate having a ton of kitchen appliances because I think most of them are a waste of space and money, but this is one of the few that I can’t live without. Plus, there is something so great about getting your hands dirty in a mound of flour ;)

The Recipe:

Remember how we hate measurements?? Well, you guessed it, you won’t find any here either! But you don’t need them for pasta (trust me, you OCD kitchen people… you know who you are). If you really want to learn, unfortunately you’re going to have to come over to our house for us to teach you and then we’ll force you to stay and eat the deliciousness and drink tasty beer and whiskey. Ohhhh noooo ;)

Photo Credit: Derek Morf shooting for Apollo Fields

Kate & Jeff's Wedding at The Barn at Raccoon Creek

Kate & Jeff’s Wedding | The Barn at Raccoon Creek | Colorado Wedding Photographers | December Weddings | Barn Wedding Photography


I first heard from Kate and Jeff when we were honeymooning in Jamaica.  We were introduced via Frances, who is an amazing and badass photographer that I love to shoot with.  Frances absolutely raved about Kate and would be a guest at the wedding, and knew that Kate and Jeff were looking for a photographer for their wedding that they were planning on a short timeline.  They actually got engaged the same day that we got married (fun fact) and when we first started emailing, I knew we would be a great fit.  Even though our wifi was spotty at best and we didn’t have an international cell plan in Jamaica, I remember walking around the house trying to find a connection with my phone hoping to get our emails through!  I looked like a crazy person, waving my phone in the air in our villa, but I was just so excited even then to work with this awesome couple. 

Then we met up for coffee in Denver in the beginning of December and immediately hit it off.  I loved their vision for their wedding: sentimental, with a big focus on family, a lot of kiddos, and some rewriting of traditions.  There were a lot of things that really resonated with me because just like us, they did a circle ceremony without a traditional wedding party.  Kate’s brother, Andy, would be officiating and they were going to self-solemnize.  The six munchins would be throwing paper airplanes instead of flowers as they walked down the aisle to celebrate Jeff’s job as a pilot.  It all sounded great to me!  I love when couples use their wedding as a platform to really showcase their relationship and values, and I knew from the beginning that this wedding would be exactly that.  

We chatted and chatted over coffee just getting to know each other, and I could tell quickly that these two were just beaming together.  They told me all about how they got engaged which basically made me melt—Jeff took Kate up for an airplane ride in a little Cessna and flew it over her house, where her closest friends and family were all cheering around a big poster that read, “Will You Marry Me?”  How awesome is that!?  I realized then that Jeff loves big, over the top grand gestures for all of the right reasons.  There would be more of that to come on their wedding day…

But fast forward to Christmas morning at 4:00AM.  I was in the hospital and my hemoglobin was dropping fast.  The doctors suspected that I was rupturing, but we weren’t sure at the time.  I had to make a decision right there and then whether to go into surgery.  I remember asking the doctor if I would be able to shoot my weddings that weekend and she said that if we did surgery and as long as I was feeling up to it, there was no reason not to.  If we decided not to do surgery, I could be in the same position a day or two later and might not be able to shoot.  We weighed all of our pros and cons and ultimately, did the surgery. It ended up being the right decision for so many reasons, especially because once they opened me up, the doctors found that not only had I ruptured, but I had a lot of internal bleeding which was life-threatening. 

So three days post-op, I pulled up to The Barn at Raccoon Creek at the same time at Kate, who looked so excited that it made me forget everything that we had just been through. She helped me get my equipment into the venue, which seems like a small thing but really isn’t.  I couldn’t lift or carry anything because of the surgery, and it would have been so easy for a lot of other women to play the bride card and not want to help a vendor on their special day, but Kate was so kind and understanding that I knew the day would be amazing.  With one arm holding her wedding dress and the other helped me get my camera bag out of the car, she gave me a warm smile that suggested I didn’t need to apologize.  There was a sense of friendship there that means everything to vendors, and it really made me grateful for my clients and my job.  

Shortly after, Katie rolled in to second shoot for me.  I was originally going to fly solo for their wedding, but once I ended up in surgery, I decided that the most important thing was to get amazing photos whether or not we were budgeted for another shooter.  Katie has worked with me before and I knew she would be a great addition to the day, so with almost no notice, she stepped up like a rockstar to help the team.  Kate had a sense of calm to her as she was getting ready, and I think there is something really peaceful about not having swarms of bridesmaids buzzing around you before your wedding.  She had music playing, was doing her own makeup, and casually sipping on some champagne. All was good, so we just started snapping away. 

Kate and Jeff were earlyfor pictures, which basically never happens. The whole family was organized, and even the kiddos had their shit together.  This was such a rarity, but couldn’t have come at a better time. Everything was so organized and we were able to have a really sentimental and private first look and then do family formals without any chaos or drama.  Again, a real luxury for photographers!  Guests began to trickle in and Kate and Jeff were able to have some quiet time before the ceremony.  

The ceremony was cozy and sentimental, exactly as they had imagined it.  Once they had exchanged their vows, everyone gathered outside for a big group photo before the guests went off for cocktail hour.  The sun was inching towards the horizon line and I knew we didn’t have too much time before golden hour.  We hopped in the golf cart and drove off to the most scenic place to do some photos of just the two of them, with the golden light pouring over the yellow grass, and I watched as Kate and Jeff just basked in the company of one another.  They danced, they laughed, they cozied up in a blanket together, and I just snapped away. 

The sun fell behind the mountains and we retreated into the cottage where Kate and Jeff were going to sign their marriage license and have some quiet time to themselves before the reception.  I took some pictures of them signing and then they looked at me and asked me to be their witness.  I was so humbled in this moment because they clearly had a ton of friends and family who adored them at this wedding, and yet here they were handing me the pen.  Of course, I was honored to sign and then they offered me a taste of the special wine that they were sharing.  I still get emotional (blame it on the hormones) thinking about their kindness on their own wedding day.  I think that says so much about a couple, really. 

The reception was fun, vibrant, energetic, and of course sentimental.  I had been let in on a little secret that Jeff had up his sleeve, but wasn’t prepared for how amazing it actually would be.  I mean, thinking back to his epic proposal, I should have known that he had a big surprise for Kate, but this was truly one of the best things I’ve been a part of at a wedding.  They had planned their first dance to be a special song by Brendan James, one of their favorite musicians and had fond memories of listening to this song when their relationship first began.  Jeff loves music but loves sharing this passion with Kate even more. So behind the scenes, he had flown Brendan James out himself all the way from Charleston and had him tucked away from all of the guests.  Jeff took the microphone and surprised Kate while Brendan came out to perform their first dance song for them live. 

After all of the applause settled down, the whole room got quiet, Brendan sat down at the piano and magic happened.  I was so wrapped up in the moment, seeing how happy Jeff was to surprise his new wife, watching the gratitude sweep over Kate, and listening to the amazing sound of Brendan’s voice.  I watched his hands floating effortlessly over the piano keys, and just kept shooting away, trying to focus on my job but unable to ignore the magnitude of the moment I was in.  I remember looking over at Kate’s father and holding eye contact with him for a moment, I watched a small tear fall from his face and then I began to cry hard.  After such a hard few weeks, I realized in that moment that life would go on and it would be beautiful.  

Then came another surprise, and this time Jeff wouldn’t be in on it .  Another awesome performer was stashed away and this time Bradley Rhodes came out to do another amazing live set.  Everyone hugged and danced, and all came together to celebrate exactly as Jeff and Kate had imagined.  Eventually, my coverage was long over but we got to spend some time with guests and get to know their families better.  They had been so sweet to invite Terrence as a guest, and when we finally made it out to the dance floor, Frances stole my camera off my harness and took over shooting for a little while.  The wedding was beautiful but it couldn’t have come at a better time.  Some people think I’m an animal for working during a time that I could have very easily justified subbing in another photographer, but I really wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else.  I want to extend a huge congrats to this amazing couple and a lifetime of love to both of them.  

Wedding Photography: Apollo Fields

Venue: The Barn at Raccoon Creek | Littleton, Colorado

Music + Photo Booth: DJ Guy

Live Performances: Brendan James | Bradley Rhodes

Perfection is a Fiction: NYC and The Andy Warhol Exhibit

NYC Museums | Andy Warhol, The Whitney | Apollo Fields Wedding Photography

Most of my trips to modern art museums are filled with artful dances around statuesque ponderers and remembering to check the arch of my eyebrows as my eyes learn what’s in in fashion right now. With each brightly colored cube, broken television set, or inflatable animal made of metal, my mind is thrown into a metaphysical whirlwind at the hands and mercy of Dadaism and all of its absurdist descendants. Trying to make sense of art when conventional aesthetics is thrown out the window is like walking through a busy foreign marketplace – you know something is being said, you just have no idea what it is. It’s an uncomfortable feeling until you stumble across a piece that makes you stop and tilt your head at different angles as you try to understand a language you do not yet know.

The piece in the background at the top of this post was from my most recent trip to the Andy Warhol exhibit at The Whitney in New York titled Before and After. It’s been said that it’s Warhol’s self-criticism of his own plastic surgery, while others remark that the original magazine advertisement that Warhol borrowed from was inherently anti-Semitic and that that was his intent. It makes me think that perhaps the most beautiful (or tragic) thing about modern art is that we don’t have to understand the intent of the artist and that we can create an entirely new meaning of our own. As I wandered through Warhol’s life of work, I began to learn more and more about the man behind the Campbells can – and to my surprise, something about the lens through which I view the world as well.

When I saw Warhol’s Before and After it made me think of the world of appearances of social media. It made me think, “this is the way we all want to look” (the person on the right), but in reality most of us look like the person on the left. It made me think that perfection is a fiction we want so badly to be true that we curate our lives into Snaps and Instas. That with every filter and post we draw further from reality and the sanity that comes with embracing the hooked-nose image staring back at us in the mirror. Who knows what Warhol actually meant but that’s how it made me feel.

I realized that good art gives you a license to create. It makes you think, but above all it validates all of the crazy ideas that run through your head. If before the Campbells print became famous, Warhol were try to explain that idea to someone else, it would’ve sounded asinine. And perhaps it is. But because Warhol bypassed the potentially paralyzing explain-the-craziness-inside-your-head-to-someone-else-stage of creation, we have a piece of art that makes us, or at least me, sit and think for a second. It eventually spurred me to organize my thoughts and put them onto this paper.

I guess the lesson is that perfection is a fiction and I prefer to live in reality. When I stood like any of the other entitled museum-goers at Warhol’s Before and After I immediately liked the image on the right more. You can’t help the urge to like what is aesthetically more pleasing, but learning to accept and appreciate our imperfections confronts the real rather than filtering it out.

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Happy Birthday, Heather!

Apollo Fields Photojournalism | Farm Wedding Photography | Wedding Writer | Adventure Wedding Photographer | Colorado Wedding Photographer | New York Wedding Photographer

Heather’s Birthday Post – November 15, 2018

Happy Birthday to the woman who has taken the best parts about me and brought them to the surface. Without her, I wouldn’t be a published author, small business owner, or husband—AKA everything that means something to me at this point in my life. I honestly have no idea where I would be without her—and I look forward to all of the places we will be together that we do not yet know.

Heather is the kind of person to triple book herself, crush each event, then ask for more. I’m the kind of person to bring her a bottle of whiskey and an empty tumbler. That’s how we differ yet that’s why we work. In a constant state of give-and-take, we spin through our days like ice in a mixing glass, swirling around our personalities like flavors, combining our contrasts into a well-balanced drink—smooth yet strong, and the lingering taste leaves you asking for more. It’s not perfect but it does keep us happy.

This time last year we were driving to an AirBnB tucked in the mountains, safe from the chill with a cozy wood-burning fireplace. This year we’re riding the LIRR to carouse about NYC and enjoy a different side of life. Seemingly always on the same page, Heather and I are writing our story together with a pen we share, speaking different voices onto the page with the same ink. Every year that passes every take stock of all of our experiences and each year exceeds the last. I’m just grateful to have a partner to explore so many worlds with.

In the last month we moved cross country, made all the food for our wedding, got married, took a honeymoon to Jamaica, and settled into our interim home in Long Island. Just writing that made me tired, yet at no point during it did I feel fatigued. We approached each day as a team, working towards a shared goal in each of our imperfect ways. By sharing our individual energies, we rejuvenate each other along the way with jokes, side dishes, and healthy dollops of silliness. It’s like when you work with someone behind the bar long enough that you know where they put the Maraschino cherries, only when you get there the jar is empty and you look up at them to see them making a ridiculous face. Everyday of our lives is like that and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Somehow on her birthday I started talking about the great things about us and strangely enough, I don’t know a better compliment for a person. Heather is a facilitator, a happy haggler, an absolutely messy chef, and will be an even better mother. When I think about the journey of life and how each year represents so much yet so little, I remember the infinitude of infantile moments we’ve laughed through and the major milestones we’ve high-fived to. It’s entirely too easy to get lost as we move through different stages of my life, but this day has me grateful for Heather’s face, happily illuminated over her birthday candle to help guide my way.

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Jamaica Honeymoon - Day 6

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Final Day in Jamaica – Pam’s Birthday

Mid-flight en route back to New Jersey – Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

When I opened my eyes on the last full day of our honeymoon in Jamaica, the pale blue sky peered over the balcony and climbed into our four post bed into the space between dreaming and reality. Light and ethereal, each blink revealed a bit more of the world I’ve come to love, inviting me to ease down the floating wooden staircase one more time. I didn’t know then, but in those fleeting moments, the lens through which I’ve viewed the world finally lined up with the way the island of Jamaica communicates to your soul.

I started the day by setting down a steaming cup of coffee on a table right outside of Pam’s room. It was her 61st birthday and I knew that that would be the first thing on her wish list. Stepping outside into the blaring sun, we gently made our way down to the volcanically-formed cliffs of Negril at Sun Down Villa, careful not to spill any of our precious liquid energy along the way. We stumbled upon Rick and Steve lounging, plucking at a ukulele as the notes drifted and eventually faded into the warm, Caribbean air. Pam and Rick decided to take a cruise on their Vespa down to the beach where their love of the island first began over thirty years ago.

Heather, Steve, and I abruptly made a move towards Just Natural Fish and Veggies, the local food joint in the bush of Westmoreland. Our first trip there, Pam had her eyes on a locally-crafted blue canvas bag with a crudely-but-beautifully painted sunset and we knew we had to get it for her. We enjoyed another meal and chatted with our favorite hosts, Theresa and Christine, as they shared unsolicited marital advice about loving one another and your children. Our favorite anecdote was Christine’s memory of when she first got married: “oh in those times, we would make love anywhere it was dark — in the bush, in our bedroom, it didn’t matter. But remember, always lock your door and wear a nightie!” Satiated in body and mind, we scooted from the richest Jamaican experience we’d had to date.

All of us eventually regathered and began our trip to various cliffside resorts. It began at the Tensing Pen, where we were met at the gate by a security guard who stared at us like we stole her lunch money back in high school. After authoritatively mumbling into a walkie-talkie, she granted us access with a stern finger wag in the general direction of the bar. Nonetheless, the resort was cozy, kind of like the Lost Boy’s huts in Peter Pan, connected to one another by rope bridges and shaded winding cobblestone paths. We originally planned to go to there to jump from one of these wooden bridges suspended over the sea, so Pam could wave her proverbial finger to the process of aging, but we were told by the security guard that we weren’t allowed to enjoy any of the amenities. After quickly slugging our round of Red Stripes, we were on to the next one.

Lucky for us, the next stop was much more accommodating. No finger-wagging security guard, no restrictions, only a large modern lobby to welcome us like something out of Forbes magazine. We normally wouldn’t expect genuine hospitality from a place as lavish as the Cliffs Resort, but two men changed it all. Trevor, who went by Johnie Walker, and Omighty, shortened to Omight, rolled out the Jamaican equivalent of red carpets. These two healthy, young, vibrant Jamaican men made drinks while they sang to their favorite tunes like they were bartenders out of the movie Cocktail, giving us free shots and asking us if we wanted to snorkel on The Cliff’s private coral reef. Nothing like any of the other resorts we visited, we felt the camaraderie that’s typically found in Irish pubs in New York City, like you can have any conversation with the person next to you (for better or worse), all while gazing out at a pink Caribbean sunset.

Our final stop on our invasion of all-inclusive resorts was a place called Xtabi. The dining patio was sprawling with empty candlelit tables and vacant chairs, making the space seem sad with lost opportunities of romance. A small cat meandered between the legs of our chairs, quietly mewing and purring with the hopes of a free meal. Pam and Rick ordered their favorite dish, lobster thermidore, which I consider a cheap (albeit expensive) favorite, because anything would be delicious smothered in butter, garlic, and cheese. Steve ordered the shrimp scampi which strangely came with rice and it made me wonder how available pasta is on the Caribbean islands. I ordered fried chicken because my ambition at trying local cuisine hit the roadblock of Americanized resort food. The best part of the meal was walking beneath the resort in the caves, listening to the waves slam against the tunneled walls, echoing their strength into our ears. I felt like I was in a scene from the Goonies.

The first couple days in our AirBnB we were a little hesitant to walk the streets as motorcyclists tore by the vendors and local restaurants with reckless pride. We wanted to engage with the real Jamaican culture, but were not sure of a proper access point for two under-informed tourists. Yet like those hummingbirds in Barney’s garden, Heather and I hovered from place to place, learning to stop and trust the people inside those brightly colored shacks one at a time. We made friends at resorts, Johnie Walker and Omight, and local spots, Theresa and Christine, learning that there are friends all around us if only we are open enough to look. Upon our initial arrival, we stayed behind the high gated walls of Sun Down Villa, but in the end, we saw that the sunrise and sunset, in all of their naturally beautiful glory, were just as welcoming as the pairs of eyes that greeted us behind all of those brightly colored doors.

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Jamaica Honeymoon - Day 2

Jamaican Honeymoon | Negril, Jamaica | Apollo Fields Destination Wedding Photographers

Jamaica – Day 2
8:00 am, local time

Another welcoming morning on the Caribbean Sea.  The birds fluttering overhead, searching for scraps and seeds while Heather sits up in bed scratching at her mosquito bites.  The waves crashing with a regular familiarity that’s impossible to forget, kind of like your mother calling you home for dinner from the front porch.  Who knows what the world has in store for us today, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The first two nights Heather and I cooked and stayed in after dark.  A combination of the mysterious foreign streets and a travel-induced fatigue, we drew a bath and enjoyed each other’s company in a tub of lukewarm water.  There is a definite fear of the unknown, of sitting on a wooden stool in a straw shack on any of the thousands of dark streets in Jamaica.  Horror stories from the United States embedded in me creating a hesitance like that of a lost child.  I am ashamed for it.  It makes me think of the role that caution plays when a person finds themselves in a different culture and how trust is linked to the environments that we know.  

Heather’s uncle, Rick. is a great example of this.  Conservative through-and-through, he comes down to Jamaica to shake hands and bask in the safety of nostalgia, eating dishes that he knows in bar stools that he’s warmed.  Surrounding himself with other light-skinned tourists, there isn’t much difference than home, other than everything that exists outside of the Treehouse’s gated walls.  When does caution or comfortability take too much control of one’s assimilation into another’s culture?

As of this morning, I’m as stifled as Rick.  I want to stop at an authentic Jamaican restaurant tucked onto the side of the road like a beach shanty, but because I’ve seen none of them populated by tourists, deep down I consider them unsafe.  It feels like a hard-wiring that pulls back on the reigns as I ride through a culture I do not know.  Today, I will make a better effort at launching myself into the Jamaican culture and trusting those that I my ignorant instincts tell me not to trust.  It’s funny how trusting people is usually my strongest attribute, yet when put to the real-world test, I’m as cautious as anyone.

Yet yesterday I jumped from cliffs at heights I’ve never leaped from before and snorkeled in rough waters close to dangerously sharp rocks.  There’s an adventurous spirit in me that needs to be nudged into action, but once the opportunity arises, I tend to bypass the safety valve and dive head first.  Even riding a scooter for the first time on the opposite side of the road was pretty daunting.  In these moments, it’s either you do what you are afraid to do, or you live with your cowardice.  The many times in life my that I’ve approached this dilemma, I’ve found that great relief lies just beyond the other side of fear, hiding behind the louder voices in your head, waiting to see if you will do it.  Today I will silence those voices and immerse myself in a culture I do not know.  

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Jamaica Honeymoon - Day 1

Westmoreland, Jamaica | Sundown Villa | Honeymooning | Apollo Fields Photojournalism | Blog

Jamaica, Day 1

Friday, November 2nd , ~ 8:09am, local time

I woke up several times to the luminescent glow in the sky of a Jamaican sunrise, stirring to the sounds of life’s reawakening to the smell of fresh fires and morning birds.  Looking out onto the rigid horizon, my view was divided in two — the sky and the sea — one blue, darker and in constant motion, while the other floated in its own lightness.  The semi-frequent car horn blared from the street, bringing me back to the march of civilization that we thought we left in New York.

Hungry, I waited as Heather ruminated on her back in a lounge chair.  She stared at the same dialectic view, but I know her eyes told her a different story.  She saw the way the light struck the different crests of the ocean, the way it played with the rocks, creating shadows and depth as geckos crawled between the dark and the light.  She heard the birds and the cars but she reached another plane of mind by sheer will, wrestling her otherwise purposeful mind into a peaceful submission.  It took a bit of effort, but she got there, perhaps reaching an even more placid mental state than my own.

Most things are competitions for us and why would relaxation be any different.  I told her while I was reading Shantaram that it seemed a task for her to sit still, that she should go start breakfast because 1) I was hungry, and 2) I thought that it would provide her productive mind with something to do.  She disagreed, saying that it wasn’t difficult, that she found no trouble or resistance in the open space of an unoccupied mind, but I could see the struggle.  The struggle of a relentless spirit meeting no opponent, of a force pushing forward to find no resistance, where effort was not rewarded but yielded to.  What does a warrior make of passivity on the battlefield where victory reveals nothingness?  Where there is no one to fight and nowhere to go but inside one’s heart?  I imagine the war is explosive and silent.  I’m just happy to see her relax.

I don’t know what to expect from our time in Jamaica, safely tucked into our Airbnb on the cliffs at Sundown Villa, somewhat immersed in the culture while staying at an arms length.  Before we arrived, dad and others preached caution, forewarning danger, but our host, Nadine, exudes nothing but the warmth Americans have come to expect from Rasta and Jamaican culture.  Clouded in the smoke of ganja, I hope to brush shoulders with locals and eat from their authentic tradition, whether from the street or between the walls of celebrated staples.  I hope to return to the States revitalized and hungry, rejuvenated yet ready to begin the search for our new home. 

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Our Mala Bead Ceremony: A Non-Traditional Wedding Idea

Mala Bead Ceremony | Rehearsal Dinner Ideas | Non-Traditional Wedding Idea | Apollo Fields | Yoga Weddings

PSA to all couples who are getting married and looking for non-traditional wedding ideas: do a Mala Bead Ceremony! Originally a suggestion from a close hippie friend of ours (we love you, C!), we decided to do it for our wedding and everyone loved it! It was a heartfelt, engaging experience that was perfect for our rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding.

We first decided to do a Mala bead ceremony because neither of us were raised with any religious beliefs and we wanted to find traditions that resonated with us. The basic idea is this: ask your closest friends and family to obtain beads of any make, whether natural stone, wood, decorative, or otherwise. Then ask them to charge each of their beads with their intentions for your marriage and write them down. When everyone is together the night before the wedding, have each person present their beads and written intentions to you, describing why they chose those beads. Now, one-by-one string them onto your Mala bead necklace, beginning with a guru bead of your own.

The Guru Bead

The guru or anchor bead acts as the center of the necklace just as you will stand at the center of your family and friends during your wedding ceremony. In total, a traditional mala bead necklace contains 108 beads (not including the guru bead). After everyone has shared their beads and intentions, tie off the necklace. This personalized piece of jewelry is now ready for you to give to your officiant to wear during the ceremony.

Heather and I had no idea how our family and friends would respond to the ceremony, but their participation far exceeded our expectations. Our families aren’t particularly open with emotional conversations but somehow the subtlety and genuine nature of the mala bead ceremony created a comfortable space for them to share their feelings (so much feels, so much safe space). Some spoke with tongue-in-cheek comedy, while others stumbled through words that are usually left unspoken, but they all spoke.

They all shared their thoughts on love and what they think makes a good relationship. Unexpectedly insightful and heartfelt, I’d never felt closer to everyone in attendance. It was like one of those icebreaker team-building activities but with more on the line and less bullshit. I can’t recommend the ceremony enough.

Incorporating the Mala into our Ceremony

The day of the wedding we gave the necklace to our officiant, David “Killer” Miller, and he explained the significance of it to our guests while it gently hung around his neck. He also passed our wedding rings around in little nests for everyone to see, feel, and put their thoughts upon. Heather and I really wanted our wedding ceremony to be as interactive as possible because we feel most ceremonies are too exclusive rather than inclusive of those in attendance.

After all, why would you invite all these people to your wedding if you didn’t want them to participate in one way or another. We are the communities we are part of and I’ve never felt more in place than when I looked around at the faces in ours. Let this message be a reminder that your wedding day is whatever you want it to be, even if, especially if, it includes some random hippie ceremony.

The Intentions That Everyone Charged Our Beads With:

  • May you be LOVE (blood stone)

  • May you be LIGHT (amazonite)

  • May you be TRUTH (smoky quartz)

  • May you be COMPASSION (jasper)

  • Live today like there is no tomorrow.

  • Trust yourself to do the right thing!

  • Be truthful and honest in all that you do!

  • Have faith in yourself because you’re a good person and can solve anything that you encounter.

  • May you appreciate and encourage one another.

  • May you realize every moment is a gift.

  • May you have an open heart and therefore, an open mind.

  • To cherish your creativity and originality. It is hard to get it back (unicorn bead)

  • To live healthy and balanced. Everything in moderation (heart bead)

  • To be resilient at all times. Like a dragon (dragon bead)

  • To continue adventuring, thriving, and having a good time (flower bead)

  • The football shaped bead is pretty and reminds me of Heather

  • The barrel shape: Keep laughter in your lives. “A barrel of laughs”

  • Round cherry: From a necklace Heather made me. I wish you many happy days in your future

  • Yellow bead: Mom, Nana, and Pop all have this same bead to represent the strength in family

  • Stay classy

  • Be kind before being nice

  • Rosary Bead: May the breeze blow new strength into your beings

  • White Rosary Bead: May the moon softly restore you both by night

  • Brown flower bead: Was picked by me in a bead ceremony to represent RESILIENCE

  • Red squiggle bead: Keep traditions + make new traditions. It’s a Christmas bead. Believe in order to receive.

  • Strength: Although the nuts are individuals, they are strongest when they come home and are joined by the bolt.

  • Longevity: The darker nuts are from my fathers tool box. He understood partnership. M & D celebrated 66 years together last year.

  • Happiness: It has many components – Humor, Honesty, Humility

  • Growth: You are just starting your journey. You may need a bigger bolt as you grow more nuts!

  • Red beads from a necklace Heather made me. Makes me think of a ruby, represents my love for you both.

  • Teal bead: From a necklace Gram gave me. My intentions to keep the Girls Club alive forever.

  • Yellow bead: Dad, Nan, and Pop have this same bead to represent the strength in family.

  • Oval Silver: From a bracelet Heather made me. Silver represents sophisticated and modern, riches and wealth. May you have it all.

  • Black bead: Keep negative energy out of your life.

  • Yellow bead: To show strength in family.

  • Lead barrel: Like a bullet with gunpowder, continue to chase your dreams.

  • Black and white: Remember there are many other colors in the world.

  • For Nature

  • For Passion

  • For Play

  • Take time to listen with the mind and the heart

  • May you have patience with each other through the hard moments.

  • I will ALWAYS remember that I am strong and have the support of my extended family (we love you guys)

  • I will not do hard to others and accept the moment for what it is.

  • I will not end my day on an angry note; I have much to be grateful for.

  • I will have the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

  • I took this from Nana’s necklace. Like Nana, always find goodness in all people (Turquoise and Silver)

  • Pop, your father, and mom have the yellow bead to represent the strength in family.

  • This was from a necklace Heather made Nana. Hold the memories of both Gram and Nana (Teal)

  • Keep a transparent window of your future (Glass Bead)

  • What ever your wishes are!

  • Go forward.

  • My mom’s love of family.

  • Honeymoon Acres.

  • For memories.

  • For love.

  • To hold space for love even if it is small.

  • For a long, happy, ever-growing bond that gets stronger with time.

  • For you to find the joy even when you have to look for it.

  • For you to keep your uniqueness as individuals and as a couple.

  • May you have kind words, a loving heart, and good intentions.

  • May you take time every day to sit and quietly listen.

  • May you live in a constant state of amazement.

  • May you march to the beat of your own drum.

  • Winter – Teamwork. It takes two to build a snowman (snowman bead)

  • Spring – Pace, don’t rush through life like a speedy bunny. Slow down, enjoy the moments (bunny bead)

  • Summer – Freshness, a happy and fulfilling relationship (strawberry)

  • Fall – Harvest, enjoying the benefits of a long commitment (yellow tube)

  • Jade Tear: Jade is for luck and fortune.

  • The Bull: Bulls are strong. Willed with stronger personalities. Be mindful to see the bull in yourself and moo-ve on :)

  • The Frog: Frogs, while seemingly adaptable, are in reality quite fragile. Remember to nurture your relationships so it doesn’t dry out and be willing to shed your skin and try new things.

  • Flower on a White Background: This was the first bead I chose. It reminded me of traditional European embroidery motifs, which makes me think of our families as they have moved across this world, allowing for so many things, like you two getting to meet. Flowers make me think of spring and regrowth. The blank background is for possibility. I hope only the best in your new family, and everything that will come from it.

Venue: Honeymoon Acres, Private Farm | Ramsey NJ

Officiant: David Miller

HMUA: Jennifer Belle // Sandra Wittner

Photography: Alexis Cohen shooting for Apollo Fields

Don & Aliyah's Fun Danish Wedding in Denver, Colorado

Don & Aliyah | Danish Wedding Traditions | Denver, Colorado Wedding Photographer | Wedgewood Brittany Hill | Apollo Fields Wedding Photographers

Don and Aliyah have such a great vibe with one another and their wedding day was such a perfect representation of them! I met Don a few years ago at School House in Arvada and when they got engaged, we immediately began chatting about doing engagement and wedding photos. I’m so glad that I got to work with these guys because we just had the best time shooting their wedding.

It was our last wedding before hitting the road (the next day!) for the east coast and our own wedding so we were both giddy with excitement already! We arrived at Wedgwood Brittany Hill and the guys and gals were already halfway ready for the big day. The energy was so good that I immediately fell into my routine. Don and Aliyah wanted to do a first look (which I love) so we had picked out a great outdoor spot where they would be out of sight of arriving guests. Their first look was so sweet that I rolled with their energy and got lots of great shots out back.

They decided to do the ceremony on the patio out back which boasts great views of both the rocky mountains as well as the Denver city skylines. It’s the best of both worlds! One fun thing that they did in their ceremony was the officiant told them to turn their backs together as a representation of the last time that they would turn their backs on one another. It was such a sentimental ceremony against the setting sun. I knew we wouldn’t have too much more sunlight left so we immediately jumped into cocktail hour and when golden hour hit, I brought them back out behind the venue to do some awesome romantics.

I just loved the energy that they brought to the whole day! They both have Danish backgrounds and it was really fun to see how their traditions were incorporated into their wedding reception. They had a little song/poem that Don’s mother did with a fun little paper mâché home and everyone sang it out together and clapped and laughed! Another fun tradition that they have is when they clink their glass, not only does the couple have to kiss, they have to stand on top of their chairs to do it! If the guests stop their feet, the bride and groom have to climb underneath the table to kiss. Such a fun and quirky tradition!

Another great Danish tradition is during the dancing, the groomsmen surprise-attack the groom, rip his shoe off and cut the tip off of his sock! I was happy that someone tipped me off on this one because I would have had NO idea otherwise what was going on. It is a fun old tradition that represents how now the groom can’t run away anymore ;)

The whole day was full of sentimental touches and fun traditions! I loved being a part of this day and just think the world of this great couple.

Photography: Apollo Fields

Wedding Venue: Wedgewood Brittany Hill, Thornton Colorado

Flowers: Flintwood Floral & Design

Farewell Colorado (For Now)

Farewell Colorado (For Now) | Apollo Fields Heads Eastward | NYC Wedding Photographers

Both of our going away parties began on picnic blankets in parks, surrounded by fresh fruit, local beer, and our closest friends. There were games and laughs, children, and sunshine. But as the days wore on, Heather and I grew closer to the reality of leaving with each farewell embrace. Lucky for me, this time around, I managed to avoid the emotional minefield of “this is the last time I will [insert memorable experience ‘x’] in [insert city ‘y’],” recognizing it as a self-imposed trap set on disturbing the logic of ambition and transition. Despite my valiant effort, both parties ended with me in tears.

I’m a long way from being ashamed of crying in public and even further from trying to hide it. I mean, what’s wrong with coming toe-to-toe with your emotions and ceding to their validity when they creep up behind your eyes? I actually find a problem in trying to suppress them. Because if we try to hide our feelings from our closest friends, then who can we be vulnerable with? In times of happiness and sadness alike, it is in our best interest to try to understand why we feel the way we feel.

In Colorado, my tears finally came when I hugged my friend, Brandon. Although only a friendship of a couple of years, the density and depth of our interactions has stretched our connection over what seems like many more. There is a candor in our exchanges that reflects contemplation and curiosity, the bedrock of understanding. If there’s anything I’ve learned from him, it’s that homemade bread will always be better than store bought. Making goods by hand is more than artistry, it is a source of value beyond our taste buds and aesthetic eyes. Thank you for teaching me this and for your friendship, Brandon.

To all of the others who came to see us off, I’ll never forget those last couple of weeks in Colorado. The Great American Beer Festival, Lake Street Dive at Red Rocks, the Rockies game, and finding a home for all of our beloved furniture. Carya and Thomas, Andy and Elaina, and Shane and Lexi, you all showed up when we needed you most and we barely had to ask. Large events like moving or weddings always bring people together and we aren’t just lucky or #blessed, we are #inyourdebt. Not like the bad kind of debt like student loans but the good kind of debt like owing your neighbor a cup of sugar or carton of eggs. The kind of debt that includes open door policies, late night pickups, and sending you home with a Tupperware of leftovers despite a bevy of polite refusals. I hope to be in debt to you all for a long time to come.

Finally, thank you to Frances & Bryce for sending us on the road with delicious food in our bellies. Whenever I think of Denver I will think of the mountains we climbed and the friends we climbed them with. Here’s to the friendships in our lives that make the Rockies look like molehills.

This One's For You, Colorado

September is here…

For someone who’s moving across the country and getting married in the next few weeks, I’m surprisingly calm.  The opposite of having cold feet, Heather and I are inching towards our departure from Colorado with equal parts celebration and anticipation.  Of course, leaving will be hard, but our two years in Arvada has only shown us that our ambition cannot be contained in our cozy cottage on Cody Street.

The friends we’ve made here caught us at a pivotal developmental phase of our relationship, and because of that they mean that much more to us.  From the dinner parties to dancing like idiots at Red Rocks, Heather and I have never quite had the community that we’ve fallen into here.  I’ve never felt more like myself than when Heather’s sampling sauce from her wooden spoon and I’m welcoming friends in through the front door.  To know that our Colorado friends have helped us realize that – these core parts of who we are – is to understand an achievement of friendship that we will never feel worthy for. 

It would be scarier to leave if we didn’t have such a solid plan in place.  When we land in New York on October 1st, 2018, we are emptying Joey (our car) into our interim home in East Northport, NY, on Long Island, and scooting over to Ramsey, NJ, to prepare Honeymoon Acres for our wedding.  It will be a week of tedious logistics where we will transform inevitable accidents and miscues into laughter and memories.  After that, we get married, cry, and party.  It’s that easy.

From there, we will take our wedding brand, Apollo Fields, into its next iteration: a wedding venue.  We dream of a lush green piece of land with a barn and a farmhouse with a long, wrap-around porch, complete with a swinging bench that creaks as you reminisce in those long moments before dinner is ready.  We see hard work and love coexisting in a space where relationships are honored as partnerships, and where friendship is built into the bones.  The best part about this dream is that we cannot only see it, but that it is fully within our grasp.

I’m not going to pretend to say that I won’t cry when we leave (mainly because I already have), but I will say that the hit won’t be as hard because we have so much to look forward to.  When we left New York for Colorado two years ago, we packed everything we cared about into Sacajawea  (our now deceased Subaru), and now as we return we will be doing the same with Joey.  With Riddle, Rumor, (and Limbo living the luxury life in a commercial trailer) in tow, Heather and I are turning the music up and making our way back home.  Who knows when it will hit us, as the tears began to pour as we drove over the George Washington Bridge last time, but I know that I’m ready for them.  This one’s for you Colorado.

 

Your Immeasurably Grateful Friends,

Terrence & Heather

(The Apollo Fields Family ) 

Cookbook Sale!

We’re also having a dope sale on our books to lighten our moving load! Click HERE.


Some of Our Favorite Memories in Colorado:

Photos Credited to our wonderful and talented friends:
Sam Hines
Kim Klein
Sarah Valencia

Vessi & Grant's Archetype Distillery Wedding in Denver, CO

Vessi & Grant's Archetype Distillery Wedding in Denver, CO | Union Station Photography | Bulgarian Weddings | Apollo Fields Wedding Photography

Vessi and Grant are a fun and upbeat couple who live in the heart of Denver. They had an awesome wedding reception at Archetype Distillery on South Broadway to keep the celebrations rolling after they had an intimate ceremony in Bulgaria. Since many of the people who they wanted to celebrate with wouldn’t be able to make the international trip, they decided instead of sacrificing a lot of the guests who are important to them, why not have two celebrations!?

I loved this philosophy because sometimes wedding planning can seem like having to make a lot of one-or-the-other choices, but sometimes if we think outside the box a little, there doesn't have to be a big sacrifice. Vessi and Grant got to have the best of both worlds by choosing to have two celebrations, one in Bulgaria (where Vessi is from) and one in the states (where they live now). They were still able to incorporate some traditions at their celebration at Archetype Distillery which was a fun way to merge their heritages instead of having it be one way or the other.

I met up with this fun couple at a hotel downtown near Union Station, where they got a great room with an awesome city view. We were all laughing because they actually live nearby, but wanted to treat themselves a bit for this occasion! It had a great staycation vibe and I think it really helped them set the tone for everything. They have an adorable pup who we wanted to have in some pics, so we were able to take him for a walk around the hotel and near Union Station to do some fun, urban pics of them. This couple is so outgoing and photogenic so we immediately clicked!

After the sun set and we had tons of great city shots, we headed over to Archetype Distillery where the reception was. They had these amazing white chairs that anchored the decor in the room. The distillery has a fun, urban vibe with overhead views of their tanks and operations. The space is great for entertaining, with a vibrant bar that everyone quickly found for cocktail hour. The whole evening was bustling with guests greeting Vessi and Grant and lots of cheering and toasts. The night ended with lots and lots of dancing and even some traditional Bulgarian dances which was fun to be in the center of! I love being right in the heart of their horo, which was very energetic and almost dizzying to be in the middle of. It’s great to see how different cultures celebrate this great milestones and I loved being a part of Vessi and Grant’s awesome day!

Photography: Heather Huie for Apollo Fields

Venue: Archetype Distillery, Denver CO

Denver Wedding Planning: Aimee with Prisma Events