Wedding Writer

Rob & Lizzie’s Upstate NY Wedding in the Woods

Liz & Rob’s Wedding in the Woods | Cazenovia NY | DIY Upscale Backyard Weddings | Apollo Fields Wedding Photography

Some call getting married “taking the plunge,” others call it “tying the knot,” but never before have we heard it called “stepping through the portal.”

“The Portal” is what Rob and Lizzie called their woodland-sourced and family-crafted circular altar. It’s mismatched limbs created a complete arch with local wildflowers and ivy and it was unlike any altar we’ve ever seen. This thoughtful feature of Rob and Lizzie’s wedding in the woods of Cazenovia, NY, is but one of the many things that made their wedding one of the most unique we’ve ever documented.

Rob & Lizzie are a couple of New York City performers who own their own dance theater business and are constantly using the sidewalks as their stage. Where we see open space, they see bodies and choreography, and where we see people— they see an audience. Rob and Lizzie’s creativity knows no bounds and ambitions have no limits. They are as present and improvisational as they are contemplative and calculated. Their energy and relationship epitomizes the creative New York spirit that pulls wanting eyes to the sparkling lights of Broadway. They are performers.

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And their celebration of love reflected just that. From the hula-hooping fire twirler, to “the portal,” and multiple dance and singing performances, we never saw a stagnant soul. Tears were shed, lips quivered, and bodies embraced. Family and friends sat on on the edges of their seats beneath an illuminated tent in the otherwise dark woods. Every word spoken barely left the lips of cracking voices. Moments were used to reflect and collect emotions rather than repeat dead words, reminding us all that love is a product of our collective souls. The memory of this celebration still echoes in my mind like a catchy, heartfelt Beatles’ tune.

The word that kept coming up when I asked the guests about Rob and Lizzie was nucleus. Like their guests came to their wedding because they pulled them into their lives like floating electrons. All of us are are charged with a certain amount of energy but some of us have a bit more magnetism, a bit more pull than others.

Watching the way Lizzie and Rob exchanged moments with their eyes showed us just that. They didn’t talk to their friends, they reached out with their irises and arms and touched them. They made them feel seen and felt—a feeling humans spend a lot of time chasing —Rob and Lizzie gave in a glance. What a wonderful kind of pull they have.

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Rob and Lizzie reminded me that we are all nuclei and centers of our own communities. That we bring something to our friends and families in our lives that no one else does. They also reminded me that we are in a constant state of self-improvement.

That ambition isn’t only about accolades and achievements but also emotional well-being. What pulls people in is not what you have done or seen but the way you make people feel. Our magnetism comes from our centers, our portals, and our nuclei. Cheers to Rob and Lizzie, and the performers of the world that remind us that we’re supposed to feel.

Enjoy these sneak peeks from Lizzie & Rob’s wedding:

Vendors:

Photography & Writing | Apollo Fields
DJ/Band | Melody Rose DJ
Getting Ready Photos/Hotel | The Brewster Inn
Rehearsal “Dinner” | Brae Loch Inn
Bakery | Half Moon Bakery
Florist | Just a Sweet Grandma in town named Wesley
Decor/Tent | Ralston Tents & Events
Dress aka “Moon Baby” | Theia | Lovely Bride
Suit | Macy’s
Invitations/Save the Dates | Canva | Shutterfly
Custom Rings | Misty Summers 

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Come Join us for a Beer and Let’s Talk Wedding Planning!

This is from a recent visit to Port Jeff Brewing Company on Long Island, one of our local faves. The visit included an IPA, an imperial stout, and our two dogs getting a barkload of attention. Cheers!

Naomi & Johnny's Wedding at The Pines at Genesee in Golden, CO

    Long Distance Relationships Can Work | Johnny and Naomi’s Wedding in Golden, CO | The Pines at Genesee Weddings | Apollo Fields

    Many take the idea of having a long distance relationship as a futile effort at romance, but Johnny and Naomi have proven that nothing can stand in the way of love and communication.  For the past several years, they have each been stationed at Air Force bases in different states, only managing to see each other once or twice a month. Yet the irony of their relationship is that the distance between them brought them closer together.

    Johnny and Naomi’s first date was actually on Johnny’s birthday five years ago at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.  That’s a lot of expectation to place on a Tinder date—but obviously his gamble paid off. They met up for coffee, spoke about their respective trips to Israel, and took a short walk to Naomi’s favorite waterfall.  Their conversation was natural and fluid and Naomi thought the date went really well until Johnny said at the end, “we’ll keep in touch,” which was not exactly the most reassuring of phrases to conclude a romantic evening.  Naomi would later learn that phrases like these were just quirks of his personality.

    Over the next few years, as distance became an issue, the small moments they did share obviously became more valuable.  In the pre-wedding questionnaires we gave to them, they both spoke about times where they were about to spend an extended amount of time apart, and each of them said or did something that made them realize they really loved one another.  For Naomi, it was when Johnny returned from summer break one year and asked if she “wanted to spend every night together,” knowing that in the near future he would be shipped off to Air Force training. For Johnny, it was when Naomi was training for ROTC and began getting very nervous.  She was so stressed that she started talking to her socks, and it was then that Johnny knew that they each represented a calming presence to each other. It was because of these timing restrictions that they learned to express their appreciation of one another.

    Naomi and Johnny like to joke about a time they went canoeing when Naomi would just put her paddle in the water to make them go in a zigzag or circle pattern rather than floating in a straight line.  I like to think about that story as an analogy to their relationship as they maneuvered through the difficulties of long distance dating with attention and appreciation for one another. They say that they almost hit a boat of fisherman—just like I’m sure there were points in their relationship that seemed like they thought they were going to crash.  But because of their effort, trust and honest communication, they were able to carve out time for one another and laugh as they floated through time like they floated down that river.

    Working as a wedding professional, I’ve learned that there’s no such thing as a “perfect relationship,” where every moment of every day is like the song “So Happy Together” by The Turtles is playing in the background.  Like every other great thing in life, a solid relationship requires work, and more often that not the path of our canoe is going to zigzag or go in circles. The important thing is having a partner that can work towards a shared goal and laugh while doing it.  If you can manage to find a partner like Johnny and Naomi have in one another, then you can embrace every adventure and hardship with an equal hand; where the serenity of a mountain lake with a beer in your hand is that much more sweet, and the sunshine reflecting off a field of yellow flowers is that much more bright.  Distance is only an obstacle for your relationship, but with the right amount of effort and love, it can be conquered and wind up bringing you closer together.


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Hey, it’s us!

We’re Heather & Terrence— the husband-and-wife team behind Apollo Fields. Feel free to reach out and say hi or sign up for our newsletter below!

The Vendor Team:

Photography: Apollo Fields
Getting-Ready Venue: The Dove Inn
Ceremony Venue:  Pines at Genesee
Party Planner / Day-Of Coordinator:  Vivian Weinress
Officiants: Rev John Witkop & Debbie Kintish
Florist:  Fleur de Liz
DJ / Band:  Drake Dawson "DJ Drake
Dress : Allure Bridal | Purchased at The Bridal Boutique
Veil was made by "the Button the Needle and the Wardrobe" (alterations), everything else is Etsy!
Suit: Dillards
Rings : Goodman & Sons in Virginia | Engagement ring was Johnny's grandmothers
Hair and Makeup: Prodigy Salon
Invitations and Save The Dates:  My Big Day Designs

Casey & Thomas's Foothills Wedding in Longmont, Colorado

Casey & Thomas’s Wedding in Longmont, CO | Laid-Back Colorado Wedding Planning | Sentimental DIY Weddings | Apollo Fields Wedding Photography

It is always interesting to read the answers that our couples come up with to our pre-wedding questionnaire. It gives us a glimpse into their past and allows us to begin to picture what their wedding day might look like. After reading Casey and Thomas’s, I noticed that in every one of their answers there was a different, important aspect that goes into a healthy relationship, and I knew right then that their special day was going to go off with only one hitch (getting hitched, that is!).  

After briefly dating in high school, Casey and Thomas reacquainted when Thomas was driving through Chicago about five years ago. They wound up meeting up for burgers and talking a lot and well, “the rest is history.” What this glimpse taught us about them was that they are steady, confident individuals who are comfortable meeting up with a friend from the past, but more importantly, it provided them the opportunity for serendipity to open their hearts to a long-lasting relationship.

After their romance had been rekindled, they dated long distance for six months, establishing a trust and system of communication that would later serve as the basis of their loving relationship (Isn’t it ironic how we can grow closer the farther we move apart?).

Yet an example of perhaps the most integral part of any relationship occurred when Casey received a large gift on her birthday from Thomas at her office.  She had no idea what it was, but when she tore back the wrapping to reveal an original print of a photographer she mentioned once (time to step up your games, fellas!), she was floored.  Being present enough to listen and conscientious enough to act is a level of thoughtfulness that every relationship can benefit from.

    And I know that surprises aren’t for everyone, but Casey said she had NO idea that Thomas was going to propose.  I think I can speak for the married couples out there who must remember the nerves that coursed through their veins when the question was popped—kind of like the first time you went in for a kiss—and the immense relief that rested upon the lips of your partner on the other side.  A healthy dose of vulnerability can go a long way, and continuing to surprise your S.O. with acts of love will never get old.  

    Before I let Casey and Thomas’s beautiful relationship turn into a dating column on our website, let me finish with what they said they were most looking forward to on their wedding day: “looking out and seeing all of my favorite people together.”  It’s a simple enough answer, but the fact that they designed the itinerary of their day to maximize their time with those who traveled to the celebration of the union of their love showed their commitment to their communities.  Sometimes we can get caught up in all of the details that we forget that the assembly of all of our friends and family on our wedding day might never happen again—but Casey and Thomas did not.

    Now I can only imagine that Casey and Thomas are probably laying on their backs on a mountaintop near Telluride, gazing up at the broad sky of stars, thinking of all of the things, big and small, that they will experience together, because they place value in every single one of them. Cheers to you, Casey and Thomas, and congratulations!

Enjoy Casey & Thomas’s Sneak Peeks:

The Vendor Team:

Colorado Wedding Photography: Apollo Fields
Longmont Wedding Venue: Altona Grange
Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Jenny Yoo
Hair: Carbon Salon
Ethical Wedding Bands: Brilliant Earth
Wildflower Wedding Invitations: Paper Culture

Kat & Brett’s Engagement Session in Golden Gate Canyon

Kat & Brett’s Engagement Session | Golden Gate Canyon State Park | Colorado Engagement Photography | Jeep Wrangler Engagements | Cannonball Brewery Beer Photos | Apollo Fields

    The crunch of pine needles under your hiking boots.  The kind nods of strangers walking by. The mountain wind that sings aspens into a dance also fills your lungs with movement.  The comfort of adventuring in Colorado where the unknown trail feels like a well worn couch. Sink your soul into nature and the wild woodland sounds will lull you to sleep.  A community of one in the safe outdoors—or better yet—bring a friend or two and set the trail ablaze with laughter and conversation. Expand your community, bring people together, and fill your heart with trust.

    Hiking Golden Gate Canyon State Park with Kat and Brett for their outdoor engagement session felt just like this.  Light with laughter and steeped in love.  It made me miss living in Colorado, but it made me grateful for the communities we’re helping bring together.  “Talking with a friend about friends you meet and I’m so glad we met,” Kat said in a text yesterday, and I couldn’t agree more.  We cross paths with strangers and acquaintances on city sidewalks, hiking trails in the woods, and in line at supermarkets—and it is up to us to decide who we should invite into our lives.

    Kat and I met working at Oasis Brewing Company together and I still love to use that space as our hub for connecting when we’re back in town.  Firstly, because beer; secondly, because of the honest and kind-hearted eyes of Morianne and Erik Smith that welcome me back into that building; and thirdly, because the beautifully decorated rustic modern space is a comfortable and conducive atmosphere for meetups of all sizes.  By purposefully perpetuating relationships out of this space (I’m not forgetting you Kael and Kelly), Heather and I hope to cultivate long-lasting friendships that never end at the bottom of the glass.

When we met up at the brewery this past Monday, we held a meeting with Matt and Julie, a couple potential (now actual!) clients, followed by an open invitation to all of our friends in the area.  The turnout exceeded our expectations, including climbing buddies, fellow industry professionals, old friends, horse barn neighbors, and even a couple, Meghan and Armand, whose wedding we shot in the summer of 2018.  Meghan and Armand were the real MVPs of the meetup as they beamed with happiness, recounting to Matt and Julie just how positive their experience with us was. Funny thing is, the meeting of these two couples was unintentional if not downright serendipitous, because we didn’t tell most of our friends that we were coming early to meet with Matt and Julie.  Yet because we choose to cultivate relationships with our couples and with people in spaces that mean something to us, we continue to connect and create communities.  

    It’s that same feeling that washes over us when we take our puppers on a walk in the woods.  It’s a community of one turning into a community of many, linked by trust and adventure. We’ve only known Kat and Brett, Erik and Morianne, Kael and Kelly, and now Meghan and Armand for a year or two, but as we hike forward towards the future, we aim to bring the Matt and Julie’s into our community one couple at a time.    

Photography: Heather for Apollo Fields
Writing: Terrence for Apollo Fields
Colorado Location: Golden Gate Canyon State Park
Dress: Madewell
Beer: Cannonball Creek Brewery

Wedding “I-Dos” and Don’ts: The Inside Scoop

Wedding Planning Tips from Photographers Who Have Shot Over 100 Weddings— The Inside Scoop on How To Prioritize Your Timeline and Budget

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Wedding “I-Dos” and Don’ts:

Things You Should Know For Your Wedding Day

Some people have been thinking about saying “I Do” since they were marrying their stuffed animals in a fort underneath their coffee table; while others, well not so much. Whether or not you have a Monica-sized binder of wedding ideas, rest assured that your wedding day is going to be a wonderful experience. It’s a day where you’re doted upon like royalty as friends and family deliver their support, love, mimosas and/or whiskey and everything in between.  There will inevitably be stresses, but if you safeguard the experience of your wedding day by heeding a few of our industry tips, you and your significant other will live happily ever after.


I Do…

Host Cocktail Hour Before the Ceremony

This one may be controversial as it goes against the tradition of not seeing the bride before the ceremony, but everyone knows the feeling of sitting through a wedding ceremony when cocktail hour starts to creep into your mind. By welcoming guests with hors d'oeuvres and beverages upon arrival, you’re able to ease your guests into the day, creating happy bellies and heads to fully enjoy your wedding ceremony. Yes, you may run the risk of your irresponsible relative or friend loading up on a few drinks, but as long as you keep it short they won’t have much of a chance; or better yet, save the hard liquor for after the ceremony.

You will find that you create a much more relaxed, welcoming atmosphere where people can be themselves, especially for those guests who arrive late. We initially thought of this for our wedding because we wanted to create the vibe of a dinner party, knowing how critical it is from a hospitality standpoint to make someone feel welcome as soon as they enter an event. We felt more like gracious-hosts than guests-of-honor, and encourage couples to create their own timelines to reflect their personalities as well.

Take The Edge Off With A Little Bubbly Before The Ceremony

Take The Edge Off With A Little Bubbly Before The Ceremony

 

I Don’t…

Schedule Your Itinerary Down to the Minute

With all of the moving parts of a wedding day, it makes sense to want to be hyper-organized when it comes to your itinerary. The thing that most couples don’t realize is that while you may be organized, that doesn’t mean the rest of your guests and event staff will be up to the task.  It is all too often that we get a four-page timeline that goes something like, “6:47PM Welcome Toast, 6:51PM Blessing By Bride’s Father,” and we know how impossible it is to adhere to that tight of a schedule. So when you’re charting out your day, keep in mind that you have to account for things like: wrangling your uncle’s four cranky kids when taking family formals, finding a chair for grandma to sit on, the changes in location when the weatherman was wrong yet again, and how the staff forgot to set up for your special seating arrangement sign.

I’m not trying to say all of these things will go wrong -- but I am saying that something inevitably will -- and when it does, your perfectly laid plans will start to stress you out because you’re quickly 4 minutes, then 7 minutes, and then 10 minutes behind schedule. Our advice is to treat your itinerary like a guideline, not a schedule, that way you have a structure to follow, but you can still be flexible to accommodate for the many variables of your wedding day. Figure out what actually needs a concrete time and let everything else bend with the breeze. For us, those were our guests arrival time and when the DJ would begin playing music—everything else—had some room to breathe. One of our favorite 2017 brides put it best when she said:

Our wedding (and life) was rough around the edges, but straight from the heart.
— Alli Bell
Roll With The Punches And You’re Guaranteed To Have A Good Time

Roll With The Punches And You’re Guaranteed To Have A Good Time

 

I Do…

Have a Backup Location for the Ceremony

Most venues accommodate for this, but you would be surprised how many weddings we’ve been to that when the weather got cranky, everyone stood around staring at each other wondering what to do. It is super important that when you book your venue, you know where the backup ceremony location is and that you’re happy with it.

We could tell you some war stories about shooting in torrential rains, subzero temps, nor’easter floods, sideways hail, and hotter-than-hell sun because there either: (A) was no backup plan, or (B) the bride simply would not get married anywhere else. I have literally watched a group of 200+ guests get pelted by hail while the couple is standing at the altar pretending like shit isn’t hitting the fan.

Maybe we’re superstitious, but we tend to believe that the more content you are with your backup location, the less likely it is that you will actually need to use it! Similar to the itinerary advice, you have to gauge your expectations to the many variables of the day, and this is especially true for the weather. Be realistic and aware about the seasonal weather patterns of your locations, friends! (i.e. it is probably going to be crazy-humid in NYC in August / you can expect a wet day in Seattle in May / and it’s not unheard of to have a September blizzard in CO.)

We’ll Be There, Come Hail Or High Water

We’ll Be There, Come Hail Or High Water

 

I Don’t…

Spend Big on the Cake

Yes, we all want to mush cake on our significant other’s face to get back at them for beating us at Scrabble (is it just me?). And yes, we all want to seize the opportunity of having a tiered custom cake made to our specific wishes and desires—but think for a minute—can you specifically remember any cake you had at a wedding?  According to WeddingWire, the average couple spends about $500 on their wedding cakes. I’m not saying that the bakeries are over-charging because they really aren’t, but maybe your wedding isn’t the time to live out your Cake Boss fantasies. This is a great place to trim the fat (literally) and reallocate some of those funds to some real memory-makers.

Chances are you’re going to be too busy tearing up the dance floor to actually tear into the cake with grandma over a cup of decaf coffee anyway. So instead of shelling out for something that will most likely wind up in the trash (we see it ALL the time), go for a dessert that your guests can enjoy on the fly, like an assortment of cookies, brownies, cupcakes, or try thinking of a fun and healthier option! (We had a caramel apple bar with slices of apple on sticks and melted chocolate and caramel for dipping.)

Cupcakes Are A Great Money-Saving Alternative To A Traditional Cake

Cupcakes Are A Great Money-Saving Alternative To A Traditional Cake

 

I Do…

Take a Few Minutes for Yourselves

The other side of being treated like royalty on your wedding day is that everyone wants a piece of your time. As wedding photographers, we’re almost part-paparazzi part-security in how we snap pictures of a couple as we shuffle them along through gauntlets of friends and family. The flow of the day can quickly feel like you’re being shuttled from one place to another without stopping to enjoy the day that you spent so much time and money planning.

As hospitality professionals, Heather and I recognize when this is happening and always encourage a couple to take a moment to duck out in a room to take a few breaths and steal a few kisses.  Everyone who has gotten married will tell you how “the day goes too fast,” so slow it down by finding some quiet time to take it all in. Go to the bathroom, drink some water— it sounds obvious, but you might be surprised at how even the most basic of needs can fall by the wayside on your big day. According to The Knot, the average wedding celebration clocks in only around 5 hours (although it feels like five minutes). What good is having a wedding if you don’t thoroughly enjoy it!?

Sneak Away For Sunset

Sneak Away For Sunset

 

I Don’t…

Stress About Wedding Favors

Have you ever taken a wedding favor and thought, “this is amazing, I can’t wait to use it?” Us neither. Yet we’ve heard so many couples talk about how difficult it was to choose something to give as favors to their guests. Some ideas can get expensive very quickly, so what are some ideas that are inexpensive but not “cheap,” and won’t go directly into the trash?

We like to suggest things that are edible (especially if it’s good for soaking up booze), like specialized cookies or popcorn you can make at home, or something that is eco-friendly like wildflower seeds. The average wedding produces about 400lbs of trash and 63 tons of CO2 according to the Green Bride Guide, so we love the idea of doing something to give back to Mother Nature in lieu of a crappy present.

Another great option is to donate some money to a charity of your choice and tastefully let your guests know which organization you went with. The reality is, like wedding cake, odds are people aren’t going to remember it, so direct your stress and your funds to something that actually adds to yours and your guests’ experience! Take it from a Pro Event Coordinator with The Pines at Genesee:

Less can definitely be more, people don’t miss what they don’t know isn’t there!!
— Erika Norcross
Eco-Friendly Flower Favors

Eco-Friendly Flower Favors


Hi and Welcome!!

We are Heather & Terrence Huie— the husband-and-wife team behind Apollo Fields. We are a photojournalist duo who have worked weddings big and small all over the United States as well as International Destination Weddings. As vendors who have also been through the process of planning and executing a wedding ourselves, we have a unique perspective on the good, the bad, and the ugly that can happen on your “big day”. What works for us certainly won’t work for everyone, our hope is that our inside scoop can help you and your fiancé prioritize your wedding timeline and budget in a way that actually serves you (and your guests).

Micaela & Shane's Harry Potter Themed Wedding at The Highlands Ranch Mansion, Colorado

Micaela & Shane’s Wedding | Harry Potter Themed Weddings | Highlands Ranch Mansion | Highlands Ranch Colorado | Apollo Fields Wedding Photographers

I wish I could rate my couples online because these guys would be 5 stars across the board! First of all, they were a photographer’s dream - super easy to work with, very kind, easy going, and also GORGEOUS (the icing on the cake right). But most of all, they were a super down-to-earth easy going couple that just loved each other.

I’ve shot a few weddings at the Highlands Ranch Mansion so I have a few spots that are my go-to’s for that amazing golden light. I vividly remember getting ants in my pants during the ceremony because we were close to losing the golden light (they had a late summer ceremony so the light was absolutely DREAMY during the ceremony and we were going to lose it fast). Their officiant announced them as husband and wife, they kissed, celebrated down the aisle, and I immediately scooped them away for a few natural light romantics.

Micaela and Shane were such good sports about it, too. I knew that if I didn’t steal them for * five minutes * that we would lose that epic light and guests would want to storm them so it would be impossible afterwards. I always joke that golden hour is my catnip, but for a synesthetic photographer, it really makes my skin tingle and I just get totally high on it. These guys rolled with all of that energy and gave me the best five minutes that I could have ever asked for. I loved these shots because I felt like we just punched so much love and emotion into – literally – the last few moments of light and the photos are so indicative of that.

After the ceremony and epic romantics, I was able to take the back seat a little and snag relaxed family shots, cocktail hour, and intros. Micaela and Shane did a great job balancing a ‘themed’ wedding without feeling like a college party (haha). They are both huge Harry Potter fans and did such a tasteful job of showing this off and having fun with something that has shaped their relationship. Their friends and family were so much fun and I really loved working with this awesome couple!

Photography: Apollo Fields | Wedding Photographer

Wedding Venue: Highlands Ranch Mansion | Colorado

Published on Wedding Wire: Micaela & Shane’s Wedding

The Best of 2018 Wedding Photography

Apollo Fields Wedding Photography | Best of 2018 | Colorado and New York Weddings

Happy Times Lift All Spirits, Sad Times Fortify Them

As the rain continued to fall on that foggy, cool, northeastern October day, all I could feel was Heather’s cold hands. I remember holding them as our dear friend and wedding officiant, David Miller, recounted Heather and I’s relationship with his warm, welcoming voice. I can still see him smiling when I think about it. I can still imagine being hoisted up by my friends during the horah, even though neither Heather or I are the slightest bit Jewish. When I think back on it, every height we reached on our wedding day seems untouchable—like your most nostalgic childhood memory—only we were just a couple of adults in love.

Two months later and we were back in sunny Colorado but Heather’s hands were still cold. Only this time I looked into her shivering eyes and watched as she tried to speak through her quivering lips, still blue from the anesthesia. “I’m sooo cold,” she muttered, as tears ran down my cheeks like warm little streams of gratitude. “We’re going to be all right,” I told her. The laparoscopic surgery to remove the ectopic pregnancy from Heather’s Fallopian tube was a success, but it ran longer than expected, and just fifteen minutes earlier I was pacing in an empty hospital waiting room like I needed to be admitted to a psych ward. It was 6:00 am on Christmas morning and I’d never felt so devoid of emotion—my heart as vacant as that waiting room—yet there we were, still just a couple of adults in love.

As 2019 begins I can’t help but ruminate on these highs and lows and think of the constant, unshakeable love that saw us through all of it. The end of 2018 dragged my heart through depths that I never wanted to know, but just a month prior we were literally leaping with joy from cliffs into the aquamarine waters of Negril, Jamaica on our honeymoon. Life apparently has a funny way of teaching us important lessons—and by funny I mean unforgiving and agonizing. If it’s anything I learned in 2018 is how important it is to cultivate and maintain a steady love as much as possible—because one minute you can be celebrating with ease—and the next minute you can be holding the hand of the person you love in a hospital bed. It is only with a constant love that you can weather the harshest storms and ride the highest highs and always come out on top.

The rest of 2018 was filled with a medley of moments, both big and small, that made us grateful for everyone in our lives. From launching Apollo Fields, shooting Hailey & Mark’s, Don & Aaliyah’s, and Kate & Jeff’s weddings in Colorado, to joining all of them on their dance floors afterwards. To seeing my first moose and calf on a hike to Lake Isabelle near Nederland, Colorado! Not to mention the friends who came to see us off at our going away party at Sloan’s Lake and Oasis Brewing Company, affirming the quality of people that we are attracting into our lives right now. This was further proven in the endless red carpets that were rolled out during our traumatic December in Colorado while we were working through our ectopic pregnancy. I don’t know if we will ever be able to appropriately thank you all.

What I can promise you is that I will be there for all of you like you were there for us. Where happy times lift all spirits, sad times fortify them. Heather and I have never been stronger and for that I am thankful—to her, to all of you—I will hold your hands tightly when they are cold, and I will let them go to fly into the air when they are good and warm. I love you all.

Here’s some of our awesome couples this year! Ranging from Colorado to New York to Pennsylvania to Connecticut

Some of our 2018 Venues:

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

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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Processing Pain: The Legacy of Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain’s Death | Parts Unknown | Eric Ripert | Apollo Fields Photojournalism

Watching Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown with Eric Ripert offers insight into the turmoil behind Bourdain’s infamous irreverence. Around every corner of conversation Bourdain’s slinging some cryptic or grotesque piece of humor, landing upon Ripert’s matter-of-fact ears like juvenile jabs from a close friend. It is entertaining albeit haunting, to hear the words “death” and “I want to die” come from Bourdain’s mouth. Perhaps the saddest part though, is that the callous, cynical persona that we all fell in love with was slowly consuming the host of Parts Unknown right in front of our laughing eyes.

Hindsight is 20-20 of course, and now watching the show is an exercise of recognizing his blunt, unforgiving humor as the red flags of a man publicly processing his inner demons. Bourdain’s trip to Buenos Aires in one episode is particularly poignant as it cuts in and out of a therapy session where he explores and laments his character. Bourdain says that he wanted nothing more than to look out the window and think, “life is good,” but couldn’t see past what he considered an unfixable, untreatable “character trait.” The reality is that he was processing his pain the way he was accustomed to—using lewd jokes as bridges for cross-cultural conversations—it’s just a shame that we didn’t see these devices as explorations of his mental “parts unknown,” rather than hilarious quips.

Yet that’s exactly what our mental machinations are to each other: “parts unknown.” Bourdain knew he would find no sympathizers with his woes because, let’s face it, he had a job we all could only dream of. But I’m beginning to believe that our feelings, the things us millennial are infamous for, are perhaps the only knowable truths in our lives. Yes they are subjective, but no set of objective circumstances can make them invalid. Bourdain felt suicidal despite the objective reality of a world full of open doors. He told us his truth in his way and we loved him for it. His opinion on life is valid. If his unfortunate demise is to teach us anything it is to further explore and explain our own mental “parts unknown.”

I see a problem today is that avoiding our introspection is easier than ever. We dive into any form of social media and relate to each other or fictional characters with similar problems but never really engage with our “parts unknown.” We recognize social media as a problem in the same breath that we launch an hour long conversation about Stranger Things or Black Mirror. I do believe that we all want to be stronger, but few us of have the will power to shut down our apps and sit in uncomfortable silence. Just the other day, when I was asking a friend what he thought about a current painful event in my life he recommended watching The Good Place and American Vandal on Hulu and Netflix respectively. I called him out and couldn’t help but think that we are treating our “parts unknown” with a healthy dose of social media. But I don’t want to distract the pain away, I want to engage it.

And I think that’s exactly what Bourdain was doing. Let me be clear, the irony of me opining about social media consumption while learning a life lesson from social media is not lost on me—it is a reflection on a particularly honest man. Bourdain’s death is a representation of what can happen when we conflate our mental machinations, our feelings, our “parts unknown” with consumable pieces of entertainment. If we don’t learn to resist the urge to hide our feelings in our favorite characters and friend’s Instagram stories, I fear that we all increase our likelihood of realizing the same fate. In a nod to Mr. Bourdain and to all of the pain in the world, be strong and speak on it. Not just on social media, but to your friends and family, and more importantly, to yourself.

Photo credit: The Hollywood Reporter

Apollo Fields: Let Us Tell Your Story

Apollo Fields Wedding Photography | Wedding Writers | New York City | Colorado

            It’s officially launch day for Apollo Fields, Heather and I’s new photojournalistic approach to wedding storytelling!  After working together on The Immeasurable Cookbook: An Ode to the Dirty Apron and countless weddings in between, our new installment, Apollo Fields, represents an extension of our brand, relationship, and ideology. 

            With a literal interpretation of photojournalism, Heather and I will work your wedding, capturing every moment in photo and word while we laugh and smile along the way.  Equipped with an intimate understanding of how to communicate with others both professionally and personally, Apollo Fields is a wedding experience that turns your wedding day into the story it deserves, providing a creative and hospitable service available nowhere else.

             Through creating The Immeasurable Cookbook and working on-site together, Heather and I have developed a love for telling stories.  Whether it was writing our first recipe together or dancing in Chautauqua Park with one of our favorite couples, Alli & Dylan, we couldn’t get enough of putting onto paper the stories that make our lives worthwhile.  Things come and go and people change, but we’ve learned that the way you feel at pivotal points in your life are the peaks of your personal story and they deserve to be more than fleeting memories.  Apollo Fields is a wedding service that eases your mind on the day of your wedding and delivers a handcrafted memento that brings you back to it in the years that follow.

            Invite us to your wedding and let us tell your story through the eyes of your loved ones.  Allow us to help navigate your experience photo-by-photo and sentence-by-sentence until your cheeks hurt from smiling and your stomach hurts from laughing.  When we arrive on-site we are less like vendors and more like family members, immersing ourselves in dance circles and listening to grandpa’s stories for the hundredth time.  Our goal is to let you spend these precious hours floating about your family and friends, sharing stories and reliving the memories that are usually tucked in the back of your mind next to your dreams.          

            Don’t let planning, logistics, or traditions get in the way of the celebration of your love.  Honor the people and institutions that have given you the smiles you wear today and don’t look back.  Keep your eyes towards the future and the adventures you will embark upon.  As for your wedding day – enjoy yourselves – and let us at Apollo Fields tell the story of your love.     

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