Bonjour! My name is Melissa and I'm a wedding and portrait photographer in the Pacific Northwest. This blog is where I want to tell you the beautiful stories of my clients, share their weddings, and give you a behind the scenes peek of this crazy business that I love. Grab a glass of champagne, snuggle up, and get lost in love stories... xoxo
02. About Us
New York City has always been a dream of mine. I have always had this romanticized vision of the bustling city. A city that doesn’t sleep. A city that stops for no one, full of dreamers and doers and hustlers. I wish I could explain the feeling in my heart as my plane soared over Manhatten for the first time. It was literally a life dream come true. The tires touched ground, and all I can say, is that New York City was just about to become everything I wanted it to be.
Jamie and Ed are from Gig Harbor, where I live with my family. I met them for the first time when I photographed their engagement session in downtown Seattle. For me, it was friendship at first sight. We moseyed around the city and we laughed as they told me the story of how they met (at the gym) and their joined families (a son and a daughter each) and I instantly fell in love with who they are as a couple. When they asked me to photograph their Central Park wedding, I’m pretty sure you could hear my squeals for miles.
I was invited to stay in Ed and Jamie’s Harlem brownstone with their family during the wedding week. An opportunity that may seem risky to some, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to spend time with them and their family. And my goodness, it created an experience of a lifetime. The days leading up to the wedding were spent wandering Harlem with the family in search of the best slice of NYC pizza, making my way through Central Park, eating some of the best food of my LIFE, figuring out the subway system, listening to live music everywhere, and stumbling into a brilliantly-lit Times Square late at night. It was a dream come true. Just when I wasn’t sure my heart could take any more, their wedding day arrived.
It’s a pretty amazing experience to wake up on a client’s wedding day and only have to walk up a flight of stairs to where a bride is getting ready. Jamie was a vision. Her room was quiet as the kids were congregated downstairs as she got ready. The boys left for the park early and once Jamie was dressed, she stood in the living room reciting her vows to their daughters. Her voice wavered as she practiced the words and I couldn’t help but feel my own throat tighten.
We arrived in the park and Jamie and their two girls ascended the giant staircase into the conservatory. They stood surrounded by loved ones as beautiful vows were read and their two families became one. Once the ceremony ended, the kids left with family and for the first time, this husband and wife had a quiet moment together. We made our way to the arches at the Bethesda Fountain and friends, I couldn’t even begin to describe the scene set before us. It was a beautiful and busy Saturday in the park. And while the pathways were full of tourists, we came upon the arches and one side of them were empty of people…. All except for one vocalist singing. His voice pierced the air and resonated off the walls in a way that you could feel it wash over you. There was nothing left to do in that moment but for Jamie and Ed to take a first dance. The tears streamed down my face behind my camera as I couldn’t even begin to believe this moment was happening. It was one of the most beautiful experiences in my entire career.
We made our way to Greenwich Village to an impeccable dinner reception. Family and friends flanked both sides of long tables, and over a family-style meal, wine and laughter poured freely throughout the evening. The kids stood and gave heart-felt speeches, and in those hours, it was like the busy city had slipped away, and everything that was ever important in life was right there in that room.
Jamie and Ed, my god, where do I start. Thank you for not only one of the most beautiful experiences of my career, but of my life. You literally made dreams come true for me, and that didn’t even become the best part. The best part is I got a couple of crazy amazing friends out of it. Thank you for showing me how wonderful New York City is, I truly left a piece of my heart in that city. Thank you for sharing your beautiful kids with me. Thank you for cramming into a mother-loving taxi with me and standing in the kitchen and eating cold chinese food at 2 am ON YOUR WEDDING NIGHT (truly, the best memory ever). You two are unreal. And you’re just the best together. I’m looking forward to so many more memories. xoxo, Melissa
Photography: Melissa Kilner Photography
Planner: A Central Park Wedding
Dress: Custom Monique Lhuillier
Ceremony: Central Park
Reception: Locanda Verde
Reception Florals: Raquel Corvino
Hair/Makeup: Kristen Walsh
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