"HAVE YOU SHOT HERE BEFORE?"

This is a question I get all the time. The Knot and many wedding blogs and magazines have this in their list of questions to ask photographers, and my answer is “It doesn’t matter, and in fact, I prefer if I haven’t.”

Every wedding has its own unique set of aesthetic cues, personalities and dynamics. Even weddings photographed at the same venue in the same season will have a completely different vibe and collection of final images that set them apart. At your wedding, I will be focused on a completely new vision and will not bring a previous wedding’s vision, or some rehashed, preconceived ideas, to your story.

Wherever I am, I arrive with fresh eyes. Before I click the shutter I am looking for three things: light, composition, and a compelling or storytelling moment. Some images I capture in a wide format to set the scene and atmosphere and others I capture to focus on an emotional connection. Through experience, I make all of these decisions within a second; I find the geometry, movement, emotion, atmosphere and lighting to highlight the moment I am capturing to fit in to your unique story.

Regardless of whether I have photographed at a venue before, I will do my homework to see if there are any hidden gems, newly constructed areas, refreshed interiors or blooming foliage. This is why scouting within a few days of the wedding, or even the morning of, is the best time to look at the venue. If we scout a few months before your wedding date, the venue is often completely different than on the day that we shoot: trees we plan to use may no longer be there because of severe storms (this happened!), weather may be completely different, flora changes week to week and scaffolding may be up. Most importantly, your setup for the wedding with its visual cues, and your style and type of personality will not be present.

I have the experience of photographing in every type of venue, in every type of weather: bright sun reflecting off water, a dark room lit by only one candle, a rooftop at night with no lighting and 200 guests, a ceremony in the pouring rain in the middle of Central Park, estates, private islands, remote areas of India, beaches, ballrooms, tents, all locally and abroad. You can be assured that your final set of images will reflect your story in an authentic, heartfelt and stunning way and will be brought to life with substance, depth and story.

All of the weddings on these pages were photographed during my first time at these venues.

Vineyards are such romantic venues weddings and my favorite is Hamptons vineyard is Wolffer Estate in South Fork’s Sagaponack.
pink sand beach eleuthera wedding
The Ocean View, in Dunmore on Harbour Island, is one of my favorite Bahamas wedding venues, and they encourage you to bring your dog(s)! I love this moment when the bride peeked out of her villa just as her husband-to-be was boating up to shore.
greenwich estate wedding
I love the Hunt Club in Westport, only a few miles from my studio. Although the bride grew up riding at this club, she was surprised, and thrilled, to have her images captured here, just between the riding areas, as opposed to the front of the club where everyone else photographs.
The Branford House in Connecticut is a dreamy mansion right on the shore. If I can, I always ask the couple to sneak away for a private moment, and then I candidly document what unfolds.
New York Historical Society, Manhattan – why not get married in a museum?
Sleepy Hollow Country Club in the Hudson Valley is a dream of a location with gorgeous, dramatic vistas. I wanted to photograph here for days on end!
This couple chose to have one of their welcome parties on the pink sands beach in front of the two hotels they reserved for their guests: The Dunmore and The Ocean View Club in Eleuthra on Harbour Island.
The Coveleigh Club is one of a few wedding venues on the shore in Rye, New York. Reflections are my jam!
new york candid wedding photographer

Click here to see one of our weddings at Westchester Country Club (another first time venue) https://www.melanilustphotography.com/gallery/westchester-country-club-wedding/

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