Amarantes Sea Cliff Wedding | Sara & Chris

Nothing was going to dampen their spirits, not even hurricane Arthur. There was rain, and lots of it. There was wind, and very strong gusts of it. But there was an excitement and a love that was stronger then both. Sara & Chris tied the knot and celebrated with their loved ones along the water in New Haven. They laughed as the raindrops danced around them and couldn't help but smile because they were husband and wife.  
And in a magical display, Mother Nature painted the most beautiful sunset, with colors that spilled over the water and filled the room. The beauty was only matched by the newlywed's happiness! 
Sara & Chris - We are so grateful to have you as friends and to have been a part of your amazing wedding day! You two are so kind and thoughtful, and that shows in all that you do. We are so happy for you and can't wait for a puppy play date with our fur babies! ? Congrats again!  
Here are a few of my favorites from their big day!

Sara!!! You are so gorgeous!

One of my favorite moments during a wedding day - the First Look!

One of my FAVORITES!

Another favorite!

Such a sweet moment! Sara is a teacher and a bunch of her kids came to the wedding ceremony!

The sky after the storm was ah-mazing!

Reception: Amarante's Sea Cliff 
Event Planning & Design: Amy Champagne Events 
Gown: Maggie Sottero 
Bridesmaid Dresses: Alfred Sung 
Beauty: Giggar Makeup Artistry & Posh Salon 
Music: DJ Lion King 
Floral Design: Fleurescent Flowers 
Cake: Petonito's Pastry Shop 
Invitations: Roseville Designs 
Photography: Ashley Therese Photography
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That Next Step

I know what it's like to hit the snooze button on your alarm clock for the third time in one morning. I know what its like to lay in bed staring at the ceiling contemplating if that sneeze counts as being ill and you should therefore call into work sick. I know what its like to get ready for work but the whole time think about an excuse of why you can't go. You sit in your car and give yourself a good pep talk of why you can't turn the car off and walk back inside your house. I know what its like to get up every morning and dread the day ahead. You stare at the clock at your desk all day counting down until you can leave and give yourself the treat of a coffee break at 3:00pm because you made it that far into the day without leaving. I know because I have been there.  
When I was stuck in that corporate 9-5 job that I swore was literally draining the life out of me, unhappy doesn't begin to describe how I felt. I couldn't imagine doing what I was doing for another week, let alone another decade. I wasn't sure how I walked down this road so far into a career that my heart wasn't in. The feelings of being deflated and defeated were all too familiar. I was unmotivated and got to the point where I felt passionless for my job. 
However, I also know what it's like to wake up before your alarm clock because you are so excited to get to get the day started. Yes, this happens. And I do know what it's like to not want to go to bed because you are loving the project you are working on. You can't believe your days are filled with the work, surroundings, and people that make your heart so full. You are completely and utterly happy. I know what it's like to not be able to fall asleep not because you are dreading the next day, but because you are so excited at how awesome the next day will be. You feel lucky and grateful. You feel alive.  
I know what both of these feel like. And I know when I was miserable in my corporate job, my dream job seemed light years away. It felt like it would only be that: a dream. But don't give up. Trust me. It's not as far as you may think. But chances are it's going to take a lot of work and it won't happen over night. And chances are you will have to be reminded of that along the way. There will be setbacks and failures and mistakes. There always are when pursing what you're passionate about. But the biggest mistake is to think that what you really want to be doing with your life isn't possible. Because it is. I know. It's not too hard, it's not too far, it's not to crazy of a dream. 
And I can promise you one thing: doing nothing about it will keep you in the very spot you are in. No one is going to knock on your door and offer you your dream. It doesn't work like that. YOU must take that first step. Yes, it is probably one of the hardest ones. But with that step you are moving forward and that much closer to what you want to be doing. So call that person who has inspired you, reach out to that company, set up that meeting, read that book, send that email. Whatever that next step is, big or small, TAKE IT. 
This concludes this Monday morning pep talk. :)

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CT Beach Engagement Session | Bianca & Mike

When Bianca and Mike first mentioned they wanted to do their engagement session at Bianca's family house at the beach, I have to say I was super excited! I love photographing couples at unique and special locations and I'm totally a sucker for the beach. And let me tell you, the location did not disappoint! Some of the kids that lived in the houses next door said hi to the three of us as we walked by and told Bianca how beautiful she looked. Neighbors waved as they strolled by on the sandy shore. Sunshine poured over the water and the flags on the houses lining the beach blew in the warm breeze. Their family smiled and took in the view of the water as they sat together on the porch. It was breath taking. And then as if it couldn't get better, there was Floyd. He stole my heart within the first five seconds of meeting him. Floyd, their golden doodle, was beyond adorable and clearly loved being at the beach!  
Bianca and Mike are one of those couples that appreciate the small things: sunshine, kisses from Floyd, holding hands, and walking along the water. But they appreciate the big things just the same: one another, their families, friends, the love that surrounds them. During their engagement session, I felt like I was photographing them celebrating all of these things. They were so in love and truly happy. Happy with today, and excited for what this next chapter holds for them! 

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I Don't Want To Be Super Mom

It's his favorite new toy. And best part? It was free. Yup, Greyson has discovered his toes and must reach out and grab them almost constantly. And let me tell you, they are entertainment for at least 15 minutes straight. Spending time just watching him play with his toes and photographing all his cute faces makes me so very happy. 
As Greyson is getting older.... Wait. Before I go on, I have to mention I find it slightly humorous saying "as he is getting older" or "now that he is older" since he is only 4.5 months old. LOL But boy are there so many changes in the first year of life! Anyway, I digress. As Greyson is getting older he needs and wants more. More attention, more playtime, more time awake, more of me. And as he needs more, it's been a challenge to find more time in the day to accomplish everything else from running the business, photo shoots, cleaning the house, grocery shopping, and so on. He sleeps a lot less during the day now and is NOT entertained by watching me answer emails and editing (surprise surprise, i know!). For the past few months I have been juggling everything the best I can, but decided finally to admit something to myself: I needed help. I feel so completely blessed and am so very grateful to be a full time business owner and a full time stay at home mom. But, truth be told, I can't be great at both at the same time with no help during the day while Chris is at work. I have been hustling big time, waking up at 5am and not going to bed until 11pm, working before Greyson wakes up and after he goes to bed. And for those of you who know me, this girl needs her sleep. And at least 8 hours of it!?  
I don't want to be "Super Mom." I don't want to be the kind of super mom that strives for perfection and doing it all, but nothing with intention. I don't want to be a Super Mom because I have way too many things juggling in the air and I am barely getting by with keeping things going. I don't want to glorifying "busy." At the end of the day, I want to be an AWESOME mom, the BEST mom to Greyson I can be. I want to be a GREAT business owner and photographer, but not at the sacrifice of my family or to the level of service to my clients. I want to be present and intentional in whatever I am doing. End of story. 
So, I have been making some changes. One of which is now using Pea Pod to have our groceries delivered now and then straight to the house! (how did I not do this sooner?!) I also started making dinners and freezing them on Sundays when Chris is home watching the little guy to save time during the week. But the biggest thing is we recently hired a babysitter to watch Greyson at the house so I can be in my office with the door shut a few mornings a week with no distractions. And boy what a difference it has made. I have been so much more productive when in my office and can truly enjoy down time with Greyson, not think about all I have on my To Do list. I think deep down inside I felt like I should be Super Mom and should juggle everything. I am not one to ask for help and can get stuck in my ways, but these changes have made me a better mom and business owner already. It has freed up my schedule more and has provided a new routine that helps me do all I need to. Now I can truly enjoy watching Greyson play with his toes for an extra hour without the distraction of thinking about ALL I have do get done or constantly multi tasking. The changes and help have given me the freedom to be more present. 
So I challenge you to ask yourself what change, however small or simple, can you make to be a better you? A better photographer, a better employee, a better wife, a better dad, a better friend? What adjustment can you make in your daily routine to be more PRESENT and INTENTIONAL? Maybe it means getting up a little earlier to get ready for work so you can sit down and eat breakfast with your kids before heading out the door. Maybe it's waiting to do the dishes until the next morning instead of when your friends are over for dinner so you can have more great conversation with them. Maybe it's taking on less projects next month so you can focus and give more of yourself to the ones you currently have. Whatever it might be, maybe you just need a little reminder like I did that change is needed and can be good... That being super means truly living and soaking in the present.

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Maritime Parc Wedding | Jessica & Brian

Even though this Miami couple calls the sunshine state home now, their love story began in Storrs Connecticut where they both were attending the University of Connecticut... The North dining hall on campus to be exact! They just happened to be introduced to one another there and little did they know that chance introduction would lead to their wedding years later! 
Jessica and Brian's Maritime Parc wedding was exquisite. With a sunset that you would swear was a water color painting, to the most beautiful views of the New York City skyline, it was a feast for the eyes. And the dancing. Can we talk about the dancing for a second? Their guests danced well into the night as the twinkling lights of the city filled the windows and provided the perfect backdrop for the festivities. There were instruments played, breakdancing, clicking of champagne glasses and an overwhelming feeling of sheer joy.  
Jessica & Brian - Your wedding was truly an amazing day - full of love. The love your families and friends have for you is obviously no secret. You are clearly so loved and adored! We are so grateful to have had the honor of capturing your amazing celebration! Hope you had an awesome time in Greece (super jealous!!). :)

Their adorable dog Loca was there keeping an eye on everything and loving all the attention SHE was getting from all the bridesmaids!

I just love this one of Jessica and her mom!

Absolutely gorrrrrgeous Jessica!

Such a sweet moment <3

One of my favorites! Right after their vows, they couldn't help but look down at their hands with their new wedding bands. Such a special moment!

Gah! The gorgeous sunset painted the most amazing colors onto the NYC skyline!

Venue: Maritime Parc 
Gown: Dennis Basso 
Bridal Boutique: Kleinfeld Bridal 
Stilettos: Badgley Mischka 
Jewelry: Meg Jewelry 
Rings: LaGravinese Jewelers 
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bill Levkoff 
Makeup Artist: JK Flashy 
Hair stylist: Salon Posh 
Groom's Tux: Vera Wang 
Videographer: Photography by Alfonso 
Music: Elite Sound Entertainment 
Floral Design: Artistic Manner 
Cake: Maritime Parc 
Transportation: Top Class Limo 
Photography: Ashley Therese Photography 
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