It’s official – Victoria and AJ are married! Their Roundhouse Beacon wedding was a dream come true, complete with gorgeous scenery, pretty pastels with touches of greenery, and lots of laughter and love between all of their family and friends!

The day began at the Roundhouse Hotel, with Victoria surrounded by her bridesmaids and family. Victoria excitedly prepared to marry AJ, the love of her life. She slipped on her breathtaking Pronovias gown and her mother and sister helped button up the intricate lace back. Victoria’s bridesmaids gasped when she entered the room. They were all so thrilled to see the sweet and stunning bride!

The Roundhouse Beacon wedding grounds served as the perfect backdrop for the couple’s wedding portraits! The first look with Victoria and AJ was so romantic by the waterfall!  The train of Victoria’s dress flowed softly, just like the water over the rocks. The mountains in the background were beautiful and there were fresh wildflowers all around.

Guests headed to the chapel to watch the beautiful couple officially become husband and wife! Victoria’s nephews served as the ring bearers, and Hudson pulling his brother Cooper down the aisle was absolutely ADORABLE! Victoria and AJ exchanged rings and vows, and celebrated their forever love with a perfect first kiss before exiting the church through a shower of bubbles!

Custom cocktails and majestic views made for an incredible cocktail hour. This perfectly rustic Roundhouse Beacon wedding was made even more beautiful by the pastel blooms, strands of greenery, bright candles, and charming lanterns. Joy filled the air as Victoria and AJ’s family and friends celebrated the happy couple. The signature drinks and amazing band kept friends and family on the dance floor all night long! The whole crowd even broke into a giant conga line, led by the bride herself!

Victoria and AJ snuck away for a few sweet moments towards the end of the night, posing for a few last portraits against the velvet, star-filled sky. Their love shone brightly in their smiles and eyes as they held each other, so thrilled to be sharing these special memories as husband and wife.

It’s my pleasure to share some of my favorite moments from Victoria and AJ’s beautiful Roundhouse Beacon wedding! It was a honor to capture the love and laughter between you, your family, and your friends. I wish you lots of joy in your journey as newlyweds!

 

Victoria and AJ celebrate their Roundhouse Beacon wedding in this photo by New York wedding photographer Amy Rizzuto.

 

The Team: Photographer- Amy Rizzuto Photography, Reception- Roundhouse Beacon, Hair Stylist- Kyra Hair, Make-up Artist- Kristie DiCecca, Second Photographer- Nadine Marie Photography, Wedding Dress- Pronovias, Shoes- Badgley Mischka, Wedding Coordinator- Jessica Norland Baker (Spectacular Events by Erin), Band/DJ- Around Town Entertainment

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Want to see more pretty images like Victoria and AJ’s Roundhouse Beacon wedding photos?  Follow along on instagram and facebook!

Amy Rizzuto is a New York wedding photographer

who specializes in capturing the authentic joy of adventurous couples in love.

For more information visit www.amyrizzutophotography.com!

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Bride and groom embrace during The Inn at Longshore wedding day in photo by Connecticut wedding photographer Amy Rizzuto

Kathryn and Brian’s gorgeous The Inn at Longshore wedding was full of love, laughter, and classic Connecticut style! The morning was such a sweet time for Kathryn and her family.  Her mom helped her into her gorgeous gown from Kleinfeld before attaching a beaded heart to the bottom. It belonged to Kathryn’s grandmother and she also wore it on her wedding day. Romance was blooming in every detail: from the perfectly pink peonies to Kathryn’s elegantly beaded Badgley Mischka heels. You could feel Kathryn’s excitement as she posed for a few photos with her lovely bridesmaids before heading to the church. Brian’s niece Mabel, the couple’s flower girl, looked up at Kathryn in awe. Little Mabel may remember this sweet moment when she is dreaming of her own wedding one day!

When the doors opened to the church, identical smiles spread across Kathryn and Brian’s faces.  They were both so excited to see one another!  The moment had finally come when they would become husband and wife. Joy spread throughout the church and the crowd cheered as Kathryn and Brian shared their first kiss as a married couple! After the beautiful ceremony, Kathryn, Brian, and their closest family and friends headed to The Inn at Longshore wedding to celebrate.

Kathryn and Brian enjoyed some time to themselves as they walked hand-in-hand throughout the gorgeous grounds. They were overjoyed to be spending these first moments together as husband and wife!  After a few fun portraits with the Adirondack chairs, Kathryn and Brian kicked off the evening with a delicious cocktail hour by the water!  Mini lobster rolls, crab cakes, and wood fire pizza were enjoyed with Kathryn and Brian’s signature cocktails.  It really was the perfect way to start the party and it was obvious how much everyone enjoyed being outdoors.

As their guests headed into the reception, they were met with more of Kathryn and Brian’s classic, romantic style: stairs draped in peonies and greenery, and crisp white linens and sparkling candles adorning the tables. The couple danced their first dance as husband and wife to the timeless “At Last” by Etta James. Soon everyone was hitting the dance floor to celebrate together!

I’m so excited to share some of my favorite photos from Kathryn and Brian’s lovely Inn at Longshore wedding! Kathryn and Brian, thank you for choosing me to capture the day you became husband and wife.  It really was unforgettable in every way. Cheers to both of you, and to your beautiful future together!

 

The Team: Photographer- Amy Rizzuto Photography, Ceremony- Trinity Episcopal Church, Reception- The Inn at Longshore, Hair Stylist + Make-up Artist- Amber Papastravos, Florist- Rudy’s Flower Shop, Second Photographer- Olivia Kane, Wedding Dress- Kleinfeld, Bridesmaid Dress- Weddington Way, Shoes- Badgley Mischka, Cake- The Pantry, Band/DJ- Around Town Entertainment, First Dance Song- “At Last” – Etta James

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Want to see more pretty images like Kathryn and Brian’s The Inn at Longshore wedding photos?  Follow along on instagram and facebook!

Amy Rizzuto is a Connecticut wedding photographer

who specializes in capturing the authentic joy of adventurous couples in love.

For more information visit www.amyrizzutophotography.com!

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Destination wedding photographer, Amy Rizzuto of Amy Rizzuto Photography, captures a couple's joy at their Charleston wedding at The Mills House

Olivia + Joe are MARRIED!!! Their Charleston wedding was timeless, elegant, and filled to the brim with Southern charm. From their first look down a cobblestone street, to the last hugs exchanged with proud parents before hopping in the getaway car, Olivia and Joe were all smiles all day! Olivia shared with me in the morning that she just knew this was going to be the best day of their lives, and it truly was!

The couple’s love for each other shone through in so many details, right down to Olivia’s gorgeous “something blue” Manolo Blahnik heels! Joe knew how much Olivia loved these shoes, so he surprised her with them the night before she went to try on wedding dresses – giving her the perfect shoes to help her find her perfect dress! The shoes worked like a charm! Olivia’s BHLDN dress was gorgeous. Her bouquet was unstructured yet classic – the perfect combination if you ask me! I loved the touch of whimsy it brought to her overall look.

The looks of pure joy on Olivia and Joe’s faces showed just how thrilled they were to be spending the rest of their lives together! Joe was in awe of his beautiful bride and the two could not stop smiling as they shared their first look. The sweet emotion continued as Joe wiped away tears of joy as Olivia met him at the end of the aisle at Summerall Chapel at The Citadel. As soon as they were pronounced husband and wife, these two literally let out a cheer!

I loved the Citadel traditions Olivia and Joe included in their day to honor his alma mater. The couple walked through a sword arch after their ceremony and posed with Joe’s fellow Citadel graduates all showing off their rings. The joy continued into the night as Olivia and Joe’s friends and family joined them on the dance floor at The Mills House and surrounded them for a sparkler exit!

It was such a pleasure to be a part of Olivia and Joe’s Charleston wedding! I am so thankful to you both for choosing me to capture your special day and wish you so much joy to come! Please enjoy some of my favorite moments from Olivia and Joe’s wedding day!

Charleston wedding photographer, Amy Rizzuto of Amy Rizzuto Photography captures a couple's joy on their wedding day in Charleston, SC Citadel wedding ceremony at Summerall Chapel in Charleston, SC by destination wedding photographer Amy Rizzuto of Amy Rizzuto Photography

 

The Team: Photographer- Amy Rizzuto Photography, Ceremony- Summerall Chapel at The Citadel, Reception- The Mills House, Wedding Planner- Linda Warner (Pinnacle Charleston), Hair Stylist- Christel Irick (Spa Beauty Agency), Make-up Artist- Lisa Priscilla (Spa Beauty Agency), Invitations- Dodeline Design, Florist- Creech’s Florist, Wedding Dress- BHLDN, Bridesmaid Dress- Lulu’s + Azazie + Brideside, Shoes- Manolo Blahnik, Jewelry- Badgley Mischka, Cake- Sablée, Band/DJ- Pinnacle Charleston, First Dance Song- “Can’t Help Falling in Love” – Hailey Reinhart

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Want to see more pretty images like Olivia and Joe’s The Mills House wedding photos?  Follow along on instagram and facebook!

Amy Rizzuto is a destination wedding photographer

who specializes in capturing the authentic joy of adventurous couples in love.

For more information visit www.amyrizzutophotography.com!

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When two souls are so perfectly matched like Pamela and Brandon’s, everyday feels like a real life fairytale. This happy couple was married at Brandon’s grandparents’ private estate in Greenwich, CT, in almost the exact spot they got engaged one year before!

As Pamela’s mother helped her into her gorgeous lace and tulle Monique Lhuillier wedding dress, her bridesmaids clinked mimosa glasses in a toast to their beautiful friend. Hidden under her dress were two sweet touches – a soft pair of ballet-inspired Repetto flats, and a piece of her grandmother’s wedding dress sewn into her own gown.

Brandon waited on the grounds of his family’s estate in anticipation of his Pamela’s arrival for their first look, a little nervous but mostly excited. The moment his eyes met hers, pure joy spread across Brandon’s face as he gave her the biggest hug. They walked the estate hand-in-hand, enjoying a few quiet moments together, surrounded by the astounding art and greenery of the grounds.

The entire day felt completely personal as 100 of their closest family and friends made their way to the outdoor ceremony to celebrate. One of the best parts of the day was when Pamela and Brandon exchanged their personal vows.  Neither knew what the other was going to say, and watching Brandon get emotional as he promised to spend forever loving Pamela brought tears to my eyes!

Every little detail felt like a dream. Pamela’s love for flowers truly showed as they were EVERYWHERE!  Petals floated in the pool, single blooms adorned the escort cards, and pink blossoms seemed to spill out of the signature drinks. Friends and family celebrated the newly married couple on the dance floor with an eclectic mix of fun Spanish music, oldies, and hits. Guests were sent home with Dough Donuts, a sweet end to a simply perfect day.

I’m so excited to share some of my favorite moments from this gorgeous wedding below! Thank you for including me in your special day, Pamela and Brandon!  Your private estate wedding felt like a real life fairytale and I am so happy for you both!

 

The Team: Photographer- Amy Rizzuto Photography, Ceremony and Reception- Private Family Estate, Wedding Planner- Stacie Shea Events, Hair Stylist and Make-up Artist- Jennifer Kinford (J. Kinford Beauty Group), Invitations- Brush & Nib Studios, Florist- Flowers by Justine, Wedding Dress- Monique Lhuillier, Bridesmaid Dress- Joanna August, Shoes- Repetto, Second Photographers- Mekina Saylor + Fabiana Skubic, Videographer- byDesign Films, Cake- Lovely Cakes, Donut Favors- Dough Donuts, Band/DJ- Queue DJ, First Dance Song- “Perfect” – Ed Sheeran, performed by Cole Bauer

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Want to see more pretty images like Pamela and Brandon’s Private Connecticut Estate wedding photos?  Follow along on instagram and facebook!

Amy Rizzuto is a NYC wedding photographer

who specializes in capturing the authentic joy of adventurous couples in love.

For more information visit www.amyrizzutophotography.com!

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Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us, to him be the glory. Ephesians 3:20

Motherhood is such a joy, but I didn’t expect it to be so hard.  I honestly went into it with the mentality that I would just figure things out as I went, completely naive to the challenges that lay ahead. I am so thankful that God is able to do so much more than we ask or even think.  More strength. More hope. More power. More joy. More is ours when we put our faith in Him.  We do not have to have all the answers.  We do not have to go through this exciting and challenging journey alone.

I didn’t think much about how having a newborn would change my business.  I was honestly so focused on getting through all of the weddings I hoped to photograph while pregnant, and the overwhelming excitement of meeting our little girl, that I didn’t put much thought into how my day to day life would change.  When I did stop to consider it, most of my thoughts centered around when I would physically be ready to photograph a wedding after giving birth.

When I would edit, when I would schedule my client meetings and engagement sessions, how I would find time to pump and keep up my milk supply on a wedding day, these were questions that quickly arose after Audrey was born!  I want to talk through my biggest challenges in running a small business while raising a newborn, with the hope that some part of my experience will encourage or resonate with you!

Balancing A New Life

When I brought Audrey home from the hospital, I had maybe slept 12 hours in the past four days.  I was so tired!  I pride myself on being able go on little sleep, but even I was completely exhausted!  I had photographed five weddings right before giving birth, and had one coming up in three weeks.  Needless to say, I was worried about finding the time to edit them all.  In my head, I pictured working happily at my desk with a cup of coffee and Audrey sleeping soundly beside me in her rock in play.  In reality, I couldn’t have much coffee because I was nursing every 2-3 hours, 24 hours a day. When Audrey did fall asleep on me, I was unable to move from the couch in fear of waking her up.  “Couch Island” I called it.  I was starving all the time, came home from the hospital with 25 pounds of baby weight still on me, and had a complete break down in front of my father in law when I tried on my biggest pair of sweat pants, and they didn’t fit.  Y’all, I literally wore my hospital gown on the couch at home for the first two days.  My poor husband must have thought I was loosing my mind.  In a way, I was.  I had expected to have the time and energy to run my business in the same way I had before, and felt overwhelmed when I realized balancing it all was going to be much harder than I thought.  I began to pray for help in putting together a new schedule that would allow me to be a great mama and a good business owner as well.

His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.  – 2 Peter 1:3

After the first few weeks, I started to feel more like myself again.  I allowed myself one cup of coffee a day, which definitely helped!  I started getting to know Audrey’s schedule and began to plan for times to edit and answer emails.  I realized Audrey liked to sleep on me, so I purchased this nesting days wrap.  It allowed for the skin to skin contact I had heard was so important, and Audrey would nap in it for 3-4 hours at a time!  I would nurse her to sleep in the wrap, put on a romantic movie, and tackle my inbox or editing for the day.  It really was the best feeling!  When I could successfully transfer her to the rock in play, I would, but found she didn’t sleep as long or as well as she did on me.  I obviously didn’t have as much time to work as I did before giving birth, but I was slowly but surely checking things off my to do list.

A few other things I found helpful in transitioning to my new schedule that first month:

The Boppy– I actually attempted to nurse on the boppy pillow and cull after Audrey went to sleep on it.  It worked, but was not super comfortable.  Many times I would find myself wide awake and culling at 4am in the morning!

The Nesting Days Wrap– A great baby wearing option for skin to skin!

The Rock in Play– I would put Audrey down in it by my desk and get to work!

The Jump Jump–  I started using this with Audrey around 5 months!  I would put her in it, turn on little baby bum songs, and have my coffee and answer emails in the kitchen.  Audrey loved jumping, and I could usually get a good 30 minutes of work in before she wanted to get out.

Long drives-  Audrey slept great in her car seat.  I would drive 20 minutes to my favorite coffee shop, just enough time for Audrey to go to sleep.  I would then put her in the stroller and work at Drip for a few hours!

Anthropolgie candles-  I lit them on the living room table right by my frequent nursing spot on couch island. These honestly just made me happy when I was feeling overwhelmed.

A pumping bra–  A hands free pumping bra allowed me to cull, edit, or answer emails while I pumped.  Since my first wedding back was three weeks after giving birth to Audrey, I started to pump and store my milk pretty much right away.  I love the Kindle system and Medela pump!

Grace- There were many times I was just too tired to pull out my computer and work.  If I was feeling this way, I chose to simply enjoy my baby snuggles with Audrey.  After all, this sweet time is too short.

Photographing Those First Few Weddings Back

That first wedding back after giving birth was the scariest.  I made sure to bring on a solid team of two amazing photographers in addition to myself for the first few weddings.  I wanted to make sure I could step out and pump when I needed to, knowing the weddings were still being beautifully captured.  I highly recommend bringing along at least one other photographer if you know you will need to step away and pump during a wedding day!  In the first couple of months after giving birth, I would try to pump twice during the wedding, once right before the ceremony and once right after the first dances and toasts.  When Audrey and Ryan were 6 months old I started pumping only once on a wedding day.  This is when I introduced food into their diets. My milk supply dropped slightly, making it less uncomfortable to go longer without pumping.  I would also pump right before the wedding started and when I got home afterwards to keep up my supply.

Most of the time I would pump in the car with this car power inverter, or in a private office at the venue.  Bridal suite bathrooms are also usually pretty empty during certain parts of the night and are great options!  I was surprised by how many venues were so accommodating to the fact I needed to pump.  If I asked, most of them would let me use a private bathroom or private office.  I usually tried to approach and ask women who looked like they could be moms.  I honestly just thought they would be the most empathetic to my needs!  One venue said I could use the pool house to pump as no one ever went in there.  There were windows in the shed, so I positioned myself near a closet just in case.  When I saw someone start to come it, I quickly opened the closet door and stepped in to hide myself.  Moments later, the door was ripped open and a bewildered old man started apologizing profusely and backing away.  I am pretty sure he thought two teenagers were making out in the closet.  🙂  It was definitely a little embarrassing and this prompted me to start pumping in the car whenever I couldn’t find a private enough place.

Another important thing I had to consider was what to wear to the first weddings back after giving birth.  They say it usually takes 9 months to gain your baby weight, and nine months or more to loose it.  This has been pretty true for me!  My old shooting dresses didn’t fit yet, so I invested in a few “tweener dresses” to get me through this season.  I made sure they fit well and that it was easy to pump or nurse in them.  Dresses that buttoned in the front were the best!

A few other things I found helpful in shooting those first few weddings back:

Great help!  I am so thankful my husband has agreed to watch the kids while I am photographing weddings on the weekend.  I know it is not easy to take care of one kid, let alone two, but he tackles the job with enthusiasm!  When Matt is not watching the kids, his mom and dad (who live about an hour away) offer to help out.  They frequently post pictures of the kids to our shared folder, and they pop up on my apple watch on the wedding day. It is reassuring to know they are happy and in good hands.

A Nursing Bag-  I always pack a nursing bag with my pump, car adaptor, kindle bags, and a cooler with ice for storing the milk.  This makes it easy to access everything quickly on the wedding day.

A Third Photographer- A third photographer for those first few weddings really does make pumping breaks easier.

Outsourcing + Prioritizing

Since I had less time to work while raising a newborn, I began to outsource the tasks that could save me some time.  I send off my images to be color corrected by ShootDotEdit, and it saves me so much time in editing.

When you do have limited time to work, I recommend making a list of the top three tasks you need to get done that day, and then tackling those first.  For example, if I really needed to deliver a gallery, I save emails until the end of the day or the next morning. Checking the most important tasks off my list always feels like such a win!

Client Meetings + Engagement Sessions

The hardest things to find time for as a new mom were client meetings and engagement sessions.  I was used to being able to travel to my couples for initial meetings and get together at a time most convenient for them.  Nursing made this a little more difficult!  I started offering client meetings on weeknights at 8pm at the Starbucks less than a mile from my house.  The kids are usually in bed by this time and Matt is home and able to take over in case either of them wakes up.  If the couple is not able to travel to me, I suggest a FaceTime or phone call first!  I usually schedule these weeknights after the kids have gone to bed as well. Setting aside time for client meetings got a whole lot easier once the kids started sleeping through the night.  If you are still in the thick of those first few months or going through the four month sleep regression, God bless you.

Before having kids, I offered engagement sessions primarily on weekday afternoons only.  Now I try to shoot on the weekend if at all possible.  This is simply because Matt is home to take care of the kids on the weekends.  If I do need to shoot an engagement session on a weekday, I will hire a sitter.  I am looking forward to talking more about finding great help next week.  I truly couldn’t run my business effectively without help!

Dealing with Sleep Deprivation

To be totally honest, sleep deprivation was and is my biggest challenge as a new mom.  There are simply not enough hours in the day!  When I am not able to get all of my work done while the sun is up, I try to tackle it at night. Every single post in this series was written somewhere between the hours of 11pm-3am.  I have truly learned to love the quiet of late nights.  I will also edit and answer emails (to be sent out the next morning) after the kids have gone to bed as well.  If I do stay up late one night I try to go to bed early the next night, just so I don’t completely wear myself out.

One thing that has been difficult for me is feeling guilty about the time I spend working in the evening instead of hanging out with Matt.  We may be sitting side by side on the couch, but if I have my computer on my lap, I know I am not being as present as I would like to be.  As much as I love my business, I often try to keep in mind what is most important: God, my husband, and my family. My day completely changes for the better if I am able to spend time in the word and in prayer in the morning.  I usually try to do this during Ryan’s first nap.  Recently, I have been trying to have dinner and watch a show or chat with Matt before pulling out my computer.  This usually causes me to stay up a little later, but the time we get to spend together makes it worth it.  If you have any suggestions or personal success stories on how to balance family/husband time with work time, I would love to hear them!

Being Honest With Yourself About What You Want the Future to Look Like 

One final thought.  I think it is important to be honest with yourself about how things are going and what you want your future to look like.  Going back to work as a small business owner after having a baby is hard, especially those first few months.  If you are finding your schedule hard to handle, or think you may have taken on too much, it might be time consider scaling back in the future or finding help.  Babies are only little for so long, and these precious first years should be treasured!  If you are feeling overwhelmed, take some time to pray and asked God for his strength and direction in your business. Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us, to him be the glory. Ephesians 3:20 God loves us.  We are his children.  He wants the best for us.  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! -Matthew 7:11

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. – Matthew 6:33

Next week is the final week of this Pregnancy and Motherhood as a Wedding Photographer series!  I will be sharing my experience/attempt in Managing it All.  I look forward to discussing childcare, balance, mom guilt, social media strategies, feeling like you are falling behind, and learning to be happy exactly where you are.  I hope you will join me!  If you would like to get caught up on this series, feel free to check out the posts below.

Week 1: Navigating Pregnancy + Motherhood As a Wedding Photographer 

Thanks again for following along!  It means so much to me!

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