Despite the restrictions set in place for COVID-19, these two not only found a way to get married-but to also get a HUGE group zoom call together either their friends and family! In between all of the curve balls that have been thrown at them, Ciaira as and Zach found a way to make it happen-and not only that, but to make it completely, 100% them!!! I will remember their heartfelt vows Always. 🙂
When Jacob and I met Ciaira and Zach at the Summer 518 Marriott Wedding Expo, I specifically remember Zach circling back around (after hitting up the chocolate fountain, I’m sure), and asking for more details about what a First Look is, engagement sessions, and everything in between. Talk about a groom dedicated to help his soon to be wife with the wedding planning! Ciaira and Zach reached out to us shortly after to see if we were available as one of their “preferred party people” for their big day. It just shows how sweet these two are!
Needless to say, when we scheduled our coffee date to get to know Ciaira and Zach better, we were SO excited….and even made Starbucks open up the outdoor seating because the college students took over all of the inside seating. I remember laughing SO much with them, and even through we knew they had a long drive back home to Lake Placid, we wanted to keep talking to them for as long as possible! Of course now that I’ve actually been to Lake Placid, I wouldn’t wish driving those roads in the dark upon anyone!
Not only did Ciaira and Zach drive out from Lake Placid to UAlbany (side note, they met there while in college!)…but ALSO because we were completely booked for evening engagement sessions at the time, they drove out for a SUNRISE engagement session-and not only that; but it was practically pouring outside the entire time, AND was freezing cold! Thankfully, these two not only knew UAlbany like the back of their hands (also, why is that even a saying?), but they also showed Jacob and I all of the best places!! I know I say this about every session, but it was absolutely PERFECT!! Rainy day and all!!
Hannah (of H. Hawkins Photography https://hhawkinsphotography.com/), who is also one of my dearest friends, drove out 4 hours to come photograph Ciaira and Zach’s wedding with me! Not only do Hannah and I have our own businesses, but to have someone like-minded in their approach to weddings and genuinely caring about their couples is a huge bonus! I can’t say enough great things about her and team Hawkins! 🖤 Team Hawkins forever!!
I ADORE that one of their friends gifted them an engraved board with the Deathly Hallows, “Always,” and their names!!! Talk about the perfect ring shot for two Harry Potter nerds!!!!
Ciaira wanted a first look with both her father, and with Zach. Cue ALL of the tears, because I’m pretty sure we were crying too!!! Ciaira also has this picture-perfect habit that we noticed of holding hands with her family, and if there’s anything we photographers love more than smiles and happy tears, it’s holding hands and capturing those unscripted moments! It was absolutely perfect!
Between Ciaira’s father’s reaction, and Zach’s reaction; which is your favorite?! I’m going to have to go with Zach’s reaction because I’m a romantic at heart! I’m pretty sure his breath was quite literally taken away when he saw his beautiful bride!! 🖤
After cake (because that’s the most important part of any wedding day), we went on to family pictures – and when you have your wedding in Lake Placid, you’ll be sure to get some epic family formals, and these guys had fun with it!
To say that it was picturesque would be an understatement! If only we could’ve pushed the sunset back by at least another hour-even if we would have totally “pictured them out!” First we went to the Cottage at Mirror Lake Inn, where Ciaira works to get some ~epic~ portraits of them with the lake and mountains in the background!
Our last stop on the romantic couple’s portrait train was actually at the AirBnB cabin that one of their friends had gifted to them, as their original honeymoon plans were put on pause. Holy moly, I think both my and Hannah’s mouths dropped when we got there! Between the picturesque cabin, the creek, and the woods, we weren’t sure where to start! Needless to say, I think we got some FIRE couple’s portraits!
Then Ciaira and Zach surprised us with two “outfit” changes-including homage to their Hogwarts Houses! And yes, in case you haven’t noticed yet, Hannah and I totally fangirled over all of the Harry Potter aspects of their wedding day!
Hannah and I were so incredibly honored to not only photograph Ciaira and Zach’s wedding day; but to also witness such a perfectly “them,” and an incredibly intimate wedding. Thank you, Ciaira and Zach, for letting us be a part of your big day! We wish you the best. Always.
May 16, 2020