Lauren Kearns Photography: Blog http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog en-us (C) Lauren Kearns Photography lauren@laurenkearns.com (Lauren Kearns Photography) Thu, 11 Jan 2018 23:54:00 GMT Thu, 11 Jan 2018 23:54:00 GMT http://www.laurenkearns.com/img/s/v-5/u661823886-o344491489-50.jpg Lauren Kearns Photography: Blog http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog 120 120 Wedding "heart" List! {And how I know about them} http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2018/1/wedding-bucket-list-places-that-inspire-me "Does James need a throne?"

I received a text message from a good friend, who has known me since we were 14.  It read "Does James need a throne?"

Attached was a picture of an antique oak medieval "throne."  I burst out laughing and replied "Of course!"

We're picking up said throne on Monday. 

Anyone who has been to my house knows that our taste in furniture (and future house goals) are pretty obscure.  I mean like Downton Abbey...but not the light and pretty parts.  The dark wood panelling, and heavy damask curtains.  Thrones.  My husband started watching Downton Abbey just for the architecture and interior design until he couldn't stand the drama any longer. 

Beyond Downton, he can name any house or estate (and whether or not the interior belongs to that house) from any show or movie I've ever seen.  

Why I don't decorate

Generally speaking, women are the decision-makers in their home's appearance and outfit.  Not so here.  I have a variety of styles and interests, but my husband's are so defined that I am constantly seeking his opinion about decor and furniture.  After 14 years of marriage, we have finally purchased a couch.  No, that's not an exaggeration.

The benefits of having a husband that is so in tune with architecture and interior design is that I have seen a lot of beautiful properties and magnificent estates.  Some of my favorites are located right here in NJ!  Others are in strange places, like Akron, Ohio.

Worthy East Coast Estates

I'm sure once my husband reads this post, he'll add a "Part II" that will go on forever.  As far as my favorites are concerned though, I've listed them!  I have checked off some of the most beautiful estates in my immediate area, and I can't wait to meet some new friends that are as enthusiastic about these special places as I am!  If you're interested in any of these places for your wedding, feel free to contact me!  Enjoy!

So, here it is!  My "heart" list for "Dream Wedding meets Gilded-Age Style"

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Natirar Mansion, Peapack, NJ 

  • An estate grand enough for a King (or the King of Morocco), set perfectly on the top of a hill in Peapack, overlooking the Somerset Hills

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Hamilton Farm, Gladstone, NJ

  • Georgian elegance meets outdoor design, with the indoor-outdoor feel of this estate's historical home and pristine gardens

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Shadowbrook, Shrewsbury, NJ

  • Dreaming of gold and candlelight? This manor house is your dream!

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Fiddler's Elbow Country Club

  • This beautiful stone Georgian revival "home" sits along the Black River and has gorgeous "Cinderella bridges" leading onto the golf course

Dream Weddings, yet to be fulfilled:

Skylands Manor, Ringwood, NJ

  • Tudor-style elegance and mood in the heart of the New Jersey botanical gardens

Rosecliff Mansion, Newport RI

  • Wedding like a Vanderbilt between fine marble and the shores of Newport

The Frick Collection, New York, NY

  • The world's finest art meets New York City's finest remaining mansions

Vanderbilt Mansion at Hyde Park, Hyde Park, NY

  • A grand estate overlooking the Hudson

Hillwood Estate, Washington, DC

  • A secret garden and romantic estate hidden in the heart of DC

Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NC

  • The grandest of all estates that America can boast...just click on the link

 

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lauren@laurenkearns.com (Lauren Kearns Photography) biltmore weddings country estate weddings country jersey wedding estate wedding photographer estate weddings gilded-age wedding new jersey wedding newport wedding photographer nj wedding photographer vanderbilt weddings victorian wedding http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2018/1/wedding-bucket-list-places-that-inspire-me Thu, 11 Jan 2018 23:24:54 GMT
The Best of the "Beasties" 2017 http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/12/the-best-of-the-beasties-2017 Who are the "Beasties?"

So, if you don't follow me on Facebook, you probably have no idea who I am talking about!  I refer to my children, very lovingly, as "beasties."  If you ever met my 6 year old Georgiana, as a baby, she definitely fit that profile.  If you have ever, at any time, met my 4 year old Tristan...that title pertains to all past (and I'm sure future) stages.  These kiddos have me laughing all day long!  For Christmas I created a 2018 calendar for my family, which included not just pictures of the "beasties," but inspirational quotes from the past year.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Until 2018!

Xx-Lauren

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lauren@laurenkearns.com (Lauren Kearns Photography) beasties behind the wedding scene lauren kearns photography nj photographer nj wedding photographer http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/12/the-best-of-the-beasties-2017 Wed, 27 Dec 2017 20:08:36 GMT
The Best of LK Weddings 2017! http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/12/2017-wrap-up This year seemed to fly by, but looking back at some of the happiest, most emotional moments, I have been transported back and totally overwhelmed with joy as I remember each and every wedding we were blessed to be part of this year.  2017 was a wonderful year to remember, and I wanted to share some of my favorite moments...

Like when Brady had to peer out her window to see her good friend playing the fiddle for her ceremony... LaurenKearns_0066LaurenKearns_0066 LaurenKearns_0063LaurenKearns_0063 ...or when Aaron read the inside of his wedding band: "Put it back on!" LaurenKearns_0079LaurenKearns_0079 And Brady ran instead of "recessed" back up the aisle to get to cocktail hour first! LaurenKearns_0080LaurenKearns_0080 Yes! That is an airline beverage cart, and they are authentic airline attendants! LaurenKearns_0064LaurenKearns_0064 LaurenKearns_0086LaurenKearns_0086 LaurenKearns_0083LaurenKearns_0083 LaurenKearns_0092LaurenKearns_0092 LaurenKearns_0059LaurenKearns_0059 LaurenKearns_mountainlakeshouse19_LaurenKearnsLaurenKearns_mountainlakeshouse19_LaurenKearns Maya sneaking up on Anthony... LaurenKearns_mountainlakeshouse22_LaurenKearnsLaurenKearns_mountainlakeshouse22_LaurenKearns LaurenKearns_mountainlakeshouse23_LaurenKearnsLaurenKearns_mountainlakeshouse23_LaurenKearns LaurenKearns_mountainlakeshouse37_LaurenKearnsLaurenKearns_mountainlakeshouse37_LaurenKearns Seeing the joy on Dad's face as he dances with his only daughter at her wedding. LaurenKearns_mountainlakeshouse77_LaurenKearnsLaurenKearns_mountainlakeshouse77_LaurenKearns Eric's handwritten letter, sealed with a wax seal! Be still my heart! LaurenKearns_0114LaurenKearns_0114 Emotional moments like this.... LaurenKearns_0121LaurenKearns_0121 LaurenKearns_0115LaurenKearns_0115 Champagne flutes, not necessary. LaurenKearns_0124LaurenKearns_0124 LaurenKearns_0135LaurenKearns_0135 Seeing Samantha, the woman who would become his wife, for the first time... LaurenKearns_0137LaurenKearns_0137 My job has quite a few perks, but getting to ride in a horse and carriage wasn't one I was expecting!! LaurenKearns_0156LaurenKearns_0156 LaurenKearns_0157LaurenKearns_0157 Samantha had the most unique and creative details! LaurenKearns_0163LaurenKearns_0163 LaurenKearns_0175LaurenKearns_0175 Being at the very first event after Natirar's renovation! This room used to be bare wood paneling, but I loved the color so much! LaurenKearns_0188LaurenKearns_0188 This moment between Caroline and her Mom was so sweet! LaurenKearns_0201LaurenKearns_0201 LaurenKearns_0195LaurenKearns_0195 LaurenKearns_0234LaurenKearns_0234 The guests were waiting for their introduction into reception, and we're just like... LaurenKearns_0244LaurenKearns_0244 And the sun came out at the most inconvenient time...but Carolyn's bridesmaid doubled as an awesome assistant!  Thanks, Rachel! LaurenKearns_ArchitectsClub-33_LaurenKearnsLaurenKearns_ArchitectsClub-33_LaurenKearns Weddings are full of romance, but there's nothing like "brotherly love!" LaurenKearns_ArchitectsClub-21_LaurenKearnsLaurenKearns_ArchitectsClub-21_LaurenKearns LaurenKearns_ArchitectsClub-38_LaurenKearnsLaurenKearns_ArchitectsClub-38_LaurenKearns These Groomsmen had LOTS of ideas for pictures, YES! LaurenKearns_ArchitectsClub-58_LaurenKearnsLaurenKearns_ArchitectsClub-58_LaurenKearns Sneaking across the pond for some solitude.... LaurenKearns_ArchitectsClub-68_LaurenKearnsLaurenKearns_ArchitectsClub-68_LaurenKearns LaurenKearns_ArchitectsClub-91_LaurenKearnsLaurenKearns_ArchitectsClub-91_LaurenKearns LaurenKearns_ArchitectsClub-117_LaurenKearnsLaurenKearns_ArchitectsClub-117_LaurenKearns Airplanes everywhere! I'm pretty sure that Kevin is a better pilot in real life! LaurenKearns_ArchitectsClub-124_LaurenKearnsLaurenKearns_ArchitectsClub-124_LaurenKearns So many buttons and super patient sisters! LaurenKearns_0298LaurenKearns_0298 When you ask your nephews for a kiss, but don't specify where... LaurenKearns_0303LaurenKearns_0303 That moment they became husband and wife...and Joeanthony couldn't stop kissing Brittney. LaurenKearns_0327LaurenKearns_0327 LaurenKearns_0313LaurenKearns_0313 LaurenKearns_0339LaurenKearns_0339 LaurenKearns_0346LaurenKearns_0346 Anne's amazing shot of Brittney and Joeanthony walking back to their cocktail hour! LaurenKearns_0347LaurenKearns_0347 Seeing the details a little differently. LaurenKearns_0356LaurenKearns_0356 Best Men. LaurenKearns_0374LaurenKearns_0374 LaurenKearns_0435LaurenKearns_0435 Giggling all the way...literally! LaurenKearns_0436LaurenKearns_0436 LaurenKearns_0390LaurenKearns_0390 And keeping those close to your heart, even closer. LaurenKearns_0396LaurenKearns_0396 LaurenKearns_0411LaurenKearns_0411 Such a sweet moment of Anne-Marie with her Grandmother! LaurenKearns_0413LaurenKearns_0413 Can we talk about these palms?! Obsessed! LaurenKearns_0417LaurenKearns_0417 I feel like this is a moment this little girl will remember on her wedding day... LaurenKearns_0439LaurenKearns_0439 Nicole was so proud of these "puffs" and I agree they are gorgeous! LaurenKearns_0453LaurenKearns_0453 LaurenKearns_0461LaurenKearns_0461 One does not expect 80 degree weather on a Fall wedding day...but Craig! Ever chivalrous! LaurenKearns_0476LaurenKearns_0476 I love that Nicole got to watch her adorable flower girl... LaurenKearns_0495LaurenKearns_0495 ...who ran out of petals before she got halfway down the aisle and shouted "I'm out!" LaurenKearns_0494LaurenKearns_0494 LaurenKearns_0508LaurenKearns_0508 I feel professionally bound to silence, and will not repeat the toast. LaurenKearns_0516LaurenKearns_0516 LaurenKearns_0521LaurenKearns_0521 I'll never forget the little notes and sentiments hidden all over Danielle & Travis' Wedding! LaurenKearns_FlorhamParkWedding001_LaurenKearnsLaurenKearns_FlorhamParkWedding001_LaurenKearns Or her love for Patron... LaurenKearns_FlorhamParkWedding024_LaurenKearnsLaurenKearns_FlorhamParkWedding024_LaurenKearns LaurenKearns_FlorhamParkWedding043_LaurenKearnsLaurenKearns_FlorhamParkWedding043_LaurenKearns LaurenKearns_FlorhamParkWedding059_LaurenKearnsLaurenKearns_FlorhamParkWedding059_LaurenKearns Their expressions when their nephews succeeded in carrying their signs down and pulling the carpet up the aisle! LaurenKearns_FlorhamParkWedding088_LaurenKearnsLaurenKearns_FlorhamParkWedding088_LaurenKearns LaurenKearns_FlorhamParkWedding110_LaurenKearnsLaurenKearns_FlorhamParkWedding110_LaurenKearns LaurenKearns_FlorhamParkWedding128_LaurenKearnsLaurenKearns_FlorhamParkWedding128_LaurenKearns I was just waiting...and there it is! LaurenKearns_FlorhamParkWedding143_LaurenKearnsLaurenKearns_FlorhamParkWedding143_LaurenKearns Girls were primping...and guys were preparing... LaurenKearns_0534LaurenKearns_0534 Sneaking through Jessica's sister's room to make sure none of her guests caught her! LaurenKearns_0537LaurenKearns_0537 LaurenKearns_0540LaurenKearns_0540 And one more kiss before meeting at the alter! LaurenKearns_0545LaurenKearns_0545 LaurenKearns_0549LaurenKearns_0549 LaurenKearns_0555LaurenKearns_0555 Floating on Cloud 9... LaurenKearns_0569LaurenKearns_0569 Brenton could not take his eyes off from Jessica the entire day! LaurenKearns_0579LaurenKearns_0579 The time we tried getting the bridal party to organize their sparklers...and the groom tried to escape with his beautiful bride...I actually had to run after these two! LaurenKearns_0583LaurenKearns_0583 Courtney & Calvin's gorgeous custom invitations, modeled after Natirar! LaurenKearns_0588LaurenKearns_0588 LaurenKearns_0603LaurenKearns_0603 Oh Dad! I think this was my favorite first look! LaurenKearns_0604LaurenKearns_0604 ...followed by this, a pretty good runner up! LaurenKearns_0609LaurenKearns_0609 When choosing bridesmaids, make sure they will be there to encourage you throughout the day ;) LaurenKearns_0619LaurenKearns_0619 Because there is no reason to take your Wedding day too seriously! LaurenKearns_0620LaurenKearns_0620 LaurenKearns_0629LaurenKearns_0629 LaurenKearns_0640LaurenKearns_0640 LaurenKearns_0646LaurenKearns_0646 LaurenKearns_0668LaurenKearns_0668 LaurenKearns_0731LaurenKearns_0731 I love "getting ready" moments like this! LaurenKearns_0691LaurenKearns_0691 Or moments when you see your groom for the first time and cannot stop laughing! LaurenKearns_0703LaurenKearns_0703 LaurenKearns_0676LaurenKearns_0676 LaurenKearns_0721LaurenKearns_0721 April, Steve & Spencer becoming one big happy family! LaurenKearns_0729LaurenKearns_0729 Party time! LaurenKearns_0735LaurenKearns_0735 I loved this gift idea! LaurenKearns_0764LaurenKearns_0764 These girls! LaurenKearns_0755LaurenKearns_0755   Justin's Mom was always smiling at her son! LaurenKearns_0796LaurenKearns_0796 Taking her flower girl duties very seriously! LaurenKearns_0813LaurenKearns_0813 The quiet moment with Kristen and her Dad before she entered the church. LaurenKearns_0801LaurenKearns_0801 LaurenKearns_0806LaurenKearns_0806 LaurenKearns_0790LaurenKearns_0790 What better way to end the happiest day of your life? Kinda wish I had a BTS of Barb laying on the ground here... LaurenKearns_0857LaurenKearns_0857 Laura said "Wow, we look so happy!" What is in your heart... LaurenKearns_0877LaurenKearns_0877 LaurenKearns_0888LaurenKearns_0888 ...will show on your face...all the smiles! LaurenKearns_0893LaurenKearns_0893 LaurenKearns_0909LaurenKearns_0909 LaurenKearns_0914LaurenKearns_0914 ...and all the pork! LaurenKearns_0932LaurenKearns_0932 Sisterly love! LaurenKearns_0928LaurenKearns_0928 LaurenKearns_0929LaurenKearns_0929 Krista climbing for her dress... LaurenKearns_FiddlersElbow_Winterwedding-3_LaurenKearnsLaurenKearns_FiddlersElbow_Winterwedding-3_LaurenKearns   Brian asked "did you get any pictures of me not crying?" LaurenKearns_FiddlersElbow_Winterwedding-35_LaurenKearnsLaurenKearns_FiddlersElbow_Winterwedding-35_LaurenKearns Yes, we froze you to help you forget about how emotional you were feeling, Brian!  It lasted about 3 minutes...because it was 25 degrees in November! LaurenKearns_FiddlersElbow_Winterwedding-41_LaurenKearns-1LaurenKearns_FiddlersElbow_Winterwedding-41_LaurenKearns-1 LaurenKearns_FiddlersElbow_Winterwedding-64_LaurenKearnsLaurenKearns_FiddlersElbow_Winterwedding-64_LaurenKearns But it was oh so toasty and so cozy inside... LaurenKearns_FiddlersElbow_Winterwedding-140_LaurenKearnsLaurenKearns_FiddlersElbow_Winterwedding-140_LaurenKearns

Congratulations to my 2017 Couples!

Brady & Aaron

Maya & Anthony

Samantha & Eric

Caroline & Alex

Carolyn & Kevin

Brittney & Joeanthony

Anne-Marie & Mike

Nicole & Craig

Danielle & Travis

Jessica & Brenton

Courtney & Calvin

April & Steve

Kristen & Justin

Laura & Marty

Krista & Brian

 

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lauren@laurenkearns.com (Lauren Kearns Photography) bedminster photographer califon wedding country jersey wedding elegant nj weddings fall wedding fiddlers elbow wedding hunterdon county wedding natirar wedding new jersey bride new jersey wedding nj bride nj country wedding nj photographer nj wedding photographer nyc bride small nj wedding http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/12/2017-wrap-up Tue, 19 Dec 2017 21:50:25 GMT
START Shooting Photos {Intro to Photo Course, Gladstone, NJ} http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/12/intro-to-photography-photo-classes 028A8632028A8632

Do you have a DSLR camera sitting in your office (or closet) that you pull out now and again?  Are you shooting in Auto and then disappointed when the picture doesn’t quite do the scene justice?  How would you like to learn about your camera’s full functionality and feel confident that you are getting exactly what you pictured?

Working with so many wonderful brides and Moms year after year, it occurred to me that some of you out there want to learn more about how to take pictures for yourself!  I get questions all the time from friends and family like, “Which camera should I get for a starter camera?”  Now, let me just say, there are many different cameras out there that are fantastic, so there is no right answer to this.  But, maybe you are one of those people who has a DSLR (aka fancy camera), and want to learn more about its functionality!

Would you like to learn more about how to take photos of the moments that happen when your professional photographer is not around?  From the honeymoon, to baby’s 1st smile, to the once-in-a-lifetime experience, it is important to understand how to take pictures in day-to-day life!

Kelly Joyce and I are teaming up to offer a couple of classes this winter to help you to START Shooting Photos!  Our START course is going to cover learning the basics of manual mode, and saying NO to the pop-up flash!  We’re going to teach you how to think like your camera so you understand how photographing a landscape is different from photographing a bouncing beastie (aka toddler).  We’re excited to teach you about lenses!  Why different lenses exist and how you can benefit from different types of lenses for the photos you want to take!  And finally, my favorite part, we’re going to teach you how to find clean light for portraits, no matter the time of day or location!

This course may be right for you if you:

  1. Have a “fancy camera” or always wanted one.
  2. Are only shoot in Auto or with the Picture Modes (you know what I’m talking about-running man, flower, face…)
  3. Going on an amazing trip and want to remember the experience through your images.
  4. Have kids!  They do things every single day that we want to capture and remember!
  5. Have an interest in photography, but don’t know where to start! START here!

Here's the info:

START Shooting Photos

3 hour course

$125/photographer

Dates & Time: January 20, 2018, 1-4pm

                          January 27, 2018, 1-4pm

Where: 271 Main Street, Gladstone, NJ

Questions & How to sign up: Contact Lauren at lauren@laurenkearns.com

Want to gift this course?  Gift certificates are available! 

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We can't wait to see you there! Xx

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lauren@laurenkearns.com (Lauren Kearns Photography) gladstone photographer intro to photo course intro to photography nj photo class nj photographer photo course somerset county photo course http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/12/intro-to-photography-photo-classes Thu, 07 Dec 2017 16:00:14 GMT
Prints for Puerto Rico! http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/11/holly-jolly-holiday-2017 1st Way to give this Holiday Season:

Prints for Puerto Rico

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How happy does it make you to know that the gift you got a loved one also served as a gift to someone who really needed it? 

From December 1st-31st, I am donating 30% of all print and product proceeds to "United for Puerto Rico." 

Have you been meaning to order prints from your last session? If you have had a session with us recently and still need to order prints, now is a great time to do it! 

30% of the proceeds of all digital files, prints, wraps and photo gifts purchased for the holidays will help those still struggling to get by in Puerto Rico. 

If you are interested in purchasing prints and your gallery has expired, email me and I will activate it through the end of the year!

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lauren@laurenkearns.com (Lauren Kearns Photography) nj photographer nj wedding photographer http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/11/holly-jolly-holiday-2017 Thu, 30 Nov 2017 18:01:40 GMT
Thankful {Giving Thanks 2017} http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/11/thankful-giving-thanks-2017 Thankful LaurenKearns_0936LaurenKearns_0936

I love holidays, and Thanksgiving is no exception.  There is no stress that comes along with this holiday, no difficult expectations...in fact, it's quite the opposite.  You are expected to eat and be merry, and that is not difficult! As we get closer to the holiday, I am constantly challenging myself to think about and really appreciate the things I am thankful for.  It's easy to see clearly the things going wrong or to focus on the problems. My expectations are high, things should go RIGHT, and the wrongs are just getting in the way.  I should be grateful for the things that are going right, and recognize them as a wonderful gift.  I decided, therefore, to focus my attention on those areas in my life that have made me who I am and brought the greatest joy.

I once read this book given to me by my Aunt, called One Thousand Gifts, by Ann Voskamp.  221 pages of "gifts" as small as rainbows caught in soap bubbles, and I felt challenged to not be so vague in my gratitude.  I've listed 5 things that I am extremely grateful for in this season of life, in no particular order of importance.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Forced Vacations

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(Sub-category: My husband)

Yes, two words that rarely go together...but in my case, they do.  I have a difficult time with balance.  My husband works pretty long hours, but he is really good at this!  He can have a tough time at work, and then come home and leave it at the office!  My work follows me everywhere, I'm always thinking about it, I'm always fitting it in somewhere.  So, when my James decides we need a vacation or a date night, I'm usually reluctant!  Instead of getting frustrated, he invites me via google calendar for a weekend months in advance, so I can plan accordingly and I really do appreciate his willing to go the extra mile just to get me to agree to take a vacation!

 

Foolish Concerns

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(Sub-category: My children)

When I was a kid and didn't want to eat my dinner, my Dad would tell me that there are 3rd world country children who are starving.  I got it, but I didn't really get it.  I couldn't relate, I didn't really understand how blessed we were.  As a Mother, I fully appreciate this.  My children's concern over who got more time with which toy is irritating, yes.  However, I've changed my perspective here.  I'm not the mother who has to worry about our next meal.  I have been so blessed to have a comfortable home, a loving husband, and two healthy children who have the luxury of worrying about toys instead of food and shelter.  

 

My Village

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(Sub-category: Friends & Family)

It takes a Village.  You've heard this before, but without my "Village" nothing I do, could I do!  I have extremely supportive parents and friends who have and continue to help me every single day.  My parents stop by after work and help me with the kids when James is working late.  My friends keep me sane.  My fellow photographers are a huge support, at all hours of any day.  We're doing life together, and not a day goes by that I don't thank God for the people in my life.

 

That Still, Small Voice

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(Sub-category: Jesus)

Whether it's sheer exhaustion or a difficult project, or the dreaded Fall cold, I sometimes want to give up.  In those moments, I hear way down deep in my soul, the still, small voice that says "keep going."  It reminds me that I'm not alone here.  I am never given more than I can handle, and it gives me all the strength and courage to continue moving forward in my life and business, knowing that I have Jesus walking beside me and guiding me.  What better inspiration to carry with me as I create, than the source of creation Himself?

 

The Trials

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(Sub-category: The Trials...)

It's an odd appreciation, I know. But if I didn't have trials, I would never grow. I would be unable to problem-solve. I would never again feel that sense of accomplishment after a huge hurdle.  It would be like taking a vacation, without anything to vacation from. There's no satisfaction in that!  While I am not feeling very grateful for the challenges while I'm facing them, I am able to appreciate that I am not perfect, but I'm learning along the way, and God is never finished refining me to become the person He wants me to be!

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Family photo credit: Barbara Wentzel

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lauren@laurenkearns.com (Lauren Kearns Photography) grateful photographer nj baby photographer nj wedding photographer thankful http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/11/thankful-giving-thanks-2017 Wed, 22 Nov 2017 16:34:01 GMT
Krista & Brian's Winter Wedding {Fiddler's Elbow Country Club, Bedminster} http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/11/krista-brians-winter-wedding-fiddler-s-elbow-country-club-bedminster LaurenKearns_FiddlersElbow_Winterwedding-44_LaurenKearnsLaurenKearns_FiddlersElbow_Winterwedding-44_LaurenKearns

I couldn't have imagined any other way to end my 2017 weddings than with Krista and Brian's intimate wedding at Fiddler's Elbow Country Club in Bedminster.  I first met them at a coffee shop in Summit, and we discussed all of the details of their wedding from location to lighting.  After our initial meeting, Brian immediately contacted me to help him out with a canvas he was working on for Krista.  Fast forward a couple of months before their wedding, and Krista contacted me to help her work on a gift for Brian!  I felt like a double agent!  At one point, Brian asked "have you talked to Krista lately?"  I immediately said "NO!" and I am not a good liar! 

When I arrived at Fiddler's Elbow, Krista immediately found me and said "you are so sneaky!"  They had exchanged gifts the night before their wedding and realized I had assisted BOTH of them with each other's gifts and neither of them had figured it out!  It didn't surprise me that they both contacted me to work on such thoughtful gifts for each other.  It was evident from the first moment I met them that they had a deep love and devotion for each other.  As their photographer (and confidant) I feel so honored that they trusted me to document their wedding day!

Per usual, I checked the weather every 6 hours for a week leading up to their Friday wedding.  The temperatures continued to drop and on their wedding day, the winds had made the wind chill 25 degrees.  Their 1st look and ceremony were moved inside, but neither Krista or Brian were fazed.  The only thing that mattered is that they were getting married.  The only thing that fazed Brian, is that I might not have a picture of him not crying.  I assured him that every photographer secretly hopes the groom will cry...I don't know if this made him feel any better. 

Krista braved the weather and we took them outside for about 3 minutes of pictures.  It wasn't the cold that was the problem, it was the wind.  Krista couldn't help but laugh as her veil danced in the high winds and her hair flew around her face.  After getting the shots we wanted, ever dependent Barb took off her parka, wrapped it over Krista's shoulders and helped her back inside.  We had the country club to ourselves and we would continue their portraits inside!

Their ceremony was beautiful and warm, and their was hot apple cider waiting for the guests as they entered.  The ceremony flew by and cocktail hour felt like a large living room filled with the closest family members.  Brian carried his bride onto the dance floor and as they danced their first dance, I could see every couple holding each other and swaying along. 

After having their fill of warmth and hot apple cider, Krista and Brian braved the outdoors one more time for their last portrait by a lit tree outside, and we congratulated the couple and left them to their party.  Krista and Brian, we loved working with you and wish you the very best!  Thanks Barb, for your skills and your parka ;)

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Photographers: Lauren Kearns & Barbara Wentzel

Venue:  Fiddler's Elbow Country Club, Bedminster, NJ

Florist:  Flowers by the River, Califon, NJ

Dress: Seng Couture, Fanwood, NJ

DJ:  Elite Entertainment, Cranford, NJ

 

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lauren@laurenkearns.com (Lauren Kearns Photography) bedminster wedding country jersey wedding fall wedding fiddler's elbow wedding fiddler's elbow winter wedding flowers by the river new jersey wedding nj bride nj photographer nj wedding photographer small nj wedding winter wedding http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/11/krista-brians-winter-wedding-fiddler-s-elbow-country-club-bedminster Wed, 15 Nov 2017 19:31:12 GMT
Laura & Marty Tied the Knot {Pleasantdale Chateau , West Orange} http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/11/laura-marty-tied-the-knot-pleasantdale-chateau-west-orange LaurenKearns_0861LaurenKearns_0861

There were little children running all around the bridal suite, so happy to be spending an entire day out of school AND being with their cousins.  The only thing louder than the noise and excitement of little people was Laura's smile and enthusiasm!  Laura's step-daughter, Danielle, carefully applied Laura's makeup with the assistance of her 6 year old daughter (who was nominated eye shadow holder).  Laura's details were carefully laid out by Laura's assistant, Domonique, making my job of photographing details seamless!  The first thing I wanted to do was take Laura's dress to the cascading staircase right outside her suite, and once I got the shot, I spent some more time with her beautiful Oscar de la Renta slingbacks! "I splurged on the shoes!" Laura said to me right before she got dressed, but the way the details in her shoes looked peaking out from the front of her dress was so beautiful against the satin of her wedding dress, it was absolutely worth it!

Laura got dressed with the help of her sister in the same room, filled with nieces, grandchildren and Mom, but it was like she didn't even hear them.  She was looking over the courtyard where she would soon find Marty for their first look.

Alone, Marty waited, rather seriously, for his bride.  But when she appeared, his face lit up and the seriousness was gone for the remainder of their fairytale wedding.  The way the two of them laughed and smiled at each other, I don't even know if they heard or even remember us to talking to them!

The candles were lit for their ceremony at dusk, and it was getting dark quickly.  Before they knew it, Marty and Laura became "Husband and Wife" and we lost them to friends and family at cocktail hour.

The ballroom was filled with a warm light and illuminated with fall burgundies and oranges of fall in the form of cascading floral arrangements on each table.  One of my new favorite moments is when the bride and groom see their reception room for the first time.  It's such a joy to see all of their careful planning and attention to all the details come together in this beautiful room! And once they were introduced to their friends and family for the first time as "Mr. and Mrs," the room was filled with singing and dancing!  And by singing and dancing, I mean a little bit of both!  Hank Lane does such an amazing job, and jumps right into the swing of things on the dance floor making it all the more fun! 

We escaped for 5 minutes to visit the Pleasantdale Chateau's pool room, and as soon as we got back, Marty and his groomsman meant to get serious about this party, and the bow ties were gone!  This party was just getting started!  Congratulations, Laura & Marty!  We loved being part of your wedding!

Thanks to Barbara Wentzel for her amazing assistance!

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Photographers:  Lauren Kearns and Barbara Wentzel

Venue:  Pleasantdale Chateau, West Orange, NJ

Maitre d:  Santiago Sevilla

Bride's Coordinator: Domonique Ajai Henderson

Makeup: Danielle Cefoli

Hair: Pierina Gagliardo of Lucio's Salon 

Dress:  Ian Stuart

Shoes:  Oscar de la Renta

Wedding bands:  Edwins Jewelers

Invitations:  Invitations by Joann

Florist:  Debbie's Designs

Band:  Hank Lane Music

Videographer:  Carlos Zambrano from Bow Films

 

 

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lauren@laurenkearns.com (Lauren Kearns Photography) fall wedding new jersey wedding nj photographer nj wedding photographer pleasantdale chateau pleasantdale chateau outdoor ceremony pleasantdale chateau wedding west orange wedding http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/11/laura-marty-tied-the-knot-pleasantdale-chateau-west-orange Thu, 09 Nov 2017 05:13:36 GMT
Kristen & Justin are Married! {Fiddler's Elbow Wedding} http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/10/kristen-justin-are-married-fiddlers-elbow-wedding LaurenKearns_0744LaurenKearns_0744

You know how they say "never judge a book by its cover?"  Well, the same applies to people!  More specifically, Kristen and Justin!  Kristen is super calm, quiet, and has the sweetest smile. I would have never guessed that she has such an adventurous spirit!  Besides backpacking to countries I've never seen (by herself!), Justin proposed to Kristen while they were in Paris, and they will be going on safari in Africa for their honeymoon!  

I may not be as adventurous, my pleasures are rather simple...like the colors Kristen chose for her bridesmaids dresses, mixed with seasonal colors for their bouquets!  Kristen said that the blue in her bridesmaids dresses is a color she wears all the time, so she was immediately drawn to it. Each bridesmaid had a slightly different cut, which made it all the more fun!  I really do have simple pleasures!  But it's not just the colors, it's reliving the day and seeing Dad for the first time as a bride, and the groom for the first time.  I love all of the firsts taking place, and the joy that it brings!

Kristen and Justin had some pretty memorable moments planned for their wedding.  First of all, Villa Walsh Academy is a beautiful campus, made even more beautiful by the fall colors.  Kristen attended Villa Walsh, and knew she was going to get married in it's beautiful chapel. After the ceremony, we wandered over to what I call the "Rapunzel Tower" and spent some time with the new Mr. and Mrs. Lambert as the sun went down.  Once we got back to Fiddler's Elbow, we immediately hit the pizza truck!  And the piece de resistance?  The fireworks at the end of the night.  They were a complete surprise for their guests and absolutely beautiful.  Kristen and Justin headed out to the green to get a closer look, as their guests filed out onto the balcony to watch from a distance.  Truly spectacular.  Thank you, Kristen and Justin for including us in your fantastic day!  Thanks Barbara Wentzel and Kelly Joyce for your awesome help!

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Photographers: Lauren Kearns, Barbara Wentzel, Kelly Joyce

Venue:  Fiddler's Elbow Country Club, Bedminster, NJ

Ceremony:  Villa Walsh Academy, Morristown, NJ

Wedding dress:  Rita Rosa's, Denville, NJ

Wedding Bands:  Aires Jeweler

Florist:  Flowers by Hannah

Invitations: Bernardsville Print Center

Transportation:  Broadway Elite

Videographer:  Fen Video

DJ: Elite Entertainment

 

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lauren@laurenkearns.com (Lauren Kearns Photography) bedminster photographer blue bridesmaids dresses country jersey wedding fall wedding fiddler's elbow fiddler's elbow wedding morristown wedding new jersey wedding nj photographer nj wedding photographer sapphire engagement ring villa walsh wedding wedding day fireworks http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/10/kristen-justin-are-married-fiddlers-elbow-wedding Tue, 31 Oct 2017 03:56:58 GMT
April & Steve Tied the Knot! {Jack's Barn Wedding} http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/10/april-steve-tied-the-knot-jacks-barn-wedding LaurenKearns_0676LaurenKearns_0676

April and Steve (and let us "knot" forget Spencer!) got married on Friday, and I am so happy to have been there!  I met April years ago when she asked me to do a photo shoot, and to hear from her again, this time engaged, I was thrilled to say yes to her wedding date!  I met Steve and April over coffee, and to hear about every little detail that would go into making their Fall, rustic-themed wedding day.  April created the seating chart, the table spreads, and the flowers and decor throughout Jack's Barn, and it came together beautifully.

On the wedding day, she rushed into the reception hall with all of the centerpieces to start setting up, while I photographed her dress, shoes, watch, grandmother's ring, and locket. 

April and Steve's entire "bridal party" was made up of their son and nieces and nephews, and were surrounded by friends and family while they got dressed and ready for their first look. When April called Steve to turn around, she was on the verge of tears, and his face said "rock on!" and that set the mood for the rest of the day!

During the ceremony, April had prepared two sets of vows. One for her step-son Spencer, and one for Steve.  Steve's brother pronounced them one happy family and out to cocktails!

The room where the ceremony had taken place now became the reception hall, and April's decor came together beautifully!  The barn door was pulled open and led the happy family out to the dance floor, where Sick Star Nation completely rocked it!  I'm not kidding either, the lead singer could sing everything from Bryan Adams to Kesha...it was amazing, and part of me wanted to stay just to hear them...the other part of me reminded myself that I had to assist Barb at another wedding the next day.  So, we settled for a night picture right outside the dance floor before we said our farewell.  

Thanks for having us at your wedding, April & Steve! Thanks to Barbara Wentzel for amazing assistance!

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Photographers: Lauren Kearns & Barbara Wentzel

Venue:  The Loft at Jack's Barn, Oxford, NJ

Dress: Park Avenue Bridals, Verona, NJ

Custom Tux: Roma Tailors

Decor:  April Hendricks (the Bride)

Caterer: Frangello Catering

Band: Sick Star Nation

 

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lauren@laurenkearns.com (Lauren Kearns Photography) country jersey wedding diy wedding fall wedding family heirloom jacks barn wedding new jersey wedding nj photographer nj wedding photographer http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/10/april-steve-tied-the-knot-jacks-barn-wedding Wed, 18 Oct 2017 17:57:21 GMT
Courtney & Calvin are Married! {Natirar Mansion, Peapack, NJ} http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/10/courtney-calvin-are-married-natirar-mansion-peapack-nj LaurenKearns_0612LaurenKearns_0612

I woke up Sunday morning with rainy skies, but a joyful spirit as I packed up my car for my 10 minute drive to Natirar for Courtney and Calvin's wedding.  Kelly and I met these two (well four, because we had some adorable puppy props!) in Liberty State Park, where we photographed their engagement session.  We had such a great time getting to know them, and learning about their wedding plans, and knew this was going to be a great celebration!  

By the time I arrived at Natirar, the rain had stopped, and we adjusted our 1st look route to stay on the path and avoid the wet grass, which perhaps worked a little better than our original plan!  Courtney had all of her details set aside for me, and I was on a hunt for the gilded cow hide that I fell in love with over the summer.  It's a perfect backdrop!  One of the details that she gave to me was a little box that Calvin used for Courtney's engagement ring when he proposed, which is the cutest thing!  She also had the invite designed with a sketch of the mansion, and the RSVP card drawn up to look like the large wrought iron gate outside the mansion wall. There was no mistaking that as a guest, you were at the right place!  

Before Courtney headed down to meet her groom in the park, she found her Dad in the foyer, and warned me that he was going to be really emotional.  Boy, was she right.  Carl is the sweetest Dad, and once we got Courtney down to the park to meet Calvin, he was reluctant to leave!  However, with 100% humidity, the car's AC was calling and the show went on.  Courtney called to Calvin, and he turned around and ran right up to her to give her a hug.  We spent some time on the path in the park before heading back up to meet the bridal party.  

There were so many different places we could take pictures because it was overcast!  I would normally photograph large groups in a shady spot mid-day, but because of our "softbox" sky, we were able to take the bridal party portraits out in the open, and the family portraits overlooking the park below.

A little early morning shower wasn't going to stop this outdoor wedding ceremony!  The layout was simply shifted to the patio to keep everyone comfortable on solid, dry ground, and looked just as beautiful in this arrangement!  Courtney's two cousins sang during their ceremony, and not long after, they were pronounced Mr. and Mrs. Luyando!

Courtney had made extra sure she didn't even get a glimpse of the reception until it was completely finished and she and Calvin could see it together.  So, about 10 minutes before the guests were escorted from cocktail hour, we brought them in to see the final product, with beautiful table arrangements created by Twisted Willow.  

Party time!  This is where we let loose and have some fun ourselves!  I have to admit, the reception flew by, and before we knew it, they were cutting their cake and running through sparklers!  Congratulations, Courtney & Calvin!  We are so honored you chose us to photograph your fabulous day!  Thanks, Barbara Wentzel and Kelly Joyce for all your hard work!

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Photographers: Lauren Kearns, Barbara Wentzel & Kelly Joyce

Venue: Natirar Mansion, Peapack, NJ

Florist: Twisted Willow

Hair/Makeup: Beauty on Location

Wedding dress: Pnina Tornai from Kleinfelds

Engagement Rings/Wedding bands: Neves Jewelers in Shrewsbury

Groom's Tux: Enzo Custom

Invitations: Made by the Matron of Honor, Danielle

Videographer: DP Weddings

DJ/Band: Excel Entertainment

 

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lauren@laurenkearns.com (Lauren Kearns Photography) country jersey wedding fall wedding first look lace bride natirar mansion natirar wedding new jersey wedding ninety acres wedding nj photographer nj wedding photographer rainy wedding day twisted willow bouquet http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/10/courtney-calvin-are-married-natirar-mansion-peapack-nj Wed, 11 Oct 2017 20:53:38 GMT
Jessica & Brenton's Wedding! {Olde Mill Inn, Basking Ridge, NJ} http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/10/jessica-brentons-wedding-olde-mill-inn-basking-ridge-nj LaurenKearns_0522LaurenKearns_0522

I think the number one thing I love about weddings is seeing what the best day of my couples' lives looks like.  For Brenton, the best day of his life was marrying Jessica for sure.  See that picture up there?  He looks at her like that all the time!  I've been married a pretty long time, and I have maybe gotten that look from my husband (who I love dearly) a handful of times!  When I first met Jessica and Brenton at their engagement session at Natirar Park, Brenton was smiling the entire time.  I asked him if he was into pictures, because he really seemed to be enjoying the process and could not stop smiling.  His response?  "I like her."  That wasn't even rehearsed!

The wedding day looked much the same with Brenton smiling every time he looked at Jessica.  From their 1st look, to their last intimate moments before walking down the aisle. I am getting ahead of myself here, though!  Before Jessica walked down the aisle, she was preceded by the cutest ring bearer in a wagon, being pulled by his sister, the flower girl.  Little Lucas was full of smiles and lasted the entire party!

The blue sky reflected inside the courtyard of the Olde Mill Inn as Jessica and Brenton said their vows and became Mr. and Mrs. Keyes.  We skipped out on cocktail hour for some of the gorgeous light filtering through the trees in the front of the Inn, and then headed into the Reception to capture the gorgeous details that Jessica chose for her tables.  All of the flowers were white, which complimented the black tie theme sported by the bridal party.

When the newlyweds entered their reception, the dance floor filled with dry ice, so they looked as if they were floating through their first dance!  Once the smoke cleared, the guests hit the floor for lots of dancing, led by Jessica's niece, who danced more than anyone the entire night!

Jessica and Brenton cut their cake (did you see the look again?) and we grabbed some of the guests to head outside for a sparkler exit.  While the groomsmen and bridesmaids got organized, I took the opportunity of getting some picture with Brenton and Jessica under the canopy of twinkling lights in the courtyard.  I asked Brenton if he would pick up Jessica, I knew he could easily do this and he had done it for their engagement pictures too!  He swept her off her feet and sauntered her up and down the path, making her laugh, and leaving me to chase after them!  We organized the sparklers and the happy couple ducked through the aisle of lights for our final pictures of the night.

We wish you every happiness (and jealousy!) in Napa, Jessica & Brenton!  Congratulations!  

A special thanks to Barbara Wentzel, who knows all the "inns" and outs of the Olde Mill Inn ;)

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Photographers: Lauren Kearns & Barbara Wentzel

Venue:  The Olde Mill Inn, Basking Ridge

Makeup: Jenn Boyd

Hair: Lea Rushing

Wedding Dress:  Three Graces Bridal, Lebanon

Florist:  Flowers by Hannah

Videographer:  Branded Productions

DJ: Gold Standard Entertainment

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lauren@laurenkearns.com (Lauren Kearns Photography) basking ridge wedding black and white wedding black bridesmaids dresses black tie wedding country jersey wedding fall wedding new jersey wedding nj photographer nj wedding photographer olde mill inn wedding http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/10/jessica-brentons-wedding-olde-mill-inn-basking-ridge-nj Thu, 05 Oct 2017 18:33:01 GMT
Danielle & Travis are Married! {Brooklake Country Club, Florham Park NJ} http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/10/danielle-travis-are-married-brooklake-country-club-florham-park-nj LaurenKearns_FlorhamParkWedding061_LaurenKearnsLaurenKearns_FlorhamParkWedding061_LaurenKearns

I cannot believe how quickly this year is going!  I remember back when Danielle first contacted me about her Fall 2017 wedding (so far away...) and we found out that we were planning on going to LBI on the same weekend, in Barnegat Light, one street away from each other.  I get to meet my clients in quite a few different locations, but this was the first time I got to meet my clients at the local coffee shop, How You Brewin' on Long Beach Island.

We hit it off immediately on that super windy, freezing cold, Memorial Day, and met back up at the lighthouse for their engagement pictures.

Travis proposed to Danielle on LBI on a sand bar, so it was the perfect place for their engagement session.  They even added a little beach element to their fall wedding (check out the little sand dollars intertwined with the gorgeous white and raspberry colored flowers and displays!)

Danielle would often text me to let me know she was picking out her dress, her bridesmaids dresses, and give me hints into the process with pictures of her bouquet inspiration, and color scheme.  It was so fun to see all of her details come together on the day, and it looked beautiful!  Speaking of details, the little surprise details that Danielle and Travis planned for each other were incredibly sweet (and creative!)

Danielle stuffed Travis' tux pockets with little notes, and Travis planned out gifts for the entire morning of their wedding day.  When I arrived, she was wearing a pair of running sneakers with their wedding date written below the Nike swish!  He also wrote her a little note on the bottom of her wedding shoes!  While I was photographing Danielle's details, her Dad wrote out all the names of the bridesmaids for us with descriptions based on their hair color and style!  I guess he saw the look of confusion when half the girls introduced themselves and their names began with "Ca" or "Ka!"

One of the pictures Danielle wanted was with her Mom and Patron.  They have a shared love for Patron, and when the time came they decided it was too early for Patron, not too early for champagne, but definitely too early for Patron, but we made sure Patron felt some love nonetheless!

We planned to have Travis and Danielle meet over the bridge at Brooklake Country Club, and it was such a sweet time for them!  Joy and laughter is what followed next, and carried us into the ceremony, where some happy tears were shed.  The scene overlooking Brooklake's golf course was gorgeous with the sun peaking in and out of quick moving puffy clouds. Mr. and Mrs. Smith processed back up the aisle through a sea of bubbles, and we spent some time catching the last moments of the sun set with newlyweds before getting the party started!

Danielle and Travis opened up the dance floor with their first dance, followed by an exciting father/daughter dance and mother/son dance.  Danielle changed into her third pair of shoes of the day, dazzling silver sneakers!  We ended the night with sparklers and donuts, which I feel is the perfect way to end any party!

Thanks for letting us capture your day, Danielle & Travis!  We enjoyed lots of laughter and dancing with you!  Thanks to Barbara Wentzel & Kelly Joyce for their amazing assistance!

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Photographers:  Lauren Kearns & Barbara Wentzel

Assistant:  Kelly Joyce

Venue:  Brooklake Country Club, Florham Park, NJ

Wedding Gown: Seng Couture

Florist:  Blooms Florist, Bedminster (detail florals) & Martinsville Florist

DJ: Next Generation Entertainment

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lauren@laurenkearns.com (Lauren Kearns Photography) blooms florist brooklake country club wedding brooklake wedding country jersey wedding fall wedding florham park photographer martinsville florist morristown photographer morristown wedding new jersey wedding nj bride nj photographer nj wedding photographer raspberry and gray raspberry bridal bouquet http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/10/danielle-travis-are-married-brooklake-country-club-florham-park-nj Wed, 04 Oct 2017 21:53:33 GMT
Nicole & Craig Tied the Knot! {The Farmhouse at the Grand Colonial} http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/9/nicole-craig-tied-the-knot-the-farmhouse-at-the-grand-colonial I bet Nicole and Craig had no idea that their Fall wedding would feel more like summer than this summer did!  I'm not complaining here!  The summer was filled with rain storms and less than ideal beach days.  Enter in September, and summer has arrived!  Or at least, it felt like it on Saturday at the Farmhouse at the Grand Colonial.

Nicole was on time and ready to go, with her dress hanging in the wardrobe, and all her bridesmaids were dressed!  All I had to do was set up my light and start snapping, while the girls popped a bottle of champagne and toasted each other...for boomerang of course ;)  We wasted no time in getting her dressed, and sneaking her outside for some bridal portraits in the back garden.  Nicole's bouquet had no roses, because she really dislikes them.  She showed me these green pom poms scattered throughout her bouquet and they made her so happy!

Meanwhile, the groomsmen were having their own kind of party.  Typically I don't see the groomsmen while they're getting ready, which makes me a little sad, because they are in this to have fun!  And I'm pretty sure Craig and his groomsmen were making the most of this time from the little I saw of them, and the lot that I saw in their images.  Getting the guys to toast goes without saying.  Getting them all to smile and look like they're all having a blast, bonus.  Getting a picture of one groomsmen blow drying the other groomsmen's armpit stains?  Priceless.  There are some things you can't do in photoshop, and this candid moment was one of them.

Craig was a sport and waited patiently for Nicole under the porch of the old portion of the Grand Colonial, which I didn't realize until I joined them, gets pretty toasty!  Nicole and her 4" Jimmy Choos marched up the stairs without any effort at all to meet her groom, and it was all smiles from there!

How appropriate (and unbelievable) that the Grand Colonial's landscaping complimented Nicole's wedding color scheme of navy, green and purple!  Remember the heat I was talking about?  Craig, being an unbelievable gentleman, presented his lovely bride with an ice cold beer to cool off before the bridal party arrived for their pictures.

Soon enough we were walking down the aisle!  Nicole's niece took her job of flower girl very seriously and meticulously placed her handfuls of petals on either side of the aisle.  She didn't even get half way down when she looked up and shouted "I'm all out!"  One of the cutest moments!  They all told her it was okay, and she shrugged and skipped the rest of the way down, empty basket swinging by her side.  I was so happy to see the picture (taken by Barb, of course), of Nicole laughing as she watched the whole thing take place, because sometimes the bride doesn't get to see these things take place!

As Nicole walked down the aisle, escorted by her father, they looked at their friends and family and both began to laugh.  Such a sweet and joyous moment!

And what next?  Mr. and Mrs. Wells joined their family and friends for cocktails, dancing and dinner.  Craig's mother surprised him with a slideshow during their Mother/Son dance, and we all laughed along with Nicole's sister, Michelle and Craig's brother Kevin during their toasts...or roasts...but I don't think I can repeat some things that were said on my blog here!  

Congratulations, Nicole and Craig! It was an honor to be part of your wedding day, and seeing two beautiful people start the first day of the rest of their lives together!  A special thanks to Barbara Wentzel for her amazing angles and good company!

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Photographers:  Lauren Kearns & Barbara Wentzel

Venue:  The Farmhouse at the Grand Colonial, Hampton NJ

 Florist:  Halls Florist

Photo Booth:  MileStone Photo Booth

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lauren@laurenkearns.com (Lauren Kearns Photography) at country jersey wedding fall wedding farmhouse farmhouse wedding green pom pom bouquet navy bridesmaids dresses new jersey wedding nj bride nj photographer nj wedding photographer rose-less bouquet the wedding http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/9/nicole-craig-tied-the-knot-the-farmhouse-at-the-grand-colonial Thu, 28 Sep 2017 00:40:23 GMT
Anne-Marie & Mike's Wedding {Harding, NJ} http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/9/anne-marie-mikes-wedding-harding-nj LaurenKearns_0375LaurenKearns_0375

Home Sweet Harding, NJ

When I first met with Anne-Marie and her Mom at her childhood home in Harding, she had so many great ideas for her wedding day pictures.  Most of these locations were described to me as "the field down the street" and "the Sycamore lined drive."  I never did nail down an actual address and those details stayed listed that way on the final schedule, so it was really important to keep a close eye on the limo as we stopped from one location to the next! 

Leave it to a girl who grew up in Harding!  Anne-Marie had some gorgeous locations picked out for her 1st look with Mike and the pictures we would take of them before they met with the bridal party and family for portraits.

We started the morning pretty quietly while the bride and bridesmaids got their hair and makeup done, but as soon as Anne-Marie saw Mike and sneaked up behind him for his 1st look, it was all giggles!  Everytime the two of them even looked at each other, there was laughing and giggling, and it was contagious! 

Anne-Marie and Mike chose Anne-Marie's family church, First Presbyterian Church of New Vernon for their ceremony, and I don't think I've ever scene a church "so happily situated." (These are the words that come to mind when I spend all day listening to the "Pride & Prejudice" soundtrack.) You could see the church from Bayne Park where we took all the bridal party portraits and family portraits before the ceremony, and it sits on top of it's own little hill.  Anne-Marie's father sadly passed last year, so she waited at the front of the church with her oldest brother to give her away, and all three brothers took a turn walking her down the aisle, which was the sweetest thing!  After the ceremony, the couple exited the church with ribbons and bells surrounding them.  Then we were off to the Orange Lawn Tennis Club.

Did you see those gorgeous magnolias at the alter from the church?  Well take a look at the enormous palms at the reception!  I had never worked with David from Still Life Event Design before, but his creations were amazing and on epic scale!  The best part was that Anne-Marie and Mike didn't see the room until they were introduced, so it was quite a wonderful surprise for them as well!

The rain held out for our daytime portraits, and there's nothing I love better than raindrops (or snow!) for an end of night portrait.  Before we said goodbye, we took a quick night shot and headed out! A special thanks to Anne Molnar and Kelly Joyce for their excellent teamwork!

Congratulations, Anne-Marie & Mike!

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2nd Photographer:  Anne Molnar

3rd Assistant/Photographer: Kelly Joyce

Dress:  Sareh Nouri, purchased at Elizabeth Johns, Morristown, New Jersey

Church: First Presbyterian Church of New Vernon, New Vernon, New Jersey

Reception:  Orange Lawn Tennis Club, South Orange, New Jersey

Catering:  Krug Catering

Florist:  Still Life Designs

Band:  Almost Easy

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lauren@laurenkearns.com (Lauren Kearns Photography) country jersey wedding fall wedding harding nj wedding new jersey wedding nj photographer nj wedding photographer orange lawn tennis club wedding http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/9/anne-marie-mikes-wedding-harding-nj Thu, 07 Sep 2017 00:44:29 GMT
Brittney & Joeanthony are Married! {Ninety Acres Wedding} http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/8/brittney-joeanthony-are-married-ninety-acres-wedding A Classic, Intimate Summer Wedding

It's not very often that I get to photograph intimate weddings, but they are some of my favorites!  From the moment I walked through the door at Brittney's childhood home, I felt welcome and so comfortable with her sisters, who made up her bridal party, along with her baby niece.  How cute is 8 month old Tatum in her bridesmaid robe? 

I found a fabulous chair in the living room, which complimented Brittney's red roses and accents so well, and also happens to be a family heirloom.  Brittney had not one pair, but TWO pairs of Badgley Mischka shoes.  She couldn't decide which to wear, so at the last minute, it was flats for the win!

Before tying the knot at Immaculate Conception, Brittney and Joeanthony decided to meet beforehand for a 1st look to break the ice.  We saw some of the biggest smiles from Joeanthony after being with his beautiful bride and continued to take pictures under the church's beautiful arches.

After the ceremony, the entire group got together for a picture in front of the church, and then the bride and groom took a quick detour to downtown Clinton for some pictures in front of the Clinton Mill.  Having a bride in a beautiful gown walking through the crowded streets of downtown looks something like Moses parting the Red Sea.  And without asking a single person to move, we had the entire bridge to ourselves!

We ended our time with Brittney and Joeanthony at Ninety Acres in Peapack, where cocktail hour flowed from the Cooking School out onto the patio.  Seeing as Ninety Acres dinners are an experience unto themselves, we grabbed a quick picture of Brittney and Joeanthony in front of their cake and left them to enjoy their three course meal. 

Congratulations, Brittney and Joeanthony!  It was a pleasure to be part of your day!  A special thanks to Anne Molnar for her wonderful second shooting!

 

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Second photographer:  Anne Molnar

Bride's Gown:  Allure

Flowers:  Viburnum Designs

Church:  Immaculate Conception, Clinton, NJ

Limo:  M/V Limo 

Reception:  Ninety Acres Restaurant, Peapack, NJ

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lauren@laurenkearns.com (Lauren Kearns Photography) 1st look burgundy wedding classic bride classic wedding clinton wedding country jersey wedding immaculate conception natirar new jersey wedding ninety acres wedding nj bride nj photographer nj wedding photographer peapack wedding red rose bouquet small nj wedding http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/8/brittney-joeanthony-are-married-ninety-acres-wedding Thu, 31 Aug 2017 00:14:20 GMT
My Wedding...14 Years Later http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/7/my-wedding-14-years-later How I view my Wedding pictures 14 years later...

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Today my husband and I "celebrate" 14 years of marriage! That sounds so long ago! When I say "celebrate," I mean that we got married 14 years ago.  In reality, I am photographing a newborn session this morning and going to a baby shower this evening, and my husband is at work. Celebrations will have to wait, because, after all, it is Wednesday!

While photographing a 10 year anniversary session last week, it reminded me of my 10 year anniversary (when I was very pregnant with my 3 1/2 year old son), and when I got back home, I pulled out my box of wedding proofs and started perusing the images that I haven't seen in a while.  My wedding pictures are very different from the way I photograph, and my style.  I still cherish them.  They were taken by a friend of my Grandmother's cousin, whose name I have sadly forgotten.  He was in fact a professional photographer, but didn't specialize in weddings.  I still got every picture that I needed, thanks to my very bossy older sister who had gotten married 10 months earlier, and is a Type A personality.  The pictures are pretty formal and taken with film, hence the 5x5" proofs from his medium format Hasselblad.  The truth is I didn't do much of the planning for my wedding!  My wonderful Mother took on the planning, and I just agreed with everything she chose, because I was 17 years old, and cared more about being married than getting married!

Now that I am married, with 2 kids, what I have left of my wedding day are some memories (which are sadly fading), but the pictures to remember it by.

To give you some perspective on how you will cherish your pictures 10 or say 14 years down the line, here are two observations I have made:

1.  Everyone, except my Mom, has aged a whole lot more than I remember.  I look at these pictures, and remember people telling me (for years!) how young I looked.  People often told me I looked "so young" given my age until I had my second child.  Something clearly happened after having Tristan, because I no longer got those kinds of "compliments."  I certainly did not see them as "compliments" when I was so young!  I will gladly accept them now.

I look at the pictures of my husband and me and realize how young we did look.  We were young!  I turned 18 the week before my wedding, my little sister was only 12 years old, my youngest nephew wasn't born yet, my Great Grandmother was at my wedding, and we have a picture of the 4 generations of Kanzler/Power women!  Not only do we all look a whole lot younger, but my style of dress and shoes looks so dated (and let's not forget my bangs)!  It makes me feel really old to say that, but it will only become more obvious as time goes by!

2.  I cherish the pictures that didn't make it into my album.  It may seem a bit redundant to have all your pictures printed and then to also have an album, but it's not.  Your wedding album is a story about your wedding day, and since it is (hopefully) created shortly after your wedding, it tends to flow in a way that the bride and groom remember the day happening!  We start with getting ready, we move onto pictures of the bridal party, some intimate moments between mother and daughter, father and son, perhaps a first look, the ceremony and reception.  However, your album can only hold so many photos!  There were a lot of people at your wedding (okay, only 13 at mine...) but 14 years later, some of those people aren't around any more.  Some of those people became even closer friends. Some of them may have had babies at the same time as you!  You will look back at your proofs and cherish them in a whole new light because of the events that took place as you did life.  There are also those memories that you thought you would remember forever, but you don't. 

You'll see below I took some pictures of my wedding album, the details I found from my wedding (sans the tightly sealed wedding dress), and some proofs that didn't make it into my wedding album, because I didn't know how much they would mean to me in the future.  They have a whole new meaning now.

Welcome to the future!

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lauren@laurenkearns.com (Lauren Kearns Photography) anniversary country jersey wedding new jersey wedding nj wedding photographer small wedding http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/7/my-wedding-14-years-later Wed, 12 Jul 2017 03:24:21 GMT
Carolyn & Kevin are Married! {Architects Club, Phillipsburg} http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/6/carolyn-kevin-are-married-architects-club-philipsburg Carolyn & Kevin's Califon Wedding

When someone from Califon gets married, everyone from Califon knows about it.  It's a 1 square mile town, and like a country song, we all leave this 1 square mile town for a while, but are drawn right back to it!  I for instance, left my hometown for DC and NYC, and now my mailing address is technically Califon!  Carolyn is another one of my sweet Califon brides, and I was so excited to be part of her and Kevin's wedding day! 

Carolyn got ready at her parent's house, where she grew up, and when I arrived she had all of her details set aside for me. including a brand new bottle of perfume and her amazing florist from Solstice Floral Design made me my own bouquet for photographing details!! This really makes my heart sing!  I felt right at home with her 3 sisters as bridesmaids, plus 3 other friends who either went to Califon School (notice my super tall reflecting/deflecting assistant) or the high school we attended!

With Carolyn's house 3 minutes from my parent's house and the church we attended in our youth just 5 minutes away, at St. John Neumann Church we shuttled over to get this girl married!  While I've been to St. John's hundreds of times, I had never photographed there, and the light was simply breathtaking, as their ceremony was beautiful. 

After the ceremony, the newlyweds greeted their guests and headed out to the Architects Club in Phillipsburg.

To say the views are magnificent at this golf course really doesn't do this place justice.  It's hard to believe that such a place exists in New Jersey!  With perfectly blue skies and endless views, we decided that our bridal party must be in direct sunlight (not something we typically subject our bridal party to...) but they are awesome, and it was worth it.  Once we quickly photographed the bridal party, the groomsmen created their own posing system, as you will see!  I told them they were free to go to cocktail hour, but when I turned around, they had once again created their own formation.  Perhaps their inspiration was brought on by the bouquets they were holding?  If I'm being honest, they were really creative, and I am impressed with every single one of their "blue steel's."

We may have run a little over on time from the ceremony, but Carolyn and Kevin were happy to take a golf cart out by the water, for some "alone time," with us by their side! We made it back just in time for the new Mr. and Mrs. to be introduced into their reception.  Kevin is a pilot, and once they were introduced, the model airplanes went soaring through the tent!  After our bride and groom finished their first dance, Carolyn brought her Dad out onto the dance floor for their father/daughter dance, to Joe Cocker's "With a little help from my friends," which choked me up a bit!

After dinner, Carolyn and Kevin followed us just outside their tent capture the glorious glow from the setting sun! I felt like we saw so much of their personalities come alive after some food and drink, and we were more than happy to capture it!

We ended the night with cake and flying model airplanes!  What more could one ask for?  Congratulations, Carolyn and Kevin!  We are so happy for you!

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2nd Photographer:  Barbara Wentzel

Church:  St. John Neumann

Reception: The Architects Club, Phillipsburg, NJ

Florist:  Solstice Floral Design

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lauren@laurenkearns.com (Lauren Kearns Photography) Architects club wedding Mint wedding Model airplanes NJ Wedding photographer New Jersey Wedding califon wedding country jersey wedding flower crown succulents summer wedding http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/6/carolyn-kevin-are-married-architects-club-philipsburg Thu, 29 Jun 2017 03:44:58 GMT
Caroline & Alex are Married! {Natirar Mansion Wedding} http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/6/caroline-alex-are-married-natirar-mansion-wedding Natirar Mansion's Re-Opening!

Many years ago, my husband (then boyfriend) and I would drive around the Somerset Hills "Mansion hunting," while he gave me a brief history of all the great houses that surround us.  One of them was Natirar, "Raritan" spelled backwards after the Raritan River it sits on, in case you didn't already see it.  It's last owner being the King of Morocco, before the property and estate were acquired by Somerset County, the mansion sat vacant.  I am a huge sap for historical properties, and almost nothing makes me happier than seeing Natirar being used to it's greatest potential - entertainment!

When I spoke to Caroline about her wedding plans, she was so relaxed about all the details. "If it's not complete, we'll set up a tent or something."  I drive Peapack Rd every day, and would see the lights on the new extension as I passed by every night through the winter and early spring.  Fortunately for Caroline and Alex, the staff at Natirar worked hard to complete the renovations in time, and it looks incredible.  

I arrived at Bridal suite shortly after noon on Saturday, and was greeted by 11 bridesmaids and Caroline's Mom.  Needless to say, I cleared the room out before we dressed Caroline.  She had her Mom and sister help her, while the bridesmaids waited patiently in the green room, and Dad got his "1st look" of his baby girl.

I love natural light, and Natirar's multiple rooms offered tons of natural light indoors!  I just love the way the green in that room compliments the girls in their various shades of blush and gold!  After a brief champagne toast, it was off to the church in quaint little Liberty Corner's, Liberty Corner Presbyterian Church. The family has been members of this church for over 30 years!

Our newlyweds and their 20-person bridal party made their way to Natirar Park for some portraits before cocktail hour, allowing us to get some pictures of Natirar's impressive facade from the park below (and by "us," I mean Barb...on her belly, because she's awesome like that).

Cocktail hour was held on the back patio, bathed in warm afternoon sunlight.  Food here, at Ninety Acres or Natirar, is a ritualistic experience and the food looks as good as it tastes.  Ninety Acres even has their own brand of olive oil!

Bride and Groom portraits were brief, but it doesn't take much to capture the beauty of the rolling hills below, and Caroline and Alex looked magical in the warm setting sun. 

Enter the ballroom!  I spent some time in this room, out to the cocktail hour, and then back to this room.  There was no detail over-looked, from the vaulted ceiling, to the live wall (which even has it's own electric panel that notifies them when a plant has died!), to the wall of wooden shelves and candles that light up the exposed brick.  There is no bad angle in this room!  Even the kitchen doors have clean lines, and fit in well with the style of the room.

The reception started off with the entrance of the new Mr. and Mrs., their first dance as husband and wife and very touching toasts to celebrate both Caroline and Alex as individuals and as a couple meant to be together.  We saw Caroline really come alive on the dance floor, more specifically when the band sang "Sweet Caroline!"

I snuck back to the Bridal suite during dinner to photograph Caroline & Alex's wedding bands on the gilded cow hide that I had my eye on earlier, but there was no way, I was going to get everyone off the rug while it was in use!

We pulled our bride and groom away from the dance floor for a hot second in front of the live wall before our time with them came to an end, but what a day it was!  Congratulations Caroline & Alex!

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2nd Photographer: Barbara Wentzel

3rd Photorgapher & Assistant: Kelly Joyce

Venue: Natirar Mansion

Church: Liberty Corner Presbyterian Church

Florist: Jardiniere

Hair: Profiles Hair Studio

Makeup: Jessica Williams

Band: Around Town

 

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lauren@laurenkearns.com (Lauren Kearns Photography) Liberty Corner Church wedding NJ Photographer NJ Wedding photographer Natirar Natirar Mansion wedding Natirar Wedding Natirar renovation Natirars first wedding New Jersey Wedding Peapack Wedding country jersey wedding http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/6/caroline-alex-are-married-natirar-mansion-wedding Wed, 07 Jun 2017 23:22:23 GMT
Samantha & Eric Tied the Knot! {Hamilton Farm Wedding, Gladstone NJ} http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/6/samantha-eric-tied-the-knot-hamilton-farm-wedding-gladstone-nj An Elegant and Timeless Wedding at Hamilton Farm

We spent so much time with Samantha and Eric, that by the time their wedding day arrived on Friday, we knew half the family!  We had the pleasure of photographing Eric's sister, Gabrielle's wedding at Ninety Acres back in October, and she recommended me to Samantha.  Gabrielle and Nick's wedding was intimate and quaint, so there were quite a few familiar faces from Gabrielle and Eric's family!  Kelly and I met Samantha's sisters during our mini sessions in the Fall, when they gave us a much needed break from chasing children, and were photographing 6 well-behaved adults instead!

I have been looking forward to this wedding for a long time and it did not disappoint!  Samantha and Eric thought out every little detail with such creativity, from the bubble guns, which created a massive amount of bubbles, to the horse and carriage that transported them from the church, to the champagne flutes labeled with the guests seating cards.  I even got to take a ride in the carriage (bucket list item!)  I wasn't a total romance-killer, I waited until they took their 20 minute ride in solitude before breaking up the love-fest as we rode through the wooded part of Hamilton Farm's winding driveway.

Once we checked off the family formals list, it was time for the party to start!  Everyone was invited to the party.  I mean everyone.  My assistant, Kelly, was dancing, the waiters were dancing, it was hard not to!  Thank you Samantha and Eric, for making us feel like an important part of your wedding day!  

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2nd Photographer: Barbara Wentzel

3rd Photographer & Assistant: Kelly Joyce

Videographer: Digital Event Memories

Church: St. Brigid's Church

Reception: Hamilton Farm Golf Club

Carriage: KV Carriage

Florist: Twisted Willow Flowers

Dress: Matthew Christopher

Hair: Angela Mascio

Makeup:  Carla Fabrizi

DJ: Elite Sound Entertainment

 

 

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lauren@laurenkearns.com (Lauren Kearns Photography) Hamilton Farm Hamilton Farm wedding NJ Photographer NJ Wedding photographer New Jersey Wedding St brigids church country jersey wedding http://www.laurenkearns.com/blog/2017/6/samantha-eric-tied-the-knot-hamilton-farm-wedding-gladstone-nj Wed, 07 Jun 2017 00:32:02 GMT