The day before I photograph a wedding I typically review my notes from meetings with the couple I’ll see again the next day – or occasionally meet for the first time. In those cases, often with brides and grooms from out of town, most discussions have been via email and text with the occasional phone call thrown in.

We’ve video chatted on occasion but often, we have met face-to-face and those are the best because we’re better than complete strangers on the wedding day.

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With Amanda and John the exchanges leading to the booking were mostly by text. On one phone call we’d agreed to try to meet when they came upstate to pin down details for their bed and breakfast wedding / barn wedding. Expecting an early spring opportunity, I reached out in April asking if they’d set the date for their ride to the Catskills. They hadn’t.

In mid May, two months before the wedding, I got the text and squeezed in the meeting between two others. They were planning the menu, and other details, and I would say we got barely acquainted, but we made that personal connection.

When the wedding day came, just 11 guests joined the bride and groom. I was welcomed in with open arms – literally, in the form of a hug from the bride-to-be. She didn’t know anyone else living the Catskills, other than the hosts at the inn and me.

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Amanda’s Portuguese-only-speaking mum helped her get ready, with me there to take the photos, and I was almost as much an insider as any maid of honor. For the final pre-ceremony jitters, there was only me to confide in.

With her mother, father and brother, Amanda translated for me – so we could capture certain photos, and later so I could tell her parents how happy and proud they looked. I even learned just a wee-bit of Portuguese!

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When the justice let me know he didn’t care how I covered the ceremony, (flash was sort of mandatory in the under-lit barn) I thanked him and said it was hard to be inconspicuous at an intimate wedding such as this.

Somewhere between the universal sign language of photographers and that little bit of translation from the bride, I connected with her family almost as well as the rest of the guest list.

As for the rest? I’ve got an invitation to come hang out next time I’m in Queens… I love these small weddings. They’re so much more personal. I’ve always said I’m not a ‘factory photographer,’ and these cozy weddings give me a chance to prove it.

It’s rare for me to learn all the names of guests at a wedding. Heck – if there are more than five bridesmaids I need help. But for the duration, we were all on a first-name basis.

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With such a welcoming, loving group of family and friends like these I’m sure the future will be bright for Amanda and John.

I thank them both; along with this select group they chose to share the wedding day with, for brightening my weekend and my season.

Kudos also to the Clark House Bed and Breakfast at the foot of the mountain leading to Hunter. The wedding was flexibly well managed from start to finish, with awareness and respect for everyone’s wishes and needs – including the wedding photographer – Jonathan Ment Photography. That’s me folks.

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Have I mentioned I love what I do?

Thanks for taking a look. You can also find, follow & like Jonathan Ment Photography on Facebook & at www.catskillsphotographer.com and check out the broad-topic’d “Observational Ramblings” of the Ment Media Group’s “Business Blog.”

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