Tag Archives: the knot

Goblin Market Wedding

Special thanks to Events by Merida’s very own Merida for crafting this treasure trove of words.

Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market is a dark fairytale, replete with small, tempting creatures, erotic phrasing, and a simple message:

Don’t eat strange fruit.

I’d been wanting to create this styled shoot for over a year, but I kept shelving it for various reasons. Finally, I sprung it on Chris of That Werks Photography– an incredibly talented photog out of the Art Factory in Paterson- with a, “this might seem weird…” His response?

“Count me in!”

I gathered some favorite vendors (and improv-ed a little) to bring my vision to life. A favorite MUA of Chris’s, Raen, came in to do the makeup, and she brought along two models from northern NJ, Rebecca and Natasha. A model I’ve been waiting for a long time to have the stars align on was able to come down for the shoot as well.

What never fails to astound me is the talent that these vendors bring to the table. Hair was by Jaimee of William Jean Salon, and she was also kind enough to loan us Maven, her darling mini-me, to be our “goblin”. She used the natural texture of Rebecca’s hair to create a gorgeous boho style, woven with greens. There was the same greenery in Natasha and Angeline’s hair. Fun coincidence: both Maven and Natasha have part of their heads shaved!

For makeup, I asked Raen for deep, rich colors on the lips. After that, I just let her go wild. Metallics came popping out on eyelids in addition to daring lip colors. The blue on Rebecca is probably my favorite, but I’ve always been a fan of dark lipsticks.

As for the “bouquets”, I wanted to do something slightly different. Lanterns have been in style for awhile as both centerpieces and to carry down the aisle (and pretty much everywhere in-between). I think they’re great for bouquets because they’re more natural to hold, and easier on the Person of Honor that has to hold two of them during the ceremony. I even managed to sneak some fruit in there with the candle!

Finally, the tablescape. Chris (the photographer) and I went out about a week before the shoot to take a look at locations in the park. The visitor center there does do receptions, FYI. However, we wanted it outdoors. What complicated things was that up until a few days before, it looked like it was going to rain! Luckily, we ended up having beautiful weather!

We came down a rather steep hill to an area by the Delaware that had a semi-circle of stone pavers. The backdrop was an island in the middle of the river. I initially planned a thick runner of eucalyptus or ferns, but I had so much moss that we covered the table in it. I dotted with the table with vintage (and vintage looking) pieces, and tons of fruit. We broke open a few pomegranates (and thankfully there were geeks abounding that got my Persephone jokes), and threw bundles of odd-looking grapes around to create a lush, but wild, feel.

When it came to create the dynamics of the group, I knew I wanted to have two women. It would have been disingenuous to the author to have it otherwise. Christina Rossetti’s work is complicated and influenced by many themes, but given the vivid imagery of her poetry, many people speculate that she was likely a closeted lesbian- which at the time, was the only way you could be a lesbian and not get into serious trouble. I knew we needed kids in the shoot to be the little folk, and I wanted a bridesmaid to bring together the colors of the shoot.

Dressing them was fun! BHLDN was kind enough to loan us two gorgeous dresses, and the bridesmaid’s dress was a burgundy convertible dress.

As for the cake- we shot this in the depth of wedding season, so all of the bakers are keeping up with their clients! This where some improv came in- and it’s a great DIY option. I found a pretty little buttercream cake at Wegman’s, and we surrounded it with greenery and fruit. I set the table up against a stone pillar overgrown with ivy- it seemed fitting for the theme, and I’m always a fan of using the elements around you. I used a scarlet tablecloth and hung copper twinkle lights behind the table to give it depth.

What was funny was as the girls were doing their cake cutting, a group of fishers came down to the river to join us! Apparently we interrupted their nightly routine. They were extremely kind as we finished up. It seemed like such a quaint ending to the shoot.

At the end of the day, all of the elements came together beautifully. I’m just glad we could do justice to Rossetti’s work.

I hope you enjoy the photos as much as we enjoyed making them!

Merida Alexander
+1 215.527.5344
@eventsbymerida
As seen on: 
NBC Philadelphia, The Knot,
WeddingWire, Green Wedding Shoes,
Offbeat Bride, and Philly in Love
Styled Wedding by Events by Merida with photography by That Werks (Christopher John Sztybel)

Kelly and Mike’s Totally Tubular Engagement Session

Each time I do a wedding or engagement for people I like to think of something different. Something that will stand out and make people remember a particular shot. This time around we shot Kelly and Mike using a big ass tube that someone discarded. One man’s trash is another’s treasure. We did whatever the hell we wanted during this shoot and I’m always grateful for clients, family or not, that are up for some horseplay and antics.

Take a look at the shots below and then contact me through my new totally tubular photography site and schedule your very own shoot.

Kelly and Mike's engagement session at The Art Factory in Paterson, New Jersey

Vivian And Richard’s Wedding at The Chauncey Hotel in Princeton, New Jersey

Vivian and Richard had an intimate ceremony with a few family members at The Chauncey Hotel in Princeton, NJ. I can work a hectic fast-paced wedding, but I’m not going to lie and say smaller weddings aren’t a special kind of joy for me. I can say hi to each person in attendance and even have a conversation or two! That’s not something I can afford to do every time. Here are just a few of the photos taken on this lovely Sunday afternoon.

If you would like to see more of my photography work, please visit http://www.thatwerksphotography.com

Vivian and Richard's wedding ceremony at the Chauncey Hotel in Princeton, New Jersey

The Comeback of Classical Elegance in Weddings

It’s back, the inspiration of Baroque and Romanesque, the aura of Parisian romance, the elements of jasmine and lavender that’s prominent in Grasse – these elements create an entirety to accentuate a theme that has been a constant choice and is a comeback trend for weddings as well as other events, the Classical Elegance. “Classical Elegance is timeless and is making its way back into the forefront of weddings around the world. The clean, crisp, and detailed elements of such theme captivate the eye and display an overwhelming sense of romance,” as defined in a blog by Calluna Events.

The Wedding of Jennifer Schwartz and Anthony Tolisano (Christopher John Sztybel)

The Standard of Romance

When talk of romance is opened, one destination that would usually be mentioned is Paris, France. Imposing as it may seem, the country of France is in fact almost always equated to symbols of passion, love, and amoré. To have a better understanding of the country, an immersive experience would be suggested. Passion has been derived even in events that are not directed to “matters of the heart”, whether its celebrity-filled events like the Festival de Cannes or sporting events like the World Poker Tour Grand Prix Paris. Looking into the details of these events, what makes them more attractive in comparison to other countries’ festivities is the fact that the locations emanate an atmosphere of passionate gusto, a strong desire. Simple activities like poker for example, become more grandiose and celebrated with more fervor because of where they are held. The success of Partypoker.fr organized poker tour events is attributed of course to the organization’s passion to advocate the card game to an official sport, but in addition, such events when held in Paris or in Cannes, create more hype because of the region’s repertoire in being places that signify ardor and much zeal. Take these elements in and incorporate them into events, whether competitions like poker, or momentous occasions like weddings, and you get the classical elegance with a vibe of full blown romance.

Incorporating, not Overpowering

“The simple yet elegant details such as beading on the back of a gown or the subtle makeup help to create the classical French inspired look of an elegant wedding. Capturing the little details of a classical elegant wedding can be attained through incorporating the modern trends within this romantic wedding theme,” a precise statement from Calluna Events. It’s in the minute details incorporated with modern trends that will make for a classic elegant theme to work. It’s a simple rule, overdoing it will just engulf your audience, your guests, to just sheer clutter instead of inculcating the Parisian aura.

Whether you’ll be on a honeymoon to Paris or just have the Parisian them, to conclude, keep this statement by Tanya Sweeney – in mind, “Ask about an ideal wedding and they’re likely to mention something that sufficiently reflects them as a couple. What they really want is to send their guests into the night, shaking their heads in impressed awe and wonder at the sheer fabulosity of it all.”

Engagement Session with Rachel and Robb at Rutgers Gardens

These two were up for anything. My kind of people to shoot! Rutgers Gardens is a sprawling landscape of different species of trees and flowers. Even though it’s ten minutes from my house, I still have yet to see the entire grounds. We visited the Bamboo Forest, a small creek and the log cabin. It wasn’t the warmest day, but I work with troopers who know I will deliver the goods. Congratulations to Rachel and Robb!

Rachel Tambone and Robb Krohn engagement session at Rutgers Gardens (Christopher John Sztybel)

Rachel Tambone and Robb Krohn engagement session at Rutgers Gardens (Christopher John Sztybel)

Rachel Tambone and Robb Krohn engagement session at Rutgers Gardens (Christopher John Sztybel)

Rachel Tambone and Robb Krohn engagement session at Rutgers Gardens (Christopher John Sztybel)

Rachel Tambone and Robb Krohn engagement session at Rutgers Gardens (Christopher John Sztybel)

Rachel Tambone and Robb Krohn engagement session at Rutgers Gardens (Christopher John Sztybel)

Rachel Tambone and Robb Krohn engagement session at Rutgers Gardens (Christopher John Sztybel)

Rachel Tambone and Robb Krohn engagement session at Rutgers Gardens (Christopher John Sztybel)

Rachel Tambone and Robb Krohn engagement session at Rutgers Gardens (Christopher John Sztybel)

Rachel Tambone and Robb Krohn engagement session at Rutgers Gardens (Christopher John Sztybel)

Rachel Tambone and Robb Krohn engagement session at Rutgers Gardens (Christopher John Sztybel)

Rachel Tambone and Robb Krohn engagement session at Rutgers Gardens (Christopher John Sztybel)

Rachel Tambone and Robb Krohn engagement session at Rutgers Gardens (Christopher John Sztybel)

Rachel Tambone and Robb Krohn engagement session at Rutgers Gardens (Christopher John Sztybel)

Rachel Tambone and Robb Krohn engagement session at Rutgers Gardens (Christopher John Sztybel)

Rachel Tambone and Robb Krohn engagement session at Rutgers Gardens (Christopher John Sztybel)

Rachel Tambone and Robb Krohn engagement session at Rutgers Gardens (Christopher John Sztybel)

Rachel Tambone and Robb Krohn engagement session at Rutgers Gardens (Christopher John Sztybel)

Wedding Photography

SnapKnot Diamond MemberI love photographing weddings. Because wedding photography is a very intimate relationship between myself and the couple, I like to shoot a few weddings per month. That keeps me fresh and yields photographs that will make your heart sing. Destination weddings are also welcome.

Pricing information can always be found on the pricing page of my site.

Here a few of my favorite shots from weddings and engagements I have photographed.

Sztybel wedding photograph collage

The Wedding of Michelle and Chris Falanga in Princeton, New Jersey

In July 2012 I assisted Rita Rojas-Sullivan in shooting a wedding in Princeton, New Jersey. I started out at the hotel photographing the groomsmen. Fun bunch. Lots of joking and that made things easy. They were good sports about going out in the heat too!

The ceremony itself was at the Princeton Chapel. Gorgeous church. I made sure to get plenty of wide shots to showcase how enormous the building is. Since I was the second photographer, it gave me a chance to experiment with lenses I normally don’t use for more than a few shots. Namely my Rokinon 8mm.

The reception was held at the Prospect House. Fantastic live music all night long and a lovely wedding was enjoyed by all.

For additional photos of this wedding, please visit Rita’s blog.

The Wedding of Michelle and Chris Falanga (Christopher John Sztybel)

The Wedding of Michelle and Chris Falanga (Christopher John Sztybel)

The Wedding of Michelle and Chris Falanga (Christopher John Sztybel)

The Wedding of Michelle and Chris Falanga (Christopher John Sztybel)

The Wedding of Michelle and Chris Falanga (Christopher John Sztybel)

The Wedding of Michelle and Chris Falanga (Christopher John Sztybel)

The Wedding of Michelle and Chris Falanga (Christopher John Sztybel)

The Wedding of Michelle and Chris Falanga (Christopher John Sztybel)

The Wedding of Michelle and Chris Falanga (Christopher John Sztybel)

The Wedding of Michelle and Chris Falanga (Christopher John Sztybel)

The Wedding of Michelle and Chris Falanga (Christopher John Sztybel)

The Wedding of Michelle and Chris Falanga (Christopher John Sztybel)

The Wedding of Michelle and Chris Falanga (Christopher John Sztybel)

The Wedding of Michelle and Chris Falanga (Christopher John Sztybel)

The Wedding of Michelle and Chris Falanga (Christopher John Sztybel)

The Wedding of Michelle and Chris Falanga (Christopher John Sztybel)

The Wedding of Michelle and Chris Falanga (Christopher John Sztybel)

The Wedding of Michelle and Chris Falanga (Christopher John Sztybel)