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Eyes up, heart open

Carla Ten Eyck

Pavilion at Crystal Lake Middletown CT Winter Wedding

A bride and groom dance in the snow during their Pavillion at Crystal Lake wedding in Middletown CT

Paul was the first client I zoomed with when the pandemic first started in the Spring of 2020. We discussed her wedding at The Pavilion at Crystal Lake in Middletown CT on that call, and got completely immersed in the details. We laughed, so hard, chatted about the most random things and just got to know one another in the most comfortable, authentic way. At one point I stopped abruptly because I realized that I had completely forgotten about the crushing reality of the pandemic. All of the fear and uncertainty had been gone for that hour that we talked. Once I realized that, I burst into tears. Paula was my touchstone for my past life, pre pandemic, when these kinds of calls were the norm for me. At that moment, in that unknown, I remembered how much I loved being a photographer. I remembered how connecting with my clients was my most favorite part. How earning their trust and comfort was so important to me. We both cried together, and bonded.

Flash forward to today, winter of 2022, with the pandemic still happening and changing. Today we are learning to navigate it as best as we all can. Having beautiful celebrations together amidst uncertainty and change. Paula and Justin’s wedding was for me, a new touchstone of hope amidst the uncertainty. A reminder of how less fearful I am. A reminder that we CAN weather these storms together and find hope and joy in it all. Much like the photo above. Yes it was SO COLD out and snowy but we all found such joy and excitement there together and created something so beautiful, together.

Paula and Justin together are the embodiment of pure joy. They are both so fully themselves together and separately. I have literally never heard such personable and funny wedding vows before! I need to extend a shout out to Matt Fink, their videographer, for referring me to Paula and Justin. THANK YOU for allowing me to connect and create with such wonderful humans!

 

Creative partners for Paula and Justin’s magical winter wedding at The Pavilion at Crystal Lake, Middletown CT, Paula’s own words, OMG she is hilarious I wish you all could just hear this woman on the daily!

Hair Situation

Jamal Alami

@therealjamalalami (washed/conditioned/roller set/flat ironed)

https://www.instagram.com/therealjamalalami/

 and!

Tara Hayes

@taranhayes5 https://www.instagram.com/taranhayes5/

(aka Maid of Honor/Older Sister of the bride curled the bride’s hair the day of)

Dress Situation

Maggie Sottero

@maggiesotterodesigns

https://www.instagram.com/maggiesotterodesigns/

I got the dress from here: 

Wedding Dress Marketplace

@stillwhite

https://www.instagram.com/stillwhite/

Florist Situation

Alison Baker

@the_green_petal_

https://www.instagram.com/the_green_petal_/

Makeup Situation

LaToya Santos

@latoyasantosbeauty

https://www.instagram.com/latoyasantosbeauty/

Alena Saysithideth

@kechmara.beaute

https://www.instagram.com/kechmara.beaute/

Bride’s Shoe Situation

During the First Look

Dr. Martens USA

@drmartensusa

https://www.instagram.com/drmartensusa/

 During Ceremony/Reception

Vans (I ordered a custom pair)

@vans

https://www.instagram.com/vans/

The Groom’s + His Crew’s Outfit Situation

The Black Tux

@theblacktux

https://www.instagram.com/theblacktux/

The Cake Situation

JCakes

@jcakesct

https://www.instagram.com/jcakesct/

One of the bracelets I was wearing

Frequence

@fre.quence

https://www.instagram.com/fre.quence/

The Henna Situation 

Natalia Zamparini

@NatyByNature

https://www.instagram.com/natybynature/?hl=en

#HennaByNaty

The Video Situation

Matt Fink of DMO Films

@dmofilms

https://www.dmofilms.com

Our Hashtag Situation

#sherMANandWIFE

So it snowed. It was freaking MAGICAL and I was literally praying for little to no wind to knock this gorgeous snow off the trees and you know what? It TOTALLY WORKED! Paula got ready in the Lake House, right on the Pavilion at Crystal Lake property. Super cute and super convenient!

Her hair and makeup situation at the Pavillion at Crystal Lake was filled with so much laughing! The team was amazing.

Maybe the best wedding day boots I have ever seen!!! They were also super soft for Dr. Marten’s! Made me want these super badly. I do have a shoe problem, I just need to admit that here!

A bride gets ready for her wedding at The Pavilion at Crystal Lake in Middletown, CT

Justin’s sisters were his maids of honor and were so adorable peeking from behind the car to watch the first look.

Bridesmaids peek at the first look for their brother's wedding at The Pavilion at Crystal Lake in Middletown, CT A bride and groom have their first look at wedding at The Pavilion at Crystal Lake in Middletown, CT

These two!! I just loved this spot at The Pavilion at Crystal Lake for their first look.

A couple snuggles during photos at their wedding at The Pavilion at Crystal Lake in Middletown, CT

Enter: MAGICAL SNOW FAIRY STUDIO

A couple laughs in the snow during their wedding at The Pavilion at Crystal Lake in Middletown, CT A couple poses for photos during their wedding at The Pavilion at Crystal Lake in Middletown, CT A bride poses for photos during her wedding at The Pavilion at Crystal Lake in Middletown, CT

I was so choked up here because I get how my couples want to just live out their fantasies. Like how we all scroll on Pinterest for ideas and just can never images seeing ourselves in those moments that others may scroll by wishing that was them. THIS WAS ONE OF THOSE MOMENTS. I couldn’t help shouting, GIRL. YOU ARE LITERALLY A PINTEREST BRIDE. Which is a strange compliment I realize, but Paula got what I meant. It means so much more than those words. She got teary here too, and we had that moment. Like, holy CRAP. Here we are!!!

A couple laughs in the snow during their wedding at The Pavilion at Crystal Lake in Middletown, CT

Then here we were, back to laughing  and cracking jokes!

A couple poses for their wedding photos during their wedding at The Pavilion at Crystal Lake in Middletown, CT A couple kisses during photos at their wedding at The Pavilion at Crystal Lake in Middletown, CT  A stunning bride stands in a snowy forest for her photos during her wedding at The Pavilion at Crystal Lake in Middletown, CT

Know this: I GOT YOU. I will hold your shawl or your keys and phone in my bag. I will help make you the MOST comfortable so we can create some magic, together!

A bride with her flower crown stands in the snowy woods for her wedding at The Pavilion at Crystal Lake in Middletown, CT A bride laughs during photos for her wedding at The Pavilion at Crystal Lake in Middletown, CT

One of the most important pics to get was this one. I mean, hello we are on Crystal Lake, people!

A couple laughs during photos at their wedding at The Pavilion at Crystal Lake in Middletown, CT
The ceremony space for a winter indoor wedding at The Pavilion at Crystal Lake in Middletown, CT
A bride gets emotions during her wedding at The Pavilion at Crystal Lake in Middletown, CT

There was such a balance of tears and laughter here, I couldn’t even!!!

A couple dances at their wedding at The Pavilion at Crystal Lake in Middletown, CT

 

So many fun moments for their wedding. I loved seeing what a good time everyone was having jus talking and laughing and dancing!

Also they had fun watching the Super Bowl- the bottom right pic shows these guys with their wi fi booster and iPad watching the game!

I love these kinds of photos. Is this an award winning photo? Nope. Is this anything a venue would post on social media to attract more business? Probably not. But this is one of the MOST FUN photos for my couples to sit and poke through and see what ALL of their guests were doing. Who was chatting it up, who was scrolling (literally no one in this pic!) who was dancing with who, what’s up with the folks taking the selfie in the front! I LOVE THIS STUFF. I remember doing this very thing with a ‘toss away’ off shot from my wedding at the ceremony right before I walked down the aisle. I LOVED looking at what my college friends were doing, who was chatting up my sister Chi Chi, or where my work friends were. It’s such a special and fun and super random photo that you don’t even know you want. But you do. Trust me!

I welcome you pointing to something special happening, asking me to get a photo. I TRULY WELCOME THIS!

More Super Bowl viewing over here LOL

When I take photos of the parents of the couples dancing it up or chatting with friends I always think about what I will be doing at my kids weddings, should they choose to marry someone. Parents are super important! Maybe she is known for cutting a rug or maybe she never does and this is something special! Or maybe the gem in this pic are the people in the background. I will never know, but I love how it feels like a treasure hunt!

Paula and Justin did something I have never had anyone do, in my over 20 years of experience photographing weddings. They cleared the Pavillion at Crystal Lake out. Literally it was me, the DJ and DMO Films. They danced their hearts out to a song, alone. I loved it! What a special way to end the night!

Paula and Justin. WOW. What a wedding!!! I am so grateful to know you both and am excited to be your lifetime photographer. You two are so special!!! Congratulations to you all! XOXOXO

 

To see more magical weddings by CT wedding and event photographer Carla Ten Eyck, click the links below:

Rustic winter wedding at The Barns at Wesleyan Hills, Middletown CT

Winter Wedding at Lord Thompson Manor, Thompson CT

Autumn Wedding at The Goodwin Hotel, Hartford CT

Autumn Wedding at the Belmont Country Club, Belmont MA

Autumn Wedding at Saltwater Farm Vineyard, Stonington CT

1 Comment

  • These moments were captured so absolutely beautifully!!! I’m in awe and so emotional! What an honor that you also captured my henna work so spectacularly !

    Reply

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