Intimate & Upscale New York City Wedding

January 9, 2023


As a New York City wedding photographer, I’ve captured the glitz and glamour of traditional New York City weddings. But this ceremony proves that weddings don’t have to have an expansive guest list to be beautiful. Surrounded by their closest friends and family, Eden and Stephen said “I do” at Levante in Long Island City, New York. The modern Italian restaurant provided the perfect space for a high-end wedding experience on a smaller, more intimate scale.

Bride and groom stand in front of greenery in New York City after an intimate NYC wedding ceremony.

Intimate New York City Wedding at Levante

Disclaimer: I photographed my sister’s wedding.

Most wedding photographers would probably say you shouldn’t do this for family or friends because it can be difficult to enjoy the day and be present.  But to me… there’s no greater way to be present. Growing up, our parents captured EVERY moment. They kept trunks packed full of polaroids and photo albums. Getting to carry on the tradition of preserving memories feels feels so special.

Eden was also 6 months pregnant with my niece on her wedding day, so knowing she and Stephen trusted me to document this day for their growing family was an honor.

A woman in a white silk robe gets ready for her wedding in a New York City hotel room.

Capturing My Sister’s Day as a New York City Wedding Photographer

Everything about Eden and Stephen’s day was romantic. These two chose a boutique hotel in New York City to get ready. Surrounded by windows and natural light, it was the perfect spot to capture their morning with friends and family.

Side note—always think about about the space you’ll be getting ready in when looking for your wedding venue. It’s easy to get swept away by the gorgeous event space or start dreaming about how good your floral centerpieces will look… and totally forget about where you’ll do hair, makeup, and spend a huge chunk of your day.

Luckily Eden had all of this planned out.

She made sure to book spacious hotel rooms with simple interiors. We didn’t have to worry about any clutter or outdated, tacky decor in the background. The floor-to-ceiling windows gave us INCREDIBLE natural light. The furniture was gorgeous and the view of the Manhattan skyline from the balcony was a New York City wedding photographer’s dream.

After they got ready, Stephen came to Eden’s hotel room for their intimate first look. It was the sweetest moment when Stephen saw his bride for the first time. Some people just have a certain magic about them—Eden is one of them. Her smile filled every space she entered, and when she and Stephen were together, it was like they were the only two in the room.

Riding to the Venue Together

One of my favorite moments from the day was the ride from the hotel to the wedding venue. Eden and Stephen rode to the ceremony together. I love when couples choose not to follow every traditional wedding rule and go for things that feel meaningful instead.

PSA Brides!! You’re wedding day is all about you (ok… and the groom). So whether it’s the garter toss, wearing all white, or throwing the bouquet, you don’t *need* to include anything. Your wedding day should be cherished. Find time for sweet moments together that you’ll (actually) remember and don’t stress over traditions that don’t hold sentimental value to you.

After the short drive from the hotel, the driver dropped us off a few blocks from the venue. Thankfully, the overcast kept the day feeling cool, so we detoured through the park to get some photos with the NYC backdrop. Walking to the venue gave Eden and Stephen a few quiet moments together before the ceremony. And I got the most stunnnning shots from their intimate stroll.

Once we arrived to Court Square, the two were ready to say “I do” at Levante. This modern venue was everything Eden had hoped for when planning their intimate day. The casual-cool Italian restaurant and bar gave them the high-end wedding experience they wanted on a smaller, more intimate scale.

The New York City Wedding Ceremony & Reception

Guests were seated in the outdoor courtyard for the couple’s romantic vows then moved to the indoor seating area and bar to celebrate. They encapsulated minimal and elegant in every decor detail, letting their love for one another radiate their day.

Eden and Stephen invested in little details that meant something to them. Guests signed an antique globe instead of a guestbook for the couple to later sit in their home as reminder of how much love they had on their wedding day. They used gold touches and neutral florals to create a space full of warmth.

When shooting their wedding, there were laughs and tears throughout the evening. From the best man’s speech to the first dance, it was easy to see just how much this couple is adored. Every aspect of the day felt stress-free. These two trusted their vendors and lived in every moment. It was the most lovely reflection of their partnership and such a memorable celebration for their new family (of three)!

Thank you to my sister and brother-in-law for trusting me with your day.  Eden, you were breathtaking. Spending this day with you through my lens was so special.

New York City Wedding Vendors:

Photography: Molli Photo

Venue: Levante

Catering: Levante

Cake: Taste Crème

Florals: Barbara’s Flowers

Hair: Sori at Blow + Arrow

Makeup: Bonnie Rodriguez at Blow + Arrow

Cupcakes: LA Sweets

Looking for a New York City wedding photographer?

Each wedding captured holds a piece of my heart. Helping couples preserve memories from their day purely and honestly is a privilege. But more than anything, I hope to give couples images to look back on, decades down the line, to relive all of the joy over and over again.

Cross “wedding photographer” off of your to-do list.

Reach out over here!

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