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My mission as a wedding photographer is to help happy couples celebrate life's biggest joys with high quality photos and a dang good time. I believe the experience is just as important as the photos and that you deserve beautiful, lasting memories.

Hey!! I'm Gabriella.

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intimate backyard wedding cape may new jersey

Cape May Intimate Backyard Wedding | Meredith and Jimmy

When Meredith reached out to me about photographing her and Jimmy’s wedding in August, she said it was going to be different from other weddings I’d cover. She was right about that! Meredith & Jimmy opted to have a small, intimate wedding ceremony with their closest family & friends. But they didn’t do this just anywhere. They renovated a freaking HOUSE in Cape May for the occasion, and it was such a beautiful idea!

Meredith has two young kids, Ben and Evie. Jimmy has stepped into the role of father with them so gracefully and beautifully and it was SO evident throughout the entire day, especially during the ceremony … but I’ll get to that later 😉

Getting Ready

I arrived at Meredith & Jimmy’s beautiful Cape May house just before Meredith got dressed for the wedding. Jimmy was all over the place getting things ready for the big event. They had a big tent in the front yard AND the back yard in case of rain, and also to serve as gathering places for the pre-ceremony cocktail hour in the front yard and the ceremony/reception area in the back. The gardening was immaculate and there were cute little decorations all throughout the house and the yards that tied the whole thing together!!

After Meredith had her dress on, I made a few photographs of her putting her earrings on before heading back downstairs and trying to find Jimmy for their unofficial “first look”. They hadn’t wanted to set up a whole affair for the moment, but Meredith still wanted to document Jimmy’s reaction to seeing her in her dress. So that’s exactly what happened — Meredith walked down the stairs like a princess and Jimmy could NOT take his eyes off his beautiful bride 🥺 They embraced and kissed at the bottom of the steps, but not for long — the guests were beginning to arrive and it was time to begin the official celebrations!!

Cocktail Hour

The cocktail hour served as a massive reunion and a time for guests to mingle with each other before the ceremony. There was plenty of chatter and laughter as people sipped wine and caught up with old friends. Jimmy’s brother played live music with his guitar. Kids ran around the yard and occasionally through the tent — I had a lot of fun photographing their free spirits! I also had time to talk to Evie, Meredith’s daughter, who explained that she felt it was rude of me to take people’s picture without asking. I explained to her that her mom wanted me to take people’s picture without asking and that was why I was here. She pondered my response for a moment … and then she ran away 🤣 Oh, to be young and able to just run away when you’re done with a conversation! Meanwhile, her brother Ben was on his (approximately) fourth can of sparkling water for the day 🤣 Kids are the best!!!

Before we knew it, ceremony time had come. Guests moved into the backyard and took their seats under the tent to watch Meredith and Jimmy commit to forever with each other. I stepped inside to get some last minute “getting ready” pictures before the ceremony, and I’m so glad I did — Meredith was putting a flower girl crown on Evie’s head! What a sweet moment!!!

Ceremony

Meredith and Jimmy very much made this wedding their own, which I am a huge fan of. Meredith’s dad walked her from the house to the entrance of the tent, where she hugged him goodbye and took the hands of her kids, Ben and Evie, to walk the rest of the way down the aisle to her loving groom. There was so much joy in the room, and I noticed both Meredith and Jimmy had the slight twinkle of happy tears in their eyes!

The ceremony that followed was one of the most beautiful, emotional ceremonies I’ve had the honor of documenting. Their friend officiated the wedding and they chose a few loved ones to read a passages during the ceremony. I caught Jimmy sneaking some looks at his bride during the ceremony, eyes full of love and adoration.

When it came time for vows, Meredith brought everyone in attendance to tears with her explanation of how incredible of a man Jimmy is and how perfect of a father to her children, Ben and Evie. She said how Ben looks up to Jimmy so much and she couldn’t think of a better role model for her children. Then she handed the mic over to Jimmy. He started off by saying he’d get to his vows to Meredith in a minute. What is he doing?, I thought to myself. Then he called Ben & Evie over to the front and got down on one knee and read his vows TO THEM. Cue the waterfall of tears!!!!! I was overcome with emotion photographing this special moment. Hooooly heck, Jimmy is already such a fantastic father. He then stood back up and looked at his bride with tears in his eyes and promised to love her and her children for the rest of his days. While this was happening, Evie had snuck in beside her mother and grabbed a hold of her hand, staring up at Jimmy as he was professing his love for and commitment to Meredith.

Do you believe me now when I say this was one of the most beautiful, emotional ceremonies I’ve ever documented?

The vows were followed by the exchange of rings, a physical sign of their commitment to forever, and a romantic kiss to seal the deal!!!!! Wooooohooo!!! The new Mr. & Mrs. then turned to the crowed, thanked everyone for being there and explained the plan for the rest of the night — basically, “everyone go eat food and then we dance!!!”

Appetizers

There were plenty of tearful hugs and exchanges following the ceremony when everyone dug into the beautiful array of food (kudos to Michael Kara Catering!!). I moved around the shadows during this time, photographing details and candids and just capturing the general vibe!

Toasts

And then it was time for toasts. Remember how emotional that ceremony was?? Who’s tryna bet that the toasts will be just as impactful??? Because gosh dang it they WERE. Jimmy’s brother talked about the ups and the downs as there are in every sibling relationship, but he really hammered home how much he looked up to Jimmy and just how awesome of a person he is. I could tell these brothers didn’t often get emotional with each other, but this toast was coming straight from the heart and hit home for the both of them. They both cried a bit and gave each other a massive bear hug. Brotherly love 🥺 Meredith’s mother & step father followed, each giving individual toasts about how awesome Meredith is and how happy they are she found such an incredible partner and father in Jimmy. Cue some more tears. Jimmy’s father followed; it was obvious that he was a man of few words, but he made those words count during his toast to his son and daughter-in-law. Cue more tears and another big hug. Then Meredith’s father stepped up to say even more kind words about the wedded couple. Cue emphatic toasts. Then Meredith’s sister stepped up to compliment Meredith and Jimmy even further!!! You think we’re done after that? Absolutely not! Jimmy’s dear friend finished the round of toasts for the evening because he couldn’t not proclaim how GOOD of a union this was. I think the sheer amount of toasts at this intimate wedding speak to how loved and how wonderful Meredith and Jimmy truly are. 💛

Reception

As the sun set on the celebration, the party was just getting started. Jimmy’s brother took hold of the DJ stand and got everyone busting some moves on the dance floor. I had so much fun at this reception, especially photographing Meredith & Jimmy dancing with their kiddos!!! EVERYONE was out on the dance floor at some point or another; though it was a small wedding, the celebration was mighty!! I even nearly missed the pie table for dessert because I was so caught up on the dance floor! At one point, Jimmy took over DJ duties and absolutely CRUSHED it. I even got a super cool detail picture of him spinning some tunes with his new wedding band on his finger. They ended the night with sparklers and one last jam session to Feel So Close by Calvin Harris — a great way to end the night!!! (Check out the video I took while jamming along!!)

Congratulations Meredith and Jimmy!!! I wish you & your family a lifetime of joy and love and a fanTASTIC New year!!!

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- Melissa d.

“Gabriella was absolutely amazing!!! Words cannot even describe how perfect she was, but I’ll try my best. Right from the beginning, I knew she was the one. She was so caring, calming, organized, and just a genuinely happy person. She made me feel even more excited for my wedding. She was so helpful throughout the entire process right down to the big day. AND THE PICTURES - OH MY GOD. They are absolutely breathtaking and she definitely tells the story of your day in the most perfect way. She captures every precious moment while having a smile on her face the whole time she’s with you. I can’t say enough amazing things about her. I would absolutely recommend her to anyone looking to have the BEST photographer for any occasion. We had such an amazing experience with Gabriella and we can’t thank her enough!”

"Captures every moment"

- Dawn g.

“Gabriella is a very great planner, very organized and an absolute delight to work with. Her planning and organization helped me prepare for the big day without any fear that I left any important photo out. Her planning skills ensured I didn't miss any details. She is such a delight to work with she was even happy to help me with my little surprise I had for my husband, it went off without a hitch. She captured all the photos we could imagine....all the fun, sweet, sincere moments throughout the day. She even provided the photos to us in a timely manner. I HIGHLY recommend her; she's highly energetic, personable, easy to work with, a planner, organized, and she captured lots of beautiful pictures. She exceeded all of my expectations. She was such a great photographer.”

"Exceeded all my expectations"

- Melissa N.

Making my dream wedding come true!
Gabriella was hired by my (now) husband, as a surprise photographer for our proposal. She was phenomenal and we hired her for our wedding as well! Her energy and vision for our wedding photos captured every moment and emotion. She was amazing in every way. Her attention to detail and knowing what was important to me on my big day was awesome - she went the extra mile. I would 10/10 recommend her to any one wanting to capture beautiful moments in life - for their engagement, wedding, and more.

"She went the extra mile."

- Megan W.

Hiring Gabriella was one of the best decisions that we made during our wedding planning. From our very first conversation, Gabriella was warm & bubbly. She radiates positive energy that I knew that we needed for our big day. Gabriella has a vigorous work ethic and eye for detail. Her ability to transform any setting is pure magic. We enjoyed working with her throughout the planning process and are absolutely thrilled with our engagement and wedding photos (which she had edited and back to us in less than one month!).

"One of the best decisions"

- Lisette & Tyrus b.

What can we say about Gabriella Marie Photography. There are so many words to describe the amazing job Gabriella did on our special wedding day. Gabriella will not only shoot your wedding, she can help you design what your wedding will be. She is there every step of the way. She has amazing attention to detail. Before the big day, Gabriella has a plan that will ensure that your day will be spectacular. She is always available via text, call, direct message, FaceTime or Zoom. Gabriella is the absolute best photographer ever. The best quality that she has is that she is more than a photographer, she is a true friend. She cares about her clients and makes us feel like a trust-worthy friend is there to help. For example, she sent my wife and I a pre-wedding care package. This gift proved to be so valuable for us while dealing with wedding stress. This gift was the most thoughtful thing my wife and I ever received. A simple thank you is just only the tip of the iceberg with regarding Gabriella Marie Photography. Everyone please check out our new friend Gabriella. Trust us, she is worth every penny and more.

"Worth every penny and more"

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