This story starts with a bit of a bummer: it is the nature of my job, and the job of my associates and fellow wedding photographers, that sometimes things happen and we must replace ourselves. This has only happened to me once in my 12-year career. I can tell you with certainty, that no matter what the circumstances are surrounding the need, it spurs feelings of great concern and uncertainty. It’s a terrible feeling. It does not escape me that when someone hires me for their day, they hire me because they trust me implicitly. That being said, it’s also why we have contingency plans in place to make sure that no matter what the circumstances, our clients’ days are captured flawlessly.  When my dear friend Raj reached out to me about former clients turned friends whose Felina Restaurant and Events Wedding he could no longer accommodate due to an injury, I was, frankly honored and also, having been through something similar, understood the gravity of his ask and what incredible confidence it meant he had in me.

His clients, Haylay and Randy, come from a family that he was well acquainted with – he had photographed Randy’s sister’s wedding in the years before and remained close with everyone that was there. Upon hearing the news, Hayley and Randy welcomed me with open arms and trust.  While I am confident that Raj and I made sure that we created a seamless transition and maintained continuity in capturing the essence of their day, because we both work in similar ways and produce very comparable work, it seemed like Hayley and Randy had no reservations about me despite a slightly unsettling surprise. For this, I thank them dearly.

I really wanted to do a wonderful job for this couple at their Felina Restaurant and Events Wedding, whom my dear friend holds in such high regard. It seems like, based on their response to my gallery, that I did just that. Their crew was SO fun and they partied like no wedding party I have ever witnessed before. Almost three full hours of raging on the dance floor with very few breaks! They structured their day to be loose and relaxed so we had plenty of time to take fun group photos, utilize the venue in a lot of remarkable ways, and have plenty of time to chill.  Their evening was also structured differently: they had a long cocktail hour and a late dinner, punctuated by hours of dancing between cocktail hour, the salad course, and the main course.  It wasn’t a schedule that I had seen before but it was incredibly effective and lent itself to a fantastic dance party straight out the gate!

Venue: Felina Restaurant and Events Center | Planning and Coordination: Carissa Demarco of Felina Events | Florist: Beers Flowers and Events | Bakery: Palermo’s | Catering: Felina Restaurant | DJ: Gemini DJ Productions | Wedding Attire: Indochino and Milla Nova from Viero Bridal | Hair and Makeup: La Belle Visage | Videography: The Bleu Studio | Second Shooter: Jarvis Roqué of Rocksteady Images

The Felina Restaurant and Events Center as a wedding venue in Ridgewood, NJ

From the minute I looked up the Felina Restaurant on the internet, I fell in love with it from afar.  It’s an absolutely stunning venue: filled with elegance and sophistication, yet simplicity. Nestled in the heart of the very quaint and adorable Ridgewood’s vibrant downtown, it’s a beautiful mix of art deco and modernism which creates the perfect backdrop for anyone’s wedding day.  Not only that, but the food was EXCEPTIONAL.

The building that houses the Felina Restaurant and Events Center was originally constructed in the early 20th century.  It was home to the town’s National State Bank. It’s historic architecture has a grand facade, ornate details and a stately presence.  It remind me of one of my favorite movies: The Hudsucker Proxy.

Today, Felina Restaurant seamlessly blends this historic charm with modern luxury, providing couples with a versatile canvas to bring their wedding visions to life. From the moment guests step through the doors, they are greeted by an atmosphere of refined luxury and impeccable service, ensuring that every aspect of their experience is nothing short of extraordinary.  If you aren’t having a winter wedding like Hayley and Randy, you have the option of hosting your ceremony outside on a deck instead of inside the vaulted interior events room.  Either way, this venue is a charmer!