5 Offbeat couples whose weddings inspired me in 2011, plus a special discount for you

January 6 | Guest post by ANGELA FROM MILESTONE IMAGES
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We love when New York wedding photographer Angela from Milestone Images gives us the low-down on her favorite offbeat weddings from the years past. She's done it once before and now she's back with her most inspirational weddings from 2011 along with a special discount for y'all.


2011 was a tremendous year of growth for Milestone Images. I am thrilled to say, thanks to my amazing clients, and the extremely supportive community at Offbeat Bride, that the studio is growing by leaps and bounds. I am very proud, first and foremost, that this enabled me to give back like never before.

However, in order to keep up with this growth I'll be expanding my team, which means my prices will be going up in 2012. Never fear, I will always stay affordable to Offbeat Bride readers, and I'll always offer a variety of pricing options for everything from courthouse elopements to big, bodacious bashes. Even better, you have one last chance to take advantage of 2011 prices, including the usual 10% Offbeat Discount, if you book by January 26th. Prices will never be lower than this, so 2012 and 2013 brides, if you have your date and venue, I'd love to hear from you.

Meanwhile, here's a look back at five Offbeat couples whose weddings inspired me in 2011…

Couple #1: Jeff and Joyce


One of my favorite 2011 couples was also my very last wedding of the year! Joyce and Jeff called me around noon on December 29th and asked me if I could photograph their elopement (and be their witness) the very next day. I had a shoot in the morning, but by 1 p.m. we were next in line at the City Clerk's office!

Everything Joyce is wearing, except for her dress, was a gift from Jeff, from her blue vintage scarf made of repurposed saris to her jewelry. Afterwards, we ran down the street to one of their favorite date spots where they had bacon cheeseburgers — a meal with a special meaning for two of them — and played video games.

Couple #2: Jeanne and Alex

My relationship with Jeanne and Alex was pretty much the opposite of Jeff and Joyce! They booked me about fifteen months before their wedding and opted for all of my "pie in the sky" options, including a second photographer, a custom 15-minute slideshow that played at the reception, and a year of engagement sessions shot in each of the four seasons of the year prior to the big day. That's right, we got together for four engagement sessions (five, if you count a rainy spring partial reschedule due to rain), so I really got to know them and their love story prior to the wedding. They were completely comfortable with the cameras by the time my husband Joel and I rolled in to document the big day.

In addition to their sand ceremony, custom dinosaur cake-toppers, and the groom rocking out with the live band to "Billy Jean," the slideshow added a personal touch to the reception, and I loved showing their friends and family the photographs we shot throughout the previous year.

Here's what you get with the slideshow:

  • You pick five songs and provide me with family snapshots a few months before the wedding.
  • I do all of the scanning, basic retouching (no red eyes for your pets!) and edit together the whole thing.
  • On the day of the wedding, I bring in a six-foot screen, projector, and audio equipment.
  • Slideshows last about fifteen minutes and showcase everything from naked-baby-in-the-tub photos to engagement portraits.
  • Couples receive ten copies in a fully designed jewel cases with matching labels to give as gifts to their parents and bridal party members.

Couple #3: Tomika and Nick

Of course, most couples go for something in between one hour-and-a-cheeseburger like Joyce and Jeff or the whole shebang like Jeanne and Alex. Tomika and Nick opted for one of the most run-of-the-mill options… (eight hours, one photographer and CD of high-resolution images)… even though their wedding was anything but ordinary!

I knew as soon as I met them for coffee that I wanted to shoot their wedding. Nick, with all his tattoos and piercings, is a gentle man. Tomika's mom made her dress out of kimono fabric, reflecting her Japanese and Chinese heritage. I also knew I wanted to incorporate their iPad into some of the pictures. Not only is the groom a programmer who met his bride on a website for science geeks, but they orchestrated all of the music and events throughout the wedding day on their iPad. It was practically an attendant in its own right. :) They also had my favorite cake out of all this year's weddings — a blue topsy turvy three-tier featuring a dragon and a phoenix, topped with Legos.

Couple #4: Mark and Sara

When it comes to unique and personal touches, I was deeply moved by Mark and Sara's garden wedding in New Jersey. To be honest, this bride and groom weren't even sure they wanted a photographer at first. The groom's mom is a friend of a friend's in-laws, and she had heard that my approach to wedding photography is, well, different. I was truly humbled when Mark and Sara agreed to have me come for a few hours. I promised that I would impose as little as possible. As soon I got there and saw the bride's friends surrounding her in a circle, singing "There is so much magnificence in this union," I knew I would totally love this wedding.

They wore tunics they found while traveling through Peru. Their deep commitment to green living was evident in every way, from the garden setting, to the all-vegetarian cuisine, to the plantable centerpieces and composting stations at the reception, to flatware made from sustainable, natural materials. Best of all, their marriage brought together friends and family who represent the full range of Judaism, in every manner of observance and practice you can think of, from ultra-liberal to ultra-Orthodox. Their chuppah quilted together hand-drawn pictures and well wishes from their family and friends. They observed traditional Jewish customs, like placing their rings on each other's index fingers, as well as new ones, like planting a tree together during the ceremony.

Couple #5: Liz and Will

Liz and Will found me through Offbeat Bride. With their Catholic Church wedding and country club reception, I suppose they're technically Offbeat Lite. They are so much fun, and they're truly in love. Also? THEY LOVE THEIR CAR. Will drives a MINI Cooper Countryman. They reached out to other MINI drivers in the area who agreed to escort the bridal party in a mini-rally from the ceremony to the reception.

Whenever my clients really are into an idea, I find their enthusiasm completely contagious. Two days before their wedding, I was emailing them diagrams, laying out the order I thought the cars might look most photogenic driving in. We brainstormed all kinds of shots to capture their personalities and show off the car, from the shoes-out-the-window shot to reflections in the side mirror. Of course, I knew that they'd want to get back to the celebration that brought all of their loved ones together in the first place, so I was sure to whip through all that AND give them time to attend most of their cocktail hour.

So, what you are psyched about? Are you completely inspired by your wedding day transportation like they were? Are you having a crazy over-the-top masquerade ball, or showing off your colorful body art and hair? Are you having fire spinners perform at the reception or your rings delivered by falcon? Contact me with the details you're totally psyched about.

OFFBEAT DISCOUNT: If your vision captures my imagination first, you'll save a full 25% off your total wedding package. Don't forget, everyone else will save 10% off 2011 prices until January 26th.

  1. My new goal? Be on Angie's list after she shoots my Sept 1, 2012 wedding.

    I can't wait. How psyched am I to have an Offbeat superstar photograph my wedding.

    One of us! One of us!

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  2. Angie, you're the best! Jeff and I love the pics and can't wait to see the rest… we are especially grateful that you were able to come through for us at the very last minute! A million thank yous, lots of love, and so much sunshine! :)

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  3. I'm with Erica – I hope to be on that list after she shoots my July 14, 2012 wedding! I couldn't be more excited to work with her!

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  4. I love all of these! I think my favorite little collage would have to be Liz and Will's. That sunshiney shot…perfection! Angie shot our wedding in 2009 and she is just the best. Get on this, fiances and fiancees! :D

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  5. My favorite photo is the ring on the french fry! After seeing so many close-ups of rings balanced on things like flowers, crystal, cake toppers, etc. the FRY is hilarious. And meaningful to the couple to boot!

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  6. Wow, I loved reading all these stories. It's so cool that Angie gets to experience so many unique and special weddings! I'm jealous! It makes you wish you could go back and steal some of the ideas she posted about…

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  7. That iPad photo is quietly amazing! Love it.

    As one of Angie's extremely satisfie customers, I can't say enough how happy we were that she shot our wedding. She just captured so many little details, in addition to the whole mood of the day… so great.

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  8. Lol – love the photo with the french fry! Those are the kinds of photos that will still make you laugh and remember the little moments when you look back at your wedding photos 40 years from now.

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  9. The photos of Jeanne and Alex are breathtaking! You captured their love for one another perfectly. Even in the fun engagement shoot photo of them sledding, you can really see how much fun they are having. Amazing job as always, Angie!

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  10. Alex and I are having so much trouble deciding on photos for our album because there are so many amazing ones!

    Thank you again for photographing our wedding, Angie. Your work is unbelievable, and we are so happy you were able to photograph our wedding!

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  11. Thank you so much Angie for shooting our wedding! Angie's a consummate professional; Nick and I are thrilled to have had her shoot our wedding and capture the special moments.

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