ceremony: Phillips Church, Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter, New Hampshire
reception, caterer: Abenaqui Country Club, Rye Beach, New Hampshire
florist: Winston Flowers, Boston
dj: Kelly Elliott, DJ Kelly
cake: Wild Orchid Baking Co.
hair, make-up: SoHo Salon and Spa
tent: Sperry Tents
transportation: Regal Limo
gown: Lazaro via Allegria, Belmont, MA
invitations: Crane via Cranberry Bog, North Hampton, MA
honeymoon: Mount Washington Hotel and the Greek Isles
It was years ago that Elissa, who was working as a successful television reporter interviewed Emilie, and kept emilie inc. photography in the back of her mind, knowing someday we would photograph her wedding. I feel lucky that I was the one to be able to do so. I was able to hang with Elissa at her parents' home as she prepped for the big day. I was able to witness her father placing a white balloon at all the neighbor's houses on the street. His concern for these balloons was adorable, and I wondered if my own father would be doing the same, busying himself with tasks, so he could avoid the inevitable of admitting that one of his little girls was getting married. Mike's prolonging of this moment was apparent when he whipped himself up the stairs in the foyer, passing by a beautiful Elissa, clad in her stunning dress, stating he couldn't fully comment on how beautiful she looked until she had her veil on. "It doesn't count, until you have the veil on," Mike rationalized. Elissa's sister Diana was dutiful, making sure she fully understood how to fluff the dress train, and her bridesmaids Bryn and Meegan making sure they understood the complicated bustle. Betty, Elissa's mom, provided singing and dancing, making a plea for all of us to "save a horse, ride a cowboy." She continued this mission later during the reception when the Big & Rich song came on and she promptly do-si-do'd with Ishtvan.
At the Phillips Exeter Academy church, where Elissa attended school, the Reverend Robert Thompson officiated a wonderful ceremony, lively and personal to Elissa and Ish. He even fluffed the dress, sang with a boisterous voice, and later revealed his skills on the dance floor.
We entered the church with a sunny blue sky and exited to dark clouds blowing in rain and wind that remained for the night. The wedding party and immediate families were game for anything though, and we trekked off to our two outdoor locations we had set for photos. They were, of course, abbreviated, but everyone was a trooper, bringing their fun attitudes and smiles to make the best of these sessions. Elissa embraced the beach barefoot with Ish donning a huge white umbrella. Nothing dampened the happiness and excitement these two were feeling. Their spirit was infectious, and I found myself laughing and grinning ear to ear not just during this session, but throughout the entire day.
Mike's toast at the reception at the Abenaqui Country Club let the cat out of the bag, that Ish isn't as cool, calm, and collected as he often portrays himself. We learned from Mike that Ish was profusely sweating when he asked permission to marry Elissa. And then waited eight months before proposing! Diana surprised everyone with a rap for the couple. She is actually a music producer and a rapper in Los Angeles. Her wardrobe change and stage presence revealed a performance I feel lucky to have witnessed. Elissa and Ish have quite the performance skills themselves, dancing late into the night, long after I left them. Their wedding was a beautiful celebration, and I saw two loving families join together along with close friends to acknowledge the commitment that Elissa and Ishtvan made for each other.
Thank you for allowing me to be a part of this, Elissa and Ish! I hope you two enjoyed your mini-moon at the Mount Washington Hotel. I'm certain you will live it up next spring in the Greek Isles for your honeymoon!
How they met, in their own words:
We met at Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University while we were getting our MBAs. We had both decided to go back to school to change our lives by changing careers (Ish from technology consultant to investment banker; Elissa from television journalist to brand marketer) -- little did we know back in July 2009 that we would be changing our lives in much more far reaching ways.
We met while helping friends move into their new Pittsburgh apartment during orientation for our MBA program. After the first meeting there was a bit of flirting from a distance until we shared a first kiss at a Halloween party. Elissa was dressed as an MC Hammer back-up dancer -- yes there was a dance-off at the party, and yes, she won -- and Ish was outfitted as the letter "P" with a black eye. A "black-eyed P," get it?
We spent our first summer of dating driving weekends between Elissa's internship in Asheville, NC, and Ish's back in Pittsburgh. By the second year we knew we would be together for the long haul so we both planned for jobs in New York City (Ish at Jefferies in the Healthcare group, Elissa at Diageo in brand marketing for Smirnoff Vodka). Ish asked Elissa to marry him in front of their living room window on the Upper East Side, surrounded by boxes, just as they moved in to their new apartment together last summer.