“Confessions Of A Future Bride” | Post 5

Venue #2

We pretty much went back to back checking out venues.. I knew I wanted to get married in June, so that didn’t leave much time to choose a location and set the date!
Venue number two was The Fountains at Wallkill Golf Club. Arthur and I had actually been here about six or seven years ago for a dinner.. Turns out it is currently under a different management then it was back then anyway. The man.. whoops.. I cannot remember his name for the life of me.. was super friendly and very accommodating. He spoke very highly of the food offered and went a bit into his extensive background in the area. We were offered to tab the bar and if the amount was lower than the cost of the open bar, that tab amount could be paid.

The Fountains

The cocktail hour area was nice. The hall was very nice. There were large windows on opposite sides of the room. There was a nice big dance floor. The onsite ceremony area was beautiful. The patio where the ceremony is held over looks the golf course. The ceremony chairs were white folding chairs which looked great.
For the tidbits I did not like so much.. 
The only bar was located in the cocktail hour area, so the guests would have to leave the reception area to get a drink.. However, the bar was not far from the room by any means and there are waiters/waitress who walk around the reception as well.
Also, the chair covers in the reception are black.. I know this is being super picky but when everything in the room is white for a wedding, I just hate that the chair covers are black.
After seeing just two venues, we couldn’t stop there. Check back next week for venue number three!
~The Future Mrs. Bongiorno

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“Confessions of a Future Bride” | Post 4

I want to thank you all so much for following this series. It’s been a blast thus far.

In these next few #weddingwednesdays post, Rachel will be talking about the venues that she visited and ultimately let you in on the venue that she chose!!! She’ll be adding her likes and dislikes for other future brides that are in the wedding planning process with her. Every bride has a theme that they go with for their wedding day. You may actually like and want to go visit one of the venues that she has visited!! So lets take a look at her first appointment.

Post Four – The Venue #1
Okay, so I finally have my ring..
Then I chose my dress..
The next step was to set a date! I did know that I wanted to get married in June… So I needed a venue.. Of course the lovely Erica sent me a million and a half venues to check out. I had a few in mind, but we will start with the first venue.
I first checked out Novellas in New Paltz. I had never heard of this one but it looked super pretty in the photos.


Arthur was the best fiancé in the world with the planning! He is super busy with all of his sports that he plays, but when I asked him if he would mind if I went to check out a few without him, he said that he wanted to go along :) {Love him}
So we went to check out Novellas one day after work. It was very pretty and also affordable. I loved the bar area and the hall; very pretty chandeliers and mirrors and such. It wasn’t out of date in the slightest which I sometimes feel that halls are. It didn’t have the Venetian feel to it that I am not a fan of. It had a very pretty outside area that could be used during cocktail hour. 
A new hotel is being built right next door which will be awesome… I love the idea of being able get ready at the hotel, walk next door for the wedding and back to the hotel for the night. The negative is that the hotel was set to be open in May and that was just a little to close to June for me… I did not want a construction zone viewable from my wedding.
One negative on the venue is the the cocktail hour area seemed very small to me. The outdoor area could be used for cocktail hour, weather permitting, but it was just a very tight area.
Next week… Venue Number Two…
~The Future Mrs. Bongiorno

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“Confessions of a Future Bride” | Post 3

Happy Wednesday!!! You know what that means…time for another look into a future bride’s wedding planning process. Have you been following along?!

Fall in love.Check.

Get Engaged.Check.

What’s next? If you guessed “dress shopping,” then you are right!

Say Yes to the Dress.Check.

Buying THE DRESS is probably one of the most exciting moments of the whole wedding planning process. Don’t you agree? It’s the one thing that I think every girl wants to experience with her close friends and family. Who wouldn’t want to try on big dresses and get ‘oooohhhed’ and ‘ahhhhhed’ at? I was so excited when Rachel called me to tell me that she scheduled an appointment at Davids Bridal.


I had a whirlwind couple of weeks after the proposal…. Upon getting back into town, I knew the first thing I wanted to tackle was “the” dress. 
Of course like all girls I had always dreamt of the dress… If you check out my Pinterest board, you’ll see the many pins over the years. So here’s what I knew I wanted: something form fitting, something lace, possibly an open back, a birdcage veil. And that is exactly what I went into David’s Bridal saying.
[I chose David’s Bridal for two reasons… The first being I feel like you can go into David’s Bridal with a lower budget and be able to get something much nicer than you would be able to with the same amount of money at a smaller boutique. The second is a little far fetched, but I was recently in a friend’s wedding who used a small boutique and we had major issues with our bridesmaid dresses {She had none with her bridal gown, thank goodness!}. I just really wasn’t willing to take that chance after the last experience :)  ]
Ok so back to my appointment at David’s Bridal. I was accompanied by my bridesmaids, my mom and my grandma..so that was a total of eight women, plus myself. Lots of different opinions there! 
My attendant at David’s Bridal was amazing! I honestly didn’t give her much to go on and even those things weren’t set in stone, so I kind of left her up to her own devices…But let me tell you, she hit the nail on the head from the very first dress {this one ended up being the runner up!}.



The Infamous “Runner Up”

I ended up trying on probably about ten dresses… And I fell in love with two :) I tried the two of them on back to back about three times.





I ended up with a dress that I absolutely love {As I was writing this I had to go back and look at the pictures of it!}. I said “Yes to the Dress!” I rang the little bell that David’s Bridal has you ring :) I stuck to some of my must haves, but not to all.. You’ll have to wait until the wedding to see it!
~ The Future Mrs. Bongiorno

We want to know what your must haves are for your wedding dress? Did you want lace like Rachel or more of a ball gown? Where did you buy yours at? Did anybody go to Kleinfelds in NYC?!!!! Tell us below or on our Facebook page. I’m sure other future brides can use suggestions!!!

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Email: efreitas116@gmail.com

“Confessions of a Future Bride” | Post 2

It’s time for another installment of our new series entitled, “Confessions of a Future Bride!” If you’re new to my blog, this series is for the future brides out there. My assistant, second shooter, & sister in law, Rachel, is engaged to be married and we thought it would be cool to document every step of the planning process. This will be a place where future brides can get some ideas from Rachel as well as Rachel getting some tips or suggestions from you ladies out there!

If you missed the first post click here. You’ll want to read how Rachel and her fiance’, Arthur met!

Today’s post is a special one! Everyone has their “how he proposed” story. Here’s hers:


For time’s sake, let’s fast forward a bit… Like eight years and ten months…
Arthur and I planned a cruise to Bermuda with two of our good friends! Neither of us had ever been on a cruise before, so we were super excited.
So with being together for almost nine years, I was HOPING for a proposal in Bermuda.. What girl wouldn’t, right? Okay, so not that I was snooping or anything… But… I was going through Arthur’s backpack for my book and such while we were on the beach and he didn’t seem to mind. So of course I’m thinking he didn’t bring a ring with him… Bummer. He didn’t seem nervous and wasn’t acting off, so I was thrown off his scent.
We were on the cruise ship for three days before arriving to Bermuda. On our first day, we went to Tobacco Bay in St. George; it was incredible. We went snorkeling and saw some amazing fish, we jumped off a cliff into the water and Arthur got pretty sunburnt…
The second day on the island, we went to Horseshoe Bay. After swimming around in the water for a bit, Arthur and I took a walk through some of the smaller coves. During our exploration, we happened upon a path behind the beaches. Another small path led to a cliff above one of the coves. As we were standing looking over the beach, Arthur got down on one knee and held out the most gorgeous engagement ring {It was exactly what I wanted… Just what I had been hinting at for the past… I don’t know… At least six years}. As much as I was expecting this moment to happen, I was still taken by surprise. I couldn’t remember what his exact words were or my response… It all happened so fast that I forgot if I even said yes or kissed him {Don’t worry, he said I did both}. After waiting all of this time, it was more perfect then I ever could have imagined it would be.






~The Future Mrs. Bongiorno

Rachel and I want to hear your “how he proposed” stories! Comment below or on our Facebook page! Were you surprised? Did he blow his cover? Did you have an audience? Tell us!!!!

My Website | Facebook Page | Instagram | Email: efreitas116@gmail.com

“Confessions of a Future Bride” | Post 1

Hey Friends! Long time no see. I’ve been away working, taking care of a newborn and photographing weddings! I’m still here though and am so excited to kick off a series on my blog that I truly love. My sister-in-law is getting married!!!!!! As some of you may or may not know, Rachel is my second shooter, assistant and bff. You can find her with me on consultations and wedding days. I’ve know her since she was in the 8th grade! I’ve witnessed some pretty cool things in her life and this event will the pinnacle. I thought it would be best, as a photographer, to document every step of the process of planning a wedding. Rachel will be signing on and writing her first hand experiences from “saying yes to the dress,” to picking out a venue and seeing what photographer she will get to photograph her big day! (I won’t be able to since I’m in the bridal party!)

But as with all stories, there’s always a beginning. Let’s take a look at how her and her fiancé, Arthur, met.

“It was a typical Sunday Dinner at my grandma’s house when my cousin had asked a few of us to go play man hunt with some of his friends. Little did I know, but I was on my way to meet my future fiancé. My sister and I arrived at the house and promptly gave nick names to all of the boys who we couldn’t make out faces to in the dark. Hawaiian Shorts Guy is who I later came to know as Arthur. After some chasing on my end… In the beginning, we would only talk on AIM {AOL Instant Messenger— Old School — Screen names were Luv1nNelly and Arty4Farty hahaha}…Arthur finally asked me to be his girlfriend on October 19, 2006 while watching a Mets game.
If you ask my high school friends, I’m sure they would recall me telling them that Arthur was going to be my husband one day…”

How We Met-1

How We Met-2

How We Met-3

How We Met-4

~The Future Mrs. Bongiorno

website: www.ericaleephotographyny.com | facebook: www.facebook.com/ericaleephotography116 | email: efreitas116@gmail.com | instagram: @ericaleephotography

The Creativity Project | “Loud”

Hello friends! It’s been awhile since I’ve contributed to the circle. I’ve been away having a baby. lol I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, who goes by the name of Judah, 11 weeks ago. It has been the most overwhelming, difficult, joyful, tiring, busiest, exhilirating experience of my life.

When this month’s theme came out the only thing that came to mind was the deafening noise that comes from my Judah. He can get loud faster than a cheetah catch his prey. It’s been hard to pulling out my big girl camera but I have taken photos through cell. I’ve captured one of his cry fests on my cell phone.

Luckily his crying fits are not as numerous as his beautiful smiles!

Make sure to continue around the circle to see Stephanie’s interpretation of “Loud.” Make sure to visit our Facebook page and submit your interpretations.

The Creativity Project | “Soft Focus”

I cannot lie – this was a pretty difficult theme for this month’s Creativity Project. I don’t even know if my interpretation is spot on but I tried. lol Since I’m in my final weeks of pregnancy, I haven’t been able to take out my camera as much as I want to so I decided to search my archives.





Please continue the circle to the lovely Singwa Lim to see her interpretation of this month’s theme! We also would love to see your interpretation so make sure to post the Creativity Project’s Facebook Page.

The Creativity Project | “Red”

It’s a new year for us at The Creativity Project and I’m so excited about the upcoming themes for this year. This month’s theme is “Red” and I decided to go back into my archives. When I thought of “Red” I immediately thought back to a fun day with three little boys having fun on a “red” wagon.

“Some days we skip along, pulling our wagons with great confidence-
So full of energy that the load seems light.
Some days the load seems heavy and we need someone to help us pull our wagons over the bumps in the road.
Some days we are just tired.
We sit in our wagons and let someone else pull us along for a while.
And some days it’s kind of nice to share our little red wagons with a friend.
As you think about yesterday, and make plays for tomorrow,
keep in mind that there will be times when you can help pull someone’s little red wagon for a while.
After all, helping to pull each other’s little red wagons is what makes it possible to face the challenges the day brings.” – Dr. Jean





Please continue our circle and visit S. Badiyah Austin’s Blog to see her interpretation of this month’s theme! We also would love to see your interpretations so please post to  the Creativity Project’s Facebook Page.

The Creativity Project | “Family”

I’ve been questioning what would be the best way to publicize this special announcement on my blog and photography page and I figured out that my favorite Photography Circle would be the best way.

This month’s theme at The Creativity Project is Family and I’m happy to announce that after 8 years of marriage, I’m starting a family of my own!!!

Guess what – it’s a boy!! Being a photographer, I always said that I would like to document as much as I can of my pregnancy if and when I got pregnant. I did announcement photos and I was really looking forward to gender reveal photos. The original plan was to put balloons in a box at a Christmas tree farm but last Saturday it was pouring. Rachel, my assistant, quickly came up with a “Plan B” to use glitter and I absolutely love the way it came out. She also took these photos.


If you’re interested in seeing the behind the scenes video to the above pictures taken, click this >>> https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152819189276413&l=6777456183570394432






Please continue the circle to Tracy’s blog to see her interpretation of this months theme. We also want to see you interpretation over at our Facebook Page.

The Creativity Project | “Feet, Hands, Bodies, Wrinkles, Age, Fun”

Fun with Feet!

This past summer I watched one of my best friends daughter play soccer for the first time. It was so adorable to see these little itty children running around playing [not so great] soccer. Hahaha I especially remember two kids just wanting to talk to each other the whole game. It was sooooooooo cute!

When I thought about this month’s theme, I immediately was brought back to this day.










Make sure the continue The Creativity Project’s Blog Circle to Stephanie at Creative Heart by Stephanie to see her interpretation of this month’s theme.

Make sure to stop by our Facebook page and post your interpretations as well.