Brooklyn's Finest - Angie Pontani and Brian Newman at The Grand Prospect Hall (part one)
Angie Pontani and Brian Newman got married on February 16, 2013 with a ceremony and reception at the Grand Prospect Hall in Brooklyn, NY.
My BFF Dari lives in Brooklyn, NY. She called me one night and told me I should expect a call from an amazing woman who may need my services as a wedding photographer. Dari knew Angie through Angie's sister Tara, and when Angie got engaged to Brian, it was a big deal in their community. When Dari saw Angie in a waiting room (they go to the same doctor), she recommended my photography, noting that we have similar styles. I am so grateful for all of these people for taking a chance on me.
Angie emailed, then called, and we hit it off and talked for a while. She mentioned she would be in New Haven, CT on her tour in a few days and I suggested we meet in person. You see, Angie stars in her own Burlesque Show, Burlesque-a-pades and produces the group the Pontani Sisters. When you meet her, you can't help but fall in love with her. She's amazing, a natural beauty, and that comes across onstage and one on one. We went out to breakfast the next morning, Brian had come up and stayed overnight as well, and we all clicked. I love all of my couples, and Angie & Brian were no exception.
Brian is a successful jazz trumpet player for many people including Lady Gaga, and he had been playing in Angie’s back up band from time to time. Angie's MC, the famous Drag King Murray Hill, encouraged Brian to ask Angie out, but Brian was nervous and didn’t want Angie to think “I was just another sleazeball. I’m a total gentleman” He knew that Angie really liked the Mets baseball team so he asked to a game. He saved and got the best seats. But at the end of their date, Angie thanked him with a simple kiss on the cheek. Brian assumed Angie wasn’t into him. So he kind of moved on. Angie claims she had no idea it was an actual “date”. Their next didn’t happen until four years later! Even though Brian was still in Angie’s back up band, there was no romance happening. One night Brian was hanging out with Murray at a bar and talking about how much he wanted to be with Angie all the time. Murray said he should ask Angie out. Brian had said “I asked her and it just didn’t work out!” And to that Murray encouraged Brian to ask her out and try again. What Brian didn’t know was that Murray texted Angie telling her that “Brian was going to ask her out and that she had better say yes”. Angie did say yes to that second date, four years later. And three months after their 2nd date, Brian proposed outside Florio’s restaurant in Little Italy in NYC.
When February came, I was crazy nervous. This was the biggest wedding I had ever done, not in size per se, but in importance to me. They could have chosen anyone to shoot this wedding but they took a chance on me and I didn't want to let them down. I was so fortunate to be working with Meg Belanger and Matt Grazier as my second and third shooters. While I was with Angie getting ready, Meg was at Grand Prospect Hall shooting details and the venue, and Matt was with Brian and the guys. Angie got ready in their home in Brooklyn, which is like a museum to the 40's, 50's and 60's. She has so much cool throwback stuff like statues of Elvis and paintings of her favorite era. Angie's Golden Pasties awards were hanging up in the room where she had her hair done by Stefanie Duell and make up done by Sofia Beskanova . She wore her grandmother Josephine Santini's headpiece and sported real silks with an old school garter belt for underneath the dress. Her shoes were by Jimmy Choo, and her vintage diamond earrings and rings were courtesy of Trent Jewelers. Her vintage style dress by, Elie Saab, was so long that it covered her entire bedroom and we all freaked out a little trying to figure out how to get her veil on and get her out of the room without any damage.
A fleet of amazing cars took everyone to the Hall. Brian and Angie chose not to do a first look, opting instead to see each other for the first time during the ceremony. We did family formals separately first, I took the girls and Matt photographed the guys and we cranked out a lot of formals prior to the ceremony. When Brian saw Angie walking down the aisle with her father, he literally gasped. He cried and was dabbing his eyes with a white hankie the whole time. He was so dapper in his bespoke suiting by Craig Robinson. They were so relaxed and beaming with smiles from ear to ear during the whole ceremony. When they kissed at the alter, Angie's red lipstick literally covered Brian's whole mouth. It was a great moment.
After the ceremony, we managed to get some traditional formals before the reception started. The reception was a rocking good time and I've written a whole blog post just on that! Full of details, dancing, and a bridal outfit change into a custom gown by Garo Sparo, see part two here.
Don't forget to come back for part two of Brian & Angie's Brooklyn Wedding - the Reception! You will see some crazy partying and the amazing outfit change for the bride!