Doing your NYC wedding your way

the details

Location: Brooklyn, New York

Package Purchased: The Full Creator + Little Details Add On – (two days of coverage)

Hours of Coverage: 16 hours across 2 days

Final Deliverables: 2000+ photos and videos, 16 edited videos

Favorite Memory: Shooting the karaoke after-party!

brooklyn, ny

Weddings have been around forever! Of course, we know this.

We also all know how much custom and tradition shapes and defines your most important day. From attire to cutting cakes and tossing bouquets, every inch of your timeline can be touched by tradition.

I’ve shot weddings that are steeped in tradition. And I’ve worked weddings with no tradition at all. Both are beautiful! While your wedding is primarily a celebration of your love, it can also feel overwhelming to couples trying to thread the needle, accommodating tradition alongside their modern desires for their big day.

As a wedding content creator, I see firsthand how challenging it can be to break away from pre-defined blueprints while staying true to your personality and values. I always encourage the couples I work with to find ways to tie their personality in, no matter how “non-traditional” they may be. As your wedding content creator, I can create short-form video that shows every facet of you, your partner, and your wedding.

I shot a recent wedding in Brooklyn for Crystal and Justin, and they % understood the assignment. They beautifully interwove aspects of their culture and heritage alongside their personality. Here are a few details from their wedding that I absolutely loved. And as always, a reminder that you can and should do your wedding your way.

disco ball event design

OK if y’all don’t know by now you will soon: I love a design theme. I love commitment to a design theme. And I LOVE when a couple weaves this into their wedding weekend events. If you spend as much time on Pinterest as I did when planning my wedding, you’re probably putting together a mood board for your wedding. Or several mood boards. Are disco balls part of what you’re curating? No? Well maybe they should be!

Crystal and Justin had an intimate rehearsal dinner in a hotel suite overlooking East River. Facing Manhattan always makes for incredible pictures during golden hour around sunset. But my favorite moment of the night was the bathtub they filled with disco balls. If you’re looking for a sign to commit to a design theme you love for your wedding, this is it!

laur’s tip for couples

“Disco balls were a great design choice for this banquet tablescape that was light on flowers but heavy on candles. You don’t have to spend a fortune on flowers to have a memorable tablescape!”

The disco didn’t stop on their wedding day, either. Pictured above, the couple actually brought in a disco ball vendor to set up the ceilingscape, anchored by a fully functional ball over the dance floor. I love how the candle-heavy approach + disco balls played with the lighting in the room all night. Another great touch was that Crystal and Justin made their seating chart & favor out of mini disco balls. As guests entered, they picked up their name tag and headed to their seats.

bringing your dog along

One of the toughest choices pet parents make is whether to include their best friend in the festivities or not! I made a video where I shared a few different ideas to incorporate your dog into your wedding, even if they can’t physically be there. But some couples do choose to have their dog alongside them on their wedding day, including Crystal and Justin. There’s no right or wrong way to do it!

@planwithlaur Is your pup coming to your wedding or staying home? #dogweddingtux #weddingmorningcontent #puppyweddingidea #dogweddingidea ♬ original sound – Laur | Wedding Content Creator

If you do want your dog there, don’t be shy about wedding attire! If it’s Black Tie for your guests, this little dog got his tuxedo on as well and looked sharp! We love the little tongue out moment in the portraits

This is also a great way to give someone in your family or friend group an important job on the day of your wedding. Don’t forget to hire a dogsitter or deputize a friend to make sure your dog makes it home safely from the party!

I love making cute TikToks and Reels with your dog on the day of your wedding – an added benefit of having a wedding content creator with you as well!

private vow exchange

One of the top questions your photographer will ask is whether or not you’re doing a first look. I’m a huge proponent of the first look because it frees up more time later in the day by finishing pictures sooner. I also think it’s ideal to have photos taken while you’re fresh and your hair, makeup, attire and bouquet looks its absolute best!

laur’s tip for couples

“If you plan to do a first look, consider exchanging vows in private. It’s an unrivaled romantic moment with your partner. Don’t forget to bring tissues with you!”

One other benefit of a first look is that it gives you a chance to exchange vows in private. If you want! Crystal and Justin opted to do this for their wedding. It only takes 5 or 10 minutes out of your timeline. Let me tell you – break out the tissues and bring them with you, because this is always an emotional moment.

The private vow exchange also gives you a chance to speak directly to one another without an audience (well, except for your photographer, videographer, and wedding content creator!!). It’s completely normal for even the bravest public speakers to struggle in front of an audience and express their deep and heartfelt vows.

I’ve heard that “the ceremony is for you and the reception is for your guests,” but I actually disagree. The ceremony is often as much for the family as it is for the couple. How are you making moments just for you and your partner on your wedding day? The private vow exchange is one wonderful way to do this.

Korean pyebaek ceremony

So I’ve talked about the ways that Crystal and Justin eschewed some wedding “norms,” but I loved how they seamlessly incorporated tradition into their celebration.

I adored their choice to incorporate several elements of their family and background, by signing the ketubah before a private ceremony and ring exchange with a small audience of family. This all happened before most guests arrived, because…

…their invitation arrival time coincided with the beginning of cocktail hour. I love a fresh approach to the wedding timeline! This may be the biggest non-secret in the world, but guests are there for the celebration. If you’re thinking of forgoing a big ceremony with everyone involved, your guests will thank you (though probably silently).

While guests enjoyed cocktail hour, Crystal and Justin slipped back into the getting-ready suite to prepare for their Pyebaek ceremony, a traditional Korean ceremony where the couple can pay their respects to their respective families.

I snapped this pic while they were getting ready before heading downstairs. All in all, the ceremony took about 25 minutes while guests worked through their salad course. I thought Crystal and Justin checked so many boxes with their pyebaek – it honored their family of origin, brought guests into a ceremonial portion, and it was incorporated efficiently into their timeline.

karaoke after party

I always (Always? Always.) stress that if you want guests to call yours the wedding of the century, the party can’t stop when your reception ends. Guests are traveling for your wedding. Even if you don’t want to party afterwards, you should provide guidance if they want to keep the party going.

I loved how Crystal and Justin leveraged every inch of their venue space. Their venue had a theater downstairs, just a short trip for guests when the dancing and music stopped upstairs. They hired a local karaoke vendor to transform the theater space into a pop-up karaoke bar, including late night snacks and drinks. I love this idea because you can DIY as much of it as you want. You can convert a hotel room into a karaoke space with a projector and microphone and your imagination – it really doesn’t take much!

As a wedding content creator, this also makes for great and memorable video, 100% of the time, every time. Your guests are confident when they have a few drinks in them to show off their vocal chops with friends new and old.

laur’s tip for couples

“Always have something planned for after your wedding. Even if that’s getting together in pajamas to recap, there’s nothing worse than the “what should we do now?” feeling at the end of the night.”


Overall, Crystal and Justin’s wedding was a beautiful example of how couples can break away from pre-defined blueprints and make their wedding their own. By incorporating unique design elements like disco balls, including their dog, and hosting the karaoke after-party, they created a day that truly reflected who they are as individuals and as a couple.

As Crystal and Justin’s wedding content creator, it was an honor to help them tell their unique love story through short-form video. If you’re feeling the pressure to have a wedding that doesn’t feel like you, let this be your sign to do your wedding your way.

Cover Image by: Ryanlockhartphotogrpahy