Beautiful.. Thats it gang. Clarissa & Neema wanted a simple and beautiful wedding that was also intimate at the same time. I’d say they sure pulled it off on a hot and humid Friday in July. Its been a while since we’ve shot a whole wedding at The Saratoga National Museum of Dance and I really did miss shooting at that place. Its probably the most perfect room for smaller weddings while keeping with that whole Saratoga feeling too…

Was this deja vu? Here we are arriving at the same hotel, for the same family for the second time in just 8 months. Only this time it wasn’t Mona’s wedding and it wasn’t 40 degrees outside, it was 90. No, this time it was her brother Neema and her now sister in law Clarissa’s big day. Back to arriving at the hotel… Clarissa was all smiles upon entering suite 527. She was getting finished being made fabulous. We shot some getting ready photos of this beautiful July bride and then it was off to the Museum of Dance for their first look. I just loved everything about their first look too. The light, the calmness of the couple but then capturing the emotion the time they laid eyes on each other. It was pretty darn cool. I saw something cool outside that happened to be red. It was an old vintage taxi cab. Neema’s father’s friend was kind enough to park this bad boy out front for some photo ops. After all those photos were done it was time to get married. This space is just spectacular for ceremonies. I think my favorite part was when Clarissa and Neema’s son Paul walked Clarissa down the aisle and they both were just beaming with pride. After the ceremony I wanted a little more of this red taxi and a few more couple shots in some softer light. Then it was time to head on in for their reception. Let me just say thank god for my iPhone. Neema had burned a few CD’s with their first dance song on it. Unfortunately those CD’s would not play for whatever reason. Have no fear, JP’s iPhone with the iTunes store is here! Without skipping a beat I downloaded the exact version of their first dance put my iPhone on airplane mode (because how embarrassing would it be if I got a call or text during their first dance?) and handed the phone off to the band. I felt like a hero (cue hero my enrique iglesias now). Anyway it was a wonderful evening and smooth sailing from then on out. It was truly an honor to be asked back to shoot another wedding for the Ghazi family and great to meet Clarissa’s family as well. We loved being surrounded by good people we consider friends before clients. Thank you again and congrats to Clarissa & Neema!


Here’s one happy bride…

Alayne’s right hand gal Sue from Make Me Fabulous (see t shirt) putting some finishing touches on Clarissa.

cool shoes..

a little closer..

oh hey mona! we all remember mona right? to my newer blog stalkers you can find out all about her here, here & here.

Everyone got all excited when Clarissa was dressed and ready.

Seriously? This is too easy.

Frist look!

here she comes..

Neema is somewhat of a more serious person. To see him lighting up like this is just great.

Back to our beautiful bride.

I love this b&w

Just one for now, but we’ll get back to this red cab..

8 months later.. Mona… and Andrew 😉

I don’t know who was more happy here? Paul or Clarissa?

This space is so awesome.

No matter what side/angle you shoot from.

Mr & Mrs..

Back outside..

Oh yeah! That red is screaming!

The facebook teaser

A little closer.

Too cool for school.

Fav shot of the day…

A couple more soft portraits..

Some details…

A great fist dance.

Lastly a great moment with their boy Paul… congrats guys!

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  1. Rachel I happened to see your comment so I’ll just go ahead and answer. Personally, I thought the acoustics at the Museum of Dance with the live band were fantastic! Definitely not overwhelming, and the band play places in the area frequently, and thus are pretty familiar with sounds of places. The band Neema and Clarissa had was “Body and Soul” if I’m not mistaken. Down below at the bottom there should be a link to the New York Players website – you can contact Mike Emery. They have several bands of different sizes, but all absolutely amazing: New York Players, City Rhythm, Body and Soul… they are amazing. Highly recommended. Hope this helps!

  2. Beautiful photos! I’m getting married at the dance museum next year! I was wondering if you could tell me how the acoustics were with the live band, and what the name of your band was?


  3. you look so happy, these pictures are just beautiful…. all the attention, love, care, happiness show how much this familly is marvelous…. keep it on!

  4. Joe and JP – you guys did it again! I cannot begin to tell you just how pleased we are with these photos. It’s clear that you paid attention to every detail with your artistic eyes and these pictures could not have come out better. My handsome son looks like a prince and my beautiful daughter-in-law looks like a princess. This was a very happy occasion and the photos communicate that. We cannot wait to see the entire photo collection! Thank you again for everything. The Ghazis love your work and consider you a friend of the family.

  5. Joe and JP Elario are simply the best in the business. These photos are absolutely amazing! We had an unbelievable time at our wedding and these pictures allow us to relive every memorable moment, and there were many. If this is a small sample, I cannot wait to see ALL of the photos that were taken that day. We had 80 people at our wedding. The National Museum of Dance is the perfect venue for a wedding of this size; it’s really an incredible space. The Mansion did the catering and the New York Players provided the music. Everyone loved the food and the dance floor was jam-packed all night! We were extremely fortunate to have Joe and JP at our wedding. They’ve become a friend of the Ghazi Family and the effort they put into this event exceeded every expectation we had for the occasion. They are consummate professionals and if you are lucky enough to get them to do your wedding, you can rest easy knowing they always deliver. Also, JP truly saved the day with his quick thinking. That was the best 99 cent investment in history of wedding receptions.

  6. I’ve been looking at these pictures over and over. They just keep bringing me back to that special day. You guys are just so talented to be able to capture all of the excitement and love of that day. The pictures are AMAZING, i love them so much. Thank you so much for being so wonderful and for helping us hold on to our wedding day. @Mona and Gita- love you guys. Mona’s not kidding when she says you are the BEST. You truly made me feel relaxed and calm and to just have fun with the photos. @MMF I had a great time with Sue and Angela. We had a party getting ready! They are both so talented and great to work with. I felt like my BEST self on my wedding day- as it should be.

  7. Sarah – The dress is Jessica McClintock! I got it last fall at Macy’s… and then I spotted a similar one last month (different color – olive green instead of blue) at Nordstroms I think. 🙂 Thanks for the compliment!!

  8. I’ve been a blog stalker for a while and just had to comment on this wedding. Everything is simply beautiful- great job JP and Joe! The bride looks like a model and groom looks so happy. And Mona- I’m sure you’ll read this… I LOVE your dress! Can you comment where it’s from?

  9. Comment #2 from the sister/sister-in-law… again to MMF – credit where due – while you guys had a beautiful canvas to work with, bringing out the most beautiful in someone is truly an art that you guys don’t take lightly!!! I’ve seen lots of hair and makeup in my day as #1 fan, and I can truly say you do the BEAUTY justice. You guys bring out the most beautiful and natural in each bride and NEVER overdo it. I think my sister said she was hard pressed – even in LA – to find ladies with such talent as yourselves. Fabulous is 100% the right name. Go team MMF!!!!

    Again commenting because I’m so excited – it’s almost like reliving the event (as Gita pointed out)… and to a certain extent I’m about as excited for these pics as I was for my own wedding. 🙂

    You guys really nailed it. To look at these photos of them, you’d never guess it was 90 and humid as all get out. They look cool, relaxed, and their expressions are truly sincere, warm, LOVING. You really got the love between them… It was such an amazing time, and we’re so fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with so many great people (friends) twice. 🙂 <3 <3 <3 These pictures just make my week, I cannot wait to see the rest of them!!!!

    btw – the last shot??? Awesome. Really? The whole FAMILY, the centerpiece, the cake in the background… so perfect. Surprised? Not one bit. You guys don't miss a thing. 🙂

  10. Mona, you are so right, Clarissa is so beautiful. She has the most beautiful skin I have ever seen, not only in these photos but also in person. Sue and Angela could not have done a better job capturing her natural beauty. She looks absolutely perfect!! She is so Sweet and Beautiful. Great addition to your family. MWAH, MWAH to you all!!

  11. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!! YEAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! I was betting on Tuesday for this blog, but I’m SO happy you blogged it today. 🙂

    First and foremost – you guys capture my brother beautifully. Neema is a good lookin’ guy, but you capture his calm, his excitement, you capture exactly how he was the whole day. Love the look on his face on the first pic of the first looks (also the last one). Those brought tears to my eyes they were so beautiful.

    Clarissa – for anyone who doesn’t know her and may think “WOW! Is she a beautiful bride or WHAT?” Yes, you’re right – but if you don’t know her, you don’t realize that she looks that beautiful every day. Truly. Now, credit where it is due – Make Me FABULOUS did a beautiful job on her because they did perfect hair and makeup on her, making her look FABULOUS of course, and still making Clarissa look like Clarissa. Just gorgeous!!! (BTW Alayne I was channeling you when I was buttoning her up – all I could think was “wow my fingers are like hooks too!!! I’m good at this” Thanks for the tip) 🙂 <3

    Paul is, quite simply, the man. 🙂 He's the greatest kid you've ever met, and he was just as happy as the two of them to share this day with his mom and Neema.

    It was a beautifully touching ceremony, I love the shot of their first kiss as Mr. and Mrs. Ghazi with everyone cheering in the back. They are a beautiful couple, and I could not possibly love them more. 🙂

    I can't choose. I love all the pics. The red cab – awesome. But more than anything else, each one of these pics just show how wonderful, fun, and happy the day was. So glad you guys could be present to capture such magic. Big Joe and JP – you guys are the best. I had fun hanging out with you!!!

    I may need to post another enthusiastic YAY!!!!!!! <3 <3 <3

    Love this. 🙂

  12. These pics made me relive that entire day. I can’t pick a favorite as they are all gorgeous; however the one of Mona, Clarissa and my aunt dancing in the bridal suite is definitely in my top 5. That picture basically says “let the partying begin”….or may be it already had started 🙂
    The one with Neema sitting on the front bumper of the red car and clarissa standing next to him brought tears to my eyes…sooo sweet and beautiful.
    JP, another fabulous set of pics. Saw the one of you and Ardy too…loved it.
    My family definitely knows how to throw a party of any size…and Elarios definitely know how to capture the mood and essence of the day.


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