I have to say that I knew I wanted Melissa to be our wedding photographer even before I got engaged. My husband, Kenny, and I had attended a wedding where Melissa was the photographer and when I saw the pictures I knew right away that one day I would want her to document our wedding as well. Fast-forward about six months when Kenny and I were discussing vendors for our wedding and we were on the subject of photographers. I showed him the pictures from our friends wedding and after seeing only a couple Kenny said, “I want Melissa.” I was so excited and thrilled that Kenny shared my enthusiasm and loved the pictures as much as I had.
Kenny and I agreed that the most important aspect of our pictures would be that they weren’t too “posey” and unnatural. We wanted our pictures to be candid, fun, and not look like we were stuffy models trying to be super serious. When we saw our friends wedding pictures, they were laughing, smiling, and truly captured what a bride and groom epitomize on a wedding day and we knew Melissa was the perfect photographer for what we wanted.
We met Melissa for the first time when we had our engagement photo session. Personally, I was extremely nervous about the engagement photos because I’d never stood in front of a camera and taken pictures and didn’t know if I’d feel comfortable. Well, Melissa made all my doubts and fears disappear. I felt so at ease in front of the camera and she helped Kenny and I have an incredibly fun and memorable day taking pictures in Central Park. Honestly, there were some moments I’d forget Melissa was there because she wasn’t forcing us to do anything or constantly directing us, she let us be us and that was the experience we wanted. After the engagement photo session we were even more excited for our wedding day photos.
When we first saw our wedding photos I’m not really sure there is a word to describe how we felt. I cried instantly, happy tears of course, because I couldn’t believe how beautiful they were and how perfectly they captured our relationship. My parents were ecstatic with the photos and couldn’t stop praising our decision to have Melissa document our day. Melissa made us feel comfortable and at ease throughout our wedding day; I cannot say enough how thankful we are to Melissa and what an incredible photographer she is. We will cherish these photos forever and thanks to Melissa, they are the most amazing photos we will ever have.
EILEEN + KENNY | WHITBY CASTLE, NEW YORK
The most important thing to me when it came to a wedding photographer was to find someone who could capture the personalities of myself and my husband, with bright and colorful detail oriented pictures. Melissa exceeded both mine and my husband’s expectations by far! She captured our unique personalities, the wedding day bliss, and true love between my husband and I; most specifically the smiles, winks, embraces, small kisses and gestures - moments that I wouldn't have necessarily recalled from our wedding day.
Melissa's photographs embodied details that were so carefully planned for the months leading to the wedding while capturing such special moments between us and our family and friends. Melissa was exactly what we needed in a photographer- she was reliable, incredibly organized, professional, directive when it came to pictures with wedding party and families, yet she was calm and flexible throughout the entire day. She was realistic with timing, and always two steps ahead when it came to shooting pictures and gathering family and the wedding party. Most of all, she took incredible pictures.
Our family and friends were in awe when looking at our wedding day photos and our overall experience could not have been any more perfect.
ALLY + JAMEY | YALE CLUB, NYC
Melissa is amazing - book her immediately! I could go on for days about how much I recommend her. She was hands down the best choice I made for my wedding vendors. My husband and I prided ourselves on finding laid back vendors who weren't too "mainstream wedding industry-y". Since the art gallery we got married in was a raw space, we hand picked every vendor and wanted the people we worked with to share the same relaxed vibe we were looking for. I loved Melissa's natural vibe and journalistic style - she was so amazing I booked her right away.
Her personality is amazing and she's awesome to work with. She's very warm and friendly and makes you feel comfortable. Melissa also went above and beyond her photographer duties making a detailed timeline for me - which ended up being the timeline I gave to all my vendors. We didn't get a wedding planner and that was starting to make me nervous, but Melissa created the timeline and organization for the day. She's also awesome over email (my schedule never allowed me to meet her for planning except once) and answered quickly. When it rained on my wedding day, Melissa was even prepared with covered photo spots, ideas for fun shots, and a beautiful black and wooden umbrella that looks amazing in my pictures.
My advice for brides is to decide what kind of pictures are important to you (Melissa's amazing, but no one is a mind reader!). For me it was detail shots, so I made sure to tell Melissa that and she reminded me to do things I didn't think of (like bring a copy of my invitations to the hotel on the day of so she could get pictures). I almost forgot to tell her that I was also dying for a shot of me getting to the venue in a yellow cab. I'm so glad I remembered because she made sure to tweak the timeline so she could get the cab shot leaving the hotel - it's one of my favorite shots of the day!
The reaction to my photos was really incredible - they were more than magazine-worthy. My family and friends all gushed at her professional eye and combination of candids and portrait skills. I cannot recommend Melissa enough. It's hard to find a gem like her in NYC, especially in the craziness that is the wedding industry. She's the real deal.
ALANA + CHRISTOPHER | SMACK MELLON GALLERY, BROOKLYN
In selecting a wedding photographer, there were a few things that were incredibly important to me. First, I wanted to find someone whose photos captured the personality and genuine feelings of us as a couple, rather than contrived poses that looked incredibly awkward. That being said, I also wanted someone who was able to capture that "picture perfect" moment and use artistic license to bring out the best in us. Second, I wanted someone who "got it" - meaning someone who wanted to understand us and our vision for the wedding, rather than simply what they themselves believed the wedding photos should look like. Lastly and most importantly, I wanted a photographer who would be easy to be around all day while also feeling confident that no special moment would be missed.
Melissa was reliable, easy going and all around AMAZING. Prior to the wedding, Melissa met with us and took careful notes on the plans for the day, the pictures we needed (and wanted to avoid), the family dynamic, the toasts, the names of key players - I could go on and on. Her preparation paid off. She created a timeline down to the minute as to where we needed to be, who we needed to be with and what we should be doing. Although this may sound like overkill to a bride who is hoping to "go with the flow" on her wedding day, thanks to Melissa's careful planning, everything went off without a hitch. She was able to usher us from place to place and capture every moment without us feeling like we were anywhere but where we wanted to be.
OK on to the wedding....On the day of our wedding Melissa was everything that I could have wished for and more. First and foremost, although Melissa is a curious dreamer and artistic wanderlust, she is also incredibly Type A when it comes to her work and delivering for her clients and I absolutely love both sides of her and what they bring out in her process and her photos. From the moment she arrived, Melissa completely over-delivered! She got to work studying the light in the room and preparing for the day. She managed to be in every place she needed to be, while also remaining completely non-intrusive.
Melissa was sweet, calm, funny and generally just great to be around. I felt like I was with one of my closest friends who was solely focused on the day being perfect for me and my groom, but was magically also capturing perfect photos all day long. On top of that, she was much more than a photographer - she helped with touch ups, dress bustling, gentle ushering and parent whispering. We couldn't have asked for more. Although I usually feel incredibly awkward in photos, especially when they are solely focused on me, I always felt completely natural and comfortable being photographed by Melissa. She put us at ease, seemingly without even trying.
Melissa took our engagement photos, and we loved them all, so the bar was set incredibly high for our wedding photos. Despite this, she managed to exceed all expectations. The pictures perfectly captured every minute of the wedding from our most intimate moments as a couple to the rocking dance party at the reception, and every moment in between. We felt like we were re-living the best day of our lives by looking at the photos for the first time...and every time since. Everyone who has seen our pictures are blown away by how beautiful they are and perfectly they captured the day.
I would recommend that couples looking for a photographer should consider two things: Do I love the photos in their portfolio? and Do I want to hang out with this photographer all day long? Aside from your spouse, the photographer is the person you will spend the most time with and it's incredibly important that you like to be around them and trust them.
Hiring Melissa was hands down the best decision we made when planning our wedding!
EMILY + KEVIN | BROOKLYN BOTANIC GARDEN, BROOKLYN
It’s true what they say – your wedding day really does fly by! We feel so blessed to now have hundreds of photos that capture every element of our wedding – including photos of our friends and family, to pictures of small elements that we spent hours agonizing over, to portraits of the two of us. Melissa captured everything beautifully and effortlessly, we always felt comfortable and sensed that she always had our and our families’ needs at the forefront of her mind – while also making sure she had us staying on schedule and was capturing the necessary shots.
Prior to our wedding day, we (apprehensively) elected to do an engagement shoot with Melissa. As two, very-private and admittedly camera-shy people, we didn’t know what to expect with the shoot and with the outcome of the photos. But it was a great decision! Not only did we get to know Melissa and she got to know us, but we gained confidence in front of the camera and Melissa made the process fun and relaxing. We were also so excited to see the photos – they were beautiful! After the engagement shoot, we went into our wedding day feeling comfortable in front of the camera and felt even more at ease. And I can speak for our family and say that they too felt comfortable in front of Melissa’s camera.
I think what initially drew me to Melissa’s photos are her ability to capture her subjects’ emotion – the love and excitement between brides and grooms, the excitement on a flower girl’s face, or the fun being had on a dance floor. Again, a wedding day goes by so fast and for me, as the bride, it was easy to miss these moments or to forget them. I’m grateful to not only have hundreds of beautiful photos to share with our family and friends and to treasure for many years to come, but I’m so thankful that these small moments and details have been captured by Melissa.
MEGHAN + PETE | MADISON BEACH CLUB, CONNECTICUT
When it came to finding a wedding photographer, we didn't even know where to start. What we did know was that it might end up being the most important element of our day, as the photos are the lasting memory of the wedding and what you go back to look at time and time again over the years. It is a tall order to fill! We found Melissa through New York Magazine's wedding photographer directory. Immediately upon meeting her, it felt like we were old friends. We just "clicked." My husband is a bit camera shy and she really made him feel so comfortable. He is always critical of himself in photographs but even he was so impressed with her work and is very pleased with how the photos turned out. I can honestly say that hiring Melissa was one of the best decisions we made for our wedding. We wanted a very natural, candid, modern-yet-timeless feel for our photos. Melissa's style fit perfectly with our vision and I knew even before she sent the photos, that we would love them! That's how confident we were in her work.
We would describe our overall experience with Melissa as "confidence in excellence." We completely trusted her - her work is so professional. She was flexible during all our plans, from our engagement shoot to my boudoir photos to our wedding day. No task was too small or too big for Melissa.
We both loved being photographed by Melissa - including my camera-shy husband. I never thought I'd see him so relaxed in front of a camera but he admits that Melissa has a way of putting him at ease and I think it helped that he felt our engagement photos were very flattering. When we did my boudoir photos as a gift for my husband, I was very nervous, but working with Melissa made me totally relaxed and I felt beautiful during our shoot... and again when she sent the photos. It was so fun to bounce ideas off of each other. Melissa often comes up with spontaneous ideas for a different look during a shoot and sometimes those turn out to be the best pictures of the lot! You never know what you are going to think of your own boudoir photos, but in my case, working with Melissa, I LOVED them!
When we saw our wedding photos for the first time, we felt overwhelmed with excitement. There were so many good ones, we didn't know where to look first! We loved them and it was like reliving the day all over again.
We have heard nothing but rave reviews from our family and friends for Melissa and her work. From her professional, calm demeanor on the wedding day, to the fabulous images we will cherish forever, she made such an impression on our guests. Many of our friends and family have already downloaded wedding photos and used them as their new social media profile pics. She just has a way of capturing you when you look your best - and everyone appreciates that!
My advice to couples would be: stop your search now, hire Melissa, and thank me later! You will not be disappointed and you will have beautiful wedding photographs to treasure throughout your lives.
CASSANDRA + GARY | UPSTAIRS AT THE KIMBERLY SUITE HOTEL, NYC
When Matt and I began our search for a wedding photographer, we knew it was going to be the most important part of the wedding planning process. After all, photos are one of the only tangible things from the day that you get to keep! Luckily, Melissa Kruse was already on my list since I had admired her work when she photographed a wedding for one of my friends. Our initial meeting with Melissa was wonderful--we could tell right away how much time and care she put into her work with each couple, and the quality of her photographs (particularly the way she works with light) really stood out for us. We could tell right away that she seemed like someone we would want to spend our wedding day with! We met with a few other photographers but Melissa was easily our first choice.
Once we settled the details and began planning in earnest, we were so happy to be able to do a lovely engagement shoot with Melissa near NYU, where Matt and I met. Both of us were nervous about being photographed and, while we still made for some awkward subjects, Melissa totally put us at ease and coached us into taking amazing photos. When I saw the results, my worries about how two camera-shy people would look in wedding photos were put to rest.
Leading up to the wedding day, Melissa was incredibly organized and detail-oriented, which was beyond helpful in getting the day's schedule ironed out. She really took the time to talk to me at length in order to personalize her approach for the day. When it started to look like we wouldn't have the weather we had hoped for a few days before the wedding, Melissa sent me an email that was so kind and reassuring that it actually brought tears to my eyes. I couldn't wait to see her on the wedding day, and she proved to be the fun, encouraging, and calming presence that all of us needed!
We had a wonderful time during photographs, and our family and wedding party commented on how great Melissa was to work with. One of my favorite moments of the wedding was when she took me and Matt into our reception room right before they let the guests in so we could have some private time to enjoy the space, see the cake, and test out the dance floor on our own! This moment was really romantic, and of course Melissa captured some great photos of it!
When I saw the pictures for the first time, I teared up and was overwhelmed with how amazing they were. I have since received many compliments on our photographs from guests and others who have seen them, and I know I'll be recommending Melissa to all of my engaged friends so they can enjoy the personalized, friendly, and stunning photography experience that we were lucky enough to have!
JULIE + MATT | ROUNDHOUSE AT BEACON FALLS, NEW YORK
Working with Melissa was undoubtedly the best choice we made for our wedding. In selecting a photographer, it was most important for us to find someone with a shared vision of how our day should be captured – romantic, soft and natural. Melissa was patient, beyond organized and always accessible for advice throughout the entire process. On the day of our wedding she did a fabulous job of ensuring we stayed on schedule while capturing all of the details big and small. She turned around our pictures in an incredibly quick amount of time and we were beyond thrilled. The collection truly embodies the special moments of the entire day very thoroughly. Our advice to those searching for a wedding photographer is that the pictures last a lifetime and it is crucial to not only pick someone who has the same idea of 'beauty' as you do, but also whose personality you connect with.
STEPHANIE + MATT | CRYSTAL PLAZA, NEW JERSEY
I first heard of Melissa's work through a recommendation from a friend. When my husband and I met her for tea I immediately felt welcomed by her. I was already in love with her artful, elegant, and vivacious photos, so I was excited to meet a photographer that embodied her work in her personality as well. Melissa's organizational skills were highlighted in the lead-up to the wedding. Her insight was invaluable in making sure we allotted enough time for every configuration on the day of the wedding. She arrived sunny and delightful, as always, on the morning of our wedding, and went to work immediately taking detail shots. Throughout the entire day, Melissa was organized, gave clear directions, and helped to herd the larger family groups. She excelled in controlling the crowds, but also handling the intimacy of our first look, where I was completely lost in the moment and forgot she was present. Her positivity and ability to adapt to the varying challenges of the wedding day were truly remarkable.
As my husband and I anticipated our wedding day gallery we couldn't contain our excitement. A rainy morning had turned into a glorious, sunny afternoon the day of the wedding and we were eager to see the photos. I think I spent at least ten minutes going between breathlessly scrolling through photos and jumping up and down cheering when I first saw them. I was completely blown away. The photos perfectly captured the joy, the brilliant light, and the feeling of the day. She had all the detailed shots I requested, but also the spontaneous snaps from the reception and quiet moments between Kenny and I before the ceremony. Family and friends likewise have lavished praise and adoration over the photos - I feel so lucky to have found Melissa. She did an incredible job from beginning to end.
SASHA + KENNY | SNUG HARBOR CULTURAL CENTER, STATEN ISLAND
We found everything we wanted in a photographer in Melissa. We had a real vision for the type of wedding photos we wanted - we were getting married in NYC and wanted to really feel the city in every picture and Melissa listened to all of our ideas and made everything absolutely perfect. The pictures are so beautiful that they were actually featured in Style Me Pretty - a true honor. Apart from the photos, Melissa was a very calming, reassuring energy on a crazy, whirlwind kind of a day. She was very patient, kind, and sweet and we are so lucky to have found her!
ANJALI + SCOTT | CITY HALL RESTAURANT, NYC
Melissa is the best! You can tell from her website that her photos are beautiful so that speaks for itself. Other than the great photos I would say the best thing about Melissa is she knows how to take charge on the actual day. I'm pretty type A and I made an extensive list of all the photos (family combinations, portraits, friends, etc) I wanted to make sure to capture. On the day of the wedding, it's so fun and it's going so fast that you actually kind of want to skip half of the photos and get back to the fun. Melissa calmly reminded me, "You wanted this shot, you wanted that shot", etc. and I'm so glad she did or I probably wouldn't have half the photos I have today. She also got it done really fast so I could get back to cocktail hour. :) She's not shy and she knows how to direct people in and out of photos and make suggestions so that they will look better too - but all the while being really nice about it. She knows how to get things done.
She's really an artist and has an eye for what will look good in a photo. She's also incredibly dependable and trustworthy. She's a lot of fun on the wedding day too - which is important because she'll be around the whole time. She really loves weddings, gets how important it is, and makes you feel like your big day is the only one that matters.
I get so many compliments, still to this day: friends, family and Facebook friends endlessly drool over our wedding photos online and in my album at home. They are unique and beautiful!
KARA + ALAN | ICI RESTAURANT, BROOKLYN
It is hard for me to describe in words how wonderful my experience was with Melissa. From the moment I met her I knew I needed her as my photographer because she was so passionate about what she does and because she immediately put my mind at ease. Not to mention, just one glance at her work and I was hooked! Throughout the process she was meticulous and detail-oriented, while at the same time being a comforting and fun force. She was incredibly creative in thinking up ideas for beautiful shots, and she made sure that all of the photo ideas we discussed beforehand were fully captured. She totally understood our vision from day 1 and did everything in her power to capture it, and to represent us and tell our story through her photographs. Months later my family and friends can’t stop talking about how wonderful she was, and my husband and bridesmaids still channel her words of advise when they get in front of a camera.
While the posed photos turned out perfectly, some of my favorite photos are the ones that Melissa took without me even being aware of her camera. I was blown away when I saw the photos for the first time, and I truly feel I am reliving the day every time I look at them. The photos look so natural and so beautiful. The lighting is perfect, the framing is perfect, and the moments are perfect. I don’t know how she managed to be there at every crucial moment but she was!
The hardest part was narrowing down which photos to include in my album since I love every single one. I was also pleasantly surprised at how quickly we received the digital photographs on her extremely user-friendly website, and how easy it was working with her to finalize the album design. From start to finish, Melissa was responsive, professional, reliable, and friendly. She is extremely talented and I can’t recommend her enough!
KELLEY + BILLY | PARK SAVOY, NEW JERSEY
Melissa was a wonderful photographer -- fun, detail-oriented, caring, and calm (and of course she produces some of the crispest photos we've ever seen). When we were thinking of selecting a wedding photographer, we wanted someone who not only could make us look like movie stars, but also could make us and our guests feel comfortable on the big day. Melissa delivered on that and more. Before the wedding, we met and planned all of the important photos and walked through a detailed timeline of the events of the day to make sure we had everything covered. On the day, whenever she was shooting, she was like a ninja -- I felt like we didn't even notice she was there and yet she produced some incredible photos. Many of our guests commented on how wonderful she was. When we and our families saw the photos she provided, we all were immediately taken by how well she captured those special candid moments in the day. We were blown away! When searching for a photographer, apart from looking at the material that he or she provides, I'd recommend finding someone that you could be friends with outside of being your wedding photographer. We found that in Melissa and wholeheartedly recommend her to others who are interested in a happy, fun-loving and caring photographer who will brighten your special day if you give her the chance.
KATHERINE + ALEX | THE HAROLD PRATT HOUSE, NYC
My husband and I met Melissa at a coffee shop in New York to see her work and get to know her. After sharing our love story with her and our vision for our wedding, she showed us previous weddings she'd worked on and the pricing options; we knew immediately that we wanted to work with her. Not only did she take beautiful photographs, but she also had a positive attitude, professional demeanor and creative spirit - all things you want in a great wedding photographer. Melissa was with us every step of the way and we couldn't be happier with how she documented our wedding day!
ADRIANA + JAMES | BATTERY GARDENS, NYC
Melissa was such an integral part of our big day.
Researching the experts to help make even a small elopement is not easy. After deciding that New York City Hall was going to be “our spot” the next challenge would be finding a photographer who could capture our quirkiness, while being patient enough to explain the process to two folks who live 3,000 miles away.
What impressed me the most was the time Melissa took to have calls with us. She always confirmed the time, was prompt, and answered all questions with great cheer.
The pictures were more than we could ever hope for. They captured for our families and friends back home, what the excitement and wonder must have felt and looked like. Melissa had great ideas for how to capture intimate moments, silly spontaneous jokes and great public displays of sheer joy. I could not be happier with the final result and will always cherish my experience with her.
Reactions from friends and family upon seeing the pictures have been nothing but amazement at Melissa’s talent. So many things may be out of control on the big day, but choice of a reliable, quality photographer will do so much for peace of mind. I could not be happier with the final results and look forward to reviewing the pictures often.
MELISSA + JARED | CITY HALL, NYC
Just wanted to send a note now that I've had a chance to share and go through all of the photos, and just let you know how wonderful they are!!! We loved having you there for our special day and so appreciated you braving the cold with us to get all of the shots! I couldn't be happier with the way they all turned out! I love so many pictures individually and I LOVE how perfectly the gallery as a whole captured the morning. Especially since we had so few people there, it's great to be able to give friends and family a sense for what the day was like.
KELLY + BRYAN | CITY HALL, NYC
I found Melissa's work after googling and researching several NYC wedding photographers. We eloped to NYC and didn't know anyone in the city, so the internet (as opposed to word of mouth) was my only option for finding a good photographer. Anyway, I came across Melissa's work, went to her website, and was blown away by the beauty of her photographs. They're gorgeous, but subtly so, if that makes sense. That was the most important thing to me for my own wedding pictures - sheer beauty.
In three words, our experience with Melissa was comfortable, pleasant, and a joy. It was pouring down rain on the morning of our wedding, but Melissa wasn't fazed, which put both me and my husband at ease. She made it easy to pose for pictures; there was no awkwardness at all.
I absolutely loved my photographs when I saw them for the first time. I never like pictures of myself, but these blew me away. I had high expectations, and Melissa exceeded them. Friends and family still talk to us about how pretty the pictures are, and we've been married more than a year now. The photos are elegant, rich, and perfectly capture us, our love for each other, and our love for New York City.
MEGAN + MATT | CITY HALL, NYC
There are so many wonderful things to say about Melissa I don't know where to start. Planning an event such as a wedding can be a stressful overwhelming time. But somehow every time I spoke to Melissa about any questions or concerns I had, she immediately put me at ease. I always walked away feeling like everything would go perfect.
She has a way of making you feel like somehow you've been friends for years even though you've just met. My husband and I felt really comfortable in front of the camera with her. Melissa took my vision and brought it to life. Our photos were more than we expected and we will always remember her for capturing a lifetime of memories.
RANDI + DRE | CITY HALL, NYC
The ability of a photograph to transmit the essence of us as a couple and our wedding day was most important to us in selecting a photographer... the ability to photograph "natural life" as well as portraits.
Melissa was professional, easy going, and fun. She was very professional but friendly and calm and was always ready to step in and help when it was necessary but at the same time was able to capture all the important moments. She made us feel like the camera wasn't there so we behaved very naturally.
We loved the photos right away - as did our family & friends! - from the colors to the composition and overall feel of the day. We even made little albums for family members who could not be present at our special day.
It was a pleasure and we could not find a more perfect photographer for our wedding!
ANASTASIA + CONRADO | CITY HALL, NYC