Saavedra Photography, a photographer based in NYC bio picture
  • Welcome to the website of wedding photographer Saavedra Photography (formerly known as Shang Chen Photography) Enjoy your stay, I'm glad to have you visit! I photograph couples who love life, each other, and express it through genuine, energetic personalities.

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How to get married in NYC in less than 48 hours

I can’t believe it’s been just 2 years since I had gotten engaged and 1.5 since we were married! I thought I would share a little bit more about wedding planning…

My husband and I got married at the NYC courthouse about a month prior to the date we considered our wedding date (which was a religious wedding). To be honest, it was a super last minute decision (super crazy for the planner in me!) and there were many reasons why we decided to go. Ultimately, I loved having something private and just for the two of us. For those of you who are interested in eloping in NYC in 48 hours or less, here’s a quick overview. As always, check the official government website for the most up to date information.

Before going to the court house

Court house weddings can only be done on weekdays. Even though in this blog post I casually mention the word “courthouse”, what you’re really looking for is the Office of the City Clerk at 141 Worth Street. Plan on arriving in NYC no later than a Wednesday evening. If you’re in a bind for a hotel, you can always use the app HotelTonight (use code schen256 to get $25 off your next booking). Make sure you pack all your proper IDs. You can submit an application online up to 21 days in advance of your first appearance at the court house. It was super easy to complete.

Some people think that just because it’s a courthouse wedding means you can’t dress up. Not true! I saw many ladies in fabulous different dresses that day, from country chic to city glam. Every decision that happens in a wedding is personal, so I leave this up to you – wear what makes you happy. As for me, I’d always wanted to get married in a pink dress – I got to wear this super cute dress from Modcloth.

Day 1: The Marriage License

Go to the office early in the morning, ideally around 8:00AM if you want to be one of the first in line. The line does get filled up quickly, especially towards the end of the week. Do not be alarmed though, the NYC office is one of the most efficient ones I’ve seen.

You will be taking numbers as you walk in, your ticket will start with an “A” for application. On your first day, they will use your online application to print out the marriage license and have you pay the fee ($35 in recent years). Check the document for any errors, and you should be done. The first day usually takes less than half an hour to complete. If one of you decides to make a name change (typically the woman), this is the time to do it.

Day 2: The Judicial Ceremony

On this day, again, don’t forget your IDs and the marriage license! (guess whose husband forgot said marriage license and had to double back to get it…)

The fastest and easiest way to get married is to go back to the office and have the ceremony performed by a justice of peace. You will need to hire ask a friend to come with you as your public witness, and they too need to bring proper ID. Per law, you must wait 24 hours between the issuance of your marriage license and the ceremony. However, since ceremonies take longer, I still recommend arriving early around 8:00AM to line up. When taking the number (this time starting with a “C”), if anyone gives you any trouble, point out the fact that by the time your number will be called, the 24 hour period will have transpired. Nevertheless, I’ve heard that sometimes waits can be over an hour, so bring something with which to occupy yourself.

If you’d like to buy some flowers, the gift shop inside the lobby has ready made bouquets on sale

Once your number is called, you’ll fill out some more paperwork with your witness, and then you will move to the waiting area for the ceremonies.

On our day, there were two justices of peace, one in each room, and they will call your name once they’ve finished with previous couples. As expected, the ceremony is short, but I thought that our JOP did a great job of making it feel very special and personal. After that, you’re handed your marriage license and you’re officially married!

Afterwards – photos!

Inside the office, there is a wall with a picture of the official courthouse in front of which you can take a photo whenever you’d like. In fact, I helped take some photos for a couple of people with their cameras :)

The area right around the office has some wonderful architecture for photographs. Here’s one of my favorites from our day. If you have to run off to work (like my husband did), I recommend booking a separate photoshoot with a professional photographer when you’re more free.

Shang will be available to photograph one or two Friday weddings in summer of 2015. Inquire to see if she is available for your date!

Saavedra Photography on Facebook Instagram
Based in NYC | photographer of celebrations of love and life

OnePointSix Streetstyle, part 2

Here’s part 2 of my streetstyle fashion photography session for OnePointSix.

(part 1 is here)

Here is the Madison coat. Sure to keep you warm and I love how our model is pulling off the cropped top look

Previously seen in part 1, the Edward Blazer makes another appearance in houndstooth

Join my monthly newsletter to win prizes. This month one winner will receive a $5 gift card to their favorite retailer and a second winner will get this travel beauty set from Image Skincare, you just have to be a member of the mailing list. Then head on over to my Facebook page and like some posts! Each ‘like’ gives you one entry.

Are you an aspiring fashion model or fashion label? Let’s talk about collaborating on an in(SP)iration session.

Saavedra Photography on Facebook Instagram
Based in NYC | photographer of celebrations of love and life

Dressed up Deniz, an in(SP)ired fashion shoot

I recently met Manhattan-based fashion blogger Dressed Up Deniz and photographed this outfit for her. I really like her ability to mix unusual colors and prints in very classic silhouettes, and that she is able to find these amazing outfits from retailers that I can afford. She totally rocks midi skirts. Check out her blog for outfit inspiration, it is sure to brighten up your day.


Sweater: H&M. Skirt: ASOS. Heels: Just Fab

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Saavedra Photography on Facebook Instagram
Based in NYC | photographer of celebrations of love and life

 

OnePointSix Streetstyle, part 1

I recently did some streetstyle fashion photography in collaboration with my friend Karen, who owns the label OnePointSix. Her clothing is beautifully tailored, made of high quality, and will seamlessly fit you day and night. I fell in love with the collection when I tried on the Avery Dress. Not only can you shop online, you can also sign up to learn about upcoming trunk shows so you can try all the pieces in person. Here are some of the photos

This first set features the Edward Blazer

The Auden Skirt

One of my favorites, the Philip Blazer

Join my monthly newsletter to win prizes. The first winner of a $5 gift card to their favorite retailer will be picked on the 28th – you just have to be a member of the mailing list. Then head on over to my Facebook page and like some posts! Each ‘like’ gives you one entry.

Are you an aspiring fashion model or fashion label? Let’s talk about collaborating on an in(SP)iration session.

Saavedra Photography on Facebook Instagram
Based in NYC | photographer of celebrations of love and life

One year old S

Little S recently turned one and her parents asked me to come to their home to play with her and capture this moment in her life for years to come. I like doing sessions for kids at this age at home, because it’s where they are the most comfortable, where we have all their favorite toys and food, and it shows a moment in their lives. This little girl is fiercely loyal, curious, shy, and just learned to walk. We had so much fun!

She just learned to make an “angry face”… but I think Dad was more happy to do this with her

S is a huge fan of Happy Baby Organic Puffs. During the session she constantly munched on them


And when we get a bit tired from playing… homemade apple sauce will do the trick

I recently launched a monthly newsletter and every month, someone lucky will win a $5 gift card. By end of this year I will do a drawing for a gift card to your favorite retailer valued at least at $150. Join the list to enter the contest!

Saavedra Photography on Facebook Instagram
Based in NYC | photographer of celebrations of love and life