Traveling for weddings is a lot of work, but I have personally always loved making it fun by taking some time to enjoy the unique spaces in the area. One of my favorite places is The Hamptons, the eastern south fork of Long Island, NY, so I'm thrilled to have Jainé Kershner, the lovely and talented owner of Brklyn View Photography, share some of her tips on weddings & travel throughout this incredible destination.
What are your favorite places in the Hamptons?
Montauk has become my second home since photographing weddings. Growing up in the Hamptons, I never spent a lot of time in Montauk but I look forward to returning each year to capture my couple's wedding day. Each time I go back, I have to get tacos at The Hideaway, sandwiches at The Montauk Bake Shoppe, pick up a few bags of candy at The Candied Anchor, and before I leave, a scoop of homemade vanilla Ice Cream with sprinkles at John’s Drive-in. Along 27 East, is the famous The Lobster Roll and it’s my all time favorite place to get my annual Lobster Roll before I had back home to Brooklyn. My favorite beach is Ditch Plains Beach which has the beautiful rolling hills and the vibrant ocean at your feet. It is truly spectacular!
I grew up in Sag Harbor so it holds a lot of meaning in my heart. It used to be the "hidden gem" of the Hamptons but now it’s pretty much busy all year round. I always recommend going to the Dock House for a quick & delicious fish sandwich to eat on the Long Wharf. Grab some ice cream at the Big Olaf and fresh homemade donuts at Grindstone Coffee & Donuts. Flashbacks is one of my favorite clothing stores that still has the best candy selection in town. Oh, and if you want the BEST garlic knots of your life, be sure to visit Il Cappuccino - they are to die for!
East Hampton has the best shopping in all of the Hamptons. It has just about every designer you can imagine along with one of kind boutiques. For me, it’s always fun to window shop. I love visiting Guild Hall to see their latest art exhibits and I even have an old gallery poster hanging in our living room to remind me of home. One of the best hidden treasures of East Hampton is getting a fresh hot Dressen’s cinnamon sugar donut in Scoop Du Jour. Seriously, you will thank me when you get one - they are amazing!!
Where are the hidden gems for photographing wedding clients - for a bridal party, first look, engagement session, etc.
Some of my favorite hidden gems for photographing clients are in plain sight. I love the windmills in Bridgehampton. They are so cute and usually off the beaten path which is perfect for bride and groom portraits. We usually stop on the way to the venue and get some great iconic photos for my couple. The Montauk Lighthouse is really spectacular and if you go at the right time of day, it can be pretty empty. And of course, the beaches in the Hamptons are amazing. Going on a weekday for an engagement session means that you have the place all to yourselves!!
How do you incorporate wedding travel with family travel/vacation?
I am so fortunate and grateful to photograph weddings in the Hamptons. Not only did I grow up out there but they have some of the best wedding venues in New York including Gurney’s, Gurney’s Star Island and The Bridgehampton Tennis and Surf Club, which are some of my faves. If a wedding falls on a weekend and I can include my family, we will make it part family vacation and part work weekend. It usually works out for my couples because I’ll arrive to the location early, get a sense of the upcoming weather (it’s always different by the water) and I can scout for photo locations in advance. It’s a bit of work and play and I love that combo!
How do you typically pack for weddings when you are driving vs. flying?
Most of my destination weddings are usually driving distance from my home in Brooklyn. Anywhere from 3-4 hours in the car. It’s a choice that I made to be “local” but still photograph "destination weddings" but of course, if the right California wedding came along, I’d hop on that plane in a minute! I pack all of my gear, backup gear, film, and styling items that I bring with me to each and every one of wedding. I’ll also pack light which means one bag of clothes, shoes, and toiletries. My husband is a minimalist so I’ve learned to pack as lean as possible over the years. I’ve become really good at mixing and matching my wardrobe over the course of several days. My rule is - if it can’t fit in one bag, I can’t bring it!!
What are the unique logistics required for traveling to weddings on Long Island that someone might not think about?
What you should know about driving to a wedding in the Hamptons is that there is only ONE road to get there. They all merge into one road sooner or later and everyone is in a single file to the same location. In the height of the Summer (the busiest season) traffic can be unbearable. Bumper to bumper traffic which can drain your soul and excitement for sure! My best recommendation is to plan ahead and travel as early as you can. For me, I like to arrive the night before my wedding and/or the morning of a rehearsal dinner so I have time to check in to my hotel, get ready, and relax before going to work.