Use mine!!! I got married two weeks ago at the Battery Gardens also. I will be happy to tell you everything you want to know about it :-). You are the Battery Garden bride right, or am I mistaken?
In any case, we used Gulnara
She is slightly higher than your budget (basic package begins at $4500) but she is worth EVERY CENT. I was, and am, in love with her. We knew we wanted genuine photographs that document the day. She’s the best documentary photographer out there – you know she was nominated for a Pulitzer for her documentary work?). She captures the day so well – the happiness, the joy, the stolen exchanges. And I never even noticed she was there during the ceremony or reception. Ever. She made life look beautiful unscripted.
At the same time, we want our photos to look beautiful – you know? Every brides wants to look her best on her wedding day. Candid can’t mean sloppy. She made me feel so comfortable I honestly believed I was the prettiest bride on the planet. Of course I now know it’s not true :-), but at the time, I totally believed it. And the pictures reflected my and husband’s confidence and joy.
Also my husband is a photography snob. His whole family has degrees in Fine Art (he’s the black sheep non-art one but he still is particular about it) and so it was impossible for everyone to agree on photography. But everybody loves Gulnara’s work. Everyone.
You seriously must check her out. She is as beautiful a person as she is a photographer. So much so that I want call her up and hang out again :-).
Here’s one picture of us with the graffiti on the street of New York. It looks almost unreal but it was a very genuine moment. My bridesmaids were telling jokes about the wedding night, we laughed, and tada, picture. That was, in fact, not a pose, if you can believe it. Again, life is beautiful through her lens, unscripted.