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Ruth + Christian | One of my favorite weddings of all-time.

She (Ruth) was born and raised in Toronto, Canada and him (Christian) in Exeter, NH.  She flew from Canada to Boston for work, and within the first hour of landing, she met Christian who was working for a rental car company right outside of Logan Airport. Fast-forward six years, and I was shooting their wedding at Curtis Farm in Wilton, NH.

I’ve shot some AMAZING weddings, but this one tops the list for so many reasons.

1.) THE ENERGY. As the parents, groom, wedding party and bride walked down the aisle their guests cheered (loudly) and clapped for each person. The groom literally danced down the aisle, hitting reached-out hands as he made his way to the front. This positive, happy and high energy totally set the mood for the day. During their reception, Ruth + Christian mentioned all of happiness and positivity they felt around them.  Before you knew it, every single person under that tent was holding hands up high and cheering for them.

2) THEIR STORY.  Christian slyly got Ruth to ask him out based on a bet. His boss at Enterprise told him that if she took him to dinner he could take the next day off. Their first date lasted 6 hours and spanned several bars in downtown Boston. But because Ruth only took him out to a drink (or several) he still had to go into work the next day.

That same night, as Christian was walking Ruth back to her car they saw a huge line of people in the mall waiting for a video game release. He suggested it would be fun to pretend to propose to her in front of everyone. She agreed and they got fake engaged that night. Little did they know they would be marrying each other six years later.

3.) THEIR STYLE.  Well the most obvious piece here—her hair and that dress! Because Ruth’s bridal party was scattered across North America, she told them to go on an Australian website (ShowPo.com) and pick out any dress to wear for the wedding.  The only rule?  It must be white. The girls also wore matching tan strappy wedges. As for the boys? Christian had eight guys in his entourage.  His four friends wore suspenders and his four brothers did not, creating a little bit of distinction between the two groups.

4.) THE MCs.  The two guys they had helping with transitions throughout the day were two of Christian’s good friends from home. One of them is a commercial airline pilot, so while on the microphone he would imitate his “pilot voice” and it was hilarious.

5.) THE EXECUTION. From the custom-made concert tickets (instead of escort cards) that coincided with legendary artist centerpieces to the vintage couches set up as little lounge areas across the property, the set-up and attention to detail was a photographer’s dream.

6.) PARENT DANCE. Christian’s mother had passed away when he was younger. Ruth lost her father, who had been ill for some time shortly after meeting Christian.  Together these two lit candles in memory of their parents and danced to Elvis’ song, An American Trilogy.   It started slow and sad (I don’t think there was a dry eye under that tent), but towards the end of the song Elvis starts belting out and repeating  “Glory” and “Hallelujah.” The two started spinning each other around on the dance floor. Smiles came across their faces. They were jumping up and down and the whole room watched these two find so much comfort and spirituality in that moment together. That dance was such a rollercoaster ride full of so much emotion.

7.) ICE CREAM TRUCK. Instead of a traditional cake, they had an ice cream truck roll in after dinner.  I’m loving this food truck trend.

 

 

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First Look or Walk Down the Aisle?

In the planning stages, this is probably one of the top questions I get, and I will tell you– there is no right or wrong answer.  I think it’s all personal preference and I absolutely see and understand the why each option would be attractive in it’s own right.

The only time I will ever give my opinion and steer my clients towards one way or another is if the natural light is not on our side.  If you know me or have worked with me before, you know I’m constantly chasing light. So if you’re getting married during Daylight Savings Time (late October through March), the sun will likely be set by the time your ceremony commences.  In that case, I would highly recommend a First Look so we can capture your bride + groom, wedding party and family portraits outside in natural sunlight prior to your ceremony.
When it comes to a First Look, there are a few tid bits worth mentioning from a photographer, professional wedding-goer-every-weekend standpoint.  Again! I’m not picking sides here, but merely telling you what I’ve heard and seen from my experiences.
1.)  My brides and grooms who have done a first look always say that they feel so much more relaxed, like a weight has been lifted off of their shoulders, after they see each other.
2.)  This might be your only alone time together… all day… Crazy right?  But it’s true.  Weddings are fun, exciting and can be a little hectic. You’re being rushed away from one location to another, and since you’re the center of attention, you’ll have family and friends surrounding you all day long.
3.)  You get to mingle, say your hello’s and celebrate your big day at cocktail hour.  Cheers to that!
4.)  In the end, you get more bride + groom portraits… and these are photos that are packed with one-on-one raw emotion.
As for the walk down the aisle, it’s traditional, it’s what you’ve probably always dreamed of and imagined.  There’s undoubtedly a sense of everlasting nostalgia involved with waiting, and in my opinion that feeling and memory has got to be priceless.
Still stuck and unsure?  Let’s chat about your schedule for the day.  That may help sway you one way or another.
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What are Unplugged Ceremonies?

Unplugged Ceremonies are growing in popularity as Smart Phones, Facebook, Instagram and SnapChat become almost a way of life for us.  In the 3.5 years I’ve been shooting weddings, I’ve noticed that more and more people are hiding behind their phones during ceremonies, watching the bride through a (sometimes cracked) piece of glass, instead of being fully present in that moment.

Typically, an Unplugged Ceremony will have signage somewhere at the front of the aisle (there are a ton of great examples on Pinterest and Etsy), asking friends and family to keep their phones and cameras tucked away so they can be connected and present during the proceedings. Other times, the Officiant will ask everyone to turn their phones off and deliver a similar message.
What do I think?  I see both sides. There’s nothing worse than an overbearing aunt and uncle (Oohh yes, we’ve had them) that jumps in front of us all day; follows us around as we’re shooting, grabbing the same shots; has their massive iPad in the air the entire ceremony; or stands up in front of us during the first kiss so they can get the perfect shot.  In the contrary, I get that family and friends are genuinely excited to see you tie the knot, want to capture those moments so they have them and are likely impeding on our space without even realizing it.
If an Unplugged Ceremony is just too restrictive for your style, I totally get it.  We’ll continue to secretly cross our fingers and toes at the beginning of every wedding, hoping that guests can respect what we’re there hired to do and give us that freedom and ability to do so.
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Becky + Dan | A Willowdale Wedding

Becky + Dan got married at the gorgeous Willowdale Estate in Topsfield, Massachusetts. They chose a mid-December wedding date, and while Mother Nature didn’t deliver snow, she did hit us with some freezing cold (negative) temperatures the day of.  These guys were total champs when it came to grabbing a few quick shots outdoors. We loved your laid back, go-with-the-flow personalities. Congrats to Becky + Dan on tying the knot!

Flowers:  Free Range Floral Design

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Brittany + Ian | Engagement Session

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