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Prepare. Embrace. Recreate.

One of the biggest, uncontrollable fears couple’s face the day of their wedding?  Bad weather. New England’s unpredictable weather is one of those things couples will undoubtedly stress about, but have no control over.  And despite feeling like the world is crumbling at your feet, you may be surprised by the kind of beauty a shower or snowstorm can bring to your photos. To ease your worries, we’ve decided to share some of our personal storm-stories that caused our brides to prepare for the worst, embrace the expected, and recreate the moments they had hoped and planned for.

PREPARE.

August 4, 2018.  It was a hot, muggy day and the rain was on-again off-again all day long. I remember driving to the girl’s hotel and it was pouring buckets, to the point where visibility was an issue, even with the highest windshield wiper setting on.  Ten minutes later it would be hot and sunny, then cloudy, then rainy, then sunny again. Little did we know, but this unpredictable weather would continue straight through their reception. 

Moments away from accepting Mother Nature’s fate and switching to an inside ceremony, I reminded our bride (Becky) that ultimately, it was her day. If she wanted the ceremony outside, she should just do it.  At that point it wasn’t raining, despite all of the weather apps in the world telling us it was.

“Oh and did I mention Kate? She was sending me minute by minute pictures and videos of the weather. Moments before my coordinator had me convinced I needed to move the ceremony inside, I called Kate on the phone and she was the just the voice I needed to hear to tell me that ultimately it was my day, and if I wanted the ceremony to be outside, I should do it outside. I did, and it was the best decision I could have made.” –Becky

Fast-forward 15-minutes and the guests are in their chairs, the wedding party in their places and Becky and her father are halfway down the aisle when a rain shower started back up.  Without hesitation her Godfather and high school friend jumped into action and started holding umbrellas (and having toured the brewery that morning, with Budweiser logos on them nonetheless) over the bride and groom. All I could think was “Ohhhh no. We can’t have Budweiser logos in her wedding ceremony photos!” Luckily, I had brought some clear bubble umbrellas with us, so I walked behind the wedding party and switched out the umbrellas. The rain drops, both in and out of focus, provided a whimsical element to the photos.  And I’m SURE they were sick of hearing it by the end of the day (as many of my couples do), but they say rain is good luck on your wedding day 😉 By the end of their ceremony, the rain had briefly stopped and we were able to sneak in all formal photos before things turned once more. 

EMBRACE.

The year leading up to Merri and Pierre’s wedding, we had rescheduled their engagement session AT LEAST seven times with hopes of a snowstorm setting for their engagement session.  We would get freezing rain, hail, snow at 2am which would turn to slush by 8am… We never got our snowstorm session and we ended up settling on a foggy March afternoon.  

A winter wedding has the potential to bring all kinds of unexpected factors–snow, hail, power outages, road closures, you name it. And while we never got that snowstorm for their engagement session, Merri and Piere’s December 8th wedding called for the first snowstorm of the season. During photos, Merri kicked off her heels and threw on some cute Hunter boots.  The two hiked up a couple cliffs so we could capture some breathtaking shots mid-storm along Maine’s rocky coast. Needless to say, they showed us that when Mother Nature hands you a snowstorm on your wedding day, bring snow boots and have a fcking party. These two adventurous souls embraced EVERY BIT of this snow storm, and the photos more than justified being a little wet post-portraits 😉 

RECREATE.

So, maybe your day doesn’t go as planned. Maybe there’s just no amount of preparation that can save your outdoor ceremony plans.  Joanna and Jeff got married Labor Day Weekend in 2017, the same weekend that Hurricane Harvey decided to touch down in New England.  They live, work, eat, ride and play in Portsmouth; Joanna had her heart set on an outdoor ceremony at the gorgeous Prescott Park before heading up to Maine for their reception. With whipping winds and flooded streets, their wedding coordinator worked steadfast 48-hours prior to move their ceremony plans indoors.

One year later, on their first anniversary, they recreated their wedding day. Jeff in his tux and Joanna in her dress, we started in Prescott Park for formal portraits of the two of them. This time, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect. The couple hopped on a moped for a ride around the city with pedestrians yelling words of congratulations, strangers taking photos of them on their iPhones, and car horns beeping… We literally had THE BEST time.  There was no stress, no pressure, no stringent timeline. They were “just married” again for a day and we toured their favorite city, taking photos at some of their favorite spots (the bridge, the murals, the docks, etc.)  Post-shoot, Jeff had made dinner reservations for the two of them at a cute little restaurant downtown.

Memorial Day Weekend Wedding | Topsfield, MA

5 Things We Loved About Courtney + Adam’s Wedding

5.) “The Perfect Blend”

Adam, originally from the UK, brought aspects of his English heritage to the wedding, combined with Courtney’s family and American traditions, created what the couple referred to as the “perfect blend”. To start, the groomsmen sported American flag and British socks, truly representing what it means to have a blended celebration.  And the bridesmaids dresses?  The color was called “English Rose.”  Adam wore a pin from his late Godfather, who once worked for the UK Postal Service.  The couple even gave out tea and crumpets as their wedding favor!

4.) Best Man Speech

Traditionally in the UK, the best man will use his speech as an excuse to roast the groom, airing his dirty laundry for all to hear. Adam was nervous for both what Lewis, the best man, might share as well as for the reactions of those who weren’t aware of the tradition. Because of this, Adam explained to Lewis that his speech should be dialed down a bit. Lewis, still wanting to have fun and provide some humor, transformed his words into song, changing up the lyrics to American Pie. He found the perfect mix of light-hearted jokes and heartwarming remarks. Needless to say it was a total crowd pleaser!

3.) Wedding Song

Having met at a pub in Boston, the pair only found it fitting to choose It All Started With a Beer as their First Dance song. They’ve been long distance for four years now and each time they head to the airport to drop the other off, they blast the song over the car speakers, reminding them that their relationship continues to flourish despite difficulties that come with distance.

2.) Quite simply put… They are humble as allllll heck.

Adam, pursuing his Ph.D. in Chemistry and Chemical Biology, has contributed to research and development of medicines used in cancer treatment. He has a couple national titles for running under his belt too, as if his academia accomplishments aren’t enough (cough cough, a Harvard grad). While Adam had always been known as the guy who’s a great runner, Courtney met him shortly before an Achilles injury that restricted him to a wheelchair post-surgery. She came to know an entirely different Adam, and the couple says their relationship grew so much stronger because of this. Courtney is currently completing her residency in New Mexico with plans of becoming a physician. Talk about a power couple.

1.) The Proposal

Okay, so we realize this technically isn’t part of the wedding, but it’s just too good to not include. Because of their distance, Courtney assumed the proposal was happening when it did as she knew she wouldn’t see Adam again for awhile. However, what she didn’t take into account was Adam choosing to do it on a nude beach! Kidding, he wasn’t aware of the complete self-exposure until after the fact (really, it wasn’t until he saw the pictures!). Courtney explained she caught on to the situation at the time but saw so many people in normal clothes that she didn’t think much of it. At least it calls for a good story 😉

 

Vendors

Hair: Liz Dodge (Hair Envee Salon)

Makeup: Ashely Breen

Wedding Dress Boutique: Camilla’s Bridal

Wedding Dress Designer: Maggie Sottero 

Bride’s Shoes: Calvin Klein

Bridesmaid Dress Designer: After Six Bridesmaid Dress

Groom + Groomsmen Suit Supplier and/or Designer: Slaters

Flowers: Fleur+Stitch

DJ/Band: Chuck from 617 Weddings

Bohemian Barn Wedding

5 Things I Loved About Brittany + Sam’s Wedding

5.) Brittany chose to get ready at her apartment in Rowley, Massachusetts opposed to a hotel because she wanted to be in her own surroundings… Cats, vintage carpets, plants, candles, macrame decor, big leather couches (a very bohemian feel—which was her through and through).

4.) Her Bridesmaids had Floral Hoops. Her Maids and Matron of Honor had lush floral bouquets.

3.) She brought Oriental Carpets from her house to the ceremony site and placed them down the aisle and under the arbor for an added touch.

2.) A fun and energetic Father/Daughter dance was a great way to end “formalities” and open up the dance floor.

1.) The Details!! There were so many. From the floral decor and macrame on the arbor, to the “party animal” escort cards (which she bought, cut and spray painted herself), the gold-dipped feathers that she hand-coiled with needle-nose pliers and gold wire (these were placed at everyone’s table) and the Peacock Chairs (which were a Craigslist find she drove 6-hours roundtrip for).

Bonus Thing I Loved: Her Dad saved a bottle of Dom Perignon that was given to him in the hospital as a gift the day she was born. To her surprise, he brought it to her wedding, had the uncle that gave it to him do the honors of popping the bottle, and they used that champagne to toast.

Newport Beach House Wedding

A warm Friday afternoon in August. The light was perfect, the breeze took off the edge, the venue was to diiee for and my couple, their entourage and Baby Gigi could not have been more fun.

The color palette for the girls was my favorite combination… Blush pink for bridesmaids and champagne sequin for the Maid and Matron of Honor. The guys wore black tuxedos and the Groom, white suspenders with his.

This venue is probably one of my new favorites to shoot at solely based on it’s location ON the beach. What’s better is that the interior was just as nice–from a killer bar area to bright white and airy rooms inside–it was perfect for the photographer who love airiness and neutrals.

From the get-go we planned Alicia + Carl’s ceremony start time around the sunset to guarantee golden hour lighting during their formal photos. (I love when my couples ask for input on stuff like this!) That golden hour light with these two did not disappoint!

Hoping to shoot here again soon! Two big thumbs up to Longwood Venues on this one.

 

Vendors

Venue: Newport Beach House

Dress Designer: Allure Bridals

Dress Store: Pure Bliss

Beauty: Sarah Elizabeth Artistry

Floral Designer: Bostonian Florist

Do’s, Dont’s and Maybe’s of Engagement Shoots

Congrats, you’re engaged! One question we always get from clients when booking their engagement shoot is “what the heck do we wear?!”. Do you go with something more formal?  Casual? What about hair and makeup?  And how is he supposed to dress?  The questions are endless, so we’ve come up with a list of do’s, dont’s  and maybe’s so you’ll love your photos til death do you part.

 

Do bring multiple outfits… Don’t wear too many patterns.

Variety is the spice of life my friends!  And sometimes outfits shoot way differently on-camera than they might look in your mirror at home.  We always suggest a full outfit change for our girls and at least a shirt change for our guys.  I usually like the idea one casual outfit and then one on the dressier side.  In terms of patterns, we have “a one pattern rule” which says that there should only be one pattern for every three people in a group.  So if your fiancé goes with a patterned shirt, pick a solid color found in that pattern and rock it.  Winter accessories (hats, scarves) are the exception to the rule 😉 

Do wear something flattering… Don’t wear a bodycon.

You’ll want to pick something that compliments your figure, but also looks good on camera. As much we hate to say it, it’s true… the camera really does add ten pounds. Check out this article from Business Insider that highlights a GIF showing how a man’s face changes when different camera lenses are used. If you’re doing an open air shoot (on a beach, in a field, etc.) we highly suggest going with something a little bit flowy for one of your outfit choices. It will allow for movement and playfulness and will create some truly beautiful shots.

 

Do get your hair and makeup done… Don’t forget a manicure, too.

We would say about a quarter of our clients get their hair and makeup done for their engagement shoot. Some use it as a trial/test run for their big day while others just want to soak up the whole experience and feel their absolute best.  Don’t forget to get your nails done too for the engagement ring close-ups 😉 

 

Do invest in something new… Don’t try to be anyone but yourself… Maybe have a beverage beforehand. 

Engagement photos only happen once, so we always suggest using it as an excuse to go shopping. Take your time finding the right outfit that you’re excited to show off and make sure it screams you. If you’re not wearing something that you’re comfortable in, the camera will only maginify that.  A glass of wine, shot or beer beforehand never hurt anyone either 😉 

 

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