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Processing COVID-19 in the Wedding Industry

Let’s not beat around the bush here: It sucks.

Spring and early summer couples: I feel your pain and I’m sorry that the timing and overall health of the world could not be worse for your big day.  Let’s not beat around the bush here: It sucks.  It’s the anxiety of the unknown—when do we see the other side of this? Next month? Two months?— It sucks.  Will we learn a lot from this? Yes.  Will it make us safer, more prepared and stronger in the future?  I sure hope so. Will it be a time that is recorded in our nation’s history and discussed and analyzed for decades to come? Absolutely. 

Some of you are high school sweethearts that have waited for this day for over 10-years. Some of you are delaying out of caution, because your closest loved ones fall under the “most vulnerable” or “high risk” category.  Some of you are nurses, who instead of getting married next month, are now living the stresses of replanning a postponed wedding while still working on the front lines. Some of you have family or friends that live out of the country, and the unknown of when they’ll be able to make it on to U.S. soil again straight-up drains your emotions.  The colors, the weather, the flowers and maybe even the location that you once imagined might look a little different now.  The situation fcking sucks, but it’s going to be okay.

It’s going to be okay because when we do get on the other side of this, can you imagine what that celebration will look like?  Can you just freaking imagine?  The love, the support, the anticipation and excitement will only be stronger.  The build up will only continue.  Your guests will be ready to party in your honor because their heart aches for you right now too. You and your fiancé are experiencing something hard —unprecedented— but it’s YOUR person by your side through it all.  

As much as you want your wedding to happen, so do we. This is our livelihood.  We don’t work every weekend because we have nothing better to do. We don’t do this to get rich. We do this because we love it. We. Love. It. We love the energy. The purpose. The pretty. The relationships. The memories.  The creativity.

To date, I’ve had six regular shoots and one event cancel.  I’ve had five weddings postpone (three pushed to the fall, two pushed to 2021) with three others on the fence. This wedding season was one I was really excited about, because I felt like I had finally properly paced myself. I was very thoughtful and intentional and now it’s turned completely upside down. Looking ahead, I’m seeing one of my most difficult, condensed seasons to date. I had hopes of scaling Freebird in a fun new way, which for now, will sadly take a back seat. But I keep reminding myself: It’s temporary. It’s not permanent. This gives us more time to prepare. More time to work on the back-end of businesses. More time to do projects around the house, to slow down and be present. We will rise from this and we will celebrate again, and when we do we will celebrate hard. 

Coastal Nantucket-Style Home Full of Modern Charm

“Whether it was their modest urban apartment, their charming seaside boathouse, or now, a grand Nantucket-style home, the Andersons possess a fabulous yet grounded way of life. It’s a sort of chic but casual lifestyle that’s beautiful in its own contradiction.”

Did you see our most recent feature on The HAVEN List? This was one of my favorite residential interiors to shoot because it involved so many of my Newburyport girlfriends who are oh, so talented. They’re all passionate in their work, brilliant and willing to take risks to further their craft, and really do exhibit the community over competition mantra. And this house?! A dream. The decor, the views, the SWINGS, the tall, grand windows and the wide open space; Get ready to sink your teeth into this coastal beauty.

Interior Designer: Katie Goodrich of Ivory + Bone Interiors
Homeowner/Blogger: Mary Jo Anderson / @Port2Palm
Writer: Melissa Baran of The Haven List

My First Multi-Page Print Feature: Interior Design Photography

The side-chick niche I can’t seem to get enough of.

So while weddings probably make up 75% of my business, Interior Design Photography is this niche that I’ve really been loving, developing and fine-tuning over the last few years. I like to think I’ve always had an eye and mind for style and design (Best Dressed of Londonderry High’s Class of ’07 😂) , so working with other creatives who are pulled towards the same aesthetic is amazing. And who doesn’t love checking out gorgeous houses with beautiful vignettes everywhere?

What I don’t love though ? When I get home from these shoots and wish I had tens of thousands of dollars to make serious home improvements 😆

Recently, I was hired by BLB Custom Building to shoot a project they renovated from top to bottom on Newburyport’s prestigious High Street. The craftsmanship and attention to detail that these guys have in their work is noteworthy. The risks that the designer (Sarah Beth Design Co.) and architect (Vesta Architecture) took were well worth the reward. Together these three, with the blessing of patient and trusting homeowners, brought new life to this historical Victorian Home. Read more about this project below, featured in Northshore Home‘s Winter 2020 Edition.

Write up by Lauren Mahoney | Photos by FREEBIRD

Living Room Design.
Living Room Design, Kitchen Design
A wide angle view of the renovated living room with a tall shiplap ceiling, custom kitchen and dining room.

Wedding Courtesies 101 | From an Insider’s Point of View

Wedding Invitation.

I’ll be honest, I waffled back and forth on whether to post this or not. The last thing I want my couples to be worried about is me being the wedding etiquette police (believe me, that couldn’t be further from the truth) HOWEVER, this should all be straightforward sh*t, right?! So if you find yourself walking a fine line with any of these, use this as a casual nudge and reminder to get on the right side.

RSVP.  I know us millennials are bad, bad, bad with snail mail. It’s not our thing. We’re the digital generation–I get it– but RSVP by the date on your invite. Couples have a laundry list of last minute tasks leading up to the wedding; Don’t be another person they have to chase after.

Ahead of time, it impacts your host’s budget and the seating layout. The day-of, it impacts the venue coordinator, back-of-house kitchen staff and service staff. Recently, one of my bride’s had a family of three show up who didn’t RSVP. Squeezing in three additional people at a 10-top is not an easy task. So yeah, support the USPS and RSVP 🙂

No cell phones or iPads in the aisle please. I’ll keep it short and sweet. This is probably every photographer’s biggest pet-peeve. Under no circumstances should you be in the aisle with your cell phone or iPad during a wedding ceremony. We all have that horror stories about that loud aunt or forward distant cousin who just doesn’t get it and steps into the aisle for their perfect iPhone shot. Be present. Be respectful. They’ve hired professionals for a reason.

Don’t talk while others are talking…. Especially during blessings and speeches.  Put yourself in the speaker’s shoes; During a monumental, thought-felt speech, would you want to get up in front of 125+ guests only to have tables of people continuously talk over you? I’ve been seeing a ton of this lately and it just makes me sad for the speaker, bride and groom.

Respect parent dances.  On the same lines as above.  It’s an important moment in time for your hosts and their parents, so be respectful of that.

Dancing circles. The last one–and one that directly impacts yours truly 😉 — when on the inside ring of a dancing circle, let the photographer in, k?!  These are cool, fun moments that should be on camera. Before you throw a ‘bow to claim your space, make sure you’re not boxing out the photographer. I’m little, we can share the space. ✌🏻

Brittany + Joey | Engagement Session

I fell a little bit in love with Duxbury Beach during this mid-November shoot.  I’m a beach person to begin with, but the light and landscape here really sealed the deal for me.  

Shooting on the beach in the off-season is always a yes from me dog.  Think about it 💭 Visually, it’s a timeless and season-less backdrop— there’s no grass to green, no trees to change color, no leaves to fall, no flowers to bud, bloom or go into dormancy. Here in New England, it’s my favorite neutral setting year round. And bonus- it’s usually pretty empty.  During this hour-long shoot I think we saw all of two people.  

Just bring your temperature tolerance, mittens and earmuffs, because it gets COLD. Looking forward to working with these high school sweethearts again next summer at Granite Links!

A big thanks to Amanda, Brittany’s college roommate and one of my recent Winter brides, who connected us!  For me, referrals are the bread and butter of this business so I couldn’t be more thankful for all of you who keep spreading that good Freebird word. 

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