Susan & John’s 50th Wedding Anniversary

What a weekend! Saturday was all about the air of excitement and beginnings at Kasey and Cory’s wedding at The Villa, and Sunday featured long-time friends and family filling the room with love celebrating Sue & John’s 50 years together.

Guests flipped through their wedding album, and members of the wedding party reminisced about their outfits and hair-dos. Sue was 19 and John 25 when they got married in 1967 and now 50 years later they’ve built a life full of family, faith and love.

A toast by the Best Man, and a blessing by the Reverend/cousin.

Yougest & oldest…

It was a beautiful day, so I took some family and the remaining members of the wedding party outside for some pictures – and we had a little fun with it…

Love birds ❤

And back inside for dancing & cake!

And a special serenade by the Groom!

Thank you to the Pennio family for having me along to share in this occasion! Congratulations on 50 years and counting!

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The “First Look”

One of the MANY decisions engaged couples have to make about their wedding day:

Should we do a “First Look?”

What is a first look exactly? What are the benefits of doing a first look? What are the downsides? How do we decide??? Don’t worry, I’m here to help!

What is a first look?

It’s more of a recent thing that modern couples do with their photographer, where they set up a private moment before the trip down the aisle with just the bride, groom and their photographer to capture the moment they see each other for the first time on their wedding day.

Usually the photographer will face the groom away from where the bride will be approaching to start and take photos of the groom anxiously waiting. The bride will approach, tap him on the shoulder and the photographer will capture his reaction as he turns around and sees the bride for the first time and their interactions as an almost married couple. Hugs, kisses, high-fives, tears, jokes and usually lots of compliments about how amazing they both look!

What are the benefits of doing a first look?

1.  Nerves. On such a big, eventful day with a lot of people around, sometimes the nerves can get the best of you, and seeing your favorite person in the world is the only way to calm those nerves. Doing a first look can bolster you because you get a quiet minute (mostly) alone before the vows and celebrations.

2. Timeline. Photographers like first looks because it gives them an extra chance to take photos of just the two of you. Often after the ceremony, with celebrations waiting and antsy family members on-deck, the time for portraits is rushed or cut short. With the opportunity for a first look, we’ve already got at least a dozen keepers of just the two of you where we weren’t trying to wrangle family members at the same time. We’ll even have a little more time to expand on poses after the ceremony!

3. Memories. While it’s a departure from the tradition, a first look can add another special memory to your day. Moments go by so quickly, and this can be an instance when time stops for a minute.

4. Daylight. Depending on the time of the year and the time of your ceremony, we may be competing with the sun to get your portraits in! Doing a first look ensures that even as the sun is going down, we’ve got all the shots we want and takes the pressure off. You want to be able to relax and enjoy yourselves as a married couple. The least amount of stress in that process, the better.

5. You’re freshly dolled up. The first look happens literally right after you’re finished with hair, makeup, and in the dress. Your man is freshly ironed, groomed, shaved, and cologned. Why not see each other and take pictures while every hair is actually still in place? No one’s had a chance to even start sweating!

6. Convincing your Groom. Surprisingly, it’s usually not the Bride who opposes the idea of a First Look… it’s the Groom! He envisioned the “watching his bride coming down the aisle” moment and is attached to the tradition of it, which I totally get. But a couple points that may sway him? The more pictures you have done earlier in the day, the faster your post-ceremony portraits are… the sooner you’re on to eating (!), drinking (!!), cutting loose and having so much fun you forget your photographer is even there! And, you still get that walking down the aisle moment, just with fewer nerves and a better chance of soaking it all in.

Still not convinced? First looks don’t always have to be the Bride & Groom. A first look with the Bride and her Dad is a great idea (and usually make me cry), or anyone who she’s close to that isn’t in the room helping her get ready. I really like the idea of a first look with the Bride and her twin brother, so if anyone out there is ready to make that happen, let me know! 

Another way to “be with” each other before the ceremony is to write each other a letter. They can find a quiet moment to read it before the ceremony, reading words you wrote for them to make them smile and feel your love without you even having to be there. These letters make great mementos and have that vintage, old school feel.

 Perry was SO nervous. Until the moment Zoe made him laugh.

Perry was SO nervous. Until the moment Zoe made him laugh.

Whatever you decide, it will be beautiful and unique to you two as a couple. Remember there’s no wrong way, so go with your gut and do what feels right!

XO,

Mary

Mark & Cecilia – Medford, MA Wedding

One thing that I’ve learned shooting weddings is that during the most important moments of the day, it’s never about the details. All the planning seems to fade away while you get to witness the looks, hear the words, and feel the love fill the room. I love that so much. It fills me up and makes a believer out of me every time.

Which brings me to Mark & Cecilia. A small, but warm community room. 10 of their closest family members. 2 dogs. FaceTime with Cecilia’s Dad. A pool table, draped in a tablecloth and covered in appetizers and champagne. An iPhone and speaker, scrolling through to find a good song for their first dance as husband and wife. Full of magic and happiness and love, created by Mark & Cecilia and the way they look at each other, their little touches, and their smiles. 

Here are some of my favorite photos from this most intimate ceremony and celebration. Congratulations Mark & Cecilia!

Katie & Justin – New Bedford, MA Wedding

I have the amazing organization Brides Across America to thank for helping me find Katie & Justin and for the privilege of shooting their (second) wedding day.

What do I mean by second? Let me tell you a romantic story.

8 years ago, two 20-year-olds were in love. Separated by distance, Justin longed to propose to Katie. He, in fact, couldn’t wait to see her in person. Instead, from his US Air Force base, he got down on one knee and sent her a photo. Ring poised high, he asked her to be his wife… via email. The modern Juliet to his Romeo (but with a happy ending), she said yes and they married young, happy, and simply in a courthouse ceremony in Texas.

Both members of the Air Force, they served their country for 8 years. Once again separated by distance, Justin stationed in Korea, Katie leaned on the support of her best friend since Kindergarten, Ashley, for love and support.

Katie and Justin wanted to celebrate their marriage with friends and family, so what was eight years? Justin was coming home for just over a week before they both moved on to a new life, and new station, in Hawaii, so the timing was perfect. 

Evident soulmates, they’re reunion was heartfelt and their emotions pure.

This time around, their special day was shared with their hometown, New Bedford, MA, Katie’s Maid of Honor Ashley and Justin’s Best Man Nate.

The ceremony featured twin flames, an intimate crowd, and enough love to fill a stadium at Seamen’s Bethel Chapel in downtown New Bedford.

Mr. & Mrs. Miranda (again), they set to celebrating with the assembly of friends and family.

And while their courthouse ceremony was the height of romantic spontaneity, August 25, 2016 still offered Katie and Justin a few firsts.

With their move to Hawaii just days away, Katie & Justin soaked in all they could of the day with all their closest friends and family.

Their friends and family partied almost as hard as they did. Celebrating Justin’s homecoming, their renewed marriage, and big move is a lot to undertake in one night, but they made it look easy.

Best wishes to Katie & Justin in their new adventure together! Thank you for having a second wedding day for us all to share in. It’s a beautiful life.

VENDORS

CEREMONY VENUE: SEAMEN’S BETHEL
RECEPTION VENUE: BITTERSWEET FARM
DJ: DJ DANNY LEVIN
GOWN: DAVID’S BRIDAL VIA BRIDES ACROSS AMERICA 
PHOTO BOOTH: 77 VW Bus Photobooth
 

Throw it Hard & Do it Well

Oh, Arizona. I’ll always think of you as a place where I found a piece of myself. A pretty little piece filled with adventure, independence, and new beginnings. Back in April I spent a week in Scottsdale and Sedona and between the AJ Workshop, the desert and the red rocks – a girl just isn’t the same after.

On Christmas Eve I decided to put myself on the waitlist for the AJ Workshop. I had been admiring (stalking) photography supercouple Amy & Jordan via social media for months, reading about the workshop groups before mine, learning tidbits from their weekly Monday Minute, and wishing for a way to learn more, do more, and take next steps with my photography.

Never underestimate the power of two days, friends. They can open up your world, make you a better person, make you better at what you do and give you the power to make changes in the rest of your life. The AJ workshop and the rest of my week in Arizona did all of those things for me and more.

Here are some of my photos from our incredible styled shoot and golden hour session in the desert! I’m so excited to finally be able to share these,  since they’ve been under wraps while Amy & Jordan waited for them to be published. Thanks to all of the incredible vendors (listed below) who helped make this gorgeousness happen!

One of the biggest take-aways for me was something that Jordan said at the very end of our two days together as a group. He told the story of David the shepherd boy, protecting his flock of sheep and slaying Goliath using only a stone. 

“In this life, you have one stone to throw,” he said. “Throw it hard and do it well.”

When I’m having one of those days full of doubt or second-guessing, wondering whether my efforts will pay off in the end, those words echo in my mind. Throw that stone as hard as you can.

Thank you eternally to Amy & Jordan Demos, and this incredible group of fellow photographers I was able to learn with and from.

 

EVENT DESIGN: EMILY SCHIESL • LVL WEDDINGS & EVENTS

VENUE: THE CLAYTON ON THE PARK

BRIDE’S GOWN: BHLDN • CAKE AND DESSERT: RUZE CAKE HOUSE • FLORAL DESIGN: AZ FLOWER BAR • HAIR AND MAKEUP: TOP KNOT BEAUTY • LINENS: LA TAVOLA FINE LINEN • MENSWEAR: BROTHERS TAILORS • PAPER GOODS:VEE CREATIVE • RENTALS: CLASSIC PARTY RENTALS • SPECIALTY RENTALS: FANCY LOU DESIGNS 

 

 

Burlington, MA Wedding – Jen & Scott

I was one of the lucky people who got to witness Jen & Scott get married in Mary Cummings Park in Burlington, MA on a crisp fall day in October. The day was relaxed, fun, heartfelt, intimate, and full of love, and I was honored to be asked to photograph it! We all literally met in the park, and Jen had arranged for a JP to follow as we walked through trails in the woods to the spot where they would exchange vows. Before we got to the spot that Jen and her son Jack had found on previous adventures, we came to a clearing with beautiful grass and surrounded by trees that just felt right, so we all stopped and the ceremony commenced.

It was so special to watch as Jen & Scott exchanged vows, because it was clear that nothing else mattered. It definitely didn’t have to be perfect – Jen even ended up with burrs on the bottom of her dress, but she didn’t care –  they were going to be happy no matter what. I admire that kind of love!

And of course, a true mom, as soon as the ceremony was over, Jen was pulling up Jack’s pants and securing them so his minion underpants wouldn’t be showing. 🙂

Sneak Peek: Jennifer & Scott’s Wedding at Mary Cummings Park

Don’t you just love fall foliage and happy couples? Oh wait, maybe that’s just me. 🙂 While I’m busy editing the rest of Jennifer & Scott’s photos and yesterday’s World’s End engagement session, I thought I’d share a just a few photos in a sneak peek! Two weeks ago, on a beautiful fall afternoon, I joined Jennifer & Scott and their closest family at Mary Cummings Park in Burlington, MA for their simple, intimate, and relaxed ceremony.





Falling in love with wedding photography

I’m one of those people who follows, likes, pins, and generally seeks out and admires wedding photography. I have liked so many wedding photographers on Facebook, my feed is practically consumed by them – from all over the U.S. I see the sneak peeks photographers post in the days after the celebration and eagerly click through their albums, loving every minute of it.

One of those photographers is Caroline Winn – who I reached out to via email and was super nice and took time out to meet me for coffee and tell me about her journey. This past Saturday, she let me come along and assist/second shoot Peter & Danielle’s wedding at the Exchange Conference Center in Boston. It was my first experience with wedding photography, and let me just say…..LOVE! It was a busy, long, tiring, on-your-feet all day kind of day, but one of the ones where when you get home you can’t go to sleep because you’re still jazzed!

The day started out in Charlestown, where Caroline had me take another angle on the first look. After that we did portraits at Monument Park, and later headed to the ECC for the ceremony, where I shot down the aisle following Danielle’s entrance.

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I learned so much thanks to Caroline, and Danielle & Peter who were so happy and in love – thank you for letting me be a part of your wedding day!

It’s so exciting to see such a special day come to life in photographs that will be family keepsakes. I can’t wait for my next opportunity!