Michelle and John's Wedding || Oceanview of Nahant || Nahant, MA

I first met Michelle and John at their engagement session on a warm September day at the beach, the kind of warm day that doesn’t usually occur in September. After talking over the phone it was so nice meeting them in person and getting to know them and their son Ryan who came along for their session. I could tell from this first interaction with them how sweet and loving they were towards each other and towards Ryan.

On their wedding day, it was a beautifully sunny day a bit windy but beautiful. I met Michelle in their hotel and while photographing details I found this beautiful heart-shaped box that said on the inside “Thank you for our unending love, laughter, and support on this day and all the days of my life. -Love, Ryan.” I just about cried reading that because that was so sweet. I loved that this was the common thread for their wedding day, it was the start of their new family dynamic and Ryan was such a big part of that.

After Michelle got on her dress, we headed down to Nahant where John and her would share their first look on the beach. Ryan was almost as excited as John to see Michelle, grinning from ear to ear when she arrived. I just loved how happy the two of them were to see each other, just beaming.

We quickly captured bridal party and then family portraits as the wind kicked up and the temperatures sunk down and then headed over towards their venue, Oceanview of Nahant. The ceremony was held outside, and offered quite a few laughs when the wind would blow a few things around including Michelle’s veil. There was a beautiful part of the ceremony that included Ryan. One of the cutest parts was when Ryan thought they were going to be announced he started grinning and jumping up and down.

I grabbed Michelle and John for a few quick portraits after the ceremony and then everyone went inside to be in the warmth. After a fun cocktail hour, the bridal party danced their way into the reception room. Michelle and John shared a beautiful first dance, which by the way they totally rocked (they are amazing dancers). We were treated to speeches from Michelle’s sister and John’s friend, which were sweet and loving. After the parent dances, which were another beautiful moment of the night, with Michelle sharing her dance with her father and then her father’s partner to the song “Michelle” by The Beatles, and John sharing a wonderful dance with his mom. After that the fun dancing started and the group danced their way to the end of the night. Congratulations again Michelle, John, and Ryan, it was such a beautiful day, and I’m so happy for you and your family!

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Vendors:

Venue: Oceanview of Nahant || https://oceanviewofnahant.com/

Second photographer: Lorna Stell || www.lornastell.com

Makeup: Katie McGowan Makeup || www.katiemcgowanmakeup.com

Hair: Vivid Salon || https://vividbeautysalon.com/

Florals: Evan’s Wedding Flowers || https://evansflowers.com/

DJ: 617 Weddings || 617weddings.com

Cake: Frederick’s Pastry || www.pastry.net

Jen and Buzz's Liberty Hotel Wedding || Boston, MA

The first time that I talked to Jen, I instantly bonded with her. It was one of those conversations that just flowed without pause, and I immediately wanted to book her as a client (because frankly it felt like talking to a friend). When the day came that I finally met Jen and Buzz (whose real name is Kevin, but everyone calls him Buzz) in-person, it was like being around two friends I haven't seen in a while. Jen and Buzz are so sweet and warm, you cannot help but like them right away. 

A few days later, I arrived at The Liberty Hotel on a very windy day to capture their wedding day for them. I arrived where Jen was getting ready with the bridesmaids (who were her sister and Buzz's sister) and the mothers. Everyone was so nice to me right away, basically welcoming me in as if they knew me. Shortly after when Jen was ready, we went down one level in The Liberty Hotel to do Jen and Buzz's first look. Little did we know, Jen's dad was also down there and we got to do a little father-daughter first look as well right before Jen and Buzz's first look. Jen and Buzz were so overjoyed seeing each other for the first time in their wedding attire. The grins on their faces were so big, and they just kept laughing and beaming. It was the cutest moment ever. 

From there I headed down to the ceremony site (but not without a quick photo of the bridal party walking through the lobby). The sky looked a bit threatening, but there was no rain and the wind dwindled down during their ceremony. The ceremony was full of so many sweet moments, and I particularly loved their vows to each other. It was so personal and made everyone there both laugh and shed a couple of tears. Once the two said I do and kissed, they again were grinning from ear to ear and just beaming with joy and love.

The Liberty Hotel had champagne for them waiting and we headed out to take a few photos of just the two of them. These two had so much fun, and kept joking about taking dramatic photos with their champagne and the wooden doors. We even got a few "American Horror Story" style dramatic photos in front of the entrance to The Liberty Hotel. 

After their couple portraits, and a bunch of family portraits (which were so sweet) the reception began with some fun dancing in by all of the parents and siblings, which then lead into Jen and Buzz's first dance. These two then welcomed all couples on to the dance floor and then there was a break for dinner. Shortly after that speeches were given by Jen's dad, Buzz's mom and step-father, and Buzz's sister. There were so many sweet stories shared, including how Buzz's mom actually knew Jen before Buzz did, as her teacher. Their families were so sweet and including, I felt like an extension of their family and it was so lovely. After speeches and cake cutting, the fun dancing part started. It was Buzz and his mom who ushered in the dancing by cutting quite a mean rug themselves, which got everyone else on the dance floor. It was one of those weddings that made me so very glad that this is what I get to do. I was able to capture so many lovely relationships in their lives, and it just made my heart soar. Jen and Buzz, congratulations again, I know you two will have all the happiness in the world. 

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Vendors: 

DJ: Peter Hallisey w/ Sound Choice Events || contact@bostonsoundchoice.com || 617-909-4700

Harpist: Molly McCaffrey || mollymccaffrey@gmail.com || 401-207-7494 || www.mollymccaffreyharp.com

Cake: Rachael Lang of Cardinal Dessert Co. || http://cardinaldessert.com/

Wedding Dress: BHLDN || http://www.bhldn.com/product/annabelle-dress-ivory

Topper: BHLDN || http://www.bhldn.com/product/itala-topper

Headpiece: BHLDN || http://www.bhldn.com/bride-veils-headpieces-halos-headbands/rosales-halo/productoptionids/d6588c0c-04f9-46b0-b5da-0086a7a09584

Earrings: BHLDN || http://www.bhldn.com/shoes-accessories-jewelry-earrings/maria-opal-earrings/productoptionids/d6588c0c-04f9-46b0-b5da-0086a7a09584

Engagement guide

For all of my summer and fall weddings, engagement session season is ramping up and I wanted to just put together a few tips for all of my amazing couples, or any couples that might be gearing up for their engagement sessions. 

First off, engagement sessions should be super easy and low stress. That is what I want to say to all of my couples. It really is a fun day of capturing photos, and getting to know each other. I like to spend the first 10-15 minutes just talking about how the wedding planning is going, what you two have been up to since our booking meeting, and just having a general chat about life. Since we will be working together so closely on a very important day in your life, I want everything including the engagement session to be easy and fun for you. 

So here are a few tips for all of you lovely engaged couples to make sure the engagement session goes smoothly, that you have fun, and get beautiful photos of you two to share leading up to your wedding day. 

* What time of day is best for your session?

Since the light is the most beautiful in the few hours after sunrise and before sunset, these are the times that I recommend. The time right after sunrise and before sunset is called the "golden hour," because you get a beautiful golden light that seriously makes your photos stand out even more. 

Example below: 

 

What should we wear? 

The first tip I would give you is to stay true to who you are, so make sure to stick to your style first and foremost. However, you are taking photos that you may share leading up to the wedding day, so I would say stick to your style but dress it up a little bit as well. You don't want to come off too matchy-matchy, so generally pick a color palette that you like and stick to colors in that palette. Avoid having too many patterns, so it isn't too busy. Dark colored pants tend to look better, and I would say just generally look to see if the clothes you have work work together. If all else fails, use neutrals such as black, white, gray, etc and pair those with one or two non-neutral colors that work together. 

If you book a longer engagement session, you can do two looks: one that's more formal and one that's more casual

Example below: 

 

Should we bring props? 

If there is something that makes you two unique as a couple, such as that you are avid readers, or love eating a certain kind of food, you should definitely bring a prop that incorporates that to your engagement session. If you two love eating donuts, bring some donuts because that would make for some awesome photos that show you two as a couple. 

Example below: 

 

Can we have our pets be part of the session? 

Totally!! I have personally captured quite a few engagement sessions that include pets. Pets are a big part of your life, they are really a part of your family. So it's natural to want to include them in photos that show you embarking on the next part of your life. One thing that I would recommend if you bring your pet, is to have another person with you two that can hold your pet so that we can get a few photos of just you two. Also, make sure that if you bring your dog, that they got a good walk before the session. That always helps dogs to be more cooperative for the camera :) 

Example below: 

 

What happens if there is inclement weather? 

I have captured some truly adorable engagement sessions where it rained, or wasn't the most ideal weather. You can truly make your engagement session amazing in inclement weather as well, and I encourage my clients to keep their session in the rain or in the snow. Having said that, if it's unsafe for you to be outside, then definitely postpone your session. I generally try to have a rain date set for engagement sessions, but if you are coming from out of town then it's best to try to still do your session that day. 

Example below: 

 

As I said in the beginning of this post, what I want the most as a photographer is for you to enjoy your engagement session, to have fun, and let me capture your love for each other.  Every couple is unique, and I want to make sure you have a great session that captures how special and one of a kind you two are!