Wedding at the Colonnade Hotel, Boston, MA :: Alison + Matthew (Part VI)

All good things must come to an end but luckily this is only the end of the blog post of Alison & Matt's wedding at the Colonnade Hotel in Boston, MA. Long after these blog posts are buried on the interwebs I predict Alison & Matthew will be enjoying a long and happy life together.

So let's recap:
I took some engagement pictures of Alison & Matt at Boston Harbor **here**
The bride and groom got ready in their respective suites at the Colonnade hotel **here**
Alison stepped into her wedding gown and everyone cried **here**
Matt & Alison said "I do" at Our Lady of Victories Church in Boston, MA **here**
We had lots of time for relaxed wedding pictures in the Boston Public Gardens **here**
Guests enjoyed the delicious food art at cocktail hour back at the Colonnade Hotel **here**

In between I've talked about the importance of planning your wedding timeline and how impressed I was with the Colonnade Hotel as a top Boston wedding venue, you can check out their website **here** and then contact me **here** to hire me as your wedding photographer ;)

So we're at Alison & Matt's wedding reception and guests had taken their seats in the Huntington ballroom which is not only a beautiful venue but also has a raised ceiling and good lighting which all make for lovely pictures. Add in the blue and purple uplighting on the awesome band, Manhattan Touch and I was in reception venue heaven.

I've said it before and you know I'll say it again - lighting design makes a WORLD of difference to your wedding - whether it's something as simple as hundreds of votives and twinkly lights for a DIY wedding or stunningly elegant wireless LED lighting designs with lanterns and other unique looks from Boston Uplights (read my interview with Paul from BU **here**) - it will be money SO well spent for the effect on ambiance, atmosphere, mood and of course your photographs.

Off topic again - sorry - here are Alison & Matt making their grand entrance:

The next picture is a great example of what I'm talking about when I mention having interesting lighting at your wedding reception - whether it's integral to the room or additional lighting elements.

I actually just got an email last week from a photographer whose work I really admire asking if I would consider doing a workshop on reception lighting. Whilst I appreciate the kind inquiry I am continually learning and evolving my lighting and wouldn't dream of trying to teach anyone what I know at this point ;) but for those who might be interested...

I mostly use a relatively high ISO (gotta love the minimal noise with the Nikon D3s), a low shutter speed to bring out the warm ambient light of the chandeliers and the band lighting and a fairly wide aperture to throw the background out of focus (and let in more light). I add a kiss of backlight or rim lighting with a couple of strategically placed off-camera strobes and then have an additional strobe on my camera (usually bounced over my shoulder and back to create a softer look). You could also look into gelling your strobes which is something I plan on playing around with next year.

Was that interesting to anyone? I write my blog very much for wedding clients and don't plan on including much technical photography info unless someone out there finds it interesting...

Liking this picture a lot:

And this one, see how the off-camera flash adds a little separation from the background:

And then Matt got his "dancing with the stars" moves on:

Time for salad and I thought you'd like to see the table set up:

I love my eggplant purple Le Creuset for cooking casseroles and hotpot so when I spotted the baby red Le Creuset of fall vegetables that accompanied the beef tenderloin I figured it was too cute not to photograph:

Toasts from Alison's dad, her cousin Ashlee ("Alison is the sister I never had") and Matt's brother John ("I may be the older brother but I've always looked up to Matthew") were heartfelt and funny and very personal:

Alison and Matt's reactions:

I'll often mention when a great band or DJ kept the dancefloor full and it's always true. But Manhattan Touch took keeping the dancefloor full to a whole new level. People were dancing on the dancefloor, off the dancefloor, around their tables. Excellent variety of songs - 60's to soul to current pop - and the perfect combination of slow and fast songs to keep everyone engaged. I believe the image in the middle is of all the girls doing "single ladies". Also love Alison & Matt's Moms watching the dancing in the bottom left:

Except for during the family pictures/couples portraits I try to be as unobtrusive as possible during each wedding. So catching this moment between Matt and Alison as they took a break from dancing required some precise photography ninja skillz:

Alas, I'm not completely invisible all the time. As I downloaded the wedding files, I noticed a bunch of images which made me really laugh. It's like Matt's thinking "Who are you?! Why are you taking my picture?"

Beautiful cake from The Icing on the Cake:

Alison danced with her dad:

And Matt danced with his mom:

Sometimes it's the little in-between moments of a wedding that help tell the story of the day, My "bride radar" went off as Matt danced with his mom and Alison watched with her parents:

Always time for a quick group picture with college friends - especially if they've brought a flag:

The new trend in bridal capes:

And that, Ladies & Gentlemen, brings the wedding of Alison & Matt to a close.

There's just time for a vendor list for this most excellent wedding:
Ceremony: Our Lady of Victories Catholic Church, Boston, MA
Wedding venue: The Colonnade Hotel, Boston, MA
Photographer: Leah Haydock Photography
Wedding Dress: Christina’s Bridal of Andover
Bridesmaid dresses: Christina’s Bridal of Andover
Wedding Stationary: Soiree, Andover, MA (Alison gives them top A+++ marks!)
Flowers: Les fleurs, Andover, MA
Hair: Patricia of Salon Matteo, Milton, MA
Make up: Janice from Bobbi Brown, Neiman Marcus, Copley Place
Cake: Icing on the cake
Video: Mavid Productions
Band: Manhattan Touch

Oh go on then, one last picture taken right at the end of the night:

Oh Alison & Matt, what to say? Words can't describe how happy I was to be your wedding photographer. It was such a perfect day and I have no doubt that you're going to be incredibly happy in your lives together. Hugest congratulations to you both!

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