Merrimack Valley Golf Club Wedding Photographer :: Heather + Justin (Part II)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Merrimack Valley Golf Club in Methuen, MA was the perfect venue for a winter wedding on New Year's Eve - we finished off the formal pictures just as the sun set over the snow covered golf course and I took this picture of Heather and Justin moments before we set off for church:

If you missed the getting ready fun and first look you should catch up here:
Merrimack Valley Wedding Photographer  and now we're at church for the wedding ceremony:

Justin was all smiles waiting for Heather to walk down the aisle:

Although Heather and Justin had requested an "unplugged" ceremony - I think maybe only half of the guests saw the request. It's interesting though - see the happy guests on the left smiling/looking at Heather and her father vs. most people on the right trying to get a non-blurry picture on their cell phones....

To anyone who feel that having a first look takes away the emotion/meaning at the ceremony I present the following image.  In my opinion (and having photographed a LOT of weddings both with and without a first look), the emotion you feel during your wedding ceremony is due to the huge step you're taking together and the vows you're making in front of your friends and family. It's not because it's the first time anyone sees you in your dress.  Just 30 minutes earlier Heather and Justin had been snuggled up together in the snow for pictures, laughing and holding hands. As Heather walked down the aisle, it was obvious to all how overcome Justin was:

Audrey took this one from up high:

While I stayed on the ground to get this angle:

Hoorah! Heather and Justin are married :)

Time to head back to Merrimack Valley Golf Club for a New Year's Eve wedding reception extravaganza. Loving the personalized mail box for cards:

The newlyweds got to mingle with their closest friends and family for cocktail hour:

Guests were invited to find their tables using this rather magnificent seating chart:

I'm a big fan of winter weddings, you can get all kinds of creative with your centerpieces:

First dance as Mr & Mrs. Dockham:

The image on the right below is Audrey's - I'm enjoying the repeating pattern of the lights:

Nolan gave full marks for Auntie Heather & Uncle Justin's dancing skills:

Toasts - I hear a lot of toasts and these were some top toasts. I don't think there was a dry eye after Justin's brother made his toast:

The emotions continued to run high for parent dances:

If you're a regular blog reader you'll know I love nothing better than stealing outside for 5 minutes with my couples once it gets dark to get a couple of night time pictures. It's nice for you to take a 5 minute break from the dancing and the pictures look awesome as a closing shot in your wedding album:

Heather wanted to try something a little different and asked me if we could get a night time picture with sparklers. I love trying something new and so I happily accepted the challenge! Note to future couples - if you want to do similar night time/painting with light or sparkler shots I'm all over it BUT you need to be prepared to find AT LEAST 20 minutes in your evening. We have to find the darkest spot available, set up a tripod, you have to hold as still as physically possible (in likely icy cold temperatures), we take a bunch of long-exposures (with Audrey or me whirling around with lights) and cross our fingers that you can stay still enough to make it work) - just wanted to set the scene in case you think I can get this kind of picture in 30 seconds ;)

We headed back inside to warm up and the dancefloor was well and truly open:

And with that 2012 was over. Another fabulous year filled with 24 of the most amazing couples and I couldn't have wished for a better couple than Heather and Justin to close out the year. You guys were SO much fun to work with! Happy New Year and Happy Marriage with lots of love, laughter and maybe the occasional tear from Justin :) Wedding Venue: Merrimack Valley Golf Club, 210 Howe St, Methuen, MA, 01244
Merrimack Valley Wedding Photographer: Leah Haydock Photography

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