Glen Magna Farms Wedding Pictures :: Jo-Ann + Ben

Three more fall weddings to share with you and then I'll be back with two more November weddings and another at the end of December. Not to mention eleventy hundred engagement sessions to post - gotta love fall in New England!

Today I have Jo-Ann & Ben's wedding pictures at Glen Magna Farms in Danvers, MA. Glen Magna is one of my very favorite outdoor wedding venues on the North Shore. It's a STUNNING property, the gardens are amazing and the whole team are a joy to work with.

I should backtrack to the first email inquiry I received from Ben. Amongst other things it read,
"Hi. You seem like fun and not a square like some of the other photographers we've internetted."
I felt like one of the cool kids for like 3 minutes and quickly replied with probably way too much info about how I shoot weddings and availability and pricing. And Ben replied,
"We like your stuff significantly more than other people. So we're in! Leah Haydock Photography or bust! 
How much do you need for a deposit? And when would you need it?
What's the next step? Is there an initial meeting? Or we do that in conjunction with the engagement photos?"

And I knew immediately that this was going to be a lot of fun. If you missed their engagement pictures (and the most amazing story of how they met through a mutual love of music then you should totally catch up *here*). Anyways, back to the wedding. Ben wears many hats (he recently released his first album...I'm listening to "I want an Ewok" as I type this) including talented graphic designer/illustrator. You should totally check out his site if you like this beautiful stationery that Ben made or if you're in the market for a custom illustration for your wedding wine bottle label or maybe your holiday card?
Jo-Ann, her sisters and Mom were all getting hair and make-up'd at home thanks to the team at Verde Salon
Flower girl Leah and Jo-Ann's niece was getting her hair spray on. I will admit to a little confusion throughout the day. I'd hear "Leah - come here!" or "Leah - put that down now!" and would startle for a minute before realizing I was the wrong Leah.
Ring bearer and Jo-Ann's nephew Nathan escaped from his bath to see what was going on with the girls:
A gold iPhone case struck me as the perfect spot for some pictures of Jo-Ann's jewelry including her heirloom wedding ring (Verge jewelry did the beautiful restoration work and created the wedding band to fit around it)

Jo-Ann gave her sisters/bridesmaids these cute floral robes
We headed over to Glen Magna Farms for the final getting ready stages (getting married is a multi-stage process people!)
Audrey hung out in the official "Groom's Room" with Ben and his good friend/officiant Christopher (sometimes known as Gus).
I was in love with Jo-Ann's dress from Blushing Bride in Peabody
Brooch bouquet - beautiful. All of the brooches were from Jo-Ann's friends and family and the bouquet was made by the talented Cozymade (along with the flower girl brooch bouquet and the flower pin escort cards)
Jo-Ann came down the staircase to meet her parents and I love how her Mom looked at her Dad
Jo-Ann and Ben really wanted to enjoy their wedding and didn't want to miss cocktail hour taking pictures so they chose to do a first look. Love Ben's expression seeing Jo-Ann for the first time:
Growing up Jo-Ann said she used to come to Glen Magna Farms as an angsty teenager, sit under this tree and read poetry:
Looking good Mr & Mr P...
Ben offered to do his "Macy's catalog guy" impression for me despite wearing a non-Macy's sharp Talia suit

Obviously you don't choose your wedding venue based on the amazing backdrops and light for pictures but it's a pretty great bonus when everywhere you turn it gets more beautiful (Country club X on a hill with no shade and a tiny gazebo that fits a small toddler only - I'm talking to you...)
I work with all of my couples to put together the list of their must-have family formals i.e. the groups of people in pictures that will be printed and framed on the mantel or included in the wedding album. I then try to make the process as quick and painless as possible while saying the odd silly thing to get real  smiles and expressions. So I loved when half-way through the pictures Ben's Mom Marietta was all "This is FUN!!!"
We walked over to the Carriageway to take some wedding party pictures:

Ringbearer Nathan requested a Spiderman pose:
And flower girl Leah decided she was done with pictures altogether
Official pictures over, it was time for guests to arrive and pick up their ceremony program in a perfect little paper bar with a lavender handkerchief inside.
As guests took their seats for the wedding ceremony in the flower garden beneath the Cushing pergoda at Glen Magna Farms, Ben finalized his vows in the library with his brothers for company:
Jo-Ann and Ben added the photobooth (pictures coming soon!) and I knew that Audrey would be taking care of it during the reception so the talented Kate Harper joined us for part of the day. I asked Kate to stay back with Jo-Ann and her dad and the next two images are hers.

Most amazing ceremony performed by Ben & Jo-Ann's friend Christopher (aka Gus) with such personal vows and if you haven't heard the "Mayonnaise jar & two cups of coffee" story which was one of the readings you are missing out.

How excited are these two?

Guests enjoyed signature cocktails and the most delicious appetizers from Vinwood Catering (I have this urge to try to make tomato soup shooters with mini grilled cheese right now...) out on the lawn:
Guests found their table numbers...
...and made their way into the tent which looked amazing thanks to the beautiful flowers of Donna and the Pepperberry's team and Jo-Ann's collection of vintage doilies and china (Ben mentioned this in his vows promising to love Jo-Ann when she is old and grey and her love of doilies is finally age-appropriate).
Can you believe Jo-Ann's Aunt Karen made ALL of these beautiful cakes? Need a wedding cake? Check out Torte di Venezia *here*
This was Audrey's shot as the newlyweds entered the tent and in their words went into the first dance "right off the rip"
A quiet little moment during the first dance:
I got a little "feedback" after my last blog post that it was kind of long so I'm trying to cut back :) I could share another 20 pictures of the awesome toasts by both dads, both sisters, both brothers [Quote of the evening "Yes ladies, these are real shoulders"] but I'll just share this one of Jo-Ann and Ben enjoying every minute:
Vinwoods are an amazing catering company. Guests were spoiled with a carving station, salad bar, custom pastas and Mediterranean selection including great vegan options. I almost took a big spoonful of delicious looking cous cous before spotting the telltale green flecks of pistachio, I didn't want a repeat of *this* so I switched to pasta :)
Parent dances were up next:
If you read Jo-Ann & Ben's engagement blog post or you know the two of them in real life you'll know how important music is to these two. DJ Ryan Durkin of White Label DJs was amazing. If you're looking for a real DJ (vs a playlist kind of guy) without any of the usual wedding cheese I can't recommend these guys enough.
The pretty little wedding cakes sadly had to be cut into:
Jo-Ann and Ben threw down some moves (I realize those words are probably outing me as a complete square right now ;)
Guests wrote their wishes for Jo-Ann and Ben on wishing stones - I think "Rock HARD Devotion" might be the best one.
Audrey was manning the photobooth up on the porch of the mansion; I walked over to check that everything was OK. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a bear approaching. I was 50:50 "Argh! Bear! Run!!!" and "Hmm, we're in Danvers, probably not a bear." It seems that one of Jo-Ann and Ben's guests just happened to have a bear coat in the car and brought it in. It would be rude to not dance in an available bear suit at your wedding right?
Jo-Ann & Ben - THANK YOU. On a scale of 1-10 you guys are 14 on the fun scale, I have a long way to go but I'm going to work on it. Your wedding was all kinds of brilliant, I wish every family could be as easy going as your families, your vows killed me and I hope I can buy you a grape soda and a beer next time I'm in Hingham :) Here's to rock HARD devotion and encouraging each other's dreams and weirdness - congratulations!

1 comment

  1. Leah, you are right on with your description of "all kinds of brilliant". This wedding was amazing that in captured bits of tradition, smatterings of elegance, tid bits of uniqueness and a whole lot of real, loving, family fun! You did an amazing job of capturing all of it, and also sharing it here. There must be some brilliance in you, too!