Take a North Shore 59-room historic mansion "The Great House" set on a grand estate with Italian gardens and undulating hills that reach to the ocean, pick a perfect blue sky sunny day, mix in glamorously dressed guests enjoying champagne and lawn games and add in a perfectly matched couple named Sarah and Cameron who want to spend the rest of their lives together and that's what's coming up on the blog right now! In fact, I'd suggest you go pour yourself a glass of something chilled and perhaps sparkling and settle in for a beautiful wedding at Castle Hill at the Crane Estate in Ipswich, MA.
59 rooms mean a lot of keys :)
The Stuart-style mansion was built in 1928 and was the perfect setting for Sarah and Cameron's elegant daytime affair with an outdoor ceremony, luncheon overlooking the ocean, lawn games, cocktails and dancing to a jazz band:
Pretty wedding stationery. This would also be a good time to mention the fabulous Mallory and Erin of ELM Events who helped Sarah and Cameron plan their wedding perfectly!
Cameron's niece and flowergirl for the day Jamie looked on as Sarah got into her wedding dress helped by her sisters and bridesmaids Christie and Janelle:
Stacey Frasca did hair and make up for Sarah and her sisters. Obviously her job is very tough when the bride looks like Sarah ;)
Meanwhile Audrey was with Cameron and the guys:
Sarah and Cameron had a really unique ceremony mixing Jewish and Christian traditions. They wanted to wait until the ceremony to see each other so they signed the Ketubah separately witnessed by their parents. It all got a little emotional for Sarah's father:
Time to head downstairs for the outdoor wedding ceremony:
I really wanted to capture the ceremony from a high vantage point inside the mansion but knew there wouldn't be enough time for me to get inside and upstairs without missing something so I was delighted to have Nadya join me for the ceremony - this was her vantage point and her image as Sarah came down the aisle with her dad:
Everytime I'm at the Crane Estate I can't help but think it's possibly the most beautiful location for an outdoor wedding in New England. Sarah and Cameron's wedding ceremony was performed by Rabbi Lerner and Chaplin Wiltshire with sound advice such as taking 20 minutes a day to be "unplugged and with your spouse" and it even got a little emotional:
As Sarah and Cameron walked back down the aisle as husband and wife, guests were handed flutes of champagne so the newlyweds could thank them all for coming and make a toast:
Sarah and Cameron really wanted to enjoy cocktail hour with their friends and family so we took just a few minutes to walk to the Italian gardens for some quick couple and wedding party pictures. Daytime weddings are all kinds of fabulous but the light at midday can be kind of harsh so we decided to do more pictures including family formals later in the day:
Christie helping Sarah bustle her dress:
I've photographed a number of weddings with Vinwood Caterers and I'm always wowed by how creatively the delicious hors d'oeuvres are presented:
Relaxing music at cocktail hour on the lawn:
Lunch was enjoyed on the side terrace and lawn overlooking the ocean:
Toasts by Sarah's sisters and Cameron's brother were followed by a blessing from Chaplin Wiltshire with everyone holding hands:
At the end of dinner we did some relaxed family pictures:
Guests left the terrace and came back around the Great House for Sarah and Cameron's first dance:
Sarah's sister Janelle was not only her bridesmaid but she is also the owner of Nell's Cakes and actually made the wedding cake for Sarah & Cameron:
Sarah danced with her father and suddenly there were a lot of people looking in their purses and pockets for tissues:
Is there anything better on a Sunday afternoon that cocktails and lawn games? How about lawn games and cocktails with a surprise rap performance by one of Cameron's friends? I'm not 100% sure of the song but everyone had to shout out "Rio!" in the chorus:
There was a little surprise for Sarah - Cameron and her dad conspired to bring in her dog Capri for a few minutes!
Guests danced away the rest of the afternoon before boarding transportation back to Boston with a miniature ice cream cone to enjoy on the way:
Photographers obsess about the perfect time for the best light in pictures and I lucked out with this beautiful back light for a few pictures before Sarah and Cameron took their limo back to Boston:
Sarah & Cameron - congratulations!!! What a perfectly elegant and fun wedding celebration! Wishing you both a lifetime of love and laughter, health and happiness!
You're still here? If you'd like to see more pictures at the Crane Estate:
Sarah & Cameron's engagement pictures at the Crane Estate
Sandra & Scott's wedding photographs at the Crane Estate
May and June have been just nuts but I'm now "on vacation" for a few weeks - well, as much as I'm ever on vacation ;) I'm basically not shooting another wedding until August 9th so I can actually edit, blog and get some albums out! The blog schedule is going to look something like this...
Clara & David's Back Bay Boston engagement pictures then some maternity and baby pictures on the beach followed by Ashlee & Eric's North End engagement pictures then Marianne & Matt's Newburyport engagement pictures. I'll then have John & Erick's elopement at Boston City Hall, Stephanie & Jason's engagement pictures in Denmark (! - nope, just the one in Maine), Anna & Justin's Kennebunkport engagement pictures, Joanna & Joe's engagement pictures at Bowdoin college, Sara & Jason's wedding at Castle Hill Inn in Newport, RI, Rachel & Neil's wedding at the White Barn Inn and anything else I happen to photograph in the meantime :)