Happy Labor Day weekend! How can the summer be over already?!?! I protest! I had a pretty epic weekend with a surprise proposal in Maine and then the most beautiful wedding at the Taj Boston yesterday. Next week is a flurry of engagement shoots and then fall wedding season starts in ernest!
Anyway, enough of my schedule :) Guess what happened 3 weeks ago? Oh, just one of the most elegant and super duper fun weddings ever at the Boston Harbor Hotel. I love the BHH - it's the quintessential Boston wedding venue - stunning waterfront setting, amazing food, elegant ballroom - not to mention the incredible Michael Boivin who is always such a pleasure to work with.
I started my day with Stephanie and the girls in her suite. I advise all of my brides to set aside all the"details" they'd like photographed on check in - wedding rings, jewelry, invitations, dress out of the cover and on a pretty hanger, shoes etc - so I can photograph them all without disturbing hair and make up. I noticed this little Boston Harbor Hotel shaped cookie and thought it might make for an interesting picture of the wedding rings:
Classic William Arthur Invitations via Toby Dondis:
Loving Stephanie's Stuart Wietzman shoes and purse. Stephanie's new initials were monogrammed inside the purse:
On arrival guests were met by thoughtful giftbags and welcome notes from Stephanie and Jason:
Audrey had her own wedding to attend as a guest so I drafted in two awesomely talented photographer colleagues to shoot alongside me for the day. Jennifer started her day with Jason and was a good sport when I suggested she follow Jason and the guys to the hot tub :)
How cute are these cufflinks?
One of these days I plan on shooting groom's coverage myself! Unlike the hair and make up and dressing and flurry of activity that's usually happening with the girls, there's always time for a relaxing glass of scotch and a toast :)
Back over with the girls the amazing Dani Wagener was working her magic. Dani is hands-down the very very very very very best make up artist in Boston.
Stephanie's mom Annette helped her into her dress, assisted by Maid of Honor Jackie and bridesmaids Annie and Windsor:
Those beautiful Stuart Weitzman shoes in action. Stephanie's wedding dress was Amsale Calista from L'élite in Boston.
Sometimes certain parts of your wedding day can be a bit of a blur, you need to be somewhere/do something and you're rushing. It can be nice to schedule a little extra time to catch up with your parents. It's often a big deal for parents to see their daughter as a bride for the first time and it's special to celebrate with your family:
It was very important to Stephanie and Jason that they got to spend their wedding reception celebrating with friends and family vs. spending their time taking pictures so they wisely planned a first look and all formal pictures prior to the ceremony. As you can imagine, the waterfront area at the Boston Harbor Hotel is kind of busy in the summer so we used the beautiful (and private) rotunda area:
After hugs and laughs and kisses, we took some time for pictures of the almost newlyweds. I say "we" because I was working alongside one of my very favorite wedding film team - Long Haul Films. Not much to say about these guys other than HIRE THEM NOW if you want the best wedding film ever.
Sayles Livingston put together the most beautiful (and fragrant) flowers:
It's always a good idea to schedule more time that you need for pictures on your wedding day. Occasionally other activities - hair, make up, getting dressed, bridesmaids getting ready, parents arriving - will take longer than expected and having extra time scheduled means that there's no stress.
Luckily everything ran on time like clockwork at Stephanie & Jason's wedding thanks to the organization of the amazing Linnea Tangorra of Tangorra Wedding Planning so we just had extra time for pictures :) If you're thinking of hiring a wedding planner or day of coordinator then I can't speak highly enough of Linnea. She's super experienced and works tirelessly in the background to make everything go so smoothly! And here are just a handful of the many pictures we had time to take!
The above image is Jen's view :) And below is the iconic arch of the Boston Harbor Hotel:
We were joined by Stephanie and Jason's wedding party for some pictures. One of the best things about doing a first look/pre-ceremony pictures is that everyone looks their very best with fresh hair and make up AND you get to enjoy cocktail hour after the ceremony!
Love, love, love the color of the bridesmaids dresses, also Amsale from L'élite:
We then took some relaxed yet totally mantel-worthy family pictures. Grandmothers are the best :)
Stephanie and Jason signed their Ketubah:
The Wharf Room was perfectly set for the wedding ceremony, thanks to Kate for the shot below while Jen and I photographed the Ketubah signing. Kate joined me and Jen as the third photographer for this fabulous wedding. At every wedding I photograph there's always me and an assistant photographer (usually Audrey!) but it's a really great idea to add a third photographer if:
- you have more than 200 guests (you'll get better coverage of all of your guests with more photographers)
- you're planning on taking all of the formal pictures during cocktail hour. I'll be photographing the formals and Audrey will be working through the list/setting up lights for the reception. Adding a third photographer means you'll have coverage of cocktail hour
- you'd like extra coverage of your ceremony. Usually I'm up front to capture the processional of the family, bridesmaids and bride. Audrey is off to the side to capture the expression of the groom. Adding a third photographer means you can have additional angles from the balcony or have someone there to photograph those moments before you walk down the aisle.
Proud parents of the bride and a very happy groom (the picture of Jason on the right is Jen's):
Cocktail hour was outside of the Wharf Room and guests enjoyed delicious hors d'oeuvres and champagne overlooking the sunset over the ocean while the Longwood Symphony Orchestra played on the balcony.
Friends and family were invited in to take their escort cards and were met by a complete transformation of the Wharf Room from ceremony site to elegant wedding reception setting:
The new Dr & Mrs Lewis were announced and went into their perfectly choreographed first dance (thanks to Dance Academy of New England):
The picture on the left is one of my very favorites :)
There were SO many wonderful toasts at the wedding - this is just a fraction of them! Both parents spoke beautifully about how happy they were for the newlyweds, Stephanie and Jason both have the most welcoming and supportive families. Friends and siblings also spoke at length about how Stephanie and Jason have always been there for them and there may have been one or two references to the size of Stephanie's closet and love of shopping ;)
First Class band did a number of dance sets in between courses:
The cake topper was originally on the cake of Stephanie's maternal grandparents. Stephanie's parents used it at their wedding and so now I guess it's a third generation heirloom cake topper! Stephanie danced with her father and then the dancefloor was officially declared open!
We took a few minutes outside for night time pictures - it was a perfect balmy August evening: Stephanie & Jason - what a day!!! Such a beautiful wedding, you both looked so incredibly happy that it was a joy to photograph your wedding! Wishing you both a lifetime of love, laughter, health and happiness (and mutual respect of closet space)! Tons more pictures uploading to your full gallery as I post this!