WAIT!!! Stop right there! Yes you, I see you, you're about to whizz down this post because you want to see ALL the pictures. Wait!!! Put the mouse or the phone down, go and get your beverage of choice (you might even need an energy bar, there's a lot of pictures) and then settle down and savor each fabulous moment that was the wedding of Jen & Chris at Castle Hill Inn.
Jen & Chris hired me as their Castle Hill Inn Wedding Photographer on the recommendation of Jen's friend Laura (whose wedding I photographed to Mike a couple of years ago - hey Laura! Thanks!) and once we got talking I found out that Jen had also hired Wendy Joblon Events for planning. I've had the pleasure of working with Wendy previously so I was delighted - with Wendy as your planner everything runs seamlessly and looks absolutely stunning. I can't recommend Wendy highly enough!
Audrey and I started our day at the Newport Marriott where Jen and Chris were getting ready with their families and wedding party: Want to see some lovely letterpress wedding invitations complete with custom maps for all of the weekend happenings?
Jen was in the very capable hands of Dani Wagener and Erik of Will Charles Salon, two of my very favorite make up and hair artists. As you can see Dani and Erik had their work cut out for them ;) Kidding! Jen couldn't have been a more laid back yet totally radiant bride!
You might also want a peek at Jen's cream Valentino flats and her sparkly little purse:
Jen and Chris both wrote letters to each other and then shared them with Chris's Uncle Joe who would be officiating the wedding so he could incorporate their words into the ceremony. The first time Jen and Chris read each other's letters was on the morning on the wedding. Jen barely held it together:
Audrey was with Chris as he surprised his groomsmen with a gift of custom socks for each guy.
As Chris read Jen's letter he also struggled to keep it together:
Meanwhile back in the bridal quite all of the girls were ready and we took a picture in their beautiful grey robes before they put on their bridesmaid dresses.
Jen's best friend and MOH Stef helped her into her wedding dress. As you can imagine I've seen quite a number of dresses over the years and Jen's was definitely unique - it was a two-piece design and it suited her absolutely perfectly:
Jen's awesome mom Amy helped her with her jewelry before her father Steve came in to see Jen as a bride for the first time:
Jen and Chris currently live on the West Coast and they had over 200 friends and family members coming to join them in Newport for the wedding. They wanted to maximize their time with their guests and enjoy cocktail hour vs. taking pictures so they wisely chose to do a first look and all formal pictures before the ceremony. Love, love loved their happy smiles and big hugs:
When you're choosing your wedding venue it's worth thinking about locations for pictures. If we're taking pictures earlier in the day and it'll be sunny then we try to find a quieter shady area (to avoid squinting in bright light), formal pictures by the ocean are always the WORSE idea as it's usually crazy windy and hair can be flying all over the place. If you're looking at a outdoor venue say up on a hill with a tiny gazebo that fits two people in it and you have large families we might have an issue!
Castle Hill Inn is one of the VERY best wedding locations in Newport - Amanda Barker and the whole team are just fabulous - and you have SO many options for pictures - the private garden that we used here, the lighthouse, Grace Kelly beach and more!
Could Jen & Chris be happier to see each other? They really set the tone for the whole wedding - they were infectiously happy and affectionate and just wait until the dancefloor opens!
Jen is one of the sweetest brides I've ever photographed and there's just something about this picture I love, one of my favorites of the day.
Family rosary beads in Jen's beautiful bouquet:
We had enough time for a few more pictures of Jen and Chris before we were joined by their wedding party (gotta love Wendy for keeping everyone on time and making sure they knew where to be and when!)
Oh stop it!
Loved the bridesmaid's dusky grey dresses. They were perfect for the setting, not to mention flattering to all and I loved how they almost mimic the style of Jen's dress. Oh, and the guys look good too ;)
Beautiful wedding flowers by Sayles Livingston:
The guys wore Nantucket ties as a nod to Nantucket being the place where Jen & Chris first met:
We were then joined by the immediate families. Both Jen & Chris's families were just wonderful, so welcoming, so supportive and super happy for Jen and Chris:
As guests started to disembark from the thoughtful transportation provided they were met by the stunning outdoor wedding ceremony site with views over the ocean, they could also enjoy ice cold lemonade and fruit-infused waters.
Once guests were seated, just in case there was any doubt about what was about to happen, ringbearer Cillian confirmed it:
Jen walked down the aisle with her proud father Steve:
The weather gods were obviously happy for Jen & Chris to get married! Now would also be a good time to mention the awesomeness of Megan, Mia and Ali of Long Haul Films (fab wedding films) who were obviously amazing to work with as always and also kindly moved their tripod for just long enough for me to get this lovely wide shot of the ceremony (you'd be surprised that occasionally this doesn't happen).
Chris's Uncle Joe officiated wonderfully, making the ceremony super personal and just the right length:
Guests showered the newlyweds with petals and flowers as they made their way back down the aisle:
Flowergirls Emily and Claire were on double-duty as they followed Jen and Chris back down the aisle:
As guests walked over to cocktail area, Jen and Chris took a few minutes to have a glass of champagne and be all "We're married!!!"
Back at cocktail hour, the champagne was flowing, the oysters were being shucked, the hors d'oeuvres were being passed and guests were having a blast. Jen and Chris also took some pictures with their beloved grandmothers!
When you're planning your wedding timeline it's worth checking on the time of sunset on your proposed wedding day. If you get married in say, June it'll likely be light until fairly late at night so if you want a candle-lit romantic feel to your reception you'll have to have a super late ceremony. Luckily in September, sunset is a little earlier. Jen and Chris timed their day so the sun would just be setting as guests were invited into dinner. I stole them away for a few minutes to capture the sky that was just turning to twilight:
The beautiful tent at Castle Hill Inn had soft drapes and twinkle lights covering the ceiling. Beantown (one of my favorite wedding bands!) were also adding a party atmosphere with their band lighting.
The inside of the tent looked amazing with long rustic wooden farm tables, round tables with shimmery linens, candles everywhere, and of course beautiful flowers. Sayles Linvingston and Exquisite Events outdid themselves (all perfectly overseen by the fabulous Wendy Joblon of course!)
The new Mr & Mrs Murphy entered and went into their first dance:
Guests dined on Angus beef tenderloin, Statler chicken and local ricotta cannelloni:
Toasts were witty, heartfelt, emotional and full of love:
I could show you a more formal cake-cutting picture but I like this one. It gives you more of an idea of how much fun Jen and Chris have together (and don't worry, there was no cake smushing)
Jen danced with her father Steve and Chris danced with his mother Gina. Check out the "high-five" handover as they passed each other at the end/beginning of the dances:
Chris is kind of infamous for his dance moves and has been known to split more than one pair of pants at weddings where he's been a guest! Luckily this didn't happen at his own wedding! Beantown had the dancefloor PACKED:
Chris's Nanny is 101 and blind and in a wheelchair but she decided she'd like to dance with Chris and dance she did!
Dancing and frivolity carried on late into the night:
Jen & Chris - maybe you could get married again next year, I'd show up to photograph it all over again just for fun! You two were so lovely to get to know, ridiculously easy to photograph, your families were just fabulous and it truly was a perfect day! Wishing you a lifetime of love, laughter, health and happiness together!
That's all for today, coming up next will be some rather yummy fall engagement pictures and then it'll be time for Janelle & Rob's wedding!
If you don't want to leave just yet, you can check out more Castle Hill Inn wedding pictures here!