The day was finally here! Carrie and Kelsey were ready to celebrate their marriage together (again) with a much larger crowd than the first time, and I couldn’t have been any more excited to see them! On May 23, 2020 Carrie and Kelsey tied the knot on the front porch of Kelsey’s family home with an intimate elopement of some wedding party and immediate family. I had the honor of photographing their original wedding date day that was absolutely perfect! You can read PART 1 of their wedding celebrations HERE. Just like May 23, 2020…. July 25, 2020 was also perfect! The sun was shining, there was a slight breeze which was nice and their venue was absolutely beautiful!
I am a lover of all details! Gimme lots and lots of things to look at and I am happy! It was so nice to see many of the details they had in May were brought to the venue for the July celebrations. They even had NEW details which I had a blast photographing. One of the details I loved were their mini pineapple boutonnières. They were the cutest things! I also loved a painting they were gifted by their grandmother of a photo that was taken on the beach the night Carrie proposed. The painting even had sand from the exact beach that they were engaged! How cool is that?!
It was so nice to see Carrie and Kelsey again. They were beaming with excitement and were so thankful that they were able to still have the wedding they had hoped for in the middle of a pandemic that was never in their wildest dreams something they thought they would need to think about.
Carrie and Kelsey, Thank you again for being so amazing through this unforeseen time! You ladies have been such troopers and deserve every bit of happiness! Thank you for trusting me to capture TWO of the most important days of your lives! I am so excited to share these photos with you and I hope that I get to see the Hubbard Family again soon! I love you guys ( Brayden too! Happy Birthday, BTW dude!) have fun snuggled up, reliving this amazing day. xoxoxo.
Dresses: Carrie’s Dress: VOWS ,Kelsey’s Dress: The White Room | Florist: Kimberly Conley | DJ : Get Down Tonight Entertainment | Videographer: The Pixel Perfection | Cake: Batter up| Catering: Homestyle Catering | Invitations: Kellie’s Creative Korner | Ceremony Venue: The Preserve at Chocorua | Pie Pops: The Sandpiper Cake shop
It’s been over a year of planning… a year dreaming about their wedding day. I still remember sitting down with Carrie and Kelsey meeting them for the first time at Starbucks learning all about them. How they met, where they work, what their wedding vision- was when all they knew at the time was their wedding date and their venue. We sat together in Starbucks for over 2 hours! I knew that these ladies were so much fun that their engagement session and wedding day were going to be amazing! Never in a million years would I have been able to tell you that just months before their big day, a world wide pandemic was happening.
Kelsey and I were in contact throughout the months leading up to their date. We were all hopeful that we would be able to still have their big wedding at The Preserve at Chocorua on May 23, 2020. Just 1 year after Carrie proposed. We chatted over the phone, through emails, through texts and about 2 weeks before their day, they needed to have a change of plans, however, May 23 is a special date for them, and they were planning to exchange vows that day even if it was not the way they originally thought it would be. They will still have a wedding with many friends and family in attendance at their original venue in July and we all can not wait!
We were still all ordered to stay at home and only essential workers were to be out. Hopeful that this stay at home order would be changing soon, with the idea that social distancing would continue on, it finally did, the week of May 23! In just a short two weeks time, Kelsey and Carrie planned to have an intimate elopement at Kelsey’s parents home. They had a ceremony outside on the porch with their closest friends and immediate family present. It was truly such a perfect day and I am so thankful that I was a part of it! They shared their first dance in the back yard of the home and they even had many friends and family drive by to send their well wishes from a distance in a car parade! The love and support that these two ladies have just make me so happy. Everyone was so kind and so loving and it really made me so happy to witness all of the love with the small amount of people that were there. I am so excited to see them again, and capture a second wedding with even more love and support from their family and friends in July!
Carrie and Kelsey, THANK YOU. Thank you for having the BEST attitude when life was flipped upside down having to completely change your original wedding day plans. Thank you for keeping me in the loop with all updates and thank you for trusting me to capture the best day of you lives this day ( and again in July!) I am so grateful that I finally got to meet the handsome Brayden! He is one lucky little guy to have you both as his mom. Here are some of my favorite photos from your (1st) wedding day!
Kelsey and Carrie had their ceremony documented and shared on Facebook Live for those who were not able to be there in person this day. Here is the video:
Dresses: Carrie’s Dress: VOWS ,Kelsey’s Dress: The White Room | Florist: Kimberly Conley | DJ + Videographer: Jeremy Guilbo | Cake: Batter up| Catering: Homestyle Catering | Invitations: Kellie’s Creative Korner
Just before the ceremony the gravity of what is about to happen begins to sink in and the calm, cool, collected groom was playing golf in the AM and is not starting to feel a little anxious. What happens next? The groom waits in a little room somewhere waiting for the coordinator to tell him when to go. It seems like it’s taking forever. Eventually the coordinator comes in and leans her head inside of the room letting him know, its time. With clammy hands and some deep breaths, the groom enters into the ceremony to find anywhere from 80-250 people, all looking at him…. right at his face… because everyone has expectations and anticipation about his first REACTION. This moment is the furthest thing from a private, intimate moment. Yes, 100% it is SO SO powerful and SO SO wonderful, as I mentioned above this moment was one of the best moments of my whole wedding day. It was so magical!! But I can assure you that PJ was nervous. He spent the whole morning with his best friends and the pressure was OFF. By the time I was walking toward him at the ceremony, he was ready to enjoy our day. The nerves were gone and when the nerves were gone, true emotions were expressed. It was so beautiful. We both cried and cried tears of happiness!)Now, let me summarize what I just wrote… you see, Grooms normally become extremely nervous on their wedding day. The might seem cool and collected, but deep down there is some anxiety. For many grooms, the nerves kick in before they see their bride because when they see her, all of a sudden it all becomes VERY real! So, when the nerves start to creep up, instead of keeping the groom in a secluded area until it is time to enter the ceremony, what if you took him to a prive place… no people, no on lookers, no distractions…. and you let his beautiful bride walk up to him. Tap his shoulder or say his name to turn around. He turns around and he finally gets his first look at his stunning bride. Not only would he get to see her, but he would get to embrace her, cry with her, kiss her… and ENJOY that moment with her for as LONG as they wanted. As she shows him her dress and spins a few times and she says “what do you think?” His nerves start to fade. After all, she is the only one that can make him most comfortable anyway.Since they are not on a time crunch during this time, they can casually move into their romantic portraits. No one is around, the coordinator is not announcing “15 more mins!”, there is no pressure. It’s just the two of them and their photographer…. capturing the excitement and joy of their wedding day. This is their time to be ALONE. Their time to be TOGETHER. When does this happen on the wedding day? Without a first look… believe it or not, it doesn’t happen. After their romantic portraits are done, they meet up with their best friends. Their wedding party joins them because hey still have plenty of time to spare.. The bride touches up her makeup and hair while the boys act like boys. After several minutes of the wedding party portraits the vibe changes and everyone is having FUN. Why? because there is time to make them FUN! There are no guests waiting impatiently at the cocktail hour and there is not a DJ coming to find the photographer to get a time check. It’s AMAZING!After portraits are done, the girls and guys separate and prepare for the ceremony. The guests begin to arrive and the ushers are in place. Pretty soon it’s time for the processional music to begin and one by one, the bridesmaids make their way down to the front of the ceremony. As the groom clasps his hands… they aren’t clasped out of nervousness but excitement. The musics builds, the mother of the bride stands and all of the guests follow her lead. The groom looks up and here comes the BRIDE!!! His best friend, his companion, his sweetheart…..she’s stunning…. ABSOLUTELY stunning. The closer she gets, the bigger his smile.
It just occurred to me that I have not blogged about the topic of having a first look! Can you believe it?! I mean, I know I have confessed my love for “first looks” so many times on the blog when I blog about a wedding and they happened to have a first look. but for me not to have a blog post all about just that… I can’t believe it! So, here it is!! The first look is one of my favorite parts of a wedding day. They are AWESOME! They are so awesome that unfortunately not everyone is aware of how awesome they are. Many brides think the only thing to do is have the “traditional” first look of walking down the aisle that they immediately disregard the first look. Guess what? I was one of those brides. With a big wedding party a first look would have made sense but I did not even think twice about it. I knew when I was walking down the aisle was the first time he would see me. I wanted that reaction. The tears. The happiness.
Isn’t that EVERY girls dream? Who doesn’t wait that reaction? Thankfully, walking down the aisle to see PJ in tears of happiness was a sight I will never forget ( behind the tears pouring down my face). He was in tears and so was everyone that was watching him!! I felt like a million bucks. Walking down the aisle on my wedding day is a moment that I will treasure for a lifetime!!
After experiencing my own wedding and shooting over 80 others…. I have come to this conclusion. Sure, some brides really LOVE “traditions”…. but what a bride REALLY wants when it comes to her groom seeing her for the first time is his REACTION. Many couples who are not interested in a first look usually think that by seeing each other beforehand, they will lose part of that reaction. They also assume that it will not be as emotional or as intimate as walking down the aisle. You see, what I have found is so ironic! (insert Alanis Morissette lyrics here). Everyone knows that planning a wedding is stressful, and that stress does not go away come the wedding day for both the bride and groom. The whole day is focused on them, they need to look their best, be on time, the groom usually has no idea what side the bout is supposed to go on or how to fold a pocket square and little by little, tension grows.
Now let me put a disclaimer on here before we continue…my clients are not required to do a First Look… AT ALL. This is totally up to the bride and groom. I used to feel bad for sharing this option and encouraging couples to do it but I’ve gotten over that phase. I’ve seen the benefits of a first look over and over again and so I only share this because I want the BEST for my couples!! It’s totally ok if couples choose not to share a first look! It’s just my preference to do one:) Ok, now lets keep going.
Couples who opt for a First Look experience these benefits:
– You’re investing a lot into your wedding photography and with a first look, you get 40% MORE portraits of the two of you… and those are the images you decorate your first home with! This is a huge investment for you and so obviously your photography is a BIG deal. With a first look, you make the most out of this huge investment and get the most for your money.
– You actually get intimate time on your wedding day with your man. Normally, most people think walking down the aisle is the BIGGEST, most emotional moment of the whole day because that is what the tradition is. But people don’t realize that when you come down the aisle and totally SHOCK him with your gorgeous-ness… he can’t even tell you how amazing you look… he can’t touch you or embrace you or even SPEAK to you. You have to wait until 40 minutes later when the ceremony is over for him to react and tell you how amazing you look. And after 40 minutes of gazing into each other’s eyes, the reaction isn’t the same as the initial first glance.
– First Looks allow you to extend your wedding day. Normally the wedding day would start when you come down the aisle, then the ceremony would end, you would rush through portraits so that you’re not late for the introductions and then it’s reception time. With a first look, your wedding day is extended by almost 3 hours! Instead of being rushed for your wedding party portraits… you actually get to enjoy them and have fun hanging out with your BEST friends on your wedding day. The WHOLE first half of your wedding album will be filled with just images from this time together before the ceremony.
– First Looks allow you to be TOGETHER and alone on your wedding day. You can cry and laugh and cry some more… and then that will put you in the PERFECT mood for your romantic portraits. Normally portraits are rushed after the family formals and it can be hard to really get back into that “lovey dovey” mode…. especially with family around! When you have just shared your first look, you’re READY to love on each other and I always capture some SWEET images during those moments!
– You get rid of the nerves. I’d say, literally 1/2 of my couples who have done a first look, the grooms were not fans of it at first. However, because they have never experienced their wedding day before, they didn’t know how nerve racking it can be. I have testimonials from so many grooms that initially weren’t a fan of the first look.. but afterwards admitted to being SO much more relaxed and ready for the ceremony!
Straight from the Groom:
“ We had been a a few weddings where the couples had a first look. They talked about how amazing that moment was for them, that it was just them and their photographer and they wouldn’t change that moment for the world. Laura mentioned that she wanted to have a first look for our wedding and I thought it was a great idea. We learned more about the timeline and how the first look will fit in with the day and we knew it was the right decision for us. The moment I first saw her on our wedding day is a moment I will never forget! I was so excited to see her I couldn’t help smiling the entire time waiting to turn around. WhenI turned around, she took my breath away. All these months of planning were finally here, and she was so beautiful. We had our moment together, laughing, crying, talking about how we couldn’t believe this was happing right now, and Alex had us let her know when we were ready for her to being our portraits. This moment is truely one of the best moments from our day. I will never forget it.” – Troy Perry
“I don’t regret a first look photo at all! It made a normally exposed moment very private and intimate, and actually took a lot of pressure off the day. Alex was hiding behind bushes and she captured that very first moment I saw Vicky. It was amazing, it was emotional, it was funny ( I turned around and said “ OH HEY!”) which I think eased her nerves but then we had those moments where tears feel and we were able to enjoy those moments first thing without everyone there trying to get our attention. I woudl not change that mement for the world. I definitely recommend it!” – Sean Barag
“When Hannah told me she wanted to do a fist look, I was hesitant. Would it be cheesy or on the other hand, would I be too emotional and not be able to hold it together? The minutes of anticipation before she tapped on my shoulder, signaling for me to turn around, might have been the most memorable part of the day. I remember standing there, eager to see her, and her dress for the first time. It was the right way to kick off the wedding and I can’t imagine doing it all over again without a first look.” – JUSTIN MINER
“I loved doing the first look. I remember your team setting me up to look at the Boston skyline and thinking how surreal the view was, the weather we had, and that the wedding day had actually arrived. Then Gina snuck up behind me and asked me to turn around. Upon turning, I immediately had a big smile and the perfect mix of calm & excitement. She looked strikingly beautiful and I couldn’t wait to marry her and everything else to follow. Finally, doing the first look gave us the opportunity to spend more time with each other, and our guests, immediately following the ceremony. It was a 100% the right decision for us.” – KEVIN FIELD
This was such a FUN shoot! This lovely couple contacted me a week after they got engaged to find out more info! We chatted for a while over Facetime and Andrea mentioned how she has been following me on Instagram for awhile now and she learned about me through following my friend, JorDecor! A few times a year I collaborate with Jordan over at JorDecor for session in her home, so I was so honored that Andrea found me and started following me this way! It’s fun to hear how big of a fan she is of the both of us, so getting to meet her in person was just the best!
Andrea and Chris chose Bird Park in Walpole for their engagement session! This park had so many amazing areas for photos, I was so excited and had them stopping every couple of steps because the light was perfect, the colors were perfect or the area was just too pretty to walk by! They were so great listening to my location suggestions in the Park and they were wonderful tour guides too since they know the area well! They pointed me in pretty locations and let me just tell you, each photo just makes my heart so happy!
After our session they emailed me the SWEETEST email that just made my entire week! They said –
Chris and I just wanted to thank you so much for such a wonderful and fun engagement session today. We both felt so comfortable with you and know how much more fun our wedding day photos will be. We liked working with you and it was just a great day. Thanks for including our family in the pictures today too!
It was really wonderful to see how relaxed and comfortable Chris was with you. At first, he wanted no part of taking engagement pictures. He said he would do it because I wanted to, but I had no idea how he was really going to be today. After our session today, he realized how important it was to take engagement pictures, so the three of us can really get to know each other. He was totally himself and relaxed with you. He’s already brainstorming photo ideas for our wedding day. What’s also wonderful is that he wants to keep you around for my maternity photos and family photos! 🙂
We can’t thank you enough. The time flew by and we had so much fun working with you! We can’t wait to see the gorgeous photos you took today!
Andrea & Chris
Any that my friends, is an email that I will always remember. One that just makes me so happy hearing how much fun was had (by all) and how they are looking forward to the wedding day! I always get sad at the end of my sessions knowing I wont get to see my brides and grooms for just a bout a year, a little over… but I know that it flies by! I am so honored to be your wedding photographer, Andrea and Chris! I hope you love your photos just as much as I do! xoxo.
How amazing is this!!?!?! They live so close to family, that during our session, I got to meet some of the fam, walking their pups! It was too sweet not to take a photo of them all! What a great moment!