wedding site

Maren’s Miracle

On the radar, there was a rain cloud stretching from New Hampshire to Washington, DC and it was moving East at a steady pace. We had been watching the weather reports all week long, dreading what was to come for Maren and Steve’s wedding. They had chosen the most beautiful location for their destination wedding- an estate by the water in Portsmouth, RI- with an outdoor ceremony in the gardens. And they had planned a photo tour prior to the wedding which would take us around Newport‘s stunning coastline. Of course, this required a rain-free day. Dave and I were certain we would be relegated to Plan B. I brought the red umbrella for whatever photos we would be able to take outside.

What we didn’t count on was Maren and Steve’s good fortune. We had no idea they had some kind of extra special karma hanging out in their corner. Because what unfolded was nothing short of a miracle.

Maren got ready at the Pelham Court Hotel- a sweet boutique hotel with a great suite for our bride and her ladies. She didn’t seem at all concerned about the weather, which at that point was all sunshine in Newport.

maren-steve-newport-destination-wedding- bride gets ready at pelham court hotel

She and Steve saw each other for the first time in the courtyard of the hotel. I love this moment where they get a good look at each other. And I love that Dave purposely captured the blue sky as part of the image. He wanted to make sure they had at least one photo with blue skies from their wedding day.

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We took a couple of portraits in the courtyard. We actually had to have them sit in the shade, because it was still so bright out.

maren-steve-newport-destination-wedding- bride and groom portrait at pelham court hotel courtyard with fountain

Then we headed off to Ocean Drive, for photos along the rocky coast line. As we drove there, we could see the storm clouds getting closer.

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Check it out in this image. Towards the west an ominous sky.

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In the same spot, but toward the east, the bridal party got to enjoy a few more moments of beautiful blue.

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At this point, the sky was getting dark fast. Steve asked his groomsmen to bring the umbrellas to us, just in case. They were ready for the worst. Strangely the storm seemed to stop and hold it’s position.

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We were able to capture a few more at this spot, and even stop at another along the coast.

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I was so glad that we had been able to get those photos in. I figured that was all the luck we would have and was prepared for the inevitable indoor ceremony. When I arrived at the Glen Manor House, I was greeted with blue skies again. What?!? I thought. Then I saw that the gardens were set up for the ceremony. I honestly thought the coordinator had made a mistake. She told me she had checked the radar and it looked fine. I was shocked but happy.

maren-steve-newport-destination-wedding- glen manor house wedding venue and reception site- portsmouth ri

Then of course, the skies turned to gray again. Didn’t bother the ring bearer one bit, though.

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Maren and Steve took a moment to enjoy the view of the water, gorgeous even with the gray skies.

maren-steve-newport-destination-wedding- bride and groom portrait in glen manor house- portsmouth rhode island

Then the ceremony began. And unfortunately just as the bridal party made their entrance little drips of water started falling very lightly to the ground. This is it! I thought. Now it’s going to downpour on their ceremony. The pessimist in me came out. I couldn’t help being concerned for all of the guests and our truly fabulous couple. And just as quickly as it had started, Maren walked out, and I kid you not, the drizzle stopped.

maren-steve-newport-destination-wedding- bride enters for ceremony at glen manor house in the gardens- portsmouth ri

Not one more drop fell. Crazy? Maybe. True? Yes. A miracle? Absolutely.

Post script- I suppose all this sounds a bit overdramatic. And I can be prone to that, but just to give you a sense of how bad this storm was, everywhere but at Maren and Steve’s wedding that is, check out this article.

Published: Vogue Japan

Huge congrats to our friend and colleague David Tutera for being featured in Vogue: Japan. And we are so excited that they chose one of our photos to highlight his amazing work. That’s right, we were recently published in Vogue Japan. International and chic, no?!

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I’ll be honest I can’t tell you all about the article our work is part of, because, as you would expect, it’s in Japanese, but what I can gather is that they were highlighting several vendors celebrated in the international wedding industry. They focused on florists and event planners, in particular. And David Tutera, whom we have worked with on several occassions, was number one on their list. It’s no surprise as his work is astounding- it completely captivates all of my senses.

Our image was taken during a wedding at The Fairmont’s Plaza Hotel in New York City. The whole concept was based around crystals and they were everywhere. The ballroom sparkled.

If you want to see more of David‘s work, definitely check out:

David Tutera’s Metropolitan Club Wedding
Tutera’s Gotham Hall Wedding

Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer Inspiration

More of David’s designs still to come from a fall episode of My Fair Wedding.

Published: grace ormonde WeddingStyle

So very excited to share the news that we have been published in the Spring/Summer 2010 issue of grace ormonde WeddingStyle. Absolutely love this wedding magazine- chic, elegant, fashion forward designs and style aplenty. If you are planning a wedding, you should definitely check out their current national and New England issues. Tons of great stories, real weddings and inspiring ideas.

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We submitted images from this fabulous Plaza Hotel wedding in New York City. It was designed by the trend-setter David Tutera and his talented team. With his table decor, he not only defines the space around a table, but creates a feeling like you have been transported to whole other world. All of your senses are enticed. It’s an amazing experience. We are thrilled that we could share one of his signature designs with Grace Ormonde readers.

If you would like to see more from this wedding, definitely check out our story from the wedding.

And if you would like to see other David Tutera wedding designs and ideas, check out these posts- NY Metropolitan Club Wedding, NY Gotham Hall Wedding, Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer Inspiration. More of David’s designs still to come from an episode of My Fair Wedding.

Cover image by Jade Studio Productions.

Site Visit: The Crane Estate

Dave and I had the opportunity to visit Castle Hill on the Crane Estate in Ipswich and all I can say is WOW!!! One of my friends had gotten married there a few years ago and was telling me about the venue, I was so excited to see it as he had nothing but positive reviews. But honestly it is even better than he described.

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First of all there are multiple fabulous options for an outdoor wedding. I know it is hard to think about that right now with the first serious snow just melting and more on the way, but that was always the way I pictured my wedding. I am pretty sure I am not alone on that one. So if you are like me and felt an outdoor wedding was your first choice, you have 3 great options: on the lawn facing the beach, on the lawn facing down the hill towards ocean views, and in the Italian Garden.

A few photos of option 2:

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castle_hill_crane_estate_wedding- ocean views at site- ipswich and essex ma

A few from option 3 (I think this is what I would do- I love the feeling of this secluded garden space- feels like ancient ruins)

castle_hill_crane_estate_wedding- italian garden at essex estate

castle_hill_crane_estate_wedding- sunken italian gardens at ispwich venue- mass

castle_hill_crane_estate_wedding- sculptures at ipswich wedding venue

Laura Daly and her team are great. They will also have a perfect back up plan, in case the weather doesn’t cooperate. We got a peek at the indoor option and it truly is lovely.

The best spot for cocktail hour, in my opinion, is on the back patio. I love this location because you get to enjoy the sweeping views of the water and have the gorgeous architecture as a back drop. Plus if you wanted to do a group photo it’s an excellent location for that.

castle_hill_crane_estate_wedding- great house cocktail hour site

Side note, awesome story, these two griffin statues were given to the Crane family as a gift from their servants. They had the sculptures custom made to protect the house. All I have to say is that the Crane’s must have been amazing employers to generate that kind of love from their staff.

castle_hill_crane_estate_wedding- griffins at the great house- cocktail reception patio

Then you have two options for your reception as well. You can host the party indoors- the spaces are grand and elegant. Or outdoors on another patio. You could even tent the outdoor space.

And I just had to share a few of my favorite details from the site.

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Dave and I enjoying the view.

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I almost missed these bas relief sculptures of the cranes. Very cool and very appropriate.

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All in all, I was amazed by the beauty of this wedding venue and the thoughtful consideration of their events team. I also really appreciate that they are making efforts to be green and provide environmentally beneficial resources, plus when you have a wedding at a historic site like this, your rental fee contributes to the greater good. Not a bad way to celebrate, in my opinion.

Happiness at the Harvard Club

When last I wrote about Jess and Ivan’s wedding, I spoke all about how chill they were and how they most looked forward to socializing with their friends and family. So when we shared the photos with them for their premiere, it was no suprise that they were most interested in seeing the faces of all their loved ones. They would point out, "Oh, there’s so and so" or "that’s my cousin…" or "that’s your neighbor from the time you were two…" Or "he was there when Ivan proposed in Ireland." Well you get the point. Their special day was all about the people.

Of course, the wedding day planning all started with the two of them and their desire to share their lives together. So I will pick up with the ceremony…

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They pretty much kept all of the traditional events of the day short and sweet. And the ceremony was also very streamlined. They did, however, include the kiss.

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Because they elected to see each other before the tea ceremony and the western ceremony, we also took their formal portraits before the ceremony and they were able to attend cocktail hour.

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Ivan found a way to chat with the friends right next to him and the ones across the room. :)

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Jess hadn’t seen many of her childhood friends in a long time. She enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with her crew.

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One of the best parts of the Downtown Harvard Club is the view. Check out the sunset.

jess-ivan-boston-harvard-club-wedding sunset view during cocktail hour

I love it when a bride and groom are surrounded by their friends and family as they take the dance floor for the first dance. Though it seems for this moment, Jess and Ivan were in a world all to themselves…

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Jess’ dad gave the one toast, and he too kept it brief. That didn’t keep him from getting in a few good laughs.

jess-ivan-boston-harvard-club-wedding- bride's father's toast during reception

I plan to share more details from their day later, but I couldn’t resist sharing this cake. It’s AMAZING!!! They wanted to honor Ivan’s chinese heritage so they had Konditor Meister decorate it with the double happiness. The swirls are like the clasps, frogs, that are the "buttons" on a Chinese dress.

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And then it’s party time. Jess’ grandfather on the dance floor…

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I am not sure if it was a special request or if the DJ just knew our boy Ivan. But Ivan is a HUGE Red Sox fan so when the DJ played Papelbon’s special song, Ivan and his friends thoroughly enjoyed themselves doing the Riverdance.

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And one last image from the night…

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And their slideshow….

Special thanks to:

Tania and all of the folks at the Downtown Harvard Club- Tania is an amazing coordinator; she helped with Jess getting ready, provided the forgotten hairspray, and was always in the background guiding the day.

Also for taking care of all the special details:
Wedding cake: Konditor Meister
Floral: Nellie’s Wildflowers
Entertainment: Entertainment Specialists
Officiant: Justice of the Peace Helen Kerivan

Many, many thanks to Ivan and Jess. I am so, so glad you asked us to photograph your wedding. It was so much fun and such a special way to celebrate with you two.

Enjoying the Moments

Me oh my- I am so excited to share more from Lauren and David’s amazing day at the Castle Hill Inn.

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With the rain far behind us, we captured a few images of our happy couple with the beautiful scenery whenever we could steal them away.

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And then we spent the rest of the evening photographing all the joy- and there was lots.

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Lauren and David definitely like to have fun. They are so playful together. And Lauren must have had about a thousand different facial expressions to show her happiness.

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After the first dance, the hora.

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Each couple went up in turn, Lauren and David first, followed by Lauren’s parents, and then David’s. His mom was a little nervous I think.

lauren_david_castle_hill_inn_wedding- groom's mom goes up in chair during hora at jewish wedding in newport

David’s cousin gave one of the toasts and he rewarded her with a huge thank you hug.

lauren_david_castle_hill_inn_wedding- thank you hug after speech - newport rhode island reception

Dancing got underway in full force. Lauren’s parents, so fun.

lauren_david_castle_hill_inn_wedding- mother and father of the bride crazy fun at newport ri wedding

I loved this moment. Just before they fed each other the cake, there was definitely some teasing going on. And Lauren, all with her eyes, says, "Please."

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Then more dancing. Lauren made sure to have a little time with each of her grandfathers.

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And with her girlfriends.

lauren_david_castle_hill_inn_wedding- bride dances with her friends during newport destination wedding

Lauren’s sister was a great help throughout the day, and also enjoyed a little time on the dance floor once the party got underway.

lauren_david_castle_hill_inn_wedding- bride's sister dances at her newport destination wedding

Maybe the best thing about a destination wedding, like this one in Newport, is that everyone has more time together, because all of the guests stay for the weekend.

Lauren enjoys another chance to connect with friends.

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I have to close with one of my favorite images from the day. We had this amazing sunset over the water. Such a beautiful place to spend a couple of moments as newlyweds.

lauren_david_castle_hill_inn_wedding- bride and groom portraits overlooking water at sunset in newport

Many thanks to the professionals who helped make Lauren and David’s day so special.

A big shout out to Nancy and her team at Castle Hill. Nancy was truly amazing, top notch all the way.

Also special thanks to Rocco Michaluk of Video & Vision. It was really great to work with you.

And for helping to complete Lauren and David’s vision:
Floral Design (more on this in a later post because WOW! gorgeous work): Laurel Lane of Laurel Lane Floral Design
Wedding cake and groom’s cake: Scrumptions
Invitations: Ruth at The Party People
Other printed materials: Judith Carroll at Papers

For creating Lauren and David’s personal looks:
Hair and Make-up: Jen Murphy and Frank Antonio from Frank Antonio Hair & Makeup
Lauren’s wedding dress: Romona Keveza from Bridal Reflections
Bridesmaid dress: Lazaro from Fontana’s
David’s attire: Georgio Armani
Groomsmen’s attire: Calvin Klein from Century 21

Plus a huge thank you to Lauren and David and your families. It was such a joy to be a part of your day and to celebrate with you.

Make sure to check out their slideshow as well.

London => Paris => Boston

When last I wrote about Erin and Darren’s fabulous Boston wedding, I shared their story up to the ceremony. Picking up where I left off… the ceremony was held in the Wharf Room at the Boston Harbor Hotel, with views of the waterfront as the back drop.

Having spent their courtship in London, it was only fitting that they import their rabbi, a former Bostonian himself who now lives in England, to perform the ceremony. Their close friendship with their officiant made for a very special and meaningful ceremony under the chuppah, with lots of personal stories and lots of smiles.

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This picture totally makes me laugh. All eyes are on Darren, except for Erin’s mom, who can’t take her eyes off her daughter.

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Fortunately, Darren said the right thing. He stomped on the glass and sealed the deal with a kiss. And Erin and Darren exited with absolute joy.

erin_darren_boston_harbor_hotel_wedding-bride and groom joyous during recessional

We then ventured upstairs to the Rotunda, my absolute favorite part of the hotel, for cocktail hour. Some guests enjoyed the views on the patio outdoors. Others mixed and mingled indoors. Many hadn’t seen each other in a long time. Family members reminisced and passed around old photos.

erin_darren_boston_harbor_hotel_wedding- guests look at family photos during cocktial hour

All were ushered downstairs for the reception to get underway in the Wharf Room. Erin and Darren kicked off the party with their first dance and guests soon followed suit.

erin_darren_boston_harbor_hotel_wedding- guests dancing during reception in ma

erin_darren_boston_harbor_hotel_wedding- guests dancing during massachusetts reception

As Erin danced with her father, her mom looked on.

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Erin and Darren listened as toasts were given by their closest friends and Darren’s brother.

erin_darren_boston_harbor_hotel_wedding- bride and groom listen during toasts given by friends- wharf room in boston, ma

Fun, fun, fun. Following some of the formalities, a little Irish dancing. Which as it turns out is a lot like Jewish dancing only with different music. It is just as fun and crazy and enthusiastic. And for these two, it melted into the hora, which culminated in this men’s group dancing in a wild circle.

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Our final photos of the evening were a few that Dave imagined and created. Focusing on their connection to Paris, we brought the Eiffel Tower into the mix.

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With that, I have a few thank you’s and kudo’s.
First, special thanks to all of the professionals who made Erin and Darren’s day amazing:
Michael and his team at the Boston Harbor Hotel, the beautiful venue with the amazing staff
Teresa and her talented crew from Mimosa Style for their floral creations
DJ John Dudley for the reception entertainment
Lisa Husseni for the ceremony music
Vows and Anahit Alterations for helping Erin find and perfect her dress
David’s Bridal for the bridesmaids gowns
Jean Yves for the groom and groomsmen attire
Judy at Four Season’s Hair
Make-up by Caitlin Murphy

Erin and Darren, you two have been absolutely wonderful to work with through and through. I was going to title this entry Beauty and the Beast, as I thought "Beauty" aptly described Erin and "Beast" alluded to Darren’s life as a wrestler, but I couldn’t do it, because there really isn’t anything beast-like about either of you. Thank you so much for welcoming us into your day!

For anyone who would like to see more, you should definitely check out their slideshow.

Weathering the Storm with Lauren and David

I adore Lauren and David. Yup, I do. Why? Because nothing could dampen their spirits on their wedding day. And they had a few more things than normal to contend with, including a torrential downpour that came out of nowhere about 20 minutes before their outdoor ceremony was set to begin. Throughout it all, they handled everything that came their way with grace. I not only adore them, I admire them. And it doesn’t hurt that they are super nice and darn cute together.

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So let’s start at the beginning of their day. We met up with Lauren at the Castle Hill Inn in Newport where she and David were celebrating their wedding. We started with Lauren in her room as she and her girlfriends were getting ready.

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Then she met up with David in the chalet garden, where they saw each other for the first time on their wedding day.

lauren_david_castle_hill_wedding-bride and groom see each other for first time in newport rhode island

The rain started coming down just as we finished the family portraits. And it kept coming down for a good long time. Fortunately, the ketubah and bedeken ceremonies were scheduled to be indoors. The went off without a hitch.

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It seemed like the rain would pass. It was amazing- on one side of the building you could see sunshine and blue skies, on the other side rain. Lauren waited and watched.

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They held off the ceremony as long as they could and just in time, the skies cleared completely. Except for a few of the most perfect fluffy clouds. It was definitely worth the wait.

A few of my favorites from the ceremony…

That’s David’s brother walking Lauren and David’s puppy, and ringbearer, Henry. Isn’t Henry such a sweet little pup?

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Lauren walking down the aisle under the enormous sky…

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Lauren during the ceremony…

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The sun shining down on the happy couple under the chuppah

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I love Lauren’s smile.

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And David’s.

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And a fabulous kiss under blue skies.

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Talk about weathering the storm. Lauren and David absolutely enjoyed all of the good stuff that came their way. It was such a delight to be with them on their wedding day.

There are definitely lots more to come. But if you want more now, check out the sneak peek on the Allegro Photography fan page.

 

Love & Fidelity

Jess and Ivan’s wedding was definitely a relaxed affair. It was all about kicking back with friends and family and enjoying a good meal with good drinks. Jess kept everything very low-key. No bridal party, simple portraits, and lots of time to see everyone. In fact, Ivan said his favorite part was shmoozing with everyone during the reception.

We started our day with Jess as she was getting ready in her suite at the Langham Hotel. We had suggested that she and Ivan choose someone to help out with putting on the dress and other such details since she didn’t have any bridesmaids. They chose Ivan’s cousin Rebecca, who was absolutely amazing. She was such a pro. I know Ivan and Jess were grateful to her and so were we.

Like I said, Jess was very relaxed. When we arrived, she was all set, except for the dress, which we had asked her to wait to put on. So she was basically chilling out, while we took a few photos of the dress (as seen in the mirror behind her) and the shoes and other details.

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Dave coordinated with Ivan so that he was waiting for Jess to arrive at Post Office Square to see her for the first time. I brought Jess down. Ivan had his back to her until she told him she was ready. And then he got his first look at his gorgeous bride. Joyful!

jess_ivan- groom sees bride for first time at post office square- boston

Since the wedding was at the downtown Boston Harvard Club and they were staying just a few blocks away, we chose to walk the streets for our portrait session. And as it happens in many financial districts, there was a Fidelity Investments office. And as it happens, Ivan and Jess met while working at Fidelity. So, of course, we had to have a photo of our happy couple with Fidelity in the background. It kind of reminds me of an advertisement for financial planning or some such thing. "Start your Happily Ever After off on the right foot with Fidelity…" We won’t go into the meaning of Jess and Ivan walking the opposite direction of the One Way sign, one detail I enjoy a lot.

 bride and groom take portraits around downtown boston before harvard club wedding

And then we captured a few images with the more typical cityscape in the background.

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We headed into the lobby of the Harvard Club building for Jess and Ivan to rest their feet.

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Jess’ mom and dad arrived and Jess’ mom caught her first glimpse of Jess through the window; Jess looked stunning in her wedding gown- no wonder her mom was so excited.

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When the rest of their family members arrived, we all went to the top floor, where the Harvard Club resides. We took the family formals in the Shawmut Room. I love this space because of the beautiful mural on the back wall and the windows opposite it. It was a perfect spot for these pictures. However, I love this photo because of how much Jess and her mom are enjoying themselves.

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For the tea ceremony, Jess changed into a traditional Chinese QiPao.

jess_ivan- tea ceremony at harvard club- boston massachusetts

Ivan’s parents were just as enthusiastic and fun as Jess’ and no one stood too much on protocal. It was all about celebrating this fabulous couple.

ivan and jess with parents duirng tea ceremony at the harvard club

Still some traditions were followed faithfully. Jess was given this beautiful jade jewelry, along with the red envelopes she and Ivan received.

jess_ivan- bride received customary jade jewelry during tea ceremony at harvard club in boston ma

Still to come, the Western ceremony, the cocktail hour as the sun set, and the fabulous party. In the meantime, if you want more right now, you can check out their engagement session.

And I just had to share one more photo to give you a taste of what their guests enjoyed when they ventured to the 38th floor- this gorgeous view of Boston.

jess_ivan- view from harvard club wedding reception- boston ma

Sneak Preview: Erin & Darren’s Wedding

Erin and Darren met in London, got engaged in Paris, and have lived in the Boston area (Erin’s hometown) for the past few years. Their wedding had all the makings of a great international affair – lots of British humor and good fun mixed with the best Boston has to offer and some really special touches from Paris. Not to mention, that these two are just so lovely together. I am so glad we could be a part of their celebration.

We started the day at the Boston Harbor Hotel and ran into Darren in the lobby first thing. Erin needed a little more time to finish getting ready before they got to see each other, but I honestly don’t think he wanted to wait a moment longer. We did not delay. We went right up to see Erin and capture her preparation.

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The emotions on a wedding day are really what make it so rewarding to photograph. Erin and Darren’s wedding day was simply filled with great moments and expressions through and through. Here’s a series of my favorites, all from "first sights".

Erin’s mom takes her in- all decked out with the dress, the veil, the shoes- her completed look.

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Erin and Darren had their first meeting outside the Boston Harbor Hotel, on Rowes Wharf. Darren stood with his back to Erin until she was ready. She told him to turn around and his eyes lit up.

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Of course, this was also the first time she got to see him.

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Body language says a lot, too. So sweet.

Erin_Darren_Wedding_Boston_Harbor_Hotel- bride and groom take each other in at first site on wedding day

After they had a chance to enjoy the moment, we all hopped in their car (thank you to our fabulous driver Erika) and headed over to the Boston Public Gardens for a few photos. Erin had visions of willow trees and the swan boats and all the beautiful flowers, and I don’t blame her. What a stunning landscape! Still, those photos are definitively rivaled by the simplicity of this one that shows off Erin’s classic beauty.

erin_darren_wedding_boston_ma- boston harbor hotel bride goes to public gardens for portraits- mass

We finished our portrait tour back at the waterfront with a few around the hotel. Dave and I had spotted this mirrored sculpture nearby on a prior to visit to the hotel. We knew we wanted to play there. Erin and Darren were amenable. So chic.

erin_darren_wedding_boston_ma- boston harbor hotel bride goes to waterfront sculpture for portraits- mass

Then the day really got underway. The ketubah signing and bedeken ceremony took place in the board room. And they were officially married by Jewish law.

Erin_Darren_Wedding_Boston_Harbor_Hotel- jewish wedding ketubah signing in boston mass

Followed by the ceremony under the chuppah in the Wharf Room. But for now, I leave you with just this one little hint of what’s to come.

Erin_Darren_Wedding_Boston_Harbor_Hotel- wharf room chuppah ceremony- boston ma

Soon to follow… the ceremony, the party, and all of their special details.

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