Like a lot of couples, Monica and Jason met while working for the same company. They just happened to live on opposite sides of the country at the time. She lived in Massachusetts working in the office near her home while Jason worked and lived out in St. Lake City. Despite being co-workers, there was little reason for the two of them to ever happen to find one another with about 2,000 miles of distance between them. Thankfully, their company happened to have conferences which would bring together employees from around the country. It was at one of these functions where Monica and Jason met for the first time.
They hit it off right away, constantly surprised by just how much they had in common. It ended up that they were both from the east coast. Jason had actually grown up in Connecticut, not too far from where Monica was raised in Massachusetts. They had similar experiences, a mutual lust for life and a shared passion for following your heart. They both knew that sometimes you just have to follow where your heart takes you. For Monica, that was all the way to Utah to find Jason. For Jason, it meant a journey back home again so he could live in the very same place as the woman he fell in love with. Who says business networking doesn't work? It was clearly beneficial for Monica and Jason.
* * *
We woke up bright and early the morning of Monica & Jason's wedding, blaring a brand-new playlist as we made the journey from New York up to Massachusetts. We started the morning at Monica's childhood home where she was getting ready. When we arrived her hair was already done by Rita from Jennie's Beauty Salon in Dedham and Sandy Alesse from Estrela Skin Care was working on her make-up and Mike from McElroy Weddings was there as their videographer. Once she was all done, it was time for Monica to put on her beautiful Casablanca Bridal gown that she found at Chryssies Bridal Shop in Canton, MA.
The ceremony took place at St. Mary's Church in Dedham, MA. It was a sweet, traditional ceremony with Jason beaming from ear to ear from the minute he saw Monica enter the church. Once the ceremony was over we all headed immediately over to the MIT Endicott House in Dedham, MA for the reception. The house is stunning and not your typical wedding venue, in fact it's only available to couples who have a connection to the university. Monica had a clear vision of how she wanted the reception to look - selecting a unique color scheme of purples and blue, accented with centerpieces from Flowers & More in Walpole, MA and uplighting in the outdoor tent of the house.
The party kicked off after dinner with DJ Mark McGillicuddy of Quincy, MA opening up the dance floor and all of the guests tearing it up. When Monica and Jason stepped onto the floor a space was cleared so everyone could stand back and watch them, holding onto one another tight and soaking in every minute of the celebration happening just for them.
Even though it was raining pretty hard when we arrived, everyone was really calm at Monica's parent's house where she was having her make-up done by Sandy Alesse from Estrela Skin Care.
There were family wedding photos all throughout Monica's parent's house. We always love to get some shots of those as well, we feel it adds to the setting of the day.
Monica had a lot of beautiful diamond accessories to compliment her Casablanca Bridal gown.
Everyone gathered around outside Monica's childhood bedroom to wait and see her when she came out in her gown for the first time. Everyone cheered when she came out, with Monica greeting them all with a huge smile.
The church was absolutely gorgeous with tons of architectural detail and gorgeous light.
This was actually our first time meeting Jason, but he and Rob ended up having a lot to talk about since they discovered they happen to be from the very same town - Naugatuck, Connecticut.
As the music started to fill the church, the groomsmen rolled out the aisle runner for the bridesmaids.
Jason couldn't keep the smile off his face from the minute he saw Monica appear at the end of the church aisle. These are Rob's shots from the front of the church...
and this is my point of view from the back of the church.
The church was really big, creating a dramatic backdrop while Monica & Jason exchanged their vows.
One of the benefits of having two photographers at your wedding is the opportunity to get shots from many different angles. While I was down on the main floor of the church getting closer shots, Rob went up to the balcony to get this.
Finally it was time for Monica and Jason to officially say their vows...
and exchange their rings...
and, of course, finish it all off with their first kiss.
Before walking down the aisle, Monica & Jason stopped for a few seconds to smile at their guests.
The main house and grounds of the MIT Endicott House in Dedham, MA are absolutely stunning. And Monica & Jason totally lucked out when the rain held off long enough for us to get some shots of them outside and around the grounds.
Of course we started with the fantastic vintage car that transported Monica & Jason from the church over to the MIT Endicott House.
A wedding must: a super-smily, straight-forward portrait that your parents will love.
Definitely one of my favorites from the day. It's completely timeless and really shows off just how beautiful the setting of Monica & Jason's wedding was.
We spotted this stone wall on way into the mansion and knew we had to head over to with Monica and Jason. To me, nothing says New England like a stone wall.
With a constant eye on the clouds rolling in above, we gathered together the wedding party for a shot in the front of the mansion.
Before joining their cocktail hour, Monica and Jason got to cuddle together for a few more minutes. They were more than happy to.
Monica had put a lot of thought into how she wanted the reception to look. Starting with the already beautiful grounds of the mansion, she selected the back terrace for their reception and decked out the tent in shades of silver, ivory and purple.
When you're fifteen years old you may not know a whole about the world, but you know what you like. And Allie knew she liked Shane. It was the end of their sophomore year and a standardized test led to the two of them being in the same classroom for a week straight. It was then when they first noticed each other. Shane made a subtle move, giving Allie his phone number when he signed her yearbook at the end of that school year. At first Allie wondered if he gave his number to everyone but decided to go with her heart and make a move of her own. She called him.
They talked most of the summer and officially became a couple September of their junior year. Although they didn't say so, I like to imagine that they were that high school couple that everyone wanted to be. The one that would make you say "awww" when you see them walk down the hall holding hands. The couple you could tell, that even at sixteen were a relationship that would go the distance - long after high school was over. And it did.
Allie and Shane stayed together when they went off to college, with their relationship facing it's first real test when Allie studied abroad in London for six months. It was the first time they would have a significant distance between them and the time apart made them really evaluate their relationship. It had been five years since they had first gotten together and in that time they had both changed, as you do during those formative years. But it was during those six months that they both realized that no matter what changed, there was one thing they always wanted to be a constant in their lives: each other. When Allie returned from London, they both felt the change in their relationship. It was stronger than ever before. It was then that they knew for certain that one day, they would husband and wife.
* * *
Allie and Shane selected Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford for their engagement session because it was actually one of the places they had been looking at for their wedding. With a three-year waiting list at the park, they ultimately decided on the equally-as-beautiful Guilford Yacht Club for their reception, knowing that they could have the best of both worlds by having their engagement pictures at Harkness.
We had a lively road trip up to Harkness, really taking advantage of the chance to head out of the city and enjoy the open road and smell the fresh-cut grass. We were excited to spend the afternoon with Allie and Shane, hearing about their wedding plans and listening to the adorable story of how they met. It was late afternoon when we began the session, the perfect time to catch some soft sunlight and take advantage of the lower temperatures.
We parked down the road from the entrance to the park, giving us the chance to use the entrance roadway which, luckily, wasn't too busy.
If you have read our blog for a while, you know we are BIG fans of long grass. Thankfully, Allie and Shane were willing to get right in the middle of it all. Totally worth it.
Especially since it gave them an excuse to get super close and make each other smile.
As always, we made sure to get some solid straight-forward portraits - perfect for gifts for parents and for newspaper announcements.
One of our favorite parts of Harkness is this secluded tree-covered area. We could easily photograph an entire session just there. It's that beautiful.
We have been to Harkness many times, but I still think we have only seen a portion of it. It's huge! You can see a hint of how big it is from the rolling hills behind them.
As much as we were loving all the greenery and natural surroundings, we decided to mix it up and shoot against this brick garage for a while.
I think what I loved about using this brick wall is that it reminded me of something you would see in a high school, very fitting since that's where Allie & Shane happened to meet.
Can't you just imagine them doing this very same thing ten years ago when they were first together?
We usually suggest to couples to bring along a change of clothes so they have some variety in their pictures - one dressy outfit and another more casual.
Again - being total troopers, Allie and Shane ventured into the middle of this ivy bush for some more shots. Still, totally worth it.
Pretty much everything at Harkness is beautiful, even the staircases. I just love this perspective Rob got.
Allie's smile is completely infectious, and nothing makes her smile more than having Shane close.
In our studio, we have portraits of our relatives from their own weddings - straight forward shots where you can see exactly how they looked 60 years ago when they got married. I love those shots because I never got to see them when they were that age. With that in mind, we always make sure to get shots like these so that Allie & Shane's grandchildren can know exactly what they looked like before they got married.
Since it was an especially beautiful day, Allie slipped off her sandals and we headed down to the beach.
There is something completely timeless about black and white shots at the beach.
We headed down to the water which, thankfully, wasn't too cold since Allie & Shane were close to the edge for these shots.
One of our favorite things about Connecticut beaches is the rich texture in the shoreline. The large rocks and low tide really make for some beautiful pictures.
And, of course, Allie & Shane's cuteness helps too! :)
Definitely one of our favorites from this session! Just look at the way the light is streaming through the clouds.
Allie and Shane are super laid back. Even in the middle of all the wedding planning, they are completely calm and really enjoyed getting to spend the afternoon together.
A perfect example of our two perspectives while we're shooting together. This is Rob's shot...
and this is my shot just a minute later.
After the beach we headed back toward the parking lot, stopping at the mansion area of the park on our way. When we got underneath this trellis area both Rob & I were very excited about the gorgeous light streaming in from the side.
Of course we couldn't let the session come to an end before we really played up Allie & Shane's playful personalities.
There are two things Shane loves to do (besides spending time with Allie) - 1) wear his Phillies hat and 2) pick Allie up in a fireman's carry.
Allie had mentioned that she love shots of the two of them walking away. We were more than happy to oblige. It seemed like the perfect way to end their session.
Allie & Shane, thanks so much for spending the day with us. We loved hearing about your wedding and can't wait for September to get here!
Jeff and Jess met while they were both students at Central Connecticut State University. After graduation they stayed together, helping one another navigate life in the real world, pursue their careers and carve out their dreams. All the while there was little question that no matter what life had in store for them, they would experience it together. Before they knew it, eight years had passed since that very first meeting.
It was a particularly beautiful evening the night Jeff suggested they head to town for ice cream. He walked slower than usual, taking time to talk and for both of them to take in the eveningís splendor. When they came upon a park bench near the pond, Jeff suggested they sit for a few minutes. He asked Jess to throw a penny in the bond and make a wish. Not knowing what Jeff was up to, Jess refused. She insisted that she didnít want a goose to choke on it. After much unsuccessful coaxing Jeff decided to go ahead and make his wish on his own. "I will just make my wish," he said. "I wish you would marry me." To this, Jess excitedly agreed without hestitation.
Jess and Jeff continue to go on daily walks around that pond, smiling to themselves whenever they pass that bench where they promised to share their lives together.
* * *
Blue skies and a gentle summer breeze swept the beautiful grounds of the Winvian as I greeted Jeff and Jess on their wedding day. They were relaxing in the library and enjoying the quiet atmosphere before their family arrived. Jess joked that they had stopped for lunch at Panera Bread, a typical place to stop but it was different today because today was the day she was getting married.
Jess and Jeff had decided to have a intimate wedding, celebrating with just their immediate family and closest friends with a ceremony and celebration on the grounds of the Winvian. It was a laid back morning and the excitement grew once their families arrived and the final preparations where in place. When it was time for the ceremony to begin, everyone headed out to the courtyard to wait for Jess to walk down the aisle.
It was very fitting that their intimate ceremony take place over looking a pond under the shade of a beautiful oak tree. Jessís mother, Jeanne, is a Justice of the Peace and ministered the wedding. She made the ceremony especially personal, including all the beautiful blessings a mother could wish a daughter on her wedding day.
During their vows and throughout the rest of the afternoon, Jeff and Jess gazed into each otherís eyes with big smiles and anticipation for what the future holds.
So by now our love for Style Me Pretty is probably pretty obvious and we're perfectly okay with that. Because not only do they consistently feature really beautiful weddings (including many from our very own brides) that are an endless source of inspiration for brides-to-be, they are also always looking for new ways to help their readers navigate the sometimes difficult task of pulling it all together. That's why they have added "Buying Guides" so that brides can know exactly where to find that adorable purse or cute pair of shoes they saw on a recent post. They also have an option to build your own inspiration board where you can pull images from their featured weddings to create a completely unique design board of your very own. Even more, they have now started featuring planning posts where some of your most difficult wedding planning questions are answered - with our very own "10 Common Wedding Day Timing Mistakes" being one of the first such posts over on the Style Me Pretty New York Blog. Since it was posted first thing this morning it's gotten a huge response already, with brides very excited to have some practical advice on how to build a solid wedding timeline. Of course, we want our blog readers to take advantage of all Style Me Pretty has to offer - so head over to their many sites and let them help you build your dream wedding. And while you're at it, re-read our post and leave some feedback for the Style Me Pretty editors. They're always looking for new ways to help brides. And...so are we! So if there's any Planning FAQ post topic you're dying to see, let us know in the comment section below! Or just say hi - we always love to hear from you.
It started with an e-mail. A message intriguing enough that it prompted an initial response and many more to follow. With Rosamond living in New York and Frank in nearby New Jersey, they assumed the distance would be no problem. But before they could have that first meeting, life through them a curve ball. Frank was transferred to Delaware and that first date would have to wait. So they made the most of it, spending the next nine months keeping in touch over e-mail. They discovered they had a lot in common - similar online dating war stories, a shared sense of humor and, most importantly, a mutual love of food. Both devout foodies, they were delighted to find a kindred spirit in one another - someone else who loved the experience of dining, tasting food and savoring the meal just as much as they each did.
So it was no surprise that when it came time for that first date, Frank was intent on making a very good impression on Rosamond. He made the trek up from Delaware to Rosamond's place in New York City, starting the date with a long walk around Central Park so they could finally have one of those long chats in person. In spite of all the restaurants to chose from in the city, Frank decided the best meal would be the one he made himself. And he was right. They really hit it off over that meal and both knew this was the start of something really great. They spent the next two years having fun with the distance, traveling to visit one another and visiting all of their favorites restaurants in both Delaware and New York.
Last year, Frank impressed Rosamond once again. Knowing she was excited about having her birthday on 10/10/10, he brought her up to her hometown in New Hampshire for the weekend. He led her by the hand, getting lost in the rows of apple trees at a local orchard and finding a secluded area with the mountain scape in the distance. It was then when Frank pulled a ring out of his pocket and asked Rosamond to be his wife. She's never said yes to any question faster in her life. It was the best decision she has ever made. Well, that, and answering that initial e-mail.
* * *
We started the morning with Rosamond and her girls at the Courtyard Marriott in Rye. Everyone was laid back and relaxed when we arrived, with Maureen Pedala working on the ladies make-up and Claudia Pedala doing their hair. While they were finishing up, we spent time photographing Rosamond's gorgeous Pronovias gown, her shoes and her bouquet made by Felix Perea. When it came time to get dressed, Rosamond's ladies gathered around, each taking turns fastening the buttons that ran along the back of her gown. Once she was dressed and ready, we headed outside for a few portraits with the girls before heading over to the Hampshire Country Club for the ceremony and reception.
The ceremony took place on the grounds over the country club with the Long Island Sound in the distance and the sun sinking overhead. It was a sweet and personal ceremony, Rosamond and Frank had put quite a bit of thought into all aspects of their wedding day and the ceremony was no exception. The reception was very important to them as well, especially since this was the first time their families would be meeting. Food was first and foremost, of course, particularly the cake from Lulu Custom Cakes in Scarsdale, but just as important was a relaxed atmosphere and solid entertainment from DJ Brendan O'Keefe.
As the night came to an end, Rosamond and Frank danced surrounded by their family and friends, soaking it all in and relishing their luck in finding one another.
Rosamond's bouquet and accessories fit into her classic and elegant style, particularly her ivory and green peony bouquet which she wrapped with handkerchief that is a family heirloom.
Rosamond's Pronovias gown was absolutely stunning, especially once she put it on.
Rosamond's bridesmaids were almost as excited as she was and couldn't stop gushing about how amazing she looked.
All of the ladies gathered around Rosamond once she was in her dress, each taking turns with the buttons down the back of her gown.
It was especially emotional when Rosamond's mother stepped in and buttoned some of the buttons.
Once she was all dressed, Rosamond's father came in and saw his little girl in her wedding dress for the first time. He couldn't believe his eyes.
And, of course, a big hug followed.
Rosamond's overall look for the day was all about a romantic feel, especially evident when you saw her bouquet paired with her lace gown.
The girls were all in different styles of kelly green gowns from Bill Levkoff, which paired nicely with their ivory and pink bouquets by Felix Perea.
Rosamond looked absolutely gorgeous. Everyone agreed that Frank would be blown away when he saw her coming down the aisle.
One of the reasons Rosamond and Frank selected the Hampshire Country Club for their day was because of this amazing setting for their ceremony with the view of the Long Island Sound.
One of the many thoughtful touches, Rosamond and Frank's ceremony programs were actually made by Rosamond's mother and sister.
Once all the guests were all in place, the ceremony could finally begin.
Frank started off the processional, walking down the aisle with his sister.
Rosamond walked down the aisle on her father's arm and Frank was delighted when he saw her.
And so were all of her girls, who couldn't help smiling as well.
This is one of our favorite moments in a ceremony, when the father of the bride officially gives his daughter's hand to her husband to be. It's always sweet.
Since the location of the ceremony was so important to Rosamond and Frank, we made sure to get many shots of the overall view of the ceremony so they could remember exactly how it was from an angle they wouldn't have been able to experience otherwise.
With Rosamond and Frank's rich sense of humor, there was no surprise that there were some laughs during the ceremony.
Adorable little boy at the ceremony? Of course we need to grab a shot of him! :)
The setting was beautiful, with the boats in the sound moving in the distance.
The ceremony was filled with thoughtful readings and blessings for Rosamond and Frank.
They both held back tears as they exchanged their rings.
And, of course, the ceremony ended with a big kiss and a big hug.
This is another one of our favorite moments during the ceremony, when the couple walks back down the aisle hand in hand. It always leads to the biggest smiles, as you can see from Rosamond's face.
After getting the important family shots, we snuck away with just Rosamond and Frank for some portraits of the two of them.
This is one of my personal favorites, I love how it shows off the lace in her gown, her veil and Frank smiling in the background.
Frank looked quite handsome and was incredibly happy all day long.
We loved being able to take advantage of the view of the Sound while we were getting shots of the two of them.
Then we heading over to the golf course where we could have fun with the rolling hills.
And showcase Rosamond and Frank's playful nature and the cute way they interact with one another.
Then we grabbed the wedding party before heading into the reception.
Rosamond's mother and sister also happened to design the escort cards to match their ceremony programs.
The ballroom at the country club is simple and elegant, the perfect backdrop for Rosamond and Frank's beautiful decor.
The pink centerpieces by Felix Perea popped against the light green table linens.
Rosamond and Frank couldn't contain their excitement as they were officially introduced into the reception.
Another favorite, this one just seems to capture "them" to me - the sweet look on Frank's face and the sheer joy on Rosamond's.
Before they went into their first dance, Frank offered up a toast - making the guests laugh as only he can.
Like everything else in their day, Rosamond and Frank had planned their first dance perfectly - wowing their guests with their moves.
And maybe even surprising one another with how well they pulled it off.
Before dinner, Rosamond's father offered a toast to his little girl...
and then they shared a dance as well.
Since Frank's mother passed away, he danced with his sister while his niece sang a song just for the occasion. There was hardly a dry eye in the room.
Then Frank's best man (and twin brother) offered a toast, followed by Rosamond's sister/Matron of Honor.
After dinner, Frank shared another special dance - this time with his niece.
Since her parent's 40th wedding anniversary was just days away, Rosamond surprised them with a toast and a dance just for them.
Of course, no wedding is complete without a delicious dessert...
and tons of dancing!
Rosamond & Frank, thank you so much for inviting us to capture your day. We had so much fun with you and your families. We would say we hoped you had an amazing time on your honeymoon in Italy, but we're sure you did. After all, it is a foodie's dream come true!!