There is a moment at every wedding. The one moment when you can actually see it. You can see the look on the bride's face when it suddenly hits her. As photographers, it's something we look for, like a wedding day scavenger hunt. It's different for each bride, you never can guess when that moment will come for each one but inevitably it does. And it's our job to capture it. For some brides, it's the moment when she is finally dressed. Standing in the gown in the middle of their parent's home, flawless hair and make-up, a veil brushing against her shoulders as she walks across the room, the weight of her bouquet suddenly heavy in her hand. She looks in the mirror and the wave of emotions come flooding in. A feeling of joy and excitement so intense it brings tears to her eyes. For others, it's the moment when she's in the back of the church. Standing there, she hears the music start to swell, she sees the pews filled with her family and friends eagerly awaiting her appearance. And although she can't see him from where she's standing, she knows that at the front of the church stands the man who will take her hand and become her husband. She takes her father's arm and stops for a moment - letting the weight of it all wash over her. She kisses her father on the cheek and steps forward, ready to move from bride to wife. And for some, it's the moment after the ceremony, the time when she takes her now-husband's hand and they spend a few minutes away from all the guests, soaking it all in. She looks up at him with a smile so wide it makes her cheeks hurt, and it hits her all over again. Especially when she see the very same look in his eyes. In that moment, he's feeling the very same way. A feeling that could only be described as a mix of joy and almost disbelief, wondering how in the world has he gotten so lucky. They hold each other tight, each making sure the other is real, that the moment is real, and being so grateful that somehow they are actually living in a moment better than any dream could ever be.
You might wonder how in the world we are such experts at knowing when these moments may occur. Sure, we have photographed quite a few weddings, so we have a pretty good sense of when things usually tend to happen. But even if we hadn't, even if this was the very first wedding we had ever attended, we couldn't have missed the moment at Kate & Spencer's wedding. Or, more accurately, the moments. Because for Kate, it hit her at each and every one of those times. When her sister and mother buttoned her into her lace gown and she finally got a glimpse of herself in the mirror. When she was at the back of the church with her father, waiting to walk down the aisle. When she and Spencer walked the grounds of the Hartford golf club together, each staring into the eyes of the other and smiling like they had just won the lotto. For us, it was the very best kind of photo scavenger hunt. We were like the kid who can't believe his luck, nearly tripping over the clues, he's finding them so fast. The connection, the expression of emotion between Kate and Spencer was impossible to miss. It was in the way they held each other, in her smile before she even laid eyes on him that day, in the way he spun her around on the dance floor like he couldn't help but show her off. And, even more, it was in the quiet moments when you would see one of them sneak a peak at the other during the day. Like they just wanted to make sure they weren't dreaming. Because each and every one of those moments really was a dream come true and they were going to hold on to each one for as long as possible. They would let all the emotions wash over them and tuck them away in their memory so they would never, ever forget just how they felt that day.
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We started the morning with Kate and her ladies, all getting ready at her parent's gorgeous lakeside home in Wolcott. Kate greeted us at the door with a smile and a big hug for each of us. She was laid back and relaxed, her hair already done by Shelia Marie of Hair by Sheila Marie and make-up nearly complete by Susan from Naomi Martinez Salon in West Hartford. Kate took a few minutes to show us where all of her accessories were and I promptly gushed over her stunning Grace Kelly inspired Gail Garrison Couture lace gown. She had all the key details, the old, the new, the blue and her borrowed. Fabulous Stuart Weitzman heels lent by one of her bridesmaids, who had worn them at her own wedding. Kate was going for a classic look with not only her attire and her bridesmaids (all decked in floor length black gowns) but also with the ivory, black and green color scheme that tied into the floral design, specifically the beautiful bouquets made by Elisabeth from Blush Floral Design in Madison.
Despite a chill in the air and some unusually heavy winds, Kate was totally up for heading outside for some portraits. We didn't make her brave the wind for too long, making the most of her parent's beautiful property before heading over toSt. Joseph Church in Bristol for the ceremony. Kate's impeccable taste carried through to the ceremony decor, with floral arrangements just as beautiful as the bouquets and a stunning hand-painted aisle runner made by her sister. It was an emotional ceremony, with Kate and Spencer each gently holding onto one another's hands at every opportunity.
Following the ceremony, we took the drive over to the Hartford Golf Club in West Hartford for the reception. We enjoyed some time with just Kate & Spencer while their guests were in the cocktail hour, this time using the wind to our advantage to show off Kate's cathedral length mantilla veil, and letting the happy bride and groom get to spend some uninterrupted time together while we stood back and captured their natural happy expressions. Once we headed into the reception, we were delighted to run into Lindsay from Six Pence Events, who was a guest at the wedding and had actually referred us to Kate & Spencer. We spent a few minutes catching up (and thanking) her, before the reception kicked off. Kate & Spencer opened the dance floor in style, with a first dance done to "Are you the One?" by Peter Cincotti. Their impressive moves no doubt inspired their guests who were out on the floor for the rest of the night, thanks to DJ Michael James of Atmosphere Productions.
What better way to start the day than photographing some beautiful shoes? Kate's Stuart Weitzman gold heels were actually her "something borrowed", lent by one of her bridesmaids.
Believe it or not, this red background is actually a window seat in Kate's parent's house - we just loved the background with the subtle pattern and the gorgeous light streaming through the window to illuminate all her beautiful details.
I know Elisabeth from Blush Floral Design does amazing work, but her work never ceases to amaze us - how it conveys a mood. Doesn't this bouquet just scream romance? How does she do that with flowers? Amazing.
One last champagne toast before Kate puts on her gown. I always love to hear what her girls say at moments like these - always a nice mix of funny and sweet.
Can you see it? This is the moment when it starts to hit Kate - the first time she takes a glimpse of herself in the mirror in her full wedding attire.
At this point of the day, Kate's father hadn't seen her in her dress yet. I stayed at the top of the stairs and captured this shot as she headed down to see him...
And Rob was at the foot of the stairs, getting Kate's father's reaction to seeing his little girl in her wedding down.
And the inevitable hug once she got to the bottom of the stairs. It's always the looks on the Dad's faces that get me - just look at that, him taking it in. So sweet.
You would never know it from the big smile on Kate's face, but it was seriously chilly outside. But she was a total trooper, "anything for a good picture" she said - our kind of girl!! :)
Didn't she look absolutely gorgeous?
Kate's parent's house has the most incredible view of the lake so we definitely had to grab a few shots with that in the background - especially since Spencer proposed at her parent's dock.
This would be the ring bearer, Kate's nephew. Gotta love a little boy in a tuxedo, doesn't get much cuter than that.
St. Joseph Church in Bristol is significant to Kate's family, they have been going there for many, many years. An added bonus? It's gorgeous inside.
Another Rob's shot/my shot. Rob's shot is on the left as the groomsmen pull out the hand-painted aisle runner. I was in the back of the church, as it hit Kate once again. She kissed her father on the cheek as the procession of the bridesmaids began.
Another view of our two angles, my shot on the left, Rob's shot on the right.
Rob has totally mastered this, he somehow knows exactly when to turn from the bride walking down the aisle to capturing the groom's expression as she's almost to him. Spencer almost couldn't believe his eyes when he saw Kate.
See what I mean? Gorgeous church.
It's important to us to capture the reactions of not only the bride and groom, but their close friends and family as well, during the ceremony. The bridesmaids all seemed to have the same look of quiet anticipation as they waited for the moment for Kate & Spencer to say their vows.
During the ceremony, Rob tends to kneel in the middle aisle grabbing shots like the one on the left during the vows. I am usually off to the side, looking for moments like the one on the right as Kate says her vows to Spencer.
Then I make my way over to the other side of the church for the ring exchange, so I can get the look on Spencer's face as well.
Two of my favorite shots of Rob's - Spencer excitedly holding up Kate's arm as they walk down the aisle as bride & groom and then heading back down the stairs to head outside.
We arrived at the Hartford Golf Club just as the sun was starting to head down, giving us perfect light to show off the autumn leaves. And the big smiles from Kate, of course.
Kate & Spencer were so excited to be married, they could barely contain their smiles.
We decided to embrace the heavy winds, letting Kate's cathedral length veil blow in the breeze as they walked off hand in hand.
This wedding party = total troopers. You would never know the bridesmaids were all freezing. They were way too excited to grab a fun shot with Kate & Spencer.
Kate & Spencer kicked off the reception with their very impressive dance moves to "Are you the One?" by Peter Cincotti.
Love this one. Just look at Spencer's face. Could he possibly be any happier? Don't think so.
Ok, maybe he's even happier here. See what I mean - you couldn't try to recreate these moments if you tried. You just have to stand back and look for them.
Right after their first dance, Spencer lead Kate over to her father so they would share in their own special dance. Hardly a dry eye in the place during this one.
Then it as Spencer's turn, this time giving his mother a spin on the dance floor.
Kate & Spencer, we loved looking for all of the amazing moments between the two of you, thanks for making them so easy to spot!! We are so glad we got to capture your day, it had us smiling all day long.