Who: Katie and Courtney
What: An intimate sunshine-filled and family focused Sunday afternoon lakeside wedding for 130
Where: Ceremony and celebration at the serene and secluded Alamoosook Lakeside Inn in Orland, Maine.
When: Sunday, August 24, 2008
How: Dresses from David's Bridal; elegant floral arrangements from Sweet Pea Garden in nearby Surry; and Djing from Star Notes DJ.
Why: Katie and Courtney had quite the week! Two days after closing on their first home together, the two were married. But thanks to their wonderful ability to balance each other out, the two remained grounded throughout the entire planning process, even when the cake baker hurt her arm days before the wedding and had to cancel or when pending visits from the stork required last minute alterations to two of her bridesmaid's dresses. Because while Katie and Court may outwardly seem very different, they derive great strength from their shared values and it is these priorities - hard work, loyalty and devotion to family and friends- that were showcased on their wedding day. Whether it was a nine-months pregnant bridesmaid setting up the candy bar so Katie could relax, a mother making her daughter and her daughter's bestest friends (and one very grateful photographer) peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to curb those pre-wedding hunger pangs, a groomsman getting the bride a drink during the formals or the couple's decision not to have assigned seating because they saw their guests not as "his" or "hers" but as "ours", every moment was a reflection of how much Katie and Court's friends and family loved, appreciated and were proud of them.
On a side note, this is the first time I've gotten the opportunity to photograph the sibling of a former bride or groom. I first met Katie and Court at her younger sister, Jenn's, wedding last summer, and I was honored when Katie phoned me within a few days of her engagement to ask if I could photograph her wedding too. To continue being blessed with the responsibility to document this family's story is incredibly gratifying. One day, I hope to photograph their brother Brian's nuptials as well!
Loons reign supreme at the lakeside lodge, though we didn't spot any on the wedding day.
A nice little scene setter I found when doing my walk of the venue's perimeter. This place was just so relaxing and beautiful. I felt like I was back at camp!
Maid of honor, a summer 2007 bride of mine and a new mommy, Jenn gets a last minute accessory. Motherhood agrees with her- I've never seen her look more beautiful!
I teased Kyle before I left for this wedding that I wouldn't drink the water at this wedding. Three of the four women in the wedding party have been pregnant in the past six months. Jenn had her baby in April, Glori had her baby just two weeks before the wedding, and bridesmaid Shannon, who applies Katie's makeup here, is due any moment! What a trooper (and such a great friend to Katie) to not only be a bridesmaid, but also serve as makeup artist and even give a toast.
I giggle whenever I see this shot. Katie's expression as she reacts to her veil being secured is adorable.
Katie and Court wanted the world's shortest ceremony and I think they came pretty close. The entire service lasted just a few minutes, but every moment of that was meaningful and moving. I love this image for so many reasons, but mostly because it truly is a storytelling one: Katie beaming at Court, the wild wind whipping her veil sideways, and a bridesmaid tearing up in the background.
See, I told you it was windy!!!
Katie gets a hug from little sis Jenn after the ceremony. The friendship between the two transcends sisterhood and is a beautiful thing to see.
Speaking of that, what a privilege it was to photograph this grouping: four generations.
Katie and Courtney. I share this shot because I want you to notice something- check out those leaves behind them. Yes, they are a changing! I couldn't believe all the turning trees I saw on my drive across the state. I guess summer really is coming to a close :(
Some images of the bride and groom on the lake.
The pink and green color scheme was executed simply and stunningly thanks to the arrangements from Sweet Pea Gardens, who also did the flowers for Jenn's wedding. A testament to the relaxed nature of the wedding was that there was no assigned seating, which made Katie's planning easier, and encouraged new friendships to be formed.
A close-up of the centerpieces.
Katie and Court have been dating for six years (or is it seven?) so this note on their signature frame was a long time coming!
The first dance.
One of the most poignant images of the day was this one, from Court's dance with his mom. You can see Katie, Jenn and their brother Brian sharing an emotional embrace in the background, which speaks to the closeness of these two families.
Quite the duel here for the bouquet. Too funny!
Even at nine months pregnant, Shannon was a rock star on the dance floor. Can you tell I am impressed with her!
I caught these two doing the robot.
I can't get enough of Jenn and Ben. One of the greatest gifts for me is seeing my former brides and grooms so happy together, long after their own wedding days.
A great dancing moment between Court's mom, Jenn and Katie.
And, the last dance, at least of this night.
Katie and Court, congratulations! I am so happy for you both and thankful to you for allowing me to be a part of this long awaited day. I hope you are enjoying your tour around New Hampshire and I wish you level floors and dry basements upon your return.
Who: Leslie and David
What: A classic lakeside wedding tucked deep in the western Maine mountains for 125
Where: Ceremony and celebration at the rustic yet refined Loon Lodge, a retreat on the shores of Rangeley Lake.
When: Saturday, August 23, 2008
How: Breathtaking dress from Madeleine's Daughter in Portsmouth, NH; tent and chairs from Wallace Tent; tent transformation thanks to stunning floral arrangements from Rangeley's Sunrise View Farms (who it must be noted are dear family friends, who also did the flowers for our wedding three years ago); simple three-tiered cake from the boys at the Bankery in Skowhegan; officiated by Rangeley's Rob Welch (another dear family friend); entertainment and general rocking and awesomeness from the Boston-based Mirage Band (I photographed the musical marriage of the band's trumpeter last summer in Cushing; and last but certainly not least, impeccable planning down to the tiniest yet still distinctive detail from Amber Small of the Sweetest Thing Weddings.
Why: It could have been any other UMaine fraternity party, but when David looked across the dingy basement and saw a carefree coed laughing, he knew this night was going to be life-changing. As these stories sometimes go, the girl didn't initially have the same head-over-heels reaction, but that soon changed. "I knew from the moment I saw her it would be worth the effort," David told me at the rehearsal dinner of convincing Leslie to get to know him. And of course, he was right. Two years ago, high atop a mountain on a tiny island in Greece, as the sun set into the sea, David asked Leslie to be his wife, and of course, she said yes! Last Saturday, on the shores of the lake where David spent his childhood summers, the two were married in one of the most spectacular weddings I've witnessed.
For both personal and professional reasons, the privilege to document Leslie and David's day was especially meaningful to me. First the place, Rangeley, is a special one to me. It's where I first met Kyle, and where we fell in love, and the Loon Lodge, where the day's events were held is actually where we first introduced our families to each other in celebration of our engagement. Second, many of the vendors happened to also be important figures in my own life, like the florists, Priscella and Brian, who are dear friends who not only attended our wedding, but did the floral arrangements for us as well, and are parents (mother and stepfather) of our best friend and best man, Jon; the band, who I worked with last summer when I photographed the trumpet player's wedding; Amber, the wedding planner has become a dear friend since I first met her when I was just beginning my photography career several summers ago; and even the officiant, a longtime family friend. And third, the people: Leslie and David were delights to work with and their affection for each other and their hospitality to both vendors and guests made everyone feel like part of the family!
As a result, I was so happy that their wedding day was all they dreamed it would be. From the weather, which was easily the best Saturday all summer, to the sunsets, everything was spectacular, showcasing Rangeley in its finest, most delicious light. Congratulations to you both. May this magical day on the lake be just one of many more you'll enjoy together!!!
I was excited to photograph the rehearsal dinner. This is the first summer I've offered rehearsal dinner coverage, and many past clients had told me they wished they had me there to document their rehearsal festivities, which is why I began offering coverage of that kind. Here, the groom greets guests at the dinner, which was held at his family's lakeside camp.
Leslie and David take time to enjoy the setting sun.
The sunsets on both the night of the rehearsal and then of the wedding were jaw dropping. This image of David, quietly looking out across the lake where so many of his best memories were born, and where new ones were being created is among my favorites from the weekend. I know how important this place is to him, and to situate him so peacefully within it is a shot I know he'll treasure for years to come.
A final few moments of the cocktail hour.
Another favorite: guests enjoying a sunset meal.
The wedding day arrives. When you drive down the dirt road to the lakeside lodge, and see this tranquil sign tucked in the trees, a sense of calm overcomes.
The bride's mom, getting her hair done.
Before the bridal party began getting ready, Leslie and her girls headed down the lake, where she asked me to get a shot of these custom sweats!
Also on the dock was the bride's cousin and his girlfriend, who were enjoying their visit from NYC by playing a little lakeside Scrabble.
And the shoes!!! Quite the story with these... Leslie had seen them on a bride's profile on the Knot and instantly fell in love. But where to find them? Luckily, Amber, the wedding planner extraordinaire, was up to the challenge. She called the Cali wedding photographer who contacted his bride who shared her sources- the shoes came from one place and the silk gardenias from another. And all was well!
I love this moment when the bride sees herself in her veil for the first time on the wedding day.
With everything getting ready in such a small space, it got a bit overwhelming. So Leslie and her mom and I headed upstairs to the lodge's bar (which was closed for the day) to enjoy some quiet moments before the ceremony. Then about 10 minutes before go-time, things went back in motion. Here, the veil is carefully readjusted for it's big reveal.
A champagne toast.
David awaits (a bit nervously, it must be said.)
And here she comes! Wow!!!
Look at how happy they are. And notice the beautifully draped chuppah, a nod to David's Judaism.
A beautiful bride.
The ceremony from the back.
And from the front.
The ring exchange. Yes, that is David's right hand, something that was rectified after the recessional.
The bride and groom departed (and then returned) on a gorgeous old wooden Chris-Craft, driven by groomsman George.
For some reason, this is one of my favorites.
Leslie and David both admittedly hate having their photograph taken and so my hands-off style of photographing couples was a good fit. A few quick captures on the dock.
Check out that view from the tent.
The tables all set for dinner.
A close-up of the centerpieces, with the table number cards featuring the region's beautiful birches drawn by the bride's aunt.
And, a final shot of Leslie and David, who I found quietly catching up after dinner while enjoying the day's signature cocktail: Maine Lemonade (let me see if I can get this right- muddled mint, lemonade, vodka, and wild blueberries- yum!)