When I arrived at Salon Acote on Newbury street on the day of Mariann and Mike’s wedding day, the weather was picture perfect. I was so excited at the prospect of getting to shoot bridal portraits by the water again. Mariann and her girls all got beautifully coiffed and had their make up done at the salon which provided everyone with a lovely assortment of yummy goodies to eat. Mariann’s beautiful veil, which was her mother’s, was put in place while at the salon as well. As we left Salon Acote we felt a few raindrops. This didn’t get Mariann down though, she just looked out the window of the limo with a beautiful smile. Once we got to the Boston Harbor Hotel Mariann’s mom presented her with her bouquet that Fiore Giacalone created, which was stunning and included a beautiful rosary from her mom’s recent trip to Europe. After getting into her wedding dress, Mariann helped her mom with her own dress and jewelry. For these getting ready shots I used a new lighting set up which I absolutely loved that I feel gives the shots a similar dramatic look to Annie Leibovitz’ Disney Dream portrait series. The fact that Mariann was looking pretty as a princess that day helped too.
While all these preparations were going on, my wonderful second shooter, Shawn Black, was taking shots of Mike and his guys getting ready. Back at the bridal suite Mariann’s mom gave Mariann her grandma’s ring for her something borrowed. Once Mariann had all her finery on, it was time to go St. Cecelia’s for the ceremony. During our drive over to the church the heavens opened up, and it began to pour. The girls were greeted by the groomsmen who escorted them into the church from the limo with giant umbrellas. Luckily everyone made it in without even a single hair out of place. After the ceremony we decided to do all the family formals and bridal party shots inside the church. There we all learned that if I ever decide to leave photography, I might be able to make it as a child entertainer. The sweet little flower girl had been so good all day, but when it came time to smile for the camera the tears began to flow and we were mostly getting shots of the back of her head. That’s when I said, ok Shawn, take the camera, and he knew what was coming next. I started dancing and jumping up and down, making funny faces, everything I could possibly think of to get a 2 year old to smile. Luckily for us, it worked. The only thing was the grown-ups were cracking up so much I had to remind them to keep looking at Shawn with the camera, and not at me acting the fool.
The bridal party arrived at the Boston Harbor Hotel via trolley, which was great fun, but much to the girls’ dismay, it let in quite a bit of humidity which flattened out their beautiful hair dos. Prior to the big bridal party reception entrance, the girls learned why I always bring a super fast heating hair curler with me to every wedding. While Shawn set up my light stands and the guests were enjoying cocktail hour, I quickly recurled Mariann’s hair, and touched up the hair of a few of her bridesmaids. Now they were ready for everyone to take their picture as they entered the hotel’s beautiful grand ballroom. Mike and Mariann shared a beautiful first dance and then had their parent dances, which had their family in tears. After the dances Mike and Mariann remembered that while it was their big day, it was also three very special guests’ birthdays as well. So they had the band, Brick Park, along with all the other guests sing happy birthday to Mariann’s dad and two close friends. Then the band really got things going with a dance off between the groomsmen and the bridesmaids. It was the perfect way to get everyone up on the dance floor for a night filled with fun, laughter, and most of all…love. And while Mariann and Mike didn’t get the shots with the harbor they were hoping for because of the rain, they did get a super dramatic shot under the hotel’s rotunda with the storm’s wind acting like a wonderful wind machine that made it feel like we were on a fashion shoot instead of in the middle of a thunderstorm.
Note: To get her brilliant white heirloom veil to match Mariann’s champagne colored dress, Mariann’s mom dipped the veil in tea and then followed that up with a dip in cold water to set the color and rinse out any excess tea. It worked perfectly!