When I shot Liz and Jeremiah’s engagement session in their home we incorporated a little piece of their wedding day into the shoot. Liz brought out some strawberries to pose with that she was going to use to make jam as favors. This home-made tasty treat was just one of many AMAZING DIY touches that with the help of their talented bridal party made their wedding in Jeremiah’s Grandma’s back yard in Falmouth truly tailor-made just for them.
If Liz’s maid of honor Janell ever wanted to give up her day job, she could definitely consider being a wedding planner, a tailor, a jewelry maker, a baker, and who knows even a candle stick maker! She made so many things for Liz and Jeremiah’s wedding it was mind boggling! The first piece of Janell’s handiwork I got to shoot was Liz’s bouquet. She made every single rosette and pinned in different special brooches Liz had. If that wasn’t amazing enough, Janell also made matching smaller bouquets for the 4 bridesmaids. To bring everything together, Janell made a matching white rosette on a blue grosgrain ribbon as a belt for Liz. For the boys, she made boutonnieres out of rope and red polka dot ribbon that picked up the colors and theme of their nautical anchor ties. The rope was tied in a traditional boat knot and the ends were singed to keep them from fraying.
After everyone was dressed and ready it was time for Liz and Jeremiah to do their big reveal. Unfortunately it was pouring outside, so we opted for a new location under Jeremiah’s grandma’s porch allowing us to still have natural light, but we were protected from the rain. For those who are debating whether or not to have a big reveal, I encourage you to look at the look of absolute joy on Jeremiah’s face as he sees Liz in all her finery for the first time that day. Being able to then hold your loved one and take it all in just the two of you together, it is an incredible experience that is not to be missed if you can make it work with your wedding day schedule.
After the big reveal the big rain storm passed and Liz and Jeremiah were keen on going over to the water for a few bridal portraits and were willing to risk a few rain drops. My second shooter Tracy Shaw walked along with us with her gear and my gear and two umbrellas in tow just in case. Luckily we didn’t need to open them up and got some beautiful shots of the two of them. One of my fav shots of the day was a close up of Liz behind a fan that was Janell’s grandmother’s (her something borrowed that day). It really showcased Liz’s “crystal blue persuaders”.
At the ceremony Janell and Samantha (another member of the bridal party who was very wise to the ways of weddings) lined everyone up for procession while Tracy and I set up the lights. Samantha also clued me in to the planned exit with bubbles which was helpful so I knew to be prepared for that. As you can see by the look on Liz’s face, the big reveal didn’t dampen any of her excitement to walk down the aisle on her father’s arm. She was positively beaming. I’m sure Jeremiah could have mistaken her for an angel, especially with his mom, a professional harpist, playing the harp for the processional music. At the reception the sweet couple wowed everyone with a choreographed dance that ended with a picture perfect dip. Janell gave a lovely toast and showed off some of her nautically inspired jewelry she made just for the occasion and Jeremiah’s best man had everyone laughing. It was clear to everyone there that the two were lucky in love and in the friendship department with bridal party members who really went the extra mile for them on their special day.
Since Jeremiah and Liz decided to have a clam bake for their reception they came prepared for a mess. Liz had an adorable 1950s inspired apron and Jeremiah had a Star Trek one. The two were able to enjoy their meals without fear of coating their clothes in lobster juice. It was brilliant. Another great “stroke” of genius, instead of having a traditional guestbook the crafty couple sanded down an oar and put out thick black sharpies (Janell decorated the markers with pretty red silk poppies and green florist tape) for people to sign the oar with. After the wedding they will add a coating of polyurethane to give it some shine and to keep the signatures in good condition. It will hang on their wall to remind them of their wonderful wedding day.
From the dance floor, there were a few shots that really tugged at the ol’ heartstrings for me. Particularly the shots I took during the mother-son dance with my favorite lens, the canon 135L. I swear this lens captures emotion like no other. In these shots you can just see in Jeremiah’s mom’s face that she is realizing at that very moment that he is no longer a little boy for her to take care of, but rather he is now a man who will be taking care of his wonderful wife, but the love she felt for him as a little boy is forever just as strong. The other extra sweet moments I noticed while editing the shots in post-production was how in sync Jeremiah and Liz were…right down to their facial expressions while dancing. The two are truly tailor-made for each other.
- After Jeremiah’s grandma was done taking her photos with him she leaned over and to give him a kiss. Jeremiah is rather tall, so her lips ended up on his shirt collar rather than his cheek. His crisp white dress shirt now had bright red lip stick on it. Janell tried make-up remover and a tide stain stick, but it was to no avail. Then it hit me, there were a bunch of guys in the wedding party that were about the same size as Jeremiah and they were all wearing the same white dress shirt. Jeremiah was the one that would be photographed the most the rest of the day so it was most important that he had a shirt without lipstick on it. So I said, “Guys, quick, what is your shirt size?” They all hollered it out and one matched perfectly for Jeremiah. So we had the two of them switch shirts so that Jeremiah would be picture perfect for the ceremony. After the ceremony Jeremiah’s grandma came over to congratulate the happy couple and just couldn’t help herself and went to kiss Jeremiah again. BAM, same thing happened again. So the moral of this story is, it is a great idea to have an extra shirt with you on your wedding day because you NEVER KNOW what could happen, and try to encourage grandma to wear clear lip gloss that day instead of lipstick, because we DO KNOW grandmas won’t be able to resist giving you tons of kisses that day.
- The party really started when one of the guests, Matt from Vegas, shared his hat with the other guests. I’d never seen anything like it before. Matt said he intentionally brings a hat with him to parties just for that specific reason as it encourages people to have fun and play with the prop. So if you want to be sure your wedding is a total blast, be sure to pack a fedora.