Jess and Dave had their wedding at the spectacular and historic Topsfield Commons. Every little detail, including the purple themed candy bar, was planned to perfection by one of the greatest wedding planners you could ever find, Holly Fawcett. She had planned for a stunning ceremony in the garden, but the forecast called for rain. I knew that the garden was a big reason why Jess and Dave picked this venue, so if they weren’t going to be able to get married in the garden, I was at least going to get a shot of her dress in it before the rain hit. The staff at the Commons, led by Johanna, were incredibly accommodating. With my eyes to the clouds, I borrowed a ladder from them and hung the dress on the garden’s entrance archway before a drop ever came down. Then before we knew it, it was time for Jess to get into her dress to do the big reveal. Dave waited patiently for us to get the hallway free of any onlookers. Jess walked out of the bridal suite, into the gilded hallway, bathed in light and was a vision in her lovely lace gown with her hair upswept and topped with a delicate veil. I loved the last little glance she gave the dress and bouquet to make sure everything was in its proper place. Jess tapped Dave on the shoulder and he turned around and couldn’t believe his eyes. He pulled his beautiful bride into a tender embrace. It’s capturing genuine moments like these that make me sooooooo happy when a couple is willing to do a big reveal before the ceremony. How often do you get to shoot total joy like that, that is so completely real and uninhibited?!
For the shoot that day, I had on hand my husband Matt and a new talented second shooter, Dan Busler. It was such a great luxury having Matt there to assist in addition to a 2nd shooter that it has made me really consider adding an assistant to my normal wedding lineup. Dan fit in great and got some really fun shots with the guys. My fav was definitely when they tried dipping each other while I was doing the bridal portraits with Jess and Dave. Matt scored my favorite first kiss shot between the 3 of us, camped out on the stairs hidden from view. I love first kiss shots from this point of view because you can actually see your guests’ reactions as well. Before ever trying to get a shot like this though, definitely check with the venue and officiant in advance as well as the couple. To get this type of shot you either have to have someone camped out there the whole time (like we did with Matt) or there needs to be an entrance from the back. You do not want someone wandering around behind you mid ceremony.
Prior to the bridal party making their big entrances I reminded them to not do their little vignette until they got to the dance floor, rather than right at the entrance of the ballroom like people are apt to do. This ensured that all the guests could see their special moves and that I could get great pictures of the action. I was thrilled when they followed this to a T and delivered some incredibly memorable entrances that included a Tango and Bowling with Groomsmen. After that the dance floor was never empty due to the fantastic stylings of DJ Josh from C-Zone Music. I was super impressed when the cupid shuffle came on and Josh descended from the stage to the dance floor to lead everyone in the dance moves. This was a man after my own heart. After that, everyone showed off their moves, including Dan and Jess. Even Uncle Bob Buckley got out there and broke it down to some Ludacris. It was PRICELESS! Jess and Dave were thrilled because they told me what they wanted most of all that day was for their guests to have a ton of fun. I think when they look back on these shots they will be able to say without a doubt that all their guests had an incredible time that night. I know I did shooting them!