A mid-winter destination wedding in Boston was the perfect fit for Allison and Chuck.
Allison is a California girl, born and bred, so snow is extra special to her. She and Chuck met in Boston and she loved going out with him on the quiet streets when they were covered in the falling snow. To commemorate that very special time, Allison picked a dress that felt as light, fluffy, and sparkly as the snow that fell as she fell for Chuck. This cute couple picked January with the hopes that there might be a bit of snow on the ground. They have since moved to New York so that Chuck can attend business school, but a piece of their hearts will always be in Boston.
Allison and Chuck got ready at the lovely Boston Park Plaza. The staff at the Park Plaza were super accommodating! They allowed me to bring Allison’s dramatic dress pretty much anywhere I wanted. Shawn Black was my right hand man, working as my second shooter, and Sarah Snider was my assistant. While Sarah and I were off taking shots of the dress, Shawn captured some stunning detail shots of the rings with the bouquet. Once we returned with the dress it was time for Shawn to spend some quality time with the guys, which amounted to about 45 minutes of Chuck tying and retying his bow tie, time and time again. Luckily they eventually found a video on youtube that helped them get it right. What on earth did we ever do without iPhones and YouTube???
Meanwhile, I was graced with the vision that was Allison on her wedding day. She was so calm, cool, collected and happy. It took all my strength to have to take her outside into the cold for the “big reveal” in the Boston Public Gardens. I asked her one more time, was she sure she wanted to do it outside in the cold, and she said, “Yes, it’ll be worth it”, and she had Chuck’s grandma’s fur stole to wear to keep her warm. It was time to go, and so Sarah held her train and I led her down the street to the park. As we walked, onlookers yelled out congratulations and cars were honking with their drivers waving. I can only imagine what Chuck must have felt hearing all this commotion coming his way. He couldn’t wait until she tapped him on the shoulder as planned. He turned around, and there was his beautiful bride in all her finery, a sight to behold. He was speechless!
Before the two turned into popsicles, the three of us snapped away. Chuck’s classic tux and Allison’s stole made them look like something straight out of old Hollywood. After the big reveal outside, Allison took my suggested advice of having all the family formals taken inside the hotel, rather than outside in the park in the 30+mph winds. The Park Plaza let us use one of their meeting rooms that had a lovely fireplace that made for a great backdrop. After all the family formals were completed it was time to go to Our Lady of Victories church. It was an extremely festive atmosphere as the Christmas decorations were still up. Our Lady of Victories had very lenient policies with regard to flash photography, which is very unusual for Catholic churches, so we were able to use flash sparingly to get some really great shots from the ceremony. Major kudos to them for being so progressive! Afterwards, we got a few remaining fun family formals and a few glamour shots of Allison looking so spectacular.
Then we were off to Les Zygomates. There they had an exquisite raw bar for all their guests and a wide selection of wines. Allison also made lots of special DIY touches. Each of the table numbers had rhinestones appliques on them. You can make your own by tracing out numbers and sticking on individual rhinestones. Or finding stickers at your local craft store. At first I wondered how it would work having everyone piled into a restaurant, but it was wonderful. It was very intimate, and the layout of Les Zygomates allowed everyone a good view of the toasts. After a fantastic steak dinner that was cooked to perfection it was time for dancing to begin. You could see that Allison is totally the apple of her father’s eye and he could not have been more proud of her during the father-daughter dance, and Chuck’s mom feels the exact same way about Chuck. I absolutely love capturing special moments like those.
The dance floor proceeded to heat up and Shawn and I headed to the street to set up for night time shots. Sarah stayed inside to capture all the fun. Before ever grabbing Allison and Chuck, we got the lights set up perfectly so that they wouldn’t have to spend even one extra second outside in the cold or away from their guests who had come from far and wide to see them. The lighting set up included two Canon speedlites, rogue gels on the speedlights to match the tungsten lighting in the street, using Calumet’s wireless triggers to set them off, as well as a 15″ softbox to make the light not as harsh, from the front, and two light stands to hold everything in place. One flash was placed directly behind the couple at the lowest power setting. The softbox was placed at camera right to give them some depth. Shawn and I both have the same Calumet triggers so we were both able to shoot at the same time with the same lighting set up. It was so incredible getting to do such a dramatic shoot like this.
While we were outside, the guests started to have some fun posing at the window for Chuck and Allison, so Chuck mugged back for them. After finishing up outside it was time for more dancing. Both families had an outrageously fun time and I considered myself lucky to get to be there to celebrate and commemorate that spectacular occasion with them all.
Notes from the day:
Guys, if you have never tied a bow tie before, your wedding day isn’t the time to start. Even if you are a seasoned pro, day-of-wedding jitters can get the best of you. Either practice in advance or get one of those lovely clip on versions.