From the very first time I met Gretchen and Brian during our consultation I knew their wedding was going to be tons of fun. While many brides talk about the venue or the types of photos they want, Gretchen talked most about how excited she was for the band she had booked, the Smoking Jackets, and their signature red Converse.
Gretchen and Brian had their wedding at the beautiful rustic Red Lion Inn in Cohasset. The red woods in the venue have a way of giving everyone a beautiful rosy glow. I had quite the team assembled with me that day. It was my very first wedding I was shooting while pregnant, so I wanted to be totally prepared in case I was more tired than usual. Shawn Black and Jenn Alton were my fantastic second shooters and Artur Rajczyk was my assistant. In addition to getting beautiful shots, this trio did an outstanding job of making sure I never lifted anything heavier than my camera the whole day.
Gretchen and Brian elected to do a big reveal, their bridal portrait session, and all their family formals before the ceremony. That way the whole rest of the time they could totally enjoy themselves. This is something I suggest all my couples do if they can fit it into their timeline. Not only does it allow you to have a private moment (which are few and far between on your wedding day!), it also gives you the time necessary to get all the romantic bridal portraits that you will want to have hanging on your walls for years. One of the greatest things about the Red Lion Inn is even if it is raining, like it was on Brian and Gretchen’s wedding day, there are so many locations that are covered that still allow you to get beautiful natural light.
The short and sweet ceremony was conducted by Gretchen’s brother. Artur scored my favorite shot of the first kiss that day. When possible I love having members of my team capture unconventional angles because of shots like his from above. After the ceremony the couple only had two formal shots to take, leaving them able to enjoy their cocktail hour with the rest of their guests. During that time the staff at the Red Lion turned the barn, which was the location for the ceremony, into a lovely reception site, complete with center pieces that reminded us that Spring has finally sprung in New England.
The toasts were a combination of heartfelt sentiments and humor. Gretchen’s sister had Brian place his hand on top of Gretchen’s, and suggested he savor the feeling, as it would be the last time he would ever have the upper hand. Brian’s best man ended his toast with a perfectly delivered traditional Irish blessing. He pulled off this feat with the aid of a green post-it stuck to the side of his champagne flute. After the toasts I got the rings from the couple since Brian had them off-site that morning. I gave them to Jenn to work her creative ring shot magic. Knowing how much Gretchen loved the band’s red Converse shoes, Jenn got one of the band members to cooperate for one particularly original ring shot. Once the cake was cut it was time for Gretchen to finally get to enjoy the Smoking Jackets. When I say this bride really got down, I mean it! And even though Brian normally isn’t much for dancing, he was out there dancing right along side her. On the dance floor it became clear where Gretchen got her love of dancing from. I don’t think there was a single song that went by that her dad wasn’t dancing too. He was a riot! In the end it was definitely the incredibly fun party that Brian and Gretchen had dreamed of having, and I was so glad they picked me and my team to cover it!