Gina and Matt had their very first date at the stunning Portland Headlight in Maine. Since then the two have grown inseparable and continued to visit lighthouses throughout their courtship. So it was totally fitting that the theme for their wedding was lighthouses.
Gina and Matt got ready at the spectacular Langham Hotel in Boston. I love shooting there as many of the rooms have floor to ceiling windows that let in the perfect amount of natural light. That day I had amazing second shooters on board: Tracy Jenkins and Jenn Alton, who after this wedding I have dubbed Lord of the Rings. You’ll notice I included a bunch of ring shots in this post. I just couldn’t even begin to pick just one, they were all so great! I particularly liked her find of the champagne cork that had the happy face branded into it. Gina had many very special items to wear that day. I loved her grandmother’s antique watch, but didn’t love that it kept falling off of her because one of the links had broken that day. Gina’s mom had tried to hot glue it back together that morning, but it still kept coming apart. I didn’t want Gina having to worry about it all day long, or worse, LOSE THE WATCH! So I asked if I could borrow the glue gun again, and brought out my trusty sewing kit. Since the link that was broken was not near the watch face, I realized I could put a MUCH bigger glop of glue on than Gina’s mom had. The nice thing about the hot glue was that it was flexible and could be easily removed by a jeweler after the wedding, unlike say crazy glue. Then I sewed back and forth between the two adjoining links that were in fine condition, and sealed the ends of the thread in with more hot glue. Once I finished, we put the watch back on Gina, and I had her shake her arm up and down. SUCCESS!!! No more falling watch! A second piece of jewelry was hand strung for Gina that day. Her something blue was made from her father’s baby bracelet. Her parents had it restrung, and a silver chain attached so that Gina could wear it as an anklet on her wedding day.
Knowing that pictures were very important to Gina and Matt, the two planned ahead and made sure we had plenty of time to ensure we could get some beautiful bridal portraits of them, separately before the ceremony, and together after the ceremony as they chose not to do a big reveal. The suite at the Langham afforded us all sorts of great angles to shoot from. Gina’s sister was a particularly good sport, helping to perfectly set the trumpet portion of Gina’s dress in a circle while I stood above to let her know which way to pull next. Their ceremony at the Downtown Harvard Club was short and sweet. It included a twist on the rose ceremony I had never seen before. Usually the bride and groom present their own mother with a rose. But Gina and Matt presented roses to each other’s mothers. I loved it. It was like they were saying thank you for the gift of your son or daughter to me. Afterwards we did the formals and the staff at the club were so nice. We choose at the last minute to do the family formals inside the club instead of dragging everyone out to Post Office Square as it was sweltering outside. Their staff made sure everyone in the photo room got appetizers and drinks, even my whole photo team! Then it was off to Post Office Square for the bridal portraits. We had tons of fun playing with Gina’s long veil. There wasn’t too much wind that day, but Tracy and Jenn created it for me by tossing the veil up in the air and then running out of the shot. It must have been quite a sight to see.
Back at the reception, every table was decorated with a mini lighthouse and a name plate, instead of a table number, to identify the tables by lighthouses Matt and Gina had visited together. During their first dance, and all the rest of the evening, their smiles beamed brighter than the brightest beacon in New England. Speaking of bright lights, the windows of the Downtown Harvard Club provided a breathtaking backdrop for the evening’s events, as well as for a shot of the wedding cake featuring the clock tower and the city twinkling in the background. One of my favorite captures of the day had to be during Matt’s dance with his mom. I think if you look up the word joy in the dictionary, the look on his mother’s face in this shot should be there. After the parent dances, the dance floor erupted. Their guests were soooooo much fun! By the end of the night, it almost felt more like I was hanging out with friends instead of guests I’d never met at a wedding.
- Jenn taught me an EXTREMELY valuable tip that day. Use dental wax for your ring shots. It allows you to get rings to stay exactly where you want them without getting the rings dirty or sticky with adhesive, and it doesn’t stain fabric or paper. You can get this at your local drug store in the dental aisle. I now use this fabulous stuff at every wedding!
- Find out in advance what the special items are to the bride and groom. Because I knew the watch was so important to the bride, I took the extra time to make sure that it would stay on that day, and to feature it in many shots.
- Ever wonder why they are moving cake cutting up earlier and earlier in the evening? It’s because now they want to have time to plate the cake. Plating hundreds of pieces of cake in such a beautiful fashion as they did at the Downtown Harvard Club takes time.
- Want stunning bridal portrait shots? Take a cue from Matt and Gina and plan to have PLENTY of time in your schedule that day for these shots. Other parts of the day always run late, and time has to be made up somewhere. That usually comes out of the time allotted for photos.
- To get the shot of the cake with the background more in focus, I had to do a very long exposure with a tiny aperture. To accomplish this I used my trusty little tripod I bring with me to every wedding. You never know when you are going to need one. To get the cake nice and crisp, I used an off camera flash with a soft box on it, and put it at an angle so you didn’t get a big reflection in the window.
- Much of the editing of the images was done by Susanna Lamey of Brookline Photo Editing. Be sure to check her out!