Andi and Paddy’s marriage should be a very lucky one if the old poem is correct. Their wedding certainly had its fair share of something old and something new.
Their relationship was both something old and something new (relatively speaking). The two met when they were only 4 years old, but didn’t start dating until they were 23. The two were married at St. Joseph’s in Belmont where Paddy works. Consequently, the priests there knew a bit more background information on Paddy than your typical groom. To all the wedding guests’ surprise their officiant took his special knowledge of Paddy and threw us all for a loop, including Andi! The priest spoke about honesty in marriage, and how there should be no secrets between a husband and wife. So he decided to candidly describe the first night Paddy spent with a girl…who GASP…wasn’t Andi! And double GASP! Paddy still talks to this girl! In a single instant you could see Andi become mortified, while Paddy began to laugh hysterically. He, and only a handful of people in the church, had an inkling as to where this was going. As it turns out, Paddy was born premature and only weighed 2 pounds at birth, so he ended up spending his first nights in the neonatal intensive care unit. The same day he was born, a little girl was also born premature, and the two of them were kept in the same room together. Their two families are still close friends to this day. Promptly Andi’s look of dread switched to a look of relief, and the priest had a good chuckle at the little prank he played.
My mother-in-law was also in attendance at the ceremony that day. It was interesting for her to get to see me in action after hearing all sorts of stories about what makes for great wedding photos and what doesn’t. So she knew, one of the key shots of the day is the first kiss shot. As is often typical in Catholic ceremonies, the officiant stood right in front of the couple as they took their first kiss. I’m fairly positive at that moment I heard her heart make a distinct thud noise, and most of the guests sounded rather displeased that they didn’t get to SEE the first kiss. My mother-in-law told me afterwards she found herself trying very hard not to holler out to the priest to get out of the way. I told her no worries, we got the shot. So now you may be asking yourself, how did we accomplish that? It is all about having a good second shooter, as well as good non-verbal communication with the bride and groom when necessary. My second shooters that day were Shawn Black and Tracy Shaw Jenkins. Shawn was able to be over to one side so he was able to get a shot of the kiss even though the priest was right there. As soon as Andi and Paddy stepped back from kissing and the priest moved, I made eye contact with them and made a brief hand gesture to get them to come back together to kiss again. I prefer this technique when possible rather than re-creating the shot after the ceremony, as the emotions then are just never quite as strong.
After the ceremony the two high-tailed it to the stunning Minute Man National Historical Park, home of the battle of Lexington-Concord and the infamous Sleepy Hollow, in a beautifully restored Model T. Their reception was held just minutes away from the park at the super modern and secure Hanscom Air Force Base. Between the classic car and Andi’s cathedral veil and pearls, I felt like we had been transported back to the 1920s. But then time caught up with us, and we realized we had a reception to get to where tons of fun was awaiting the couple. There they had adorable cake toppers that referenced Paddy’s coaching of a local hockey team. Once the cake had been cut, it was time for some emotional parent dances. My favorite moment was when Paddy and his mom were singing to each other. The two just looked sooooo happy! But the wedding guests didn’t want to be upstaged either. While I was out capturing ring shots, Tracy and Shawn were capturing dance battles on the dance floor that ranged from irish dancing to who could get lowest during the song “SHOUT!”. Without question, everyone there that night had the time of their lives.
- While Andi and Paddy decided against doing a big reveal, Andi still did a bit of a dramatic big reveal with all her bridesmaids and her parents. They all really enjoyed this, particularly Andi’s mother and father. So if your mom isn’t helping you get into your dress, this is something you might want to consider doing.
- Andi had one of the personalized hangers made up for her wedding day. I love photographing personal details like this. The only problem is the wire is usually white or silver, so to be able to read the writing you need some sort of dark background to hang the dress on. Tracy and I actually used the underside of a roll-away-mattress that was in the room to get the detail on the hanger to really stand out in the photograph.
- Speak with your clients in advance about their first kiss. Ideally they should hold it for about 3 seconds, and they should embrace so it doesn’t look very sterile. Additionally, speak to them about what to do in the event that the priest stands right in front of them for the first kiss. Let them know they can take the very first opportunity they get once the officiant moves out of the shot to kiss again, for both there photographer and videographer, but also for their guests to see.
- If you are going to a cool location for photos, make sure you plan out plenty of time in advance. Andi and Paddy took advantage of the longer time between their ceremony and reception and took a full hour for bridal portrait shots. With this type of time, your photographer can be much more creative.