Bree and Nick’s Wedding at the Red Barn at Hampshire College in Amherst

When it comes to photography, I love bold saturated color, think Fall leaves and jewel tones.  When it comes to people, I love big personalties, big smiles, and big laughs.  Bree and Nick’s wedding was filled to the brim with all these things!

Bree also loves bold saturated color (check out her bouquet).  That’s why we shot their engagement photos during fall at the Arnold Arboretum.  Bree and Nick choose to have their wedding at the beautiful and rustic Red Barn at Hampshire College. Bree hoped that I could integrate some of the great red color of the exterior of the barn in their shots. 

I had Nicholas Zbikowski along with me as my wonderful second shooter that day. Oby from Simple Felicity kept everything running smoothly and Julius from First and Last Productions was a breeze to work alongside (here’s their teaser video). It was pouring rain for much of the morning so I had to get creative with some of our shots.  Luckily, I came prepared with umbrellas and white trash bags (more on that later).  Nick wanted to make sure he didn’t see Bree in her dress until the moment she walked down the aisle, but they still wanted to be able to pray together before the ceremony.  So Nick donned a blindfold and Bree joined him under the covered porch area while I shot in the rain covered with the umbrella so that I could get some of the red siding in the background.  Giant smiles radiated from their faces as soon as the two of them held hands. Then it was time for the ceremony.  A few tears welled up in Nick’s eyes as he saw Bree in all her finery for the first time that day.  Soft natural light illuminated the couple and the bridal party through the big windows behind them during their ceremony inside the barn.  The ceremony was fairly typical until it came to the time for the vows.  To Bree’s great surprise, Nick brought out LAMINATED vows!  Clearly he had thought about what he wanted to say well in advance.  It was adorable.

Once the ceremony was over, Julius, Nicholas, and I were trying to figure out places we could do shots under overhangs so that Bree and Nick could stay dry.  But then all of the sudden, the clouds parted and gave way to beautiful shooting conditions.  We pinned on the white garbage bag to the underside of Bree’s dress to keep it dry (the pavement and grass was still wet after all that rain).  While we were shooting the wind was still very much at play.  This made for great comedic moments as well as shots where the dress was perfectly blown out.  Nicholas and I had a field day with the rustic red doors I found on the surrounding buildings.  We barely had to ask Bree and Nick to pose.  They were always making each other laugh or looking lovingly into each other’s eyes.  Just as we were finishing up the bridal party formals the rain started to fall once again.  What a lucky break in the weather!

Now it was time for the real party to begin.  Nick and Bree nailed their first dance and then they took to the mic and sweetly gave a heartfelt thank you to everyone for coming…even the vendors 🙂  Then DJ Anijah cranked out an amazing playlist that had the whole room on its feet.  It was the perfect end to their perfect day.

Photography tips:

  • Love the pops of red?  Always look around the whole wedding venue in advance to look for spots with fun pops of color.  Frame the couple inside those spots for a really stunning shot.
  • If possible try not the be back lit during your ceremony.  If you are standing directly in front of a window you will mostly look like a silhouette to your guests and they won’t be able to see your faces as well.  If the view out the window isn’t spectacular, put your guests’ backs to the window and let the beautiful window light shine in on you as the bride and groom.  If this type of arrangement isn’t possible, at least move you and your officiant a few feet in front of the window so  your photographer can take pictures of you from the wings and get photos of you with that natural light on your face. It will also make your guests happy to not have to be staring into the sun the whole time you are up there getting married as well, that is unless you provide your guests with awesome sunglasses like Bree and Nick did!

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