Published! Cairsten & James' Wedding Cake in Real Maine Weddings January 2016 Edition

February 09, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

For several years now, it has been my personal goal to see at least one of my couples grace the pages of a print publication. I see it as a milestone for my business, now 7-1/2 years young, to reach that level of recognition.

When I submitted several weddings for the January 2016 edition of Real Maine Weddings, I heard that one of them was accepted (more on that one later, I promise). But I did not know that Cairsten & Jimmy's amazing cake from Confection Art Inc in Kittery, Maine, was also going to grace its pages! Needless to say, I was quite literally jumping for joy earlier this year when I received my copy of the publication and saw their vintage nautical themed cake from their York Harbor Inn wedding filling the opening page of the "Maine Cakes" segment. I should also admit that I might have been salivating just a smidge as I vividly remember how decadent their cake smelled as I was photographing it.

If you can't find the January 2016 edition on news stands near you, head on over to check out the digital edition on the Real Maine Weddings website. Thank you to Confection Art Inc for creating such a masterpiece for me to photograph, to Cairsten (the birthday girl!) & Jimmy for having us capture their wedding, and to the fine folks at the York Harbor Inn for such an inspiring venue for their wedding. More importantly, thank you to the staff at Real Maine Weddings for helping me put a huge check next to my goal!

Maine wedding photographer Suzanne Simmons Photography featured in Real Maine Weddings January 2016 Edition


Kristan & Greg's Winter Wedding at Maine Irish Heritage Center and Grace in Portland, Maine (Part 2)

January 21, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

I know that many of you lovely beings have been waiting oh so patiently for Kristan & Greg's second half of their sneak peek. Without further ado, here is the continuation! (If you missed the first half, go check that out first!)

Kristan & Greg chose to hold their ceremony in the Maine Irish Heritage Center in the Old Port of Portland, Maine. I've been longing to photograph a wedding in the Center largely due to their gorgeous stained glass windows and gorgeous blue ceiling. It is such an expansive space (and with the sweetest caretaker)! Their ceremony was filled with personal touches from their dear friend performing the ceremony to their parents doing the readings. Before officially exchanging their rings, they did a ring warming ceremony with their bands traveling the length of each row of guests via a white ribbon. I love how it gives the couple an opportunity to really soak in the power of what is happening as well as to see all of their friends & family. With their rings warmed, they made it official and became Mr. & Mrs.! Following a quick round of portraits, it was off to their reception to start celebrating!

Wedding ceremony at the Maine Irish Heritage Center in Portland, Maine Winter wedding ceremony at Maine Irish Heritage Center in Portland, Maine

We made our way across the snow covered Old Port to the incredible Grace. If you have not been, it should certainly be on your list! Kristan & Greg's cocktail hour was held on the main floor of the restaurant, which features expansive stained glass windows and super tall ceilings thanks to it's former life as a church. Once they were ready to party, they moved downstairs with their guests to partake in a delicious plated dinner. One of the most popular "events" of the evening was their cake bar with a wide variety of cakes to chose from. Alan and I were drooling over many of the combinations (chocolate and peanut butter, hello!) as every guest struggled to chose which ones to add to their plate. I dare say it was the most consumed dessert option I've ever seen at a wedding! Cakes by Debbie in Windham always does such a great job for my couples!

After we all had a good cry during Kristan's dad's toast, cheered during Greg's dance with his mom, and celebrated the Patriots winning, Kristan & Greg took a step out to capture portraits in front of the well known red doors of the entrance to Grace. And it made for the perfect opportunity to snap my traditional selfie with the newlyweds at the end of their amazing day! I even got one with Jess & Aaron, whose wedding I photographed back in 2012! It is a funny tradition for sure, but I do love having a wall of selfies with so many of my couples over the past few years. 

Winter wedding reception at Grace in Portland, Maine Wedding reception at Grace in Portland, Maine Winter wedding reception at Grace in Portland, Maine

Kristan & Greg, thank you so much for having us there with you for your winter wonderland of a wedding! It was absolutely our honor to capture the story of your day. I cannot wait to share your entire gallery with you in the next few weeks!

 


Kristan & Greg's Winter Wedding in Portland, Maine (Part 1)

January 19, 2016  •  1 Comment

Typically when I settled down to start posting the sneak peeks from a wedding, I instantly have a set of images that are my favorites from the day. But Kristan & Greg's timeless, elegant winter wedding this past weekend (during the storm on Saturday, of course) has left me speechless with so many photos that I want to share! So I'm going against my normal routine and have opted to break their day up into several posts so that you can enjoy the day as it came.

When Kristan first contacted me over a year in advance of their winter wedding, I knew that we were a match made in heaven as soon as she mentioned all of their friends that I have had the honor to work with over the years (and to come this year). When they booked me shortly there after, I really did jump for joy. Being involved in their planning since then and getting to know them more, especially during their engagement session in the Old Port, made me very excited for their day to finally arrive. As Alan, my amazing second shooter/assistant/husband, and I made our way through rain, sleet, hail, and snow the morning of their wedding, we were both giddy at how beautiful the fresh coat of snow was.

Kristan & Greg prepared for their wedding in at The Press Hotel, a newly opened boutique hotel in the former home of the Portland Press Herald. They first toured the building with hard hats on before it was opened to the public and I am so thrilled that they had the foresight to book it for their bridal preparations! Kristan got ready in the Penthouse Suite, which was an expansive room with magnificent ten foot high ceilings and sweeping views of the Old Port as the snow storm raged outside. Needless to say, a trip to the roof top deck proved difficult given the snow drifts the wind whipped up. Meanwhile, Greg got ready one floor below in a suite with his guys. The history of the building was not lost to them with a palette of timeless colors and elegant attire that would have been well suited in any era; classic elegance was certainly the plan for the day and they certainly pulled it off in spades.

The couple opted for a first look before departing for their ceremony at the Maine Irish Heritage Center. Tucked in the corner by large windows overlooking the snow swept streets below, Kristan & Greg shared a private moment and embrace with big smiles, a few giggles, and just maybe a quick kiss that broken the tension of the morning. We then visited the art gallery in The Press Hotel for a few quick portraits before Greg left for their ceremony and Kristan retreated to the Suite to be with her ladies.

The morning flew by, much like the snow outside. I dare say that Kristan & Greg did not have a storm in mind when they opted for a winter wedding, but the snow certainly added another layer to the excitement of the day.

Although difficult to chose my favorites, here is a selection of images from the first part of their incredible day.

Wedding rings from D. Cole at The Press Hotel in Portland, Maine The groom and groomsmen ready for a winter wedding at The Press Hotel in the Old Port of Portland, Maine. Bride putting on veil for her winter wedding at The Press Hotel in the Old Port of Portland, Maine. A couple's first look at The Press Hotel in the Old Port of Portland, Maine before their winter wedding. Indoor winter bridal party portraits at The Press Hotel in the Old Port of Portland, Maine. Bride leaving The Press Hotel in the Old Port of Portland, Maine for her winter wedding at the Irish Heritage Center.

Stay tuned to see more of Kristan & Greg's sneak peek! There is much more to come.


2106 Wedding Wire Couple's Choice Award Winner (7th year in a row)!

January 06, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

2016 Wedding Wire Couples' Choice Awards

Woah.

That was pretty much my reaction today when I found out I have received my 7th consecutive Wedding Wire Couple's Choice Award. That is crazy!

When I first started this business of mine almost 8 years ago, I never envisioned that I would have served as many amazing couples since then. It has certainly been a huge whirlwind. This award means a lot to me as it recognizes vendors in the wedding industry who receive glowing reviews from their couples. In essence, it takes what I aim to do for every couple: provide heartfelt, personal service from first inquiry to their wedding and beyond. I am a photographer because I love being there for my couples as they prepare for their wedding and on the day of. My personal motto is "less stress" because I feel that it helps my couples relax and results in photographs that best reflect them and their story. It brings me great joy to read my couple's reviews on Wedding Wire as well as the Knot and Facebook. Yes, I strive to create amazing photographs for all of my clients. That is my first goal. Adding in the personalized experience and service is the cherry on top.

To all of my couples, especially if you posted a review for me on Wedding Wire: Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I am a wedding photographer because I get to work with amazing people like you. Thank you for trusting me to be there with you on your wedding day and to tell the story of your day. I am so very grateful.

"The WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards® recognizes the top five percent of local wedding professionals from the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. Unlike other awards in which winners are selected by the organization, winners of the WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards® are determined by recent reviews from over a million WeddingWire newlyweds."


Lauren & Jon's 2013 New Year's Eve Wedding in Portland, Maine

December 31, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

After two years of ringing in the New Year with amazing couples tying the knot, Alan and I have a low key evening ahead of us as we mark the close of 2015 and the start of 2016. I'd be lying if I said that I didn't miss the excitement we've had this day the past two years! So, with that in mind, I wanted to take a moment to look back at the past two New Year's Eve weddings that Alan & I were fortunate enough to capture.

The tradition started back on December 31, 2013 with Lauren & Jon as they got hitched at the First Parish Church in Portland, Maine before their rocking party to ring in the New Year at one of our favorite venue, Portland's Ocean Gateway. Looking back through their gallery brought the day back in a rush. From Lauren getting ready with her ladies at the Residence Inn while wearing monogrammed oxford shirts. To the absolutely freezing temperatures that they were hit with when they left the hotel to head to the Church. And Lauren & Jon's beaming smiles when they looked at each other. Oh, and then there was the fire alarm shortly before midnight. Yup. A fire alarm. And that meant bonding time with their friends and family as they all huddled in the cold to stay warm as the building was cleared by Portland's Fire Department.

With the champagne flowing, the clock counting down, and Phish tribute band Pardon Me, Doug rocking it out, Lauren & Jon certainly started off their marriage on one epic high note! Thank you for including us way back at the beginning, Luaren & Jon! We hope your second anniversary is fill with lots of love & laughter. And no fire trucks.


Happiest of Holidays from my Family to Yours

December 26, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

 

It is hard to believe that Christmas 2015 has officially come and gone when I look out my window here in Maine. The ground is bare, awaiting the first snow of the season (Monday evening or so I've heard). My parent's dog brought in the gift of a deer tick yesterday after our walk. And I've even seen a honeybee on our deck railing. Yes, Mother Nature seems to have missed the memo.

Yet, here we are, days away from the end of the year. And my what a year it has been. But I'll save the annual recap for later.

For now, I hope that all of you have had a peaceful & joyous holiday season (thus far) and have been able to relax with your loved ones much like I have.


'Tis the Season for Holiday Greeting Cards!

November 13, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

It is hard to believe how quickly the holiday season is approaching. I am all about respecting Thanksgiving and am really looking forward to hosting our family dinner again this year! But I know that it's important to think ahead to your holiday greeting cards now so you won't need to rush to order them later.

Fortunately, I make it super easy to order your custom greeting cards from right within your personal online gallery! For those of you who got married this year, you won't need to find your USB drive to order them. Yipee!

The most popular card size is 5"x7" flat card. It's perfect since it takes a standard first class stamp whereas square cards require an additional fee. Each set of 25 cards includes complimentary envelopes and is priced at $25 per set plus shipping and tax (where applicable). If flat cards aren't for you, I also offer folded cards in a variety of sizes. The card format you select will dictate which templates are available; the 5"x7" flat or folded cards offer the widest selection including single or multi-image layouts.

If you'd like to check out the ordering process, here is a little video to walk you through it:

If you have any questions or problems at all, feel free to drop me an email. All orders have to be approved by me before being sent to the printer, so I'll be sure it looks absolutely perfect before doing so.