Sometimes, when a couple contacts me about their wedding, I have to dig real deep to not jump up and down screaming "PICK ME!" like a crazy stalker. That's pretty much what happened when Lauren contacted me (on my birthday) back in February about her New Year's Eve wedding with Jon. Seriously. I could barely contain myself. The idea of ringing in the New Year at one of my all time favorite venues, Portland's Ocean Gateway, with such an awesome couple was more than a little exciting to me. By Valentine's Day, they made my wish come true and I was booked for their wedding. THANK YOU! I was so excited. Then we met up in the Old Port in September for their engagement session and I was jazzed up once again simply because Lauren & Jon are two of the most caring, loving, thoughtful people that I have ever met. Add in the fact that they are just so cute together? Yup. They make my "job" easy and so hard to call it that. I was instantly excited just to see them get married not to mention all of the other awesomeness.
December 31st finally came and my husband and I geared up and headed to the Residence Inn in the Old Port for Lauren getting ready with her fab ladies. The temperatures? Yeah...single digits at best. I bought a long down coat from LLBean just so I wouldn't freeze (and to warm Lauren up should she need it). Suffice to say, it was chilly. Lauren and all of her gal pals were just putting on the finishing touches while wearing their super cute monogrammed dress shirts when we arrived at their suite. Then I saw Lauren's gorgeous gown from Andrea's Bridal and I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. It was stunning! Add the fur wrap and the muff... oh my goodness. I knew Jon was just going to die when he saw her.
The ceremony itself was held at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Portland. I love shooting weddings there because of the amazing wrap balcony, which makes it perfect for a wide variety of shooting angles. My second shooter (otherwise known as my best friend and husband), Alan, covered the balcony during the ceremony. I dare say some of his shots are my favorite ceremony shots from the entire year (and a big reason why I waited to compile my 2013 posts). The ceremony itself was performed by Reverend Ronald Franklyn, who is a family friend of the groom's. I absolutely love it when the ceremony is performed by someone that has known the couple for a while. His sermon was heartfelt and moving and detailed the progression of Jon & Lauren coming to that moment. I had to choke back the tears as we heard of how their families had come together and the positive changes that they had brought to each other. Their love is really the kind of love that you read about. Heartfelt. Pure. Meant to be.
Given the frigged temperatures outside, we decided to make short work of their formal portraits at the church and then head to the Ocean Gateway to get their party started!
In true "party of the year" style, Lauren & Jon brought in their good friends of Pardon Me, Doug to perform at their rocking party reception. And boy did their friends keep the dance floor rocking all night long! From the props they brought in for the photobooth to the delicious platters that were generously refilled by Bread and Butter Catering all night long to the signature drinks at the bar... it was one heck of a way to end 2013 and ring in 2014 in style. The toasts given by the best man (who happened to be Lauren's brother and the reason the lovebirds met in the first place), Lauren's maid of honor (who knew she HAD to be friends with Lauren when she first saw her on the other side of the cafeteria at college), and the speeches given by the fathers (Lauren's dad actually performed a song with the band for the newlyweds while Jon's dad made everyone cry) were some of the most memorable of all time. It was all too obvious to everyone how special this night was for everyone, not just for Lauren & Jon. They were just so incredibly awesome.
As midnight approach, the champagne was poured and the 2014 glasses, hats, and masks were brought out in full force. This was what they had been planning for all year. Everyone's' eyes turned to the countdown clock as the seconds ticked by. With his arm around his wife, Jon's excitement was contagious. Lauren was beaming and glowing. Their crowd of family and friends was pulsing behind them in jubilation. 3...2...1... HAPPY NEW YEAR!
And what a New Year it was. Cheers erupted everywhere. The entire dance floor was like a giant mistletoe was hanging over it. You could feel the love. See the love. This was what the newlyweds wanted: "a pretty rad New Year's eve wedding". And boy did they deliver. Alan and I both agree that we've never had such an awesome New Year's before. It was such an awesome night!
Congratulations, Lauren & Jon, and thank you so much for inviting both of us to be there for your rad wedding. It was such a complete honor. You are both fantastic people and together you will go so far. Give lots of hugs, kisses, and treats to your furry baby, Sadie, for us.
This is just a sneak peek at the almost 900 photos that will be coming their way shortly. You'll be able to see them all in their event on my website as soon as they are ready. In the meantime, you can see them all over on my Facebook page as well (be sure to tag, share, and hit the "like" button on my page)!
Date: December 31, 2013 | Getting Ready Location:Residence Inn Downtown Portland in Portland, Maine | Ceremony Location:First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Portland, Maine | Reception Location:Ocean Gateway in Portland, Maine | Bridal Boutique:Andrea's Bridal in Portland, Maine | Groom's Attire:Men's Wearhouse | Caterer:Bread and Butter Company | Cake Artist: Jessica Ennis | Ceremony Music: Dan Moore | Hair Stylist: Friend of the Bride | Band:Pardon Me, Doug | Officiant:Reverend Ronald M. Franklyn | Stationary:Wharf Industries Printing, Inc. | Rentals:A Plus Party Rentals | Transportation:Custom Coach and Limousine