Westford Regency Inn

Kate & Brendan :: Wedding & Reception in Westford, Massachusetts

This post is coming to you straight from the ether as I reflect on all of the amazing that 2014 held. It was a busy year from start to finish and my lovely lil' blog did not get as much loving as I wish it did. My goal is to change that for 2015. So, let's catch up!

Like many of my couples, Kate & Brendan came to me through another couple that I had the pleasure of working with (thank you, Kari & Joe!). But the story changes when I say that Brendan's sister, Carol Ann, was the one who reached out to me first. And I think that really says a lot about Kate & Brendan and their wedding day. Family. For them, and for me, family is everything.

Kate wore her mother's wedding gown. Carol Ann helped immensely with the wedding planning, especially since Kate & Brendan live on the other side of the country. Their family and friends came to celebrate from all over North America. Kate's sons and several other children were heavily involved in the festivities. The entire day was the story of Kate & Brendan.

Although we only met that day, I left knowing who they are deep down. Warm, loving, caring, and funny! It was such an amazing day!

Date: April 26, 2014  |  Getting Ready & Reception Location: Westford Regency Inn in Westford, Massachusetts  |  Ceremony Location: Holy Family Parish Church in Concord, Massachusetts  |  Portraits Location:  Old North Bridge and Minute Man National Historic Park in Concord, Massachusetts

Reflecting, Looking Forward & Changes Coming Soon

Hi, Everyone!

With my 2014 wedding season just over a week away, I wanted to take a moment to reflect a bit, look forward a lot, and to let everyone know about some changes coming on May 1st to Suzanne Simmons Photography.

As I look back on where I have come since my first, faithful couple in August of 2008, I was shocked that anyone would hire me never mind that I'd find more couples to follow their lead. Since then, I've been very fortunate to work with a wide range of couples and capture weddings from as small as five people on a beach to 200 plus people in a ballroom to a double wedding at a tree farm to a same sex wedding on the coast of New Hampshire. Somehow I had 24 couples trust me my very first year in business and I haven't stopped since. I. Am. Lucky. I get to do what I love and capture people on what will be one of the happiest days of their life.

Personally, these past years have meant a lot of changes for me, too. Back when I first started, my husband and I had just celebrated our first anniversary. Wedding planning was still in my veins. We were thinking of adopting a dog, but kids weren't a thought yet. We had the home we built while planning our wedding. Our life, even then, was pretty darn awesome. Fast forward five plus years. Since then we adopted Digby from Arkansas,  I earned my Masters in Education (while starting a business, mind you, is just plain crazy), we went to Switzerland and the Caribbean, and, most notably, we had our daughter. I think the couples who handled me the summer of 2012 earn the silver medal from me (right behind those trusting 24 couples) for enabling me to juggle my life as a new mom and maintain my business. They rocked my world and made life not as crazy as it could have been. So thank you.

This coming season has a lot in store for me as well. The biggest news is that one of my couples will be my 100th wedding that I've ever photographed. Seriously. ONE HUNDRED! I'm pretty darn shocked that my first wedding all those years ago has brought me this far. And I have a lot of really amazing weddings and venues to be looking forward to:

  • Poland Spring Resort is also on the docket, which is where Gene & Sherri got married back in 2009 (yay first season trusting couples!).
  • The Italian Heritage Center in Portland, Maine, where Angela & Ron and Sarah & Peter held their receptions, both in 2010.
  • The absolutely gorgeous Lyman Estate in Waltham, Massachusetts, is home to the wedding of the sister of my 2011 brides. I'm super excited to finally shoot at the Estate!
  • I have two couples getting married at private residences this year. One with a huge, red barn here in Maine and one at a lakeside family home in New Hampshire. Both brides have sisters who have also been my brides, so I'm looking forward to the family reunion of seeing everyone again!
  • The Ocean Gateway in Portland, Maine, is one of my favorite and most popular venues and I'm looking forward to shooting there again this summer.
  • I will also be photographing a wedding at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland, Maine, which is so centrally located to the awesomeness of the Old Port. Better yet, the bride & groom are good friends with one of my 2012 couples. Yipee!
  • To relax a bit and have fun, I'll be capturing a wedding at a campground in Old Orchard with the brother of one of my 2013 bride's as one of the grooms. Another family reunion that I'm super excited for! YAHOO!
  • And I'll finally be shooting at the Irish Heritage Center before a rocking reception at the Portland Club, which was home to Lindsey & Jay and Hilarie & Joe's 2009 receptions and Rebecca & Tom's 2010 reception as well.

Phew! There is just so much awesome to come this year that it is no wonder I'm so excited for it all.

That leads me to my last piece for this lengthy novel of a blog post. As of May 1st, I will be releasing my brand new services & pricing information. I've grown a lot in the past five plus years and so many of you have been faithful to me since the beginning. If you are planning to book a portrait session during one of my few remaining slots for 2014, please contact me as soon as possible so you can lock in! My new services & pricing guide is designed to help Suzanne Simmons Photography thrive even more over the coming years and better meet the ever changing needs of my clients. I am super excited to see what the future holds for me, my family, and my business and I am so thankful for all of your support.

If you or someone you know is looking for portraits in 2014 or are planning to get married in 2015, please contact me as soon as possible. And be on the lookout for my new services & pricing information on May 1st!


Happy Spring! Bring on the flowers![/caption]

Kelly & Ryan's Westford, Massachusett Saint Catherine's of Alexandria & Westford Regency Inn

I first got together with Kelly & Ryan almost exactly a year prior to their wedding for the Nubble Lighthouse engagement session. The sun that day was bright, the tourists crowded the lighthouse, and the temperatures were just a tad warm. My dream for their wedding day consisted of just a smidge of cloud cover with the perfect temperature so the girls wouldn't freeze, but the guys wouldn't melt either. I. Got. My. Wish!

Driving down to Massachusetts the morning of their September wedding was surreal. I just couldn't get over how fast the time had gone by. Where had the past year and a half since Kelly first contacted me gone? A whirlwind. That's what it was. Walking in to Kelly's suite at the Westford Regency Inn was like walking into a dream: there was the distinct smell of air spray in the air, the poof of makeup powder floating around the window, the pop of the champagne cork as mimosas were made, the smell of the heat from the curling irons ready to be used, and the laughs from the gorgeous ladies as they anxiously awaited the moment when Kelly would walk down the aisle. Before long, the details were finished, the dresses went on, and it was time for Ryan to meet his bride at the end of the aisle at the church.

The Catholic mass wedding ceremony was held at the stunning St. Catherine's of Alexandria in Westford, Massachusetts, which has an incredible cathedral ceiling and gorgeous light streaming in through the side windows. Tears of joy were common place amongst Kelly & Ryan's family and friends as the ceremony started until the ringbearer stole everyones attention as he was carried down the aisle dangling from the hands of his dad, who was a groomsmen, and Kelly's matron of honor. Then the tears turned to laughter. And that was how the ceremony went: tears of joy, spurts of laughter, and lots of smiles. Everyone had been waiting for this day.

At the conclusion of the service, we went back to the Westford Regency Inn for their formal portraits before kicking off the party under a huge tent on the front lawn. And boy does this crowd know how to party! There were so many highlights that it is hard to mention them all. I got to see Keriann & Joe, who were married earlier this year at the Nashoba Winery (I LOVE seeing my past couples!). Kelly & Ryan's cake was huge, gorgeous, AND the cake was purple! (Don't believe me? Check the photos below.) The guests broke out a pile of maracas that enticed everyone to form one of the longest conga lines I've ever seen. One of Kelly's bridesmaids is a die hard Michael Jackson fan and Kelly made sure that the DJ played her favorite song, which resulted in everyone clearing the dance floor just for her (and boy can she dance!). Add in two of Kelly's other friends and you had the recipe for one absolutely awesome, kick butt dance off that went just about all night long. And I would be wrong to not mention Kelly's grandfather who was burning up the dance floor a ton and was rocking out with his grandkids. It was such an awesome night!

Kelly & Ryan (& family), thank you so much for letting me be there for such an absolutely epic day! I hope that we cross paths many times in the future so I can party it up with you more (like in 2015, nudge nudge to your bridesmaid!). You guys are awesome!

I'm getting very close to having their full gallery up on my website, but here is a sneak peek at the massive number of photos that the newlyweds have coming to them to help relive their wedding day.

This first shot is obviously not printable, but the series of shots I took surrounding their bridal party firing off poppers during their formal portraits just screamed at me to do this for them.

And now on to the still frames from the day:

Date: September 14, 2013  |  Ceremony Location:St. Catherine's of Alexandria in Westford, Massachusetts  |  Getting Ready & Reception Location:Westford Regency Inn in Westford, Massachusetts  |  Bridal Boutique:David's Bridal  |  Groom's Attire:Men's Wearhouse  |  Cake Artist:Frederick’s Pastries of Andover, Massachusetts |  Florist:A Belvidere Florist in Lowell, Massachusetts  |  DJ Service: Main Event Entertainment in Londonderry, New Hampshire  |  Transportation:Harris Limo in Lowell, MassachusettsMakeup Artist:Beautiful Faces in Waltham, Massachusetts  |  Hair Styist: Stefanie