winter wedding

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

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!

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. 

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)

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.

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

Meaghan & Chris :: Wedding & Reception at White Mountain Hotel & Resort in North Conway, New Hampshire

Sometimes I sit down to write my blog posts and I just can't come up with the words to express what I want to say. So it takes me a while to craft the post before I click publish. For Meaghan & Chris, it really comes down to love because, in the end, I love these two people so much than trying to put all my emotions in to writing about their gorgeous, snowy, winter wedding back in January... well, it's impossible. And so, months later, I know I just need to do it and cross my fingers that it comes across ok.

For me, Meaghan & Chris' wedding was personal. Chris is one of my husband's best friends. They've been coworkers for years now and we've spent a lot of time together and, as such, have a lot of history. Chris asked Alan to be one of his groomsmen. Having him in front of my camera instead of behind one of them as my assistant/second shooter was funnier than I can say. As for Meaghan, our relationship has a much shorter timeline. I first met her last year after Chris had been absolutely raving about her to Alan. She brought out a side of Chris that we hadn't seen before. She made him mushy and lovey and goofy right off the bat. If a girl could do that to our truck, mud, and motorcycling loving friend... I knew I had to meet her. What I hadn't expected was just how much I would connect with her through our shared love of Harry Potter and Legos in addition to being my gal pal while our guys were hanging out. When Chris proposed, Alan and I were so elated for them both, especially since it had been clear to us for a while that they were a once in a lifetime match for each other.

Fast forward through a couple whirlwind months of planning (and getting their engagement photos taken care of) and it was time to seal the deal. They wanted a winter wedding complete with big, fluffy snowflakes. They dreamed of temperatures a bit above freezing so that they could stand to be outside super quickly for photos. And they got it all. It was an absolutely spectacular day from start to finish! The entire event was held at the White Mountain Hotel & Resort at the base of Whitehorse and Cathedral Ledge in North Conway, New Hampshire. The view is absolutely stunning just about everywhere you look from the cliffs behind you to the view across the valley at Cranmore. Meaghan got ready with her ladies and mom in the bridal suite, which was absolutely massive! I dare say it was bigger than all of my first apartment. It was crazy! Chris, meanwhile, went for one last drive with his cousin/best man on the Kancamagus Highway before walking down the aisle. It was the perfect way to start the day for both of them.

Getting Ready at the White Mountain Hotel & Resort

When it was "go time", all of Meaghan & Chris's friends and family filled the hotel lobby awaiting their first glimpse at Meaghan. Chris and his guys waited patiently for her entrance. Emotions were high. I was smiling so much in excitement for the two of them. When Chris saw his bride for the first time... you could just see the love pour over his face. The was meant to be. This moment. This day. As Meaghan walked down the aisle at her dad's side, his pride radiated out as he looked at her. And Meaghan... oh, Meaghan. The pure joy and excitement was so crystal clear. There was no way that she could smile any more than she was. Happiness feels like such an understatement. The ceremony itself was perfect and topped off with vows that they wrote to each other. Then there was the kiss. Oh, that kiss! I think everyone in attendance just melted from it. Meaghan included. Good job, Chris!

Ceremony held in the lobby at the White Mountain Hotel & Resort

Immediately following the ceremony, I whisked the newlyweds outside to capture them at the base of Whitehorse Ledge before the light fell. I am SO jealous that they had this view for their day! Talk about incredible. Cliff behind them and a view of the valley in front of them. Gorgeous, new, white snow everywhere you could see. I love you, Mother Nature.

Winter outdoor portraits at the White Mountain Hotel & Resort

Once we had finished the family portraits in the dining room and the bridal party portraits outside (quickly enough that the ladies didn't freeze!), it was time to really get the party going! With the majority of the guests staying right at the hotel, the celebrating lasted well in to the night. Highlights of the evening included a very big announcement, Meaghan's dad hitting the dance floor next to his baby girl, some swanky moves from Meaghan's Aunt (hot stuff!), nighttime portraits under a starry sky, and a bridal and bouquet toss that left everyone in stitches. What many missed was the snow angels they attempted at the very end before heading to bed for the night. Yes, they were completely in their wedding attire. Yes, it was very cold for dear Meaghan.

Reception in the ballroom with outdoor night portrait at the White Mountain Hotel & Resort

Dearest Meaghan & Chris, thank you, once again, for letting both of us be a party of your day and for letting me be there to capture it all. We are truly blessed to have you two in our lives and we know you two are meant to be together. We can't wait to see what the rest of 2014 brings because we know that your wedding was just the start of one awesome year for you both.

Although their final gallery has been posted for a while and they've received their cute mini albums, be sure you check out their sneak peek over on my Facebook Page and hit like while you are there.

And, to anyone else planning a winter wedding, I'm your gal! I super, duper love winter weddings!

Date: January 19, 2104  |  Getting Ready, Ceremony & Reception Location: White Mountain Hotel & Resort in North Conway, New Hampshire  |  Bridal Boutique: David's Bridal  |  Groom's Attire: Men's Wearhouse  |  Caterer: Stone Cove Catering  |  Ceremony & Reception Music: Double Platinum Celebrations  |  Event Coordinator: White Mountain Hotel & Resort in North Conway, New Hampshire  |  Florist: Dutch Bloemen Winkle  |  Officiant: Denis Duprey  |  Hair & Makeup: Jill Daigle from Adalia Salon in Westbrook, Maine

Lauren & Jon :: New Year's Eve Wedding at Ocean Gateway in Portland, Maine

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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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

Amber & Zeb :: January Wedding in Ogunquit, Maine

It has been a couple months since Amber & Zeb tied the knot at the Meadowmere in Ogunquit, Maine. Although I know that the family saw the sneak peek on Facebook, I couldn't help but relive the day again here for those of you that missed out.

Amber's sisters helped her get ready during what might have been one of the most gorgeous, but chilly, winter days in Maine we had this year. The sun was shining brightly on these two love birds! Amber & Zeb had originally planned on a beach wedding in the summer, but a change of plans meant her dress would be for the winter instead. But Amber was a trooper and rocked her dress for outside portraits despite the frigid temperatures. Amber & Zeb's closest family and friends were witnesses to the start of their new life together. From the youngest munchkin (including one nephew that had yet to make his appearance) to the proudest dad of them all, I dare say a great time was had by everyone in attendance. Charles, the bartender, even got the memo from Amber's nephew to wear his argyle sweater.

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Thank you to Amber & Zeb for letting me be a part of the start of this chapter of your lives. I hope that your marriage is as perfect as the day it started. And that you'll get to enjoy a trip to a Caribbean beach at some point in the future!