Arrowhead Acres Wedding
Michelle & Evan
October 4th, 2019
As beautiful as New England is in the fall, there's always an inherent risk when you're planning a wedding that the weather gods simply won't cooperate. Suddenly, instead of the picturesque and gorgeous day with stunning foliage that you always imagined, you end up with an afternoon that reminds you, matter-of-factly, that winter is on the way.
I always worry this will happen to my October brides and grooms and Michelle and Evan were no exception on the day they said "I do" at Arrowhead Acres in Uxbridge, Massachusetts.
But, unlike most couples, I knew this pair could handle the cold weather. They were, after all, the only couple I've ever had that asked for a SECOND engagement session to capitalize on snowy, winter weather.
I'm so grateful Michelle and Evan had this approach as their October wedding day was cold, windy and rather miserable to be outside during. But you'd never know it from the excitement these newlyweds had on their faces all day long as, wintery weather or not, their wedding day was absolutely, 100 percent, perfect.
My time with Michelle and Evan began with a surprisingly emotional bridal prep session. Even though Michelle started out super relaxed and eager to get the day moving, as the minutes ticked away before her first look with Evan, you could see the magnitude of what this day meant to her and her bridesmaid hit everyone a little differently.
There were tears during a special toast. There were moments of anxiety trying to get everyone ready to go. And there were moments of silly laughter.
It was the perfect send off for Michelle as the wide range of emotions set the tone for the afternoon and helped her get any crying out of the way early.
Michelle's bridal prep was full of little moments that meant so much to her and her girls but the day felt completely different the minute we left her hotel suite and she got ready to see Evan for the first time.
I'm usually pretty good at reading grooms before a big reveal like a first look and I had a feeling Evan would keep his emotions in check when he turned around to see his bride. And though we didn't get tears out of the soon-to-be groom, they weren't necessary as the smile plastered across his face spoke volumes.
Following their first look, Michelle and Evan kickstarted their bride and groom portraits with a few fun poses before we transitioned into their family and wedding party formals.
I've got to give big credit to Michelle and Evan's friends and family members as it was COLD during this part of the day and the sun did us little to no favors warming the area we photographed in.
But no one really complained and we knocked that part of the afternoon out with relative ease.
Speaking of giving credit, I'd be remiss not to credit the newlyweds for their never-ending patience in the windy and chilly temperatures. Sure, their faces were occasionally red from the cold but Michelle and Evan were down for all of the poses and locations I had in mind on the beautiful Arrowhead Acres property and we did a fairly good job at creating portraits that felt truly in the spirit of their awesome and fun engagement session seven months earlier.
By the time Michelle and Evan were done with their bride and groom portraits, I could have left for the afternoon and felt I captured their day in a meaningful way ... and we still had to actually have a wedding ceremony.
Thankfully, it was worth the wait as Michelle and Evan said "I do" in a truly beautiful and touching way.
Michelle and Evan's wedding ceremony lasted roughly 20 minutes and even though it was incredibly chilly outside, it was easy to forget the cold as this bride and groom were super sweet to each other and their wedding was a beautiful one to watch. I especially loved the little touches between the two as they looked in each other's eyes and got lost in a moment they'll never forget.
Following Michelle and Evan's ceremony, we made our way inside for their reception. And, in a way that was truly "them," all of the decor inside of Arrowhead Acres felt handmade, rustic and extremely personal.
I adored the way Michelle and Evan used this reception space and their open seating plan allowed for friends and family to mingle in a stress-free and loose environment without all the formalities of a traditional reception.
That extra personal touch of Michelle and Evan really hit home the moment they started their first dance as husband and wife ... and not just because they took dance lessons for it.
The newlyweds opened the dance by gathering their friends and family in a large circle and walking the room before taking the center spotlight for themselves.
Dancing to Breathless by Better Than Ezra, Michelle and Evan knocked their first dance out of the park.
Michelle and Evan really loved the rustic feel Arrowhead Acres offered and nowhere was that more evident than the fire pit they had outside for guests and the Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream truck that they had cater their guest's desserts in lieu of a traditional cake.
That's not the say the pair didn't take part in traditional moments you expect to see from a wedding. In fact, not only did they do the usual mother-son and father-daughter dances but they made sure to pay respect to their in-laws as well with two additional parent dances that hammered home the idea of both of their individual families coming together.
These dances were super sweet and a joy to shoot. And not just because I discovered the awesome ceiling at Arrowhead Acres created a great backdrop with the purple uplighting Michelle and Evan chose.
With the formalities of the evening over, Michelle and Evan made sure to spend as much time with their guests as possible, posing for photos often and saying hello to those who mean so much to them.
Their guests, meanwhile, turned the dance floor into a party scene fairly quickly and rarely let up.
As Michelle and Evan's wedding reception started to wind down, I was a bit worried the bride and groom wouldn't have that "big moment" on the dance floor together after the party started.
Thankfully, the pair prepared for that and after wrapping up their pleasantries with those in attendance, Michelle and Even switched out of their traditional wedding outfits and put on clothes more like them.
The bride wore her purple flannel shirt from the day's prep session while the groom rocked a sweet tuxedo t-shirt.
More impressively, Michelle and Evan had my favorite moment of the evening during their last song as their friends and family gathered one last time the way the reception began and sang along with them in the middle of the room before calling it a night.
When all was said and done, Michelle and Evan's wedding reception felt much different than the receptions I'm used to but I mean that in the best way possible.
This bride and groom had a vision for their wedding day and stayed true to it, regardless of what Mother Nature or anyone else threw their way.
I love this about them and I loved their wedding day. Michelle and Evan are a super sweet and adorable couple and I know whenever they think back on the day they said "I do," they'll do so with fond memories and a smile.
And, sometimes, that smile is the foundation for a beautiful moment you'll cherish for a lifetime.
-Paul J. Spetrini
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The Vendor List:
Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini, Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Bride's Hair: Jillian Mackevich; Bride's Make-up: Tabitha Gentile, of Timeless Beauty LLC; Bride's Dress: David's Bridal; Groom's Suit: Carl Anthony Tuxedo; Florist: Sola Wood Flowers from Southern Blooms Co.; Ceremony & Reception Location: Arrowhead Acres in Uxbridge, Massachusetts; DJ: Majestic Beatz Entertainment; Ice Cream Truck: Ben & Jerry's; Officiant: Barbara Swanson; Dance instructor: Jeff Allen; Caterer: B&M Catering Company.