Blissful Meadows Wedding Photos
Ashley & Justin
October 16th, 2020
When you're a wedding photographer, you always want the best for your clients. This means you're hoping they've chosen the best venues, the best lighting and have friends and family members who will help create the best party atmosphere. But it also means you're constantly rooting for the best weather and, sometimes, Mother Nature has other plans.
Case in point: Ashley and Justin's October wedding at Blissful Meadows in Uxbridge, Massachusetts back in October. I photographed Ashley and Justin's wedding two weeks after their engagement session and, in the week leading up to their nuptials, the forecast was looking quite grim with rain projected all day long.
As much as it bummed me out, I knew if any couple could make rain on their wedding day work, it was Ashley and Justin and, boy, did they do just that. From moving their ceremony indoors to hosting their family and wedding party formal photos under the jutted-out roof of a barn, and even bringing clear umbrellas for when they wanted to venture out into the elements, Ashley and Justin had everything covered to make sure the rain wouldn't rain on their parade.
And, honestly, that attention to detail is why it was easily one of my favorite days of this entire year. Talk about a wedding to remember.
My time with Ashley and Justin started with a very laid back and relaxed bridal prep session for the bride at the Hampton Inn in Smithfield, Rhode Island. I knew the minute I walked in what kind of day we were getting ready for as Ashley and her bridesmaids already had a bag of clear umbrellas sitting ready to go and the bride was in great spirits.
Ashley was determined to have an awesome wedding and I appreciated that positivity as she wrapped up her hair and makeup and made the drive to her ceremony venue on time and (largely) nerves free.
As happy and fun as Ashley was during bridal prep, when we arrived to the venue, I could see she was getting a bit more worried
That's to be expected. What bride doesn't get at least a little anxious hoping everything will go well? Thankfully, Ashley had some great bridesmaids who kept her spirits largely up, even as a traffic jam on one of the local highways caused the ceremony to be a bit delayed.
Like I said, though, this is a bride who could roll with the punches.
As for the groom? I didn't see Justin until a little while before the ceremony began but he was in great spirits as well. I think having one location for their ceremony and reception made an otherwise hectic afternoon much easier on Justin and Ashley and, once we were ready to go, you could almost watch any lagging stress or anxiety melt from both of their faces as their ceremony began.
I'm a photographer who MUCH prefers outdoor wedding ceremonies but, if you've got to be inside, there are MUCH worse places to photograph a wedding than Blissful Meadows.
The barn area provided the perfect backdrop as Ashley and Justin said "I do" and their ceremony, while short, was really sweet and felt extra intimate with their limited guest count and attendees sitting at their tables.
With their ceremony in the books, it was the moment of truth for Ashley, Justin and I as we headed outside for formal photos. Thankfully, Blissful Meadows' barn has a nice overhanging rooftop which stretches just a bit outside of the main entrance so while I was at times stuck in the rain, I was able to keep the bride and groom covered while we took care of their family and wedding party formals.
As soon as Ashley, Justin and I finished their wedding party photos, it was time for me to sheepishly try to take advantage of the good will I'd earned that day and convince the newlyweds to brave the elements for some bride and groom formal photos that weren't in front of the barn and took advantage of the beautiful fall colors in Massachusetts on what is traditionally one of the best foliage weekends of the year.
Thankfully, Ashley and Justin were up for it and I'm so glad they were because, while we weren't out in the rain for long and while I kept them covered with their clear umbrella as much as possible, I think the little bit of water they had to deal with was worth it for these shots.
Honestly, they're some of my favorite photos of the year by far.
Suffice to say, the minute Ashley, Justin and I finished their bride and groom formals, I felt a weight lift off my chest as I knew the weather no longer mattered and we could focus on their reception.
And, if you happened to see how much fun we had with their engagement session two weeks earlier, it won't as a surprise if I tell you I knew their reception would be great.
Of course, anytime you bring horror masks and costumes into your wedding day, I'm on board and Ashley and Justin did that. Sure, they had the beautiful, rustic decorations you'd come to expect in a barn wedding but the minute the newlyweds were introduced to the theme of the Purge movies and walked in like crazy killers, I knew the fun was just getting started.
I've got to say, I don't think I've seen a harder 180 at a wedding than going from the Purge theme song and murderous costumes to Elvis Presley but Ashley and Justin pulled it off quite nicely as they kicked off their reception with a beautiful first dance to the King's "Can't Help Falling in Love."
With their first dance out of the way, Ashley and Justin eased into all the big moments of their wedding day. They had two great toasts from their maid of honor and best man, respectively, a nice sit down dinner which gave them plenty of time to go table to table and greet their guests and even a rowdy cake cutting which signified the party was just about the start.
Personally, my favorite part of Ashley and Justin's wedding reception was an unexpected one as the newlyweds decided to have special dances with their parents. Now, I see this at every wedding but what made these three stand out, besides the fact that Ashley surprised her mother with a dance, was how great they looked with the string lights of Blissful Meadows.
I've shot a few receptions at this venue but this was my first time in the barn and, honestly, it was gorgeous and resulted in some of my favorite shots of the entire wedding.
With the formalities of the evening out of the way, Ashley and Justin could finally let loose and party with their closest friends and family members and while their reception was a bit different than most (namely with a LOT more social distancing and little pockets of dancing throughout the large barn area), it was still one heck of a good time for those in attendance.
By the time I called it a wrap on Ashley and Justin's big day, I couldn't wait to get home and look at some of the photos we'd taken. And with good reason.
Ashley and Justin's wedding day was one of the most fun times I've had all year and a great example of why, even in a crazy 2020 like we've had, there's simply nothing better than a quality wedding with quality people.
Was it perfect? Absolutely not. Was it what the bride and groom had originally envisioned? Absolutely not.
It was better.
And it was made better by a bride and groom who rolled with the punches and took on every challenge 2020 could throw their way with a smile on their face and a positive attitude that no rain could put a damper on.
So thank you Ashley and Justin for a great wedding day and best of luck as you begin married life together! If your wedding taught me anything, it's that you're ready for anything the world throws at you ... and you'll always have an umbrella handy. :)
-Paul J. Spetrini
Check out more of my most recent wedding blogs:
The Vendor List:
Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini, Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Bride's Hair & Make- Up: Glamour Me Bridal & Beauty, Taunton, Massachusetts; Florist: Donna Hurst Bouquet; Ceremony & Reception Venue: Blissful Meadows, Uxbridge, Massachusetts; DJ/Photo Booth: ProSound DJ Entertainment.