Bob and Debbie share their first dance as husband and wife during their June 2016 wedding reception at DeWolf Tavern in Bristol, Rhode Island.

Bob & Debbie

At this point in my wedding photography career, it seems as if the bulk of my clients fall into one of two camps: They're either young lovers fresh out of school who are getting married for the first time or they're older adults who have found new love later in life.

While I have no preference among the two, there are several key differences between these types of weddings and any time I am tasked with photographing an older couple I know I can expect a few things to happen almost universally.

For one, these couples have been through life and don't get stressed out by the planning of a wedding. Secondly, these ceremonies tend to be a little more emotional as older adults have had years of experiences and pour their feelings into every word said. Lastly, I can expect a GIGANTIC party.

For Bob and Debbie, whose wedding I was fortunate enough to shoot back in June, these three commonalities were all there and then some. But even knowing what to expect from the day didn't do this wedding justice. No. Bob and Debbie were determined to make their June wedding something that will stand out for a long time. It's safe to say they succeeded.

Debbie's dress hangs and shoes are on display prior to her June 2016 wedding in Barrington, Rhode Island.
Debbie's dress hangs prior to her June 2016 wedding in Barrington, Rhode Island.
Debbie's flowers rest in water prior to her June 2016 wedding in Barrington, Rhode Island.
A look at Bob and Debbie's program for their June 2016 wedding in Barrington, Rhode Island.
A look at Bob and Debbie's wedding rings prior to their June 2016 wedding in Barrington, Rhode Island.
Debbie has her dress zipped up prior to her June 2016 wedding in Barrington, Rhode Island.
Debbie has her dress zipped up prior to her June 2016 wedding in Barrington, Rhode Island.
Debbie smiles for a photo prior to her June 2016 wedding in Barrington, Rhode Island.

My coverage of Bob and Debbie's big day began about an hour before the ceremony. 

As an older bride, Debbie knew what she wanted from her wedding photos and what she didn't need and we were direct and to the point.

There was no need for a large wedding party of hours of bridal prep. Her day started with simple preparations and all she needed captured were photos of her putting on her dress and her shoes and getting ready to walk down to the man she's waited a lifetime for.

Bob wasn't much different. In fact, the couple was so relaxed it hardly felt like a wedding ... until we arrived at the ceremony site. 

A look at the ceremony site prior to Bob and Debbie's June 2016 wedding in Barrington, Rhode Island.
Bob smiles as her watches Debbie walk down the aisle during their June 2016 wedding in Barrington, Rhode Island.
Bob and Debbie join hands during their June 2016 wedding in Barrington, Rhode Island.
Debbie and her son walk down the aisle during her June 2016 wedding in Barrington, Rhode Island.
A look at the flowers in the aisle for Bob and Debbie's June 2016 wedding in Barrington, Rhode Island.
A look at the ceremony site for Bob and Debbie's June 2016 wedding in Barrington, Rhode Island.

Bob and Debbie chose to get married at the home of a personal friend and when you have a view like that, who can blame them? 

The Barrington backdrop was an absolutely perfect location for this couple as it offered a peaceful view by the water and the site became a character all its own as the bride and groom handcrafted a deeply personal and touching ceremony that talked about life's journey and the twists and turns people take on the road to finding the ones they're meant to spend their days with.

Guests watch Bob and Debbie's ceremony during their June 2016 wedding in Barrington, Rhode Island.
Debbie smiles at Bob during their June 2016 wedding in Barrington, Rhode Island.
Bob makes Debbie laugh during their June 2016 wedding in Barrington, Rhode Island.
Bob puts a ring on Debbie's hand during their June 2016 wedding in Barrington, Rhode Island.
Bob and Debbie share their first kiss June 2016 wedding in Barrington, Rhode Island.
Bob and Debbie are congratulated following their June 2016 wedding in Barrington, Rhode Island.
Bob and Debbie welcome guests to a receiving line following their June 2016 wedding in Barrington, Rhode Island.

True to form, once Bob and Debbie's beautiful ceremony was over, I knew I wouldn't have much time with the newlyweds before we headed over to the reception site.

It made perfect sense. This wasn't a couple that needed thousands of formal photos. No, we took the basics of closest friends and family members and a few of the new husband and wife together but on this day, with the summer sun beating down on us, all Bob and Debbie wanted to do was get to their reception and party with those they cared about.

I was all too happy to oblige as long as I got to pull them out of the reception for some sunset photos when the time came. I'm glad I did.

Debbie smiles for a photo following her June 2016 wedding in Barrington, Rhode Island.
A sign on the car proclaims Bob and Debbie are 'Just Married' following their June 2016 wedding in Barrington, Rhode Island.
Bob and Debbie smile for a photo following their June 2016 wedding in Barrington, Rhode Island.
Bob and Debbie kiss following their June 2016 wedding in Barrington, Rhode Island.

Bob and Debbie's wedding reception took place down the road from Barrington at DeWolf Tavern in Bristol, a location I know all too well as I had just shot a small wedding there four weeks prior.

And much like Krystal and Ian's big day back in May, Bob and Debbie's wedding reception was an absolute blast and a party that never stopped.

Bob and Debbie's champagne glasses are on display prior to their June 2016 wedding reception at DeWolf Tavern in Bristol, Rhode Island.
A guest signs a photo frame for Bob and Debbie during their June 2016 wedding reception at DeWolf Tavern in Bristol, Rhode Island.
A look at the table settings for Bob and Debbie's June 2016 wedding reception at DeWolf Tavern in Bristol, Rhode Island.
Bob and Debbie share their first dance as husband and wife during their June 2016 wedding reception at DeWolf Tavern in Bristol, Rhode Island.
Bob and Debbie share their first dance as husband and wife during their June 2016 wedding reception at DeWolf Tavern in Bristol, Rhode Island.
Bob and Debbie share their first dance as husband and wife during their June 2016 wedding reception at DeWolf Tavern in Bristol, Rhode Island.
Bob and Debbie share their first dance as husband and wife during their June 2016 wedding reception at DeWolf Tavern in Bristol, Rhode Island.

My favorite part of Bob and Debbie's wedding day was the few moments the new bride and groom allowed for me to take them down to the docks outside of DeWolf Tavern. We didn't spend much time by the water as I wanted to get them back to their guests as soon as possible but the entire walk there and back was filled with jokes and laughter and you could see how truly happy the couple was in these moments.

And it doesn't hurt that the photos are some of my favorite from the day either.

Bob and Debbie smile for formal photos during their June 2016 wedding reception at DeWolf Tavern in Bristol, Rhode Island.
Bob and Debbie smile for formal photos during their June 2016 wedding reception at DeWolf Tavern in Bristol, Rhode Island.
Bob and Debbie smile for formal photos during their June 2016 wedding reception at DeWolf Tavern in Bristol, Rhode Island.
Bob and Debbie smile for formal photos during their June 2016 wedding reception at DeWolf Tavern in Bristol, Rhode Island.

After their final formal photos, it was time to get the party started and, boy, did they.

While Bob and Debbie's wedding ceremony was respectfully small and the cocktail hour rather quiet, once my buddies at ProSound Entertainment got the dance music started, it was an all-out free for all.

Not even in my wildest dreams would I have called this one. Bob and Debbie's reception wowed all of us in attendance.

Guests dance during Bob and Debbie's June 2016 wedding reception at DeWolf Tavern in Bristol, Rhode Island.
Guests dance during Bob and Debbie's June 2016 wedding reception at DeWolf Tavern in Bristol, Rhode Island.
Guests laugh during Bob and Debbie's June 2016 wedding reception at DeWolf Tavern in Bristol, Rhode Island.
Guests dance during Bob and Debbie's June 2016 wedding reception at DeWolf Tavern in Bristol, Rhode Island.
Debbie runs to the dance floor during her June 2016 wedding reception at DeWolf Tavern in Bristol, Rhode Island.
Bob, Debbie and guests dance during their June 2016 wedding reception at DeWolf Tavern in Bristol, Rhode Island.

It wasn't just the number of people dancing that impressed me at this reception: It was the length of time the dance floor was occupied.

From the first dance until the final song, there were dozens of people all over the room at DeWolf having a great time. 

No matter where you looked, people were laughing, dancing and enjoying the night. At one point, Bob and Debbie had two dance floors going on in opposite corners. That, my friends, is what I call a party.

Debbie's grandson dances during her and Bob's June 2016 wedding reception at DeWolf Tavern in Bristol, Rhode Island.
Bob dances during he and Debbie's June 2016 wedding reception at DeWolf Tavern in Bristol, Rhode Island.
Debbie shares a moment with her grandson during her and Bob's June 2016 wedding reception at DeWolf Tavern in Bristol, Rhode Island.
Guests dance during Bob and Debbie's June 2016 wedding reception at DeWolf Tavern in Bristol, Rhode Island.
Guests dance during Bob and Debbie's June 2016 wedding reception at DeWolf Tavern in Bristol, Rhode Island.
Bob and Debbie dance during their June 2016 wedding reception at DeWolf Tavern in Bristol, Rhode Island.
Bob and Debbie dance during their June 2016 wedding reception at DeWolf Tavern in Bristol, Rhode Island.
Bob and Debbie dance during their June 2016 wedding reception at DeWolf Tavern in Bristol, Rhode Island.

By the end of the night, Bob and Debbie's wedding reception was full of some of the most fun photos I've had at a reception in my career.

There are so many things I loved about this day that to sum it up in one blog wouldn't do it justice but I'll say this: Any thoughts I may have had about this being a party that was over at 9 p.m. evaporated the moment the music hit.

And, to me, I can't think of a more fitting way to honor love that a giant celebration that leaves everyone in attendance, be it the bride and groom, guests or vendors, with a smile on their face on their way out.

And that's exactly what Bob and Debbie's reception was: the perfect ending to a perfect day in a perfect location.

If this was the night this couple waited their whole life's for, well, trust me: It was worth the wait and then some.

-PJS

Bob and Debbie smile for formal photos during their June 2016 wedding reception at DeWolf Tavern in Bristol, Rhode Island.
Paul J. Spetrini is a Rhode Island wedding photographer.

© 2019 Paul J. Spetrini Photography. All rights reserved.

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