Brian & Sarah dance with guests during their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.

Brian & Sarah

No matter how many weddings I shoot, I try really hard not to forget WHY I started doing this in the first place: Getting the chance to work with amazing couples on the happiest day of their lives.

And I don't think couples get much happier than Brian and Sarah.

Brian and Sarah were married on a warm summer afternoon at the College of the Holy Cross, the campus on which they first met, and it was the kind of wedding a photographer dreams about.

Not only were the bride and groom two of the sweetest, kindest people to work with but the day was picture perfect from the moment bridal prep started until the last song played. Brian and Sarah's wedding day was the epitome of why I love wedding photography and, without question, a wedding that will stay on my mind for years to come. 

And all it takes is a look at the photos to see why ...

A look at the Beechwood Hotel, site of Sarah's bridal prep session prior to her June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Sarah pops a bottle of champagne prior to her June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

My coverage of Brian and Sarah's wedding day began at a nearby hotel for a brief, but super fun, bridal prep session with Sarah and her bridesmaids.

I loved being a fly on the wall for these girls as everyone was having a great time and really soaking in the moment, especially the bride herself as Sarah couldn't stop smiling as she had her hair and makeup done.

Sarah's dress hangs up prior to her June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
A look at Sarah's special hanger for her wedding dress, photograhed prior to her June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Sarah looks in the mirror prior to her June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Sarah has her veil put on prior to her June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Sarah and her bridesmaids pose for a photo prior to her June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Sarah has help putting on her dress prior to her June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Sarah takes a deep breath prior to her June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
A look at the back of Sarah's dress prior to her June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Sarah didn't seem to be too stressed prior to arriving to Holy Cross for her wedding ceremony. Her groom, on the other hand, was adorably nervous as the minutes until they said "I do" ticked away. 

Thankfully, the moment Brian saw Sarah, you could see his worries melt away and it's hard to blame him. She looked breathtaking and their traditional Catholic ceremony in this incredible church just magnified how amazing this moment was for this bride and groom 10 times over.

A look at the alter prior to Brian & Sarah’s June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Brian walks down the aisle with his parents during his June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Brian looks on as Sarah arrives to their June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Sarah walks down the aisle during her June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
A wide view of the church during Brian & Sarah’s June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Brian smiles while looking at Sarah during his June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
A priest gives a blessing during Brian & Sarah’s June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Sarah says her vows during her June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Brian say his vows during his June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Brian and Sarah kiss during their June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Brian and Sarah receive a blessing during their June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Brian receives a hug during his June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Brian and Sarah walk down the aisle following their June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

My only concerns heading into Brian and Sarah's wedding day were the summer heat we were dealing with – It was 87 degrees and humid - and their rather lengthy formal photo list.

Thankfully, their limo driver told me about a beautiful spot for photos before the ceremony began and we took all of their family, friends and wedding party photos in the shade next to a beautiful staircase in the center of the school.

Brian and Sarah pose for a photo with friends following their June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Sarah smiles for a photo with her bridesmaids following her June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Brian poses for a photo with his groomsmen following his June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

That little bit of shade proved invaluable as Brian and Sarah had a LOT of photos they wanted to do of those closest to them. Thankfully, the pair left us plenty of time to take care of them all and we still managed to have almost a full hour with the bride and groom themselves, time we took FULL advantage of while walking around the campus.

Brian & Sarah pose for a formal photo following their June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Sarah poses for a formal photo following her June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Brian poses for a formal photo following his June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Brian & Sarah pose for a formal photo following their June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Brian & Sarah pose for a formal photo following their June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Brian & Sarah pose for a formal photo following their June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Brian & Sarah pose for a formal photo following their June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

I loved Brian and Sarah's bride and groom portraits. Not only was Holy Cross an amazing place for a photo shoot but it clearly meant a lot to this pair as they couldn't stop smiling as we hit up several locations that were important to them while they were in school. 

My favorite photo on campus was the one above as both Brian and Sarah indulged me for a moment and sat on a nearby building's roof for a few shots with a unique perspective. 

We could have stopped there but we didn't and the couple portraits we took when we arrived at their reception venue were, somehow, even more spectacular. 

Brian & Sarah pose for a formal photo prior to their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Brian & Sarah pose for a formal photo prior to their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Brian & Sarah pose for a formal photo prior to their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.

I adored these photos and can already see that veil shot of Sarah making its way into my portfolio update at the end of this year. 

As nice as Brian and Sarah's formal photos were, though, this night was just getting started and I knew we were in for something special the moment I walked in and saw how beautiful the room where they would have their reception was once it was all set up.

A look at Brian and Sarah's sweetheart table, as seen during their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
A look at Brian and Sarah's wedding cake, as seen during their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
A look at Brian and Sarah's table settings, as seen during their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
A look at Brian and Sarah's rings and invitation, as seen during their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
A look at Brian and Sarah's placecards, as seen during their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.

It didn't take long for Brian and Sarah to prove me right as, straight out the gate, their reception was a delight to photograph. 

Brian and Sarah had their first dance to "Your Song" by Elton John, which fit the moment perfectly as the pair had clearly rehearsed their dance multiple times and tore up the dance floor. 

Brian & Sarah dance during their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Brian & Sarah dance during their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Brian & Sarah dance during their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Brian & Sarah dance during their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Brian & Sarah dance during their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Brian & Sarah dance during their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Brian & Sarah dance during their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Brian & Sarah dance during their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.

True story: When I worked on the rough draft of their wedding album, the hardest part was narrowing down the photos I used for their first dance. it was that good. 

And that was the theme for the night as all of the signature moments of their reception -- the toasts, the traditional sunset portraits, the cake cutting, the father-daughter dance and the mother-son dance -- were equally sweet and sentimental and made for fantastic photos.

The best man gives a toast during Brian & Sarah’s June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Brian listens to his best man's speech during his June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
The maid of honor gives a speech during Brian & Sarah’s June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Brian and Sarah react to the maid of honor's speech during their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Brian and Sarah cut the cake during their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Brian and Sarah cut the cake during their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Brian & Sarah pose for a formal photo during their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Sarah and her father dance during her June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Sarah and her father dance during her June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Sarah and her father dance during her June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Brian and his mother dance during his June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Brian and his mother dance during his June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Brian and his mother dance during his June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.

Where Brian and Sarah's wedding went from great to unforgettable, however, is when the party really got started.

At various points before the dance floor opened up, Brian and Sarah's guests were out tearing it up and that's always a good sign for how the night is going to go.

And they didn't disappoint.

With easily the best uplighting I've seen in years, and a great DJ to boot, Brian and Sarah's party was rocking from the first song until the last and made for some of my favorite reception photos all year thus far.

Sarah shows off her ring to friends during her June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Guests dance during Brian & Sarah’s June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Guests dance during Brian & Sarah’s June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Brian & Sarah dance with guests during their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Brian & Sarah dance during their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Brian & Sarah dance during their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Brian & Sarah celebrate with guests during their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.

Seriously. I could have left an hour before I did and still captured enough to tell the story of this night.

But I'm glad I stayed because this was a party I won't soon forget.

Sarah throws her bouquet during her June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Guests try to catch the bouquet during Brian & Sarah’s June 2018 wedding ceremony at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Guests dance during Brian & Sarah’s June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Brian & Sarah dance with guests during their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Brian & Sarah dance with guests during their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Guests dance during Brian & Sarah’s June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Guests dance during Brian & Sarah’s June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.

Whether it was conga lines that wrapped almost the entire length of the venue or rousing renditions of "Living on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi, this reception was downright FUN.

My favorite part, though, was just how much fun the bride and groom were having as I honestly can't remember Brian and Sarah being off the dance floor for much more than a few minutes at a time.

This was a couple that was determined to live it up with their friends and family members and, boy, did they do just that.

Brian & Sarah dance during their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Brian & Sarah dance during their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Brian & Sarah dance during their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.
Brian & Sarah dance during their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.

As the last song played and Brian and Sarah's reception came to an end, I made a mental note to scan the room and see how their guests were holding up after what was an intense night.

I don't think I've seen so many people smiling so hard and looking so happy as I did that night and it all starts with the bride and groom.

Brian and Sarah are one of the youngest couples I've ever worked with but it was clear from my time spent with them that they are old school romantics who spent a lot of time planning the wedding of their dreams. 

And I'm glad they did because it was a perfect day that reminded me of the absolute best life has to offer.

So, congratulations Brian and Sarah. It was an absolute honor to spend this day with you and to capture memories and moments that both you, and I, will cherish for a lifetime.

-PJS

Brian & Sarah kiss during their June 2018 wedding reception at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts.

The Vendor List

Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini, Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Brides’ dress: David’s BridalFlorist: Jen of A Beautiful BouquetCeremony location: College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts; Reception Location: Pleasant Valley Country Club in Sutton, Massachusetts; DJ: Don Place of Champagne Toast EntertainmentLimo: Euro KK Limo

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Rhode Island Wedding Photographer Paul J. Spetrini

Located in Warwick, R.I.

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