Chris and Shannen kiss during a photo following their May 2017 wedding ceremony at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.

Christopher & Shannen

I've often felt that you can tell a lot about a couple based strictly on their wedding day and for Christopher and Shannen, whose wedding
I helped photograph as a second photographer back in May, this rang particularly true.

Though I hadn't met the bride or the groom until that afternoon, I learned a lot about both of them that day as their wedding at Bittersweet Farm was a beautiful affair full of romance, emotion, laughter and spirituality.

More so, it was just the right balance of religious and fun and, with it taking place on one of the most gorgeous days of the spring season, it was truly a wedding to remember for all in attendance.

It didn't hurt, of course, that it took place at one of my favorite scenic venues in New England ...

Chris poses for a photo with his groomsmen prior to his May 2017 wedding ceremony at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.
Chris toasts with his groomsmen prior to his May 2017 wedding ceremony at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.

My day with Christopher and Shannen began with a laid-back groom prep session. I say laid back because, by the time I arrived, Christopher was already fully dressed and drinking beers with his groomsmen. 

I could tell he was a bit nervous as he waited for his bride to arrive, though, and I can't blame him. His soon-to-be wife was stunning in a beautiful white button-up dress full of intricate details that I knew she would take his breath away when he finally saw her. 

He'd have to wait a while, however, as the bride and groom did a private "first look" that involved Chris wearing a blindfold so they could spend a moment together before the ceremony without actually seeing each other. Trust me, though, it was worth the wait.

Chris puts a blindfold on for a first look with Shannen prior to his May 2017 wedding ceremony at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.
Shannen walks to Chris for their first look prior to her May 2017 wedding ceremony at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.
Chris and Shannen share a first look prior to their May 2017 wedding ceremony at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.

As much as I loved Chris and Shannen's "first look," it was their ceremony I was looking most forward to as the bride and groom had a delightfully sunny (but pleasant) early evening ceremony with all of their friends and family watching. 

Two ringbearers arrive during Chris and Shannen's May 2017 wedding ceremony at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.
Shannen walks down the aisle during her May 2017 wedding ceremony at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.
Shannen laughs during her May 2017 wedding ceremony at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.
Chris closes his eyes for a moment during his May 2017 wedding ceremony at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.
Chris and Shannen hold hands during their May 2017 wedding ceremony at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.
Chris and Shannen exchange vows during their May 2017 wedding ceremony at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.
Chris and Shannen hold hands during their May 2017 wedding ceremony at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.

I loved Chris and Shannen's ceremony. Not only did they incorporate one of my favorite traditions into their day (the three corded knot) but they were also beaming with smiles from ear to ear as their officiant spoke. 

In fact, the only part of their ceremony that wasn't perfect was the hazy sun that cast a rough shadow on the bride's face but, no problem, we have ways of dealing with that and Chris and Shannen, who were sweathearts, were completely game when I asked them to come back out and take a couple of extra shots in their ceremony location after the sun died down a bit.

Shannen laughs following her May 2017 wedding ceremony at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.
Chris shares a laugh with Shannen following his May 2017 wedding ceremony at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.
Chris and Shannen share a kiss following their May 2017 wedding ceremony at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.

It turns out that was a great decision as not only did Chris and Shannen have some beautiful photos to admire but they were able to recreate the ceremony in a less-than-serious way and it really brought out their personalities free of the formalities of the serious moments earlier.

The best part is, since we were already outside, we were able to take advantage of the beautiful golden hour light and take some of my favorite bridal portraits of the year thus far.

Seriously. That light was STUNNING.

Shannen poses for a photo prior to her May 2017 wedding reception at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.
Shannen poses for a photo prior to her May 2017 wedding reception at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.
Shannen poses for a photo prior to her May 2017 wedding reception at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.

All of this was just a prelude to their reception, however, and I could tell moments in that this bride and groom were excited to get the party started. And who can blame them? It was a great night to cut loose.

Chris and Shannen are introduced during their May 2017 wedding reception at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.
Chris and Shannen share their first dance during their May 2017 wedding reception at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.
Chris and Shannen share their first dance during their May 2017 wedding reception at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.
A look at the decorations on display during Chris and Shannen's May 2017 wedding reception at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.

Chris and Shannen had the perfect balance of fun and seriousness and it was evident throughout the signature moments of their reception, whether it was the first dance, parents dances or even the bouquet and garter toss. 

Through it all, I don't think I saw the bride and groom without a smile on their face once and, more importantly, I could tell this was a night they would never forget.

Shannen and her father dance during her May 2017 wedding reception at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.
Shannen and her father dance during her May 2017 wedding reception at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.
Chris and his mother dance during his May 2017 wedding reception at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.
Chris and his mother dance during his May 2017 wedding reception at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.
A look at the dance floor during Chris and Shannen's May 2017 wedding reception at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.
Shannen gets ready to toss her bouquet during his May 2017 wedding reception at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.
Chris reaches for the garter during his May 2017 wedding reception at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.
Chris prepares to toss the garter during his May 2017 wedding reception at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.
Chris and Shannen dance during their May 2017 wedding reception at Bittersweet Farm in Westport, Massachusetts.

As my evening with Chris and Shannen came to a close, it was clear to me that although I had just met this bride and groom, I had witnessed something sincere and special.

It's sometimes hard to get a read on a couple when you're meeting them for the first time on their wedding day but any awkwardness between myself and these two was gone seconds into the day and Chris and Shannen were warm and welcoming people.

And that's why their beautiful May wedding will be one I remember fondly for a long time to come. So, congrats Chris and Shannen.

Best of luck on your new marriage!

-PJS.

* These photos were taken as part of my work for George Street Photography and are presented here strictly for portfolio/display purposes. 

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Rhode Island Wedding Photographer Paul J. Spetrini

Located in Warwick, R.I.

For general information, please email Paul@pauljspetrini.com

https://www.facebook.com/PhotosbyPaul

© 2020 Paul J. Spetrini Photography. All rights reserved.