Crystal Lake Golf Club Wedding Photos
Lindsay & Joseph
Crystal Lake Golf Club, Mapleville, Rhode Island
July 1st, 2023
I try not to make assumptions about the brides and grooms whose weddings I shoot. For the most part. There's one small exception I make because, in general, it's been proven over and over to me and that is: Police officers and firefighters make the most surprisingly fun grooms to work with.
Now, I'm not saying they party the hardest (Though they often do). And I'm not saying they have the best dance moves (Though, again, some do.) But, in general, I find grooms who are in those two occupations tend to be the most "serious" folks I work with and, on their wedding day, it's an absolute blast watching them let their guard down and embrace the moment.
At least that's my biggest takeaway from Lindsay and Joseph's wedding at Crystal Lake Golf Club in Mapleville, Rhode Island. When I first met these two, Lindsay's biggest request was that I find a way to capture Joe's "natural smile" and, luckily, that was much easier than I thought it would be. Then again, when you have a wedding as perfect as these two did, it's pretty easy to just sit back, click the camera shutter and see nothing BUT smiles.
My time with Lindsay and Joe started as it seemingly always does with Crystal Lake weddings. With bridal prep taking place off site, I arrived to the venue prior to the bride and early enough to grab some shots of the groom getting ready. I knew right away we were in for a fun day as Joe and his groomsmen laughed and made jokes down in the locker room area of Crystal Lake. If Joe was nervous, he did a great job hiding it.
I always love being able to spend a little time with the groom before a wedding ceremony, if for no other reason than checking in to see how they're feeling and Joe was in great spirits. So, too, was Lindsay as she arrived ready to get right down to business and I barely had enough time to capture photos of the dress hanging up before we were off and running with her final prep portion of the day.
Lindsay didn't have a lot of requests for photos prior to the ceremony but I was glad I was able to capture her getting zipped up and some simple portraits before we led the bridal prep area.
It was her first look with her sons where I think the emotion of the day really hit her but any nerves she may have had were cast aside and replacement with excitement the moment she walked outside of the venue and got ready to enter her ride for the day: A beautiful fire truck that would take her right to the top of the aisle to start her ceremony.
One of the things I've always loved about Crystal Lake is that their ceremony site is simultaneously close by and a drive away. Even though it's less than a three-minute drive down the road, having to physically leave one location to go to another has always made my couples' ceremonies feel like a bigger deal and that's why I was so excited to see how Joe would handle the build of the big reveal as Lindsay's fire truck arrived.
Spoiler alert: His reaction was awesome.
Lindsay and Joe's wedding ceremony was everything I love about weddings at Crystal Lake. Not only was in right in front of the beautiful water but it was deeply personal and full of little touches that made it stand out from others I've shot at this property.
I think my favorite detail was the puzzle Lindsay and Joe put together with their children signifying the way their family was finally whole. It's a little thing but something that comes with so much special meaning.
As excited as Lindsay and Joe were following their wedding ceremony, I think I was more excited for it to be over since I knew we were going to get some great bride and groom portraits. It's not every day you get to use an actual firetruck as a backdrop but, man, there's something about a giant, red truck that just pops well off of wedding attire.
Lindsay and Joe were a blast to work with during their formal photos and we got a ton of sweet shots, which I loved because I know just how uncomfortable this groom can be in front of the camera.
My favorite shot, though, came right after this portion of the day was over as Lindsay, Joe and their friends/family hopped on a boat to head back to the reception venue and I managed to grab a photo of them mid-celebration that I think sums up this day terrifically.
Back at the main building for Crystal Lake, it was time for me to do my rounds and capture as many detail shots as I could. And, yes, Lindsay and Joe made sure I had plenty to photograph in this regard.
I knew before Lindsay and Joe's wedding reception even started that we were in for a fun night. For one thing, their DJ came up to me moments before their formal introductions to let me know they had ordered a smoke machine for their first dance. Sorry but I am definitely a SUCKER for a cool smoke machine.
Secondly, Lindsay and Joe were planning on having their first dance to one of my recent favorite wedding songs — "Forever After All" by Luke Combs. And, yes, this dance and this moment was awesome because of it.
I can think of no better way these two could have started this wedding reception off.
With their first dance in the books, Lindsay and Joe headed over to their sweetheart table for three very fun and meaningful toasts. I don't often spotlight toasts in a blog post like this because most are cookie cutter speeches copy and pasted from Google but I loved the three toasts at this wedding as they were all distinct and hilarious and really made the bride, groom and the rest of the room laugh.
In a way, all of the formalities of Lindsay and Joe's wedding day were like the toasts: Sweet, charming and fun.
This is especially true as, despite not really having a sunset on the day they were married, Lindsay and Joe still indulged me for some "sunset photos" ... which were mostly an excuse for me to grab some photos of them near the Crystal Lake fountain and dock.
Once we went back inside, the pair started the second half of their program with an absolutely adorable cake cutting and Joe had two special dances: One with his mother and a second with his grandmother.
I really wasn't sure what to expect from Lindsay and Joe's wedding reception once the formalities were over and the party began but, with them getting married on Fourth of July weekend, I knew one thing for sure: We were going to start this party with some fireworks. Literally.
Lindsay and Joe lucked out and got married on the same night as Crystal Lake had its annual fireworks blowout and it was really a treat to see ... even if they happened before anyone was ready and I had to shoot everything by hand unexpectedly.
Once their firework show was over, I knew I didn't have much time left with Lindsay and Joe but, thankfully, that didn't mean I would leave the venue without dance floor photos. No, Lindsay and Joe's friends and family members were all too happy to rock out once the party started and it was clear this was going to be a night this bride and groom never forgot.
As I made my way out of Crystal Lake, I was covered in sweat from the hot and muggy weather — not to mention my running around all day — but I couldn't help but think about just how fun Lindsay and Joe's wedding truly was.
It's rare for me that a Fourth of July wedding lives up to the hype of the holiday weekend but Lindsay and Joe not only lived up to it, they exceeded it. In spades.
So thank you Lindsay and Joe for an awesome day and night of great candid moments, lots of laughs and even more love. I wish you both the best on this new and exciting chapter together as you prove, without a doubt, that maybe somethings last forever after all. :)
-Paul J. Spetrini
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The Vendor List:
Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini, Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Bride's Hair: Meg from Meg Crocker Hair; Bride's Make-up: Roxanne from Divine Beauty; Bride's Dress: Alexandra’s Boutique; Groom's Suit: Men’s Warehouse; Florist: Garden Hills Florist; Ceremony & Reception Venue: Crystal Lake Golf Club, Mapleville, Rhode Island; DJ: Steve Mercier, Mercier Music Events; Pastries: Garden Hills Florist; Videography: Aponte Photos LLC ; Invitations: Paper Moon Invitations.