Crystal Lake Golf Club Wedding Photos
Nicole & Dennis
Crystal Lake Golf Club, Mapleville, Rhode Island
August 19th, 2022
When you've photographed as many weddings as I have, you learn there are certain things you can love for to tell you exactly what's coming next. You can read a bride's face as she's getting her dress zipped up, for instance, to know how she will handle reciting her vows later that day. Or you can tell how wild a groom will get on the dance floor by watching how he interacts with his friends.
By far my favorite indicator of what kind of wedding ceremony we're about to have is the way a groom looks in the moments before the ceremony begins. And I can honestly say I've never seen a groom as emotional waiting for his bride to walk down the aisle as Dennis was on the afternoon he and Nicole officially became husband and wife.
Standing by his uncle with his back turned toward his guests, Dennis stood in his feelings and let the tears freely flow and it was honestly inspiring to see someone so true to his feelings. And it made perfect sense because his and Nicole's wedding day was the culmination of a beautiful and loving journey down the aisle that was well, well worth the wait.
I'm just glad I was there to document it ...
My time with Nicole and Dennis started with a fun and casual bridal prep session as the bride was mostly finished when I arrived.
I loved working with Nicole and her girls for a lot of reasons but I think my favorite was how much fun they had during prep, especially as they tried to emulate some of the more popular current trends on Tin Tok, like the way Nicole hung everyone's dress up or the silly poses they hit for a video the bride would make later.
All told, Nicole's bridal prep was a VIBE and one that started the day off on a great tone.
The funny thing is, once we drove over to the venue, there was a noticeable shift in the atmosphere with Nicole and her girls. Suddenly, upon arrival at Crystal Lake Golf Club, things got very real, very fast.
I always love when a day shifts like this because you can feel the weight of the moment hit from out of nowhere but Nicole and her family did a great job navigating the stress of the final half hour before her ceremony started and tried their best not to get too emotional despite several big moments I know she won't soon forget.
Speaking of emotions, Nicole and Dennis' wedding day was one defined by the groom's feelings, particularly during the above-mentioned moments before the bride walked down the aisle.
Dennis was, understandably, a bit of a mess prior to his ceremony but, man, was it worth it seeing his face when he finally saw his bride for the first time.
This moment hit me in the feels. I can't only imagine how his friends and family members felt.
What I loved about Nicole and Dennis' ceremony the most was how much Nicole's arrival settled the groom down quite nicely and how different Dennis' emotions were once he was about to hold and hug his soon-to-be wife.
Nicole and Dennis' ceremony was short and sweet but full of lovely little moments between the two of them. More importantly, though, it was full of face-wide smiles and laughs. This was definitely a couple soaking in every second of this ceremony and I can't say I blame them. It was that great.
After sealing their love with a kiss, Nicole and Dennis has officially survived their wedding ceremony, the hardest part of their wedding day was over and it showed. Almost immediately following their walk down the aisle, Nicole and Dennis had a relaxed vibe for the rest of the day and it paid off nicely as we took a handful of bride and groom portraits on the practice field side of Crystal Lake before heading over to the ballroom side of the venue for family and wedding party formals.
Nicole and Dennis had one of the most fun wedding parties I've worked with this season and they were truly down for any ideas I had ... even at the expense of almost sinking the Crystal Lake boat for a group photo.
Luckily, we were able to take some shots on watercraft without falling into the lake and the group was able to take some shots of their own as they headed to the other side of the venue.
As always, my favorite photo from this part of the day was the silly wedding party goes wild photo as I asked Nicole and Dennis to close their eyes and this group delivered in a big way.
I've shot a lot of weddings at Crystal Lake this year but I never get tired of seeing how brides and grooms choose to decorate the venue and, in that regard, Nicole and Dennis knocked their big day out of the park.
I especially loved the beautiful nautical-themed sweetheart table the bride and groom had and the way all of their decorations really worked together to create a cool blue color scheme that popped once the sun set and the house lights in the venue came on strong.
There were a lot of moments I liked during Nicole and Dennis' wedding day but the moment that I LOVED the most was their first dance, set to "The Rest of Our Life" by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.
There's something special about the Crystal Lake Golf Club dance floor when the lighting is just right and, man, it was something else on this beautiful summer afternoon as Nicole and Dennis swayed side to side and embraced each other.
I can't think of a better way we could have kicked off this reception, one that would go on to be at the top of my favorite receptions of the year list for reasons you'll soon see.
Before we got to the wildness that was Nicole and Dennis' open dance floor, though, we still had some special moments to get through, starting with a great speech by the best man, some awesome sunset portraits on the Crystal Lake dock, a fun newlywed game and cake cutting and an even better dance between Nicole and her father.
With the formalities out of the way, it was time to party and it was clear from the minute the DJ hit the music that this was one crowd that was waiting on the edge of their seat to cut loose.
I've seen quite a few hot crowds that burst with energy the second the dance floor opens up but only a few this year have matched the sheer level of fun Nicole and Dennis' guests had.
And I can tell you from having gone over these photos with the bride and groom and watching their faces at some of the moments we captured that this is one party they will talk about for YEARS.
By the time I got ready to head out of Nicole and Dennis' wedding reception, the bride had changed into a second outfit specifically for dancing purposes and the groom was laughing hysterically with his friends and I can think of no better compliment for how amazing this day was than the fact that even HOURS later, this bride and groom were still locked into the excitement of their big day and enjoying every second of it.
To me, that's something special and exactly what Nicole and Dennis deserved on the day they celebrated this new chapter of their lives together.
So thank you Nicole and Dennis for a truly memorable wedding day that I know neither you, nor I, will soon forget and best of luck on your journey together as husband and wife.
-Paul J. Spetrini
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The Vendor List:
Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini, Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Bride's Hair: Salon Bee, Attleboro, Massachusetts; Bride's Make-up: Glam II Studio and Boutique; Groom's Suit: Men's Wearhouse; Florist: Knotty Totty's Designs; Ceremony & Reception: Crystal Lake Golf Club, Mapleville, Rhode Island; DJ: K&M Entertainment; Cake & Cannoli Station: Gerardo's Italian Bakery.