Crystal Lake Golf Club Wedding Photos
Jaime & George
Crystal Lake Golf Club, Mapleville, Rhode Island (Ceremony & Reception)
September 29th, 2023
One of the most commonly-used bible verses at a wedding is 1 Corinthians, which starts with the words “Love is Patient” and this year, perhaps moreso than any other year I've ever photographed weddings, couples have proven more patient than ever before because, despite my non-stop pleas to Mother Nature, 2023 has been a non-stop rainfest all wedding season long.
But that's where the patience part comes in and that's why I knew on the day Jaime and George got married that if we all just stayed patient, we'd have a chance to run outside and grab some nice bride and groom formal photos without a constant downpour raining down on us.
We were and our patience was rewarded with nine minutes of clear enough skies to work with. And, this year? Nine minutes is practically an eternity.
Jaime and George said “I do” at Crystal Lake Golf Club back in September and while it was far from a beautiful, sunny day outside, it was nothing but perfection inside as these two amazing people became husband and wife.
While I may have been grumpy with the bad weather, at no point where Jaime and George in anything but high spirits and that says so much about them, their relationship and why their wedding day was so beautiful.
And the party? Wooo man. Talk about a party.
My time with Jaime and George began as all my Crystal Lake weddings seemingly do: Arriving prior to the bride and groom and capturing the little details of the bridal suite as we wait for the show to get going.
The cool thing about this wedding, though, was this would be my first with Crystal Lake's new coordinator Kayla and I arrived to find a bridal suite that was all done up and gorgeously prepared for Jaime with her dress hanging up, her flowers all neatly laid out and the ready ready to go when she was.
I thought that was a nice touch and one that would help us start the day on the right note when the bride got zipped in her dress.
Jaime arrived a little while after I did and I could tell she was a bit nervous but excited to get married. Even when she got into her dress, there was a slight look of worry on her face but it was clear it was more in the realm of wanting to start the day vs. any nerves about the day itself.
And once she was properly secured in her dress and things started to “feel” real, all looks of worry on her face were replaced with a genuine excitement. She was ready to roll and couldn't wait to see her soon-to-be husband during their first look.
George, meanwhile, was cool, calm and collected like most of the grooms I work with.
In my chat with the groom prior to his first look, George joked about how they had just done a rehearsal for their wedding the night was beautiful, as opposed to the rainy day we were staring at on this September afternoon.
Still, there would be no complaining from this bride and groom. No, they remained positive despite the weather and there's something to be said for that.
And while it was pouring outside, that didn't stop us from a pair of beautiful first looks for Jaime, first with her father inside Crystal Lake and then with George himself on the outdoor deck.
Following their first look, Jaime and George indulged me for a few minutes of what I called “Emergency photos.” My plan was to take the soon-to-be-newlyweds out for their proper bride and groom formals if and when the rain let up later in the afternoon as the radar said it would clear up a little bit during their cocktail hour.
Still, you can't blame me for not trusting Mother Nature this year so I made sure we took at least a few outside on the covered patio before heading inside for family and wedding party photos. And while I would've loved to shoot Jaime and George's family photos outside as well, there simply wasn't enough room to do so on a small patio meant for casually hanging out, not a full on photo session.
We made the most with what we were working with and, thankfully, Jaime and George's friends and family members were just happy to be there for the bride and groom, regardless of where we were shooting their photos.
And, besides, if the spot we chose was good enough for them to get married in, it was good enough for photos, right? That's how I felt as we approached their ceremony anyway.
Jaime and George's ceremony took place in the main reception room of Crystal Lake. I've done a few weddings here this year and it's always strange to me how this room feels so different for a ceremony vs. a reception.
Still, if you have to get married indoors, it's hard to find a better spot to say “I do” and I genuinely don't think it would have mattered where these two got married. All they cared about was having this special moment together with the most special people in their lives looking on.
Jaime and George's ceremony was a little over 10 minutes long but full of personal touches and I loved every second of it. I especially loved seeing the pure emotion on Jaime's face as she and George exchanged vows and gave each other rings.
By the time these two sealed their love with a kiss, it was clear this was a moment they'd never forget and it was time to celebrate the night away, starting with a jam-packed cocktail hour that I nervously paced back and forth in while hoping and praying the skies would clear long enough to take the newlyweds outside as promised.
When I tell you the SECOND the skies above Crystal Lake let up, I took Jaime and George outside, I am not kidding. I literally snatched them mid-conversation during cocktail hour, handed them umbrellas and said “Time to go.”
Now, normally, I'm a lot more polite and patient about this type of thing but I had no guarantees we'd have enough time to work with outside before it started raining again and, thankfully, Jaime and George were on board and rolled right with the punches.
We managed to get nine minutes of usable photos and a variety of poses with some pretty trippy, moody lighting and that was good enough for me. In fact, I remember breathing a big sigh of relief once Jaime and George made their way inside to the reception as I knew, if nothing else, we got what we needed to capture their relationship perfectly on their wedding day.
With formal photos over, I was eagerly anticipating getting back inside Crystal Lake to see how everything looked once the ceremony space was finished getting transformed into a reception venue and, I've got say, Jaime and George nailed the little details to make their day truly special.
I photographed a decent amount of their details prior to the ceremony beginning but finally getting the chance to see how everything looked now that the sun was setting and the uplighting brought by their DJ was popping, it looked incredible.
I especially loved the little touches of green in the background of the room and had a feeling those would look amazing once the party got started.
From from their wedding party introductions, I knew Jaime and George's wedding reception was going to be a fun time. What I didn't know was how sweet it would also be, as evidenced by their beautiful first dance set to
What I didn't know at the time was it would be one of my favorites of the year. Set to “Growing Old With You” by Restless Road, which is one of my favorite new first dance songs this year.
I loved this moment for the bride and groom, especially because Crystal Lake is one of my favorite places for a first dance and these newlyweds made their moment sparkle even more with some of the most amazing lighting I've ever seen in that room.
Following their first dance, Jaime and George rolled right through all of the formalities of their big day with a pair of great speeches, a sweet cake cutting and, of course, a pair of beautiful parent dances with their father and mother, respectively.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't most looking forward to the dance floor opening, though. Having already shot a wedding for two of Jaime and George's friends Nick and Hillary back in 2019, I knew exactly what to expect from this crowd and, boy, did it live up to expectations.
I loved a LOT of things about Jaime and George's reception but my favorite, by far, was just how much fun the bride and groom were having on the dance floor and how they were seemingly in the middle of all the action from the very first song until the final note of the evening.
As my time came to an end with Jaime and George, and I walked to my car in perfectly clear skies – once again cursing Mother Nature, I couldn't help but be thankful the day that looked like it would inevitably be washed out turned out so great when all was said and done.
Jaime and George are an amazingly sweet couple and I'm so thankful they were able to look past the imperfections of rainy weather and have the wedding of their dreams and, if nothing else, I know they will be able to joke about the rough day they said “I do” anytime they think back on their special day moving forward.
So thank you Jaime and George for an amazing wedding day and best of luck as you start this new and exciting chapter of your lives together as husband and wife. If nothing else, we all know you're more than capable of weathering any storm together. Let's hope there's not too too many of those, though. :)
-Paul J. Spetrini
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The Vendor List:
Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini, Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Bride's Hair: Lynn Martin; Bride's Make-up: Bianca Fiocco, Beauty by Bianca RI; Bride's Dress: Spark Bridal Boutique; Groom's Suit: Men’s Wearhouse; Florist: Stephanie Rajabiun, The Flower Shack; Centerpieces: The Uncorked Artisan by Jaime Martin; Ceremony & Reception Venue: Crystal Lake Golf Club, Mapleville, Rhode Island; DJ: Jim Harvey; Cake: Wright’s Dairy Farm and Bakery.