Crystal Lake Golf Club Wedding
Kayla & Matthew
Whenever I'm shooting a wedding, I try to remember that for every couple I work with, it will likely be the biggest day of their lives. As such, I make it a point to go above and beyond for their photographs and will lay in any uncomfortable position or climb up to any awkward angle to get what I think is "the" photograph.
All I ever ask is that they're willing to do the same so you can imagine, then, how thrilled I was when Matthew asked his new bride Kayla to sit down on a cold, creaky dock overlooking the during the formal photo portion of their October wedding day at Crystal Lake Golf Club in Mapleville, Rhode Island.
Kayla was a bit reluctant at first but, after a little bit of prodding, she agreed and it led to one of my favorite shots of the day. More importantly, it proved to me how special this day was for this bride and groom and gave them one of their first memories as newlyweds.
Not that they'd need it, of course, as this wedding day was one they'd never forget.
My coverage of Kayla and Matthew's wedding day began with a crowded but super fun bridal prep session with the bride-to-be and a slew of her bridesmaids and family members.
Kayla was in great spirits as she finished up her hair and makeup and if she had any nerves or anxiety about getting married, she did an amazing job hiding it. More impressively, we rolled right through all the little timeline check marks and breezed right to the time she was getting into her dress and ready to go.
In fact, the only pressure we had at all during Kayla's bridal prep was recreating a photographer her mother requested of the bride getting ready in front of the mirror. I'd say we nailed it, though, and after a brief round of bridal party formal photos, we were on our way to the church.
Kayla and Matt were married at St. Brendan's Parish in Bellingham, Massachusetts and I knew from the moment I walked in this would be a pretty traditional ceremony as the church looks like something out of the early 1900s in the best way possible.
The only real variable was whether or not the groom would show emotion when Kayla walked down the aisle and though he didn't cry, Matthew had a smile on his face for most of the ceremony and it was clear how much this moment meant to both him and Kayla.
As much as I enjoyed Kayla and Matthew's ceremony and their family formals outside of the church, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't anxious as we made the long trek from Bellingham to Crystal Lake Golf Club, the site of their reception.
Crystal Lake is one of my favorite places to shoot a wedding but we were up against the clock with sunset fast approaching when we arrived for the back half of Kayla and Matthew's formal photos.
Thankfully, the pair have an amazing set of family and friends and we quickly finished all of the required formal photos with plenty of time to focus just on the newlyweds themselves in what was one of my favorite bride and groom portraits sessions of the year thus far.
Seriously. These two couldn't have picked a better location or a better time of year. Talk about stunning.
By the time Kayla, Matt and I were finished with their formal photos, I was completely out of ideas with what to do next so the timing was perfect. These two newlyweds were a pleasure to pose and their chemistry and natural love for each other was so easy to work with.
And that's really the best way to describe the rest of the night as their reception was chock-full of great candid moments where you could just feel the love in the room, starting with their first dance set to "From the Ground Up” by Dan + Shay.
You know you're set for a fun reception when the bride's brother shows up in a T-Rex costume and it still somehow fits with the theme of the night.
Following their first dance, Kayla and Matt had a slew of sweet toasts from members of their wedding party and a great dinner before diving head first into their parent dances.
Up first was Matthew and his mother. The pair had a sweet and sentimental moment together on the dance floor before giving way to Matt dancing with his daughter Lexie in one of my favorite moments of the night.
And, like clockwork, that father-daughter dance led right into Kayla dancing with her dad to close out the formal portion of the evening.
Up until the moment the dance floor opened, Kayla and Matthew's wedding was a pretty standard and traditional affair. Little did I know just how much that vibe would turn on its head, though, as these two had a ridiculous time once the party really kicked off.
Their guests, of course, rolled with the punches and before long I knew I was photographing one of my favorite receptions in quite some time, full of hilarious photos I know this pair will laugh about for years.
By the time I got ready to head out of Crystal Lake Golf Club, I could tell Kayla and Matthew's wedding exceeded even their biggest expectations.
The pair went above and beyond all day long and really managed to have a stress-free, perfect day together.
From the moment I walked into bridal prep until the end of the evening, it was clear to me that this bride and groom were ready to commit to a lifetime together long before their wedding day and that the entire point of this day was to celebrate the love they found and their next step together.
And, because of that, I can't say enough good things about what they pulled off on this October evening.
So congratulations Kayla and Matt 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 & Make-up: Sonja B. Conti; Bride's Dress: David's Bridal; Groom's Suit: Bonardi's Formalwear of Milford, Massachusetts; Florist: RoseBud Florist; Ceremony Location: St. Brendan's Parish, Bellingham, Massachusetts; Reception Location: Crystal Lake Golf Club, Mapleville, Rhode Island; DJ: Paul Doucette of Doucette DJ Entertainment; Cake: Wright's Dairy Farm.