Crystal Lake Golf Club Wedding Photos
Jessica & Phillip
Crystal Lake Golf Club, Mapleville, Rhode Island (Ceremony & Reception)
October 15th, 2022
Every October in New England, there's one weekend where words simply can't describe how beautiful everything is and how absolutely stunning and perfect the fall season looks. You can never predict when it will be. All you can do as a wedding photographer is hope you're booked to shoot a wedding that weekend, with a couple who appreciate the incredible local foliage the same way you do.
In that regard, I truly lucked out with Jessica and Phillip's STUNNING wedding day back in October at Crystal Lake Golf Club in Mapleville, Rhode Island. Right from the moment I walked into bridal prep, I had a feeling this would be the very quintessential fall day for the region in 2022 and, looking back on it, I was right.
And what did that mean? Well, quite simply, it was a day so beautiful that I almost feel like writing nothing else in this blog post and just getting to the photos because my words won't do it justice.
I could tell from the moment my time with Jess and Phil began that this was going to be a fun day. Not only was the bride in great spirits but her girls were also vibing out to good music and having a great time as I arrived to capture the last little bit of Jess' bridal prep before we headed over to Crystal Lake. And though I wasn't there for very long, we made every moment count as I managed to grab shots of the bride-to-be finishing both her hair and her makeup before we left.
I don't think I could have asked for a better location for the tail end of Jess' bridal prep but, I'll be honest, I was excited to get to Crystal Lake and to get this show on the road. Literally.
Once we arrived to Crystal Lake, I knew it wouldn't be long before this casual and relaxed bridal session turned into organized chaos and I was right.
To her credit, Jess managed to stay as cool as a cucumber but I could see the look of reality hit her as she put her dress on for real for the very first time. Her mom, in particular, got lost in her feels when the moment hit everyone and that's one of the things I love the most about bridal prep: The instant we go from "Oh this is a fun day" to "Holy crap! It's my wedding day!"
Jess and Phil had a lot of little moments planned for their wedding day but it was the first two that really made me smile as the bride planned a first look with both her father and her husband-to-be.
I love a good first look and I was especially thankful for us having these moments planned on this particular wedding day as it allowed us to knock out some formal photos before their ceremony and, more importantly, let us take care of family and wedding party photos prior to cocktail hour ... which would prove invaluable later.
I can honestly say Jess and Phil's wedding timeline was my favorite of 2022, particularly because I could not have asked for better lighting for their ceremony itself.
I've shot a LOT of weddings at Crystal Lake and their ceremony spot is, by far, the most affected by lighting conditions. On this beautiful fall afternoon, Jess and Phil's 5 p.m.(ish) ceremony was greeted by some of the best light I've ever seen for a wedding ceremony and it made everything look absolutely gorgeous.
Of course, I may be bias here because the moment I saw Phil wiping a tear away from his eyes, I knew this was going to be a special ceremony.
I LOVED capturing the little moments of Jess and Phil's day and the golden hue of sunshine right behind them complimented this loving and touching ceremony perfectly. So much so that when it came time for me to narrow down my portfolio photos for the 2023 season, all I could think was "I don't know which photos I'm going to be choosing this year but I DO know that there will be ceremony shots from Jessica and Phillip in there."
As much as I enjoyed Jess and Phil's wedding ceremony, I'd be lying if I wasn't selfishly trying to get the couple all by myself as quickly as possible.
Jess and Phil are one of the sweetest couples I've worked with and they have a great chemistry together so it was only natural I'd want as much time with them for post-ceremony bride and groom portraits as possible.
And once we got to the dock at Crystal Lake, it was ON.
I've shot a ton of photos on that beautiful dock but I don't think I've ever had the type of fall colors in the background I had on this night. Jess and Phil's bride and groom portraits were some of my favorite I've ever shot and I'm so thankful the timing worked right because, man, I wanted to make sure we captured how special this day truly was. And we did.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't completely creatively satisfied after finishing up Jess and Phil's bride and groom portraits. Honestly, I could have left right at that moment and thought to myself "Man, we nailed it today."
But, as we headed into Crystal Lake for their wedding reception, I had to remind myself we were only halfway through the fun on this day.
And I knew just from their details alone that this was ALSO going to be a beautiful night. But the moment Jess and Phil walked in and the look on their face? Absolutely priceless.
I'm a big fan of Crystal Lake's dance floor when the light is right and, man, it was perfect for Jess and Phil's first dance, which was set to "You're the Inspiration" by Chicago. Whether it was the classic love ballad or the gorgeous red uplighting — or maybe just the way these newlyweds looked at one another — Jess and Phil's first dance was magical and I was so glad to just sit back and see everything come together in front of my camera lens.
Jess and Phil's reception was a fairly relaxed night and I think that fit these two perfectly. Prior to dinner, the only events planned were a couple of beautiful toasts by the best man and maid of honor.
After dinner, the pair kept it simple with a fun cake cutting and a pair of beautiful parent dances.
And, with that, it was party time.
I'll admit, I didn't know what to expect from the dance floor portion of Jess and Phil's reception but the moment I saw the two of them in the thick of things and rocking out, I knew we were in for a good time.
As I headed out of Jess and Phil's wedding, I could not WAIT to get home to check out all the cool photos we got and my excitement has only grown in the months since they said "I do."
I've been fortunate enough to shoot a lot of weddings at Crystal Lake Golf Club — it's one of my favorite venues and I'm on their preferred photographer list — but I've rarely had the type of perfect day Jess and Phil had.
And I'm thankful they did have it because this is a couple that was just an incredibly fun one to work with. From their engagement session until their dance floor candids, I had a great time capturing the big moments of Jess and Phil's walk down the aisle and I wish them luck on this new and exciting chapter of their lives together.
So thank you Jess and Phil on a wonderful wedding day and may this just be the start of a beautiful life for the two of you 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: Renee Wallace of René Wallace Hair and Makeup; Bride's Make-up: Mary Gipson of Hair by Mare; Bride's Dress: Alexander’s Bridal Boutique; Groom's Suit: Men’s Wearhouse; Florist: Lings Silk Flowers Sunset Terracotta Line ; Ceremony & Reception Venue: Crystal Lake Golf Club, Mapleville, Rhode Island; DJ: Frank Baptista; Display Cake: Ann Bibeault, Cake for Guests: Wright's Dairy Farm.