Elks Lodge #65 Wedding Photos
Wendy & Sean
Elks Lodge #65, Lawrence, Massachusetts
April 15th, 2023
One of the words I think best describes most weddings days is "surreal."
If you're getting married, chances are you've spent a LONG time planning your wedding day and, when it actually comes, it's almost like an out of body experience in that it doesn't really feel real when you're in the moment.
That's why I always look for those instances where the reality of a moment hits a bride or groom and for Wendy and Sean, who said "I do" at Elks Lodge #65 in Lawrence, Massachusetts back in April, those moments came in waves. It was the moment the bride reached for her daughter's hand in need of reassurance. It was the groom's giant smile when he saw his bride walk down the aisle. It was the way they each got lost in one another's eyes during the first dance.
Wendy and Sean's wedding day had a ton of these little moments and I can't tell you how sweet it was to just sit back and wait for them to happen one by one by one.
My coverage of Wendy and Sean's wedding day started with a super relaxed hair and makeup session for the bride. Well, it was mostly relaxed.
Even though Wendy didn't fancy herself a nervous bride, I think the moment I arrived with camera in hand, the true significance of what this day meant finally hit her. I could see the excitement build on her face as each part of her prep was finished and she started to look, and feel, more like a bride.
In fact, I could almost sense her entire demeanor shift the moment she put her dress on for real.
That little moment is always one of my favorite on a wedding day but, in Wendy's case, I think it represented something she never thought possible.
Luckily, I think the nerves gave way to quiet excitement the moment she got to read a note and open a gift from her soon-to-be husband because, once she did, the look of an anxious bride went away and all that was left was a smile and an attitude of "Let's do this."
If Sean was nervous, well, he sure didn't look it.
My first glimpse of the groom on this beautiful wedding day was him walking to the ceremony site like a rock star as his friends and family members cheered him on and I think that ovation helped put him in the exact right mindset as he didn't stop smiling all throughout the procession in.
And when he finally saw Wendy, who was accompanied by her three sons? Well, that's a look I don't need to describe other than to say it was very, very clear how in love he was.
Wendy and Sean's ceremony took place inside the main ballroom of the Elks Lodge and it made for a great backdrop as their friends and family members were all gathered to see this beautiful moment.
The two chose to keep their ceremony short and simple and, besides custom vows, the only thing they added was a fun little broom jump after their kiss.
But this wasn't a ceremony that needed bells and whistles. All you had to do was see how happy these two were in this moment to know they had everything they needed.
Following their ceremony, Wendy and Sean headed into their formal photos and, despite having one of the largest wedding parties I've seen recently, we breezed through shots both inside and out.
I'm glad we did as I really wanted to make sure we had enough time for the bride and groom themselves before the sun set on us. Thankfully, Wendy and Sean were down for whatever poses I asked for and their natural body language and chemistry was a breeze to work with.
I loved Wendy and Sean's bride and groom portraits, even if it was a bit colder than I would have liked for mid-April and the colors outside looked closer to winter than summer.
Wendy and Sean's no frills day continued when I finally had a chance to check out their wedding decor. These two chose to go much more simple than I'm used to and I appreciated that as the decorations for their big day matched their vibe perfectly.
Even their sweetheart table was unassuming as Wendy and Sean chose to sit with their full wedding party rather than by themselves as a far off table somewhere else in the room.
If I had to pick my absolute favorite moment from Wendy and Sean's wedding day, it would be their first dance ... which is likely not a surprise to anyone who regularly reads this blog.
Wendy and Sean's first dance had all the elements I love in a good first dance. Not only was it set to a great song (In this instance "Happily Ever After" by Case) but this bride and groom were endlessly smiling while in each other's arms and were completely and totally lost in the moment.
I loved this for Wendy and Sean so much and these photos are some of my favorites from their entire day.
Following their first dance, Wendy and Sean had a flurry of activities planned for their reception. The pair kicked it off a busy post-dinner portion of their event with a handful of touching speeches, including one by the groom thanking those in attendance for supporting him throughout his life.
Afterward, they had a simple cake cutting before heading into parent dances.
As for the parent dances, Wendy and Sean had a slightly different on the tradition as an older couple as the bride wanted to honor her four children with special moments on the dance floor together and the groom chose to dance with his mother and his two children as well.
Sean capped the parent dances with a dance with his new stepdaughter to Cotton Eye Joe before embarking on the traditional garter and bouquet toss and that was the moment I knew the tone of the night was shifting.
Following Wendy's bouquet toss, it was time to party and Wendy and Sean's guest wasted no time in celebrating the happy couple with a packed dance floor and plenty of love.
Wendy and Sean's reception went on for a couple of hours but I could tell it could have lasted days and this bride and groom wouldn't have minded. As the night wound down and Wendy and Sean took to the dance floor one last time, it was obvious how happy they were about how things turned out and, for those who remained, a final send off as the evening came to an end wrapped this wedding day up perfectly.
On my way home from Wendy and Sean's wedding, I was so wiped out that I all I wanted to do was go to sleep. I can think of no bigger compliment about how much fun this wedding was and how much of a blast I had documenting it.
It was clear to me watching these two that their relationship is one full of little moments of joy and laughter, like their wedding day, and I love knowing that these two are just now embarking on a life together that will hopefully always have the same excitement and enthusiasm as the day they said "I do."
So thank you Wendy and Sean for including me in such a special day for your lives. I wish you the best as you begin this new chapter together as husband and wife.