Emma & Mike
The Publick House Historic Inn & Country Lodge in Sturbridge, Massachusetts
November 7th, 2015
If you're a wedding photographer, chances are, you've had a bad day. Maybe the bride's hair and make-up run late. Maybe the weather doesn't cooperate. Maybe the clients are camera-shy. Whatever it is, it's your job as a professional to make the most of the day regardless of how you're personally feeling or what goes wrong.
And then there are days like Emma and Mike's wedding where each and everything went incredibly perfect.
Seriously. I love all of my clients and cherish shooting all of their weddings but there was something special about Emma and Mike's November wedding in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.
I knew from the moment the day started that this one was going to be one for the highlight reel and, boy, did it live up to my expectations.
I could not have asked for a better shoot, a better couple or a better day.
So what makes a wedding day that much more special? Well, for one thing, Emma and Mike were perhaps my most relaxed and cooperative couple. As in ever.
Every idea I had, they rolled with. Every part of the timeline went smoothly. And they were fun. Man, they were fun.
Right from the start of bridal prep I knew we were in for a good day when I saw the stunning dress Emma picked out and got to interact with her incredible bridesmaids. Prep time literally flew by.
The nice thing about Emma and Mike's preparation is that, while I was on my own for this shoot, the bride and groom were getting ready fairly close to each other. This allowed me to rotate between the two and snap a bunch of fun photos of them getting dressed, including a touching moment where Emma had her mother and grandmother help her into her gown.
Talk about a stunning bride. Oh, and Mike wasn't too bad himself.
Going with the classic pinstriped suit and tie, the groom looked every bit as stylish as his wife to be and I knew as we headed over to the first look location that it was going to be fun watching them see each other for the first time.
And it really was. What a lovely moment between two people with an undeniable chemistry.
I love first looks and this one was the type of first look you wish for as a photographer.
The look on Mike's face when he turned around to see his bride was movie-worthy and the best part was, like all first looks, because the two got the moment out of the way, we were free to take our time and have a nice, relaxed formal photo session.
These are truly some of my favorite formals of the 2015 season and, more importantly, it was one of my favorite one-on-one sessions ever.
What I loved about Emma and Mike was their willingness to trust me behind the lens and let me do my thing. While the two may not be pro models, you would never have guessed it with their comfortable expressions and relaxed motions.
And that air of relaxation rubbed off during the family and formal sessions. Despite the cold, we marched right through all the standard beats and got a bunch of photos that I think truly showcase the unique spirit and humor of both sides of the wedding party.
Seriously. Check out that photo above. This came about with very little direction. I told the group to take a selfie and, bam, like seasoned pros they rolled right with it and snapped one of my favorite wedding party group photos yet. These guys were awesome.
But lest you think this blog is just a showcase of fun, may I present to you their beautiful ceremony?
Yep. Emma and Mike chose The Federated Church of Sturbridge and Fiskdale as the location for their ceremony as it was right across the street from their reception venue (The Publick House) and they really couldn't have picked a nicer place.
A wide open layout but small enough to create an intimate feel, the church provided the perfect backdrop for a sweet and personal ceremony that was totally them and a lot of fun to watch.
Of course, all of this was just a preview of what was to come as Mike and Emma's reception capped the night perfectly.
The beautiful details, starting with the classic car Emma's dad picked out for the couple, and extending to the beautiful table decorations, guest book, flowers and cake--not to mention awesome cake topper and decorations--were amazing on their own and made even better with perhaps the best uplighting I saw in 2015. Seriously. This room was incredible.
Don't believe me? Check out the way the lighting made the first dance, cake cutting and parent dances practically leap off the camera.
Beautiful moments. Beautiful photos.
By the time Emma and Mike kicked off the dancing portion of their big day, I had already chalked this wedding up as a massive success photo wise but I just had to see what would happen when the guests in attendance really let loose.
Boy, did this crowd know how to party.
You know you're at a great reception when both grandmothers are on the dance floor rocking out and one of the guests refuses to let something as small as a neck brace hamper his style.
But the moment of the reception I loved the most came at the very end of the night as the DJs pumped the breaks and slowed down the music for a special final dance of the night between the newlyweds. This was a touching moment that I couldn't help but admire and the absolute best way I could have imagined to finish what was easily one of my top weddings ... not only of this year but ever.
By the time Emma and Mike called it a night, my feet hurt and my finger was a bit sore from taking so many photos but, wow, was it all worth it when I finally got to see the end results.
Emma and Mike were an incredible couple and the personification of why I shoot weddings.
Their love for each other was evident in the way they acted from the beginning of the day to the end of the night and that kind of love is something special to watch.
It's rare for a wedding photographer to feel inspired by something he or she sees so late in the season--Emma and Mike were my 27th wedding of the year overall--but these two definitely made a lasting impact.
I'll be thinking about this wedding for a long time and, undoubtedly, so will all lucky enough to be in attendance to watch it themselves.
* To see the full gallery of photos from Emma & Mike's wedding, please click here.