Five Bridge Inn Wedding
Jocelyn & Ricardo
There are a lot of online articles and how-to guides for engaged couples that give tips on how to have the "best wedding possible" but few, if any, ever talk about the single biggest thing that will make or break your big day: Keeping a positive attitude if, and when, things stray from the plan.
I think that's what I loved about Jocelyn and Ricardo's big day the most.
Whether it was blinding sunshine and bugs making formal photos a challenge, a quickly fading sunset forcing us to speed through family portraits or an action-packed timeline during the reception that made the night feel like it was flying past us time wise, Jocelyn and Ricardo had their share of challenges the day they said "I do" back in September.
But you'd never know it by how happy they looked every time they saw each other. Or by the way they couldn't stop holding each other during their first dance. Or the beaming smiles on their faces when they put on silly photo booth props toward the end of the night.
No, Jocelyn and Ricardo were determined to have the best wedding day possible no matter the obstacles and, for that reason alone, it was one of the most beautiful I've seen all year long. And one of the most fun.
My time with Jocelyn and Ricardo started, as per usual, with hair and makeup as the bride got ready for her big day.
What was different about Jocelyn's bridal prep session, however, was that it was at an actual salon. That's rare for me these days as I usually spend my time in a cramped hotel room or at the venue where the couple is getting married later that day.
The extra room paid off nicely as it allowed me to settle into the day and not be too intrusive as Jocelyn got ready to turn heads later that afternoon.
Following bridal prep, Jocelyn and her girls made their way to Five Bridge Inn, which would later serve as the site for the evening's reception.
I love Five Bridge Inn as it is such a beautiful property but Jocelyn's bridal prep was the first time I actually got to check out the giant house at the center of the property. Talk about a beautiful setting.
Jocelyn's bridal prep was everything I thought it would be and more as she was genuinely excited to get dressed and head to the church.
Jocelyn is a radiant personality and such a sweetheart to be around and I knew this day meant a lot to her as she had just a slight hint of nerves on her face ahead of her first look with her father before getting into the party bus and making her way to her ceremony.
As much fun as Jocelyn is by herself, she's twice as happy and bubbly with Ricardo and, because I saw the pair together during their engagement session in Newport last summer, I knew their ceremony was going to be a lot of fun and, more importantly, an emotional moment for two true soulmates.
And I was right.
The moment those church doors swung open and Ricky laid eyes on his bride, everyone looking his way could feel the love he has for his bride and their ceremony was a testament to that love.
Up to the moment Jocelyn and Ricardo were pronounced husband and wife, everything about their wedding day was going 100 percent perfect. But, as is often the case, it wouldn't stay that way as we headed to Colt State Park for formal photos.
While I love Colt State Park, and it's a beautiful location, it can be tricky to photograph at during bright and sunny afternoons and Jocelyn and Ricardo's wedding day fit that bill.
Thankfully, when you have a couple as stunning as these two, you can make it work and while I didn't have a ton of time to work with the newlyweds -- we had 10 minutes total for bride and groom portraits AND had to deal with pesky bugs at the chosen spot -- we sure made the most of them.
For only having 10 minutes to work with Jocelyn and Ricky, I thought we did an incredible job of getting varied poses and showing their love in a way that's true to their relationship.
And, because the pair are so easy to work with, we even snuck in a couple of quick bride and groom/wedding party formals when we returned to Five Bridge Inn for their reception despite a rapidly approaching sunset.
By the time Jocelyn and Ricardo wrapped up their formal photos, I could tell the pair (and I) needed a break but, unfortunately, that just doesn't happen on most wedding days and we quickly made our way straight into their reception.
Any frustration on my part, though, rapidly dissipated the minute we walked into the tent at Five Bridge Inn as Jocelyn and Ricky's DJs --Pro Sound DJ & Entertainment Services -- did an absolutely STUNNING job with the uplighting and transformed this venue into a magical place to have a reception.
From the first moment I met Jocelyn and Ricardo, I knew their wedding reception was going to be something special and they wasted no time proving me right as the evening began with a breathtaking first dance where the pair never left each other's arms and only got better from there.
Whether it was their two funny and emotional toasts delivered by their maid of honor and best man, respectively, or their super cute cake cutting, this pair nailed all of the "big moments" of their reception for sure.
Selfishly, my favorite moments of Jocelyn and Ricardo's wedding reception were when they danced with their parents and it's exclusively because I decided to get a little creative and lay on the floor to incorporate the monogram on top of the top into some of their photos.
Combined, these two parent dances might be my favorite of the year, both for photos and for the emotion of the moment and I have a hard time believing they'll be topped this year.
As much fun as the formalities of the night were to photograph, however, I knew just by spending limited time with Jocelyn and Ricky's wedding party that this would be a night defined by the party and it sure was.
Thanks in large part to their DJs, but also with an assist to the open bar, Jocelyn and Ricardo's dance floor was hopping ALL NIGHT LONG.
Seriously. This might have been the craziest party I've seen this year and that says a lot.
That's not to say the party wasn't also emotional though. Jocelyn honored her mother with a special day between the two of them AND shined a spotlight on her parent's anniversary by having them have a special day together. It was a fitting tribute to a night all about fun, friends and family.
As I headed out of Five Bridge Inn and left the bride and groom with their crazy wedding guests, I couldn't help but think about how fast Jocelyn and Ricardo's wedding day went by.
I could have spent another five to ten hours working with this pair but that wasn't in the cards and, honestly, it's OK that it wasn't. I don't know if I could have handled much more of that party.
Overall, despite the hectic hustle and bustle of the timeline, I genuinely loved documenting Jocelyn and Ricky's wedding day, if for no other reason than the bride and groom at the center of it.
Jocelyn and Ricardo are an amazing couple and they're well on their way to an incredible life together and as long as they keep the same energy they had on their wedding day, nothing and no one will stop them from achieving all that their hearts desire and that much more.
So congratulations Jocelyn and Ricardo and thanks for including me on your wild ride together. Best of luck in your marriage though, knowing you, I know you won't need it. :)
-Paul J. Spetrini
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The Vendor List:
Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini, Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Bride's Dress: Alexandra’s Boutique in Fall River, Massachusetts; Groom's Suit: Carl Anthony Tuxedo in Cranston, Rhode Island; Florist: L A's Florist; Ceremony Location: St. Mary's Parish in Bristol, Rhode Island; Reception Venue: Five Bridge Inn in Rehoboth, Massachusetts; DJ, Uplighting and Photo Booth: Pro Sound DJ & Entertainment Services; Caterer: Young's Caterers; Videographer: Still Water Wedding Films.