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Jason & Lisa

The Galilee Beach Club, Narragansett, Rhode Island

September 20th, 2015

One of the best parts of being a professional wedding photographer is that, in working to help them craft their day, you tend to form a close bond with a bride and groom that goes far beyond the traditional vendor-client relationship in other areas of business.

But when the clients are already your friends or family members? Shooting their wedding strengthens that bond. It turns a routine assignment into something you'll talk about at family functions for years. And, if you do it right, there is no better thank you.

And that's how I felt heading over to Galilee Beach Club in September to shoot the wedding of my brother-in-law Jason and my soon-to-be sister-in-law Lisa. I knew this wedding would be a special one for me. One that I really wanted to knock out of the park.

And I think, together, we nailed it. This was, without a doubt, one of my favorite weddings. Of both 2015 and my career in general.

It won't take you long to see why. 

My work on this beautiful September morning began with Lisa at her hotel room in South Kingstown.

Lisa is a pretty funny and quick-witted person, so I didn't expect her to stress out too much during her prep session but, like most brides, there is always a moment or two when the day goes off the rails or the timeline is shot to hell that when the pressure kicks in.

Luckily for Lisa, she stayed positive throughout every obstacle thrown her way and by the time we headed to the beach for her early-morning ceremony, she was in good spirits ... even if the nerves of getting ready for the biggest moment of her life were bubbling up.

Like many brides, once Lisa actually arrived to the ceremony site and found out her soon-to-be husband was already there, however, those nerves went away considerably. Sure, she was still feeling the pressure of the moment but a quick pep talk in the limo and getting to see her guests who had already arrived eased the worry and made the final moments before her walk down the aisle much easier.

Jason, meanwhile, was just excited to see his bride. I'll never forget the smile that crossed his face right before the ceremony started ... or the one he had when his bride finally made her long-awaited debut. And talk about a gorgeous ceremony!

Lisa and Jason had one of my favorite ceremonies of the year, if for no other fact that the weather was overcast and simply perfect for photos. And since it occured right on the beach, you really couldn't have asked for a better day to shoot.

By far the best part of Lisa and Jason's ceremony, however, was how early it began.

Because it was a morning ceremony, we were done with the ceremony and family photos by 11:30 a.m., leaving us plenty of time for bride and groom formals before the reception. And given the overcast sky, they came out picture perfect. Literally.

And because Lisa and Jason trusted me, the session went smoothly. So smoothly, in fact, that we decided to be brief with bride and groom formals during this part of the day and chance taking them AFTER the reception — which I would never normally do but which paid off tremendously for Lisa and Jason. But more on that later ...

Lisa and Jason had the most relaxed wedding reception I've ever seen. Taking place on a Sunday morning, the crowd was fun but very chill throughout. They were literally just there to celebrate the moment. It wasn't to party. It wasn't to drink. And it was refreshing.

The biggest highlight for me though? Jason and Lisa's first dance. It literally stole the show.

The newlyweds chose the acoustic version of "Stop the World" by Wakey!Wakey!, a group I had never heard of, but a song which melted the hearts of everyone lucky enough to watch these two share this moment together. Go ahead. Look it up. Listen to it. I'll wait ...

Lisa and Jason followed the traditional program of a wedding reception and had all the signature stops but each beat had its own personal touch from the bride and groom, even the cake which, at first look, is plain and simple but, upon closer inspection, fits them perfectly.

After a very relaxed but fun reception, Lisa and Jason headed back to the beach and were greeted by the emergence of the sun for their formal photos. Yeah. I knew these were going to be special ... and boy was I right.

After spending a good chunk of time on the beach, we headed out to Goddard Park for some additional photos but these were definitely my favorites to showcase as it was the perfect September afternoon for a wedding and an even better day for wedding formal photos.

All in all, Lisa and Jason had a great time at their wedding and I think the photos show it perfectly. 

While I pride myself in making strong connections with my bride and grooms regardless of whether or not I knew them before their day, being in the same family as Jason (and now Lisa) definitely paid off in a big way with this wedding.

The two were relaxed, trusted me to execute my vision and completely open to whatever I wanted to do. 

Because of this, we crafted a day that I'll cherish for a long time and photos I think they'll cherish forever.


* To see the full gallery of photos from Jason and Lisa's wedding, please click here.

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