Gina & David
December 30th, 2016
Planning a wedding can be incredibly stressful. Between finalizing guests lists and menus and springing for every little expense that comes up out of the blue, by the time you're done, it's easy to lose sight of why you're getting married in the first place.
For Gina and David, that reality hit hard as they tried to plan an October 2017 wedding. Rather than focusing on their love for one another and the life-changing commitment they were getting ready to make, wedding planning instead became an endless series of purchases and details about things that didn't matter but would cost a ton of money in order to make other people happy.
And that's why, in perhaps one of the most inspired choices I've seen since beginning my wedding photography career, the two called an audible and decided to scrap plans for big gala-type wedding they initially chose in favor of a small and private affair the night before New Year's Eve with just their closest friends and family.
I was lucky enough to be on hand for this shoot and I can't think of a better way to have ended 2016 as Gina and David had one of the most touching and intimately personal weddings I've ever seen on a picture perfect December day proving, once and for all, that you don't need to overdo it to have the wedding of your dreams.
Gina and David had the wedding they wanted and what they wanted was perfection.
My coverage of Gina and David's big day started with an informal bridal prep session at the Hilton Garden Inn hotel in the middle of Providence and I knew right away we were in for a great day as, despite the fact that it was a late December wedding, we had blue skies and sunshine in the forecast. For Rhode Island during the winter? Yeah, I'll take it!
The unseasonably nice weather made it possible for us to have Gina and David's first look outside and we chose the tunnel leading to India Point Park as the location and, man, what a picture perfect place for a bride and groom to see each other for the first time.
Gina and David's first look was, without question, the highlight of the day for me as watching them come together really hammered home the theme of the wedding.
Here are two people who couldn't wait to get married, having a moment just for themselves to celebrate their love. It was beautiful. It was emotional. And it set the stage for the rest of the afternoon quite nicely as we moved over to the water for their family and wedding party photos.
Now, naturally, 40 degree temperatures and wind don't make for a great combination when you're on the water but Gina and David were troopers during their formal photos and even let me take them back outside for some nice sunset photos in the hour before their ceremony.
I loved Gina and David's sunset photos. Sure, it was cold (VERY COLD) but we ran out, put on some smiles and banged through a number of cool poses and photos before running back to warmth and getting ready for the evening's main event: their ceremony at the Waterman Grille.
I'm not a huge fan of indoor wedding ceremonies. I've found that unless your indoor ceremony is taking place in a church and is of the religious variety, most indoor ceremonies lack the look and feel of a "big moment" celebration of love.
For Gina and David, though, their small ceremony in the Waterman Grille was a perfect fit.
Surrounded by two tables of guests, their wedding ceremony felt more like an intimate gathering than a big, flashy display of love and it lasted just as long as it needed it to for this bride and groom to become newlyweds. No pomp. No circumstance. Just the bare bones for a couple who doesn't need anything else.
And I think that worked wonderfully. Seeing the emotion on their faces, it was clear this was the type of ceremony they wanted more than anything else and I know for a fact it was a moment they'll never forget.
Gina and David's wedding reception was more of the same and it was fantastic because of how pared down it all really was.
A lot of time, couples get bogged down in the pageantry of a wedding and for Gina and David, who are selfless individuals who don't like to be the center of attention, that just wasn't their style.
Sure, they had a first dance and they cut a cake but the evening was strictly about spending time with those closest to them.
And, in that way, it's all this bride and groom could have hoped for.
That's not to say there wasn't fun at this reception. In fact, it may have been one of the most fun receptions I've seen as Gina and David spent the entire night going table to table and spending real, quality time with all their guests.
And, in the end, that personal time will mean more to this couple than any extended dance sequences ever would.
By the end of the night, it was very clear to me that Gina and David had had a wedding unlike any I've ever seen.
In a year full of some truly insane moments and giant celebrations, I found it immensely satisfying to end my 2016 wedding season with a low-key, very informal gathering that was strictly about the bride and groom and nothing more.
2016 was an incredible year for me both personally and professionally and, I've got to be honest, I don't think there was a better way for me to cap it than with Gina and David's beautiful wedding.
So thank you to all the couples that made the past 12 months some of the best of my career. I look forward to seeing what 2017 brings and can only hope I'm lucky enough to see a wedding as deeply personal and intimate as Gina and David's was though, admittedly, they're few and far between.
See you in 2017!