Graduate Providence Wedding Photos
Jonathan & Jessica
Graduate Providence, Providence, Rhode Island
June 24th, 2023
Entering the 2023 wedding season, I had a lot of things to look forward to but, above all, I was most excited to shoot the 300th wedding of my career. Not because of any sort of individual milestone, mind you. But because I knew it would be with Jonathan and Jessica, a really sweet couple whose vibe matched mine and whose wedding I knew would be special.
And how did I know this? Because I photographed Jonathan's brother's wedding a few years earlier and remembered how much love there was in the air that night in 2019 at Rhodes on the Pawtucket in Cranston, Rhode Island.
Jonathan and Jessica's wedding did not disappoint and whether it was one of the funniest and most fun ceremonies I've shot in some time, a beautiful and classy first dance or an absolutely wild party that cap the night, I know these two had the wedding they always dreamed of and a wedding worth waiting for ... both for them and for myself.
I knew before even beginning Jonathan and Jessica's wedding coverage that their day would be a super casual one. For one thing, we were confined to one location (Which I always love) in Graduate Providence, one of the most timeless wedding venues in Rhode Island.
I also knew we were in for a casual day when I arrived to see the bride's hair and makeup already finished. Instead of the typical last-minute prep details, Jessica spent the hour before her first look with Jonathan finishing her vows and relaxing. The groom wasn't much different as I went downstairs for some of his prep shots either.
Neither were particularly stressed but given they'd gotten legally married a year earlier and today was their long-awaited celebration of that marriage and love, I can't say I blame them.
Even as Jessica finally put on the dress she's waited a lifetime to wear, she was calm, collected and excited to get the day rolling. If she was nervous, she sure hid it well.
As has been a theme for me all year in 2023, Jonathan and Jessica's wedding day took place under the potential threat of rain. But you'd never know it as the skies were overcast but the wet stuff held off.
I'm thankful it did because it allowed us to use Graduate Providence's beautiful outdoor deck for Jonathan and Jessica's first look which I think set the day for these two perfectly.
That outdoor deck was also a perfect location for Jonathan and Jessica's formal photos with the Providence skyline in the background. I loved working with these two and trying my best to bring out the cute little interactions they had with one another that seemed like a good microcosm of their adorable relationship together.
Anyone who has ever been to the ballroom on the 17th floor of the Graduate Providence building knows the room is unlike any other around. With a full overview of the downtown area and a classic brown oak color scheme, it's a massive space that really stands out ... as did Jonathan and Jessica's wedding.
I'm not the biggest fan of indoor weddings as they rarely provide a space worthy of saying "I do" in but, man, this one was special.
I could never get over how much fun Jonathan and Jessica had during their ceremony. Right from the start, they both had massive smiles across their faces and they never took the event took seriously.
In fact, my favorite part was when they couple they took a slightly different approach to their custom vows, making them even more personal by sharing personal stories and lessons learned from one year of marriage so far. It was a fitting moment that felt very real and genuine and, I think, meant more than the standard "Do you take this person blah blah blah" of boilerplate yes or no vows.
With their ceremony over, Jonathan, Jessica and I headed back to the outdoor patio to finish their family formals and I just couldn't resist the urge to grab a few more bride and groom portraits, both outside and on the classic lobby staircase that has defined the Graduate Providence building for likely longer than I've been alive.
Heading back inside, I was looking forward to seeing how Jessica and Jonathan decorated the Biltmore Ballroom and they certainly didn't disappoint.
I can't imagine it's easy (or cheap) to figure out how to decorate a room as big as this ballroom is but Jessica and Jonathan's decor fit the grand scale of the room perfectly and all worked well together.
I have to admit, I'm a sucker for a traditional first dance in a giant ballroom and that's why Jonathan and Jessica's first dance — set to a cover of “This Must Be The Place” by the Talking Heads — was so cool to see.
In what was easily my favorite moment of their wedding, the two kicked off their wedding reception with a beautiful first dance that looked equally choreographed and spontaneous and the grand feel of the Biltmore Ballroom really gave it a beautiful elegance you don't often see from weddings in real life.
I may also be partial because these photos were, easily, my favorite from their entire day.
Following their first dance, Jonathan and Jessica kept their wedding reception pretty laid back and simple. The pair had two speeches before dinner but that was it in terms of formalities.
Instead, Jessica and Jonathan made sure to spend the bulk of their time before the dance floor opened making sure to see as many people and have as many conversations as possible.
Once the dance floor opened, the newlyweds really came to life.
And what a party this was.
I've always had a love-hate relationship with the Biltmore ballroom for wedding receptions as it is, easily, one of the darkest venues I have ever seen and is simultaneously the biggest but there was nothing not to love on this night as Jonathan and Jessica's party went HARD from the first to the final song.
I think my favorite part about Jessica and Jonathan's wedding reception was looking at my watch and realizing my time was up. And I mean that in the best way.
This was a wedding that absolutely FLEW by and was so much fun I almost lost track of the fact that it had to end at some point.
To me, there's no better praise for a bride and groom's big day and I know Jessica and Jonathan left Graduate Providence on this warm summer night having achieved everything they could have asked for and more from their very special day.
So thank you Jonathan and Jessica for an amazing way for me to celebrate my 300th wedding. Your big day was a reminder of why I do what I do and, God willing, I'll still love this career as much as I do now after 300 more.
-Paul J. Spetrini
Check out more of my most recent wedding blogs:
The Vendor List:
Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini, Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Bride's Hair and Make-up: Norwich Spa at the Graduate; Bride's Dress: Alexandra’s Boutique; Groom's Suit: Brooks Brothers; Groom's Hair: Qamil Sherifi, Moss Salon; Florist: Something Borrowed Blooms; Ceremony & Reception Venue: Graduate Providence; DJ: Steve Manning, Entertainment Specialists.