Granite Links Golf Club Wedding
Jennifer & John
As a wedding photographer, I make it a point to go above and beyond for my clients but, try as I may, it's still often impossible to know how much a bride and groom truly valued your work. That's why, to me, one of the most rewarding parts of shooting someone's wedding is having that family book you again the next time one of them is heading down the aisle.
Perhaps that's why I was so happy to sit down with Jennifer and her parents last September and discuss her upcoming nuptials. I first met Jen at her brother Gary's wedding a few months earlier and it was, without question, one of my favorite shoots of 2018.
I knew from the moment Jen and I started talking about her big day that it would be something special and it sure was. Easily one of the most beautiful wedding I've photographed, Jen and John's big day was everything I could have asked for and, so, so much more.
My coverage of Jennifer and John's wedding day began with the final moments of the bride's prep session at the home she grew up in and I'm glad it did as it allowed me to take some beautiful story-telling images that really set the stage for the afternoon.
In fact, this shoot was the fastest I've ever made anyone cry as the photo of Jen's dress above, taken in her childhood bedroom, was only the eighth photo I took on this day and when I showed it to her mom, the tears started.
Not that I can blame her, of course. This would be an emotional day for all.
Jennifer's bridal prep was a bit chaotic as everyone rushed to finish getting dressed in time to leave for the venue but you'd never know it from just looking at the bride as Jen seemed cool and calm the entire time.
It was fitting, of course, because John looked the same way when I finally got to the venue and put him in position for his first look at his soon-to-be bride.
I'm so glad Jen and John chose to do a first look as I could see any anxiety either had melt away the moment they saw each other and we lucked out with beautiful lighting as I stole the bride and groom away from some formal portraits before we took family and wedding party photos later on.
Jen and John chose to get married at Granite Links Golf Club in Quincy, Massachusetts and I could see why the moment we arrived. This property was stunning and the staff was beyond helpful as we snuck over to a private photo location for portraits of the soon-to-be newlyweds.
I could have photographed these two for hours at this location and, in many ways, I did as we make quick work of their bride and groom portraits at this location, knocked out family and wedding party formals and took some more photos while we still had time on the golf course itself.
One of the nice things about getting the formal photos out of the way so early was Jen and John had some time to relax before their ceremony started. While they did, I got to check out the spot where they would say "I do" and it was absolutely stunning.
And that word is really the best way to describe their ceremony as a whole as Jen and John beamed large smiles from the moment the bride walked down the aisle until they left as husband and wife.
As much as I loved where Jennifer and John got married, when I finally got into the tent where they would have their reception that night, I knew the best photos were still to come.
Jen and John did a great job decorating the tent area and whether it was the traditional white table clothes and place settings or the awesome cake Jen's sister-in-law made, there were a ton of things worth capturing when I made my way around the room grabbing detail shots.
If I had to choose my absolute favorite photos of the night, though, it would have to be Jen and John's first dance, which was set to "Wonderful Tonight" by Eric Clapton.
Seeing these two on the white dance floor under the beautiful lights as the sun faded away was about as lovely an image as I'll capture this year, for sure.
Jen and John's first dance was just the start of a handful of great signature moments during their reception.
The pair had two great speeches from the maid of honor and best man and a surprise "family dance" led by Jen's father which was largely unplanned but made for great candid photos.
After a great dinner, Jen and John capped off the structured portion of their reception with a fun cake cutting and two beautiful, emotional parent dances.
The moment I was looking most forward to, however, was the open dance floor part of the evening. Having shot Jen's brother's wedding a year prior, I knew many of Jen's family members would let loose in a big way once the party kicked off and they didn't disappoint.
This was one heck of a dance party and I don't think the floor was empty once.
As I readied to leave Jen and John's wedding, I ran into Jen's mother who thanked me profusely for capturing the big moments of, now two, of her children.
It was totally unnecessary, I assured her, because the pleasure was all mine.
Jennifer and John were an absolute delight to work with and documenting the moments they'll never forget from one of the best days of their lives was an honor.
So thank you, Jen and Jonny, for including me in a small way in this day and best of luck on your marriage. Not that you need it. You've got each other and that's simply wonderful.
-Paul J. Spetrini
The Vendor List:
Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini, Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Bride's Hair: Marie Orlando, Salon Capri; Bride's Make-up: Laura Blaikie, Aria Skin Care Studio; Groom's Suit: Tuxedo Time; Florist: Cynthia Lewis; Officiant: Lisa-Ann Crowner; DJ: Bruce Pitterson; Cake: Ali Herlihy, Bowerbird, By Ali.