Helen and Mike participate in the Hora during their September 2018 wedding reception at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.

Helen & Mike

Touro Synagogue (Ceremony), Rosecliff Mansion (Reception), Newport, Rhode Island

September 16th, 2018*

One of the coolest things about being a wedding photographer in Rhode Island is, at some point, you'll be exposed to a lot of different customs and cultures you may never have seen otherwise.

I don't take this for granted. Part of the reason I love living in this part of the country is the unique blend of people you encounter and while I haven't shot a ton of traditional Jewish weddings, my experience shooting Helen and Mike's back in September was all the proof I needed to know I need to shoot more.

Helen and Mike had a beautiful wedding day with so many cool little touches from their religion and it was a blast to see how important a role this part of their life played into one of the most special days they'll have. 

But lest you think this was a day that was ONLY about religion, I assure you; this couple knew how to party too.

A look at the Touro Syngagogue in Newport,Rhode Island prior to their September 2018 wedding ceremony.
A look at the Touro Syngagogue in Newport,Rhode Island prior to their September 2018 wedding ceremony.
Helen smiles prior to her September 2018 wedding ceremony at the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island.
Mike signs the ketubah prior to his September 2018 wedding ceremony at the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island.

My time with Helen and Mike was jam-packed from the moment I walked in. The pair had a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony at the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island and before walking down the aisle, they and their closest friends and family members gathered in a small room to sign the Ketubah. 

I loved seeing this part of Helen and Mike's day as it was the first time they saw each other formally dressed and the excitement both had was undeniable.

Following this beautiful custom, we made our way over to the Synagogue and though I was limited in my vantage point for their ceremony (One of the occasional drawbacks to being the second photographer like I was on this day), I still got the most important photos I was hoping for from this angle: a wide shot of the Synagogue and Helen and Mike's first kiss.

Helen enters the Touro Syngogue in Newport, Rhode Island.
Helen and Mike listen to their rabbi during their September 2018 wedding ceremony at the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island.
A look at Helen and Mike during their September 2018 wedding ceremony at the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island.
Mike gets ready to take Helen's veil off their September 2018 wedding ceremony at the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island.
Mike gets ready to kiss Helen their September 2018 wedding ceremony at the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island.
Helen and Mike kiss during their September 2018 wedding ceremony at the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island.

While I really enjoyed Helen and Mike's wedding ceremony, the part of the day I knew I'd love the most were their formal photos and we got a small sneak peek of how that would play out with a few shots outside their synagogue before heading to their reception. 

Helen and Mike pose for a photo following their September 2018 wedding ceremony at the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island.
Helen and Mike pose for a photo following their September 2018 wedding ceremony at the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island.
Helen and Mike pose for a photo on a trolley following their September 2018 wedding ceremony at the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island.

While I would have loved another half hour or so with Helen and Mike walking around various locations in Newport, I couldn't wait to get to their reception venue as the two were getting married at the Rosecliff Mansion, one of the few places in Rhode Island I had never previously shot.

Yes. This was worth the wait. Worth the wait indeed. 

A look at the reception room prior to Helen & Mike’s September 2018 wedding reception at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.
A look at the wedding cake, shown on display during Helen & Mike’s September 2018 wedding reception at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.
A look at the placecards, shown on display during Helen & Mike’s September 2018 wedding reception at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.
A look at the guestbook, shown on display during Helen & Mike’s September 2018 wedding reception at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.

I loved the way Helen and Mike chose to accentuate the beauty and spectacle of Rosecliff in the decor they had on display at their reception. But I loved the way this bride and groom brought out the full feelings of the venue through their formal photos even more.

Seriously. What a fun couple and what a beautiful place to say "I do."

Helen & Mike pose for a formal photo prior to their September 2018 wedding reception at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.
Helen & Mike pose for a formal photo prior to their September 2018 wedding reception at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.
Helen & Mike pose for a formal photo prior to their September 2018 wedding reception at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.
Helen & Mike pose for a formal photo prior to their September 2018 wedding reception at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.
Helen & Mike pose for a formal photo prior to their September 2018 wedding reception at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.
Helen & Mike pose for a formal photo prior to their September 2018 wedding reception at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.

As much fun as photographing Helen and Mike outside of Rosecliff was, I couldn't wait for us to take the party to the ballroom for their first dance as the uplighting and decorations really started to pop once the reception began.

And what a first dance it was. This was, without question, my favorite part of Helen and Mike's wedding as it was so cool to see this bride and groom finally cut loose and relax a little.

Helen & Mike have their first dance during their September 2018 wedding reception at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.
Helen & Mike have their first dance during their September 2018 wedding reception at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.
Helen & Mike have their first dance during their September 2018 wedding reception at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.
Helen & Mike have their first dance during their September 2018 wedding reception at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.
Helen & Mike have their first dance during their September 2018 wedding reception at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.

Following their first dance, Helen and Mike had all the usual moments of a wedding reception. I especially loved their take on the Hora as Mike's groomsmen did a fantastic job getting both the bride and groom in the air for this Jewish wedding tradition. 

I especially loved the other touches these two incorporated into their day, whether it was a super sweet cake cutting or two great parent dances.

Helen and Mike participate in the Hora their September 2018 wedding reception at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.
Helen and Mike cut their wedding cake during their September 2018 wedding reception at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.
Helen and Mike cut their wedding cake during their September 2018 wedding reception at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.
Helen and Mike cut their wedding cake during their September 2018 wedding reception at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.
Helen and her father dance during her September 2018 wedding reception at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.
Helen and her father dance during her September 2018 wedding reception at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.
Mike and his mother dance during his September 2018 wedding reception at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.
Mike and his mother dance during his September 2018 wedding reception at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.
Helen and her friends dance during her September 2018 wedding reception at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.

It's not often that I leave a wedding wishing I had more time to document the night but that was definitely the case for Helen and Mike. Though I was only around for a tiny bit of the open dance floor, I could tell this was a night both the bride and groom would never forget.

Thankfully, I had plenty of time with this bride and groom on this special day of their lives and adore the moments we were able to capture. 

So thank you Helen and Mike for including me in your day and best of luck as you take on this new part of your life together.

-PJS

Mike and Helen dance during their September 2018 wedding reception at the Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.

* These photos were taken as part of my work for George Street Photography and are presented here strictly for portfolio/display purposes. 

Check out more of my most recent wedding blogs:

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Date: September 2nd, 2018

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Paul J. Spetrini is a Rhode Island wedding photographer.

© 2019 Paul J. Spetrini Photography. All rights reserved.

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