Hampshire House Wedding Photos
Sheila & Michael
Hampshire House, Boston, Massachusetts (Ceremony & Reception)
October 8th, 2022
Whenever I'm at a wedding expo, I always joke with prospective clients that the majority of people I work with are either high school sweethearts or older couples getting married late in life. As much as that's a bit of exaggeration, there is some truth to it as I've been fortunate enough to work with several couples now who are in their 50s or 60s and decide "You know what? I DO want a wedding."
I love working with these types of couples because, most times, they know exactly what they want, what they don't want and they never stress about the little things. Sheila and Michael were a great example of that mentality as not even a medical emergency midway through their ceremony could stop them from tying the knot in their way, on their day, in one of Boston's most iconic venues.
Sheila and Michael said "I do" back in October in an early morning wedding at Hampshire House and it was the exact day these two friends of over 30 years always imagined: Fun, carefree and intimate. And who could ask for more?
I knew long before Sheila and Michael's wedding day that it would be unlike any other I shot in 2022 and it sure was. Not only did the bride arrive to Hampshire House in an amazing dress from the iconic Kleinfeld's Bridal in New York but she was ready to go before most of her guests had even arrived as the Boston 10K for Women was taking place right across the street from the venue and made getting to the wedding a bit of a challenge.
To Sheila's credit, she never stressed about the day's schedule going a little off course. After all, considering how long she waited for the man of her dreams, what's a couple of minutes more?
As for Michael, his excitement was undeniable. As he waited for some of their small guest list to arrive — the couple invited less than 25 people to their big event — Michael laughed and joked around with his mother and his kids and was in great spirits.
Not that I can blame him. This venue was gorgeous and this wedding day was going to be special regardless of when it officially began.
Once we got the green light to start the ceremony, though, Michael's smile grew even wider. To say he was excited to see his bride and that amazing dress she had is an understatement. He was practically glowing.
Sheila and Michael's wedding ceremony was officiated by a family friend and took place in a beautiful but warm library-looking room in Hampshire House. The weather would prove to be a bit of a factor as the ceremony space quickly heated up thanks to bright, beautiful sunshine outside.
Michael, to his credit, tried to soldier on though the 20-minute ceremony but the heat proved too much in his full suit and he needed a minute to cool down and collect himself. Thankfully, this groom works in EMS and his friends in the department wasted no time making sure he was safe after laying him on the ground for a few minutes.
Normally, this would be a moment that would wreck a wedding day but, given that both this bride and groom are Boston bred, they wasted no time making light of the situation, with Sheila pointing at Michael and joking "Oh no, you're not getting out of this that easy" and I'll be honest ... it was one of my favorite wedding moments ever.
With Michael back up and ready to get back to the business at hand, he and Sheila exchanged their vows and sealed their newfound marriage with a kiss and I don't know what the groom was more excited about: Finally marrying the girl of his dreams or getting to go outside for formal photos in the beautiful and cool October weather.
Sheila and Michael chose to have their photos taken right across the street from Hampshire House in the Boston Public Gardens and, I've got to say, I'm so thankful they did. Not only because it was super convenient to just walk across the street for their photos but also because the garden was beautiful that afternoon.
And for a tough as nails Boston couple, Sheila and Michael were actually incredibly kind and sweet in their bride and groom portraits. I loved working with these two so much and think these photos are an amazing representation of their love.
With their formal photos out of the way, Sheila and Michael headed back into Hampshire House and back into the room they had just said "I do" in ... and it looked completely different for their lunchtime meal and reception.
I loved the way Sheila and Michael had this room set up for their reception and their decorations had a fantastic theme that just looked perfect against the wood colored walls.
Sheila and Michael's biggest goal for their wedding was to spend time with their loved ones and they didn't want to make a big deal out of their reception the way some younger couples might. I think this was best on display when they opened their reception was a selection of toasts from those closest to them before going into a breakfast-inspired meal that was, without question, my favorite wedding meal of the entire 2022 season.
Following their lunch with friends and family, Sheila and Michael started the formalities of their reception but each were kept very low key and relaxed. Up first was a sweet and touching cake cutting.
Sheila and Michael kept to the theme of their wedding day with their first dance, which was set to “Someone Like You” by Van Morrison.
I loved this moment for these two. It was so adorable to see the way they held each other in their arms and the giant smiles on their face in this rare moment where this bride and groom wanted to have the dance floor to themselves.
It was a first dance I know neither will soon forget.
Following her dance with her new husband, Sheila shared two special dances with family members and that was it for formalities on this laid back wedding day.
This wedding was so laid back, in fact, that I was genuinely surprised when there was a bit of dancing to close the afternoon out. I assumed the rest of Sheila and Michael's wedding would be casual conversations with folks hanging by their table but, for an early Saturday afternoon, Sheila and Michael's guests made sure to cut loose a little bit.
And the bride and groom? Well, after the wedding of their dreams, there was only way to call it a day: Sheila throwing her bouquet and the newlyweds heading out with a nice and sweet flower-pedal exit down the stairs of their stunning venue.
Sheila and Michael's wedding was one of the most touching I shot in all of 2022 and it served as an amazing reminder to me that it's never too late to find your person and share a life-changing moment together.
And while it may have been far different than most weddings I've been to, it was perfect for this bride and groom and I loved that for them so much. I'm the type of photographer who likes to see couples put their unique spin on a wedding day and Sheila and Michael sure did that in spades.
So congrats Sheila and Michael. I wish you all the best on this new and wonderful chapter of your lives together.
-Paul J. Spetrini
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The Vendor List:
Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini, Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Bride's Dress: Allure Gown, Kleinfeld's Bridal, New York; Bride's Headpiece: Paul Francis Bridal, Boston, Massachusetts; Groom's Suit: Jos. A. Bank; Florist: Flowers By Stephanie, Chestnut Hill ; Ceremony & Reception Venue: Hampshire House, Boston, Massachusetts; Wedding Cake: Konditor Meister, Braintree, Massachusetts; DJ: Entertainment One Stop Shop LLC., Taunton, Massachusetts.