Harbor Lights Wedding Photos
Kristen & Michael*
Harbor Lights, Warwick, Rhode Island
May 30th, 2021
I've long said how you handle stress on your wedding day says a lot about you as a person so, when I walked into Harbor Lights in Warwick, Rhode Island to second shoot Kristen and Michael's wedding on a cold and rainy Memorial Day weekend, I was hoping the soon-to-be-newlyweds were the type of couple to roll with the punches and not let the bad weather get them down.
Within five minutes, I knew they were and I knew we were in for a great wedding day. Within a half hour, it was clear to me nothing happening outside mattered as long as the two of them got to say "I do" together and become husband and wife.
And, cheesy Alanis Morissette lyrics aside, a little rain on your wedding day doesn't have to be that big of a deal. Not when you can laugh and make the most of the afternoon regardless.
* These photos were taken as part of my work as a second photographer for George Street Photography
and are presented here strictly for portfolio/display purposes.
My coverage of Kristen and Michael's wedding day began with an abbreviated groom prep session with Michael and his groomsmen in a hidden room tucked away in a back corner of Harbor Lights.
It's always a little awkward for me to walk into a room and immediately start photographing someone I've never met before on one of the biggest days of their lives but Michael had a super easygoing vibe in the minutes before his wedding ceremony and his groomsmen couldn't have been more relaxed.
It all set a great tone for the day as the super flexible groom always found a way to smile and roll with the punches regardless of what was thrown his way.
Having never photographed an indoor ceremony at Harbor Lights, and knowing outside wasn't a possibility, I didn't quite know what to expect from Kristen and Michael's wedding itself but I knew the minute I headed upstairs to the grand ballroom and saw the set-up that we were in great hands.
Even though the room itself doesn't scream wedding ceremony site, the staff at Harbor Lights did a phenomenal job transforming the space normally reserved for guest tables into a beautiful spot to exchange vows and Kristen and Michael made great use of it with a short but incredibly sweet ceremony that left MANY of their guests dabbing tears from their eyes.
One of the nicest parts about the way Kristen and Michael planned their wedding day was the pair opted for a full cocktail hour for their guests in the space right near the reception room so, while they shot their family and wedding party formals against the windowed-backdrop of the room they'd just said "I do" in, their guests weren't 40 feet away mingling and getting ready for what promised to be a great party.
I especially loved it because, once the bride and groom were done with their formal photos, they were able to join the last few minutes of cocktail hour, giving me just enough time to sneak back and forth and rotate between capturing candid photos of them interacting with their friends and family and the finalized details on display.
Having just met Kristen and Michael less than a half hour before their ceremony, I honestly had no idea what to expect from their wedding reception but I knew we were in for a fantastic night when the two took the dance floor for their first dance and just looked so comfortable moving to the music.
Kristen and Michael's first dance kicked off a reception that was super casual and easygoing and I really loved that. I especially loved that, following four really sweet toasts from the bride's father and maid of honor and the groom's two best men, the newlyweds were open to the idea of going outside and braving some of the light rain for some off the cuff quick portraits under a covered area in the front of the Harbor Lights building.
It took a little creative angling, especially as I was a second photographer and had to work in a tight space, but the shots of Kristen and Michael outside were some of my favorite of the entire wedding.
But no good reception turns to great without a really fun dance floor and I knew right from the time Kristen and Michael danced with their parents that we were going to have a TON of fun once the lights went down and the party music got turned up.
I adored Kristen and Michael's reception, especially once the dance floor opened up, as it had everything you need for a great night: Good music, an awesome crowd and lasers. There were so many lasers!
I don't think I've seen a bride and groom spend as much time as Kristen and Michael did on the dance floor during their reception and I honestly can't blame them. These newlyweds have an energetic group of friends and family who really tore things up and the mix of current and past pop hits kept everyone in attendance having a great time and never wanting the night to come to an end.
I was lucky enough to be with Kristen and Michael until the end of their night and, as a second shooter, that's so unheard of that I always love when it happens. I'm glad, too, as this party never let up and made for some really great photos that I think summed the wedding day up perfectly.
So, thanks Kristen and Michael for being so great to work with and so flexible that I legit forgot it rained your entire wedding day until I sat down and worked on these photos. If that's not the sign of a fantastic couple and a fantastic wedding, I don't know what is.
Congratulations and best of luck as husband and wife!