Hotel Providence Wedding Photos
Michael & Porchia
September 4th, 2020
Life is all about the little moments and a wedding day is no different. In fact, in many ways, a wedding day is nothing more than a condensed representation of a bride and groom's life and the things that matter most to them.
Whether it's a groom getting emotional seeing his bride walking down the aisle or a pair of newlyweds smiling during their first dance as the stress of the day finally fades away, weddings have a ton of moments that define what a couple is all about and the journey they took to bring their lives together.
That's why I loved Michael and Porchia's wedding day so much. On an afternoon that was supposed to be about them, and their love, they spent so much of their wedding caring about other people that it spoke volumes about who they are as people and the family they have, the family they love and the family they're still building together.
And, honestly, that was inspiring to see in an age where so many people only focus on themselves, especially in the biggest moments of their life.
Michael and Porchia's wedding day took place, mostly, within the confines of Hotel Providence in Providence, Rhode Island. It was a beautiful choice for the couple as they love the capital city and I knew the moment I walked into Porchia's bridal suite that it was going to be a busy afternoon as she and her daughters, mother and brother all rushed to finish getting ready.
Having young children can be a bit chaotic, especially for a bride, but Porchia played the role of cool mom splendidly and did a great job balancing their needs while also making sure to look her absolute best for the life-changing moment she'd been planning for years.
One of the things I loved the most about Michael and Porchia's wedding day was the unique hotel they chose. I'd never been to Hotel Providence prior to their wedding but I already can't wait to go back as there were so many cool little spots to shoot at and their gorgeous stairwell was not only the perfect place for a first look but made for a really great vantage point later for their first bride-groom portrait of the day.
Admittedly, running up the stairs wasn't fun and reminded me I need to get back in the gym but, man, it was worth it for the photo.
Following Michael and Porchia's first look, the three of us put together a couple bride and groom portraits but got ready for what would prove to be the most emotional part of the wedding day as the bride asked me to take a trip with them down to Warwick, Rhode Island so she could visit her grandmother in the nursing home.
While this was a pretty late request and resulted in us adjusting a lot of the wedding day timeline on the fly, I am so glad we made this little trip as I could tell how much it affected Porchia and meant the world to her to see such an important person on her big day.
In many ways, I know this was the highlight of the wedding for Porchia and I could see in her smile the rest of the day that she won't soon forget this little moment with one of the most important people in her life.
Michael and Porchia planned their wedding day with a LOT of time before their ceremony and I'm so glad they did as not only were we able to see the bride's grandmother but we were able to take their family formal photos with perfect lighting at the Rhode Island Statehouse.
That led right into some of my favorite bride and groom portraits of the year as Michael, Porchia and I started our portrait session at the Statehouse before venturing by foot down to Waterplace Park.
All told, I don't think we could have asked for better lighting or a better day to do these photos and they rank, easily, among my favorite this year.
As Michael, Porchia and I made our way back to Hotel Providence, it was hard for me to believe we'd already had what essentially felt like a full wedding day and their ceremony hadn't even taken place yet.
Thankfully, once we arrived back at Hotel Providence, it was time for the pair to officially get married and what a ceremony it was.
My favorite part about Michael and Porchia's wedding was how it was to contain my laughter as their daughter decided she simply had had enough of being held by grandparents and other family members and, in the middle of her mom and dad saying "I do," decided she needed to take center stage.
It was absolutely adorable to see Porchia holding her daughter while taking in this life-changing moment and made for some really cute photos as the bride and groom tried their hardest to concentrate on their vows and first kiss ... with a little girl hanging onto her mom's dress.
With Michael and Porchia officially hitched, the rest of their wedding felt like a relaxed party and, admittedly, I was thrilled as I haven't seen too many of those in 2020.
Michael and Porchia's choice to get married at Hotel Providence was most evident during their reception as the venue is absolutely stunning and small enough where they could hold an intimate evening with just their closest friends and family and still have the big venue feeling other hotels in the area offer with their ballroom.
It helps, of course, that their decorations and uplighting set a beautiful scene for guests as they walked into the dining hall.
Speaking of Hotel Providence, one of the cool little things this venue offers that most don't is rooftop access for formal photos and, as the sun slowly started to fade away, Michael, Porchia and I headed up to the top of their venue for this exact reason.
I'm glad we did as these photos were stunning and, in my opinion, the best photos of the bride and groom all day. Few things convey Providence quite like the neighborhoods around the downtown area and this little rooftop terrace showed it off perfectly.
With the last of their formal photos taken care of, Michael and Porchia headed to their cocktail hour to spend time with guests and, after an extended period of relaxing conversation and laughter, took to the dance floor of Hotel Providence for their wedding reception formalities.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Michael and Porchia's reception was a bit more low key than most but it fit the vibe of the night perfectly and the dances they DID have felt even more special because of the year we're in and the restrictions all couples have to face at their venues.
And it all started with a beautiful first dance set to "Tenerife Sea" by Ed Sheeran. What a great song and what a great tone to set for this lovely early fall evening.
Every bit of Michael and Porchia's reception was constructed with their friends and family in mind and whether it was their sweetheart table with crayons and coloring books for their children or a surprise cupcake for a family member celebrating her birthday that night, this bride and groom made sure everyone who attended their wedding felt like they belonged and had plenty to keep them entertained.
This was especially true with their impromptu version of the Newlywed game, which their guests loved, and a super sweet cake cutting.
The last bit of the formality portion of Michael and Porchia's wedding came after dinner as the bride and groom chose to dance with their moms, separately, and then held a father-daughter dance with the groom and his oldest daughter.
All three dances were fun to watch and a wide spectrum of emotions as Michael and his mom laughed during their time together, Porchia and her mom cried and, in the final dance, Michael looked like a proud papa leading his daughter across the floor.
It was a fitting end to a day, and night, that centered on the idea and importance of family.
As I packed my bag and prepared to leave Michael and Porchia's wedding reception, I couldn't help but think about how much fun it was to document all the little things that went into making their event so special.
Without a doubt, the theme of the evening was family and, even as a stranger, I could tell how important the family bond these newlyweds have with their relatives really is. In 2020, it's more important than ever to cherish those closest to you and I am so glad I was there to watch Michael and Porchia make a day that was supposed to be all about them about so much more than any two people.
So thank you Michael and Porchia for letting me capture this special day and I wish you well now that you are officially husband and wife. :)