Independence Harbor Wedding
Danielle & Edward
December 6th, 2019
December is a time for friends, family and the holiday spirit. As such, I don't typically have a lot of couples reaching out to me about their wedding photography needs during this month and, when they do, I'm always a little bit disappointed if they don't fully embrace the time of year they're getting married in when they say "I do."
Luckily, that wasn't an issue with Danielle and Edward, two incredibly joyful people who couldn't get enough of the Christmas spirit on the day they became husband and wife.
From Christmas-themed centerpieces to a festive holiday envelope box, cake topper and seating chart, the only thing missing from Danielle and Edward's big day was Santa himself.
And then he showed up.
Danielle and Edward went all in on the holidays for their wedding and, much like them, I couldn't get enough of this beautiful day and the beautiful couple that proved 'tis the season to get married.
My time with Danielle and Edward began as almost all my Independence Harbor weddings do: At the Hampton Inn hotel in Raynham. I knew the moment I walked into Danielle's bridal prep session that she was in a great mood and eager to start the day but I could sense she was a little bit nervous.
It's understandable, of course. You don't get married every day.
Danielle did a great job of powering through the nerves, though, and kept her bridal prep session fairly stress free ... at least until we headed down to the first look with her father and things started to feel real.
I loved Danielle's first look with her father as they both got pretty emotional when he turned to see her for the first time. It was a reaction that a lot of people would have when they saw the bride for the first time this day as Danielle looked stunning in her detail-rich wedding gown with a seasonally-appropriate bouquet to fully accentuate the early winter vibe of the day.
As we left the hotel and made our way to Independence Harbor, I knew what Danielle needed the most was to see her soon-to-be husband and I was right.
The moment Ed turned around during their first look, and saw how beautiful she looked, he couldn't stop smiling and that little moment they shared together really set the tone for the rest of the evening.
The one drawback to shooting a wedding in December is you simply don't have a ton of time for formal photos before the sun sets. Luckily for me, Danielle and Ed chose a winter wedding for a reason and the cooler images we produced during their formal photos actually fit the mood of the day quite well.
I especially loved the little bit of snow we had on the ground as it provided a great backdrop while not making it entirely impossible to access the lovely gazebo at Independence Harbor.
Oh and did I mention how much I loved the red coat Danielle wore for some of her formals? That little splash of color was so unique and unlike anything I've seen from a bride before and it made for some really fun shots as we took full advantage of the string lights on display at Independence Harbor for the Christmas season.
Following Danielle and Edward's formal photos, we made our way inside to warm up and see these two get married.
Danielle and Ed chose a laidback ceremony and I'm so glad they did.
Not only did the majority of their guests watch from their seats in the reception room but the couple's immediate family were huddled together in a short row right in front to give this ceremony a super intimate feeling.
There were a lot of things I loved about Danielle and Edward's wedding ceremony but my favorite was the way the two never broke eye contact and kept laughing and smiling during the entire event.
I later found out it was Danielle's way of avoiding looking at the audience but the point still stands. You could feel the love these two had for each other just by watching the way they made each other look when they said their vows, exchanged rings and kissed for the first time as a married couple.
As I said above, one of my favorite aspects of Danielle and Ed's wedding was the way they incorporated Christmas into their big day and nowhere was that clearer than in the custom centerpieces and decorations they displayed all over their reception room.
At least, until Ed surprised his new bride with an unexpected visit from Santa.
If you doubted me when I said Danielle loves Christmas, look at her reaction when she saw St. Nick appear from out of nowhere.
As much as I adored Danielle's look of wonder as she saw Santa for the first time, what meant the most to be and the rest of the night was the way she and Ed shared the special moments of their reception together.
Whether it was their first dance (Set to "Perfect" by Ed Sheeran), their four lovely and meaningful toasts, their adorable cake cutting or the always fun Newlywed Game, I could tell how much this night meant to this bride and groom by how much they lived in each little moment that made their reception special.
Of all the formal events of the evening though, I could tell Danielle's dance with her father and Edward's dance with his mother meant something a little more special.
This bride and groom are very close with their family — so much so that I don't know if I've taken more family formals for a couple this year than we did during Danielle and Ed's cocktail hour — and it showed as they hit the dance floor for these marquee moments of the evening.
With the big moments of the night over, Danielle and Edward's guests finally had their chance to take the evening over and they didn't miss a beat.
Danielle and Ed had a super fun reception with a dance floor that hopped all night and led to a ton of fun — and sometimes odd — candid moments I know the couple won't soon forget.
As I packed up and left Independence Harbor, I could tell Danielle and Ed were just getting started in the party portion of their evening and if that doesn't speak volumes to how much fun they had, I don't know what would.
While it's certainly true that spring, summer and fall can make for beautiful wedding days, I appreciate when a couple dives head first into winter and turns a normally dark and dreary time of the year into something special.
Danielle and Edward sure did that in spades and I know it's just the first of many beautiful days this bride and groom will share as they embark on their life together as husband and wife.
-Paul J. Spetrini
Check out more of my most recent wedding blogs:
Captain Daniel Packer Inne,
November 16th, 2019
Saints Rose & Clement,
Warwick Country Club
November 10th, 2019
St Mary's Catholic Church,
& Attleboro Elks Lodge
November 9th, 2019
The Vendor List:
Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini, Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Bride's Hair: Amanda Rose; Bride's Dress: Julie’s Bridal Boutique in New Bedford Massachusetts; Groom's Suit: Main Street Formals; Florist: Dannilish Designs; Ceremony & Reception Location: Independence Harbor, Assonet, Massachusetts; DJ: Cape Tunes; Cake: Crumbelievable.