Jeffrey and Clarissa kiss during a June 2017 bride and groom formal photo shoot at Deerfield Park in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

Jeffrey & Clarissa

I am not a superstitious person but, I've got to be honest, sometimes it's hard not to believe there are outside forces at work in the world of wedding photography. 

Such was the case with Jeffrey and Clarissa's late June wedding in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

Set to take place at Twelve Acres, home to the one wedding I've had so far in my career where unexpected rain moved the ceremony at the last minute, I couldn't help but have severe flashbacks on the morning of Clarissa and Jeff's big day as the skies got ominously more cloudy as the minutes to their ceremony ticked closer.

Try as we may, the weather gods laughed at our plans for a lovely outdoor ceremony and the skies down poured from moments before we left to go to the first look until the moment this bride and groom said "I do" but in a promising sign for their new marriage, Jeffrey and Clarissa didn't get upset. They shrugged their shoulders, said "What are you going to do?" and proceeded to have an incredible afternoon wedding in spite of the wishy washy forecast.

I may not be a superstitious person but I have to believe that positive attitude paid off as the rest of their wedding day was absolutely perfect and a good reminder that while things may not always go as you plan, as long as you're with the person you love the most, nothing can stop your wedding day from being one of the best of your life. It certainly was for this bride and groom.

Clarissa has her hair done prior to her June 2017 wedding ceremony at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
A look at Salon Diane, where Clarissa had her hair done prior to her June 2017 wedding ceremony at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa smiles for a photo prior to her June 2017 wedding ceremony at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
A look at Clarissa's hair prior to her June 2017 wedding ceremony at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa has her hair done prior to her June 2017 wedding ceremony at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

My day with Clarissa and Jeffrey began earlier than most as the couple's morning ceremony meant an even earlier bridal prep session. 

Now, anyone who knows me knows I despise getting up before noon -- let alone before 5 a.m. -- but for Clarissa? I didn't mind.

No, it's hard to be upset when you're one of four people in the hair salon and you're having as much fun as we did as Clarissa, her sister, her hairstylist and I had a blast laughing and telling stories as the bride got her hair done. 

It was the perfect carefree session to start Clarissa's day off and set the tone early for what kind of day we could expect.

Clarissa puts her earrings on prior to her June 2017 wedding ceremony at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
A look at Clarissa's shoes, garter belt and invitiation prior to Jeffrey and Clarissa's June 2017 wedding ceremony at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa's wedding dress hangs prior to her June 2017 wedding ceremony at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa arrives for a first look with Jeffrey prior to their June 2017 wedding ceremony at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa walks down the stairs and leaves her home prior to her June 2017 wedding ceremony at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

Following her salon appointment, Clarissa and I made a bee-line to her home so she could finish getting ready and head over to her first look.

As I said above, this was the one part of the day we couldn't plan as the rain poured moments after we walked into Clarissa's house but thanks to an ingenious back-up plan Clarissa came up with the night before her wedding, and thanks to some awesome vendors at the farmer's market going on at this location, we were able to pivot and move Clarissa and Jeff's first look under a giant gazebo in North Scituate. 

All things considered, I thought these photos came out fantastic and barely show how intense the rain really was. 

Talk about luck! 

Lucelene listens as Luis speaks to her during her June 2017 wedding ceremony at Waterplace Park in Providence, Rhode Island.
Clarissa and Jeffrey prepare for a first look prior to their June 2017 wedding ceremony at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Jeffrey sees Clarissa for the first time prior to their June 2017 wedding ceremony at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa and Jeffrey share a moment prior to their June 2017 wedding ceremony at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

Once we were finished with the first look, it came time to head over to Twelve Acres for Clarissa and Jeff's ceremony. Although it was pretty obvious the pair would have preferred having their ceremony outdoors, I admired how much they didn't let the weather dampen their spirits and their ceremony was still beautiful as all their friends and family members sat around their dance floor and watched as the bride and groom exchanged vows. 

Jeffrey watches as Clarissa arrives during their June 2017 wedding ceremony at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa walks down the aisle toward Jeffrey during their June 2017 wedding ceremony at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa and Jeffrey listen to their officiant during their June 2017 wedding ceremony at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa listens to her officiant during her June 2017 wedding ceremony at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Jeffrey looks at Clarissa during her June 2017 wedding ceremony at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa and Jeffrey place a lock together on a piece of art during their June 2017 wedding ceremony at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa and Jeffrey place a lock together on a piece of art during their June 2017 wedding ceremony at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa and Jeffrey share their first kiss during their June 2017 wedding ceremony at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

If I had to pick out the funniest moment from Clarissa and Jeff's wedding, it would absolutely be their formal photo session.

Following their ceremony, we made our way outside to grab as many family, wedding party and couple photos as the weather would allow ... only to be greeted with largely sunny skies. 

I found out later that it poured for the length of their first look and ceremony, stopped for their formal photos, poured again when we made our way inside for their reception and stopped for the rest of the day when the reception was over.

You couldn't script that if you tried but the on and off-again weather did allow for some nice portraits in the Twelve Acres ceremony area and that's all we could have asked for.

Clarissa poses for a formal photo following her June 2017 wedding ceremony at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa and Jeffrey kiss during a formal photo following their June 2017 wedding ceremony at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Jeffrey poses for a formal photo following his June 2017 wedding ceremony at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

Following their formal photo session, it was time for Clarissa and Jeff's reception and while I love early morning ceremonies, I've often found early morning/afternoon receptions can be hit or miss as most people don't liven up and party before 3 p.m.

Thankfully, Clarissa and Jeff's reception had a ton of children who never left the dance floor and inspired their parents and other wedding guests to do the same.

A look at Jeffrey and Clarissa's wedding cake, on display during their June 2017 wedding reception at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
A look at Jeffrey and Clarissa's table settings, on display during their June 2017 wedding reception at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
A look at Jeffrey and Clarissa's sweetheart table, shown during their June 2017 wedding reception at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
A look at Jeffrey and Clarissa's wedding ring and flowers, seen during their June 2017 wedding reception at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa and Jeffrey are introduced during their June 2017 wedding reception at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa and Jeff share their first dance during their June 2017 wedding reception at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa and Jeff share their first dance during their June 2017 wedding reception at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

I especially loved watching the bride and groom interact on the dance floor. 

I never pegged Jeffrey for much of a dance and, sure, he didn't spend a ton of time on the dance floor this afternoon but the times where he and Clarissa did dance were beautiful and sweet and touching.

Clarissa and Jeff cut their wedding cake during their June 2017 wedding reception at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa and Jeff cut their wedding cake during their June 2017 wedding reception at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa and Jeff cut their wedding cake during their June 2017 wedding reception at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa and Jeff cut their wedding cake during their June 2017 wedding reception at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa and her father dance during her June 2017 wedding reception at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Jeffrey and his mother dance during his June 2017 wedding reception at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa and her father dance during her June 2017 wedding reception at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Jeffrey and his mother dance during his June 2017 wedding reception at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

For an early afternoon reception, Clarissa and Jeff sure had a rocking dance floor. I don't think I saw it empty for more than a few moments and even then, their guests were finding multiple ways to entertain themselves. 

Add to that a pair of nice toasts, a lovely cake cutting and a few other little touches and it really was a delightful wedding reception perfect for the bride and groom at the center of attention.

Guests dance during Jeffrey and Clarissa's June 2017 wedding reception at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa tosses her bouquet during her June 2017 wedding reception at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Guests battle for the bouquet during Clarissa and Jeffrey's June 2017 wedding reception at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Guests dance during Jeffrey and Clarissa's June 2017 wedding reception at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Guests dance during Jeffrey and Clarissa's June 2017 wedding reception at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa dances with her guests during her June 2017 wedding reception at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa and Jeffrey dance during their June 2017 wedding reception at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa and Jeffrey dance during their June 2017 wedding reception at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa and Jeffrey dance during their June 2017 wedding reception at Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

As much as I loved Jeffrey and Clarissa's ceremony and reception, I think my favorite part of the day was when it was all over as, thanks to the early schedule of the activities, the three of us had plenty of time to go back out and shoot formal photos once the reception was over.

Clarissa, Jeffrey and I made our way to Deerfield Park, which was the original location choice for their first look, and the beautiful weather made for jaw-dropping lighting and some of my favorite portraits of the year thus far.

Clarissa and Jeff pose for a photo during a June 2017 bride and groom formal photo shoot at Deerfield Park in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa and Jeff pose for a photo during a June 2017 bride and groom formal photo shoot at Deerfield Park in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa and Jeff pose for a photo during a June 2017 bride and groom formal photo shoot at Deerfield Park in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa and Jeff pose for a photo during a June 2017 bride and groom formal photo shoot at Deerfield Park in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa and Jeff pose for a photo during a June 2017 bride and groom formal photo shoot at Deerfield Park in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
Clarissa and Jeff pose for a photo during a June 2017 bride and groom formal photo shoot at Deerfield Park in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

And, if that wasn't enough, not even the end of their wedding day was the end of this shoot as, just two weeks later, the three of us went out for one last hurrah as Clarissa decided she wanted to be my first bride to ever "Trash the dress" and, boy, did we have a lot of fun on this afternoon in Narragansett as the always beautiful Black Point Trailhead was a stunning backdrop to a truly unique photography experience.

Clarissa and Jeff pose for a photo during a July 2017 'Trash the Dress' photo shoot at Black Point Trailhead in Narragansett, Rhode Island.
Clarissa and Jeff pose for a photo during a July 2017 'Trash the Dress' photo shoot at Black Point Trailhead in Narragansett, Rhode Island.
Clarissa and Jeff pose for a photo during a July 2017 'Trash the Dress' photo shoot at Black Point Trailhead in Narragansett, Rhode Island.
Clarissa and Jeff go into the water during a July 2017 'Trash the Dress' photo shoot at Black Point Trailhead in Narragansett, Rhode Island.
Clarissa poses for a photo during a July 2017 'Trash the Dress' photo shoot at Black Point Trailhead in Narragansett, Rhode Island.
Clarissa and Jeff go into the water during a July 2017 'Trash the Dress' photo shoot at Black Point Trailhead in Narragansett, Rhode Island.

Clarissa may not have made it far in the water, what with her wedding dress getting heavier the further we went into the water, but I could tell she and Jeff enjoyed every moment of this shoot and the experience that was her wedding as a whole.

I know I certainly did.

Clarissa and Jeff had a wonderful day made brighter by their love for one another and while it might not have perfect 100 percent of the time, at least as far as weather is concerned, it was perfect for them and who can ask for more?

So thanks Clarissa and Jeffrey for including me on your journey to happiness.

It was a lot of fun and a shoot I'll remember for a very, very long time.

-PJS

Clarissa and Jeff kiss in the water during a July 2017 'Trash the Dress' photo shoot at Black Point Trailhead in Narragansett, Rhode Island.

The Vendor List

Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini (Paul J. Spetrini Photography); Hair: Diane Coyne of Salon Diane; Clarissa's Dress: Alfred Angelo; Jeffrey's Suit: JCPenney; Officiant: Pastor Robert Hollis: Ceremony & Reception Venue: Twelve Acres in Smithfield, Rhode Island; DJ: James Harvey; Cake: Queen B's Cakery in Johnston, Rhode Island; Florist: Tiffany Gray of The Flower Girls in Warwick, Rhode Island

Check out more of my most recent wedding blogs:

A teaser image for Gina & David's wedding blog.
A teaser image for Meridith and Matthew's wedding blog.
A teaser image for Crystal & Andy's wedding blog.

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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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