Jennifer and Bruce pose for a formal photo prior to their August 2017 wedding reception at The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut.

Jennifer & Bruce

Wedding photography is all about making a connection with a bride and groom and as a photographer who occasionally serves as a second shooter for some couples, it's easy to feel like that connection isn't always possible.

And that's why whenever I'm a second shooter meeting a bride and groom for the first time on their big day, I try to be as friendly and personable as possible to establish that connection as quick as I can.

For Jennifer and Bruce's August wedding at the Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut, it took less than three minutes to feel like I'd known this bride and groom for years.

Standing on a front porch of a beautiful and elegant mansion on the property of the Inn, Bruce nervously awaited Jenn's arrival for their first look as I pulled up to start my day photographing his wedding. 

Within moments of assuring him nerves were normal, I could see his comfortableness with me appear almost instantly and that quick connection paved the way for a beautiful day of photographs in one of my favorite towns in New England.

Bruce waits for Jennifer to arrive for their first look prior to his August 2017 wedding ceremony at The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut.
Jennifer and Bruce see each other for the first time during a first look prior to their August 2017 wedding ceremony at The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut.
Jennifer and Bruce hug during a first look prior to their August 2017 wedding ceremony at The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut.

Jenn and Bruce were married at the Inn at Mystic and if you've never been there, let me set the scene. Mystic is a tiny village located in Groton and Stonington, Connecticut. Before I began shooting weddings, the only thing I knew about this area was that they had an aquarium that drew people from all over the region.

In the time since, I've learned that it's actually a quaint little New England spot with a ton of local history and beautiful views.

The Inn at Mystic, meanwhile, is one of the more unique properties I've ever seen. When you arrive, you enter a motel parking lot that seems out of place for the village but quickly makes sense when you realize the breathtaking house in the back is not only a mansion but a tremendous spot for a destination wedding.

Seriously. This is one of the most "New Englander" spots for a wedding I've seen. It. is. spectacular. 

For Jenn and Bruce's big day, we had plenty of time to shoot formal photos before heading over to St. Joseph Church in New London for their ceremony and it's a good thing we did as the site had plenty of tall trees for us to avoid direct sunlight, making for great photos.

Jennifer and Bruce hold hands during a first look prior to their August 2017 wedding ceremony at The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut.
Jennifer and Bruce pose for a formal photo prior to their August 2017 wedding ceremony at The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut.
Bruce poses for a formal photo with his groomsmen prior to his August 2017 wedding ceremony at The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut.
Jennifer poses for a photo with her bridesmaids prior to her August 2017 wedding ceremony at The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut.
Jennifer and Bruce pose for a formal photo with their wedding party prior to their August 2017 wedding ceremony at The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut.
Jennifer poses for a photo prior to her August 2017 wedding ceremony at The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut.
Jennifer poses for a photo prior to her August 2017 wedding ceremony at The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut.

One of the nicest parts of shooting Jenn and Bruce's wedding day was the time we had in between events as the bride and groom left themselves tons of room in their schedule so that no one ever had to rush.

I really believe that that idea, and their first look prior to the ceremony, helped put both Jenn and Bruce at total easy heading into their traditional Catholic mass at St. Joseph's Church, one of the nicer churches I've been lucky enough to photograph at.

Jennifer and her father walk into the church prior to her August 2017 wedding ceremony at St. Joseph Church in New London, Connecticut.
Bruce poses for a photo prior to his August 2017 wedding ceremony at St. Joseph Church in New London, Connecticut.
Jennifer and her father walk down the aisle during her August 2017 wedding ceremony at St. Joseph Church in New London, Connecticut.
Jennifer smiles during her August 2017 wedding ceremony at St. Joseph Church in New London, Connecticut.
Bruce looks on during his August 2017 wedding ceremony at St. Joseph Church in New London, Connecticut.
A look at the church during Jennifer and Bruce's August 2017 wedding ceremony at St. Joseph Church in New London, Connecticut.
Jennifer reads her vows during her August 2017 wedding ceremony at St. Joseph Church in New London, Connecticut.
Bruce reads his vows during his August 2017 wedding ceremony at St. Joseph Church in New London, Connecticut.

Jenn and Bruce's ceremony had everything you expect from a Catholic mass and even a little bit of humor as the bride and groom seemingly missed their cue midway through the ceremony to have their first kiss during the traditional marital blessing. 

The moment gave way to one of the funniest things I've seen at a wedding this year as Jenn and Bruce stood on the altar at the end of their mass looking a little bit confused and not sure if they could just kiss then and there.

As if they were looking for permission, but equally refusing to leave until they had this milestone life moment, Bruce and Jenn finally embraced and the moment brought a smile to their, and their guests' faces. 

Jennifer and Bruce share their first kiss during their August 2017 wedding ceremony at St. Joseph Church in New London, Connecticut.

After mass, we headed back to the Inn and Mystic and it appeared someone ordered in some cloud cover for these post-ceremony formal photos as the sky was PERFECT for photographs and paved the way for my favorite shots of the afternoon.

Jennifer and Bruce pose for a formal photo prior to their August 2017 wedding reception at The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut.
Jennifer and Bruce pose for a formal photo with their wedding party prior to their August 2017 wedding reception at The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut.
Jennifer and Bruce pose for a formal photo prior to their August 2017 wedding reception at The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut.
Jennifer and Bruce pose for a formal photo prior to their August 2017 wedding reception at The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut.
Jennifer and Bruce pose for a formal photo prior to their August 2017 wedding reception at The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut.
Jennifer and Bruce pose for a formal photo prior to their August 2017 wedding reception at The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut.
Jennifer and Bruce pose for a formal photo prior to their August 2017 wedding reception at The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut.

Following their formal photo session, my time with Jenn and Bruce was quickly coming to a close but, thankfully, I was still around long enough to see how their amazing reception room was set up and enjoy some of the signature moments of their night.

A look at the table decorations prior to Jennifer and Bruce's August 2017 wedding reception at The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut.
A look at the decorations prior to Jennifer and Bruce's August 2017 wedding reception at The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut.
Jennifer and Bruce are introduced during their August 2017 wedding reception at The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut.
Jennifer and Bruce share their first dance during their August 2017 wedding reception at The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut.
Jennifer and Bruce share their first dance during their August 2017 wedding reception at The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut.
Jennifer and Bruce share their first dance during their August 2017 wedding reception at The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut.
Jennifer's sisters give a toast during Jennifer and Bruce's August 2017 wedding reception at The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut.
Bruce's best man gives a speech during Jennifer and Bruce's August 2017 wedding reception at The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut.
Jennifer laughs during her August 2017 wedding reception at The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut.
Bruce's best man hugs Bruce during his August 2017 wedding reception at The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut.

Although I could have easily spent the rest of the night with this bride and groom, I feel like I made the most of my time with Jenn and Bruce and produced some really fun photos that they'll love.

More importantly, though, I got to watch the way they enjoyed the moment and enjoyed the process of getting married and, to me, that's so much more rewarding.

Being a second shooter is often a thankless job but I love doing it as it exposes me to so many couples and venues I wouldn't have seen otherwise. And though I may not know Jenn and Bruce, if their wedding day is any indication, they're on their way to a very happy and healthy marriage and, really, who could ask for more?

-PJS.

A look at Jennifer and Bruce's wedding rings, on display  during their August 2017 wedding reception at The Inn at Mystic in Mystic, Connecticut.

* These photos were taken as part of my work for George Street Photography and are presented here strictly for portfolio/display purposes. 

Paul J. Spetrini is a Rhode Island wedding photographer.

© 2019 Paul J. Spetrini Photography. All rights reserved.

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