Jennifer & Robert
Oceanside at the Pier in Narragansett, Rhode Island (Ceremony and Reception)
September 29th, 2017
I'm a guy who loves big, elaborate wedding days. I love the traditions and the pageantry associated with a giant wedding but, more than that, I love all the elaborate details that make grand weddings so amazing.
But you know what I love more than that? I love when a couple sticks true to themselves, skips all the fancy features bridal magazines and movies tell you you're supposed to have for your big day and has, instead, a simple affair to match their down-to-earth tastes.
Such was the case with Jennifer and Robert, who were married in September at Gazebo Park in Narragansett.
I met Jennifer and Robert through a 2018 bride of mine who happens to be one of their friends and they made it clear, right from our first contact, that they weren't looking for anything special.
In our first sit-down, they spelled out the vision for their day and said they wanted a ceremony that was as "quick as possible," a laid back wedding with a small group of friends, a buffet dinner and a night of partying.
As I photographed their day, I could see in their faces that they hit that vision to perfection.
Jennifer and Robert's wedding was, without question, the most laid back I had in 2017 and, yet, it was still a ton of fun. Which goes to show you: You don't need an elaborate wedding day to have the day you always dreamed of.
And I can't think of a better way to start off a marriage than that.
My time with Jennifer and Robert was brief but incredibly meaningful and though I only spent six hours with the bride and groom, we managed to string together a ton of memorable moments in that timeframe.
Starting with an abbreviated bridal prep session where Jennifer and her bridesmaids looked happy and ready to go, minus a few drinks to calm the brides' nerves of course, we headed down to the lobby of the hotel Jennifer was staying at for a lovely first look with her father.
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love when a bride and her father share a first look. It's such a sweet moment and, if done right, can get a really emotional day off to a great start.
Jennifer's father's reaction upon seeing her father was exactly what we hoped for and after giving the two of them a little space to take some time to savor the moment and what it meant to them, we headed over to Gazebo Park in Narragansett to see this bride say "I do."
Jennifer and Robert chose to have a short and sweet ceremony that lasted just a tick over 15 minutes and it's a good thing they did because the sun at Gazebo Park was tough to handle and right in their faces.
I enjoyed watching this bride and groom throughout their ceremony as it was clear they felt a lot of emotions but were trying their best to hold them in in front of their friends and family members.
I also loved the fact that this fairly private couple were getting married in the middle of a busy tourist area in Southern Rhode Island. But, if you took one look at the beautiful ocean right behind this ceremony location, it was easy to see why.
Following Jennifer and Robert's wedding ceremony, we stuck around the gazebo at Gazebo Park for family and wedding party photos and I'm glad we did as we were able to breeze right through them in time for the bride and groom to have some of the best formal photos I've taken all year long.
What made Jennifer and Robert's formal photos so nice? Three words: A perfect sunset.
Seriously. I've shot a few weddings down in the Narragansett Town Beach area but Jennifer and Robert's wedding day, which started hot and humid and cooled down a bit as the night wore on, had one of (if not THE) best sunsets of 2017.
Add in that we were on a beautiful beach and you can see why these formals will be in my mind when it comes time to think about my favorite shots of the year at the end of December.
I loved working with Jennifer and Robert as they were totally open to any and all ideas I had.
For a wedding that was supposed to be a simple day and run-of-the-mill, we sure did create something special that I'm sure they'll cherish forever.
And speaking of cherish, I know the Jennifer and Robert cherished their wedding reception because it was exactly what they always said they wanted: A fun party with a laid back group of people spending time together. No frills, just fun and laughter. And it was a great night.
Jennifer and Robert's reception began with a sweet first dance which, given the size of the dance floor at Oceanside at the Pier, felt incredibly intimate. With all their friends and family members gathered around them, the newlyweds spend a few minutes in each other's embrace and all you had to do was look at their faces, which never seemed to lose a smile, to see how much this moment meant to each of them.
Following their first dance, Jennifer and Robert had two nice toasts, a pair of beautiful dances with their father and mother respectively.
It was a simple order of events and went off swimmingly and for a couple that just wanted to share this moment with their family members and party the night away, I don't think they could have asked for much more.
What I did love about Jennifer and Robert's wedding was how fun the guest list was. Even during dinner, a quick walk to the outside of the restaurant-- where they had a separate patio for people to smoke and mingle-- was full of folks dancing. This wasn't a particularly rowdy crowd (at least not while I was there) but it was clear it was a fun one and they were going to dance this night away.
By the time I got ready to head out of Jennifer and Robert's wedding reception, I couldn't help but think about how perfect this day was for this bride and groom. Often times, when couple say they want a "simple" wedding day, what they mean is they don't want to spend a lot of money but Jennifer and Robert's wedding day was about much more than financial simplicity ... it was about staying true to who this couple is.
This bride and groom never sacrificed their vision for their big day and it showed in what I can only describe as a perfectly them day that hit all of the key notes they wanted but never came off as rushed.
From a beautiful ceremony right on the water to a set of stunning bride and groom formal photos and a reception that gave them plenty of time to spend with all the people they loved the most, Jennifer and Robert's wedding day was an absolute exercise in beautiful modesty.
It wasn't big but it was beautiful, elegant and a lovely tribute to the love this bride and groom share for one another.
And while I love the big, extravagant weddings I've seen this year, sometimes it's nice to remember that that's not for everyone. You don't need every big decoration, a nine piece band or a 12-course menu to have the wedding day of your dreams.
Sometimes you just need an ocean breeze, the love of your spouse and a room full of awesome people. Jennifer and Robert had all those elements in spades and that's why I'm confident they'll always remember the night they got married for what it was: perfection.
Tags: Oceanside at the Pier, Rhode Island Weddings, Outdoor Weddings, Narragansett, South County Weddings, Paul J. Spetrini Photography
The Vendor List
Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Hair: Stephanie Proietto, The Salon at Shrine; Make-up: Courtney Zelen, Gvzel & Co.; Jennifer's Dress: Davids Bridal; Jennifer's Shoes: Simply Dainty; Robert's Suit: Men's Warehouse; Ceremony/Reception Location: Oceanside at the Pier; Justice of the Peace: Frank Camera; DJ: Anthony Avicolli; Cake: Beth-Anne Tremaine.
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