John Alden Sportsman's Club Wedding Photos
Marlana & Christopher
John Alden Sportsman's Club, Plymouth, Massachusetts
August 27th, 2022
Part of the fun of being a wedding photographer is learning that every bride and groom has their own, unique love language. For some couples, that language comes across as little forehead kisses or silly nicknames for one another. For others, like Marlana and Christopher, that means flipping each off during bride and groom portraits.
And, no, that's not a bad thing. In fact, it was one of the sweetest and most wholesome moments of their wedding day and one that brought a giant smile to my face.
Marlana and Christopher were married back in August at the War Memorial Park in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts and held their wedding reception at the John Alden Sportsman's Club in Plymouth, Massachusetts but this wedding day could easy have taken place around the Thanksgiving dinner table as it was a family-centric affair, full of lots of laughs, offensive jokes, back-and-forth sarcasm and, of course, the type of loving embrace you can only get with people whose chops you spend all day busting.
And I know Marlana and Christopher would have had it no other way.
I knew from the moment I walked into Marlana's bridal prep what kind of day we were set to have when I walked over to the back porch, saw the groom's stepfather and he said to me "Who the hell are you?"
The dry joke made me laugh and immediately set up a fun tone that made me feel right at home as it's exactly how I would interact with my own family.
That was how most of bridal prep would go as the time period before we all headed over to Marlana and Chris' ceremony was a mix of utter chaos and some seriously hilarious joking around. And the bride? She was right at home in the middle of it all.
I loved working with Marlana as she was such an easygoing bride and I could tell from the little moments of the day, like when she had her first look with her father, that while she may have played this day off in terms of seriousness, it still meant a lot to her.
To me, that's the best of both worlds because you get the beautiful wedding day but see almost none of the stress typically associated with such an event.
Marlana and Chris chose to say "I do" at the War Memorial Park in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts and this was the point of the day that showed exactly what this bride and groom cared about most.
Their ceremony was quick and to the point and, most importantly, uniquely them. The pair got married with just their parents, wedding party and a couple of family members near by and I'm pretty sure it's taken you longer to read this blog so far than it did for them to finish their ceremony as we were in, out and done in less than five minutes from the time the bride walked down the aisle.
Marlana and Chris' ceremony was so short, I had to do a double take but it fit them perfectly. So, too, did the formal photos of their day as we breezed through family and wedding party photos. I'm glad because I wanted as much time as I could get with these two for their bride and groom portraits and they didn't disappoint.
If I had to choose one part of Marlana and Chris' wedding that I loved the most, it was this as their playful banter and silliness reminded me a TON of my own wife and I and made for a lot of fun, but not overly serious, formal photos that I thought showed their relationship off perfectly.
Up until their formal photos, Marlana and Chris' wedding felt more like a casual hang than a typical wedding day and I mean that in the best way possible. It's also why I had no idea what to expect from their reception as it would not have surprised me if it was a backyard tent party OR a ballroom reception in a fancy country club. It really could have gone either way.
In the end, the two chose something in the middle with their selection of the John Alden Sportsman's Club, an old school venue that was really beautiful inside but gives enough of a DIY vibe that couples can really put their own touch on the day. Marlana and Chris did just that.
I loved Marlana and Chris' wedding reception, and knew it would be the part of their wedding they talked about most, right from the moment we walked in and the pair took the dance floor for their first dance.
It was a sweet dance and one they briefly did alone before opening the dance floor up to their guest and that would be the theme of the night as these two made sure their reception wasn't just about them but was also about those closest to them who came to celebrate their relationship.
Marlana and Chris really planned their reception perfectly, and not just because they had the best food I've had at any wedding all year (Seriously, though, any couples who have an Italian buffet complete with sausage and peppers has my heart.)
No matter the event during this reception, Marlana and Chris were completely in the moment. From the best man's toast to their silly cake cutting, two lovely parent dances and the always ridiculous garter/bouquet toss, Marlana and Chris were very obviously loving every moment of their reception and I was just glad to tag along and document it all.
With their formal reception events out of the way, Marlana and Chris really had no pressure to do anything else during their reception and I think this low key vibe helped make their night so memorable.
There was a nice mix of dancing, lots of group numbers, plenty of drinking and TONS of photos in and around the reception hall. It all, these two just did whatever they wanted and made sure to spend as much time as possible catching up with those around them.
I loved this vibe so, so much. It gave the evening a feeling of family social event but at no point did it feel too stuffy or detailed. People were just there to have fun. And they sure did.
By the time I started packing up and heading out of Marlana and Christophers' reception, I couldn't help but feel it was the culmination of a night both the bride and groom always looked forward to and, yet, still somehow couldn't truly envision how great it would be.
Marlana and Chris definitely had one of the most low key weddings I've shot this year but it was perfectly them and the perfect day for those closest to them.
More over, it was a blast to photograph.
So, thank you Marlana and Christopher for an awesome wedding I enjoyed both watching and documenting and I wish you luck as you start this new, official, chapter of your lives as husband and wife.
-Paul J. Spetrini
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The Vendor List:
Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini, Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Bride's Hair: Sarah Zaslaw- Visions Hair Salon Canton, Ma; Bride's Make-up: Sabrina Logan- Sabi Makeup Artistry; Bride's Dress: David's Bridal; Groom's Suit: Men's Wearhouse; Flowers: Sylcadle-Etsy, Floral Supply Shop-Etsy, Floating Pearls LLC; Ceremony: War Memorial Park, West Bridgewater, Massachusetts; Reception: John Alden's Sportsman's Club, Plymouth, Massachusetts; DJ: Don Gomes- Don Gomes Party DJ service; Cake: Tammy Simmons-Smiley's Tasty Baked Goods!; Catering: Plymouth Bay Catering.