Karolyn & Ethan pose for a formal photo following their August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.

Karolyn & Ethan

Private Residence in Sterling, Connecticut (Ceremony & Reception)

August 11th, 2018

I'm always fascinated by the places couples choose to hold their weddings. Whether it's on the beach, at a country club or in a historic church, you can learn a lot about what matters the most to a bride and groom by seeing where they've decided to say "I do."

And for Karolyn and Ethan, who were married in a tent in their backyard on a farm in Sterling, Connecticut, the choice spoke volumes.

Karolyn and Ethan are two of the most down-to-earth people I've ever worked with and their wedding day was a testament to southern charm in a northern state and an ode and family and friends that was about as casual a wedding day as you can have and as beautiful a wedding as possible as well.

I loved everything about this day but the location, to me, was what stood out the most as I really don't think there was a more perfect place for this pair to tie the knot. And that became more and more clear with each photo we took. 

A look at Karolyn's makeup prior to her August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn adjusts her makeup prior to her August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.

Karolyn and Ethan's wedding day began, as most of my weddings have so far this year: A bridal prep session spent worrying as much about hair and makeup as ominous looking clouds.

Luckily, Karolyn isn't the type of bride to let a little rain get her down and I could tell as she put the finishing touches on her look for the day that the weather she would have on this day mattered FAR LESS than the moments she would experience. 

A look at Karolyn's boots and dress prior to her August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
A look at Karolyn's wedding invitation prior to her August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn puts on her earrings prior to her August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn and her bridesmaids smile for a photo prior to her August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn smiles for a photo prior to her August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn and her bridesmaids smile for a photo prior to her August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.

Karolyn and Ethan chose to get married on their farm and, with bridal prep literally down the street at the bride's parent's home, there was just about no stress for this bride as she zipped up her dress and got ready I go.

I loved that so much about Karolyn. She looked genuinely excited to walk down the aisle and her parents and bridesmaids echoed her enthusiasm, making the prep session a ton of fun to watch and capture.

Karolyn gets ready prior to her August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn is zipped up prior to her August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn has her veil put on prior to her August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn's dad sees her for the first time prior to her August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn walks down the stairs prior to her August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.

When I first met Karolyn, she sold me on the idea of her wedding day by remarking how casual it would all be and how she and Ethan didn't want a big show of a wedding ceremony but cared more about the party they'd have afterward and the time they'd spend with friends and family.

And she wasn't lying as their ceremony was the shortest one I have EVER SEEN. By far.

A look at the ceremony site prior to Karolyn & Ethan’s August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Ethan talks to guests prior to his August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Ethan waits for Karolyn to arrive prior to his August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Ethan sees Karolyn for the first time during his August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn walks down the aisle with her father during her August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn walks down the aisle during her August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.

All told, the total time from Karolyn walking down the aisle with her father to Karolyn and Ethan walking out of the tent as husband and wife was a crisp three minutes.

THREE.

This ceremony literally consisted of a handshake, a few words of welcome, an exchange of rings and a kiss.

Folks, wedding ceremonies simply don't get shorter than that and it was absolutely perfect for this bride and groom who clearly aren't the "center of attention" types.

Ethan looks at Karolyn during his August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn smiles during her August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn and Ethan hold hands during their August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn and Ethan exchange rings during their August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn and Ethan kiss during their August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn and Ethan hold hands during their August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.

I've got to be honest. When I saw how fast their wedding ceremony was, I thought deep down that Karolyn and Ethan were going to rush me through their formal photos as well but it was the total opposite.

This bride and groom made sure to take a ton of time to work through every combination of family and friends they wanted formal photos with and, when the time came for bride and groom formals, we had plenty of places on their beautiful property to capture some lovely formals I know they'll cherish forever.

Karolyn & Ethan pose for a formal photo following their August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn & Ethan pose for a formal photo following their August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn & Ethan pose for a formal photo following their August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn & Ethan pose for a formal photo following their August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn & Ethan pose for a formal photo following their August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn & Ethan pose for a formal photo following their August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn & Ethan pose for a formal photo following their August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn & Ethan pose for a formal photo following their August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn & Ethan pose for a formal photo following their August 2018 wedding ceremony at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.

You've really got to love when couples can be as natural and easygoing in front of the lens as Karolyn and Ethan were and, honestly, this was just the start of a beautiful afternoon where (surprisingly) the weather held out and the rain stayed away.

Following their formal photos, Karolyn and Ethan hit all the familiar beats of a traditional wedding reception, starting with three lovely toasts from the best man, maid of honor and Karolyn's bridesmaid/sister.)

The best man gives a toast during Karolyn & Ethan’s August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
The maid of honor gives a toast during Karolyn & Ethan’s August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
The bride's sister gives a toast during Karolyn & Ethan’s August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.

One of my favorite moments of the night, at least early on, was Karolyn and Ethan's first dance. 

The pair chose "Perfect" by Ed Sheeran and looked at complete ease with each other on the dance floor.

I would learn later on there was a reason for that as this bride and groom rarely left each other's side when the party started. 

Karolyn & Ethan dance during their August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn & Ethan dance during their August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn & Ethan dance during their August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn & Ethan dance during their August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn & Ethan dance during their August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.

Karolyn and Ethan's dancing abilities were also on full display during the traditional father-daughter and mother-son dances and it was here that I thought the choice of a tent for their reception was the most helpful as, I'll admit, I adore tent weddings and the backdrop just gave each dance, and the cake cutting a bit later, something a little more special from a visual perspective.

Karolyn and her father dance during her August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn and her father dance during her August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Ethan and his mother dance during his August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Ethan and his mother dance during his August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
A look at the cake topper, on display during Karolyn & Ethan’s August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn & Ethan cut their wedding cake during their August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn & Ethan cut their wedding cake during their August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn & Ethan hold hands during their August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.

Speaking of visuals, there was simply no way I was passing up the chance to take Karolyn and Ethan outside for sunset photos ... even if we didn't get much of a sunset per se.

The little lake between their home and the tent for the wedding reception provided the perfect backdrop for some additional formal photos and the dock I asked them to sit on for a few shots was, in my opinion, one of the most breathtaking and scenic spots on the property.

A look at a nearby body of water during Karolyn & Ethan’s August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn & Ethan pose for a formal photo during their August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn & Ethan pose for a formal photo during their August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.

Following up their "sunset" portraits, Karolyn and Ethan got ready to party. 

But first, of course, came the traditional bouquet and garter tosses ...

Karolyn tosses her bouquet during her August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Wedding guests try to catch the bouquet during Karolyn & Ethan’s August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn and Ethan participate in a garter ceremony during their August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Ethan gets ready to toss the garter during his August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Wedding guests try to catch the garter during Karolyn & Ethan’s August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect from Karolyn and Ethan's friends and family as far as partying goes as the night started off a bit slow on the dance floor but once the alcohol started flowing and guests got more comfortable, it turned into a really fun night with tons of people dancing to the wide variety of music the bride and groom chose.

Karolyn & Ethan dance during their August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Guests dance during Karolyn & Ethan’s August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Guests dance during Karolyn & Ethan’s August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Guests dance during Karolyn & Ethan’s August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Guests dance during Karolyn & Ethan’s August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn dances with a guest during her August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn tries to bartend during her August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn and Ethan toast during their August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.

And, as if the night wasn't special enough, Karolyn and Ethan capped their reception with a fun fireworks display and a ton of time on the dance floor together. 

It was clear looking at this bride and groom's facial expressions towards each other how much this night meant to them and how much fun they were really having. 

Karolyn & Ethan pose for a firework photo during their August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn & Ethan dance during their August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn & Ethan dance during their August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn & Ethan dance during their August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn & Ethan dance during their August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn & Ethan dance during their August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.
Karolyn & Ethan dance during their August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.

By the time the last song ended, I don't know who was more worn out: Me, the bride or groom.

There were so many amazing moments at Karolyn and Ethan's wedding reception that I almost feel like this blog doesn't do it justice but I had a super hard time focusing on much of anything but this couple and their love for one another.

Karolyn and Ethan have a beautiful love story and have been together for years and it was clear to anyone lucky enough to see it on this warm August night in the middle of Connecticut that this just the start of many happy and hilarious years together.

So congratulations Karolyn and Ethan and best of luck on your life together. Judging from what I saw on your wedding day, though, you won't need it because you have each other.

-PJS

Karolyn & Ethan dance during their August 2018 wedding reception at a private residence in Sterling, Connecticut.

The Vendor List

Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini, Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Bride's Hair: Dawn Salvas, Luna Salon; Florist: Ledyard Regional FFA; Ceremony & Reception Location: Jordan Acres, Sterling, Connecticut; Officiant: J.P. Williamson; DJ: Glen Curtis MegaMix DJ

Check out more of my most recent wedding blogs:

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Date: August 5th, 2018

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Date: August 4th, 2018

A teaser image for Bryan and Sarah's wedding blog.

Brian & Sarah

College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, MA) &

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Date: June 30th, 2018

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Paul J. Spetrini is a Rhode Island wedding photographer.

© 2020 Paul J. Spetrini Photography. All rights reserved.

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