Kieran & Jessica
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church (Ceremony) &
Crystal Lake Golf Club, Mapleville, Rhode Island (Reception)
October 28th, 2017
If there's one thing I'm confident will always inspire me during my career as a wedding photographer, it's seeing young love blossom.
I'm a romantic at heart and, because of that, I love few things more than finding out a bride and groom were high school sweethearts and grew up from clueless teenagers to full fledged adults with the other by their side.
To me, those are the sweetest love stories as these types of wedding days are almost always the culmination of a long journey together and everyone that attends seems to be as excited, if not more excited, than the bride and groom themselves.
Such was the case for Kieran and Jessica, who first found each other in eighth grade, reconnected in high school three years later and have been high school sweethearts since.
Jessica and Keiran are one of the most adorable couples I have ever seen and their love story is so heartwarming and life affirming that it feels like something straight out of a Hollywood movie. And that's not hyperbole. I don't know if I've seen two people so right for each other and a group of friends and family members so happy to celebrate a love story's latest chapter.
I shot a lot of memorable weddings in 2017. This was, without question, one of the best and kept me smiling all day and night.
It didn't hurt that it was also one of the most perfect days of the entire year either.
Jessica and Keiran's wedding day began with one of the most stressful bridal prep sessions I've ever been a part of.
Jessica, who up until this point appeared to be one of the more relaxed brides I've ever seen, was feeling the full stress of a day nearly a lifetime in the making and it showed as her nerves wound her up incredibly tight and caused her emotions to come out in the form of lots of tears and nervous hugs with her dog.
But that happens sometimes and, as I told her on the wedding day, you never know how the magnitude of that moment is going to hit you.
The important thing is this bride-to-be had no worries about the man she was committing herself to. It was all the other things that were causing her to panic a little bit and, thankfully, we could find a way to fix that.
At the center of Jessica's panic was a decision over how her eyelashes looked. Now, that might not sound like a big deal but to a bride on her wedding day, that can be a make it or break it call.
Jessica was unsure of whether or not she wanted to change the way her eyes looked but, deep down, she knew her nerves were about much more than that so after some nervous pacing around the patio area, she made the call to switch it up and I could see the stress melt away from her the moment that decision was over. Gone was the super nervous bride over-thinking the biggest day of her life and, in her place, was the sweet and bubbly woman ready to walk down the aisle to the man of her dreams.
I could tell the moment Jessica put her dress on that she felt much more in control of the day and after some really sweet formal photos in front of her parents' home, it was time to head up to Providence and one of the most spectacular churches I've ever seen for a beautiful and big Catholic wedding perfect for this traditional bride and groom.
When I first met Keiran and Jessica, one of the biggest things they were looking for from their wedding photography was the look on Keiran's face the moment he saw Jessica for the first time and it did not disappoint.
Not that I can blame him. Jessica looked incredible walking through those giant church doors and Keiran couldn't stop smiling from the start of this ceremony until the moment we left the church.
I've always said how cool I think the big traditional Catholic wedding ceremonies can be for more traditional couples and I don't know if there's a couple that fits that mold better than Keiran and Jessica. These two are incredibly caring people and their ceremony was all about that theme and was beautiful to witness.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to their reception more, though, as they were having their big night at Crystal Lake Golf Club in Mapleville, Rhode Island ... one of my favorite venues in all of the Ocean State. And their wedding day showed exactly why I love this place so much as the fall foliage was top notch and the scenic backgrounds for their formal photos were second to none.
I could have photographed Keiran and Jessica for two more hours than I got but, with the sun fading and the bride and groom looking a bit worn out from photos, we decided to cut their formal photo session short knowing we had already had more than enough and looking back on it, it was a great decision as it allowed for time for the bride and groom to be alone before their reception began.
And once that reception began? Man. It was hard for anyone to take a breathe and relax, let alone the bride and groom. Talk about a party.
Keiran and Jessica started their night off with the traditional first dance and I can't think of a song more fitting for that moment than the one they picked in "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol.
If you don't remember that 2006 classic, the entire song is about a couple getting lost in the moment with each other and forgetting the world around them and i really feel like that's what this bride and groom did on the dance floor on this night as there may have been 125 or so people in that room at Crystal Lake Golf Club but all Keiran saw was Jessica and vice versa.
It was a beautiful dance to a beautiful song and a moment that would melt even the coldest cynic's heart.
Following their first dance, Jessica and Keiran sat through three amazing toasts, all of which touched on this couple's growth together and the inspiration they've provided to those around them with a beautiful love story worth sharing.
My favorite moment, however, had to be when Jessica's sister switched up from a toast that was full of laughs and teasing her sibling about the way they would pick on each other growing up to a testimonial about how sweet and caring the bride is.
The sudden change from humor to hardcore emotion brought the room to tears and made for a beautiful moment that I'm sure neither will soon forget.
Keiran and Jessica had all the traditional beats of your standard wedding reception but kept their humor throughout it all, making them much more fun than typical.
Whether it was awkwardly trying to navigate their cake cutting or Keiran dipping his mother at the end of the mother-son dance, it was nice to see this couple who clearly fell in love with each other's sense of humor make sure to retain that part of their personality on such a big day and in such big moments.
Following Keiran and his mom's mother-son dance, it was time to open up this dance floor and I could tell this was going to be a party unlike any other. What I didn't know was how fun it was going to be as the night veered heavily into classic pop tracks of the 80s and 90s and the dance floor never let up.
By the time my night with Jessica and Keiran was over, I could tell we captured something truly special.
Even though this was the last of my 23 weddings for my own company that I shot in 2017, it never felt like a night I wanted to rush through and I think that's exclusively because of the story that was being presented in front of me.
Jessica and Keiran are a sweetheart of a couple and seeing them say "I do" was one of my great joys of this year and I have no doubt their wedding and reception will stick with me for quite some time.
And for that I'm grateful.
The whole reason I got into wedding photography was to tell beautiful stories of life and love through my photographs. And the story we told on this fall night back in October of 2017? Well, it doesn't get much better than that.
So congratulations Jessica and Keiran. May your life together be a road full of laughter, love and joy as it's clear to everyone lucky enough to witness it that you've found the perfect person in each other to take the journey with.
Tags: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, Crystal Lake Golf Club, Catholic Church Weddings, Rhode Island Weddings, Paul J. Spetrini Photography
The Vendor List
Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Makeup: Amanda Melo and Jenna McElroy; Jessica's dress: Bridal Garden in East Greenwich, Rhode Island; Jessica's shoes: Designer Shoe Warehouse in Warwick, RI; Keiran's Suit: Jos A. Bank; Florist: Melissa at Stop and Shop in North Kingstown, RI; DJ: Moondance Productions; Cake: Scialo Bakery; Officaint: Father Gill Suarez; Ceremony: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church; Reception: Crystal Lake Golf Club.
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