Blog— Weddings — Rhode Island — 2022 —
Kirkbrae Country Club Wedding Photos
Benjamin & Jessica
Trinity Church, Wrentham, Massachusetts (Ceremony) &
Kirkbrae Country Club, Lincoln, Rhode Island (Reception)
October 28th, 2022
I try very hard not to get my hopes up for any one client's particular wedding day. Having done this for 13 years now, I know the best way to disappoint myself is to go into a wedding with high expectations that the day simply has no chance to live up to.
That's why, prior to Benjamin and Jessica's wedding day, I tried very hard not to think about how much fun we were likely to have or how much I was going to enjoy documenting their journey down the aisle. Having shot their engagement session a few months earlier — in probably my favorite shoot of the winter season — I knew these two were so great together and knew their wedding would be special.
I made it about five minutes into the day before MY excitement took over and, looking back on it, I can't really blame myself as Benjamin and Jessica had the type of wedding day that shows why I love doing what I do.
Quite simply, it was everything I look for in a wedding and I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that it somehow not only lived up to their expectations but exceeded them, too.
My time with Ben and Jess began with one of the more exciting bridal prep sessions I've had in a while. Even though I arrived to find the bride had already finished getting her hair and makeup done off site, the reality of the day hit when I walked through the door with camera in hand.
I saw it on the face of Jess, her mom and the bridesmaids as we started gathering details and taking dress shots and the moment the bride got dressed, the excitement was palpable. This was a group that was eagerly anticipating this day for a LONG time and once we got the ball rolling, there was no slowing down.
One of the reasons I love photographing bridal prep is I love seeing the look of excitement on the face of a bride's parents as she gets dressed and things become real. Watching Jess' mom nearly cry a handful of times at seeing her little girl all grown up was heartwarming and watching the shock on her father's face during their special first look was one of my favorite moments of the entire 2022 wedding season.
I'm so glad I was on hand to capture these dual reactions between the folks who raised Jess. It set a beautiful tone heading into her ceremony and I could see how in the moment she was thanks to those reactions as we snapped a few bridal portraits before heading out to the church to get her married.
Ben and Jess said "I do" at Trinity Church in Wrentham, Massachusetts and I'll be honest, I wasn't sure what to expect from this site as it was one of the more oddly shaped churches I've ever been in. Thankfully, my practicing yoga all summer paid off nicely as I had to be a bit flexible to fit into all the nooks and crannies of this building to capture the big moments of their ceremony but the minute I saw Ben, I knew it was all worth it.
The look of love on his face and his ear-to-ear grin as he saw Jess walk down the aisle was, without question, one of the best moments of this wedding day.
Ben and Jess' wedding ceremony was fairly straightforward as far as religious ceremonies go but I really enjoyed it because I could tell the traditional and pageantry of it all really meant a lot to this bride and groom.
Often, church ceremonies are overly serious things and folks get lost in the procedure of it all. Ben and Jess weren't like that. They were fully present and in the moment during this ceremony and were still themselves, stealing little looks and smiles at one another and showing how thrilled they were to be there from the moment they walked down the aisle until their love was sealed with a kiss.
Following Ben and Jess' wedding ceremony, we made the LONG trek to Kirkbrae Country Club in Lincoln, Rhode Island for their reception. Now, typically, I'm a big fan of extended drives between a ceremony and reception as this time off allows me to reset and think about what I want to do once we get to the reception.
I dreaded this drive, however, as it was a full half hour and we were losing daylight thanks to the late October realities of New England.
Luckily, Ben and Jess' friends and family members were super fun to work with and we rolled right into formals the moment we arrived on site.
If I could change any one thing from Ben and Jess' wedding, I would give myself another 20 minutes for bride and groom portraits but, in fairness, I would have said that regardless of how their photos came out as I loved working with this bride and this groom.
Thanks in large part to our familiarity from having done an engagement session together eight months earlier, Ben and Jess were pros at posing and we breezed through a bunch of different looks and angles in the brief time we had together.
As I said, I could have worked with these two for hours.
The good thing about our time for daylight running out, however, was it allowed us to get them into cocktail hour with time to spare so they could mingle with their guests for a bit and I could grab some detail shots.
Kirkbrae Country Club is one of my favorite reception venues to shoot a wedding at and it did not disappoint on this beautiful fall evening.
Up until the start of their reception, Ben and Jess' wedding day went about as I expected it to. There were emotional moments, there were fun moments but pretty much everything lined up how I thought it would. I'll be honest, I had no idea what to expect from their reception itself as Ben and Jess struck me very much like the type who could have a quiet night with friends OR a wild party. It was anyone's guess.
Luckily, the moment they walked into the ballroom for their introductions, I got my answer. Right away, they looked ready to PARTY and their first dance, set to “Make You Feel My Love” by Adele, was an absolute tone setter and let me know, right away, this was going to be a great night.
Ben and Jess had a casual reception planned and I expected nothing less once we got to Kirkbrae Country Club. In fact, following their first dance, the only major events planned before dinner were a couple of speeches that touched on how great they each are and how much better they make each other as a couple.
Following dinner, it was more of the same as Ben and Jess embraced each little traditional wedding reception moment in their own unique way. Not only did they have some silly fun during their cake cutting but both of their two parent dances walked the line beautifully between fun and casual and touching and emotional.
With formalities out of the way, it was time for Ben and Jess to cut loose and, let me tell you, these two wasted no time. It was clear to me the minute this dance floor opened up that Ben and Jess were here for a party and their guests were all too happy to oblige.
Ben and Jess' reception was unbelievably fun and it also featured one of my favorite wedding bloopers OF ALL TIME as Jess misjudged the chandelier hanging over her head and threw her bouquet right into it during the classic bouquet toss.
When I saw the look on the face of her single female friends and then saw HER reaction, I lost it myself. It was easily in the very top wedding moments I had in 2022 and even looking back on it now, months later, I still laugh thinking about it.
Don't worry, that little miscue didn't ruin the vibe. In fact, I don't think anything would have. Ben and Jess' reception rocked from the first until the last song and I know for a fact it was the party these two always dreamed of and so much more.
As my time with Ben and Jess came to an end, I couldn't help but leave Kirkbrae Country Club with a giant smile on my face. Wedding days are supposed to be enjoyable and fun and few have ever made me as genuinely happy as this one did.
I loved getting to document Ben and Jess' big day and count it among my favorite weddings of all of 2022 for many reasons, not the least of which is the absolute amazing couple at the center of it.
So thank you Ben and Jess on an incredibly fun time I'm still fondly thinking about months after the fact and I hope you keep the positive spirit and love you felt that day as you navigate all the major milestones together for the rest of your life as husband and wife.
-Paul J. Spetrini
Check out more of my most recent wedding blogs:
The Vendor List:
Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini, Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Bride's Hair and Make-up: Phillip DePalma Salon, Franklin MA; Bride's Dress: Vows, Watertown, Massachusetts; Groom's Suit: Best Bridal, Malden, Massachusetts; Florist: Luna’s Flower Shop, Medway, Massachusetts; Ceremony Location: Trinity Church, Wrentham, Massachusetts; Reception Venue: Kirkbrae Country Club, Lincoln, Rhode Island; DJ: Sam Lurie of TSG Weddings; Cake: Wright’s Dairy Farm, North Smithfield, Rhode Island; Videographer: Ken Nedd.