Kirkbrae Country Club Wedding Photos
Catherine & Sean
Kirkbrae Country Club, Lincoln, Rhode Island
November 21st, 2021
One of the biggest pieces of advice I give to any couple getting married is to find ways to really "live in the moment" of their wedding day. Weddings go by so quickly and can be so emotionally overwhelming that it's sometimes impossible to appreciate this life-defining event as it's actually happening.
That's why I was so appreciative of Catherine and Sean on the day they became husband and wife back in November at Kirkbrae Country Club in Lincoln, Rhode Island. As beautiful and fun as their wedding day was, these two never missed an opportunity to pause the world around them and soak in the moment they were living.
Whether it was an emotional Sean breathing hard and wiping away tears when he saw Catherine walking down the aisle or his new bride doing the same on their last song together in an empty ballroom, Catherine and Sean savored everyone moment of their November wedding day and made it a day neither they, nor I, will soon forget.
My coverage of Catherine and Sean's wedding day began in a familiar, yet strange, place as they both got ready at Twin River in Lincoln. While I've been to Twin River several times in my adult life, I'd never photographed a bride or groom prep at the casino's hotel and, I'll be honest, I was immediately hooked.
The rooms both Catherine and Sean stayed in were beautifully lit and I loved the river-themed blue wallpaper. What I loved more, though, was how excited both the bride and groom were, as evidenced by the way they both reacted to the gifts they bought one another and exchanged prior to heading to their venue.
Kirkbrae Country Club has always held a special place in my heart as it's one of those rare venues I want to shoot at all the time ... and yet somehow my path rarely (if ever) takes me there. I love Kirkbrae for a lot of reasons but one of the biggest is the sheer size of it all as it was the perfect place for Catherine to finish getting ready and for a truly touching first look with her father before she walked down the aisle to say "I do" to Sean.
And what an emotional first look it was.
Speaking of emotions, there were plenty of emotions on both the bride and groom's face during Catherine and Sean's wedding ceremony. I couldn't help but smile as Catherine walked down the aisle and Sean flat out LOST it.
It was one of the sweetest reactions I've seen a groom have this year and it caught me almost by surprise but I loved how in touch with his feelings Sean was in this moment and it set a beautiful tone for the rest of their lovely ceremony.
Catherine and Sean's wedding ceremony may have only lasted around eight minutes but it was full of special little looks and moments between the bride and groom that made it feel like it was a lot longer than that. I especially loved how big Catherine's smile was the entire time she was at the front of the aisle and you could tell how much fun these two were having every time they caught one another's eyes and shared a laugh.
I'll be honest, I was a bit apprehensive about formal photos for Catherine and Sean before their big day started. These two were getting married at the end of November and the forecast called for a dark and gloomy day. Neither of those two things are generally conducive to great portraits.
But then something funny happened: We got the best lighting I had all year for bride and groom portraits.
Seriously. I was so excited once we got Catherine and Sean in Kirkbrae's bridal garden that I almost immediately changed all my plans to walk them around the venue and started envisioning some lovely photos of the two of them together that really captured their spirit beautifully.
I loved Catherine and Sean's formal portraits so much I almost immediately knew they would be plastered all over the front page of my website when it came time to refresh my marketing materials for 2022 but, as exciting as that was, it was much more important for me to get ready for their reception because I had a feeling this bride and groom's party would be even better.
And even though this was a morning wedding and early afternoon reception on a Sunday in the middle of football season, I could tell we were in for something special just from the lovely way these two decorated what might be my favorite reception ballroom in the state.
The minute Catherine and Sean entered the Kirkbrae Country Club ballroom for their introductions, I knew we were in for a fun afternoon and they didn't disappoint. The pair chose to set their first dance to "In Case You Didn't Know" by Brett Young and that song provided the perfect soundtrack for a moment that walked the line between sweet and sentimental and absolute fun.
There was a lot of walking that line throughout the formal moments of Catherine and Sean's reception.
Whether it was the two nice toasts they got, a cake cutting that got pretty messy, a pair of sweet and sentimental parent dances or fun moments like the bouquet and garter toss and newlywed game, Catherine and Sean had a ton of cool moments in the beginning of their reception that yielded some really sweet and touching genuine moments of emotion and candid photos.
I have to say, though, that I think my favorite planned moment of Catherine and Sean's wedding reception was the fun one orchestrated by their DJ that had Catherine and Sean race the clock and try to grab a selfie with every table of guests at their wedding reception.
It's not often you get to see a bride and groom run from one end of a nice ballroom to the other at full speed but it really did set the ton for an afternoon of high energy and fun once the dance floor opened up moments later.
And what a dance floor it was.
Catherine and Sean had a great mix of children, young adults and older adults in their crowd and it showed as their dance floor was fairly packed most of the day.
Perhaps most impressively, though, is the fact that the bride and groom were often at the center of the more outrageous moments on the dance floor. I especially loved Sean's flexibility and willingness to get low when the music called for it.
Catherine and Sean's open dance floor lasted a little more than an hour and a half — which I've always said is the perfect amount of time for a couple before people start to get tired — but I genuinely think this party could have lasted all night.
Nonetheless, it's hard to think of many couples I've seen this year that did a better job of maximizing their party, especially as Catherine and Sean rocked out in the center of a still-eager crowd for the last group number of the night.
As much fun as Catherine and Sean's wedding reception was, however, the moment that stood out the most was the moment when everyone else was gone.
Catherine and Sean kindly asked their guests to leave the Kirkbrae Country Club ballroom prior to the final song of the night so the two of them could take the floor by themselves and I'm so glad they did as it was a beautiful moment of raw emotion that I know really defined this wedding day for the bride and groom.
Talk about a perfect way to end a beautiful day.
As I packed up my gear and said goodbye to Catherine and Sean, I couldn't help but think about how much fun their wedding really was. More importantly, I couldn't help but think how much these two made sure to really take in every minute of this incredibly important day in their lives.
For that, I'm thankful.
So thank you Catherine and Sean for an unforgettable wedding day that I absolutely loved documenting and I wish you all the best as you begin this new stage of your lives together 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: Emily Gelinas; Bride's Dress: Alexandra's Boutique; Florist: Stephanie at The Flower Shack; DJ: Michael Rossi; Cake: Wright's Dairy Farm.