Kristin & Chris
Exeter Congregational Church, Exeter, New Hampshire (Ceremony); Ashworth by the Sea Hotel, Hampton, New Hampshire (Reception)
October 22nd, 2016
If I had to rank my favorite activities on a list, wedding photography and travel would easily both be in the top-five. It's no wonder, then, that you can imagine my excitement when I got an email from Kristin and Chris earlier this year asking if I would be interested in shooting their October wedding in New Hampshire.
Despite being a life-long New Englander, I've only ever made fleeting stops in the Granite State and it's a shame really.
New Hampshire is a gorgeous place, particularly in the fall and Kristin and Chris couldn't have picked a better location to cement their love together than Exeter and Hampton.
And while the day may not have been perfect weather-wise, with this bride and groom walking down the aisle together hand in hand, it was perfect in the only way that counts.
Kristin and Chris had a beautiful October wedding full of sunflowers, love and laughter and it was an honor being selected to help them capture that day. And, like their wedding tagline says, this is one day they'll cherish "Always & Forever."
My coverage of Kristin and Chris' big day actually began the night before as I rented a hotel near their venue in an effort to avoid having to make a two-hour drive the morning of their wedding.
The move paid off nicely as not only did I get to meet all of the most important people involved in this wedding the night before but the wedding day itself featured weather that made driving rough for everyone coming in from out of state.
Thankfully, Kristin and all of her girls were up bright and early to get their hair and makeup done and the excitement was palpable as this diverse group of bridesmaids all bonded like lifelong friends and kept the bride at ease in the hours leading up to her ceremony.
And the nice thing about Kristin and Chris' accomodations was they were literally a floor apart in the same hotel room so I was capable to photograph both bride and groom prep and not miss a step.
I love shooting groom prep as I so rarely get to do it and it's always a relaxed vibe of guys being guys trying to keep the man of the hour's attention and not let the nerves rattle him.
Chris' groomsmen were experts at keeping him loose but, like all grooms, once it came time for the first look, this man gave into his emotions as he finally got to see the love of his life in a way he could have only dreamed about before.
Kristin was absolutely stunning in her white dress with a sunflower-incorporated veil. It's hard to blame Chris for getting a little misty-eyed.
Kristin and Chris had a beautiful ceremony at Exeter Congregational Church in Exeter, New Hampshire and if you've never been to the town, I can't recommend it enough. It BLEEDS traditional New England village and feels like you're exiting the highway in the present and transporting into the past minutes later.
The area is so steeped in history and this bride and groom couldn't have picked a better church to represent that as it felt like I could have been photographing a wedding from the 1800s ... which makes sense given that the church was built in 1798.
Kristin later told me this was the same church that her mother's parents were married at in 1954 and that played a role in her decision to get wed there. I've got to say: That's pretty awesome and yet another great little touch this bride made on her day.
I adored Kristin and Chris' ceremony as watching the two of them bring smiles on one another's face made it clear all they saw in the world at that moment was each other and hammered home how much these newlyweds were ready to spend forever together.
Kristin and Chris' formal photos were a lot of fun. While I didn't get the kind of time I normally love for a bride and groom after their wedding, that was perfectly fine as this bride and groom weren't big on being the center of attention and the cold and dreary conditions meant we had to wrap things up quickly lest we all spend the rest of the night shivering near a fire.
Of course, when you have a reception as fun as Kristin and Chris had planned, it's easy to see why you'd want to get right to the party.
I don't know what I loved more about Kristin and Chris' wedding reception: the sunflower theme throughout the decorations or the fun crowd that danced all night.
If I had to pick one thing above all else, though, it would probably be the way they looked at each other every single time they connected on the dance floor. Their first dance, in particular, brought tears to many eyes in the room. What a sweet moment.
Kristin and Chris' dance floor was one of the most fun I've seen all year. Whether it was a spirited breakdance competition between guests or the crazy photobooth props/balloons that were seemingly everywhere, there was a ton of love and joy in the air from the first to the final tracks by the DJs.
I especially loved watching the bride and groom who were full of smiles and having a blast with those closest to them.
I think what really struck me about Chris and Kristin's reception was just how much time the bride and groom spent dancing with each other.
There were times when Kristin and Chris were on oppositie sides of the room entertaining guests or thanking friends and family members for coming to the wedding but, inevitably, the two were joined back together right around the time one of them realized it had been a while since they last danced.
It was so nice to see two people so focused on each other in what can easily be an overwhelming situtation.
The thing I'll remember the most, though, is the last dance of the night as the newlyweds chose the song "Granted" by the group My Brothers and I, to end the evening.. I'd never heard this song before they hit the dance floor and it took my breath away.
Talk about a PERFECT wedding song!
At the end of the night, Kristin and Chris turned what could have been a disappointing day into one to remember for a lifetime.
No bride or groom want rain on their wedding day but, with the right attitude and a focus on what matters the most, not even the biggest storms can dampen your spirits when you're getting ready to marry your soul mate.
Kristin and Chris might not have had sunshine for the most important day of their lives but they had each other and that's even better.
In the meantime, they can both rest easy knowing they had a perfect day together, one they'll remember for the rest of their lives.
I know I certainly will.