Lauryn & Justin
St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Foster, Rhode Island (Ceremony);
The Overlook at Geer Tree Farm in Griswold, Connecticut (Reception),
July 16th, 2016
One of my favorite things about weddings is the way that they really tell you a lot about a couple.
In the 1-2 (or more) years that it usually takes to plan an event as big as this, little parts of a couple's personality and their relationship together begin to come out in the way the day is structured, the little details chosen and the type of crowd attending.
And that's why I loved Lauryn and Justin's July wedding in Foster, Rhode Island and Griswold, Connecticut so much. Even if you didn't know the bride and groom all that well, by the time you left this beautiful day, you had an incredible amount of information on the type of people they are (Hint: They're very caring and family oriented), what's most important to them and what doesn't matter one bit.
And, perhaps most importantly, if you were lucky enough to attend their beautiful church wedding, you got to see a side of them both that perfectly encapsalated who they were as people as their priest did a wonderful job showing how the bride and groom complimented each other like yin to yang.
It was a beautiful day for a beautiful couple and a wonderful way for two people who care so deeply for one another to officially start their lives together. And in the end, who could ask for more?
My day with Lauryn and Justin began just like many weddings as I was tasked to take a couple of photos of the groom and head on over the see the bride in time for her to put her dress on and get ready to go. But I could tell just a few moments in how this one would be different.
Many times during the preparation part of a day, the time gets away from a bride and groom and watching the way they react to the growing stress usually says a lot about how the rest of the afternoon will go.
In this case, while Justin was pacing nervously about trying to make sure he got every last thing right, Lauryn was far more relaxed and go with the flow. It was the first of many ways in which I would see how the bride and groom perfectly complimented each other and how, together, they work well to keep each other focused when necessary and relaxed when needed.
Speaking of Lauryn, I can't stress enough how truly beautiful she was on this day. With an absolutely stunning dress and a beautiful and colorful bridal bouquet, she turned heads the moment she walked into St Paul the Apostle Church.
That set the stage for a very personal and touching traditional Catholic mass and the church itself, which felt more like a community center room than a place of worship, was the perfect venue to host an intimate gathering of friends and family on hand to witness a special moment in the lives of people they care deeply about.
Justin and Lauryn's ceremony was one of the most personal I've seen in quite some time and their priest did a wonderful job of illustrating how the bride and groom are very different personality wise but fit together like puzzle pieces.
It was a nice lead-in to the first of TWO formal photo sessions as we made a quick trip to Lauryn's family's home for our family and wedding party photos and traveled later to the reception venue itself for more personal bride and groom formals.
I absolutely LOVED how much time we had to take formal photos. It's a luxury I'm rarely afforded but it paid off in a huge way as I truly believe this was one of my best formal photo sessions of the year thus far.
I had a feeling Justin, Lauryn and I would create some memorable formal photos based solely on how smooth and fun their engagement session was back in the fall of 2015 but this shoot far exceeded even my most optimistic of thoughts.
I flat out adore a number of these photos as Justin and Lauryn did a wonderful job of conveying their love for each other in their facial expressions and poses. I gave very little instruction and let them find their own way and I think it shows in a lot of photographs.
And that would be a theme throughout the night as the two seemed to pose perfectly without trying in all the key moments of their beautiful wedding reception at Geer Tree Farm.
Whether it was the first dance, the toasts, parent dances or even with sunset photos later on, the signature moments of Justin and Lauryn's reception were all filled with tons of personality and an overwhelming sense of emotion and accomplishment.
It might be because the bride and groom have been together for so long but, on this day, everything felt a little more special.
I almost felt like one of their family members, who no doubtspent years envisioning this moment and likely could not believe how magical it was now that it was finally here.
I especially loved the moment the party began for this wedding as it finally felt like everyone could let their hair down and have a great time and after an emotional day full of memorable speeches and reflections on love, it was exactly what was needed.
All in all, I couldn't have asked for more from Justin and Lauryn's beautiful summer wedding.
WIth perfect weather and a wonderful bride and groom, not to mention a couple of stunning locations to shoot at, the day felt more like a storybook ending to years of a budding romance than just a July wedding under a tent at a tree farm.
But that's a great thing.
Justin and Lauryn spent a long time building a life together before finally saying 'I do' and all those moments of planning and preparation for finally walking down that aisle came together to make for one of the more remarkable weddings I've ever been to.
And I know that, together, this bride and groom are just getting started on the road to a lifetime of love and happiness.