Massachusetts Wedding Photos
Tesa & Richard
Private Residence, Bellingham, Massachusetts
September 17th, 2022
It's safe to say that the coronavirus pandemic changed the wedding industry. But, to me, not all the changes were bad. One of my favorite trends of the last few years, which I truly think was brought about in many ways because of the COVID pandemic, was the evolution of the backyard wedding.
It used to be that having a backyard wedding meant you weren't doing anything big and maybe having a handful of friends and family members to a cookout or pool party but now, backyard weddings are just as elaborate, detailed and FUN as weddings anywhere else.
And Tesa and Richard's was one of the best I've ever been to.
Tesa and Richard said "I do" in the backyard of a family member's home back in September and it was an amazing day that was equal parts low key and elegant but always fun. Whether it was the absolutely perfect early fall weather or the country and rustic vibes that kept everything laidback, this was a day that flew by in an instant and remains one of my favorite weddings of 2022 to look bond on and remember.
And I know the bride and groom feel the same way because, for them, it was the day of their dreams.
My coverage of Tesa and RIchard's wedding began in a bit of a surprising way as I arrived to Tesa's hotel room for bridal prep to discover a bride who was already fully dressed and ready to go. While that wasn't part of our plan, I can't really say I blame Tesa for wanting to get this show on the road as she was eager to see the people closest to her and get the party started.
Thankfully, this extra bit of time didn't hurt the coverage of Tesa's prep as we still had a super sweet and emotional first look with her dad to look forward to before we headed over to her wedding ceremony. And what a first look it was.
One good thing about the abrupt change to bridal prep plans was it allowed me more time to head to the ceremony site and meet everyone/check how things were going. I was even able to get this cute photo of Richard getting his boutonniere pinned by his mom.
The extra time gave me a rare chance to see exactly how everything was going to look and, I've to tell you, I don't think I've ever seen a better backdrop for a backyard wedding. Tesa and Richard's ceremony was in the shade, the trees looked great and it was the absolute best and most intimate place they could have said "I do."
I knew the moment Tesa walked down the aisle, there was no better place for such a special day for these two.
Tesa and Richard's wedding ceremony was also one of the most unexpectedly emotional I've seen in a while. Right from the start when their officiant acknowledged the family members who were no longer with us, I could see the tears welling up on the faces of friends and family members.
And the bride and groom? They had plenty of emotions, too. Sometimes funny, sometimes goofy, sometimes sweet but always on point and special. This was one ceremony where every word mattered and no one was hiding how they really felt to see these two awesome people become husband and wife.
The moment bride and groom formals were over, I could send the tone of Tesa and Richard's wedding change right from sweet and emotional to party. But we still had a LOT of work to do as this bride and groom had a LOT of formal photo combinations they wanted.
Luckily for me, this was an absolute breeze because the backdrop they chose was perfect and required very little of me other than to pose folks in a straight line and count to three. It doesn't hurt that they also had a ridiculously fun wedding party that might have been having a better time than anyone else in attendance.
Given how relaxed and ridiculous at times Tesa and Richard's family and wedding party photos were, I wasn't sure how well we'd do when it came time to get a little serious and capture some bride and groom formals.
Thankfully, with a little prodding and a couple of off-color jokes to lighten the mood, I was able to get the not-so-serious bride and groom to buckle down for some really sweet portraits together that I think do a great job showcasing their affection for one another.
It helps that we also had an adorable dog for some of the shots as well.
The great thing about Tesa and Richard's bride and groom formals was I knew they were having fun when I felt we captured what we needed and they could go to cocktail hour ... but they had more ideas in mind. I always love when couples get into their photos. It yields some great results and this was no different. Some of my favorite shots of Tesa and Richard together were shots they came up with and it was one of my favorite bride/groom sessions of the entire season.
I had a feeling their reception was going to be even better, though, and once I saw the lowkey decor and chill vibe they set up, I knew I was in my element. And, if I did have doubts about what kind of party this was going to be, those doubts went out the window the moment the wedding party and newlyweds were introduced.
With the way Tesa and Richard came blazing into their reception, I was sure we were in for one wild night but I also knew it would be a sweet and sentimental one, particularly their first dance which was set to "Better Together" by Luke Combs.
I can't prove it but I think Tesa was intentionally trying to avoid my camera and me capturing her emotions during this song as she spent a lot of time with her head on Richard's shoulder as they swayed from side to side on the dance floor. Even without the closeups of the bride, though, this was a sweet moment where you can see how much love these two felt in each other's arms.
One of my favorite parts of Tesa and Richard's wedding was the unexpectedly emotional speeches they had from members of their wedding party and (later) Tesa's father. I've long believed that a good toast at a wedding says a ton about a bride and groom and the speeches here, sandwiched before and after a fun cake cutting, did a wonderful job showing how loved these newlyweds were and how special this day was not just for the two people who got married but all the folks in their life that watched them tie the knot.
With dinner and a couple of post-dinner speeches in the books, Tesa and Richard took to the dance floor with their parents for traditional parent dances. But, as these two had done all day to this point, they put their own little spin on it.
Tesa danced with her father right after he gave an incredibly heartfelt and emotional speech and then danced with her grandfather while Richard danced with his mother and turned it into an unexpected beautiful moment of his immediate family embracing one another as the song finished.
I loved every moment of each of these dances as they just felt so raw and authentic and said a lot about how these folks were feeling.
That doesn't mean we weren't still having fun, though. I knew as Tesa and Richard's friends started to slowly head to the dance floor that the real party was about to begin and the pair set the tone nicely with an absolutely ridiculous and hilarious moment as Tesa's maid of honor hid under her dress for the garter toss.
It was a simple but welcomed moment of levity that really set the mood for the rest of the evening.
Right after Tesa tossed her bouquet, the party was on and while I wasn't at Tesa and Richard's reception for long, I captured some really fun moments of her family letting it all out on the dance floor and I could tell this would be a night where no one left without a smile on their face.
As I packed my bags and got ready to leave Tesa and Richard's wedding, I wondered how much different the day would have been in a bigger venue or on a beachfront property or country club (Or any number of other venues the couple originally considered.)
Honestly, I can't see it.
This was a wedding that was meant to take place in a backyard with an intimate number of friends and family and a country vibe with no stress or pomp or circumstance. In essence, it was the perfect wedding for this bride and groom and an especially perfect wedding for a photographer who prides himself on these kinds of days.
So thank you Tesa and Richard for providing one of the most memorable weddings I shot in 2022 and congratulations on this major life milestone you've reached together. I have no doubt it will prove to be just one day in a lifetime of amazing ones together but, man, what a day it was.