Meridith & Matthew
Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket, Rhode Island
May 6th, 2017
I've often believed that WHERE you choose have your wedding says a lot about you and, for most of my wedding clients, the location of their ceremony and/or reception is a perfect reflection of both their personality and their identity as a couple.
For Meridith and Matthew, who got married on a rainy spring day in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, the statement was "We want our wedding to be different, not stuffy and totally fun." And boy was it.
Meridith and Matthew were married at Hope Artist Village in Pawtucket and it's only fitting as the entire area is a monument dedicated to creativity and passion.
Whether it's the walls that honor the musicians inducted into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame, the cool little boutique shops where you can find just about every art or craft you can imagine, an rustic bowling alley upstairs or the rocking club atmosphere of the Met (where live music and dancing rule the world), there is literally something for everyone with an ounce of fun inside of them.
I can think of no more fitting venue for this couple's big day as Meridith and Matthew were one of the most relaxed and down-to-earth couples I've worked with and their wedding day was a beautiful extension of their love and relationship together.
But, above all and in true Rhode Islander form, it was a "wicked" good time.
Meridith and Matthew were married on an often dark and dreary Spring afternoon but the clouds weren't going to get this bride down as she and her closest friends shared plenty of laughs while getting ready for the big ceremony in a stress-free prep session.
In fact, there was absolutely nothing remotely close to stress for most of this day. The one time I thought this bride might get overly emotional was AFTER she put her dress on and saw her father for the first time as a soon-to-be-bride.
Turns out, though, the one getting emotional was dad as he just about lost it during their first look. It was absolutely adorable and the perfect reaction to a moment neither one of them will ever forget.
As for our groom, well, Matthew handled his prep session the way most grooms do: Drinking at the bar.
But that wasn't a bad thing. Matthew and his close family members were clearly excited for this day and soaking in every moment. It wasn't until it was time to head over to the ceremony site, though, that things started to get real and you could see it on the groom's face that the moment he had long waited for had finally arrived.
Meridith and Matthew were married within the halls of the Hope Artiste Village and if it looks like an odd place to have a wedding ceremony, that's because it is. But I adored that aspect of their wedding.
The shops, which were all closed on this Saturday afternoon, provided a really cool brick wall/white window aesthetic on the sides of the ceremony site and the long path from one end to another gave the wedding a unique feeling in a very creative "I wasn't expecting this to make sense but it's actually really cool" kind of way.
And, if nothing else, it really forces you to look at your surroundings differently when you're lucky enough to be at a wedding in a cool place like this. I would have never pictured a wedding ceremony taking place in this location but once it was all set up, it stood out in a good way.
Meridith and Matthew's ceremony was a quick one full of personal touches by Meridith's sister, who served as the officiant.
Once Matt broke a glass in celebration, the pair kissed, everyone clapped and we were on my way to the favorite part of the day: Their formal photos.
Anyone who knows me knows I love taking bride and groom photos in unique spots and the Hope Artiste Village had plenty of them to go around. This shoot was a LOT of fun as a photographer.
I loved Meridith and Matthew's formal photos, if for no other reason than the fact that the Hope Artiste Village is a truly special place to shoot. The building has a ton of character, no doubt thanks to the countless hours some of Rhode Island's most talented creative people have spent inside these walls.
Thank goodness for the venue, too, as it was raining outside during this session and the indoor location proved to be a fantastic backdrop to what could have otherwise been less than inspiring photos.
Following the formal photo session, Meridith, Matthew and I made our way to their reception and I knew this was going to be a blast as the party aspect of this day was all Meridith talked about anytime we discussed her wedding.
Somehow, it managed to exceed even her own lofty expectations.
Meridith and Matthew spent the bulk of their reception either on the dance floor, in the photo booth or with their guests and I don't think there was a moment the entire night that the two weren't beaming with smiles and laughing their heads off.
Add to that a rocking band and a lively crowd and you've got the recipe for an awesome evening.
By the time Meridith and Matthew's reception was over, the night had already been a success but these two were determined to cap it off perfectly and we did just that. First, we had one of the most fun sparkler exits I've seen as a wedding photographer.
And after that? It was time to head upstairs for an after party in the bowling alley. Yes, you read that correctly. An after party. In a bowling alley.
All in all, Meridith and Matthew's wedding was a complete and total blast from start to finish and an incredible way for me to kick start my 2017 wedding season.
This year promises to be a really exciting one for me professionally and I can't wait to challenge myself as a photographer to improve my work and really develop my artistic side.
I can think of no better way to have begun that process this year than with this wedding. Whether it was the carefree nature of bride and groom prep, the amazing reception or bowling to cap the night, this was one wedding that left a smile on my face the entire time the camera was in my hands and that's saying something.
So congratulations Meridith and Matthew on a wonderful wedding and if your marriage is half as fun as the day you began it, you're in for quite a journey together and husband and wife.
Tags: Hope Artiste Village, Rhode Island Weddings, Indoor Weddings, Unique Weddings, Paul J. Spetrini Photography
The Vendor List
Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini (Paul J. Spetrini Photography); Hair/Makeup: Salon KG; Ceremony/Reception Venue: Hope Artiste Village; Meridith's Dress: Allure Bridal, purchased at Chryssie's Bridal in Canton, Massachusetts; Meridith's Shoes: BCBG, purchased at Frugal Fannies in Westwood, Massachusetts; Matthew's Suit: Jos. A. Bank, Braintree, Massachusetts; Flowers: Black Opal; Catering: Hope Artiste Village; Music: Royal Lush; Photo Booth: Entertainment Specialties.
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