Neil & Gianna
Peace Dale Congregational Church in South Kingstown, Rhode Island (Ceremony)
Quidnessett Country Club in North Kingstown, Rhode Island (Reception)
July 30th, 2017
I'm a sucker for young love stories.
Whether it's a cheesy romantic comedy or a drawn-out 'Will they? Won't they?' storyline on a television show, I love watching two people come together who are clearly perfect for each other and love watching the way that love grows before the pair say "I do" on their wedding day.
And Neil and Gianna are a great reason why.
I met Neil and Gianna through a mutual friend who referred them to me and I could tell moments into our initial consultation that I was going to have a great time with them and shooting their wedding. The main reason? They reminded me so much of my wife and I that it was eerie.
My wife and I were married straight out of college and looked so young when we walked down the aisle together.
Sitting with Neil and Gianna, perhaps two of my youngest clients ever, I could see that what they lack in age they made up for in devotion to each other. More importantly, their wedding day was a beautiful and traditional religious affair that turned into a rocking reception full of their closest friends and family members.
In other words, it the very type of wedding that defines WHY I do this job.
Seriously. This one was all kinds of awesome.
My coverage of Neil and Gianna's big day began with an abbreviated bridal prep session at Gianna's parent's home.
I say abbreviated because while I normally photograph the majority of bridal prep for many of my brides, Gianna was way simpler than that and I had to talk her into even letting me shoot the last hour as she got ready. See, Gianna isn't big on being the center of attention.
Thankfully, an hour was more than enough time for me to get everything I needed to get and to check in on the bride-to-be to see how she was feeling and if she needed me to calm her down.
Spoiler alert: She was the coolest and most calm person in the room and she was radiant in her beautiful white dress with the corset back.
So how relaxed was Gianna for her big day? In a rare sight for this wedding photographer, not only was this bride ready to go on time ... she was actually early. It's a nice thing, too, as we got to gorgeous Peace Dale Congregational Church with time to spare and I could check in on the groom who, admittedly, was showing more nerves than the bride-to-be.
I loved Neil and Gianna's wedding ceremony. Not only did Peace Dale Congregational have a beautiful balcony that allowed me to sneak up to the top and get a lovely wide shot of all the festivities but the church's layout made for one of the most unique set-ups I've seen for a ceremony. It was an intimate building that allowed for tons of guests, the perfect blend for a perfect ceremony.
One of my favorite things about Neil and Gianna's wedding day, besides the beautiful weather, was how perfect our schedule was. Not only did we have time to do a bunch of family and wedding party photos outside of their church but we were able to move right into it when we arrived at Quidnessett Country Club, the site of their reception.
More importantly, at least to me anyway, was that I managed to have a good chunk of time with the bride and groom for their individual portraits. And we made the most of our time, scouring the are around Quidnessett for a number of beautiful shots.
As much fun as their formal photo session was, I'd be lying if I were saying I wasn't looking forward to heading inside to check out their reception. Sure, I loved spending time with this awesome bride and groom but Quidnessett is an absolutely breathtaking venue to have a reception at, especially in the summer when it's still light out, and Neil and Gianna's night was no exception.
This couple absolutely nailed it.
Speaking of nailing it, I can't think of a better way to describe Neil and Gianna's first dance. Set to the tune of "I don't want to miss a thing" by Aerosmith which, I admit, was more of a throwback track that I was expecting for this young couple, Neil and Gianna tore up the dance floor with a beautiful, emotional but incredibly fun routine full of twists and turns.
I can think of no better way for them to have started their night off.
Following their first dance, Neil and Gianna went through the standard order of events for a wedding reception (Parent dances, toasts, dinner, cake cutting, bouquet toss) but the entire time, they were never far from their guests and spend as much time as possible making sure to personally thank every person for attending, something I thought was a nice touch and something that speaks volumes to how appreciate this bride and groom were to have the people who they love the most there for their special day.
As much fun as the big moments of their wedding reception were, however, I could tell pretty early on than Neil and Gianna were the type of couple, with the type of crowd, that was really looking forward to the dance floor opening.
And, boy, did that prove true.
Right from the first song until the end of the night, there were few, if any, moments where large groups of people who may or may not have known each other were tearing it up.
As I photographed their reception, I couldn't help but be struck by the sheer number of people having a great time. Usually, you get a couple of individuals taking charge of the dance floor but there were pockets of folks on all sides doing their thing and blending in with each other for one of the most fun dance floors I've seen this year thus far. It was a blast and made for great photos.
By the time my coverage of Neil and Gianna's wedding day was over, I was spent. I'm not sure how much running around I did on the dance floor but I know it was a lot as I needed to capture all of the fun going down with Gianna and Neil's guests, including many well-timed group dance numbers.
But at no point did I take my eyes off the bride and groom and that was with good reason. Every single time I looked over at Neil and Gianna, they were either with friends or family or spending time in each other's arms and that was, quite frankly, a heartwarming reminder of WHY people spend so much time, money and effort to get married.
Neil and Gianna had a perfect wedding day at a beautiful country club and I'm just glad I was there to witness and document it.
So congratulations Neil and Gianna! I have no doubt this is just the start of a lifetime of happiness and memories for both of you.
Tags: Quidnessett Country Club, Peace Dale Congregational, Rhode Island Weddings, Outdoor Weddings, South County, Paul J. Spetrini Photography
The Vendor List
Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Hair: Jen of South County Choppers; Gianna's Dress: David's Bridal; Gianna's Shoes: Simply Dainty; Neil's Suit: Men's Warehouse; Ceremony Location: Peace Dale Congregational Church; Reception Location: Quidnessett Country Club; Officiant: Reverend Paul Bizer; DJ: Robert C. of the Pros.
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