Ocean House Wedding
Sarah & Chris
August 11th, 2019
Sometimes when I have a moment of calm during a wedding, I can't help but look around and wonder how in the world I got to where I am.
In the case of Sarah and Chris' August nuptials at Ocean House in Westerly, that moment was of the literal AND figurative variety as I hadn't even met the bride and groom in person before the day of their wedding and here I was suddenly spending a Sunday afternoon with them at one of the most beautiful locations I've ever seen on one of the most important days of their lives.
Thankfully, Sarah and Chris couldn't have chosen a better place to say "I do" ... or a better way of doing it.
But that just speaks to who they are as people.
Not only did Sarah and Chris manage to have a dream wedding, they did so while ALSO expecting their first child and ALSO having just purchased their first home together.
To say this pair is good at multi-tasking is an understatement and as a photographer who makes a living doing just that, I couldn't help but bask in how amazing this bride, this groom and this wedding truly were.
My time with Sarah and Chris began at the tail end of the bride's hair and makeup prep and about a half hour before their scheduled first look.
I'm always a bit frazzled when this happens as I like to ease into a wedding day's coverage but Sarah made everything a breeze as she was super relaxed and showed no stress as we got closer to her big reveal.
After plowing through detail photos and shots of Sarah getting into her dress, I decided to give her one moment in the chaos of the day to breathe and think about what this day means to her. I'm glad I did because the rest of the day flew by, almost in a blur.
Sarah and Chris decided to start their wedding celebration with a first look together and I'm so glad they did as I could tell how excited each of them were as the bride slowly made her way to her soon-to-be groom.
And Chris didn't disappoint. His reaction upon seeing Sarah was super sweet and charming and set a perfect tone for the formal photos we would do of both of them and their friends and family before settling in for what would prove to be a stunning ceremony.
I don't use the word stunning lightly but that's honestly the only way I can describe the location where Sarah and Chris said "I do."
But if you don't believe me, consider this: A few hundred feet from this spot is a gigantic house that was purchased by Taylor Swift.
And if it's good enough for Tay Tay, it's good enough for me.
I adored Sarah and Chris' wedding ceremony, despite feeling at times like we were standing on the surface of the sun. But, considering it was an August afternoon wedding, I really couldn't be surprised and I'd much rather have a hot, sunny day than a cold winter one any day.
As for the ceremony itself, Sarah and Chris made of the most of this big moment with a beautiful, heartfelt dedication to their love and their life together. I especially enjoyed watching the two of them share their vows as their closest friends and family members looked on.
I could tell this moment meant a lot to them and they couldn't have picked a more beautiful spot to share it together.
Following Sarah and Chris' ceremony, the newlyweds gave me a few more minutes to do bride and groom formals and, even though we took some earlier in the afternoon, this second bath of photos were my favorite as we found a nice, shady spot behind their ceremony location that was beyond beautiful.
I especially love the little ways they paid tribute to their future child in the photo with some nice, understated shots of Chris holding Sarah and her belly. I know these photos, in particular, will mean a lot to them in the future.
Because Sarah and Chris chose to get married at Ocean House, a venue I had never been to before, I couldn't wait to see how it looked inside and it didn't disappoint. The pair went simple but classic on their decorations and it really popped against the beige and white color scheme inside the venue.
One of the highlights for me of Sarah and Chris' day was their cocktail hour. While I am normally not a huge fan of an extended cocktail hour -- I prefer using that time for more formal photos -- I could tell how much it meant to Sarah and Chris that they got to spend their hour with friends and family.
And it led to one of my favorite moments of the day ... when Sarah took the mic and surprised the crowd by singing.
The Wedding Reception
I knew we were in for a fun reception the moment Sarah and Chris hit the dance floor for their first dance as the pair chose "By Your Side" by Sade as their song for the moment. I hadn't heard this track in years but it was a beautiful selection for a super sweet dance between the new husband and wife.
All of the little parts of Sarah and Chris' reception just helped to hammer home how much love their friends and family had for them and whether it was the three lovely speeches they were treated to, an adorable cake cutting or a pair of touching dances with their parents, it was clear this bride and groom were living in the moment on their wedding day and loving every memory they made.
Because I had only met Sarah and Chris the day of their wedding, I had no idea what to expect from their reception once the party kicked off. Thankfully, I didn't have to wait long to see as the newlyweds took right to the dance floor and set the tone early for their friends to let loose.
By the time my time with Sarah and Chris came to an end, I knew I had seen a special moment for two special people.
Sarah and Chris lead busy lives full of experiences, laughter and travel and it was clear on their wedding day that taking the time to slow down and savor the moment they were living in was something both wanted to do.
I'm glad they got to do it. And I'm glad they so clearly had the time of their lives.
Weddings are meant to be life events that you simply never forget and while I may not know Sarah and Chris as well as their own friends and family do, I can confidently say that is 100 percent true for these two.
Now and always.
-Paul J. Spetrini
Check out more of my most recent wedding blogs:
The Vendor List:
Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini, Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Bride's Hair & Make-up: Beauty Entourage; Bride's Dress: Vows Bridal, Watertown, Massachusetts; Florist: Rosanna's Flowers; Ceremony & Reception Location: Ocean House, Westerly, Rhode Island; DJ: Jeff and Jackie DeModena.