Blog— Weddings — Rhode Island — 2021 —
OceanCliff Hotel Wedding Photos
Ariana & Mark *
OceanCliff Hotel, Newport, Rhode Island (Ceremony & Reception)
September 23rd, 2021
Wedding photographers talk a lot about their "brands" and what their "style" of photography is and, as much as I wish I could photograph everyone and every wedding, I'll be honest when I say there are certain types of couples and types of weddings that fit me best.
Those couples are regular, real and silly people and, because of this, I don't find myself photographing a lot of what I call "high-end Newport weddings." You know the type of wedding I mean: Stuffy, overpriced, image-conscience and, honestly, completely devoid of fun.
That's why, when I'm booked as a second photographer for a Newport wedding day, I'm always a bit worried about how things are going to go. Some of my couples are amazing but, at the end of the day, I have no control over who I'm working for in these assignments and there's always a chance I won't click with the folks getting married.
I knew within ten minutes of meeting Ariana and Mark on the afternoon of their September wedding at OceanCliff Hotel that that wouldn't be a problem. Not only did Mark remember me from my previous work as a sports photographer but Ariana was one of the most gracious and fun brides I've worked with in years. And, together, they had one of my favorite weddings on the island EVER.
Talk about a sigh of relief.
* These photos were taken as part of my work as a second photographer for George Street Photography
and are presented here strictly for portfolio/display purposes.
Mark and Ariana's wedding couldn't have taken place on a better early fall day and I knew right from the start of their time together that they would take full advantage of it as the bride and groom decided to have a special first look and that really set the tone for the afternoon in which they would say "I do."
I love a bride and groom that can laugh together and be themselves despite the fact that this is obviously one of the biggest days of their lives and Mark and Ariana were just that. The bride, in particular, never missed a moment to be over the top and silly and I couldn't stop laughing at her fun personality.
I especially loved the way she interacted with her bridesmaids as it was clear they all were not only used to her quirky sense of humor but expected it.
I really appreciated both Ariana and Mark's ability not to get overwhelmed by the formalities of the day, particularly when we were taking care of their family and wedding party formals and running up against the clock for the start of their ceremony.
My one concern for Mark and Ariana's wedding day was the weather as the forecast for their entire weekend was shaky at best but, thanks to a little bit of luck and an eye on the radar, we kicked off their ceremony at the exact perfect time for some of the most gorgeous and stunning lighting I have legit had for a ceremony ever.
And it couldn't have happened to a better ceremony as Mark and Ariana's nuptials were fantastic.
With the ceremony behind us and the day's weather only getting better and better, I couldn't wait to get Ariana and Mark back outside for some bride and groom portraits as we only grabbed a couple before they said "I do."
After a 40-minute or break or so to let them enjoy their lovely cocktail hour, it was finally time to explore the open areas at OceanCliff as the sun was situated perfectly behind lovely clouds and gave the entire area a beautiful overcast vibe that made shooting formals a breeze.
And it didn't hurt that the break helped put the bride and groom at ease either.
I thoroughly enjoyed these formal photos for Mark and Ariana and feel they show off their relationship much better than any words I could say.
As perfect as everything up to this point of the day was, I'll be honest: The part of Mark and Ariana's wedding I was looking most forward to was still to come.
I've shot a handful of weddings at OceanCliff and, without question, the biggest reason I consider it one of my all-time favorite venues is the way it looks for a wedding reception.
Mark and Ariana's was no different. In addition to some amazing decor, their uplighting looked fantastic and really made capturing some great candids — including one of my favorite bridal party introduction shots EVER — so much fun.
If that photo of a bridesmaid kicking a bouquet looks crazy, just know that it fit PERFECTLY with the theme of this night and the party that was to come. But, first, Mark and Ariana needed to share their first dance and what a dance it was.
Seriously, can I shoot at OceanCliff a billion more times before I hang up my boots as a wedding photographer? I love this freaking venue so, so much.
Mark and Ariana's wedding reception was so much fun and whether it was their toasts, the father-daughter dance, the mother-son dance or their cake cutting, the pair knocked out all of the formalities of their day by straddling the line between emotional and hilarious so, so well.
As I expected, though, it didn't take long for this night to get WILD once the party started. I've had a lot of receptions this year but only a couple matched the downright silliness and carefree attitude of Mark and Ariana's and I was completely and totally in my ZONE capturing these candids.
This reception was everything I adore from a wedding and I could have spent the rest of the weekend in that room documenting the way Mark, Ariana and their closest friends rocked out from the minute the dance floor opened up until, I presume, the minute the night was over.
I was only contracted for roughly a half hour of Mark and Ariana's dance floor so everything you see above happened in that little 30-minute window. That should tell you everything you need to know about how wild their party was, and honestly, it fit them so well.
I've had a lot of amazing weddings as a second shooter this year but Mark and Ariana's is going to be hard to top before 2022 comes around. This bride and groom had an absolutely amazing day and I know both left feeling like it was everything they could have asked for and more.
So did I.
So thank you Mark and Ariana for such a highlight of a wedding day and best of luck together as you start your new life together as husband and wife.