Austin & Arielle
March 23rd, 2019
My wife and I like to have a debate every year around the beginning of March: When does spring begin?
For her, it's the literal first day of spring according to the calendar. For me, it's typically around the second week of April when the weather is finally nice enough for me to trust it won't snow again.
And though my latest couple, Austin and Arielle, were technically married three days after the official start of spring, it wasn't until we were standing in the middle of the golf course at Pawtucket Country Club in the blinding sunshine that I truly believed it.
And it's only fitting because this bride and groom were absolutely radiant as they became husband and wife in what I knew right away would be one of my favorite weddings of all of 2019.
I knew I was destined to have a great day with Austin and Arielle from the moment I started shooting as my coverage of their wedding began with a rare sight for me: actual groom prep.
Though I had only met Austin once before his big day, I could tell a lot about him as he got closer to his wedding ceremony. While he's a bit on the serious side, and given his career in law enforcement it's only fitting, he lit up as we discussed the letter and gift Arielle got him for his wedding day and was an absolute joy to be around.
Austin and I documented his final preparations for his wedding ceremony and I knew as I left him and headed over to bridal prep that this would be a special day.
What I didn't know at the time was how similar Arielle would be as she finished her preparations.
Though the two couldn't have gotten ready in more different ways -- Austin got ready in a quiet room by himself while Arielle was surrounded by friends and family in a rowdy hotel suite -- their emotions were identical as the time to their ceremony crept closer.
My favorite part, by far, of Arielle's bridal prep was watching her lose it reading Austin's letter to her. It was such a sweet and sentimental moment and I could tell his words meant a lot to her as they got ready to say "I do."
Austin and Arielle were married at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Seekonk, Massachusetts and the one-level church was the perfect setting for a beautiful Catholic mass that hit all of the familiar tones of the traditional-centric ceremony.
As I stood waiting for Arielle to arrive, I couldn't help but wonder if Austin would cry when he saw her and, to my surprise, he did. It was a brief moment and he caught himself before many people saw it but I noticed.
And so did my camera.
Talk about a beautiful moment.
Austin and Arielle's ceremony was your standard Catholic mass but what I really loved about it was the church itself as Our Lady of Mt Carmel has seating on the side of the altar, allowing me a rare chance to get angles of the bride and groom I normally can never get.
And I'm glad it did as Austin and Arielle spent a good portion of their wedding ceremony stealing glances at one another. You could almost feel their excitement as they experienced one of the biggest moments of their life together.
By the time Austin and Arielle walked down the aisle together as husband and wife and thanked their guests in a casual receiving line, we were running roughly a full half hour behind schedule ... and I didn't mind a bit.
This bride and groom planned their timeline flawlessly and we had plenty of time for family and wedding party photos, a rarity for me as a wedding photographer as most of the time this is the most chaotic part of a wedding day.
I was especially grateful for how much time Austin and Arielle gave me for bride and groom portraits. But with most of the greenery of Pawtucket Country Club still missing due to the early nature of the season, and a crazy bright sun and wide open golf course giving no shade, I knew we'd have to get creative later to capture the bride and groom formals I really wanted to for this bride and groom.
In the meantime, though, I was just happy to finally see the inside of their reception venue as I love a good country club wedding reception and Pawtucket Country Club was, by far, one of the nicest I've ever seen.
Austin and Arielle chose super stylish decor for their wedding day and it set the tone for the evening beautifully.
And though this bride and groom aren't big fans of being the center of attention, they nailed their first dance spectacularly and showed tons of emotion as they held each other in their arms.
One of my biggest surprises at this wedding was just how emotional the bride and groom would get when it was time for their blessing and traditional best man/maid of honor speeches.
I don't think either Austin or Arielle held their emotions through three really touching verbal tributes and when they concluded, I could tell the bride and groom were eager to take their mind off their feelings and sit down for dinner.
Thankfully, I can be a persuasive person when I want to be and, thanks to a beautiful sunset that finally gave us some shade on the golf course, I was able to take Austin and Arielle out near the water one final time for bride and groom portraits.
Thank goodness I could, too, as these were easily my favorite shots of their entire wedding. Whether it was the veil shot that led off this blog or the various shots we captured of Arielle and Austin embracing, these sunset photos really put a smile on my face and re-energized me for what would be an awesome reception that night.
Speaking of their reception, Austin and Arielle started the party portion of their night right after dinner with an intimate cake cutting and two beautiful dances with their moms.
Talk about setting the tone.
As Arielle and her mom wiped their tears away and headed off the dance floor, I knew the night had hit a turning point and we were all done with emotions and ready to get the party started.
And boy was I right.
Austin and Arielle's dance floor didn't stop all night long and though the bride and groom were a bit busy at times catching up with old friends and hanging out with family members, each managed to get out there often enough to experience the fun for themselves and I could tell they loved every second of it.
Me? I just loved documenting it all.
There are few things I love more than a fun wedding reception and this one delivered. Big time.
As I got ready to call it a night with Austin and Arielle, I couldn't help but marvel at how much fun we had all had.
Normally in a wedding season, it takes me a month or two to really get in the groove of the day and feel like I've knocked away all the rust of the extended winter offseason.
But I felt that way five minutes into Austin and Arielle's day and I'm glad I did.
I knew right from my first meeting with these two that they were a super easygoing and relaxed couple and their wedding day was exactly that.
I've got big plans for the 2019 wedding season and though it doesn't really kick into high gear until mid-May, I already feel like I'm in my groove thanks to this lovely bride and her awesome groom.
So thanks Arielle and Austin for choosing me to capture these moments and memories for you. It was an honor and I know this was one wedding I'll be thinking about long after spring has sprung ... regardless of when you believe that to be. :)
Check out more of my most recent wedding blogs:
Kim & David
The Acoaxet Chapel & Bittersweet Farm,
Date: February 16th, 2019
Gunnar & Aileen
McGoverns on the Water,
Fall River, Massachusetts
Date: December 16th, 2018
Stacey & Mack
St. Teresa's Church, Attleboro, Mass. &
Independence Harbor, Assonet, Mass.
Date: December 1st, 2018
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