Potowomut Golf Club Wedding Photos
Tessa & Tom
If there's been one bright side to the lingering impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the wedding industry, it's that a lot of 2022 couples are hosting weddings this year months — and sometimes a year or more — after legally becoming husband and wife. I love these wedding days so, so much because the stress of getting married is typically gone and the bride and groom can focus on what matters most: celebrating their love.
Tessa and Tom were officially married back in 2021 but waited almost a year to the date of their nuptials to host their wedding day for friends and family. This meant the pair could have the day they always dreamed about with none of the anxiety that comes with a wedding and you could see it all over the bride and groom's faces from start to finish.
Tessa and Tom's wedding was a beautiful, sweet and sentimental afternoon full of little moments and lots of laughs and love and I don't think either of these two would have wanted it any other way.
My time with Tessa and Tom started with one of the most low-key bridal preps I've had in quite some time as it was just Tessa, her mother-in-law and her makeup artist in the room and no music playing. It was super casual and relaxed, just like the bride and set the tone perfectly for the day itself.
I adored Tessa and her bridesmaids as the girls were clearly close but, more importantly, fun and super supportive throughout the afternoon.
My favorite moment of bridal prep, and the one time I almost observed something resembling nerves from the bride was when I asked her to take a moment for herself in front of a mirror before we headed out to the ceremony. Tessa did as requested, closed her eyes and smiled and that said so much about what this day meant to her.
I could tell Tom felt the same way when I met up with him prior to the start of his and Tessa's wedding ceremony. While he didn't look nervous at all, he definitely had a bit of nervous energy waiting for the ceremony to begin and it was clear he wanted it to go perfect.
The minute he saw Tessa in her wedding dress, though, it was clear everything was exactly as it was meant to be.
Tessa and Tom chose to say "I do" at St. Anthony Church in West Warwick, Rhode Island and it was the perfect place for this traditional yet casual couple. I loved this church for so many reasons, not the least of which was the wide open space in the aisles for me to come and go as I pleased.
But, also, I loved how bright it was inside. There was no dark and dreary historical feeling to this wedding and I'm glad because that wouldn't have felt right for this couple or this day.
Tessa and Tom's ceremony was about an hour in length but it never felt long or tedious. In fact, it was the perfect balance between serious and fun and fit this bride and groom and their attitude about their day to a tee.
With their wedding ceremony out of the way, Tessa, Tom and I headed over to Goddard Park to take care of family and wedding party formals.
Being that their wedding was taking place on an absolute scorcher of a day in early August in Rhode Island, I had worries we'd be able to find a shady spot at the park that I could take their formals without having everyone sweating buckets or staring into the sun but, thankfully, a little bit of driving around was all we needed to find a great location right at the entrance of the park that made my job a breeze.
Well, my job here was made easy by the shade, sure, but it was also made easier because Tessa and Tom's friends and families were great, super cooperative and lots of fun to work with. I especially loved their super cool wedding parties who knew how to turn it up when it was time to make some fun group shots.
As fun as Tessa and Tom's family and wedding party photos were, I really couldn't wait to work with the two of them for their bride and groom portraits. Tessa and Tom have a very great rapport together and you can sense their closeness by the way they pose for photos.
I could have worked with these two all afternoon at Goddard Park but we settled for a couple of quick shots as the bride and groom wanted to get to their wedding reception at Potowomut Golf Club and we had planned to head outside for sunset photos later in the evening at the golf course itself.
Speaking of Potowomut Golf Club, it was pretty remarkable that I had yet to shoot an event at this particular golf course considering how often I'm at the adjacent Goddard Park and how often I shoot golf club and country course wedding days.
I'm glad Tessa and Tom's wedding was my first experience at this location though. I don't know if I could have chosen a better day to see how this club is set up for weddings and Tessa and Tom did a wonderful job with their decor to complement the ballroom perfectly.
I knew Tessa and Tom's wedding reception was going to be fun the minute the two walked into Potowomut Golf Club. Not only did they look super excited but their room was full of excited friends and family members. For only having 50 or so of their closest people with them, there was definitely an air of 'party time' once they walked into the room and started their reception.
Tessa and Tom kicked the night off with a first dance set to "Made For You" by Jake Owen and it felt like the perfect song to sum up the way these two to describe this moment and their love for one another.
Tessa and Tom's wedding reception felt very much like a casual family hangout and that was exactly the vibe they told me they wanted the first time we talked about their big day earlier this spring.
Sure, they had all the big moments a wedding reception has, like toasts and parent dances and even a newlywed game, but it never felt like a "production" so much as a Sunday cookout in a nice location with the people they cared about the most.
I loved that for them and I could tell from the way they savored each moment that that's what they wanted, too.
As fun as the big moments of Tessa and Tom's reception were, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit worried about us getting back outside in time to catch the sunset. Thankfully, Tessa and Tom were super accommodating to my ideas and everything lined up perfectly for us to take a brief ride around Potowomut Golf Club just as the light looked best for some of my favorite photos of the entire day.
With bride and groom formals in the bag, all Tessa and Tom had left to do during their wedding reception was a garter and bouquet toss and dancing. Thankfully, the former was so much wild that it started the latter off perfectly.
It didn't take long for the party portion of Tessa and Tom's wedding day to pop off and that's a credit to their friends and family members. It was pretty clear right from the opening song that this was a group that waited a LONG time to get together and celebrate this couple and they didn't waste a moment on that dance floor.
It was packed from start to finish and right at the center were Tessa and Tom. Seriously. I've rarely seen a bride and groom right in the middle of the party the way these two were on this beautiful summer evening.
Small wedding receptions are a tricky bunch and, often, by the end of the night enough people have left or stopped dancing that the dance floor itself looks dead but that never happened for Tessa and Tom.
In fact, this bride and groom had just as many people on the dance floor for the final song as the first one and that was fitting because I can think of no better way these two could have closed this night out than in each other's arms.
Tessa and Tom closed their wedding night out with a dip and a kiss on the dance floor and a fun sparkler exit and, honestly, by the time I headed back to my car and packed my gear up I don't know if I could have asked for more from this wedding or this couple.
I loved Tessa and Tom's wedding day for so many reasons but not the least of which is it felt like the exact day they always wanted and always planned. That's rare for weddings but, when it happens, it feels truly special.
So, thank you Tessa and Tom for including me on your journey back down the aisle and I wish you the best of luck on this new and exciting chapter of your life together.
-Paul J. Spetrini
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The Vendor List:
Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini, Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Bride's Hair: Kenneth Cote Renewal Center Salon, East Greenwich, Rhode Island; Bride's Dress: Custom dress ordered on Azazie.com; Groom's Suit: Men's Wearhouse; Florist: Frey Florist and Greenhouse, Providence, Rhode Island; Ceremony: Saint Anthony Church, West Warwick, Rhode Island; Reception: Potowomut Golf Club, East Greenwich, Rhode Island; Cake: Wright's Dairy Farm and Bakery, North Smithfield, Rhode Island.