Providence G Wedding Photos
Patrick & James
Providence G, Providence, Rhode Island
August 12th, 2023
For as long as I can remember, I've made it a point to showcase my love of same sex marriages both privately to my friends and family but also publicly in my business through marketing materials and social media posts. The reason is not, in the slightest, to pander to any particular type of client but because I genuinely love seeing love of all kinds and, in my experience, same sex weddings are some of the most fun and crazy days I get to photograph as a photographer.
I think that's why it never quite sat right with me that, in 13 years shooting weddings, I hadn't photographed a same sex wedding with two grooms. It turns out, though, that fate was just making sure that when I DID have my first groom-groom wedding, it was the best one I could have asked for.
Patrick and James said "I do" on a beautiful summer afternoon in downtown Providence back in August and the day couldn't have been sweeter, more touching or more amazing if we tried. From a heartfelt first look to one of the most beautiful ceremonies I've ever seen and one of the craziest receptions I've photographed, Patrick and James' wedding day was literal perfection from start to finish and, easily, one of my favorite weddings of 2023.
It turns out ... good things come to those who wait.
I could tell from the moment I walked into James' groom prep that we were in for a great day. Not only was this groom all but ready to go, his side of the wedding party was already finished with their hair and makeup and everyone was in great spirits.
I always joke with clients that groom prep is one of the easiest things I ever have to shoot so I appreciated how calm and relaxed James' prep was as I had a small window to document his getting ready and Patrick's getting ready before we made our way to their first look. More importantly, James was in great spirits as he got ready for the day and it set a great tone to start our coverage.
Things were almost identical down the street at Providence G, where Patrick was staying. Patrick and his guys were almost all ready when I rolled into their hotel room and it took almost no time at all to capture the final moments of Patrick putting his tie, shoes and jacket on.
With groom prep out of the way, Patrick, James and I all made our respective ways to the Providence River Pedestrian Bridge. As much as I love this location, I am always a little worried when I have a shoot to do on the bridge as it can be quite crowded and doesn't leave a lot of options for privacy.
Thankfully, right before James arrived, I was able to spot a semi-private area on the lower level of the bridge and lined Patrick up for their first look. The moment the pair turned around to see each other was everything and then some and it warmed my heart to see just how emotional both guys got when the reality of their day hit home for the first time.
The only downside to shooting Patrick and James' photos on the Pedestrian Bridge was, well, it was in the early afternoon in the middle of August. So, not only were we dealing with crazy warm temperatures but we had a bright and hot sun to contend with.
I give both Patrick and James a lot of credit though. While it was a challenge at times, both men got through the formal photo session we took of them on the bridge without a single complaint and it made for some truly beautiful photos that I think showcase their love and their relationship perfectly.
Following their first look and groom-groom formals, Patrick, James and I trekked over to the Rhode Island Statehouse for their family and wedding party formals and I'm so glad we did as, well, first off ... there was shade.
Secondly, this location was nice and spacious and gave us plenty of room to quickly breeze through what it typically the toughest part of a wedding day.
I loved the way the Statehouse grounds looked so much that, despite feeling that we "had" Patrick and James' groom and groom portraits in the bag, I simply had to take an extra 10 minutes of photos of the two of them on the site.
Besides, can you blame me? These two are adorable and the shade gave us a completely different look and feel to their couple portraits than the bridge did earlier that afternoon.
With their formal photos taken care of, it was finally time for us to make our way back to Providence G for Patrick and James' wedding ceremony. I've shot a couple of weddings at this venue and, typically, couples choose to get married on the rooftop.
I am so glad Patrick and James chose and indoor ceremony instead as not only is that rooftop tiny — and we would've had one hell of a time trying to fit all of their friends and family members in the space allotted — but, also, the indoor ceremony option was really well decorated and made for the perfect spot to see these two say "I do."
Patrick and James' ceremony was incredibly sweet and touching and not just because they had a friend as their officiant who spoke a bit about their love and how they met.
From their readings to their custom vows, every bit of this ceremony felt like a culmination of the days they spent together first as friends then as partners. In fact, there were times where you could see tears on the faces of both grooms. Clearly, this ceremony meant a lot and neither hid it. I find that incredibly beautiful and a testament to their bond together.
Patrick and James chose to take care of their formal photos prior to their ceremony so that they could enjoy cocktail hour on the Providence G rooftop and, while they were up there, I finally had a chance to grab some shots of the details and decor they chose for their big day.
I loved the simple design of a lot of the little touches they had in this location and watching the Providence G staff quickly transform their ceremony spot into a reception space was a lot of fun.
I could tell we were in for a fun night as Patrick and James' wedding party had a ton of fun with their introductions. More importantly, though, the two grooms were introduced to a loud and rowdy applause and that set the tone perfectly for their first dance. And what a first dance it was. Equal parts loving and fun, Patrick and James' first dance, set to the always iconic John Legend, was the same vibe as their wedding day as a whole and downright delightful to see.
Prior to dinner, Patrick and James took their sweetheart table for three equally hilarious and deeply personal speeches, the first from Patrick's best man, and the latter two from James' best man and best woman, respectively.
I've been to a lot of weddings this year. The speeches at Patrick and James' wedding were among the best I've heard and had the audience loving every little joke and every little look into the relationship that led to the relationship at the heart of this day.
Following dinner, I knew we were in for a wild night when the dance floor already started to pack before the actual dance music started.
But, before we'd really kick the rowdy part of the evening off, there were still a couple of formalities left. Thankfully, Patrick and James kept things low key with a simple cake cutting and a pair of really sweet mother-son dances with their moms.
It was the last time things were "low key" in this event.
Within moments of the dance floor opening, I knew exactly what kind of crowd we had on hand as James immediately took his tie off, loosened his shirt cuffs and prepared for things to get wild.
And wild they did.
Patrick and James' wedding reception a non stop party from the first to last song and it took every ounce of energy I had to keep up with a crowd clearly set on seizing every moment of fun that was available.
I've been to a lot of wedding receptions and, typically, as the night goes on the crowd starts to lose its energy. Thankfully, Patrick and James planned for this brilliantly as the 10 p.m. hour was actually the craziest of the entire event thanks to the arrival of three giant lit up "robots" as part of a celebration they deemed La Hora Loca ... aka the Crazy Hour.
The moment these guys from Magic Mirror RI/Productions by Karla arrived, the party was injected with an ounce of metaphorical Red Bull and things got even crazier and crazier.
In a word, it was ... amazing.
The minute Patrick and James' wedding came to an end, I found myself looking for a chair and sit down on and catch my breath and I can think of no greater compliment. This wedding day wore me out in the very best of ways and was so much fun to photograph that I was on a high from it for days afterward.
I was looking forward to my first groom-groom wedding for years and I couldn't have asked for a better couple to hit that milestone with than this one so, Patrick and James, thank you so much for trusting me to document your special day and thank you so much for having a day as sweet, sentimental and downright fun as you did.
It was an honor and a privilege to capture these moments and I wish you nothing but the best of luck on this amazing and new chapter of your love together as husband and husband. :)
-Paul J. Spetrini
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The Vendor List:
Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini, Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Grooms' Suits: Custom suits from Jos A. Bank; Florist: Geri’s Bluffing Boutique, Woonsocket, Rhode Island; Ceremony & Reception Venue: Providence G Hotel, Providence, Rhode Island; DJ: Frank Baptista; Cake: Whisk Me Away Bakehouse, Providence, Rhode Island; La Hora Loca Performers: Productions By Karla; Videographer: Kim Nichols, KL Photo & Video; Other: Espresso Dave.