Publick House Historic Inn Wedding Photos
Tom & Meaghan
Publick House Historic Inn, Sturbridge, Massachusetts
October 2nd, 2021
Whenever I sit down to write a wedding blog, the first thing I do — assuming I don't already have an idea in mind of what I want to talk about — is quickly scan through a couple's highlight photos and try to relive their day.
But every time I tried to do that for Tom and Meaghan's October wedding at the Publick House in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, I couldn't get past just how infectiously happy they looked.
Then it hit me. That's because their radiant smiles and the full-throat belly laughs that seemed to show up every other photo sum up them, and their wedding day, perfectly.
Tom and Meaghan's beautiful October wedding was a day full of laughter and love, a little bit of awkwardness and plenty of full-faced, cheesy grins and the more I think about it, the more I smile myself. Because that's what a wedding day should be: A day where you just exist in the moment and love every second as it comes.
And this wedding day? There was so much to love from start to finish that it's almost impossible to accurately explain to anyone who wasn't there.
I knew from the moment I walked into Meaghan's bridal prep session that this was going to a day of WORK and I mean that in the best way possible. Before I even put my bag down, I was already discussing with the bride where we wanted to hang her dress and running through all the things I wanted to capture.
And with good reason: Despite only covering the final hour, Meaghan's bridal prep was one of the most emotional I've ever shot. To my surprise, and even the surprise of the bride herself, Meaghan was deep in her feelings as the reality of the day hit her hard.
There were little moments with her mother, a beautiful first look with her dad and even some tears as she looked at herself in the mirror. It was quite obvious to me that I was witnessing, and shooting, something special: a bride's dream day coming true.
One of the cool things about all of the emotions hitting Meaghan at once was that, by the time we got ready to go to her first look with her soon-to-be husband, Meaghan was just about all out of nervous energy and emotionally spent.
The result? As we drove to the first look location, she sat back on a golf cart with a giant smile on her face and just said three words to me that summed up her feelings perfectly: "I'm so happy."
That happiness was contagious once we saw Tom and I loved the first look this couple shared and the fun, no pressure portraits we were able to capture with them, with their family and with their wedding party before the start of the ceremony.
It's hard for me to choose a favorite part of Tom and Meaghan's wedding day as there were just far too many special moments to choose from but their ceremony has to rank at or near the top as it was one of the best I've seen this year.
Not only was the weather perfect but Tom and Meaghan struck an amazing balance between super sweet and emotional and utterly silly and I couldn't help but find that absolutely adorable.
Meaghan and Tom couldn't have chosen a more beautiful day or more scenic spot to exchange their vows. I've long said the Publick House is one of my favorite venues to shoot a fall wedding at but it really outdid itself on this gorgeous, picturesque October in New England afternoon.
Of course, the cute little touches this bride and groom had for their big moment, like the pinkie promise they did after exchanging rings, might have had me a little bias but, man, what a ceremony.
Following Meaghan and Tom's ceremony, we made our way back through the crowd for an awesome lavender toss — seen in the top photo of this blog and easily one of my favorite moments from a wedding this year — and proceeded right back into bride and groom portraits.
I'm so glad I had this extra time with Tom and Meaghan during their cocktail hour as the relief of having their ceremony over really helped ease these newlyweds in front of the camera and not only were we able to get beautiful, traditional photos of the bride and groom but we also got hella silly and I was giddy at how much fun we were having.
I love couples that don't take themselves too seriously and Meaghan and Tom crushed it on that front.
With bride and groom portraits in the bag, I finally had a chance to photograph Tom and Meaghan's cocktail hour and decor. What I loved about how they chose to decorate the Publick House tent area where their reception was held was the little touches that they obviously spent a lot of time thinking about, like the homemade apricot brandy they had in the place of the traditional champagne toast.
And speaking of cocktail hour, by far the highlight of the hour was Tom's fantastic live music performance with his fellow bluegrass band members Greystone Rail. Just looking at Meaghan's face told the story during that moment as she looked so happy to see her now-husband doing what he loves to do: perform.
Just by watching Tom's performance and how into it their friends and family were, I knew we were in for a good night of partying and the newlyweds set the tone right away with a super fun introduction and a super sweet first dance set to Ed Sheeran's "I Don't Care."
I'd shot a couple weddings at the Publick House Historic Inn prior to Tom and Meaghan's big day but I'd never been in their tent before this night and now ... I don't know if I want to be anywhere else. Talk about a perfect spot for a great night of candid photography.
Tom and Meaghan's first dance was just the start of a number of really sweet signature moments during their reception. The pair had five heartfelt toasts before dinner and a really cute cake cutting right after that let everyone know the party was about to kick off.
I can think of no better way to kick off a dance floor than the way Tom and Meaghan did ... with the traditional parent dances.
While Tom and his mother were predictably sweet on the dance floor together, I was surprised at how much fun Meaghan and her father had in their half traditional dance that turned into a full on open dance floor.
One thing was clear looking at the bride and her father though ... this was a moment they'd never forget.
With the formalities of the wedding reception in the books, it was time to PARTY and the minute the lights came down, the guests at this wedding GOT DOWN.
Tom and Meaghan's dance floor was packed from the first song until the last song and if you need any indication how fun this dance floor was ... I shot more photos in the two hours of their open dance floor than I have at several full weddings this year. It was that much fun.
What I really loved about Tom and Meaghan's open dance floor is the two of them were right there in the middle of it almost the entire night. That's pretty rare but it's always a delight to see and it led to some really fun candids of both the bride and the groom clearly having the night of their lives.
As the lights came up inside the tent at the Publick House Historic Inn, I knew one thing with absolute certainty: There was no one at this wedding that thought it didn't live up to the hype.
Meaghan and Tom's wedding day was one of the most fun I've ever been part of and I left their event with one of the biggest grins on my face I've had after a wedding.
So thank you Tom and Meaghan for being such an amazing bride and groom and throwing one of the best parties I've seen in 2021. I wish you the best of luck trying to match the fun you had on your wedding day. You might just need a lifetime together to do so and I can think of no better compliment for a wedding neither you nor I will soon forget.
-Paul J. Spetrini
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The Vendor List:
Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini, Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Bride's Hair & Make-up: Simple Indulgence Day Spa at Publick House; Bride's Dress: Spark Bridal; Groom's Suit: Slade Formal; Florist: Danielson Flowers; Ceremony & Reception: The Publick House Historic Inn, Sturbridge, Massachusetts; DJ and Uplighting: Bryan McCarthy from Allstar Entertainment; Cake: The Bake Shoppe at the Public House Historic Inn; Cocktail Hour Music: Greystone Rail.