Rachel's Lakeside Wedding Photos
Amanda & Lorenzo
Rachel's Lakeside, Dartmouth, Massachusetts
July 29th, 2023
I can tell a lot about how a bride and groom are feeling on their wedding day based on my very first interactions with them on the day itself. That's why I knew, an hour before I started my coverage of Amanda and Lorenzo's big day, that both of these soon-to-be newlyweds were feeling some wedding day jitters.
A full hour before I was even set to arrive, I got a nervous phone call from the groom-to-be asking where I was and, when I let him know I was in my car driving to him as we spoke, I could sense a bit of relief come over him.
I knew exactly what that nervousness was, too. Lorenzo wanted everything to go just perfect for his future wife and he wanted every little bit of the day to be what she always pictured and dreamed of and, in many ways, it was just that.
Amanda and Lorenzo had an amazing wedding day full of lots of laughs, plenty of tears and a beautiful party where everyone left it on the dance floor and, honestly, I don't think you can ask for anything more than that.
My coverage of Amanda and Lorenzo's wedding day began with dual prep sessions at the Hampton Inn in Westport, Massachusetts and I'm so glad it did. Not only was everyone in one hotel, meaning I could bounce from groom prep to bridal prep super easy, but the rooms were nice and spacious and allowed me to quickly knock out Lorenzo's getting ready photos within minutes of arriving.
Which made sense. Lorenzo didn't care even slightly about having me document HIS day. He wanted this wedding to be all about his bride and I respected that ... once I got the shots I needed.
The funny thing is, Amanda was kind of the same way. Thanks to a hair and makeup team that finished substantially earlier than they were supposed to, I arrived at Amanda's prep with the bride all done up and ready to go and spent time with her and her girls just relaxing and trying to keep them calm before we made our way to the reception venue.
Once on site at Rachel's Lakeside, I think the true reality of the day hit both Amanda and Lorenzo as they were both a bit worried that everything looked perfect. Once we confirmed that the cake was straight and the centerpieces looked like they were supposed to, Amanda could finally breathe for a moment and get into her dress before walking down the aisle and exchanging rings and vows.
To her credit, I think Amanda was most nervous about everything going right, moreso than the nerves you typically see a bride get before her wedding ceremony. Lorenzo, meanwhile, was sweating buckets ... and I don't think it was just the oppressive mid-summer heat either.
I loved watching Lorenzo practically melt as Amanda's bridesmaids walked down the aisle and his reaction to seeing the bride for the first time was flat out adorable. Talk about saying everything without saying a word.
In keeping with my tradition of shooting weddings at Rachel's Lakeside, every ceremony I've been to on this property has either been in a downpour or in a billion degrees of sunshine. Given that Lorenzo told me during our first meeting that the only thing he didn't want to have happen on his wedding day was rain, I guess we lucked out.
Even so, despite the heat and humidity, Amanda and Lorenzo's wedding ceremony was beautiful and touching and a wonderful moment to witness. I especially loved when the bride and groom asked their children to come up for a sand ceremony signifying their family was complete. It was a lovely moment, capped off, of course, by a beautiful kiss and Amanda and Lorenzo were pronounced husband and wife.
With their wedding ceremony in the books, I had one (and only one) priority for Amanda and Lorenzo during their formal photos ... FIND SHADE.
Thankfully, we didn't have to go far as Rachel's Lakeside has a lovely little rock wall that makes for the perfect backdrop for family and wedding party formal photos.
If I could re-do any part of Amanda and Lorenzo's wedding day, it would be their bride and groom portraits. Not because I don't love them — I really, really do — but I would have loved another 10-15 minutes with these newlyweds to fully take advantage of the beautiful day we had.
Still, it felt nearly 100 degrees so I have to commend both the bride and the groom for hanging tough for the photos we did get. I adored these bride and groom formals so much, especially for the lovely mid-summer colors behind them but I could tell as we moved along that we were all secretly yearning for the sweet, sweet air conditioning that was just some 100 feet away.
The moment I walked inside Rachel's Lakeside for Amanda and Lorenzo's wedding reception, I knew I wouldn't want to go back outside. Not only was it nice and cool but the time and effort these two put into all the little touches of their wedding day were very evident. It was gorgeous in this venue and their white and blue theme just popped so well in every little part of their decor.
I wasn't 100 percent sure how Amanda and Lorenzo's wedding reception would go but I had a feeling we might be in for a fun night just by talking and interacting with them, their wedding party and their guests. It wasn't until their introductions in that I knew I was right, though, as the newlyweds set the tone for the evening right off the bat and it only got better from there.
Easily my favorite moment of Amanda and Lorenzo's wedding reception was their first dance, set to “This is why I love you” by Major. I've always said a first dance tells you everything you need to know about a couple and theirs was not only perfect but it was emotional, fun and I don't think they knew another person in the world was in that room in those four minutes.
Following their first dance, Amanda and Lorenzo were on a mission to have the most relaxed wedding reception and they did just that. The two had only one more formality by dinner — a speech by the best man — and they jump-started the back half of the evening with a cute cake cutting and the traditional garter and bouquet toss.
With the formalities out of the way, it was time for Amanda and Lorenzo to cut loose and have a great time and their friends and family wasted no time in doing just that.
I think my favorite moment of Amanda and Lorenzo's reception was, without question, when the DJ turned the mic over to the guests on the dance floor. This is normally a receipe for disaster but not only did all of Amanda and Lorenzo's guests love this part of the evening but the groom himself even started singing.
If know me, you KNOW that is something I love to see at a wedding. I love couples who lose themselves in the moment and I had no doubt Amanda and Lorenzo were enjoying dancing the night away.
As I made my way out of Rachel's Lakeside, the scorching hot and sunny weather had given way to a night of pouring rain and thunderstorms but it didn't even matter. This was already the perfect day for Amanda and Lorenzo and, honestly, nothing was going to put a damper on my smile as I drove home that evening.
I always love when a bride and groom have clearly spent a lot of time and effort planning their perfect wedding day and it is rewarded with a vision that comes true and that's what happened on this red hot summer night in Dartmouth, Massachusetts so thank you Amanda and Lorenzo for allowing me to document your journey down the aisle and best of luck on this new, and long awaited, next chapter of your lives together as husband and wife.
-Paul J. Spetrini
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The Vendor List:
Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini, Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Bride's Hair: Mist Beauty Loft, Somerset, Massachusetts; Bride's Make-up: Erica Coelho; Bride's Dress: Carmen's Fashion, Fall River, Massachusetts; Groom's Suit: Slades, Fall River, Massachusetts; Ceremony & Reception Venue: Rachel's Lakeside, Dartmouth, Massachusetts; Cake: Confections Bakery, Fall River, Massachusetts.