Rhode Island Wedding Photos
Paige & Ryan
Private Residence, Glocester, Rhode Island
June 5th, 2021
If there's one positive takeaway effect the 2020 coronavirus pandemic had on the New England wedding industry, it's that many brides and grooms were given an incredible opportunity to really sit back and reflect on what the most important parts of their wedding days were to them.
For most couples, this reflective moment really underlined the things that they would and would not budge on. For Paige and Ryan, who were originally supposed to get married at a venue in Burrillville, Rhode Island, it offered a chance to make their day much more authentic to who they are.
That's why I was so happy to watch the way this bride and groom transformed their wedding in the final few months before they said "I do." Instead of hosting it at a venue that may or may not have had its hands tied with pandemic-related restrictions, Paige and Ryan rented a tent and threw a party in a backyard instead. They cut their guest list down to the most important people. They added a dunk tank and turned their reception into a giant pool party. And I think that's awesome.
Because, really, if you're going to get married, why not do everything you want to?
Paige and Ryan had the wedding of THEIR dreams and it. was. awesome.
My coverage of Paige and Ryan's big day began at the tail end of Paige's bridal prep session and I knew right away what I could expect from their event as the bride was super laid back as she finished having her hair done.
Paige and Ryan each got ready in the same house but on different sides of the building and I adored not having to go far to see both of them and, more importantly, only having to walk down a small flight of stairs to get to their ceremony.
If there's one thing I love the most about backyard weddings, it's definitely how close everything is and how carefree that makes the schedule of the day.
Paige herself never looked particularly stressed about the timeline for her wedding and I can't blame her. With everything on site and around 55 guests set to attend, there wasn't much she needed to do once the day itself came and that made it much easier to just sit back and enjoy the festivities.
And any stress she and Ryan may have had was gone the minute they saw each other during their first look.
I loved Paige and Ryan's first look as the groom really got caught in his feelings and reacted the way I wish ALL grooms would react. Talk about a sweet moment.
As I've often said on these blogs, I don't have a preference per se on a couple having a first look or seeing each other for the first time during their ceremony but I was glad Paige and Ryan chose to see each other prior to their ceremony as it gave us time to grab some nice formal photos of the two of them before things got too wild.
Given the 90-degree heat on their wedding day, I was especially grateful to find some nice shade to work with and while I won't say we stayed cool, the photos certainly were.
Paige and Ryan's wedding ceremony was set in a beautifully landscaped backyard and I loved the vibe of it the minute I walked into bridal prep. I especially love the barn door backdrop they installed to give them something to stand in front of besides open space.
While I wish the sun wasn't beating down directly in our faces the entire time they exchanged their vows and wedding rings, I doubt anyone in attendance really cared as Paige and Ryan's ceremony was super sweet and full of nice little moments between the two soon-to-be newlyweds.
I especially love the way they included their dogs up front as de facto members of their wedding party. It was adorable and the perfect touch with this super personal ceremony.
One of my biggest concerns anytime I shoot a backyard wedding is finding an acceptable place to take formal family and wedding party photos. Thankfully, this wasn't an issue for Paige and Ryan as they were married in Glocester, Rhode Island, one of the most rural farmland looking locations in the Ocean State.
The minute I saw this little spot behind their ceremony location, I knew we were in for a good day with formals and I was right as the lighting was perfect and there was enough shade to keep me happy while we poured through a ton of combinations of family and wedding party members.
Perhaps most importantly, though, the spot gave us a ton of options for Paige and Ryan's first photos together as husband and wife, including my favorite shot of the year so far (Which I led this blog off with.)
I could have taken formal portraits of Paige and Ryan for the rest of the day but, honestly, we had so many to choose from between this session and the one that we had before the ceremony that I really just wanted this bride and groom to enjoy their time with guests.
And, truth be told, I knew I needed time to figure out how to photograph their reception inside their tent.
I've seen a lot of tents in my time as a wedding photographer but this was one of the tougher setups as the dance floor was rather small but I really can't complain as it gave their reception an intimate feeling that would pay off in a big way later on once the dancing started.
And, speaking of dancing, I loved Ryan and Paige's first dance and the way they embraced as they swayed on the dance floor.
Paige and Ryan's reception was one of the most relaxed I've been to in quite some time. After a trio of sweet speeches, the event broke into a fantastic dinner portion with some of the best food truck food I've seen at a wedding.
The good food and great vibes set the evening off to a fantastic start and it only got better when the formal events of the reception started and both Paige and Ryan shared touching moments with those closest to them on the dance floor during the traditional parent dances.
As touching as Paige's dance with her father and Ryan's dances with his mother and grandmother were, I knew this would be a night defined by the party and Paige and Ryan wasted no time setting the tone for the celebration with a super fun cake cutting where the groom got a cupcake smashed in his face pretty forcefully and the newlyweds' bouquet and garter tosses both made all in attendance laugh for how silly they were.
I think my favorite part of Paige and Ryan's reception was how quickly the vibe changed once the "formal" portion of the evening was taken care of.
Even as I sat on the steps of the family home we were at, taking ring and detail shots, the entire atmosphere around me began to change as the night transitioned from a traditional wedding to a giant summer pool party.
It was so much fun to watch and document, especially once the bride and groom got in the fairly freezing dunk tank waters.
About 20 minutes before I was set to leave, the one and only regret I had about Paige and Ryan's wedding was that I didn't have any dance floor party shots as the bride, groom and all their guests were so busy playing in the pool and in the dunk tank that the dance floor was almost an afterthought.
Thankfully, my prayers were answered once the groom's sister hit the dance floor and sparked a sudden, unplanned migration to dancing that was perfectly timed and a great way for me to wrap up my coverage.
By the time I headed to my car and called it a wrap on my coverage of Paige and Ryan's wedding day, I felt like I had been contracted to shoot four distinct events at the same time. There was the first look and portraits we did during the ceremony, the ceremony itself, formal photos afterward and the crazy reception.
Each part of Paige and Ryan's day felt different and unique and, honestly, I can't think of a higher compliment to pay these newlyweds and their wedding.
Paige and Ryan had an absolutely fantastic wedding and it's one I know I won't forget for a while so, thanks Paige and Ryan for including me on your journey down the aisle. I wish you the best as you start married life and hope your time together is as fun as your wedding certainly was. With or without the dunk tank.