Rhodes On The Pawtuxet Wedding Photos
Natania & Michael
Rhodes on the Pawtuxet, Cranston, Rhode Island
April 10th, 2022
One of the things that I love the most about wedding photography is that EVERY moment can be THE moment that defines the day. Sometimes, the thing you talk about most after a wedding is an unexpected look between a bride and groom or a casual joke that makes everyone in a wedding party crack up. Sometimes, it's a particular song that got everyone dancing at the reception or the weird moves a drunk aunt or uncle have to Bon Jovi.
For Natania and Michael, who said "I do" on a beautiful April day at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet in Cranston, it seemed like every moment of their day was THE moment of the day.
Natania and Michael had one of the busiest but most fulfilling weddings I shot in 2022. It was full of laughter and love and all the little things that add up to an unforgettable time for not just the bride and groom but anyone lucky enough to be on hand to witness it. And it was a day I know neither of them will soon forget.
I could tell from the moment I walked into Natania's bridal prep that this would be a special day as the bride and her bridesmaids were all smiles and full of personality in the lead up to the day's big events. Natania, in particular, seemed excited to get the party started and whether it was reading a beautiful note from her soon-to-be husband or posing for fun photos with her girls, she seemed to have little to no nerves about such an important moment in her life.
I loved that for her as not only did it make my job easier but it made it easier for me to remind her to soak in every second of this special day. And boy did she ever.
Natania and Michael had a full slate of activities planned for their wedding day but I think my favorites were the one that took place before they said "I do" (twice).
The look of genuine happiness on Natania's father's face during their first look was definitely a highlight, eclipsed only a bit by the look on her groom's face moments later during THAT first look.
Natania looked amazing on her wedding day and it was clear in the reaction of the two most important men in her life. What a way to start a wedding day.
Following their first look, it was time for Natania and Michael to officially become husband and wife.
The pair chose a traditional Jewish service for this major life event and I always love seeing these types of ceremonies, particularly because there's something so cool and different about the ketubah signing that typically happens prior to the traditional American-style wedding ceremony.
Natania and Michael's was sweet and full of so many little moments between the two of them as they looked over their ketubah and the reality that THIS was their wedding day hit them for the first time.
As for the traditional American style ceremony, well, that was much larger but also felt special in a different way. Natania and Michael chose to get married indoors at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet due to the unpredictability of the early spring weather and I can't blame them as it was a nice day but MUCH more comfortable to say "I do" indoors.
It also meant a much more intimate-feeling ceremony than we may have had outdoors. There were definitely some tears being shed as these two bound themselves together forever.
With their ceremony in the books, Natania and Michael chose to spend their cocktail hour hanging with friends and family members (Thankfully we'd taken care of most of their formal photos earlier in the day) and that allowed me the chance to capture some of the great decor and details in their reception room.
Before we began their proper wedding reception, however, the pair had a surprise for their guests as a family friend was going to perform a champagne sabering. What's a champagne sabering? Well, it's exactly what you think it is.
And it's MESSY. But what a visual.
Following the champagne sabering, I asked Natania and Michael to stay outside for a couple last formal photos now that the blinding sun had started to set. They were my favorite photos of the two on this day, even if the foliage hadn't properly come in at Rhodes on the Pawtuxet yet.
But it was a great way to cap the day portion of Natania and Michael's wedding and get the mood right for the big party that was set to start a little while later.
And what a party it would be. Natania and Michael started their reception off with a first dance set to "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong and that all-time tune, set for the golden hue of one of Rhode Island's most timeless venues really did make for classic wedding reception feel that could have easily happened in any of the last four decades, a great sentiment for a day celebrating the forever nature of love and marriage.
I loved Natania and Michael's first dance but it was clear they were the type of couple that would have preferred not the be the center of attention. Though, admittedly, they didn't seem to mind it nearly as much during the three toasts prior to dinner. But all three toasts -- from Natania's father, Michael's best man and Natania's maid of honor -- were all a beautiful mix of sweet and sentimental and hilarious so I can't say I blame them.
If I had to pick out one of my favorite moments of Natania and Michael's wedding reception, it would ironically be the couple's SECOND dance together as they casually took the floor near their sweetheart table toward the end of dinner and danced together when no one was looking.
This little moment together, to me, felt much more natural and indicative to their relationship and I'm just glad I was nearby with a camera when it happened.
Following dinner, it was time to knock the second half of Natania and Michael's reception program out of the way and the newlyweds did so in style with a sweet cake cutting and two beautiful and emotional parent dances.
The moment Michael and his mother finished their parent dance, it was time to party and I'll be honest ... I had NO IDEA how this part of Natania and Michael's wedding would go as they didn't strike me as the dancing and party type.
But, like any good Jewish wedding day, all it took was one familiar moment of the reception to get things started right. That's right, I'm talking about the Hora dance.
Natania and Michael had my all-time favorite reactions to being lifted up for the hora and their combination of excitement and terror set the pace perfectly for a wild and crazy night of dancing that never let up.
By the time I packed up and called it a night with Natania and Michael, I knew I had captured countless moments and memories they would remember for a lifetime. More importantly, I knew they had done the same.
Natania and Michael's wedding was a wild and fun day that was exactly what this bride and groom always pictured and I'm just glad I was able to tag along for the ride and take this journey with them.
So thank you Natania and Michael for a wedding I know I won't soon forget and congratulations on this new and exciting part 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: Erin Baxter from Astra Salon; Bride's Make-up: Sarah Farias from Beauty Collective Salon Suites; Bride's Dress: New York Lace Couture; Groom's Suit: Jos. A. Banks; Florist: Christina Redgate, Texture Floral Designs; Ceremony & Reception: Rhodes on the Pawtuxet, Cranston, Rhode Island; DJ: Joey Gonzalez, DJ joey G. Entertainment DJ & Lighting; Cake: Ivy & Lace; Caterer: Samantha Bengtson, Watch Hill Catering.