Blog— Weddings — Massachusetts — 2021 —
Saphire Estate Wedding Photos
Ann & Andrew
Saphire Estate, Sharon, Massachusetts
August 1st, 2021
Wedding days are exhausting. From the early morning hair and makeup appointments until the way-past-a-normal-bedtime open dance floor, by the time a wedding day is nearing its end, it's only natural for a bride and groom to be completely over and done with their big event and ready for some sleep.
But it's in these moments where love truly shines and Ann and Andrew showed that in a special way the night of their August wedding reception at Saphire Estate in Sharon, Massachusetts.
On a slowly-fading dance floor, the two shared a quiet moment alone where they thought no one was looking. Andrew took his new bride, pulled her close, looked her in the eye and they shared a smile. No words. Just a smile. Within seconds, the groom was wiping away a tear and his bride rested her head on his shoulders.
That moment, which I was lucky enough to capture, was the culmination of a LONG day of celebration but, more importantly, it was a reminder of how lucky they were to be with each other.
I can think of no better way to sum up an amazing day I know neither one of them will ever forget.
Ann and Andrew's wedding day was one of the most comprehensive wedding days I've shot in quite some time. Not only did they have all the prep, traditions and bells and whistles of an American wedding but, prior to arriving to Saphire Estate, their families held a traditional Vietnamese ceremony at the bride's parent's home that set a sweet tone for the day's festivities.
I've photographed my fair share of cultural wedding ceremonies and one of the things I always love about them are the colorful dresses. So when Ann told me that not only did she have an American wedding dress but a red one for the Vietnamese ceremony AND a light blue one for her first dance later that night, I knew I just had to grab a shot of her with all three dresses.
And, to her credit, Ann was great about the timing for all the dress changes and never let it slow the day down.
I particularly loved her Vietnamese outfit. It was stunning and made for great photos.
Ann and Andrew's Vietnamese ceremony took place in Ann's parent's living room and was the perfect way to start their wedding day. I loved the way it began with a prayer to their ancestors and slowly morphed from serious into celebration as the bride and groom offered tea to their parents and special relatives and shared laughs and lunch with the two dozen or so people on hand.
Traditions like this always fascinate me, particularly because of how different it is from American custom, but in a sense, all wedding ceremonies have similar themes and structures.
For a wedding photographer, these glimpses into different cultures are gold when it comes to capturing unique wedding day storytelling images and Ann and Andrew's wedding was full of them.
Following Ann and Andrew's traditional Vietnamese ceremony, we made our way into the hot August sun for some nice formal photos in their cultural outfits, starting in Ann's parent's backyard and then moving over to Roger Williams Park in Providence en route to Saphire Estate.
We didn't spend a ton of time at Roger Williams Park -- in all, we were there for maybe 15 minutes -- but we made the most of every minute and I loved the contrast between the greenery of the park and their colorful Vietnamese attire.
By the time Ann, Andrew and I left Roger Williams Park, it already felt like we'd had a full day of celebrations. Yet, we were just getting started.
I won't lie, it was a little weird to basically "re-start" their wedding photos when we arrived at Saphire Estate but within moments of shooting Ann's second bridal prep and Andrew's second groom prep, the day was starting to quickly feel like most weddings, just without the stress associated with many of them as this bride and groom had not only already seen each other that day but had a ceremony already.
I especially loved Ann's second bridal prep session as we had plenty of time for some great portraits, many inspired by shots she took as a child that still hang on her parents' walls today, and the bridal suite at Saphire Estate was absolutely perfect for these photos.
By the time it was time for Ann and Andrew's American wedding ceremony, there was just enough cloud cover over their venue to cool things down a bit --which is always a welcomed sight in August -- and that made for a much more comfortable setting to watch a sweet ceremony where the bride and groom said "I do" in front of a much larger group of their friends and family members that earlier that day.
I loved Ann and Andrew's American ceremony so much. Not only was the weather perfect but Saphire Estate has one of my favorite areas for a ceremony. The beautiful greenery and spacious layout is a photographer's dream and I was lucky enough to capture a ton of nice portraits of the bride and groom as they sweetly expressed their love for one another and sealed it with a kiss.
Following their American ceremony, Ann, Andrew and I made our way across the street from Saphire Estate to the venue's nice garden area for portraits.
Thanks to the always-helpful Becky MacDonald of Pretty Nerdy Photography, who assisted me as my second photographer for Ann and Andrew's wedding, we were able to quickly run through a bunch of poses that I absolutely adored with these two, which is something I'm happy about because the last thing I wanted to do was out-photo this bride and groom.
Considering we were now seven hours into their wedding day, the fact that they were still able to smile and look genuinely happy was rather impressive.
Ann and Andrew are such a sweet couple to work with, as evidenced by their lovely engagement session a few weeks before the wedding, and I really couldn't wait to see what kind of reception they had as Saphire Estate is a great place to throw a fun party.
Based on the details they chose alone, I knew we were in for a good night.
Ann and Andrew kicked off their reception with a beautiful first dance set to "Define Dancing" by Thomas Newman. I loved this moment for the bride and groom, not just because it was expertly choreographed and performed but also because Andrew could not smiling the entire time. It was adorable and just about the perfect way to begin their reception.
Ann and Andrew's wedding was such a joyous event and you could see this from the way everyone at their reception interacted with them. With speeches from Andrew's mom, Ann's father and Andrew's best man, this event was not short on emotion and nearly everyone who said anything about this bride and groom remarked about how amazing they are as people.
I think that says a lot about Ann and Andrew and the love their friends and family members feel for them.
One thing I especially loved about Ann and Andrew's wedding was how low key the "big moments" of the event were. The two cut their cake with their parents watching but little fanfare otherwise, we went outside for some casual sunset photos and called it quits almost immediately when the bride and groom decided they kind of wanted to go party instead AND both of their parent dances were relaxed and more spontaneous moments than "center of the dance floor, everyone pay attention" events I see at most weddings.
It set an easygoing, no stress tone for the night, a tone that paid off once the dance floor opened up.
Once the dance floor opened up for Ann and Andrew, I knew we were in for an amazing night and their friends and family did not disappoint.
Ann and Andrew's dance floor was packed for most of the night and, most importantly, THEY were dancing right in the middle of everyone else.
It was such a nice thing to see and such a great way to cap a special evening.
As I said at the start of this blog, my favorite moment of Ann and Andrew's wedding day was when they thought everyone else had called it a night and celebrated a special dance with just the two of them off in a corner of the dance floor.
I truly think this little moment in time, which couldn't have lasted but 30 seconds, summed up their night beautifully. So much so that the last song of the evening, which came moments later, was just the cherry on top to close things out.
Ann and Andrew's wedding day was one of my longest, but most rewarding, of 2021. I loved working with this couple from start to finish and am so glad, after a year's delay because of the coronavirus pandemic, that it managed to exceed even my most lofty of expectations.
I adore couples like Ann and Andrew, couples who you can tell are genuinely better together, and it's one of the most rewarding aspects of my job to see their love shine on the bright stage of a wedding day.
So thank you Ann and Andrew for one of my favorite weddings in a long time and I wish you luck and happiness as you begin this new journey of your life together as husband and wife.
-Paul J. Spetrini
Check out more of my most recent wedding blogs:
The Vendor List:
Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini, Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Bride's Hair and Make-up: Taylorjoartistry; Bride's Dress (White gown): Alexandra's Boutique; Groom's Suits: Suitsupply, Jos. A. Bank; Bridesmaids dresses: Azazie; Florist: Anne Traer
Ceremony & Reception: Saphire Estate, Sharon, Massachusetts; DJ: DJ Pete;
Cake: Dessert Works; Officiant: Justice Carol Roberts.