Sarah & Anthony
St. Augustine Catholic Church (Ceremony) & The Omni Hotel (Reception) in Providence, Rhode Island
October 20th, 2018
I've long felt that there is no more beautiful place or time of year than New England in the fall and it never fails that every time this season rolls around, there is one weekend afternoon that is the absolute definition of perfection with the right mix of gorgeous, colorful foliage and picture perfect temperatures.
And in 2018, it was the day Sarah and Anthony said "I do."
Sarah and Anthony are one of the most traditional couples I've had this year (the pair met in high school -- where classmates said they both had the "best laugh" in their school -- and reconnected in college at a New Year's Eve party) and their wedding was the type of day you'd expect to see in a step-by-step dream guide for couples getting ready to walk down the aisle themselves.
The pair said "I do" on a stunning mid-October afternoon in Providence and it was, without doubt, one of the most visually beautiful weddings I've had the pleasure to photograph.
And, more importantly, it was one of the most fun too.
My time with Sarah and Anthony began in the same place it would later end ... at the Omni Hotel in Providence.
Now, I'll admit: I've walked through this hotel on a regular basis for the vast majority of my adult life as it's the easiest way to get in and out of Providence Place Mall but prior to Sarah's bridal prep session, I had never actually been in the location for anything other than a few minutes of walking from the entrance to the exit.
Boy am I glad that changed.
The Omni is a beautiful hotel and was the perfect place for Sarah and her girls to get ready on her big day.
Sarah's bridal prep was one of the most fun ones I got to photograph this year and though I was there for quite some time -- arriving at 9 a.m. for a planned 1:30 p.m. exit -- it seemed to fly right by as she and her girls were a blast to hang out with.
I knew we were in for a good day when I walked in and the first song I heard on the radio was Tupac and the constant mix of reggaeton tracks and fun pop music was the perfect soundtrack for the day.
But we weren't without emotional moments. Though Sarah was super relaxed throughout her prep, she did lose it a little bit when she read a letter from Anthony before putting on her dress.
I could tell Sarah was eager to get dressed and get to the church but it wasn't until she put her dress on and I saw how her mother and father reacted to seeing her in it for the first time that I could see how much this day truly meant to the bride-to-be.
I loved seeing Sarah lose it when her father saw her during their first look together and really believe the emotional release was just what the bride needed as we headed out of the hotel.
By the time we all regrouped at St. Augustine Church, a beautiful venue that was perfect for this couple, Sarah was laughing, stress-free and ready to say "I do."
Her soon-to-be groom Anthony, meanwhile, did a great job of keeping his emotions in check but flashed a full smile when it mattered most as her saw his bride for the first time.
Sarah and Anthony had a full Catholic mass and it fit them so well as the entire day was a blend of the traditional moments you'd expect to see in a timeless wedding as well as the fun personalities of those walking down the aisle.
Case in point: Right after they became husband and wife, Sarah and Anthony celebrated by having their guests gather outside for a grand exit with bubbles.
Yes, this was cheesy. But, man, it was so much fun.
After heading out of the church, we entered the part of the day I was looking most forward to: formal photos.
Now, if you're a regular reader of this blog, you know I say almost every week that the key to a great formal photo session as a bride and groom is proper time management and excitement for your photos.
Sarah and Anthony crushed it on both fronts.
Not only did we have almost two hours to take all of Sarah and Anthony's family, wedding party and bride/groom portraits but we breezed through the first two sets of shots and I had well over a half hour with just Sarah and Anthony alone to do whatever we wanted at the Rhode Island Statehouse. Who could ask for more?
Even though we couldn't go very far as Anthony had injured his leg prior to his wedding day, I really feel like we got some awesome bride and groom portraits in the half hour or so we shot images at the Rhode Island Statehouse.
In fact, I might even go as far as to say it was one of the strongest bride and groom portrait sessions I had all year.
You can see why, then, I was already in a great mood as we headed back to the Omni for Sarah and Anthony's reception. The moment I walked into the ballroom where it would take place, though, I felt even better.
Sarah and Anthony had an incredible theme for their wedding reception and the uplighting and decorations were some of the best I've seen.
It fit this couple so well that I couldn't help but be a little giddy as I waited for the big moments of the night and I knew the moment these two started their first dance together -- to the song "Then" by Brad Paisley -- that this was going to be something special.
Seriously. Look at these photos and the way the colors of the Omni just make everything pop.
Sarah and Anthony went right from their first dance into parent dances and I'm glad they did as they kept the same color scheme up and it made both the father-daughter and mother-son dances feel just a little more special.
Following their parent dances, Sarah and Anthony took a rare break in the action for the dinner portion of the night before receiving two great toasts and cutting their cake.
Once dinner was over, though, we couldn't help ourselves and just HAD to explore the hotel a little bit for some final formal photos.
I loved this little getaway for Sarah and Anthony before their dance floor really got rocking and, I won't lie, the inside of the Omni Hotel is simply stunning.
As much fun as we were having throughout their wedding day, I could tell Sarah and Anthony were still waiting to see how the party portion of their reception played out before declaring the day a total success.
Thankfully it didn't take long to see exactly what kind of party it would be.
I had a ton of fun shooting Sarah and Anthony's reception because their guests were having a ton of fun living it.
Even though the Omni Hotel ballroom was massive and Sarah and Anthony kept getting called away for more group photos with various friends and family members, this reception still had a fairly intimate feel to it and the bride and groom had PLENTY of time to rock out on the dance floor with their rowdy guests.
At the end of the day, though, this party was about two people and two people only and they rarely left each other's side. Sarah and Anthony spent a ton of time dancing with each other at their reception, one of the most underrated parts of any successful wedding day. And I'm glad they did.
I'm especially thankful they did as the night came to an end as their time together during their final song led to some of my favorite photos of the entire wedding day.
As I packed up my gear and called it a night with Sarah and Anthony, I knew deep down I should have been exhausted. As much fun as I had with this bride and groom, it was still a 14-hour day right in the busiest part of wedding season. But I couldn't help myself. I left the Omni Hotel genuinely excited to see the photos we took.
And now that I've finished working on them, I can say that excitement was justified.
Sarah and Anthony had a beautiful wedding day that I think captured the spirit of their relationship and the feel of fall in New England perfectly.
More importantly, they had a wedding almost identical to the day they had hoped to have and talked to me at length about during their engagement session earlier this year.
And I'm glad they did because I can think of no couple who better deserved a day like these two got.
So congratulations Sarah and Anthony and thank you for entrusting me to capture this day for you. Trust me when I say this: it was as much fun for me to document, I'm sure, as it was for you to live it.
The Vendor List
Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini, Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Bride's Hair & Make-up: Sabrina Marie of Salon Sapphire by Sabrina Marie; Bride's Dress: Oleg Cassini, David's Bridal; Groom's Suit: Men's Warehouse;
Florist: Cherry Hill Flowers; Ceremony Location: St. Augustine Church; Reception Venue: Omni Hotel;
Transportation: Rockstar Limos (trolley); Officiant: Very Reverend Bernard A. Healey; DJ: Luke Renchan of Luke Renchan Entertainment.
Check out more of my most recent wedding blogs:
Amanda & Josh (Reception)
Loon Pond Lodge,
Date: October 14th, 2018
Katie & Steve
The Villa at Ridder Country Club
East Bridgewater, Massachusetts
Date: October 13th, 2018
Rob & Allie
South Ferry Church & The Towers
Narragansett, Rhode Island
Date: October 7th, 2018
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