Stacey & John
September 17th, 2017
Whenever I leave a photo shoot, I'm usually incredibly excited to get home, view the images on my computer and start the editing process.
Most times, I have an idea of how a shoot went before I even get to my car but in the case of Stacey and John, whose engagement shoot at Roger Williams Park I photographed back in May of this year, I knew AS we were shooting it that we were capturing something special.
Actually viewing the photos? Well, that only confirmed it as it was one of the best engagement sessions I've ever photographed.
You can imagine, then, how excited I was for their wedding date four months later at Colt State Park, one of my favorite places in Rhode Island.
It turns out that not even I knew how great would this day would be.
On one of the best weekends of the year weather-wise, we were treated to a fantastic early fall afternoon in Bristol and Stacey and John, who became pros at posing and are one of the most attractive couples I've ever worked with, put together some of my favorite formal photos of the entire year.
And then their reception started. As much fun as I had shooting bridal prep and the ceremony for this bride and groom, their reception was something else entirely and really a wonderful night full of hilarious candid moments and sweet sentimental touches between the bride and groom.
In other words, this was a wedding I looked forward to since the moment I booked this couple and, still, it exceeded my expectations.
Not that I should have been surprised. When you find a bride and groom this fun to work with, you can't help but create magic.
I'm just glad I was there to capture it all.
Stacey and John's wedding day began with a really relaxed and fun bridal prep session at their home in North Providence.
You know you're in good company as a New Englander when the bride's bridesmaids have football on and are yelling at the television because the Patriots are playing and that set the tone for the start of a day that was full of laughter and fun.
As for the bride herself? Stacey was cool, calm and collected right up until the moment she put her dress on and even then I could tell she was keeping her emotions in check as she readied herself to walk down the aisle.
Though we were running a little bit late to the ceremony and the final few minutes of bridal prep were a whirlwind of last minute checks and rechecks to make sure everyone had everything, the moment Stacey and her bridesmaids arrived at Colt State Park, I could tell a sense of calm enveloped the bride as she prepared to begin her ceremony.
John, meanwhile, was one of the most relaxed grooms I've ever seen as he stood at the altar patiently awaiting his love's arrival ... and checking his phone for updates on the day's NFL action.
Stacey and John's ceremony under the Chapel-By-The-Sea was just about as perfect a ceremony as you can ask for.
Set in front of a beautiful collection of fully-colored trees and a nice, sunny sky, Stacey and John said "I do" with a short ceremony that focused on their relationship and featured a lovely wine box ceremony where the two wrote notes for each other that would be sealed for the first years of their relationship together.
With Stacey and John's ceremony was over, it was time for the toughest part of the day for me as a photographer ... wrangling their large families and wedding party together for formal photos.
Stacey and John's friends and family were a rowdy bunch but thanks to a beautiful backdrop near a stone wall and a nice amount of shade, the session went smoother than I expected and we were onto bride and groom formals, the part of the day I was looking most forward to by far.
If there were one part of Stacey and John's wedding day that I wish I could do-over, it's their bride and groom formal photo session.
Not because I didn't love the photos. Far from it. I loved them so much, I would have loved to have had another half hour to shoot more.
Even though we only had a few minutes to capture portraits of the newlyweds at Colt State Park, and even less time to do it at the restaurant where they had their reception, I felt we did a great job with the time we had in achieving a number of cool looks and, of course, some of my favorite shots of the year with the two of them posing next to the beautiful vehicle they rented for transportation.
All told, I loved the brief time I had with the bride and groom alone and it was almost exclusively due to the familiarity we had with each other having just done an engagement session months earlier. Stacey and John knew how to pose and I knew what poses they would like and, together, we turned a small window of time into a slew of images I know they'll cherish forever.
Speaking of forever, I know their wedding reception was one they'll remember for that long, that's for sure ...
Stacey and John's wedding reception was held at a restaurant in Warren and I knew from the minute I walked in and saw the beautiful purple uplighting that this was going to be a fun night.
Starting the night off with a beautiful first dance to "You and I" by Michael Buble, Stacey and John had everyone's attention and moved around the dance floor like a perfect pair in perfect rhythm.
That dance, meanwhile, was just the start of a great series of signature moments on this night as both of their toasts, parent dances and cake cutting were all beautiful for different reasons.
By far my favorite part of Stacey and John's wedding reception, however, was one of the sweetest moments I've ever seen at a wedding as, rather than a traditional mother-son dance, John and his mother shared a slideshow for all of their friends and family members to see of their time together growing up.
It was hard to fight back tears during this moment, I assure you, and I thought it was a beautiful way for the groom to honor his mom and ensure she would have a positive memory of this beautiful day that was uniquely tailored to her and her son's relationship.
After the bride and groom cut the cake, however, the night took a turn for the strange and I mean that in the best way possible as Stacey and John's reception was a nonstop dance fest full of humorous moments that made me laugh far too often.
It's rare that a Sunday night wedding has the out-of-control vibe that Stacey and John's reception did but I loved watching as this couple's guests cut loose with no regard to whether or not they were going to have to go to work the next morning.
By the time Stacey and John's wedding reception came to an end, I could tell they had accomplished everything they wanted to during their wedding day and much, much more.
It's rare to see two people who so perfectly bring out each other's wild side the way Stacey and John do and getting to watch them on one of the biggest days of their life was a real treat I won't soon forget.
So congratulations Stacey and John! Hopefully your wedding night was everything you dreamed it would be and more. I know it was for me. :)
The Vendor List
Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Ceremony Location: Colt State Park in Bristol, Rhode Island; DJ: Jordan Paiva of Music of our lives; Officiant: Ashley Powers; Makeup: Paige Achilles; Stacey's Dress and Shoes: David's Bridal; John's suit: Our Place Tuxedos & Uniforms; Cake: Jen Bento.
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