Twelve Acres Wedding Photos
Kayleigh & Matthew
Twelve Acres, Smithfield, Rhode Island (Ceremony & Reception)
September 2nd, 2023
One of the coolest parts about being a wedding photographer for over a decade now is, every once in a while, you get to shoot weddings for multiple people from the same family. I always love when this happens because it's typically come from some of my very favorite clients and after some of my very favorite weddings and, as you might expect, those folks then become some of my favorite clients and have some of my favorite weddings themselves.
And that's how I met Kayleigh and Matthew. Matthew is cousins with one of my all-time favorite brides Stacey and Stacey's wedding to Mack back in 2018 was one of the best and most fun receptions I've ever been to.
That's part of the reason I entered Kayleigh and Matthew's big day with high hopes. The other is how awesome the couple themselves are, as evidenced by our engagement session last fall at Roger Williams Park.
For all these reasons, I had huge hopes for Kayleigh and Matthew's wedding day at Twelve Acres in Smithfield back in September but, like all great couples, this pair not only met my expectations but wildly exceeded them. And, like all great weddings, the day got better and better the longest we went, culminating in a wildly fun reception that I could barely keep up with.
Talk about a family that knows how to party.
In what seems like a pretty popular trend in 2023, my coverage of Kayleigh and Matthew's wedding day started right as the action began — rather than with any bride or groom prep — as the couple asked me to show up moments before their first look and document from there.
This can always be a bit awkward as I like to warm up before getting right into the thick of things but, for Kayleigh and Matthew, it took no time for us to be right into their big day as Matthew's face upon turning around for their first look set the tone for the afternoon right away. What a sweet moment between these two and a great way to start their day.
Kayleigh and Matthew chose to share their first look at Matthew's parent's back yard — where the groom was getting ready — and while there wasn't a ton of room to work with in terms of space, it did make for a great backdrop for a quick set of bride and groom portraits before we headed to their venue and the day got too crazy.
I always like to get what I call a set of "Emergency Portraits" of the couple on their wedding day, just in case the timeline of the day goes haywire and we have to rush through their regularly-scheduled portrait session but Kayleigh and Matt were such pros with my posing at this point that I would've been good if all we got were these photos of these two because they were adorable.
With our first batch of formal photos taken care of, Kayleigh, Matt and I made our way up to Smithfield for their wedding ceremony. I knew we were in for an interesting afternoon at Twelve Acres when, in what might be a first in my entire photography career, the wedding not only started on time but more than 15 minutes early.
Perhaps even more surprisingly, not only did we start early but every one of Kayleigh and Matt's guests were in their seats 15 minutes before our early start time. I can't say I blame them though, this was one wedding you definitely wanted to savor every possible minute of.
And the ceremony? Without a doubt it was the most beautiful part of a beautiful day.
Kayleigh and Matthew's ceremony might be the nicest one I've shot this year. Not only was it a picture perfect late summer/early fall afternoon (which given the sheer amount of crappy weather we've had this year is a miracle in and of itself) but Twelve Acres has one of my favorite spots for an outdoor ceremony simply because there is SO MUCH room to move around.
I loved being able to bounce from side to side to capture Kayleigh and Matt's big moments during this part of their day and loved the special little touches they had that set their ceremony apart. By the time they walked down the aisle, you could see the love written all over their face and I know it was a moment they will never forget.
One of the nice things about Twelve Acres on the afternoon of Kayleigh and Matt's wedding day was the best spot for formal photos was right where the two had just said "I do" moments earlier so taking care of all of the family and wedding party photos for Matt and Kayleigh was an absolute breeze.
I love when this happens as it allows me to to focus on other parts of the day and, typically, gives us much more time for bride and groom formals and I knew before we even began that I wanted as much time with these newlyweds as I could get.
On paper, Kayleigh, Matthew and I had 17 minutes for bride and groom portraits but I swear it felt like five minutes. These two were so easy to work with and so accepting of any posing suggestions I had that it was a breeze guiding them through shot after shot.
I'm thankful they were, too, as it left us some extra time toward the end of their session to try out a different area of the property and that gave us just the right amount of sunshine to really make their last few photos pop before we headed inside to their reception.
I've been fortunate enough to shoot a couple of weddings at Twelve Acres but Kayleigh and Matthew's wedding was the first time I was at the venue in five years so I had no idea what to expect inside. Thankfully, it was still the same place I remembered and I loved that for Kayleigh and Matt as their decorations and decor fit the theme of the venue perfectly.
Heading into Kayleigh and Matt's wedding reception, I had no real idea what to expect as the pair didn't strike me as the wild and rowdy type but I knew from previous experience with members of their family that looks can be deceiving.
Their first dance — set to "The Joker and the Queen" by Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift — didn't give me too much of a clue, either, as the pair stuck to a traditional, slow and sweet song as their guests looked on but I didn't mind either way.
I loved this first dance and the way Kayleigh and Matt got lost in one another's eyes.
True to the vibe of the day to this point, Kayleigh and Matt had a very casual reception. The pair chose to minimize the number of formalities they had planned in lieu of a long dinner period and spending more time with friends and family and I think that was a perfectly-fitting decision.
In fact, the only real formalities the two had were one welcome toast by the groom, an informal cake cutting and a dance between Matt and his mom and then it was time for the dance floor to open.
I'll be honest. I was a bit worried about Kayleigh and Matt's wedding reception as their dance floor opened at 8 p.m. and the night was set to go until 10. For the average wedding, I find 90 minutes is that sweet spot for guests to party and rock out before they get too tired to keep going and anything longer than that tends to result in early exits and an empty dance floor that might disappoint a bride or groom who hoped to celebrate until the very end of their event.
Thankfully, that wasn't the case here as Kayleigh and Matt's crew came to party and made it clear, from the moment the dance floor opened that this would be a night where there were no slow moments. At all. Not even if you were several months pregnant — as multiple guests were. This was a party where EVERYONE was there to dance the night away and they sure did.
Kayleigh and Matt chose to cap their night off with a private final dance so, after saying goodbye to all their friends and family members, the newlyweds took the dance floor one final time and in a fitting tribute to this beautiful day, ended their celebration in each other's arms.
Moments after Kayleigh and Matt's wedding came to an end, I could see on their faces that the reality of their day really hit them and they were beyond grateful for just how beautiful and how smooth everything ran.
I've always said the sign of a good wedding is one no one wants to ever end and I think these newlyweds would have been content with this night going on forever.
I can't blame them. Kayleigh and Matt's big day was the kind of wedding you love to see as a photographer. Just a gorgeous day full of love and celebration that everyone in attendance is fully present for and living in the moment. The good thing is, I'm confident this is just the start of days like this for these two so congratulations Kayleigh and Matthew on a wedding to remember and best of luck on this new and exciting chapter of your lives 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: Unveil Your Love Bridal Beauty; Bride's Dress: David’s Bridal; Dress Alterations: Alexandra’s Alterations; Groom's Suit: Men's Warehouse; Florist: Tallulah Rose Artistry; DJ: Sidney at DEE JAYS ETC; Cake: Vienna Bakery; Donuts: Knead Doughnuts.