Valley Country Club Wedding Photos
Tara & Marcus
Valley Country Club, Warwick, Rhode Island (Ceremony & Reception)
November 11th, 2022
They say life is all about timing and I believe it because, often, timing can make or break a wedding day. Take, for example, Tara and Marcus' November nuptials at Valley Country Club in Warwick, Rhode Island.
Tara and Marcus said "I do" on a cold, wet and rainy November afternoon but, thanks to a little bit of a luck and a break in the clouds, we were able to capture their first look and all their bride and groom formals in between showers.
I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, really. Tara and Marcus are a couple defined by good timing. So much so that they were each other's first loves before drifting apart as they grew up and reconnecting as adults.
Without great timing, these two would have never walked down the aisle in the first place. And that would have been a shame because their wedding was well worth waiting for.
My time with Tara and Marcus started slightly different than my usual wedding days this year as I actually began with a short groom prep to capture the end of Marcus' getting ready process.
I love being able to shoot groom prep and grooms like Marcus are why. Not only did I get to meet all of the relevant people standing by his side on his wedding day but I got to see how the groom was feeling before things got hectic and gauge his emotions prior to his first look with Tara later in the afternoon.
Marcus was super relaxed and having a great time with his groomsmen and I think that started the day off on the perfect note ... both for him and for me.
I didn't get to spend a ton of time with Marcus and his guys but we got all the key things captured before I headed over to Tara and her bridal prep. To my relief, the bride still had a bit of her hair and make-up left to finish and I was able to document some of her final little touches before we headed out to the ceremony and reception venue.
Much like her groom, Tara was in great spirits before her wedding though I could tell she was a bit nervous about the weather ... much like I was.
The moment Tara and I arrived at Valley Country Club, the entire vibe of the day shifted. As is often the case, arriving on site to where a bride will say "I do" makes what you're there to do that day real in a way it isn't beforehand. Luckily, Tara's bridesmaids had ways to keep her loose and relaxed and her first look with her father helped get some of her nerves out before we took her to see her groom for the first time.
I was eagerly awaiting Tara and Marcus' first look ... and not just because we had a short break between rain and the radar for the rest of the day didn't look great.
Tara and Marcus struck me as a couple that would share a lot of special moments together on their wedding day and their first look was the best example of that. From the moment the groom turned around and saw his bride, I could tell they both felt any remaining nerves drift away and as they exchanged notes and gifts to one another, I knew the rest of the day was going to go smoothly ... provided we beat out the incoming rain.
To Tara and Marcus' credit, they were both incredible to work with and understood what I was trying to accomplish when I told them we would need to speed run through their bride and groom portraits. Despite having what looked like MAYBE 15 minutes to work with, Tara and Marcus were great sports and we flew through a ton of poses before we felt the first rain drops fall.
And even then, they weren't too concerned and we actually managed to sneak in a few unplanned extra minutes, which worked out nicely because the Valley Country Club grounds looked great on this overcast afternoon.
Tara and Marcus' speed run even gave us five minutes to grab some shots of their wedding party while we were still outside and I'm glad because this was one fun crew.
Within moments of finishing up wedding party formals, the skies opened up again but, thankfully, we were already inside and had taken care of all the photos I'd stressed out over getting which was great because we were able to quickly transition right into Tara and Marcus' wedding ceremony a short while later.
Tara and Marcus had always planned to get married indoors — literally from our first consultation — because of how late into November they were tying the knot and I'm glad they did because Valley Country Club is one of my favorite reception rooms to shoot in and it was the perfect backdrop for their small and intimate ceremony.
Tara and Marcus didn't want to make a big deal out of their ceremony and only planned for it to be a few minutes but even I was surprised at how quickly it went. All told, it was just seven minutes from the time the groom walked in until the newlyweds walked out but even with the short runtime, this couple made every moment count.
With Tara and Marcus' ceremony in the books, the newlyweds were finally able to cut loose and relax a bit during cocktail hour while I captured their details.
As I said above, I love Valley Country Club. Even though the room can be dark at times, it's one of the best rooms when the uplighting is done right and Tara and Marcus knocked both the lighting and their details out the park on this November afternoon.
I honestly had no idea what to expect from Tara and Marcus' wedding reception, other than the fact that I had a feeling the bride and groom were going to enjoy every minute of it but right from their introductions, I could tell their friends and family members were in the mood for a party and it sure delivered.
Tara and Marcus started the night off right with a first dance set to "Conversations in the Dark" by John Legend and this first dance was one of the toughest ones I've ever had to photograph because the newlyweds spent most of the song locked in each other's arms.
When Marcus pulled away and I saw the tears in his eyes, well, I understood why. Talk about an emotional and beautiful moment.
One of the things I found most interesting about Tara and Marcus' wedding reception was their change of plans regarding the events taking place. The pair decided, on the fly, to move their parents dances to right after the first dance and to have their toasts follow immediately afterward.
I typically like to avoid this as I feel like guests are usually getting hungry at this point in a reception but when I saw the way Tara and Marcus wanted to share those special moments all in a row, and get them done so they could relax the rest of the night, I got the reasoning behind it.
And, thankfully, each moment and each toast still felt special.
Tara and Marcus took care of most of their wedding reception formalities before dinner and spent a LOT of the dinner portion of their evening going table to table to thank their guests for spending such a special day with them.
Once dinner was completed, the only formality remaining was cutting the cake and I'm glad they saved this moment for last as it really set the tone for what was to come.
Almost immediately following their cake cutting, Tara and Marcus hit the bar and the party was ON.
Tara and Marcus' friends and family members made sure to enjoy and savor every moment of this night and with a playlist that included just 90s R&B banger after banger, well, it took all the effort I had not to spend more time dancing than photographing this party.
And right there in the middle of the fun were the newlyweds. Tara and Marcus tore the dance floor up and made sure to make the most of this special night in a way I know they won't soon forget.
As my time with Tara and Marcus came to an end and I drifted back out to the cold rain, I couldn't help but think about how much fun their day turned out to be. Mid November weddings are always a risk, as the weather on this day showed, but I don't think any weather could have dampened these newlyweds' love on this beautiful day.
Tara and Marcus had an incredibly fun wedding from start to finish and I'm so glad I was there to document the little moments along the way. So, congratulations on a beautiful wedding Tara and Marcus and best of luck on this long overdue and exciting new chapter of your lives together as husband and wife.
-Paul J. Spetrini
Check out more of my most recent wedding blogs:
Brookmeadow Country Club,
November 5th, 2022
November 4th, 2022
The Red Lion Inn,
October 31st, 2022
The Vendor List:
Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini, Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Bride's Hair: Primp & Pin, North Providence, Rhode Island; Bride's Make-up: Angela Montero; Bride's Dress: Maggie Sottero gown purchased at the Bridal Shoppe, Warwick, Rhode Island; Groom's Suit: Kenneth Cole; Ceremony & Reception Venue: Valley Country Club, Warwick, Rhode Island; DJ: Corey Young of Out the Box Productions; Cake: Lori Bonner Cakes.