Kristina & Kevin
October 1st, 2017
As a wedding photographer in New England, I can't help but be excited every time I get to turn the calendar from September to October.
It's not that the other 11 months of the year are bad per se but generally speaking October in this region of the country tends to be the absolute best time to photograph a wedding, an engagement session or, well, anything really.
Whether it's the ideal 70-degree temperatures or the beautiful colors of the fall foliage, there's simply nothing like this time of year and, because of this, I knew months in advance that Kristina and Kevin's October 1st wedding at the Villa at Ridder Country Club would be one of my favorite weddings of the year.
And boy was it ever.
Set at one of my favorite venues in New England and taking place on a sunny and warm Sunday afternoon, Kevin and Kristina's wedding had all the elements for stunning wedding photos in place before we event arrived.
But as nice as backgrounds and nature's colors are, what shined brightest on this day was the bride and groom themselves as Kevin and Kristina ran one of the smoothest weddings I've ever seen and their excitement was palpable from the moment the day began until the final song was played.
I don't think I've seen a bride and groom who smiled at each other more than these two did and the special little touches they put into their day to bring two families from different parts of the world together made me do the same every time I raised my camera to take a photo.
My coverage of Kristina and Kevin's wedding day was a bit different than most weddings as rather than documenting the bride's preparations, Kristina asked me to start my shoot when she arrived fully dressed at the Villa.
I always worry when a bride asks for this as, usually, that means I won't have much time to grab details shots and nice photos of her dress but Kristina was on point the moment she stepped out of the limo. Not only did we grab some quick photos of her touching up her makeup, we moved right into formal photos with the bride and her side of the family and bridal party. And I'm glad we did because the Villa offered a beautiful shaded area where the photos were simply stunning.
And when you're starting your wedding day with photos like this, who needs bridal prep shots anyway?
I had a ton of fun with Kristina and her girls, who were all a blast to photograph and open to any ideas for photos from me or the bride.
Not to be outdone, however, Kevin arrived about an hour after Kristina and his guys were full of energy and personality from the get-go.
Though he might deny it, I could tell Kevin was a bit nervous as the minutes to his ceremony inched closer and closer.
Not that I can blame him. His bride was absolutely stunning and took everyone's breath away as she walked arm in arm with her father down the insanely long aisle at the Villa.
Kristina and Kevin had a beautiful ceremony that was just the right balance between sweet and sentiment and laid back/casual.
My favorite part of their ceremony, by far, was the way the two kept finding a way to hold hands throughout the proceedings.
It's a little touch but one I appreciated seeing between a bride and a groom in their big moment.
I also loved the little touches the two put into their day, including a sand ceremony that perfectly represented the way they were blending two different cultures together to create one family.
After Kristina and Kevin's ceremony, we made our way back to their formal photo location for family and wedding party group photos and, as necessary as those were, I could tell this bride and groom were itching to party.
Now, normally this irks me as I want to take as much time as possible getting formal photos of the bride and groom but I've been to the Villa before and I knew we would have plenty of time to take the best photos of the night once the sun came down later.
Boy, was I right.
Kevin and Kristina's choice of the Villa as their venue for their reception told me a few things about what kind of reception they were likely to have. Number one, I knew it would be beautiful as the indoor facilities of the location are second to none. Number two, I knew they were likely going to have amazing uplighting and a great DJ as that's a room meant to host a great party.
Number three, I knew their details were going to be intricate and beautiful and they sure were. With a fall theme and color scheme, Kevin and Kristina had every little touch of their day planned to the most minute detail and it all came together to create a room full of amazing imagery.
As much fun as the details were, though, I knew from past experience at this venue that the real highlights of the night were still to come.
I love the Villa for a number of reasons but, my favorite, by far is how classy the reception rooms look for the big moments of a wedding and none get bigger than a couple's first dance.
Kevin and Kristina nailed that part of their reception and it provided some of my favorite photos of the entire wedding.
When I think of my favorite photos from Kristina and Kevin's wedding day, though, it's hard not to come back to the moments immediately following the start of the reception as, after a trio of toasts and blessings (including one by video from Kevin's father in Kenya), I was finally able to get the bride and groom back outside for sunset photos.
And what a sunset it was.
Ridder Country Club is an amazing backdrop for photos as the sun sets and it was no exception on this night. And thanks to the fact that they were able to take a break from formal photos for a little while and enjoy some of their reception, Kevin and Kristina had a renewed passion for their photos during this part of their wedding day and it showed.
I loved how much fun they were having with each other and with the process during this sunset shoot and it paved the way for a great rest of the evening as, after dinner, we kick started the back half of their program with a cake cutting and two parent dances that all resulted in great photos and a ton of candid moments between Kevin, Kristina and their parents.
My favorite moment of Kevin and Kristina's wedding day was still to come after the groom's dance with his mother, however.
In what I can only describe as one of the coolest things I have EVER seen at a wedding, Kristina and her relatives welcomed Kevin and his into their family with a custom dance number that was simply incredible to watch.
Not only was it visually amazing to see over a dozen people all in perfect harmony but for one side of a family to put themselves out there in front of everyone in attendance and spread such a welcoming message was inspiring to see.
I knew the minute this song was over that this would be a moment that stuck with me for years and I can objectively say it's one of my favorite moments of 2017 by far.
After the formalities of the evening were over, it was time for Kevin and Kristina to open up their dance floor. I'll be honest. This was the one part of the night I was worried about the most as I was only scheduled to shoot about a half hour or so of Kevin and Kristina's reception.
Typically, that's not a lot of time to really capture the spirit of a reception but, in this case, it was perfect as this bride and groom's guests wasted no time jumping right into party mode and their fantastic DJ pumped out hit after hit that paved the way for some really fun candid photos under colorful and ever-changing lights.
Though I could have easily stayed and photographed this wedding for another two hours, I could tell by the time I got ready to leave Kristina and Kevin's reception that I had captured the spirit of the night to a tee and, honestly, I couldn't have asked for more.
It was the perfect way to end a perfect day and, looking back on it, I'm not sure things could have gone any better.
Kevin and Kristina spent a lot of time planning their wedding day and it showed as it was one of the smoothest events I've ever seen and I'm glad for them in that regard.
On the surface, Kevin and Kristina appear so different personality wise and yet if you spend any time whatsoever with them, you can tell how similar they really are. And on this day? A day that they'll remember for the rest of their lives?
I could tell they were both feeling the same thing: An overwhelming sense of pride, joy, laughter and love.
I can't think of a better way to start off a marriage. Can you?
The Vendor List
Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Hair: Cindy Rodriguez of Keldara Salon; Make-up: Taylor St. Cyr; Kristina's Dress: Chryssie's Bridal; Kristina's Shoes: Blue by Betsy Johnson; Kevin's Suit: Calvin Klein, Macy's; Florist: Designing Images; Ceremony/Reception Location: The Villa at Ridder Country Club; Officiant: Selwyn Bodley; DJ: Limelite Entertainment; Cake: Konditor Meister.
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