Waterman Grille Wedding Photos
Jess & Zack
Waterman Grille, Providence, Rhode Island (Ceremony & Reception)
September 16th, 2023
I truly don't care what kind of wedding a bride and groom have as long as they're happy at the end of the day. That's why when Jess and Zack told me they expected their September wedding at Waterman Grille in Providence would be just a causal hangout with friends at a restaurant — and I could still see how excited they were by it — I knew it would be a day that didn't need all the traditional bells and whistles of a wedding to be fun to document.
I don't think I really grasped just how casual it would be until I saw they didn't even have a DJ and they didn't plan for any dancing during their reception but, somehow, that fit their vibe perfectly and I truly don't think they could have been more true to their vision, or had a better wedding, if they tried.
Jess and Zack said "I do" on a beautiful September afternoon in Providence and the only thing brighter than the sunshine was the light in their eyes and excitement in their voice as they became husband and wife.
I could tell exactly what was and what wasn't important to Zack and Jess on their wedding day exclusively based on when they wanted me to arrive to start my coverage: Their first look.
Neither this bride nor groom had any needs for me to grab the traditional prep photos that go into telling a story and they preferred to consider the "start" of their day when they finally got to see each other all dressed up.
And what a start it was.
I loved seeing Zack's reaction as he turned around and saw his bride for the first time but what warmed my heart even more was seeing how genuinely excited Jess was to share the style of dress she was wearing with her soon-to-be husband.
Jess and Zack's first look was an adorable way to begin my coverage of their wedding day and it only got even better from there. Because the two chose to have their formal photos at the groom's parent's home, and because the backyard of that home looked great and had awesome foliage and lighting, we were able to grab a ton of bride and groom portraits in short order moments after I arrived.
Even though Jess and Zack weren't the type of people who liked being the center of attention, I think they both did great in the natural awkwardness that is bride and groom portraits. In fact, things went so smooth and their photos felt so authentic, it almost felt like we had worked together before.
I really loved that we didn't even have to go far for family or wedding party formals, either, as we were doing those in the same back yard and as that's typically the most stressful part of any wedding day for me, I appreciated how easy and carefree it was working with these soon-to-be newlyweds and their friends and family members.
Jess and Zack chose to say "I do" at Waterman Grille in Providence, Rhode Island and while I'm always a bit worried about restaurant-type weddings and the ceremony space they may or may not have, this location seemed perfect for the small and intimate vibe this couple was going for on their wedding day.
Without a doubt, the wedding ceremony was the most important part of Jess and Zack's wedding day and I could see it written all over their faces the entire time they were up front and center with their closest people looking on.
I loved this ceremony. Not only did the two have a family member officiate the wedding for them but their ceremony had a slew of personal touches and both Jess and Zack had no problems sharing how emotional this moment was for them. These two waited a lifetime to stand in the front of that aisle and it showed in every word they said and every breath they took.
From the moment Jess and Zack's ceremony was over, I could send that the real reason we were all gathered here today had officially begun: Their celebration with an intimate group of their closest friends and family members.
Jess and Zack told me their vision for their wedding was having a good time with their favorite people together "just enjoying the day" and there's no doubt these two did just that, especially during their cocktail hour, which was super laid back and relaxed.
Before we went inside, I made my one request of the newlyweds on this special day of theirs: To walk along the waterfront of the restaurant and grab a few extra formal photos. I'm glad they obliged as they were some of my favorite photos of the entire day.
Inside, meanwhile, Jess and Zack's guests began to take their seats. Luckily, I had grabbed detail photos before the ceremony and prior to the reception beginning and I'm glad I did because I loved all the special little touches these two put into their day.
I knew from my first consultation with Jess and Zack that their reception was going to be more casual than I was used to but when I showed up and saw they didn't even book a DJ and had no plans for a dance floor, I was initially worried.
Thankfully, the pair decided to share a first dance but they scratched out most of the other traditional wedding reception formalities in lieu of just staying true to their vision of a casual hangout vibe.
The first dance though? I loved it for how traditional and old school it felt.
Following their first dance, Jess and Zack only had one small formality planned: Speeches by their parents. I'm happy they did as both speeches really felt touching and personal and showed how much the people in that restaurant loved them and their relationship together on this beautiful day.
With no dance floor planned, I wasn't sure how I was supposed to fill my time for the last hour or so of Jess and Zack's reception. Luckily, I didn't have to do much. I just walked around and made sure to snap candid moments of them interacting and celebrating this big milestone in their life.
As I headed to my car following Jess and Zack's wedding reception, I couldn't help but think it was one of the most lowkey weddings I've ever photographed. But that's why I loved it.
These two had a vision for their day and nailed it 100 percent.
To me, that is so special and so heartwarming to see and I'm so glad I was on hand to document it all. So thank you Jess and Zack for a lovely, relaxed and authentic wedding day. I with you the best of luck as you start this new and exciting chapter of your lives together as husband and wife. :)
-Paul J. Spetrini
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The Vendor List:
Photographer: Paul J. Spetrini, Paul J. Spetrini Photography; Bride's Dress: Jenny Yoo; Groom's Suit: Men's Warehouse; Florist: Flowerthyme; Ceremony & Reception Venue: Waterman Grille, Providence, Rhode Island; Cake: Whisk Me Away RI.