On September 28, Stephanie and Tom were married with a ceremony and reception at the Searles Castle in Windham, NH.
Stephanie is my hair dresser, and I just love her sense of style. We did a retro engagement session at a 50's diner and later did the second half of that session outside with a classic turquoise Thunderbird. To say I was excited about this wedding was an understatement.
The morning of, I arrived at the castle to photograph Stephanie getting ready. At the same time, my second shooter photographed Tom and the guys.
After they were all dressed up, Stephanie and Tom decided to do a first look. I love doing first look's because I get to do a relaxed portrait session with the bride and groom, and they get to go right into the cocktail hour to enjoy their party! I loved photographing Stephanie and Tom. They are so fun to photograph together—I would have been happy to do portraits for longer if time allowed!
The bride's brother, Michael, was the officiant for the ceremony, so the ceremony was quite personal. He included this story, which I’ll let Stephanie tell in her own words:
“The hand jab motion developed with my first serious boyfriend. My brothers were supposed to do this to each guy I brought home to intimidate them (even though they are the biggest metrosexuals ever). However, the first time I brought Tom home to meet everyone was during a party. He walked up while one brother was doing a guitar playing keg stand, and the other brother went to jab him and completely fell over into Tom instead.”
Stephanie and Tom also included a meaningful tradition where they wrote letters to each other, explaining why they love each other. The letters were sealed and put into the wine box with a bottle of wine during the ceremony. This box can’t be opened unless times get tough and they need a reminder of why they are together—or at least until their 5-year wedding anniversary. The wine will be enjoyed when the letters are opened.
The reception followed the cocktail hour, which Stephanie and Tom enjoyed with their guests because they chose to do pictures during the first look. So many of the details were amazing, but I especially loved the top hat cake topper—I had never seen that done before. Stephanie got the inspiration from Pinterest, and it was perfect.
I have to say, the wedding band—The Ward Eights—were the most amazing wedding band I've ever seen. Seriously. Stephanie told me how she found them:
"I found the Ward Eights through my friend Phill that had seen them play a few times, and he used to work with a few of the members. They not only learned our first dance song (The Way I Am by Ingrid Michealson) but I had asked if they knew any ska/punk songs, since my family is huge into them. They then surprised us and learned a ska medley consisting of Time Bomb by Rancid, Point/Counterpoint by Streetlight Manifesto, and Just a Girl by No Doubt." Not only did they learn these songs for this one event but they sounded amazing and blew everyone away with their "Bare Naked Ladies-esk" pop song medley.”
Combined with this crazy awesome music, I had a blast watching everyone on the dance floor. I especially enjoyed watching Stephanie, her mother, and her two brothers getting down to the ska music that The Ward Eights learned specifically for the wedding.
I feel so honored that Stephanie and Tom asked me to capture their wedding day. Wishing you both many, many years of laughs and love together! Thank you to Shaun at Searles Castle for making the day run seamlessly and to The Ward Eights for throwing a kick-ass party!
Ceremony/Reception Venue: Searles Castle in Windham, New Hampshire | Caterer: Searles Castle | Floral Designer: Fruition Flowers, Jillian Gallagher | Wedding Band: The Ward Eights | Wedding Cake Designer: Jacques Pastries | Paper Products: Inspiration I Do, Kellie Perry | Wedding Dress Designer: Renee Couture