Styled Shoot at Mack's Apples in Londonderry

This week I had the privilege to be a part of a styled shoot with a dozen creatives and business owners. The photographers I shot alongside have become friends, and there is nothing better than creating with people you love to work with. I thrive in collaboration, so I feel blessed to have experiencing like this one.

Here are a few of my favorites from the shoot. Thank you to the talented vendors who made everything look absolutely gorgeous and the couples who were willing to do anything 6 photographers asked them to do. You made our jobs easy.

Planner: Eventfully Yours 
Hair and Make-Up: Premiere Makeup + Hair
Flowers: Sorella Flower Company 
Rentals: Inspiration Rental 
Linens: Special Events of New England, LLC
Invitations:  Inspiration I Do
Food: Custom Eats + Sweets
Venue: Mack’s Apples

Intimate Weddings: 5 Reasons Brides Are Choosing to Go Small

There is a growing trend among brides to think outside the box—from the dress, to the location, to the structure of the ceremony. One major trend is the intimate wedding. Brides are ditching the cost and stress of a large wedding and replacing it with backyard gatherings and adventure elopements.

Starting about two years ago I made a change in my photography business. After photographing a winter wedding with only 20 people in attendance, I realized I had a deep appreciation for small, intimate weddings. Since then, it has developed into my passion and the majority of the weddings I photograph.

I thought I would share the 5 reasons my brides, and many others, are scaling back and choosing an intimate wedding.

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1. IT'S FINANCIALLY FREEING. 
Holy smokes do you save money--and its the most obvious reason to scale back on the guest list. New England weddings are expensive and smaller weddings are the easiest way to cut the cost.  With a smaller wedding you save on catering, invitations, the venue, the florist, and even the photographer and videographer.

With an intimate wedding, you don’t need eight hours of photography coverage so you can book a smaller package. As a photographer who specializes in small weddings and elopements, my packages include 3-5 hours of coverage, instead of the typical 8-10 hours. 

And just think of the ways you can use all the money you saved--if you are really embracing all things small, you could buy a tiny house with your saved wedding budget!

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2.    ENDLESS LOCATION OPTIONS.
As soon as you decide to go small with the invite list, the venue options open up.  If you have a 250 person guest list, you are limited by venues that can accomadate that number. The smaller the wedding, the more options you have. Want to get married on top of a mountain or in the middle of your favorite hiking trail? Have you always dreamed of getting married on a remote beach? Love the idea of getting married in your grandmother's backyard? Every one of these options become a possibility when you only have to account for a small amount of people. Your location choice becomes personality-driven instead of numbers-driven.

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3.    STRESS-FREE PLANNING (OR AT LEAST A WHOLE LOT LESS)
The smaller the wedding, the easier it is to plan. Yes, there is still the dress, the location, the flowers, and the invitations—but when you only have to mail 20 invites instead of 250, you save time. When you only have to select one bouquet instead of seven bouquets (and centerpieces), you save time. When you have to organize a seating chart for two tables instead of 20, you save time. Every little part of planning a wedding becomes easier.

This stress-free planning carries into the wedding day. Part of the reason I almost exclusively shoot small weddings is because of my experience with brides on their wedding day. I fell in love with the feel of a small wedding. It was relaxed and incredibly intimate.  I was able to capture simple, meaningful moments. 

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4.    THOSE WHO MATTER MOST
The day of the wedding is about you, your future spouse and the people closest to you. When you choose to scale down the guest list you are able to have memorable and intentional moments with each person in attendance. Things are less rushed, so your mother has time to help you with your jewelry and your father has time to enjoy the first moment he sees his daughter as a bride.

Let's not forget about your spouse! When you scale back, you have time to enjoy all the little and big moments of the day with your new spouse! 

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5.    TIME FOR THE LITTLE THINGS
With a small wedding, you gain time. You spend less time coordinating and interacting with a large crowd of people. With this time, you can focus on the details. You can stop and relax. Your wedding day won’t feel like a blur because you will have more time to pause and take it all in.  

 

 

Are you planning a small wedding? I would love to talk to you about your day! 

 

 

An Elopement at City Hall in Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Vince and Jackie knew early on that they wanted to elope. It had become a bit of a tradition in Jackie's family. Her parents eloped as well. Vince and Jackie loved the romance of a true elopement so, on a perfectly sunny day in August, Vince and Jackie drove from New York to spend a few days in New Hampshire. On Monday morning, they headed to Portsmouth City Hall for the license and had an intimate private ceremony just a few hundred yards away from the doors of city hall. 

They invited me to capture the entire day--from the signing of the license, to the ceremony, to the walk around Portsmouth as husband and wife.  They included details that helped make this day so special. They had the letters they had written during their years of long-distance, Vince's dog tags, and shoes that help benefit Best Friends Animal Society--to represent their love for animals.

With every elopement I capture, I fall more in love with them. There is something so beautiful in the simplicity of it all. 

 

Winthrop Carter House Wedding: Alex and Nikia

Alex and Nikia's story is as beautiful as their wedding day. After moving over 2000 miles away from her home to New Hampshire, the last thing Nikia was looking for or expected to find right next door was her future husband. But what started out as friendship turned into much more, and five years later, at the Winthrop Carter House, Alex and Nikia said "I DO" in front of their closest family and friends. 

The entire wedding day was about their love and the love of family. Alex and Nikia value family and friends and it showed in this beautiful and intimate wedding at Winthrop Carter House. 

Venue: Winthrop Carter House
Floral Design: Lotus Floral Design
Second Shooter: Jennifer Mowry

 

The Playhouse Intimate Wedding Styled Shoot

In March, I was able to help collaborate on a LOFT and Tuesday's Together Creative Retreat with Hilary of Hilary Colleen Photography and Jenn of Jenn Bakos Photography.  Fourteen creatives spent three days at the stunning Playhouse in the Berkshires. It was a great way to meet other photographers, writers, and designers. We also had a lot of fun, laughs, and food--so much food.

I was able to lead a discussion on finding your ideal client and understanding your brand personality, Jenn taught a food photography workshop, and Hilary coordinated a beautiful styled wedding shoot! This was my first ever styled shoot and I loved it. It helped having amazing vendors and wonderful, genuine couples for our models. 

I can't wait for the next retreat!

Venue: The Playhouse
Floral Design: Ivy & Aster
Wedding Gown Designer: Edith Elan
Make-Up: Karrie Welch
Hair Stylist: Michelle Anne
Men's Suits: Zabians
Bridesmaid's dresses: Deidre's
Jewelry: Estylo
Stationary: Emma Bauso Design
Wine: Appolo Vineyard
Dessert: Chocolate Springs
 

 

Willow Springs Vineyard Wedding: Nick and Erin

Nick and Erin's first date lasted 8 hours. They walked around in the pouring rain and talked. So from their first date, Nick and Erin's relationship was rooted in a deep friendship. They are a team. 

Nick and Erin love spending time outdoors, so an outdoor wedding at a rustic vineyard was the perfect fit. Willow Springs Vineyard is one of my favorites, a beautiful family owned and run vineyard with a restored red barn. 

The day was filled with details that spoke to both their relationship and personalities. From the locket to remember a loved one, to the Swiss watch Nick wore; from the chocolate "tasting" in the ceremony (because Nick LOVES chocolate), to the Jenga game "guest book." Every element showed a small piece of Nick and Erin.

Surrounded by close friends and family, this small, intimate wedding was perfect, from beginning to end. 

Venue: Willow Springs Vineyard
Catering: Two Chefs Are Better Than One Catering
Cake: Cakes4Occasions
DJ: A Good Time DJ
Second Shooter: Lisa Anderson
 

Church Island Wedding: Tobi and Amelia

What a perfect wedding to start off my blog. I knew this would be an absolutely beautiful wedding from the first time I spoke with Amelia and Tobi and they mentioned a barn, an antique boat, and an island. That's right, they got married on an ISLAND. 

The day began with preparations at Meadow Wind Bed and Breakfast. The bride and groom wanted to pray together before their ceremony, so they met at the corner of the barn, holding hands, praying together for the last time before becoming husband and wife. 

We then headed to Church Island on Squam Lake, making our way by antique boat. There is nothing more beautiful than a wedding on an island, surrounded by friends and family and a birch tree cross at the center.  

The day ended back at Meadow Wind for a tent reception, lawn games, dancing, and a sparkler exit! I absolutely loved every minute of this wedding and was so blessed to have been a part of their perfect day. Thanks and congrats Tobi and Amelia!

 

Getting Ready and Reception: Meadow Wind Bed and Breakfast
Ceremony: Church Island
DJ: Sowa Entertainment
Videographer: Dan McMahon Films
Second shooter: Ali Jemes of Alexis J Photography