Keri & Jim’s wedding was something Andy & I had been looking forward to for nearly two years! Even though we get to witness a lot of “I dos,” it’s not often that we’re also there for the, “Yes!” that inevitably leads a couple to the aisle. But, we were there for Keri’s, “Yes!” and that made also being there for her and Jim’s “I dos!” that much more special!!!
Back in the fall of 2013, a very sweet Jim had reached out to us because he was planning a romantic weekend on the Cape with his girlfriend, Keri, and he was going to pop the question and ask her to marry him. It doesn’t get much more romantic than that!! He reached out to us because he thought it would be nice to have that moment captured in photographs. Having never photographed an actual proposal before, we were super excited for the opportunity to be in on such an intimate moment.
Jim & I spoke over the phone and in emails for several weeks, planning how it would all go down. And, as if the love Gods were shining down on us all, Jim got an unseasonably warm November day to sweep his girl off her feet. As expected, Keri said, “Yes!” and so began the wedding planning. You can read more about them and their proposal HERE and also check out their super sweet spring love session HERE.
Andy & I have grown quite fond of Keri & Jim over these many months. They are two of the sweetest, kindest, most sincerely loving, happy, wonderful, fun people and we just knew their wedding would be full of the kind of love & goodness that makes getting great photos a cinch….and even better….makes us LOVE what we do!
The wedding itself took place at the stunning University of Connecticut’s Branford House, located at the seaside Avery Point in Groton. Originally built in 1903 by wealthy railroad magnate Morton Freeman Plant, the 31-room Tudor style granite mansion was designed by his wife, Nellie, and named after the town where he was born. Eventually, the mansion was sold and ended up in the hands of the State of Connecticut. It became the property of the US Coast Guard for a time, and then was turned over to the University of Connecticut as a branch campus.
With a unique history, the Branford House is a truly stunning backdrop for a wedding, and it was super fun for us to be somewhere new!
We arrived in Groton the day before the wedding to check out the area and find our spots for pictures…..and there were LOTS of great spots!! We then popped in on their welcome party later that night, to meet their families. Everyone was super welcoming, which made us even more excited for the big day.
The morning of the wedding, I met Keri & the girls at the Red Door Spa, in the Mystic Marriott, where Keri, Jim, their wedding party and nearly all of their wedding guests were staying. Loved that!
In this first photo, Keri is getting her wedding day make up applied, while her super sweet and doting MOH, Kate, looks on.
After hair & make up were done, the girls all headed to the Branford House to get dressed. With all of its stunning woodwork & detailed architecture, the Branford House was a picture perfect back drop for getting ready! Such a treat! But, the best part was that Keri was smiling the entire time. Sometimes brides get so caught in the moment of getting dressed that they pull really funny/serious faces. I’m often having to say, “happy thoughts” or “happy faces” to remind them to relax. But, with Keri, it was all smiles….all day! See what I mean as Keri gets tied into her dress by Kate & another bestie, Justine…
I love the look on Keri’s lovely momma’s face as she watches her baby girl get dressed. Momma Jeannine and Justine help put the finishing ties to the dress, and she’s soon ready to go.
Love her girlfriends’ reactions….Sweet Jolene got a bit emotional. Awwwwww!!
Our gorgeous gals: Tara, Justine, Jessica (Jim’s cousin), Keri, Kate, Jolene & Jessica (Keri’s cousin). Pretty ladies + pretty light + pretty room = pretty easy job for me.
The arched doorways and stunning fireplace mantle made for a perfect frame for our lovely bride. Isn’t she ga ga gorgeous?!!
Meanwhile, back at the hotel, Jim gets a little help with his cufflinks from his best man, Brian, as the rest of the guys get ready too.
Love the nautical inspired bowties from Vineyard Vines….almost as much as this candid moment Andy captured as Frank (who’s married to Jim’s cousin, Jess) takes a selfie with Jim’s lovely momma, Gail.
Our handsome groom. I love this photo Andy captured of Jim….he looks so seriously serene, and this may have been the only time all day he wasn’t smiling the biggest smile I’ve ever seen. Watching Jim make his way to the ceremony was particularly sweet. He was BEAMING….like a kid on Christmas morning who got everything on his wish list!
The lovely guys: Joe, Jason, Frank, Jim, Brian, Jason (Keri’s big brother) and Scott. Such warm, fun, funny guys! Love them!
Jim is an only child and the apple of his momma’s eye. Watching her relish how happy her son was on this very special day was such a treat. Jim’s proud papa, Richard, was also a love! Truly, such an awesome group to not only work with, but get to know and welcome to our bello family!
Keri makes her way to her soon-to-be hubby, flanked by her mom & dad, Jeannine & Peter. Is she beaming or what???!!!
As was her main squeeze…..if this isn’t the look of love, I don’t know what is!
As perfect as their proposal day and engagement day were, their wedding day could not be topped….perfection in every way!
Father Shawn Smith infused a lot of humor into Keri & Jim’s ceremony, which seemed perfectly befitting this fun couple!
Happy friends & family look on, showing their love & support with more happy smiles…
Audrey (Jess’s & Frank’s baby girl) listens sleepily during the ceremony…..what a little cherub, eh?!!!
With this ring….
Gail & Jeannine fight the wind on the point to light the unity candle. It made for some giggling by everyone. Love that!!
And with that….our new mister & missus are married. Happy. Happy. Happy!! Now off for some photos….
After the family portraits on the lawn, we took the bridal party to the front of the House to take advantage of the shade and cool building facade. This next shot makes me laugh because it was taken right after Andy got pooped on by a very angry seagull. There were several birds circling above us as we were photographing the bridal party. They were squawking and seemed irritated we were there. One let us know exactly how he felt. Ironically, I heard the splash as a portion of the sizable deposit hit the floor, right next to me, and I thought to myself, “Phew….that was close.” I looked up and the bridal party had this reaction as they realized the bird got Andy, who took it like a trooper and laughed it off. We got a picture of him too, but will save that one for Jim & Keri. Love the reactions of everyone…this was such a fun group! Totally worth getting pooped on. (Easy for me to say.) Happily, Andy was able to clean up and no one was the wiser…plus, it makes for a great story for Keri, Jim and their friends.
And then there were two….two very happy people.
Love these two together so much!!!
A little stroll to the lighthouse at sunset…..ahhhhhh!
A couple who laughs together stays together….
Jim gives us the thumbs up….she said Yes! AND I do! Woooo hooo!!
Love, smiles and delicious kisses…..This is love!
Such joy…and a backdrop that rivals any of the Newport Mansions. Could be my new favorite place to photograph!
The gorgeous Sperry Tent and beautiful cake by Coastal Gourmet Caterers.
Love the besties’ selfie introduction (and obviously so do J&K)….you guys rock!!
The new Mr. & Mrs……let’s get this party started!
In your arms….it’s where I always want to be….
Warm embraces as the setting sun streams into the tent. Just beautiful!
Love this sweet gal….way to rock the toast Katie!!
Jim & Keri reacting to all the love directed their way…eat it up guys! Eat up all that glorious love!
Gail gets all emotional dancing with her sweet boy, as a tear runs down her beautiful face. So lovely!!!
Meanwhile Keri & her crazy dad get down on it….you go you two!!! Me & my dad went nuts to Shout at my & Andy’s wedding. I’ll never forget Dad turning to me while we’re on our backs on the floor and saying, “You make me wild, Chrissy!” It is in these moments of connection that our strongest memories are formed. Blessed are we who let love rule!!
And, who also play with cake…..deeeeelicious!
Get it guys…get it!!
Life is to be lived large and celebrated with great passion….today and always.
Dance like no one is watching….and smile with your whole heart.
For when the night comes our dreams shall be made of this….
Jim & Keri….I wish words could do justice to how much we appreciate you both, your families & friends and how warmly you all welcomed us into your lives and into this amazing day of love & celebration!! Your wedding was the stuff from which fairy tales are made. And, your love is both inspiring and contagious!! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!! For sharing your beautiful hearts and this beautiful day with us!! We feel so grateful to have been able to be there to document all of the love & goodness that sprang from a Yes that warm November day and led us all to this. You will forever hold a special place in our hearts as we hope these photos hold a special place in yours!! We adore you and feel so happy you found your way into our life!! More to come soon!! Big love & hugs, Chris & Andy xoxox