Keri & Jim’s Branford House Wedding ~ Mystic Connecticut Photographers

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!

More happy…..

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!

Sunset…..Mmmmmmm good!

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

 

Nicole & David’s Falmouth Engagement Session ~ Cape Cod Wedding Photographers

Like so many busy couples today, Nicole & David met online. Nicole was living in Falmouth, but her work as a model and actress took her to NYC, Boston and beyond. Meanwhile, David called Connecticut home.

After seeing Nicole’s profile online, David reached out and sent her an email, hoping to spark a connection. Luckily, David is a patient man, because it wasn’t until a few months later, when Nicole was house sitting for her aunt in Miami, that she finally replied.

“I decided to go back on the dating website I had been on and off of over the course of a year, and reread some of the emails I had received. One of those was from David,” she told us. Intrigued by the Buddhist saying he quoted in his message, she decided to take a leap of faith and write back.

“I didn’t think he would respond after so long, but he did,” Nicole told us.

The two exchanged a few emails, then began talking on the phone, quickly bonding over their shared love of the book, Le Petit Prince. Early on, I realized he had some depth and could talk about more philosophical things, and soulful things. So, I knew I liked this person. When we finally met, I thought he was so handsome. And the rest….well, it all worked out just perfectly.”

David agreed, saying sparks flew from the very first date. He drove from CT to the Cape for dinner, and it was a dinner they’d never forget. “We both felt, ‘Wow! This person is whom I was expecting to meet. We kissed on our first date and the chemistry was beautiful.”

Today, this sweet, thoughtful, passionate, interesting, creative, loving pair is planning their oceanfront wedding, and we are super excited to get to be a part of the celebration!! (Special thank you & shout out to our dear friend Amy of Amy Rader Photography for sending her friends our way!! Love you Amy and so grateful to you for all your support over the years!!)

Nicole & David will say, “I do!” surrounded by closest friends and family at the quaint Beach Breeze Inn in Falmouth. Andy & I used to live just up the street from the inn and have always wanted to photograph a wedding there. Now, we get to….and even better, we get to do it with two of the nicest peeps!

We got together with Nicole & David a few weeks ago, visiting a couple of their favorite spots on the Cape. We started out at the Knob in Falmouth, which is actually where Andy asked me to marry him….such happy memories! Hope we created some new happy memories there for these two lovelies!

Nicole & David share a love of travel, art, opera, good food, music and driving fast. They also love to make each other laugh….which they seem to do a lot!! Love it!!

More sweet giggles…..

Looooove this shot Andy got of Nicole & David with all the beach grass….so sweet, romantic, playful….perfectly them!

More cuddling & giggling…and reveling in their love. Ahhhhhhh!

The look of love….

Love these next two pics and how happy and playful they both are together…..this is what LOVE looks like. Just wonderful!

By your side I shall forever walk, hand in hand and hearts aligned.

Wherever you lead, I will follow….

Beach boulders as old as time, like solid reminders of love’s endurance, strength and resilience.

Smiling, happy….

These two smile A LOT in each other’s presence, and they both have such beautiful, warm smiles. Just delightful!

We nearly lost David in the water when he attempted to get in these row boats…I think he forgot how tipsy they can be. But, he made it safely & dry. We had a good giggle and in the end, we think it was worth the effort. Hopefully, they do too!!

Down to the Nobska Lighthouse beach for some photos at another favorite spot of theirs. Nicole’s done a lot of modeling, but David looks pretty natural in front of the camera too!!

Happy. Happy. Happy!!

LOOOOVE this next one…such big happy, snuggling faces!! Be still my lovin’ heart!

Another amazing perspective by my crazy talented hubby!! Love the faint glow of the lighthouse in the background!!

Sandy snuggles….

Love the way Nicole is holding on to David in this next one…it’s such a tender touch, filled with care & devotion…and that look, it just screams, “I love you!”

Thought I’d try something a little different for this last one…..I have been reminded lately, as I’ve had to watch as people I care about battle with scary illness…that life is very much about one’s perspective. There are so many different ways to see the same thing, but how we choose to view what we see….the lens through which we choose to look….it changes EVERYTHING!  This next one was for me about shifting my perspective and I love the result!

Nicole & David we hope you enjoy how we’ve captured the two of you together. We loved sharing the afternoon with you and watching you interact. You are wonderful individuals and a beautiful couple and we are thrilled to be a part of this exciting new chapter in your lives!! Thank you for entrusting us with documenting this time. We are so grateful and humbled and so very appreciative of your thoughtful choice in selecting us!!

We always ask our couples what were the deciding factors in selecting us as their photographers. We don’t usually share their answers, because it’s more of a helpful guide for us, but we were so moved by what Nicole and David said that it feels like a good way to end this post, so here goes…..

“(We like) The emotion you capture in your photography. Also, (your) photos seem truly inspired and spontaneous and not formulaic. And, the artistic angles you choose are just beautiful, not cliche or cheesy. They convey a true appreciation of all of the surroundings, not just the subject at hand. There is a richness to the images that is truly enjoyable to see, not just a series of ‘wedding’ pictures. We feel that you have the ability to capture that spirit, through our eyes, and the eyes of our friends and family.”

Well guys, we hope as you view this little sneak peek of our time together that you feel you made the right choice. I know, Nicole, that your time in front of the camera generally involves playing a part, but we hope in these photos you can see what we see in both of you and that you feel we were able to capture who you both are, the beautiful emotional connection you share and the excitement you feel as you prepare to merge your lives and hearts in marriage!!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!….for opening up in such a real way, for welcoming us with warmth & kindness and for just being you!! Cannot wait to meet your inner circle in a few months!!

Big love & Hugs, Christine & Andy xoxo

Kerri & Billy’s Falmouth Engagement Session ~ Cape Cod Wedding Photographers

Life is a like a woven tapestry. Strands of thread, intersecting and forming connection to create something larger and more meaningful. This is how I think about Kerri & Billy’s love story, like an afghan created over many years, looping with moments of intersecting lives, yet not fully wrapping them in its embrace until the time is just right.

Kerri & Billy both grew up in Milton, MA. Their grandparents were friends and their moms went to the same high school. And, when they were just babes, Kerri & Billy even attended the same day care….two sweet, unsuspecting little lives growing up and moving along destined paths, ever leading one to the other.

Although they knew who each other was in high school, they never really spoke until college. “I always knew the name Billy B., (But), whenever we were at the same parties I was too nervous to talk to him. I think I was just intimidated by how cute he was,” Kerri told us.

In September of 2011, these two, adorable, fun, loving people finally met at a Bruins’ hockey game they attended with mutual friends. Finally, the stars aligned and love struck hard.

“We were at a bar after the game and Billy gave me a head not to come over from across the bar and I walked right over (haha, so smooth Bill),” Kerri told us. “We talked for what I thought was about three hours and he asked me if he could kiss me…ahhh, it wasn’t even our first date. We kissed all the way home, before I got dropped off back at my apartment. I’m not sure it was love at first sight or what, but I definitely knew I liked him a lot right away. Things just got better and better the more we talked. I would get butterflies every time we spoke.”

“I do think it was a mix of love at first sight and fate,” Billy told us. “I defitinely believe that things happen for a reason and I really believe that meeting Kerri that night was meant to be.”

These two cuties will say “I do!” later this summer at a place very special to Andy & me….Bourne Farm. It is where we both said, “I do!” just a couple of weeks before Kerri & Billy actually met…it’s like we were destined to be their photographers!!!!

We got together with these sweethearts last week at Kerri’s grandmother’s home in Falmouth, where Kerri and her family (and now Billy) spend a lot of time during the summer. “My favorite thing to do with Kerri is everything we do when we are down the Cape…whether it is hanging on the boat, taking a bike ride on the bike path, or just hanging in the backyard enjoying a few drinks,” Billy said. So, we thought….what better backdrop for a bello love session than a place so rich with meaning for our sweet couple.

The boat on which they spend many an afternoon fishing and just relaxing….they look pretty relaxed right here!

I just love that their lives seemed destined to arrive here….in the warmth of each others’ embrace!!!

These two were so fun to photograph. They just love being together and it’s so obvious to see. They are silly and sweet with each other and needed no help being absolutely adorable in front of our cameras!! Love them!!!

May all your tomorrows feel like this…

“LOOOOOVEEE, exciting and new….come aboard. We’re expecting you!! And, love….life’s sweetest reward. Let it flow….it floats back to you!! The Loooooveee Boattt! Soon, we’ll be making another run!!! The Loooooveee Boattt!”

Here, is where I was always meant to be….

xo

In your arms and by your side…..swoon!

Love these two….

I mean come on….are they cute or what?!!

Where you go, I will surely follow….

This is how these two often look….smiling from ear to ear, completely happy to be together! LOVE!!

beach beauties…

The kiss….

Happy. Happy. Happy!

Kerri & Billy, thank you both sooooo much for opening your hearts to us in such a warm & welcoming way! Right from our first meeting, we knew you two were people we wanted to get to know better and that your love story was one we soooo wanted to tell! You guys are absolutely adorable together, but you’re also just really wonderful individuals, who have felt more like old friends than a couple who’s wedding we’re going to photograph. Thank you so much for making us feel that way!!! Loved hanging out with you both before, during and after the session and cannot wait till we get to see you both again!! Until then, we hope you enjoy this little sneak peek….more to follow soon!! We hope you love the photos as much as we adore both of you!

With big love & hugs, Chris & Andy xoxo

PS…special thanks too to Deb, Mike & Ritchie for also making us feel super welcome!! You guys are wonderful and we can’t wait to meet the rest of the gang!! xo