bride & groom arrive at Wequassett rehearsal dinner

Over the years, it’s been rare that we show up for a wedding or rehearsal dinner without having met our couple at least once prior. In years past, we’ve always had a meeting first, as they’re shopping around for photographers, and then get together again during their engagement session, when we really have time to get to know each other. And, I’ll be honest….I’ve really enjoyed that process, as it starts the relationship building months before the actual wedding. And, I’ve always believed that the more time we spend with our couples before they say, “I do!” the stronger our relationship will be, the more they will trust us, and the higher our level of comfort will be with one another, which I’ve always believed leads to better photographs in the end.

But, this year seemed to bring with it a new, more frequent trend of couples just booking us sight unseen. On one hand, it’s a really good sign that people can see & feel enough in our work just looking at our website & blog to understand who we are and what we do enough to trust that and not have to meet with us to be convinced. On the other hand, it means not a lot of time to build up the relationships that have become so important to me personally.

So, when Marisa & Justin hired us to photograph their wedding & rehearsal dinner last year all the way from Colorado, without ever having met us, and having done their engagement session with a photographer closer to home, it was pretty cool, but I’ll admit, I was also a little nervous. This wasn’t the first time that’s ever happened to us and ironically, it’s always worked out that not only did we adore the couple and have a great time at their wedding, but we were also super happy with the photos we captured for them. Still…I get nervous.

Maybe it’s just that I care so much about what I do, wanting to make sure no one who hires us ever feels even a tinge of the disappointment I felt over the photos from my & Andy’s own wedding (it’s what made us start BelloPhoto more than 17 years ago). Or maybe it’s just how I am in general…believing that if you’re going to do something…anything…you give it your VERY best. I don’t know, but I do know that I was feeling that same nervousness I always feel before every wedding we photograph, plus the added nerves of never having met Marisa & Justin, that had me on pins and needles before their big weekend a few weeks ago.

Happily, at the first hello, I was smitten. Marisa & Justin are lovely with a capital L. Marisa is quite possibly THE nicest person on the planet. She is kind, caring, super compassionate, made with oodles of love and goodness. And, she’s gorgeous and crazy smart. Justin scored the entire package with this one! And, Justin….he is warm and welcoming, super gregarious and fun with a capital F. He’s also the kindest, most loving dad to his sweet boy, Jackson….I’m sure their relationship is just one of the many reasons Marisa fell for them both. I can’t wait to share some of the photos from the wedding ceremony. Marisa actually read her own set of vows to Jackson and I was quietly crying while snapping photos…everyone was crying. It was just the most beautiful, touching exchange I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing.

But, for now, I’m going to stop blathering on and share some of the love & goodness we witnessed at Marisa & Justin’s lovely summer rehearsal dinner.

Friends & family begin arriving for Marisa & Justin’s rehearsal dinner at Wequassett Resort. It’s no wonder the Wequassett is the only 5-star resort on Cape Cod. The way they keep their gardens, and the property in general, always looking top notch is so impressive. Love how these lovely ladies in purple match all of the giant allium bulbs seen everywhere at the Wequassett this time of year.

Some of the pretty details inside the Pavillion before guests arrive.

Snuggling up for a few photos before joining their guests…

bride & groom cuddling at Wequassett Resort rehearsal dinner

Friends & family begin arriving for all of the fun & celebration…

Marisa gives her junior bridesmaid, Leah, a big hug during the rehearsal dinner cocktail hour. She wraps everyone around her in this same love & affection. Just love her!

rehearsal dinner at Wequassett Resort

Justin being Justin during cocktail hour. Just the nicest guy, spreading smiles wherever he goes.

Some of the super cool kiddos in Marisa & Justin’s life, including the star of the show…JACKSON (far right)…such a cool little human!

kids at Wequassett Resort rehearsal dinner enjoy cocktail hour

Friends & family enjoying each other’s company during cocktail hour, including Marisa’s lovely Dad, Ron.

guests chat during rehearsal dinner cocktail hour at Wequassett Resort

And, Justin’s super sweet Momma, Mary.

Kids being kids on their devices and a sneaky portrait of Marisa’s co-MOH, Abby, looking gorgeous.

Fellow MOH, Allison, snuggling with her sweet boo, Charlotte, during cocktail hour.

mom & daughter at Wequassett wedding

Family & friends enjoying good company and good conversation.

Hugs from family & friends, including Marisa’s lovely Momma, Marilyn (center right).

Girlfriends are forever…

Peek-a-boo, niece Makenzie, we see you….

I so enjoyed watching this super sweet young couple in love on the left (Justin’s nephew, Cole, and his girlfriend) as well as this adorable family, the hubby, kids and dad of Marisa’s gal pal/matron of honor (Gisela), who’d gone down to the water to check out the wildlife (soooo many bunnies at Wequassett this summer).

Kissing cousins, aka siblings-in-law (Nancy, Greg & Marisa)….

A gorgeous night for a gorgeous evening of love & celebration, where family & friends get together to reflect on all of their blessings.

Abby giving a heart-felt toast to her bestie and her beau inside Wequassett’s garden terrace pavilion.

wequassett resort paviollion rehearsal dinner

Cheers to love & friendship and happily ever after.

Junior bridesmaids, Maggie & Leah, give their own impromptu toast to the happy couple, which was very well received. Soooo sweet!!

A perfect ending to a perfect evening…

wequassett resort garden terrace at dusk

Thank you Marisa & Justin for entrusting us with documenting your wedding weekend…especially having never met us before. We hope these photos reflect all of the love you share with each other and with your fabulous families and friends. Stay tuned…more love & goodness from the wedding coming soon! Big hugs, Christine & Andy xoxo