New England wedding photographer

Eli and Mike's Nantucket Sound wedding at The Pelham House Resort

The Pelham House Resort Weddings Cape Cod

Elissa and Michael met when they were undergraduate students at UMASS Amherst in a journalism class. Elissa said that she saw a cute guy wearing a Grateful Dead t-shirt and knew right away that she needed to talk to him. Last year he proposed to her while they were on a short vacation in Maine and of course she said yes!

When they reached out to me to discuss wedding photography packages, I immediately got to know Elissa and her mom Alina, who had a major part in planning this amazing day. It was clear to me that Elissa and Michael are both so loved by their parents and family and while they were not yet married, the families were already so connected.

I was so happy when they told me they wanted to work with me. They had a really beautiful ceremony planned and a very fun reception to follow.

The Pelham House Resort Weddings Cape Cod
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They booked the Pelham House Resort in Dennisport, Massachusetts for the whole weekend to celebrate their wedding. The venue over looks two private beaches on Nantucket sound. The beach is a lovely place to sit and watch the boats go by. If you’re lucky, you may also catch a glimpse of a seal popping its head out of the water.

Elissa and Michael decided to book this venue because it could accommodate so many family and friends for the whole weekend and keep them all at the reception site. When there is a wedding at the Pelham, they close the resort to the public so the venue is really focused on catering to the unique needs of the wedding.

On friday they had a rehearsal dinner at Swan River Seafood Restaurant, followed by an after party at the Pelham in the resort bar. The staff was so committed to catering the the wedding’s every need, even on the days before and after the actual wedding.

The Pelham House Resort Weddings Cape Cod

Elissa got ready with her bridal party and family at her parent’s home in Dennis. They sipped samosas and snacked on breakfast while having their hair and make up done.

Michael got ready at the Pelham House with his best friends. The morning was slow and relaxed. Staff finished decorating the tent while guests spent time by the pool and poked around the beach before getting ready for the ceremony.

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They had a beautiful ceremony at the Holy Trinity Church in West Harwich, Massachusetts surrounded by all of their closest family and friends. The priest gave a nice sermon. There were readings, live music, and candles were lit as a sign of Eli and Mike joining their families together.

After the ceremony, the guests gathered outside of the church to cheer on the newlyweds as they took the first steps of their new adventure together.

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As soon as we arrived back to the Pelham House, guests were treated to cocktail hour. There were lobster rolls and lamb chops and mozzarella skewers and a lot of other delicious platters moving around the party.

I spent some time on the beach with the couple and their friends before catching the last bit of cocktail hour. Eli and Mike’s bridal party had a TON of personality and they were super fun to photograph.

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Eli and Michael had their first dance, there were many very funny and endearing toasts from friends and family. There was an incredible cake decorated with a cascade of hardened sugar that looked like sea glass, parent dances, and one of the most contentious bouquet tosses I’ve ever photographed.

Just as the reception wound down I noticed the staff of the Pelham buzzing around the beach setting up bonfires for the guests. I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow that night but I’m sure the party kept going into the wee hours of the morning.

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Thank you Eli, Mike, and to your parents Alina, Ed, Mike, and Linda, for all of your hospitality and for all of your help with planning this event. We had SO much fun photographing this wedding and were so energized by being right on the beautiful ocean surround by such a fun crowd. You all made us feel like family.

Also special thank you to Connie from the Pelham House Resort for putting on such a solid event!

To view more photos from this event click here!

View more from this day.

Vendors:

Venue - The Pelham House Resort Dennisport, Massachusetts

Event Planner - The Perfect Plan

Flowers - Robin’s Flower Shop Boston, Massachusetts

Cake - The Casual Gourmet

Suits - Milton’s The Store for Men

Dress - Kleinfeld Bridal

DJ - DJ Cookie Policy

Make-up - Nic B Make-up / Courtney Martins Makeup

Limos / Trolleys - Cape Destinations

Videographer: The Hale Channel

Fatime and Thyldan's Congolese Engagement Party in Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Most of the engagements (and weddings) I encounter are pretty straight forward. One person asks another to be with him/her for the rest of their lives and usually there is a “yes” and then there is a wedding and then they are married.

In some cultures, there’s a little more to it than that. Fatime and Thyldan are both from the Congo but met here in the United States and they asked if I would document their engagement party at Fatime’s home in Pittsfield a few days before their wedding. With both of their families living so far away, neither side had ever been able to meet, and the couple decided they would celebrate early with a traditional marriage rite.

I would say this event was kind of like the first day of a weekend-long wedding. Having come from a big Portuguese family, when Fatime kept sweetly asking if I was going to be okay covering such an unusual ceremony, I kept assuring her, “Don’t worry, I’m Portuguese. Our weddings are crazy long too”.

The marriage rite took place in her backyard in a small neighborhood near Pontoosuc lake in Pittsfield. When I arrived, Thyldan and Fatime were away but her house was full of family that had traveled from various corners of the world. There were two big tents set up in the backyard and a canopy for the couple at the front.

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Fatime and Thyldan wanted to have this event so their parents could meet and approve of the engagement and marraige. It was an opportunity for immediate family to offer advice, send well wishes, and confirm intentions. There were two MC’s and a DJ and every once in a while, the DJ would play a laugh track or use an air horn sound effect in reaction to something the MC said. It kept the crowd engaged and made it feel like a live taping of a variety show.

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I photographed Fatime at a hotel in downtown Pittsfield where she was getting ready with her friends. She told me ahead of time that she would be there with her sisters and asked if I could grab some photos of her getting ready with them. Well, when I opened the door to her hotel room and found nearly a dozen women in there I couldn’t help but yell in surprise “these are your sisters?!” She laughed and explained that she calls her cousins sisters, so no, these were not really her sisters.

Regardless, I was still impressed. I have a lot of cousins and I’ve never thought to try and fit them all in a single hotel room but I bet it would look something like this.

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While Fatime got ready, the MC’s worked the crowd by having various women come out hiding under fabric to trick Thyldan and the crowd into thinking that it might be Fatime.

“Is it her? Is it her?" they’d say.

They’d pull the fabric away and sadly no it was not “the beautiful eagle” (the bride).

This went on for about an hour, with the MC’s taking turns building anticipation and tricking the crowd into thinking the bride had arrived.

When she finally did arrive, she came out into the backyard under a sheet of fabric. She was led by her sisters who entered with a choreographed dance. This reveal was more dramatic and vetted than the previous reveals so guests had a feeling that it was “the beautiful eagle” they were waiting for all this time.

They removed the fabric and there was such a celebration.

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It was then Fatime’s turn to go and find her soon to be husband. She wandered around the tents looking for the man she would marry.

A few men came forward and she would politely tell them that they were not the one she was looking for.

When she finally found Thyldan, and the crowd erupted.

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The couple had to get permission from both of their parents and confirm their intentions to marry and be faithful partners. This was symbolized with the gift of a drink. First Fatime went and expressed her love and devotion to Thyldan and asked for her father’s approval and then Thyldan did the same with his father.

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Fatime’s father, uncle and mother got together and came up with a list of things the husband-to-be must bring their family. This can be everything from goats and chickens to expensive suits, pots, and machetes. The families then went behind the canopy to negotiate with one another in private, away from the couple.

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After negotiations came to an end, the MC’s had the couple offer one another drinks as a symbol of a kiss.

Fatime and Thyldan had never kissed before they were married. This was something I accidentally learned when I took their engagement photos and kept asking them to kiss! I wasn’t sure why they kept pausing just before kissing and they told me that their first kiss would be on their wedding day. They are the only couple I’ve ever worked with who had never kissed before. How special is that?

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After the ceremony they held a reception at the Berkshire Hills Country Club just down the road in Pittsfield. Fatime told me that dancing would start before food even hit the table, and she was absolutely right about that. The dancing was so much fun, EVERYONE was on the dance floor.

The next day the couple drove off to NYC to get ready for their official wedding day. I was exhausted so I imagine that they were too.

I love events that throw unexpected surprises and unforeseen challenges at me, so this one was my jam. Aside from a few portraits of Fatime before the ceremony, I was in full documentary mode for the whole afternoon.

A popular phrase I would hear when I worked for the newspaper was “If you saw it, you missed it.” Never has this phrase applied more to a hired event for me. I don’t think I put my camera down once during this ceremony, there was that much going on. I delivered Fatime and Thyldan a gallery FULL of candids.

I feel a different energy when I shoot like this, and when I get into a groove, I am reminded of why I chose this job in the first place.

Sure, it puts food on the table for my family, but it is also my passion. My camera is a ticket to new experiences and Thyldan and Fatime’s marriage rite really reminded me of how special that is. As long as this is my job, I’ll never stop growing and learning.

Jenny and Jeremy's Colorful Engagement Session in Northampton, Massachusetts

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Weddings can be a big investment and I am meeting so many couples lately who are becoming very conscious about where their dollars are going. Jenny and Jeremy have chosen to have their 2020 wedding at Artists for Humanities Epicenter in Boston, a non-profit arts space that provides under-resourced urban youth with the keys to self-sufficiency through paid employment in art and design.

Jenny and Jeremy’s rental fee for the venue is 100% helping fund the employment of over 250 under-resourced Boston teens annually in art and design. Thanks to their rental, AFH can provide a safe space for teens to engage in experiential art and enterprise learning during out-of-school time. How cool is that?!

I love how thoughtful they were when choosing their wedding venue. The space looks so interesting and its look is always changing with new art from the kids. I am SO excited to photograph their event next year.

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Northampton Massachusetts Photographer
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Jenny and Jeremy were wanting to get out of the city for their session, and while they had never been to Northampton, they were excited to explore all of the fun things it has to offer. We spent an hour poking around the city and getting to know each other. They admitted right away that they hadn’t had real photos taken ever as a couple and of course they warned me in advance.

(As a side note, I get warned a lot like this and it’s never been an issue, so take note future couples, you’ll all be fine and look like super models, k?)

Top photographer western massachusetts
Top photographer western massachusetts
Top Photographer Northampton Masachusetts

I wanted their session to be just as colorful and fun as their venue so we decided to use many of the bright murals around town. Some have been there for years and some were painted just very recently.

This mural by Brooklyn based Ramiro Davaro-Comas is one of the newer ones and one of my favorites. I love the ninja turtles peaking around the corner.

FUN FACT

Did you know the ninja turtles were conceptualized in Northampton?

I also love how the artist captured the story of the heist in such a fun and unique style. I was so excited when Jenny and Jeremy agreed to be part of the scene for a moment. Nearby shoppers and pedestrians got a kick out of seeing this shot come together as well.

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I’ve been blessed with some really adventurous couples this summer, Jenny and Jeremy included. Thanks you two for such a fun afternoon. I can’t wait to capture your wedding next year!

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Traci and Evan's Rainy Day Elopement in Northampton, MA

Rain on a wedding day can be stressful, and it is always one of the biggest worries when planning an outdoor celebration in New England. I try to tell myself to plan for the worst weather just because of how unpredictable things are here in the northeast.

The last few times I’ve been faced with rain at an outdoor wedding, I’ve lucked out with some very adventurous couples, like Traci and Evan, who love the thrill of unexpected photo plans.

Traci and Evan eloped moments before a heavy rain storm rolled in. They planned a very short and sweet ceremony on a Wednesday afternoon in the gardens at Child’s Park in Northampton. We JUST made it through the ceremony and a few family photos before the sheets of rain started.

With the forecast the way it was, I had been thinking of alternate locations for the two of them should this happen. Hotel Northampton was on my list, and it turned out that Traci and Evan’s parents were all staying at the Hotel so the staff was so happy to have us use their atrium during the storm.

We waited out the worst of the storm inside, watching the rain stream down the windows.

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I love this atrium for photos. The light is diffused and falls evenly throughout the room. I love the plants and all of the fun little chairs for people to sit on. It’s a private little space off to the side and every time I work in here I discover a new way to use it.

The rain let up and Evan suggested trying some photos at Forbes Library. He goes there regularly to read and explore the shelves. It’s one of his favorite places to go in Northampton.

The staff at the library was so happy to have us and strangers kept stopping the couple to tell them how beautiful they looked, how exciting it was that they had just been married and how neat it was that they came to the library for photos.

I secretly wanted to gather all of these nice strangers, who thought they were coming to the library for a quick return, form the most epic receiving line ever and snap an exit shot of the couple. Traci and Evan DID have to get to dinner eventually so we had to scrap that idea but maybe I’ll have a willing couple in the future? (hint hint hint hint hint)

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Traci teaches African American History at UMASS Amherst and Evan will be starting a new job at Harvard in the fall so the library felt extra special for this academic couple.

The session ended and I felt like our time together came and went so fast. I really enjoyed exploring with the two of them, and while the rain put a tiny moment of question in the plans, it led us on such an amazing journey.

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Congratulations Traci and Evan and thank you for choosing me to capture such a special event. I wish you a lifetime of love and happiness!

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Weddings!

If it rains, we still have fun. I promise.

Fatime and Thyldan's Engagement Session at Springfield City Hall

Fatime and Thyldan hired me to cover their engagement party next week and decided to add in a quick engagement shoot beforehand. They wanted fresh prints to display at their wedding at the end of the month.

The couple is originally from the Congo and they’ll be having a really fun welcoming party for their traveling guests next week. The event sounds really unique with lots of special traditions that I am so excited to cover.

We took their photos at Springfield City Hall, one of my favorite photo locations in western Massachusetts.

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Engagement photos at Gouveia Vineyards in Wallingford, CT

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Bruno and Brianna are getting married at The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Waterbury, Connecticut next year and then celebrating with family and friends at the Aria Banquet hall.

They wanted to have their engagement photos taken at a place that would compliment the European aesthetic of their venues and celebrate Bruno’s strong Portuguese heritage. When they asked if I would mind taking their photos at a Portuguese Winery in Connecticut I jumped at the opportunity.

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We traveled down to the Gouveia Vineyards, a Portuguese winery in Wallingford. The winery is overlooks 140 acres of expansive landscape including 32 acres of vineyard, rolling hills, and is perfectly placed to enjoy a stunning summer sunset.

According to their website, the winery produces 90,000 old world style bottles of wine a year using traditional skills of Portuguese winemaking.

“Our original vines were planted by hand. Every vine is hand pruned and we owe our gratitude to the hundreds of volunteers who help harvest the grapes every year.”

Yes that’s right, you can volunteer at their harvest in September to pick grapes in the vineyard, and even do some grape stomping in the barrels. What’s even cooler about this is that Portuguese Ranchos from around the region come and perform at the vineyard to celebrate the Harvest while you pick and stomp.

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We spent the afternoon exploring the stone house and tasting room, strolling along the dirt roads of the winery, and enjoying the view of the pond. The fields were so hot and sunny, but when the sun began to set, enduring the direct summer heat immediately felt worth it.

Thank you Bruno and Brianna for the wonderful afternoon and for introducing me to this amazing place! I am SO excited for your wedding in the spring!

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If you are planning a wedding, some of my packages include a personalized engagement session like this!

Click here for more information.

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Wedding Inquiries

Let’s talk about your most special day!

Custom-made Maple USB and Slide Box Combos

I am so excited to now offer these beautiful, custom-made, maple USB and slide box combos. We all wish we were a little bit better about keeping track of our personal photos (myself included). This is a great way to hold onto your most treasured memories on a natural wood printed keepsake.

massachusetts wedding photographer

Inside the box is a custom 16GB USB stick that holds all of your high resolution wedding photos as well as a space for 4x6 prints. Your image is printed directly onto the wood surfaces of the USB drive and the memory stick, so the natural grain of the wood will peak through your image.

Most of my wedding packages now include one of these beauties, but if yours doesn’t, you can always add one to your cart after your gallery is delivered or shoot me a message and I can help you get one!

Massachusetts wedding photographer
massachusetts wedding photographer

It’s also a beautiful piece to display in your home and a nice little reminder of your happiest day. You can throw it on a bookshelf or bedside table and be at peace knowing that your photos are accessible and in one place.

Massachusetts wedding photographer

Summer Camp Sweethearts - Arlyn and Alex's Playful Wedding in the Berkshires

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Arlyn grew up in Australia and spent her summers at Camp Hazen in Chester, Connecticut. She and Alex met as campers there and fell in love. After enduring a very very long distance relationship, Alex proposed to Arlyn and they decided to marry in the United States.

They were married in a newly renovated theater originally built in 1880 by George Westinghouse in Lee, Massachusetts, called The Playhouse. According to the property managers, the eclectic performance space “once served as a theater for America's greatest innovators, with visitors from President McKinley, to Nikola Tesla and Lord Kelvin”.

The venue was a bright and airy space decorated with local artifacts, photographs, and unique art pieces — a subtle reflection of Alex and Arlyn’s playful and sophisticated romance.

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The drive to the Playhouse is everything you’d expect when driving to a wedding venue in the Berkshires. You get off the main road and are immediately given a perfect view of rolling hills, glass-like lakes, lazy farm lands, and mountains flecked with the earliest signs of spring. Alex and Arlyn wanted to treat their guests to a celebration that felt like a destination wedding and this was the perfect location to pull that off.

We stepped away from the festivities for a few minutes to take a few portraits along Laurel Lake and in some of the open fields near the venue.

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In attendance were all of their closest camp friends and family from near and far. The ceremony was officiated by a close family member. It was short, sweet, and personal. They had a lovely reception featuring heart warming speeches, games and a spread of finger food for the guests to enjoy. I loved working with them and their silly camp friends. Congratulations Arlyn and Alex! I wish you a lifetime of happiness!

Click here to see their gallery!

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View the full gallery

Vendors:

dress: bhldn
hair and makeup: Danielle Pierce Beauty
venue: The Playhouse
caterer: Savory Harvest Catering

Your Wedding Photography Timeline

Your Wedding Photography Timeline

If you recently got engaged (congrats!) you are probably gearing up to devote your entire life to planning your big day. You’ve probably seen some friends or family go through this, or at least have seen the movie bridesmaids so you probably know that this can turn into a full time job.

As your wedding photographer, I feel that it is super important that after you book me I don’t drop off the face of the planet until a month before your wedding, so there are many points throughout the year or two that we connect to talk details or sort through any questions you may have.

Here is a helpful timeline I share with couples at our initial meeting so they can get a sense of what the time will be like between the moment I am booked to delivery day and beyond.