When I book a wedding, it usually goes like this….
• Couple contacts me
• We meet and grab a bite to eat
• Couple books me (hopefully)
• I spend a year getting to know them
• Couple gets married and I get to be there to photograph it
This is not how it happened with Rachel and Ryan. I didn’t physically meet them face to face until their actual wedding day—and here is why:
I had gotten word from another photographer that there was an emergency and she was unable to photograph this May wedding in Maine. In March, she reached out to our Boston photo community to see if anyone had any ideas. I mentioned that I was free and would be happy to take over the wedding if the couple would have me. I never heard back. Then, out of the blue, about a month later, I get a message from this photographer asking me if I was still available. “Yup,” I said.
Within an hour from that response, I got a call from this really nice guy named Ryan, the groom. We talked for a while, and they said that they really wanted to hire me. I was so happy I could help a fellow photographer as well as a couple in need. So I got all the details, and on Mother’s Day weekend, I got myself a room at the Westin Hotel in Portland, Maine, and set off to photograph a couple I had never met except by phone and one quick Skype session.
But, I have to say, this matching of me as a photographer with Rachel and Ryan on their wedding day was meant to be! It was a perfect way to start off my wedding season for 2014. It was filled with fun people, amazing food, plenty of time for formals, a beautiful church, and a picture perfect couple madly in love. What more could I ask for???
Both Rachel and Ryan got ready at The Regency Hotel in downtown Portland. My second shooter, Kym Cortigiano, went with Ryan, and I stuck around with Rachel and her incredibly beautiful bridesmaids. Instead of a first look, they opted for a “teaser” first look, where they are in the same room but don’t see one another.
From there, it was off to the church for a full mass ceremony and family formals. Then the next thing I knew, I was riding around in a very large stretch limo with the entire wedding party, cruising all around Portland. You see, Rachel and Ryan met and lived in Portland, but they have since moved to Jersey.
For their formals, they wanted to hit up all of their favorite places, including the park bench where Ryan proposed. We had some fun at a playground with the bridal party. After the playground, we went to a spot by the water where the couple put a lock with their wedding date and names engraved on it onto a chain link fence like the one in Paris. They locked it up and threw the key into the ocean. From there, we went to a spot where they had their engagement session, and last but not least, Ryan took us to an amazing mural where I got the last photos of the bridal party. I loved that we had so much time and a variety of locations for these pictures.
Then we headed over to the Grace Restaurant for their reception. They really had wonderful details peppered all over the venue, and the table settings were beautiful. It was a photographer’s dream!
I believe it was fate that brought me to Rachel and Ryan. I know they took a chance hiring me because they didn’t know me or my work until about three weeks before their wedding. I think the risk paid off for both of us. There was something about this wedding and what they provided for me in terms of moments and vulnerability that allowed me to step outside the box a little bit with their photography. Not to mention the best gift of all, about 2 hours for formals and a very fun bridal party!
Thank you, Rachel & Ryan. I hope I lived up to your expectations; you guys surpassed mine and more!
And the amazing team that made this day special: