It was my final wedding of the 2017 season and we were going to make it a good one! Kate and Spencer are both friends of my wife and I can thank her for getting to be a part of their wedding day. Thanks Amy! ;)
It was another brisk November day but the sun was out and spirits were high. Kate and Spencer chose Birchwood Vineyards in Derry, NH for their venue. Birchwood has become a hotspot for weddings since it was newly taken over and renovated by Sally and Rue Nijhof a couple of years ago. In fact, the first wedding I ever shot was here when it was Promises to Keep and boy what a different place it is now! Sally and Rue are fantastic and played a big part in my wedding day back in 2011 when they ran Zorvino Vineyards.
I arrived to the girls getting ready in the bridal suite and I could tell they were having a good time as I walked up the steps to the suite. The hair and makeup was mostly done so we grabbed some shots with them in their robes before it was time to get dressed. We had two first looks planned; one with dad and then with Spencer. This time of year the sun goes down early and quickly so I recommend first looks if your ceremony is going to be early or mid-afternoon. They're actually one of my favorite things to shoot as it's one of those moments where you really get that genuine emotion coming out. If you follow me on social media you'll know I'm a sucker for the dad and daughter photos! I have to say though, Spencer really shows it on his face more than a lot of grooms do.
After the first look we battled the chill for a little longer and got some photos out in the vineyard area. The vines were a bit bare this time of year but we made it work. All of Kate and Spencer's girls and guys were a lot of fun and we managed to get some nice photos before running back inside.
The ceremony was set up in the main reception area. It's a tricky room to light up as it's wood from floor to ceiling so it usually requires direct flash instead of bouncing the light into a white wall or ceiling. Other than being more cautious of shadows being cast it looks great and allows me to keep the photos looking crisp even when the light is dim.
Kate's dad proudly walked her down the aisle and the ceremony got under way. They had roses that they presented to their mother's which was a nice moment. They read each other their vows before sealing the deal with a kiss. :)
Following the ceremony we got the family photos done while the staff set the room up for the reception. Birchwood has a great cocktail hour area on the front of the building so this gave me the opportunity to get some detail shots of the main room before guests were ushered back in. Another big benefit of taking formal photos before the ceremony is that it gives me time to get these details that are often missed or rushed with a jam packed cocktail hour.
Cupcakes have officially been the dessert of choice in 2017. I'd be curious to see how this trend continues into 2018. They do a great job of making the space feel warm and even with the wood, the uplighting works nicely. Since my wife was there as a guest I was seated with her at one of the tables which was nice. The reception marks a reduction in stress for me most of the time. It's time to party and I was looking forward to Kate and Spencer's first dance and other festivities. After cake cutting and parent dances the dance floor opened up and we kicked off the dancing with a big group photo.
I hope you enjoy some photos from their day!