I end up booking couples from out of state more often than you might think. A lot of people grow up in NH then move out of state whether it be for college or to seek new adventures. The beauty of New England tends to lure a lot of folk back when it approaches time to tie the knot, however, and it's easy to see why. With our seacoast, lakes and mountains there are plenty of amazing areas to have a wedding celebration and Whitney and Tyler chose Oliver Lodge in Meredith, NH.
Whitney had found me online from San Diego and booked after talking over the phone. I got to meet her and her mom in the spring when she came out to visit and they were both the most down to earth, easy going people. We had a great conversation and I knew I was going to enjoy their day. I don't believe in non-stress weddings but this seemed like it was going to be as close as it gets!
I met Whitney one more time during a final visit before the wedding, this time with Tyler. The two certainly fit together. Tyler was from San Diego and was just as laid back and easy going as Whitney.
I have shot quite a few weddings in Meredith but I had never heard of Oliver Lodge before. It's outside of the main area of town tucked away in the woods right on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee. In fact it sits on land jutting out into the lake so it's basically bordered by water on three sides! An awesome key part of the property is an island with a house on it that can only be reached by boat. On wedding day this place is reserved for the newlyweds. I can imagine what an experience it must be to get over there at the end of the party after a couple of cocktails!
Whitney and Tyler were both getting ready on the property in different buildings. As you can imagine it was all pretty rustic. Shooting-wise it wasn't the easiest just because of all the wood. I use on-camera flash a lot so it's tricky trying to bounce the flash when the walls and ceilings are brown. I make my adjustments and carry on.
Whitney and Tyler's theme totally fit with the venue. I don't know if "hippie-ish" is the right word but it's all I can think of right now. The girls were in light pink with shawls while Tyler wore brown with a special pin from his Grandmother that his mom surprised him with after he was dressed.
The ceremony spot was beautiful. With the lake as the backdrop you couldn't go wrong. Every chair was different and rugs paved the way to the altar. The final rug was a special one that would end up in their home back in San Diego.
Whitney's two dads walked her down the aisle where Tyler waited, seeing her for the first time in her dress.
After the ceremony we tackled family photos then moved on to the bridal party. As amazing as the location was it was a little tricky to find good spots as everything was so close to each other. We wanted to keep our distance from the cocktail hour so we ended up doing a lot at the ceremony site, then when I had just the two of them we could utilize some other shorefront areas. Saying that, we did get creative and get some cool bridal party photos that I've never done before. That's always the goal and usually happens with no planning ahead of time! The unique chairs from the ceremony came in handy!
The reception always comes very quickly after cocktail hour. I usually wish I could have cocktail 2 hours with all the shots I'd like to get but c'est la vie most of the time.
After setting up my flashes, changing memory cards and batteries I managed to get some of the details before everyone was introduced. From there Tyler and Whitney had their first dance followed by toasts. Dinner was buffet style. After that we moved into parent dances then the party began.
I am always super thankful when couple's are easy to work with and treat me like they do their guests. It's nice being included in the celebration and not just being the person there documenting it. I always try to build relationships with my couple's and when that happens the photos are always better. I hope you enjoy some shots from their day!