I met Arielle and Justin for their engagement session at Odiorne State Park in Rye, NH just two weeks before their wedding! I had only spoken to them on the phone prior and Arielle seemed enthusiastic to book. Typically I encourage engagement sessions as it's a great way to get to know a couple before wedding day and get a feel for how the big day might play out. Usually engagement shoots are months before the wedding, not days, but I look at that as more of a benefit. Showing up on wedding day having already started the relationship ahead of time makes the stress levels a bit lower and helps with expectations on my end.
We had a gorgeous day at Odiorne and wedding day was no different at The Oaks Grandview Ballroom in Somersworth, NH. I've worked there a lot and it's a great venue. Leslie, the coordinator, runs a tight ship so you know things will happen when they are supposed to. The sun was shining and the grounds were lush. A good spot photography-wise inside and out.
I started the day with Arielle in the bridal suite. Hair and makeup had been done prior so all she had to do was get into the dress. The bridal suite at The Oaks is small but offers some cool options for creative pictures with the mirrors. They also make the room look bigger than it is.
The girls were there early enough that we got some formal photos done before ceremony time to help lighten the load during cocktail hour. The ceremony site is a great spot. It's set up on the side of the main ballroom with a view over the pond and golf course. The hedges and landscaping keep it private from the driving range and parking lot. After the vows we went down to our designated photo area with even better views of the golf course. After family photos we tried to get creative with the bridal party. I can never resist my silhouette shot up on the hill!
The reception was a party complete with the usual festivities. Cup cakes seemed to be the feature but there was a small cake that they cut before parent dances. There are always fireworks towards the end of the night which are kept as a surprise for the guests.. (Spoiler alert!). The bride and groom have a private spot for the show which makes for great photos. Leslie is great and makes sure photographers are set before the order is given to start the display.
Another happily married couple for the year! I hope you enjoy some photos from their day!