2012 Wedding Season Revisited

Wow! 2012 has been filled with amazing weddings and incredible people. From the Berkshires to Boston to the NH north country and the Maine coast, I’ve went to many new places, as well as many familiar ones. I wanted to take a little trip back through the year and revisit all of the great couples I was lucky enough to work with, so below you’ll find a few of my favorite portraits from each of the 29 weddings I photographed in 2012. Over the next few weeks I will also be sharing some of my favorite moments from the year through several more posts. Stay tuned! Without further delay…

The season kicked off in January with Jordan and Ian’s wedding at the Mount Washington Hotel where I was accompanied by my good friend Anne Skidmore. I believe  this was the coldest day on which I have ever photographed a wedding!

The following weekend I was back at the Mount Washington Hotel for Katie and Matt’s wedding. We were treated to clear skies and warmer weather, but we still had enough snow for a sleigh ride…

In February I stayed local for Chris and David’s intimate wedding in Portsmouth. A wonderful family affair that culminated with the release of paper lanterns over the harbor…

After a couple of months off, things picked up again Memorial Day weekend with Sarah and Adam’s wedding at the Manchester Country Club. I m not sure I have ever met two people who smiled as much and were so gracious. I was also accompanied by my good friend David Loehwing for the first of many weddings in 2012.

The next weekend I was north of Boston in Lynn for Tiffany and Jonathan’s  wedding, again with David. A beautiful ceremony at St. Pius V Parish was followed by a raging reception and even a sunset on the back porch…

Karine and Michael’s wedding was next at the Merrimack Valley Golf Club, where I was again joined by Anne. I had met Karine and Michael at Kim and Al’s wedding, which was a blast. So was this beautiful wedding June wedding!

#7 for the season saw David and I road trippin’ to the Berkshires for Adena and Andrew’s wedding at the Seven Hills Inn. Everything here was gorgeous, and we had so much fun hanging out with Adena, Andy and their family and friends.

My next wedding on June 30 was a photographic highlight for me. Combine a beautiful location with a beautiful couple who have lots of ideas for photos and a willingness to spend time getting great shots and I won’t ever be happier! Danielle and Jason were just those people, and prior to their ceremony we spent a little over an hour hitting 4 great locations around Jackson, NH. Danielle and Jason even cruised down the road on their cruiser bikes… without snagging the dress either! I was accompanied by another good friend Tara Hamer for this wonderful wedding.

In July I was back in Portsmouth for Amy and Jacob’s wedding at the Governor John Langdon House. There are only a handful of events at the mansion each year, and I had always wanted to photograph a wedding there. The day was perfect… and even ended with sparklers and a drive-off in Amy’s father’s classic MG convertible.

The next weekend David and I were off to Sebago Lake for Dana and Charles’ wedding. Their ceremony was at Dana’s family’s home on the Lake, with their reception back in Portland at Slainte Wine Bar. I love weddings at unique venues, and here I had two in one day, and a couple who made my job look easy!

It was at the next wedding that I produced one of my favorite images of the year. In mid-July Tara and I headed west to Alyson’s Orchard for Melissa and Tim’s wedding. Upon arrival we were met by Tim, who may very well be one of the nicest people on the planet. From the moment we arrived we felt welcomed, and I was once gain blessed with the chance to work with a couple who was not only open to my ideas but genuinely enthusiastic about them. The image below is one of my favs from the year. The second one is way up there too… barefoot on a dirt road at sunset, and howling at the moon in laughter. Awesome!

Next up was one of the most unique weddings of the season, and one of my favorites to attend for many reasons. Susan and Scott’s wedding took place on their farm in Madison, NH. They put so much attention and personal touches into the details of their day; it was so unique and absolutely beautiful! That alone would make it a great day for me, but what made the day extra special was that Susan and Scott are climbers and a part of my own community of friends. Any time I can attend or photograph a wedding full of climbers I’m in heaven 🙂 It was so nice catching up on climbing adventures and seeing friends I had not seen for months. Oh, and chickens. Portraits with chickens rock.

I took a weekend off for my wife’s birthday, and was then back at it, this time returning to Jackson, NH for Katy and Paul’s wedding at the Eagle Mountain House. David and I had a great time spending the day with Katy and Paul and their adorable daughter Grace! The day was accentuated with a trip to the waterfalls and a sunset over the golf course.

Next up in early August was Ana and Levi’s wedding at the Mount Washington Hotel. The weather was less than ideal, forcing a change of plans, but David and I had a great time photographing the day nonetheless. Their wedding was also unique in that their reception was a huge traditional dinner with course after course of delicious food and great stories by family and friends.

The following day I was back on the seacoast for Julie and Sean’s wedding at Odiorne Point State Park. Some days the stars all align perfectly and absolutely amazing things happen, and this was one such day. I mean, It was August and the temps were COOL, we had not one but two rainbows, sailboats bobbed bout off shore, we were treated to a beautiful sunset, there was not just one rocking band but four (including Sean’s), Julie’s details were amazing, and there were unicorns scampering across the beach! OK, I made up the bit about unicorns , but everything else happened. Oh, and Julie and Sean were super sweet and totally into documenting all of these things. If there had been unicorns I am sure they would have been willing to hop on and ride off into the sunset!

Next up was Susan and Anthony’s wedding at the Lanam Club in Andover, MA. When I first met Susan and Anthony we talked a lot about photography, and less about their wedding plans. It was plainly clear that Susan loves photography, so I was really excited for their day. They allocated a bunch of time for portraits at the Steven-Coolidge gardens, and I had a ball interpreting their ideas and executing some of my own. Later, they had the best first dance ever, complete with wardrobe change, when they danced a sexy tango!

September kicked off with Sasha and Ryan’s wedding at the Mount Washington Hotel. September would also prove to be the busiest month of weddings for me ever. The day started differently than most by meeting them at the head of the Hotel drive for portraits. It was a gorgeous clear day, the ceremony was accentuated by the setting sun on Mt. Washington in the background, and the reception was a blast. Any wedding where the groom throws the bride up in the air on the dance floor and catches her is killer in my book!

The next day I was back at the Mount Washington Hotel for Carolyn and Ben’s wedding. David drove up to meet me, and we set off to document their day. Carolyn and Ben were so sweet, and so much fun to work with. The whole day was filled with laughter, and they definitely had the MOST rocking reception all year, highlighted by the “15 minute dance party,” an old college tradition, between band sets. Even Carolyn’s dad got up on stage and rocked the bass guitar for a short while.

The following Friday I was at Searles Castle for Marina and Scott’s wedding, joined by my friend Lindsay Flanagan. A wedding at Searles Castle is a little like stepping back in time, at least until you enter the swanky reception tent! Scott cracked me up when immediately following the ceremony he sat down and swapped on his Chuck Taylors. We then went out and explored the Castle grounds, pausing for portraits with their pup too!

The next day David and I drove to Franconia Notch for Deb and Drew’s wedding at Cannon Mountain. This was one I was looking forward to all year. You see, the plan was for their ceremony to take place on top of Cannon after all of their guests rode the tram up. It was a completely weather-dependent plan, and unfortunately that day also kicked off one of the most wet Septembers that I can recall. Every weekend for the month we had rain! That didn’t matter though, Deb and Drew never let Plan B spoil their day, and we just worked harder to create beautiful, unique images. And despite my motion sickness, we still rode the tram up up to the top, and created some of my favorite wedding party images.

Halfway through September I got to stay local for Sarah and Michael’s wedding at the Abenaqui Country Club, and I was once again joined by Lindsay. I began the day in downtown Portsmouth before heading to the church, followed by a romp on the beach. Quite possibly the most easy-going couple I worked with all year; it was so much fun spending the day with them. They also had the best choreographed introductions, and some of the best toasts of the year.

The following weekend I was back north, again at the Mount Washington Hotel, for Katie and Rob’s wedding. I could talk about how nice the ceremony was on the south veranda, the beautiful reception in the Sun Dining Room, or how fun it was doing a first look with Katie and Rob on the Hotel’s grand staircase, but all I really need to say is “zip line.” Oh yeah! After the reception we went over to Bretton Woods where Katie and Rob raced through the canopy — in full wedding attire no less — on the overhead zip line. It was awesome, and definitely the most exciting wedding day activity that I have photographed.

The following day I was at the Mountain View Grand just up the road for Tamara and Max’s wedding. Now, I mentioned earlier how rainy September was, and this day was no exception. In fact, as I arrived the hotel staff was busily trying to move the two weddings taking place inside. It was downright POURING out! Fear not, no couple has so eagerly embraced the rain like Tamara and Max did that day. We easily spent an hour out with umbrellas prior to the ceremony going all around the property for portraits. Tamara and Max were on board for just about anything… though the muddy dirt road did give them pause, but Max just picked up Tamara and carried her down to the barn… where we took portraits with a donkey! Upon our return, I showed Tamara’s mother one of the pictures, and she said, “which one is the jackass?” I love these folks…

The first weekend of October saw me headed out to Lake Sunapee for Whitney and Joe’s wedding at her family’s lake house. They had quite possibly the most unique ceremony venue that I visited all year… the top floor of their gorgeous boat house. Surrounded by pine forest and nestled on a hill side on the edge of the lake, it was stunning. Their reception was held at The Inn on Pleasant Lake, and they had the best vegetarian meal I have ever had.

The following day David and I drove back up to the Mountain View Grand for Tricia and Michael’s wedding. We had the best start to a wedding EVER… we got to photograph a moose up close; very up close. We rode that high all the way to the hotel where we were greeted by Michael, who wins the award for “groom most excited about pictures.” The day was shaping up to me incredible, and it ended that way too. As per usual, we embraced the rain and walked away with one of my favorite sets of night portraits of all time.

The following week I drive out to Odiorne Point State Park again for Jess and Kevin’s wedding. Don’t worry, it was raining gain, but just as we started walking out to the ceremony location it stopped. The skies didn’t clear, but that was okay. Their wedding was very small… I was one of seven people in attendance including the bride and groom, the “moms” and the officiant and her husband. I am so lucky that my job affords me the chance to share in such special events, especially when the photographs produced will make up the memories and images that so many people will carry who were not there. I always feel that my job is an important one, but that feeling is heightened when I am one of the only guests!

Now into late October, David and I headed up to the Inn on Newfound Lake for Maria and Andrew’s wedding. What a great couple, and Maria even climbed off of the end of  dock, stepping off of a submerged chair, making her way out onto lakeside rocks to get “the” shot. It was SOOOOO worth it, and we came away with some of my favorite sunset images of all time! Other highlights included Maria taking the stage for a couple of songs (she is a talented singer out of Boston) and a fireworks show at the end of the night. Their day had everything, the way it should be!

The first weekend in November I was back in Boston, this time with my good friend Doug Levy, for Hannah and Jared’s wedding at the Taj. A major dress disaster averted, the rest of the day went off without a hitch. From portraits in the Boston Public Gardens to a rocking reception with a great party band, to getting back outside in the cold for some nighttime photos back in the Gardens, Hannah and Jared were up for anything. As Doug and I left for the evening they went back inside to dance the rest of the night away.

That brings me to my last wedding of 2012, Aly and Nick’s wedding at the Mount Washington Hotel in early December, where I was again accompanied by David. It seems only fitting that I began and ended my season at the Hotel. Aly and Nick wanted a snowy winter wedding, and everything leading up to their day made it look like that wasn’t going to be. But, early Saturday morning the skies opened up and blanketed the north country in snow. It was incredible. The very next day it was gone, but all we needed was that one day. I was so happy for them, and they were absolutely in to maximizing the photographic possibilities that came with the white stuff. That included family pictures outside in the howling wind and driving snow, because, you know, “it’s snowing and the pictures will be amazing!” I think they were, and I know Aly and Nick were.

I am so excited about 2012 and all of the great people that I was privileged to work with. Amazing couples, incredible photographers, florists, bakers, planners and venue staff, among many, many more. I press the button on the camera, but it’s the people both in front of the lens and behind me that make it all happen. I look forward to sharing more moments, details and stories recapping an amazing year in a few more posts coming up, but in the meantime its put a smile on my face thinking back through each of these specials days.