This was one of the most emotional-touching weddings I have ever photographed. As I share the background details, I am cautious not to focus on the sad part of the story because this day was IN NO WAY overshadowed by sadness. It was a beautiful celebration – and the guest list reached into the heavens….
Jamie and Tom live in Arizona. They grew up in CT. In fact they, even went to the same high school. They came back to CT for their wedding and to be near family.
Jami’s dad died 6 years ago on March 16th – the very day she and Tom chose for their wedding. It was a snowy day…. one of her family members recalled driving home from the hospital in a rare March blizzard…. (remember this…..)
On a personal level, I can relate to the experience of being married without having your father there to walk you down the aisle. I started the day a little misty as I was privy to a special story. I knew that 6 years ago, just before her father passed, that he had called upon the help of Jamie’s best friend to pen a letter for her to open on her wedding day. Her best friend held tightly to that letter for years and gave it to her the night before. I can not imagine how special those words would have been to read.
Jamie got ready at the Inn at Middletown where the ever-talented Larissa Lake did her hair and make-up. Jamie memorialized her father’s presence by pinning his wedding ring to the inside of her dress. She and her mom also wore a beautiful necklace containing some of his ashes. You can see the necklace and her father’s ring in the “love” photo – I coiled her necklace around on the desk and this idea came to me. I know it is one of Jamie’s favorite images. Then, we headed to St. Clement’s Castle for their “first look” and some family photos. The forecast was crisp and dry BUT it was too chilly to hold the ceremony outside so it was moved to the Art Gallery. It was a wonderful celebration of this union of families. One of Jamie’s friends wrote a special reading for them that got me a little misty behind the camera….. again…
The reception was a blast as you you can see from the Air Guitar action! DJ Jay Raven (“Raven in the Morning” from The Rock 106.9 WCCC) and also of Total Events DJ’ed the party. But, what remains my FAVORITE story from the day is this (it still gives me goosebumps). Jamie wanted to dance to her father’s favorite song and so asked her mom’s boyfriend to “fill in” – not AS her dad, but to celebrate him. And, despite the perfect forecast, DURING their dance, it began to snow…….. It snowed for exactly five minutes….. the duration of the dance to his favorite song and just long enough for us to sneak outside for the photo below…. By the time I brought my lighting gear inside, the snow was GONE! I truly believe this was Jamie’s dad’s way of letting her know he was present and that she and her mom had his blessing and continued love from heaven.
Other notables from the day….. I have to mention the beautiful little petits fours that Jamie’s aunt (who happens to be a dear friend of mine) made for their reception and the yummy cake was by Creative Cakes by Donna. And, as if the day could not have been better, I had the pleasure of working alongside Fran Gagnon of Fran Gagnon Films…. Can’t wait to see the beautiful film he creates about this love story!
I also have to give huge credit to my dear friend and fellow photographer, Ms Tania Sones for being my absolutely amazing 2nd shooter for the day.