The programs read, “Years from now, when we look back on our life, love and this day, we will remember that flowers, music and food were not what made this day so special. It will be our memories of sharing the beginning of our life as husband and wife with you – our friends and family. Having you here with us today has made our wedding truly wonderful.”
Pre-printed, but who knew how true those words would really be.
Stephanie and Mark were married on February 9, 2013 at the Saybrook Point Inn, in Old Saybrook, CT (Old Saybrook CT Wedding Photographers)…in the midst of the BLIZZARD of 2013. You may remember our pre-wedding blog post about their engagement session (Engagement Photos in CT).
For us, it was a wedding of ‘firsts’. I can say with certainty, it was the first time I’ve ever packed a snow shovel for a wedding. In fact, I packed two. We stayed over in town the night before, because there was no way we would miss a wedding (Connecticut Wedding Photographers)! Shoveling out the car…now THAT was something. The snow was piled as high as the doors, and after an hour we had barely made progress. Even the owner of the hotel was kind enough to help out!
In the end, we rode to the wedding with Mark’s dad, who was so awesome he came to pick us up!! Another first.
When we got there, SERAi Hair & Makeup Artistry was already doing their thing with the girls. Everyone was together, and everyone was wondering, “are we really going to have this wedding?!” Roads were still closed, people were still snowed in, and I can only imagine how Stephanie & Mark were feeling. I say I can only imagine, because they were in great spirits, after all, it was their wedding day. They were uber-organized, and family members contacted the guests to tell them they understood if they couldn’t make it…to not risk their safety to come to the wedding. All the while, news coverage of the storm and its aftermath was non-stop on TV.
All of the normal wedding-day stress just wasn’t there. Instead, there was a lot of last-minute planning, and a ton of “what ifs”. What if the D.J. can’t get to the wedding? What if the cake doesn’t arrive? Who will deliver the flowers? How many guests will be able to get here?
Stephanie was all smiles as the girls helped her into her dress and we photographed a “First Look” between her & Mark. Another first. We usually scout perfect locations for the first moments that the bride & groom see each other. The plans had been set and we had a creative idea that was going to be perfect for what Stephanie & Mark had planned. However, all plans went out the window since there was nowhere outside to do the photos. Luckily, the Saybrook Point Inn’s spa was the perfect setting. It was a ‘make it work’ moment! The spa was a private setting with beautiful light, and so calming! I really feel like these moments helped set the tone for the day!
We took the bridal party outside to do formals before the ceremony, since it would be dark afterwards. Although the parking lot was plowed, there wasn’t much else available for posing the group, so we went with it. After all, you can’t have a “blizzard wedding,” as I’ve heard them call it, without some snow photos, right?! You can’t miss the happiness on Stephanie’s face! THAT is what I love. It’s freezing outside, there’s a ton of uncertainty as to how your wedding is going to come together, many of your guests will probably not be attending, and yet…she’s smiling from ear-to-ear.
Time for the ceremony.
Another first. Have I mentioned that their Justice of the Peace was unable to get to the wedding? Yes, you read that right. No one was going to be able to marry them. It was like fate. Mark’s brother, Tim, had actually gone through most of the process of becoming ordained. At some point this had been the plan, or at the very least, the backup plan. He finalized things online as Stephanie was getting dressed.
There is always some part of a couple’s ceremony that stands out for me. Sometimes it’s a look, or tears of joy, or a moment of laughter. In Stephanie & Mark’s ceremony, it was when Tim announced, “by the power newly-vested in me, I pronounce you husband and wife.” It truly was power newly-vested, considering he had to pull things together THAT DAY!
Speaking of pulling things together…HUGE shout-out to the Saybrook Point Inn for their part in this! It’s a true reflection of their professionalism when things go as flawlessly as they did. You see, the D.J. wasn’t able to get there. The cake that Stephanie & Mark had chosen didn’t show up. Flower delivery was canceled. Yet…there was music. The banquet manager used D.J. equipment and really pulled it together! Saybrook Point Inn’s pastry chef was able to bake a red-velvet cake with a topper! The inn’s owner drove out and picked up staff members who were unable to get there! I seriously cannot emphasize enough how impressive it was! One of the guests was even able to pick up the flowers on the way to the inn. I grabbed a table-shot of one of the tables that had been merged together, due to missing guests. Definitely hadn’t seen that before!
Their first dance was to, “History in the Making,” by Darius Rucker. What song could be more fitting? It was beautiful, and you could feel the emotion in the room. There were a few jokes about snow and blizzards, as well as a few tears during the speeches, and then the party got started!
The dance floor always seemed packed, and how awesome is Stephanie’s grandmother, dancing to “Call Me Maybe”?! Seriously!
When they cut the cake, and it was red-velvet, as they had originally planned…I just smiled. Their wedding day was coming to an end and although much of it couldn’t have strayed much more from what they had planned for it to be, it was perfect.
It truly was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. For the bride & groom, for the guests, and for us to photograph. The programs said, “Marriage is not a culmination; it is a beginning. A beginning of life that will grow and change in ways more wonderful than we can imagine.” How true.
I don’t know if I’ll ever forget their day. For that, I thank you, Stephanie & Mark. Being part of your wedding was amazing, and we know you’ll make it through anything in your marriage.
We wish you a long and happy lifetime together. May you always smile on the craziest of days that life throws at you!
~Kathy & Kelly