A Creative Focus Photography: Blog http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog en-us (C) A Creative Focus Photography by Amy Mellow acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) Thu, 20 Jul 2017 19:28:00 GMT Thu, 20 Jul 2017 19:28:00 GMT http://acreativefocusphotography.com/img/s5/v124/u539814493-o436932682-50.jpg A Creative Focus Photography: Blog http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog 120 80 Mystic Art Center Wedding | Sarah + Michael http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/7/mystic-art-center-wedding-sarah-michael D7500 0

I have been very anxiously awaiting writing this blog post for quite a while now.  With a slight bit of nerves, and a whole lot of excitement to share their story, I am very happy the time has finally come. 

 I knew Sarah + Michael were going to have the most amazing day of their life on June 24th, 2017, but it was even more beautiful than I could have possibly imagined.  Sarah, a Canadian born beauty came here years ago and ended up never leaving.  Part of that had to do with meeting the love of her life, Mike.  Their fairy tale of a love story was told on their wedding day a number of times but Mike's best man may have had the best version of the story, the behind the scenes version where he reads a text from Mike the night he met Sarah, at a pumpkin carving contest.  Among other things (ahem, a smoking hot body) he talked about Sarah the way any girl would want to be talked about by their future husband.  Mike told his best friend that he met his future wife that night.  There are many many reasons why Mike was so right to think that Sarah was the one.  She is absolutely gorgeous, with the biggest heart.  Sarah has a sweet, kind soul and her and Mike both share pretty laid back personalities.  Sarah is a nurse, and Mike is a fireman, both such selfless careers.  They share a love of playing and watching hockey and both come from such incredible, loving families.  Sarah and Mike both have parents that have set a supreme example of what a marriage should be, and you could see the pride in their eyes the entire day, both of their own children and who they chose to marry.  

Sarah + Mike's absolutely stunning ceremony and reception took place at the Mystic Art Center in scenic Mystic, CT.  Beautiful live music, thanks to some very talented friends, was floating in the air as Sarah's father escorted her down the aisle.  She looked just perfect in her Augusta Jones custom made gown from The White Dress by the Shore.  The water was the back drop as they exchanged vows, had a hand tying ceremony, with a ribbon made by Sarah's mom of Canadian and American flags sewn together, and shared their first kiss. 

After they were officially husband and wife, Sarah + Mike celebrated with their guests under a white tent which was beautifully decorated by Kaitlin and Jen, the ladies of Blue Lane Events.  Ivy's Simply Homemade kept the guests eating and drinking all night, and they did some serious dancing thanks to DJ Charles Crawford.  The highlight of the evening may have been the fathers toasts, which was about a half-hour of pure laughter.  Hearing their version of watching Sarah + Mike date and fall in love was hysterically funny and also a beautiful tribute to their new families.  

I was so glad to be included in this beautiful day, and I am even more excited to have a front row seat to watch their lives together and to see Sarah + Michael grow as a couple and family.  I am so so happy you two found each other, you were for sure destined to be together and the love that you share could not have happened to two more deserving people.  Enjoy some of my favorites from your day!!

xo~Ames

PS You have to check out their highlight reel video from East Coast Image here!

Vendors:

Hair and Makeup: Larissa Lake and Co.

Bride's Gown: The White Dress by the Shore

Bridesmaids Dresses: Azazie 

Live Music: Kevin Mazzarella

Venue: Mystic Art Center

Catering: Ivy's Simply Homemade

Flora and Decor: Blue Lane Events

DJ: Charles Crawford

Cupcakes: Teal Bake Shop

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography block island wedding blue lane events ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography destination wedding photographer ivy's simply homemade larissa lake and co. mystic art center mystic ct mystic museum of art wedding ri wedding photographer http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/7/mystic-art-center-wedding-sarah-michael Thu, 20 Jul 2017 19:26:04 GMT
The Meadows Stonington Wedding | Rachel + Jamil http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/7/the-meadows-stonington-wedding-rachel-jamil D7500 0

It was wonderful to return back to The Meadows Stonington for another wedding, this time for Rachel + Jamil.  I had been anxiously awaiting this wedding for a while, since I sorta, well definitely did, fall in love with Rachel + Jamil a while ago at their engagement session.  They share a beautiful love story and knowing personally some of the family, I knew that this wedding was going to be incredible.  

But incredible doesn't begin to do the day justice.  I arrived to aunts who were excitedly hurrying around doing last minute wedding things, mom and bridesmaids upstairs in the bridal suite, laughing, dancing, and soaking in every minute of the gorgeous day.  Hair and makeup was being done by Kevin + Co., and all of the girls looked absolutely stunning.  Rachel especially looked absolutely radiant, no surprise.  Putting on her dress, making the transformation to "bride" complete, brought on the tears.  As did the moment Rachel's dad saw her as a bride for the first time.  

Rachel + Jamil had been dating for almost 7 years on the day they married.  So needless to say there were many, many people that were excited to celebrate their marriage.  When I looked out at the guests as the wedding was about to start there were just huge smiles everywhere.  The love and support from everyone was obvious as they waited for Rachel + Jamil to solidify their relationship.  After the ceremony, the newlyweds danced their way back down the aisle.  Rachel and Jamil share a love for music, and a huge talent for playing as well, so it was no surprise that was just the beginning of a long night of dancing!

Rachel + Jamil celebrated an absolutely perfect day at The Meadows Stonington, with their closest of family and friends present.  The two of them had the biggest smiles the entire time, and between the laughter, tears, vows, toasts, and speeches, this is truly a day that will be remembered forever.  I know the two of you have big plans for your marriage, and I am truly so excited to see what happens next!! 

xo~Ames

Venue: The Meadows 

Catering: Gourmet Galley

Hair and Makeup: Kevin & Co.

Wedding Gown: David's Bridal

Bridesmaids Gowns: David's Bridal

DJ: Derrik Williams

Flora: Erin Johnston

Officiant: Jason Longo

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography block island wedding photographer ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography destination wedding photographer newport wedding ri wedding photographer http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/7/the-meadows-stonington-wedding-rachel-jamil Thu, 06 Jul 2017 11:51:32 GMT
Portland Wedding | Gina + Melissa http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/6/portland-wedding-gina-melissa  

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May 27th, 2017 was a beautiful day for two beautiful people and a perfect Portland wedding.  Gina + Meli joined together with their friends, family, and friends that became family, to solidify their love and commitment in one of the most joyous weddings I have ever seen.  

I started the morning getting ready with Gina, and the sentimental touches were already everywhere I looked.  A friend from Barbara's Bundts had made some yummy treats with a sweet message for the couple,  Gina had laid out the wedding party gifts which were beautiful handkerchiefs.  The girls got ready in robes which were from Gina's sisters' wedding, Meli's wedding ring was her grandmother's, and so on and so on, just all around.  So much love was intertwined with all of the details.  Gina had Tasha and Estelle from Kutz Salon for her hair and makeup and as you can see they did an incredible job, giving Gina a classically beautiful look.  Gina's mom and sister helped her get dressed and shared an intimate moment before we left for the first look.  

The first look for Gina + Meli happened outside of State Street Church.  We also did another first look for Gina's son, Chester.  His reaction of seeing his mom was priceless!  He even gave 2 thumbs up!  So cute.  Meli's reaction was a little more sentimental, you could see the look of awe in her eyes as she saw Gina in her beautiful gown, as she tenderly looked over all of her details.  Meli looked pretty awesome as well, with those sweet suspenders! 

After the first look and some wedding party photos, the ceremony began.  Pastor Jeanette Good gave a heartwarming and very personal service for the couple.  It was clear she knew them very well and she was as excited for them and their marriage as everyone else.  After the ceremony we moved on to the beautiful reception held at Gilsland Farm at the Maine Audubon.  There couldn't be a more beautiful spot for Gina + Mel's guests to celebrate the newlyweds than this little hidden-in-nature gem with gorgeous green grounds.  It was decorated in handmade banners hanging everywhere from Gina + Meli's good friend, and and incredible artist, Jodi Ferry.  Friends got to enjoy some beautiful weather, and also some very amazing food from another friend of the couple, Louis Pickens and his catering team from Black Betty's Bistro.  Most of the food was gluten free and vegan to accommodate Gina + Mel's needs, and I can honestly say I have never had such a delicious variety of food!  The couple started their first dance surrounded by lots of children, which were just as important guests as were their parents, but ended it just the two of them to "At Last" by Etta James.  They were toasted by Gina's sister Lauren, who was beaming with love and pride for her sister, and also by Jason and Sarah, Meli's close friends.  

This was an incredible day, and weekend for the celebration of two people and their genuine love.  A new family was united on that day, and I could not be happier for Gina, Meli and Chester.  I can not wait to see you grow and blossom and since I am so fortunate to have become very close to this family, I won't be going anywhere any time soon ;) 

~xo, Ames

Other vendors include: DELICIOUS cake and treats by Bam Bam Bakery

DJ/Emcee: Friend Justin Moriarty

Flora:  Skillins Florist

Gina's Gown: BHLDN

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography bam bam bakery bhldn black betty's bistro ct photographer ct wedding photographer destination wedding photographer jo ferry jodi ferry kutz salon newport ri wedding newport wedding portland wedding ri wedding photographer skillins florist state street church portland maine http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/6/portland-wedding-gina-melissa Thu, 08 Jun 2017 15:32:00 GMT
Why is photography priced the way it is? http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/5/why-is-photography-priced-the-way-it-is I have debated over writing about this for a while, until recently when someone who was in the market for a wedding photographer asked a group of mostly wedding photographers what was involved with the cost of hiring a professional on their wedding day.  I had put off doing this post mostly because I did not want it to come across as defensive, but in the end if you have never owned your own business or been involved in the art industry, you may not be aware of all that is involved with pricing and keeping your business alive.  So I am just simply going to discuss what it is you are investing in on your wedding day.  I am sure many people will have their opinions, which is totally cool, I'd love to hear them!  I am also sure that photographers also will have some input.  Some may charge a lot less and be able to, and some will charge a lot more and that is great too.  But my goal here is to explain why you will see a range of photography prices out there, and what you should expect for paying more or less for your photographer of choice. 

Scenerio #1- You have a friend/your friend has a friend who takes great photos and they offered to do your pictures for free or almost free. 

That friend is a really great friend, and you are lucky to have them.  If they are an invited guest, they are offering to give up enjoying your wedding; eating, drinking, and dancing to take photos for you, in turn saving you thousands of dollars.  They will get there hours before the wedding starts, have to wear something comfy vs something hot, flats vs heels, hair up and ready to get sweaty and go hours without eating, drinking or using the bathroom. 

I will be totally honest.  I have the hardest time charging friends and acquaintances for my services.  In my version of a perfect world I would have a never-ending source of cash and I would be that unicorn photographer that could actually take amazing photos for no money.  Truly.  To the point that I posted in a forum one day "Will I ever get over the feeling of dread when I respond to a friend about pricing?!".  Someone made a good point, that if I was a guest, would I give them a $2000 wedding present?  No?  That is what you are doing by giving away your services (READ: 40+ hours of your life, wear and tear on your insanely expensive equipment, space on your hard drives, website etc).  The other issue with this is that (fortunately) this business is very word of mouth.  While that is awesome if you are building a great reputation for yourself, it means that almost everyone is a friend or acquaintance who comes through your door.  If you have built a business on giving away, or giving discounts on, your services you will be struggling to stay afloat, limiting you from being able to afford continuous education, upgraded equipment etc. (more on that later). 

Chances are your friend who takes great photos, while their heart is in the right place, probably hasn't considered all of the time that goes into pre-wedding planning and post wedding editing, curating, and delivering of images.  Have they taken the time to visit the venue before?  Do they know where the sun will be when you are doing portraits?  Do they know what time you are doing portraits?  Have they asked the minister about what is allowed for photography during the ceremony?  Do they know what time your hair and makeup will begin, and what time your bridesmaids need to get dressed and what time you need to get dressed and if you are doing a first look have they coordinated with the two of you so you will be in the same place at the right time without seeing each other before hand?  Will they put together a family formal timeline to most effectively use the small amount of time you have to do portraits to run it smoothly?  Knowing your families' names, relationships and special circumstances?  Or will everyone just get in one group photo and leave it up to you to do all the thinking and directing?  After your wedding, when you are so excited to see the photos and rightfully so since you just spent A LOT of money on one day and the photos are the only thing you have to show for it now, what is the guarantee you will receive any photos from your friend?  And when?  It is VERY overwhelming to go home with 1000+ photos and look through them all and to choose the best, and then edit them and figure out how to deliver the hundreds of photos that you will send.  And chances are if this is not something they do often, procrastination may ensue.  The 8 hours at your wedding are just the tip of the iceberg of hours that your friend should spend on your wedding.  I have seen other photographers that have broken down the amount of time they spend with each client, and that is truly impressive to me. I don't have the patience for that.  Let's just say it's a lot.  It may not seem like a big deal to just send an email response to an inquiry, and then on average 3 more answering questions about services provided, before you have officially decided to book, and then putting together the contract (which makes sure you get those photos in a timely manner after your wedding!) and sending that email, putting together the questionnaires, answering random phone calls/emails that come through in the meantime, communicating and coordinating with other vendors, putting together the timeline for your day, travel time to and from meetings and the wedding, shooting the wedding, uploading, editing, delivering your images, but it is.  Other photographers who do have the patience to add it all up I believe average it around 40+ hours. Again- not complaining, just clarifying that it is more than the 8 hours spent on your wedding day. 

I was that friend that took good photos at one time too.  I believe that is how a majority of photographers get interested and involved with the industry.  And while it was an honor that my friends would recommend me to other friends, that terrified me.  Because truth be told, I just had a good camera and really enjoyed taking photos.  Not for anyone else but for myself.  And when I did take them for other people I was psyched when maybe 5-10% of the photos came out deliverable.  This was ok for a little bit because no one has to see the bad photos right?  You just show the good stuff.  But the issue with relying on chance to get some good photos is that you lose a lot of potentially really awesome photos.  And when I was shooting this way, I was... 

Scenerio #2- That photographer who charges way less.

This is another thing that you will come across.  A photographer who may charge hundreds of dollars for what others charge thousands.  And no matter what any seasoned, professional photographer will tell you about photography, everyone starts somewhere.  And it is actually irresponsible to charge for their first wedding what someone who has been doing it for 5 years (or even 1 year!) would charge.  The solution to this debate is, you should know exactly what you are getting for that very discounted price.  Like I mentioned, in the beginning I relied heavily on chance for getting some photos I could be proud to share.  I really did love the idea of being a photographer and was putting time and money into learning the craft and I never felt like I was overcharging for my services, I felt like they were spot on with what I was delivering, which was about half or less than half the cost of what the average professional photographer in my area was charging.  I wasn't doing it to undercut anyone or to steal clients, I was charging what I was charging because I could see the difference in quality from my images to theirs. I  was learning the process of client communication and posing and knew that I was not on their level yet.  I wanted to be there and worked my ass off to try and get there but, well, I just didn't have the experience to be there yet.  Also the photographer may be working another job (or 2 like I was) to support themselves being able to afford to photograph others, which is great and there is nothing wrong with hard work, but it comes down to time.  If you are working 50+ hours/week, plus shooting and editing on the weekends, what time do you have to invest into educating yourself to becoming a better photographer?  I'll answer-next to none, and you get really cranky. (sorry for the things I said while I was editing at 3am)

*I have to mention here this all relates to family and portrait sessions.  Once I was asked to do my first wedding, I took literally 4x what I got paid for that wedding and spent it on my little "business" (if you could even call it that at the time).  I spent a weekend 5 hours away from home at a wedding photography workshop, bought a new camera and lenses, rented equipment that I couldn't buy, and bought tons of online courses and had them streaming 24/7 on my computer, phone, anywhere and everywhere.  I knew weddings were a BIG DEAL and I was in no way going to let a couple be disappointed no matter what they were paying me. 

So what did that huge investment translate to?  Well taking control of my photos for one thing, instead of relying on chance.  Cameras really are tiny little machines.  They are legit hand held computers that are extremely smart.  In the beginning you can put your camera on Auto and if you are observant and have an eye for what would make a good photo you will take some decent pictures.  This is essentially like using a paint by numbers for Starry Night by Van Gogh.  Your painting is going to come out "pretty" right?  Because technically it looks exactly like the original.  But is there any personality to it?  Is there anything that is "you" or unique or makes it stand out from any other copy?  No, and it will obviously never be as valuable as Van Gogh's.  No offense but your mom might be the only one who even acknowledges it.  Much like my mom would always tell me how beautiful my photos were even if they were of the grass.  True story: she actually has a canvas of a dandelion photo I took on my iPhone hanging in their living room.  That's what moms do.  But cameras, for as smart as they are can often read situations wrong.  For instance, during your first dance while the lights are really dim it will decide to slow down your shutter speed to let more light into the camera instead of raise your ISO, which will make every single photo from your first dance come out blurry.  Heaven forbid you are getting married inside and have hired someone who shoots in auto, every photo very well may come out blurry as your walking down the aisle, having your first kiss, walking back down the aisle.  When you learn to photograph in Manual mode, you over power the camera and you decide what the settings should be for the different scenes.  This is essential for nailing focus and all that, but it also gives you artistic freedom.  You may look at two photos and not be able to pick out exactly what it is that you like about one more than the other, but a photographer would.  Is the subject nice and sharp and in focus and everything behind them is soft and out of focus so that your eye is drawn right to the subject and what the photographer is trying to convey?  Or are the cars that are way far behind the couple just as in focus, distracting you from the couple and their intimate moment?  That is an example of the photographer choosing to override the camera and shoot at f/2 vs the camera wanting to shoot at f/14 since it is such a bright and sunny day.  This is where my friends stop listening to me because I get too excited talking about camera stuff, so I'll spare you, just know that it's a thing, and what it is you like about certain photos is a decision that a knowledgeable, educated photographer made.  

I mentioned a lot of things when it comes to communication and planning above, so I won't go back into all of that, but learning all of that also comes through investing in education.  And education costs money.  Lots of money.  No surprise, it does in any industry.  Photography is constantly evolving, changing, so attending multiple workshops per year to keep up on the industry is always a plus.  

And then there is the equipment.  First of all, no matter who you are hiring for however much, you should ensure they have a back up camera.  It does not have to be as good or the same as the camera they intend to use, but it should be a camera that will shoot in Manual mode and they are able to use interchangeable lenses with.  Even if it is not as new of a camera that they shoot mainly with, it should allow them to deliver the kind of photos you are used to seeing in their portfolio just in case.  And a photographer should not be remotely offended by you asking if they have 2 cameras.  For as much as we love to say that "you can never redo your wedding photography, so choose the right photographer!" that photographer knows they can never redo your wedding photography.  So choose the right photographer.   So what does our equipment cost?  On a wedding day I bring: (links provided so you can double check)

2 Nikon D750's- Currently $1500 each, but were $2000 when I purchased, so $4000.00

Nikon 70-200 2.8 lens- $2800.00

Nikon 85mm 1.4 lens- $1600.00

Nikon 85mm 2.8 tilt-shift lens-  $2000.00

Nikon 50mm 1.8 lens- $217.00

Sigma 35mm 1.4 art lens- $900.00

Sigma 24-70 2.8mm lens- $900.00

Nikon 105mm macro lens- $900.00

3 Yongnuo flashes, and transmitters etc- $400.00

2 Cheetah light stands- $240.00

and then hundreds more in smaller accessories and batteries, memory cards, back up batteries, light modifiers, etc etc etc.  All together when I walk into your wedding I have at LEAST $15,000 worth of equipment in my hands. (Holy crap that's a lot... I've never done the math before!)  That is just what is with me, never mind the computers, subscriptions to online delivery systems, websites, online storage space, hard drives, business license, taxes, insurances, (one for me one for my equipment), credit card fees, and so on and so on.  Keep in mind if another photographer charges twice what I do, chances are they probably have twice the equipment, and twice the experience that I do.  Since this is about what to expect for what you pay, not necessarily how expensive of a business to be in; that is your answer.  If a photographer is charging $500 for a wedding, chances are they probably did not spend, amongst other things:

$11,191 on equipment, $2,411.81 on advertising, $5,794.70 on memberships and education, $5,226.54 on products, $1,600.09 on shipping and supplies, $2,850.62 on travel, just last year alone like I did, just to name a few. And believe me, that will translate into your photographs.  That was money that I paid out of my pocket to better myself for my clients.  No one tells you you have to spend x amount to be considered "professional".   If you are on more of a budget for all of your wedding, and do find the price of the average wedding photographer to be more than you can afford, there is nothing wrong with having to find someone is just getting their feet wet in the industry, or is trying to build their portfolio.  Just be sure to be clear on what to expect.  Do they have a website, not just a Facebook page?  Are their correspondences professional and timely?  Do they charge tax and are they insured and a legit business?  Do they have a contract which addresses what you will receive and when?  All of this will protect you, and them. 

I think the reason that this is constantly a topic of discussion is that photography is the one thing that does not give you instant gratification.  Having me there on your wedding day does not impress your guests like the extra couple hundred you'll spend on custom linens vs white on the tables.  You don't get your photos as they're being taken like you see the extra apps that you paid for coming out of the kitchen, I don't pretty up your venue like the bistro lights you squeezed into the budget, so it may seem negotiable.  Like with everything in life, we value and want to pay for tangible things, and until after the wedding, when you have your album, photography is not tangible.  But where it gets frustrating is that unlike the 4 tier cake that you really wanted, or the fancier tent or heavier stock you might want to choose on your wedding invites, your wedding photos (and video if you have a videographer) is the only thing you have to look back on for the rest of your life.  You may choose to keep your dress, and the top tier from your wedding cake, but are you going to take that out to show your friends and family when they come over?  Are your children going to look at your cake and laugh about what mom and dad looked like 30 years ago?  To me that is what makes photography priceless.  

I like to compare photography (all photography- portraits, wedding, landscape) to going out to eat.  Because I love them both equally.  But also because they follow the same business model. When you go out to eat, lets say you get a burger for $15.  Technically those ingredients probably cost the restaurant what maybe $8?  Bread, meat, fries.  You are not paying for the burger, you are paying for the dish it came on, the server who brought it to you, the uniform they're wearing, the electricity in the restaurant, the equipment that was used to cook it, the chef that prepared it, the delivery fees from the company that delivered the meat and soooo onnnnn.  Could you go to Wendy's and get a burger and fries for $4?  Sure.  Is it the same as the 8 oz farm fresh meal you take your time to eat and enjoy with good company?  No, you probably ate it in your car and had enough money to also stop at Taco Bell (don't judge) but you get the point.  Ya but a $15 burger is different than a $3000 photographer.  True.  But how many times do you pay a markup on your meals out vs how many times do you pay for a professional photographer?  Personally I go out to eat at least twice a week. 

So I hope this has shed some light on why photography prices are what they are.  I hope this has also given anyone who does not have the budget to hire a professional some ideas on how to ensure you will still get beautiful photos.  Oh and that first wedding I ever shot?  I am still very proud of those images, and when I went back to that venue for a wedding last month was pumped to see they used a lot of my images from that wedding in their advertisements and signage.  Don't get me wrong, I know what I would do to improve this photo now, but for my first wedding I was proud to deliver images like this one:

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography destination wedding photographer ri wedding photographer why are weddings so expensive why is photography so expensive http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/5/why-is-photography-priced-the-way-it-is Wed, 31 May 2017 17:59:44 GMT
The Meadows Stonington | Kelly + Jay http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/5/the-meadows-stonington-kelly-jay "ct wedding", "mystic ct wedding", "ct wedding photographer", "ri wedding photographer", "stonington ct wedding", "a creative focus photography"D7500 0

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of photographing Kelly + Jay's amazing wedding at The Meadows Stonington.  These two have been together for 10 years, since high school, and their wedding was a beautiful celebration of all of the years they have spent together, the memories they have made and the families and friends they have interwoven.  

Kelly + Jay have been through a lot to get them where they are today.  Including: living many miles and states apart, Jay having to spend  time away in bootcamp and serving in the military, and of course Kelly's accidental "Oh no!" to Jay's proposal.  (It was actually her response to accidentally kicking the radio off the mountain they were on... but still that's got to be pretty terrifying to hear!!)  One of my favorite moments of the day was during his vows when Jay read the first letter he ever sent to Kelly when he was away in bootcamp.  That was just one of the many personal touches that went into their wedding day.  Kelly, along with some help from her bridesmaids put together their flowers and made a lot of the decor, her very talented friend and Maid of Honor made the cupcakes, and a close friend's father officiated the ceremony.  Everywhere you looked there were little pieces of themselves that the couple wanted to share.

Kelly looked absolutely stunning in her gown from Mariella Creations, Meghan + Samantha from Rob Rivers Salon and Spa did a beautiful job with Kelly's hair and makeup.  Amanda from Gourmet Galley took great care of the couple and all of their guests, and Tommy from Marx Entertainment had the dance floor packed the entire night!! 

May 12th now belongs to Kelly + Jay, to celebrate their love every year, but I know these two will be celebrating every single day.  You may still have some time apart to get through, but I hope these photos, some of my favorites from your day, will help you keep smiling during that time.  You are two of the kindest, most loving people I have ever met, thank you for giving me the privilege of documenting your day!

~xo, Ames

 

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography mariella creations marx entertainment mystic ct ri wedding photographer rob rivers salon and spa stonington ct wedding the meadows stonington the meadows wedding http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/5/the-meadows-stonington-kelly-jay Thu, 25 May 2017 19:54:56 GMT
Branford House | Russ + Joey Surprise Proposal http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/2/branford-house-russ-joey-surprise-proposal D7500 0

Over the summer I had the beautiful honor of photographing Russ' surprise proposal to Joey.  Russ had come to me a couple of months before, so excited, so on cloud 9 about his idea to ask Joey to marry him.  Russ wanted it to be a huge surprise, to really catch his boyfriend off guard.  Together we conspired to get Joey to the beautiful grounds of UCONN at Avery Point, by telling him that I was looking for some portfolio building photos and wanted them to model for me.  Maybe it is because they are both model material, but Joey didn't think twice about the idea!  When they arrived we walked the area for a little bit, stopping and taking some photos until I finally decided to let Russ out of his misery and go to the location I thought would be best for the proposal.  Poor Russ had some serious nerves going on while I was waiting for the sun to dip just a little lower for "the moment".  

I set Russ and Joey up back to back, snapped some photos, and then reversed them so that when I asked Joey to turn around I would have the perfect view of his reaction.  When he did Russ was down on one knee, and I don't think I have ever seen anyone more surprised.  It took a definite couple of minutes for it to set in.  Joey was the true definition of speechless.  He could not believe that Russ had pulled off this surprise!  Surprise proposals are always always such an amazing moment to be a part of, and I never get sick of the genuine reaction of surprise and love that follows. 

After a couple of moments we were able to continue on with our session, Russ now being able to relax a little and Joey with a new ring and huge smile!!  It was so much fun to hang out with this newly engaged couple and to document this most important day.  All the bestest of the best to you two!! 

~xo Ames

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography branford house wedding ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography destination wedding photographer newport ri wedding photographer newport wedding newport wedding photographer ri wedding photographer http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/2/branford-house-russ-joey-surprise-proposal Tue, 14 Feb 2017 18:18:03 GMT
Mystic Wedding | Samantha + Nickolas http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/1/mystic-wedding-samantha-nickolas D7500 0

I am fortunate enough to call Samantha one of my closest friends.  When I say that, what I mean is that I have been fortunate to have her friendship enrich my life.  Sam brings so much to the table.  First of all she is an amazing and strong mother, and her very creative, smart and hysterically funny son is a testament to that.  She is also very obviously a beautiful woman.  Her talent {check it out HERE} is out of this world.  She always has this amazing smile and positive energy.  Her laugh is contagious and she is extremely motivated.  

We are not childhood friends, but I like to think that Sam and I "grew up" together.  When we first met, we were both kind of in the same place, a very very different place than we are now.  We were both beginning to pursue our passions seriously, to make careers out of doing what we love, but also found ourselves jumping off bridges at midnight, and slip and sliding, maybe having the occasional too many drinks, so nothing was being taken THAT seriously.  Eventually we also each found our future fiancés in our best friends.  For Sam, it was that one night when she took her habit of jumping off of bridges to falling on rocks, and Nick was there for her.

Nick and Sam have been friends for a very long time.  I didn't meet Nick until they started dating, but was so happy for my friend once I did.  His positive and happy energy matched hers perfectly.  He is kind, genuine and just makes you happy to be around.  The way he cares for Miles, Sam's son, is a beautiful thing to see.  They support each other, push, encourage and love each other. It is truly so awesome to watch two people grow, and know that is because they have someone by their side encouraging them to do so.  

Sam and Nick had been engaged for about a year and a half, with ideas for the wedding sort of being all over the place, literally.  And then one day, not too long ago they decided to have it here, and now.  So in just about 3 months, Sam and Nick planned an absolutely stunning wedding.  It had everything they wanted;  snow, their best friends, amazing food and drinks, and very large balloons.  The day started with Sam and her bridesmaids getting ready at the Mystic Marriott.  Sam's good friend Keira Coon from Beehive Salon styled her hair and Paula Fusaro-Gencarelli did the gorgeous makeup.  Sam wore a beautiful brooch from her great grandmother in her hair and a borrowed vintage fur from a friend.  Miles made Sam and Nick a ring box out of Legos.  There were touches of their friends and family everywhere.  The ceremony was held at the charming little chapel in Olde Mystic Village which was the perfect choice for this quintessential wintery New England day.  Sam had Miles walk her down the aisle, a job he did very well even if he did cover his eyes during the first kiss.  One of their mutual best friends, Joe, gave a hilarious and heartwarming wedding speech.  After photos we headed to Bridge, whose dimly lit, cozy, woodsy atmosphere right on the water was perfect.  The dinner was amazing, everyone had a great time.  They continued the party via a parade of balloons through downtown Westerly at The Malted Barley where we had a room upstairs all to ourselves, and more pretzels and desserts than you could imagine!  It was really a fantastic way to do a wedding.  Best of all we all got to spend a lot of time with Sam and Nick, wishing them the best on their new adventure.  

I obviously have a very strong attachment to these three.  But for good reason.  They are a beautiful, caring and loving family and I am so happy to have been a part of this incredible day.  Love love love you Sam, Nick and Miles.  Congrats.

 

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography beehive salon bride restaurant bridge restaurant wedding ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography destination wedding photographer love me two times mystic ct wedding photographer olde mystic village olde mystic village chapel rhode island wedding photographer ri wedding photographer http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/1/mystic-wedding-samantha-nickolas Wed, 25 Jan 2017 18:57:52 GMT
Providence Biltmore Wedding | Eleni + Matthew http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/1/providence-biltmore-wedding-eleni-matthew  

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Walking into Eleni's suite at the Providence Biltmore Hotel on November 5th was exactly like I had imagined it would be.  I knew Eleni had an impressive lineup of bridesmaids, and a large Greek family, so I was really hoping that there would be people everywhere, a lot of laughter, palpable elation.  That there would be girls trying on dresses and shoes and just a whirlwind of excitement.  I was not disappointed, and most impressive was Eleni.  Amidst the controlled chaos, she was the picture of calm, and simply glowing with sheer happiness for what was to come.  I wasn't surprised about that, Eleni and Matthew have such a beautiful life together already and this day was the icing on the cake, yet at the same time the beginning of so many wonderful adventures. 

Eleni + Matthew met under random circumstances.  Even though they worked for the same company, and went to the same Crossfit, fate didn't bring them together until one night out: same time, same place kinda thing.  It didn't matter however, because once they had that first date there was no turning back.  Whether they knew it or not, they never didn't not know it, know what I mean?  Haha ok that might be dramatic, but Eleni says anytime she pictured anything in the future, Matt was there.  And Matt held on to a little tin that Eleni had given him as a joke after only their second date.  That tin resurfaced a little over 2 years later with a ring in it when Matt proposed to Eleni.  Brunch, champagne and tons of happy tears {what all good proposals are made of!} and a YES of course, and the wedding planning began. 

I mentioned that Eleni came from a large Greek family.  I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that through all of our contact I never knew exactly how to pronounce her last name, Hatzinikolau, but while walking through the park after their photos her mom instructed me on how to say it.  And once she taught me I couldn't stop saying it, singing it actually, in my head the rest of the day.  And if the name was fun to say, the family that it belonged to was a million times more fun.  I was expecting a lot of dancing and music at the reception but I was unprepared for what a true Greek wedding entails.  The church ceremony was full of traditions: a Koubara, flower crowns, wine, being led around the alter, all things that were really interesting to read about before hand and witness on the day, but like I said, the dancing and music was unlike anything I had ever seen!  Eleni's grandfather played the violin with the band for, I swear, like 20 minutes while all the guests danced around and around.  It is a good thing Eleni + Matt do Crossfit because I will tell you that was quite the workout!  There was money being thrown at the newly weds, and napkins swinging. So so fun. After sitting for what seemed like 5 minutes to have dinner, they were back up and dancing again!  This time to their DJ, Chris Saraiva's music which was so good I couldn't even break them off the dance floor for a night time photo!  

Matthew and Eleni planned a Providence Biltmore wedding straight from a dream.  They couldn't go wrong with this outstanding venue, made even more beautiful with flora from Blooming Blossoms.  The sweet stuff, cupcakes and a gorgeous three-teir cake was from Sin Desserts.  Eleni and the girls had their hair done by Eden XO, and makeup by Jen Graver.  The guys looked classically handsome in Jos. A. Bank suits while Eleni's stunning, absolutely-made-for-her-gown was from BHLDN.  The bridesmaids dresses were in an array of beautiful fall jewel tones, also from BHLDN.  Eleni wore aaammaaazing Jimmy Choo Shoes, and accessorized with a pearl necklace and pearl earrings, both gifts from her mother.  Eleni + Matt hired the Newport Wedding Trolley to tote the super fun bridal party to and from the hotel, which allowed us to keep the party going while we were on the move! 

Eleni + Matt you truly make a radiant couple, both together and on your own.  I have loved getting to know you guys better over the past year and couldn't be more honored that you chose me to document your day. Your families are each amazing, and so sweet, kind and welcoming.  I can say nothing except that I wish simply the absolute best for you both in living out your hopes and dreams together.  

xo~Ames "providence Biltmore wedding", "ri wedding", "rhode island wedding", "providence biltmore", "blooming blossoms", "jimmy choo wedding shoes", "a creative focus photography", "ct wedding photographer"D7500 0 "providence Biltmore wedding", "ri wedding", "rhode island wedding", "providence biltmore", "jimmy choo wedding shoes", "a creative focus photography", "ct wedding photographer"D7500 0 "providence Biltmore wedding", "ri wedding", "rhode island wedding", "providence biltmore", "blooming blossoms", "a creative focus photography", "ct wedding photographer"D7500 0 "providence Biltmore wedding", "ri wedding", "rhode island wedding", "providence biltmore", "blooming blossoms", "a creative focus photography", "ct wedding photographer", "mystic ct photographerD7500 0 "providence Biltmore wedding", "ri wedding", "rhode island wedding", "providence biltmore", "blooming blossoms", "a creative focus photography", "ct wedding photographer", "bhldn", "bhldn bride"D7500 0

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"sin desserts", "blooming blossoms", "providence Biltmore wedding", "ri wedding", "rhode island wedding", "providence biltmore", "blooming blossoms", "a creative focus photography", "ct wedding photographer", "bhldn", "bhldn bride"D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 "providence Biltmore wedding", "ri wedding", "rhode island wedding", "providence biltmore", "blooming blossoms", "a creative focus photography", "ct wedding photographer", "bhldn", "bhldn bride", "sin desserts", "eden xo"D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography chris saraiva ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography eden xo eden xo salon jimmy choo ivette jimmy choo wedding shoes newport wedding trolley newport wedding trolly providence ri ri wedding photographer sin desserts http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2017/1/providence-biltmore-wedding-eleni-matthew Thu, 12 Jan 2017 04:04:57 GMT
Allen Hill Farm Wedding | Christina + Christopher http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/12/allen-hill-farm-wedding-christina-christopher "matthew's catering", "a creative focus photography", "allen hill tree farm", "allen hill farm wedding", "allen hill tree farm wedding", "ct wedding photographer", "mystic ct photographer"D7500 0

It was an absolutely stunning morning on October 30th at Allen Hill Tree Farm.  The forecast had been calling for rain, but like everything else about that day, the weather was just perfect.  The property itself was idyllic.  With a beautiful orchard on one side, a christmas tree farm taking up most of the property, and of course the big red barn, Allen Hill Farm had gorgeous-ness everywhere you looked.  But even more perfect were Christina + Christopher, who chose to have an Allen Hill Farm wedding because it fit them in all the ways your wedding should.  When Christina arrived, I absolutely melted.  She looked so stunning.  Her hair was full of fresh, gorgeous flowers.  She looked just like a boho-princess-bride-dream!  Aside from her beauty on that morning what I also immediately noticed was how attentive Christina was to her girls while getting ready.  Making sure they had everything they needed, and fixing dresses, making sure they ate, before she even thought about getting ready herself.  I noticed this through the entire day, constantly checking in and on everyone.  It cemented my opinion of her that I already had, she was a very sweet, genuine person who was used to putting her friends and family first.  

I went out to meet Chris for their first look, and he also did a pretty good job getting ready ;)  Chris looked super handsome, but his smile made it.  He could not have smiled any bigger while waiting to see Christina.  Chris was excited, and anxious to see his bride. He waited in the warm afternoon sunlight streaming through the orchard for Christina to tap him on the shoulder.  When he turned around, I realized I was very wrong.  His smile could, and did,  get much, much bigger after seeing her.  It was such a beautiful moment to be a part of, but only one of the countless beautiful moments from the day.  

During the ceremony, Christina and Chris took a moment to hug each member of their families, as a way to welcome both sides together as one family.  It was just another way they expressed themselves as the kind, huge hearted people that they are.   Christina's son Mason and Chris's niece Brianna played a big part of the wedding day, and added the most to the cute-ness factor.  The sweet little moments between Chris and Mason were absolutely adorable.  You could see just how much Chris loves being a father and equally how much Mason adores him.  

Later on, after some dancing and dinner by Matthew's Catering, the rain finally did come, but with perfect timing to get some beautiful end of the night shots outside.  It was truly an all around absolute dream wedding.  I was so honored to be the one to photograph it, and to know Christina and Chris and their families even better now.  Christina and Christopher I am wishing you guys all the happiness and love, you are certainly off to a great start! 

xo~ Ames D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography allen hill farm wedding allen hill tree farm allen hill tree farm wedding ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography destination wedding photographer matthew's catering matthews catering mystic ct mystic ct photographer mystic ct wedding photographer ri wedding photographer stonington ct http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/12/allen-hill-farm-wedding-christina-christopher Wed, 21 Dec 2016 12:02:27 GMT
Eolia Mansion Wedding | Lindsay + Aaron http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/12/eolia-mansion-wedding-lindsay-aaron D7500 0

Lindsay + Aaron married on a rainy but beautiful October day.  Their Eolia Mansion Wedding at Harkness Park was such a joy to photograph simply because there was beauty everywhere you looked.  Lindsay looked absolutely stunning in her gorgeous gown from Lastrina Girls, with her makeup just perfect thanks to Sabrina from Allure Traveling Beauty.  And Aaron looked so classically handsome in his Xedo tux and bowtie.  They even had their two puppies, Sophie and Gus, dressed for the affair!  Playing the part of the flower girl and ring bearer, they were wearing a little doggy tulle dress and a doggy tuxedo from Yvette's Little Shop.  The day was full of sweet little surprises like that, I also loved how Lindsay placed family heirlooms and jewels which had been handed down for generations in her bouquet to carry them down the aisle with her.

Guests were also dressed in black tie attire, totally fitting the elegant theme of this Eolia mansion wedding.  Rebecca from Blue Butterfly Florist had the place looking amazing with the flowers and centerpieces and candles everywhere for the ceremony which was held inside.  Lindsay's father walked her down the beautiful staircase to Aaron who was waiting with a look of pure joy and excitement on his face.  Aaron may have had some tears during the first look, and the wedding, and the toasts following.  But it was just another reason to fall in love with this couple.  They love and adore each other and their families, some of who traveled from very far away to be there, so much and they expressed that continuously through their day. 

Ivy's Simply Homemade was the caterer of choice, and Ivy and her team definitely had their work cut out for them since Lindsay and Aaron are the owners of the amazing Sweeties in downtown New London.  If you have ever been to their bakery and cafe you know they know good food! (Of course Ivy's pulled it off -not that I'm biased or anything- good job big sis ;) 

One thing to know about an Eolia Mansion wedding is that there are a couple of small rooms to have dinner in.  But when you have the perfect number of guests like Lindsay + Aaron did everyone fits so cozily in one room and the sounds of guests talking and laughing and toasting just floats through the rest of this beautiful home. The warm candlelit rooms were completely filled that night with those joyous sounds.  After dinner It also was full of the incomparable music from Band of New York.  A group made up of musicians that have done everything from Broadway to playing with the Rolling Stones!

Lindsay and Aaron certainly had every piece of their Eolia Mansion wedding planned out perfectly.  And it all came together perfectly for this couple, who gets to now celebrate this newest milestone in their life.  I am so happy to now know you Lindsay + Aaron.  It is amazing to meet a couple who can take such great risks together, open and run a successful business together, and at the same time be so head over heels in love.  Congratulations, and cheers to this next venture 

xo~Ames "lastrina girls", "eolia mansion", "harkness wedding", "eolia mansion wedding", "ct wedding photographer", "mystic ct wedding photographer"D7500 0 "blue butterfly florist", "eolia mansion", "harkness wedding", "eolia mansion wedding", "ct wedding photographer", "mystic ct wedding photographer"D7500 0 "eolia mansion", "harkness wedding", "eolia mansion wedding", "ct wedding photographer", "mystic ct wedding photographer", yvettes little shop"D7500 0 "yvettes little shop", "eolia mansion", "harkness wedding", "eolia mansion wedding", "ct wedding photographer", "mystic ct wedding photographer"D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 "yvettes little shop", "eolia mansion", "harkness wedding", "eolia mansion wedding", "ct wedding photographer", "mystic ct wedding photographer"D7500 0 "yvettes little shop", "eolia mansion", "harkness wedding", "eolia mansion wedding", "ct wedding photographer", "mystic ct wedding photographer"D7500 0 D7500 0 "yvettes little shop", "eolia mansion", "harkness wedding", "eolia mansion wedding", "ct wedding photographer", "mystic ct wedding photographer"D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 "yvettes little shop", "eolia mansion", "harkness wedding", "eolia mansion wedding", "ct wedding photographer", "mystic ct wedding photographer"D7500 0 "blue butterfly florist", "eolia mansion", "harkness wedding", "eolia mansion wedding", "ct wedding photographer", "mystic ct wedding photographer"D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 "eolia mansion", "harkness wedding", "eolia mansion wedding", "ct wedding photographer", "mystic ct wedding photographer", "ct wedding"D7500 0 D7500 0 "ivy's simply homemade", "ct wedding caterers", "eolia mansion", "harkness wedding", "eolia mansion wedding", "ct wedding photographer", "mystic ct wedding photographer"D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 "ivy's simply homemade", "blue butterfly florist", "ct wedding caterers", "eolia mansion", "harkness wedding", "eolia mansion wedding", "ct wedding photographer", "mystic ct wedding photographer", "sweeties bakery", "sweeties bakery and cafe"D7500 0 "ivy's simply homemade", "blue butterfly florist", "ct wedding caterers", "eolia mansion", "harkness wedding", "eolia mansion wedding", "ct wedding photographer", "mystic ct wedding photographer", "sweeties bakery", "sweeties bakery and cafe"D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 "ivy's simply homemade", "blue butterfly florist", "ct wedding caterers", "eolia mansion", "harkness wedding", "eolia mansion wedding", "ct wedding photographer", "mystic ct wedding photographer", "sweeties bakery", "sweeties bakery and cafe"D7500 0 "ivy's simply homemade", "blue butterfly florist", "ct wedding caterers", "eolia mansion", "harkness wedding", "eolia mansion wedding", "ct wedding photographer", "mystic ct wedding photographer", "sweeties bakery", "sweeties bakery and cafe"D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 "ivy's simply homemade", "blue butterfly florist", "ct wedding caterers", "eolia mansion", "harkness wedding", "eolia mansion wedding", "ct wedding photographer", "mystic ct wedding photographer"D7500 0 "ivy's simply homemade", "blue butterfly florist", "ct wedding caterers", "eolia mansion", "harkness wedding", "eolia mansion wedding", "ct wedding photographer", "mystic ct wedding photographer"D7500 0 "ivy's simply homemade", "blue butterfly florist", "ct wedding caterers", "eolia mansion", "harkness wedding", "eolia mansion wedding", "ct wedding photographer", "mystic ct wedding photographer"D7500 0 "ivy's simply homemade", "ct wedding caterers", "eolia mansion", "harkness wedding", "eolia mansion wedding", "ct wedding photographer", "mystic ct wedding photographer"D7500 0 "ivy's simply homemade", "ct wedding caterers", "eolia mansion", "harkness wedding", "eolia mansion wedding", "ct wedding photographer", "mystic ct wedding photographer"D7500 0 "ct wedding caterers", "eolia mansion", "harkness wedding", "eolia mansion wedding", "ct wedding photographer", "mystic ct wedding photographer"D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography allure traveling beauty blue butterfly florist ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography eolia mansion eolia mansion wedding harkness park wedding harkness wedding ivy's simply homemade lastrina girls mystic ct wedding photographer ri wedding photographer sweeties bakery sweeties bakery new london ct yvettes little shop http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/12/eolia-mansion-wedding-lindsay-aaron Fri, 02 Dec 2016 20:41:49 GMT
Bee and Thistle Inn | Lissa + Asa http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/11/bee-and-thistle-inn-lissa-asa  

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Lissa + Asa married at the Bee and Thistle Inn surrounded by family and friends on a lovely October day.  They could not have chosen a more perfect setting for their very personal and traditional wedding, full of unique and sweet moments.  From the handmade soap favors, and hand filled pouches of fragrant dried flowers for guests to toss, to Lissa's sisters homemade oyster shell ring box, and all of the signs throughout the Inn which she had hand lettered, little pieces of Lissa + Asa's personality were evident everywhere.  Lissa included things such as bells at the place settings, bringing a touch of her Irish side, and received a six pence for her shoe, another Irish tradition, and they married in front of a beautiful chuppa, tying Asa's Jewish heritage into the ceremony.  

We had some beautiful and refreshing rain on that day, and the ceremony was moved indoors, but it really provided a sense of closeness and intimacy for the ceremony that fit this couple and their family perfectly.  After the heartfelt vows had been said and the rings had been exchanged, Lissa and Asa had a gorgeous, choreographed waltz as their first dance.  Her sister and stepfather sung and played the guitar, while Asa twirled and dipped Lissa around the cozy lounge of the the Bee and Thistle Inn.  It was truly like a scene from a fairy tale.  

The dining rooms were full of laughter and toasting and bell ringing during Lissa and Asa's three course dinner.  The food at the Bee and Thistle Inn is an event in itself, everything the chef prepares is outstanding.  Just when you think it doesn't get any better, there is the cake!  (Of course my favorite part ;) )  After the cake cutting, we all went outside to give Lissa and Asa a fun sparkler send off.  Thankfully the rain came back to add some uniqueness to their sparkler photos!

The remainder of the evening was spent with dancing.  Lots and lot of dancing!  Everyone was really able to party the night away since guests are able to stay at the Bee and Thistle Inn for the whole weekend.  

Asa + Lissa were surrounded by family, friends and lots and lots of adorable children for their wedding weekend.  I loved all of the personal touches they added to really make the wedding their own.  It was such an honor to document the true love that was abundant everywhere, and I am so happy to now know Asa, Lissa, and their wonderful families. 

Here's to a lifetime of love and laughter, xo~Ames

Hair and Makeup- Brittany Aldana, Posh Salon 

Flora- Elements Flowers

Gown- David Tutera from Couture Bridal Co.

Bridesmaids- Christina Wu 

Groom/Groomsmen- River Junction Trade Co.

Shoes- Beholden Bridal on Etsy

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography bee and thistle inn bee and thistle inn wedding carla steele elements couture bridal co warwick RI ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography david tutera destination wedding photographer elements floral design mystic ct wedding photographer posh salon posh salon niantic ct ri wedding photographer river junction trade co http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/11/bee-and-thistle-inn-lissa-asa Sun, 20 Nov 2016 15:38:39 GMT
Farmhouse by the Sea Wedding | Brittany + Matt http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/11/farmhouse-by-the-sea-wedding-brittany-matt D7500 0

Like all weddings I have the privilege of photographing, Brittany + Matt's Farmhouse by the Sea wedding was so full of unforgettable moments.  Brittany looked absolutely stunning in her Anna Campbell gown, and her bridesmaids looked simply gorgeous in their outfits,  with the soft color palate perfectly complimenting that late September day.  They had so many friends and family gathered to watch them celebrate their love for each other.  The weather was perfect, and they had an absolute dream of a wedding team behind them.  It truly was an ideal wedding day.

 But I have to say, it also had on of my most favorite moments ever.  It was during the Best Man's toast.  It started with Matt's brother talking about how he used to imitate him all the time, and copy everything his older brother did.  How he really looked up to Matt as an older brother.  But then I heard the greatest words that have ever been spoken during a toast.  

"But when you grew a man bun and started DJ'ing I had to draw the line"

I died.  It was hysterical. 

Aside from that, there were many other moments which struck my super sensitive side.  Like when Brittany was escorted down the aisle by her three brothers, meeting Matt at the alter, and how in that moment she had the four men that love her the most surrounding her.  There was the fact that both of their parents had been married in front of a fireplace, so Brittany and Matt chose to have a fireplace in their ceremony as well.  I also may have had some tears when Brittany danced with her new father in law to the "father daughter dance", as Matt looked on so proud and happy.   Brittany's best friends had made her a "letters to the bride" box, and had all put letters to Britt, from themselves in the box and surprised her with the beautiful box.  And I can't forget when the flower girl and Brittany were getting their hair done next to each other and the flower girl said Brittany's hair was "so pretty, it looks just like french fries!" 

Brittany and Matt definitely had an absolutely amazing day at their Farmhouse by the Sea wedding.  Matt's smile the entire day said it all.  From their First Look to the vows, and the dancing, it never faded.  It was such a pleasure to be a part of this wedding day.  I can not wait to watch this smart, beautiful, music and travel loving couple grow together.  I wish you guys so much happiness, so much laughter and love.  You are certainly off to a fantastic start!! 

xo~ Ames

Venue- Farmhouse By The Sea

Wedding Planner- Daly Sanford

Gown- Anna Campbell from Everthine

Shoes- Badgley Mischka

Bridesmaid's Necklaces- Capwell + Co.

Bridesmaids Skirts- Theresa Nast from Everthine

Hair/Makeup- Salon KG

Catering- Dave's Marketplace 

Flora- Robin Hollow Farm {and very talented friends!} 

DJ- Dox Ellis

Video- Ryan Harackiewicz

Photo Booth- Love Laugh Photo Booth

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D7500 0 "everthine bridal", "farmhouse by the sea", "farmhouse by the sea wedding", "a creative focus photography", "mystic ct photographer", "anna campbell bride", "ri wedding"D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 "everthine bridal", "farmhouse by the sea", "farmhouse by the sea wedding", "a creative focus photography", "mystic ct photographer", "anna campbell bride", "rhode island wedding", "rhode island wedding photographer"D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 "everthine bridal", "farmhouse by the sea", "farmhouse by the sea wedding", "a creative focus photography", "mystic ct photographer", "anna campbell bride", "everthine"D7500 0 "everthine bridal", "farmhouse by the sea", "farmhouse by the sea wedding", "a creative focus photography", "mystic ct photographer", "anna campbell bride", "everthine madison ct"D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 "everthine bridal", "farmhouse by the sea", "farmhouse by the sea wedding", "a creative focus photography", "mystic ct photographer", "anna campbell bride", "daly planning", "daly Sanford"D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 "everthine bridal", "farmhouse by the sea", "farmhouse by the sea wedding", "a creative focus photography", "mystic ct photographer", "anna campbell bride", "daly sanford", "daly planning"D7500 0 D7500 0

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"everthine bridal", "farmhouse by the sea", "farmhouse by the sea wedding", "a creative focus photography", "mystic ct photographer", "anna campbell bride", "dj dox ellis", "daves marketplace", "daly Planning", Daly sanford"

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography anna campbell anna campbell bridal ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography destination wedding photographer everthine bridal farmhouse by the sea farmhouse by the sea wedding matthews catering matunuck ri wedding mystic ct mystic ct photographer ri wedding photographer robin hollow farms salon kg stonington ct http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/11/farmhouse-by-the-sea-wedding-brittany-matt Fri, 11 Nov 2016 20:21:12 GMT
Westerly Wedding | Joleen + Andrew http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/11/westerly-wedding-joleen-andrew D7500 0

I had the pleasure of meeting Joleen over a cup of coffee one lovely afternoon.  What struck me immediately about Joleen was her very sweet and shy personality.  I could tell immediately that she had a huge heart and loved her fiancé, Andrew so much.  Joleen's eyes lit up when she talked about her wedding, and marrying the man of dreams.  Joleen and Andrew were incorporating lots of help from family and friends for their sweet and intimate wedding day.  From the decor to the food, it was all a part of their dream day, to have those closest to them having a hand in everything on that gorgeous September afternoon.  

When I met Andrew on the wedding day, his smile was contagious.  Such a very nice guy, and his excitement to marry Joleen matched hers that I had seen earlier while the girls were getting ready.  Andrew's look when he saw his bride was just priceless, and from the second the two of them locked eyes they rarely broke that gaze.  

One of the most important elements of their day were the children that were around.  These little VIP's danced and laughed, thoroughly enjoyed the candy bar that Joleen and Andrew had provided and really made the day extra fun.  Joleen and Andrew made sure they spent a lot of time with their many nieces and nephews and had a fantastic time laughing with them and loving them.  

It's always an honor to be a part of someone's wedding day and being there to capture the special moments that last forever, and I truly thank you, Mr. + Mrs. Blevins for having me!

xo~Ames

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/11/westerly-wedding-joleen-andrew Fri, 04 Nov 2016 16:26:09 GMT
Ledyard Wedding | Kacee + Chris http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/10/ledyard-wedding-kacee-chris D7500 0

Kacee + Chris's wedding was kind of a bucket list wedding for me to shoot.  A couple who plans their wedding in under two months? For a Tuesday?  At a location that doesn't even have a GPS address?  Check check check!  Add in a ring bearer puppy and a restored classic truck and yes, definitely a wedding I couldn't wait to be a part of!   

Kacee + Chris met in college, and then in true millenial love story fashion, found each other again through Snapchat.  Whatever it was that would bring them back to each other it was absolutely meant to be.  Kacee has a wicked sense of humor, like hysterical.  The girl is funny.  But also super sweet.  So sweet that the thing she cared most about for her wedding was that the important people in her life were able to be there.  Specifically, making it a time when her father would be there to walk her down the aisle.  And he could not have been more there.  A proud father in all the ways, he was beaming as he saw his daughter at their first look, beaming as he walked her down that aisle.  He kept her smiling and laughing the entire day.  When Dad handed Kacee over to Chris, he knew he was handing over his daughter into the most protective, caring and loving hands.  

At our first meeting, Chris probably got to talk a little bit less than Kacee and I, but one thing I did learn about Chris was that He. Loves. This. Girl.  The smile on his face, the way he watched her and laughed was exactly what you want to see in your couple.  Chris's positive, happy personality equals Kacee's perfectly, and they compliment each other in so many ways.  Chris also comes from a large, loving family.  And you could so obviously tell on the day they married that they adore Kacee just as much.  

And then there is Higgs the Dog.  Higgs is a one of a kind kinda puppy.  He loves hunting and fishing with his dad, but is cuddly and sweet and a total mama's boy.  Higgs played a very important role in the wedding in his fancy bow tie, bringing the rings to Chris and Kacee, and posing like a true model for some awesome portraits. 

Kacee and Chris's wedding was exactly what they wanted it to be about.  Their love for each other, their family and best friends.  And it was executed perfectly.  I loved that warm, late afternoon in September by a lake with flowers and candles in the waterfall and pure joy and happiness everywhere.  Thank you for having me be a part of this gorgeous celebration Kacee, Chris and Higgs! 

xo~Ames

Bride's gown and bridesmaids dresses: David's Bridal

Hair: Home Salon and Spa

Makeup: Colleen Griffen

Flora: Eco Flower

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography destination wedding photographer eco flower ledyard wedding mystic ct mystic ct wedding photographer ri wedding photographer http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/10/ledyard-wedding-kacee-chris Thu, 27 Oct 2016 21:56:30 GMT
Bee and Thistle Inn | Phan + Quintin http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/10/bee-and-thistle-inn-phan-quintin "bee and thistle inn", "bee and thistle wedding", "ct wedding phtographer", "ri wedding photographer", "ct wedding", "a creative focus photography", "mystic ct wedding photographer"D7500 0

Have you ever met someone and you know that your life has been improved because of it?  You might assume I'm talking about the way Phan and Quintin felt about meeting each other, and I'm sure that's true (actually I know it is) but I'm actually talking about how I felt meeting this couple.  Before I even met them I was head over heels for these two strangers and their love story.  They should be in the movies.  It begins as a friendship formed in high school, a friendship maintained through high school and college and later led to dating.  A five year long breakup was not the end of their relationship, but instead another reason to realize their true love for each other.   I usually talk more about the wedding day in my blog, but because we got to know each other so well through the past year and the one special day we spent together at their engagement session at New York Botanical Gardens, I just love and have to share more about who they are. 

Individually they are fantastic people.  Phan's parents fled Cambodia and she was born in a refugee camp in Thailand.  Once they were in America as political asylum refugees, they instilled in her the values of strong, hard work ethics, education, and not taking anything for granted.  Just a train stop away from her in the Bronx was Quintin, who was also raised to work hard for what you want, and to appreciate what you have.  They shared the same family values and upbringing despite their different backgrounds. 

They finally meet, and went on to have a 10 year long relationship.  I love what Quintin says about dating and knowing that she was "the one": 

 "I literally took a cab to a train to a bus to be with her on so many occasions. In my head back then I was like, guys don't do this!"

and even though, for whatever reason, they separated for five years:

"... But I could never imagine myself having a life with someone else. She's always been THE ONE"

After that five year separation, Quintin reaches out to Phan, who is is hesitant but meets up with him.  They both say that it was like they had never been apart, and were still very much in love with each other.  

Every good love story has a proposal right?  Quintin's proposal to Phan is better than any movie. { John Cusack would be jealous ;)} After finally reconnecting they are immediately back together, like not a day has passed.  Like most people, when you know you know and you don't want to waste another moment, Phan is getting wedding fever.  Their first vacation together they took a trip to Spain.  Quintin is bummed because he couldn't do both the trip and ring at the time.  From here on out I can't even do the story justice, I have to just let him tell it:  

"Months passed and hints were being dropped.  ...It was 2 days before the anniversary of our reconnection.  She caught the bouquet and I caught the garter (at her brother's wedding). And I spent much of the night explaining away why we were not at least engaged after knowing each other for 16 yrs. The next day we hopped on a plane heading for California to celebrate our 1yr/11yr anniversary. Earlier in the week I visited her parents to ask for her hand in marriage and her dad was pretty happy, he gave me the proposal idea. He gave me this stuffed monkey I had given her freshman year in college (16 years ago, they had kept it the whole time)(P.S. how sweet that Quintin totally had the blessing before he even asked for it?!).  I went to Build A Bear and bought a voice boxand spoke the message "Phan, will you marry me" into it and stuffed it in the monkey. So we get to Cali on 4/19/15 and... she had no idea what was going on, because in the weeks before I made her believe I just couldn't afford a ring. Anyway we get to our hotel and by now the ring is burning a hole in my pocket. I planned to wait til we got somewhere with a view and hand her the monkey while I got on a knee but I imagined me shaking and dropping the ring down a sewer grate or off a cliff. We were kind of just lounging in our fancy hotel robes after eating and I told her I got her a gift. She got mad and told me she didn't want a gift, she wanted me to save for a ring. I go to the closet and pull out a plastic bag and hand it to her. She was confused to see the monkey, and before I could say the little speech I had prepared in my mind, she shook him and heard the message.... She looked puzzled as she shook him again and again (maybe I mumbled or maybe she didn't believe what he said) so I clarified things by getting down on a knee and pulled out her ring. I think that might have been the first time I've ever seen her truly surprised."

Awesome. 

Fast forward to the day their wedding would finally come.  It was simply a gorgeous affair at the Bee and Thistle Inn, made even more beautiful with the florals provided by Carla Steele at Elements Floral Design.  Some things that are important to Phan + Quintin: good food, family and great shoes.  And all of those things were present on this stunning September day.  Quintin looked so handsome in his Hugo Boss tux and later some Air Jordans.  Phan of course was breathtaking in her Mark Zunino gown from Kleinfeld's and Badgley Mischka heels.  Simply Gorgeous by Erin gave Phan's hair and makeup a vintage glam look, adding to her natural beauty.  Both of Phan's parents walked her down the aisle, and Quintin had tears in his eyes when he saw her.  It was an emotional and sweet ceremony and the look of pure joy on each of their faces from seeing each other and being able to hold each others hands during their tying of the hands ceremony was just refreshing and beautiful.

Their reception was full of sweet words from their best man and maid of honor, and a very emotional blessing said by Quintin's mother.  The food from the Bee and Thistle of course was phenomenal, and there was dancing.  So much dancing.  Phan incorporated some traditional Cambodian elements into the evening, which was really neat to see.  I did not know that Hennessy was a Cambodian tradition, but I think I'm ok with it! ;)  

You could see at the end of the evening there was a look of pure contentment on both Phan and Quintin's faces.  This look of "Finally".  We finally get each other to ourselves.  We finally get to begin our next chapter of this new life.  What a sweet couple with an outstanding story, proving that "Love is Real" and true love will always win.  All of my love Phan + Quintin

xo~Ames

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography bee and thistle inn bee and thistle wedding ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography destination wedding photographer elements florals mark zunino mystic ct mystic ct photographer mystic ct wedding photographer old lyme ct wedding ri wedding photographer simply gorgeous by erin wedding at the bee and thistle http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/10/bee-and-thistle-inn-phan-quintin Tue, 18 Oct 2016 20:54:56 GMT
The Marina at American Wharf | Jessica + Byron http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/10/the-marina-at-american-wharf-jessica-byron D7500 0

When I think about Jessica + Byron's beautiful wedding day at The Marina at American Wharf, I think it could be summed up by a couple of things: cute kids, singing and lots and lots of emotion.

It was already a stunning September day, but the people really made this day what it was; simply amazing.  The people (and one adorable puppy) that were around Jessica and Byron were just so joyous.  Especially the kids.  The kids, consisting of Jessica's nephew who was the rockstar ring bearer, and Jessica and Byron's close friend's daughters, who were the adorable flower girls were the center of attention that day.  Jessica and Byron spent so much time dancing, laughing, playing with the kids, my heart was melting all day long.  When Byron turned to feed cake to one of the flower girls right after he fed Jessica, there was a very audible "AWWW!" from the guests.  Jessica and Byron are meant to be around children and I can't wait to watch their family grow.  

And then there was the singing, oh the singing.  It's so sweet to watch a couple sing their first dance to each other, but after that Byron surprised Jessica with a recorded version of him singing a song to her.  He claimed to be a too shy to actually do it live in person in front of everyone, but I think he just wanted to have another first dance ;)  At the end of the night the couple exited on a boat and we took a ride around the harbor.  They sang to each other practically the entire time.  Just holding hands, looking into each others eyes, singing.  It was obvious they shared the same kind of love of the songs they were singing.   

Jessica and Byron's day had some beautifully emotional moments.  The most striking was the dance they danced together to honor some very special people who were not able to be with them.  This couple has definitely experienced more than their fair share of loss, but being surrounded by friends as they and their family danced, and held each other was truly a beautiful tribute to the loved ones that were remembered.  Another beautiful moment was Jessica having two pins from her grandmother pinned inside of her dress.  Her grandmother was also a nurse, just like Jessica, and to have her grandmothers nursing pins in her dress while she walked down the aisle was so very special. 

There are pages I could write about this sweet couple.  Even just from the short time that I have known them, there is so much more to say.  I could talk more about how they met in Afghanistan while serving in two separate branches of the military under some pretty dramatic circumstances.  Or how they have a beautiful life together already with their adorable puppy Ghazni.  When I first met Byron and Jessica, Byron smuggled Ghazni into a Starbucks under his jacket, she was so tiny!  But on that day at The Marina at American Wharf she stood so big and happy and proud with her parents as they had a "first touch" and read sweet notes to each other.  Seriously, so cute.  But I digress.  None of my words would do justice to this genuinely kind, loving couple of people.  Hopefully the photos below can help out a little bit, but really you might just have to go meet them and fall in love yourself.  

xoxo Mr. and Mrs. Stanley, cheers to your next adventure!

Venue: The Marina at American Wharf, Norwich CT

Catering:  Matthew's Catering

Flora: Le Francois Floral

Cake: Tim McNeil

DJ: Rich Avdevich

Wedding Gown: Tre Bella

Designer: Saint Patrick

Bridesmaids Dresses: Azazie.com

Rentals: Arrow Paper Supply 

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography destination wedding photographer mystic ct mystic ct photographer ri wedding photographer stonington ct the marina at american wharf the marina at american wharf norwich ct the marina at american wharf weddings http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/10/the-marina-at-american-wharf-jessica-byron Mon, 10 Oct 2016 19:29:05 GMT
Mystic Aquarium Wedding | Kim + Ben http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/10/mystic-aquarium-wedding-kim-ben "a creative focus photography", "ct wedding photographer", "ri wedding photographer", "mystic aquarium wedding", "fearless photographer", "ocean blue catering", "ocean blue catering wedding", "aquarium wedding"

Ben + Kim have my favorite kind of love story, the high school sweethearts kind of love story.   It may be because my parents were also high school sweethearts and that has worked out pretty well for them, or it may be because when a couple has been together for that long, they just sort of have this vibe.  It's like an "I know you so well, we can laugh at each other and be madly in love at the same time, and finish each other sentences and it's so obvious we're meant for each other" kinda vibe.  And Kim + Ben definitely had this going for them.  I knew it from our first meeting together, and then even more so at their engagement session when we were lucky enough to be able to grab some dinner and drinks afterwards and get to really chat, and especially on their wedding day.  Ben looked so proud and excited to watch his new bride walk down the aisle.  He also looked like he completely expected it when Kim's dress caught on one of the lanterns and got dragged down the aisle with her and her mom with a loud banging.  But after his laughter subsided he had that look again, that Oh My Word, she is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen, and I am the luckiest man in the world.  

Ben is right after all, Kim is an very beautiful woman.  But also super kind and sweet and has a fantastic group of best friends. Kim and the girls spent the early afternoon of that gorgeous September morning at Ulta getting their hair and makeup done.  There was a lot of laughing, a lot of love, a ton of joy.  Everyone was equally as excited to be a part of this wedding.  Back at their home, the girls got dressed and there was more laughing, more excitement spilling out of through the whole place.  Kim shared a special moment with her mom and best friend helping her get into her amazing wedding gown from Alexandra's Boutique.  She looked absolutely stunning, so stunning that Kim's mom and best friend/Maid of Honor couldn't hold back the tears.  Everyone was pretty much speechless when Kim came downstairs.  After some photos the girls got in their limo and headed to a beautiful Mystic Aquarium Wedding.

Having a Mystic Aquarium wedding guarantees a couple of things:  delicious food from Ocean Blue Catering, and an audience of beluga whales, penguins and some other unique marine life.  Juno, the beluga whale, really wanted to make sure everyone noticed him during the ceremony, and I think he did a great job overseeing the vows and the rings while the harpist played beautiful music for the ceremony.  Between a beluga whale and harpist, really what more could you ask for??

The rest of the night was spent dancing to music from DJ Neil Roma from Spin Enterprise.  The food was amazing, the cake from You Take the Cake was a perfect fit for their wedding, and delicious.  One of Kim's favorite things, the customized koozie wedding favors were a huge hit!  It was all around an amazing night at this Mystic Aquarium wedding.  All the best to you Mr. + Mrs. Gardell on your new life together, I am so happy I was there to share this experience with you and your incredible people!! 

Other vendors included: Flora from good friend of the bride/florist Kari Deegan and officiating by Pastor Carole Reale

D7500 0 "ulta", "a creative focus photography", "ct wedding photographer", "ri wedding photographer", "ulta bridal" D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 "ulta", "a creative focus photography", "ct wedding photographer", "ri wedding photographer", "ulta bridal" D7500 0 "ulta", "a creative focus photography", "ct wedding photographer", "ri wedding photographer", "ulta bridal" D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 "alexandras bridal", "a creative focus photography", "ct wedding photographer", "ri wedding photographer", "mystic aquarium wedding"  D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 "alexandras bridal", "a creative focus photography", "ct wedding photographer", "ri wedding photographer", "mystic aquarium wedding" D7500 0 D7500 0 "alexandras bridal", "a creative focus photography", "ct wedding photographer", "ri wedding photographer", "mystic aquarium wedding" D7500 0 D7500 0 "alexandras bridal", "a creative focus photography", "ct wedding photographer", "ri wedding photographer", "mystic aquarium wedding", "fearless photographer"D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 "alexandras bridal", "a creative focus photography", "ct wedding photographer", "ri wedding photographer", "mystic aquarium wedding" D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 "alexandras bridal", "a creative focus photography", "ct wedding photographer", "ri wedding photographer", "mystic aquarium wedding", "fearless photographer", "ocean blue catering"D7500 0 D7500 0 "a creative focus photography", "ct wedding photographer", "ri wedding photographer", "mystic aquarium wedding", "fearless photographer", "ocean blue catering", "ocean blue catering wedding" D7500 0 "a creative focus photography", "ct wedding photographer", "ri wedding photographer", "mystic aquarium wedding", "fearless photographer", "ocean blue catering", "ocean blue catering wedding", "mystic harpist"D7500 0 D7500 0 D7500 0 "a creative focus photography", "ct wedding photographer", "ri wedding photographer", "mystic aquarium wedding", "fearless photographer", "ocean blue catering", "ocean blue catering wedding", "aquarium wedding"D7500 0

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography aquarium wedding ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography mystic aquarium wedding mystic ct mystic ct photographer ocean blue catering ocean blue catering wedding ri wedding photographer spin enterprises stonington ct you take the cake http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/10/mystic-aquarium-wedding-kim-ben Tue, 04 Oct 2016 01:45:05 GMT
Narragansett Wedding | Chelsea + Aaron http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/9/narragansett-wedding-chelsea-aaron  

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Chelsea and Aaron married in the beautiful backyard of her parents house in Narragansett, Rhode Island.  Everything about this wedding day was perfectly about the love between Chelsea and Aaron, their family and friends, and unbelievable happiness.  

I started the day with Chelsea and her gorgeous bridesmaids while they got ready for the wedding at her parent's neighbor's house.  I got to talk to the neighbor  a little bit and found out that he had known Chelsea and her family for a very long time.  You could clearly see it was an honor for him to host Chelsea and her friends for the morning.  And I appreciated his model ships which I thought was a perfect fit in some of the photos for Captain Aaron and his fishing buddies. 

Chelsea and her mother spent months and months prepping the backyard for the ceremony and reception.  The flowers that the two of them grew were absolutely gorgeous.  The backyard deck on which Chelsea and Aaron married looked like it was made just for this wedding ceremony.  The girls bouquets and their incredible flower crowns were provided by WeedWeavers, along with the centerpieces which complimented perfectly the beautiful gardens of Chelsea's mom.  

Aaron + Chelsea chose to do a first look, and Aaron's reaction to his stunning bride was priceless.  It was pure joy.  I wasn't that surprised since I know Aaron can be a pretty emotional guy.  But along with the fact that Chelsea looked like a beachy, ethereal goddess in her Ana's bridal dress, flowing blond curls and floral crown, he was pretty blown away to say the least.  The pups joined in the first look and took some great family photos! 

The ceremony was both meaningful and hysterically funny.  Their relationship was recounted from the beginning for everyone, and their families were thanked for doing such a great job on bringing two amazing people up this way.  It was perfectly sentimental and sweet. 

Sentimental and sweet and then enter the best man's toast.  I can't relay the entire toast, however all you need to know is that it involved some gifts from the best man to the new bride and groom.  Gifts in the form of Depends.  Yup, blue for Aaron, pink for Chelsea.  Fortunately he picked himself up a pair as well.  The Maid of Honor thankfully toned things down a bit with a touching toast of her and Chelsea's friendship.  Chelsea and Aaron really have some pretty amazing and unique friends ;) 

After delicious hors d'ovours and dinner from West Bay Gourmet, the awesome reggae band SoulShot played and people danced real hard all night.  Aaron joined them on bass for a song.  It was so fun to see everyone having a great time under a huge white tent on a perfect summer night.  I'm pretty sure it was the wedding they both had been dreaming of.

I've known Aaron since I was a freshman in high school and even though years (not gonna say quite how many...) have gone by it was so cool to see that he is still the kind, funny and super caring guy he always was.  It was such a pleasure to get to meet and know Chelsea and it is very obvious why he is just so in love with this girl.  Her laid back, easy going demeanor is his perfect match, not to mention her beauty and strong love for their friends and family.  I'm so happy for you both, you make an incredible twosome.  I'm so excited for what you will do with your new life together!  Thank you for making this day such a happy and beautiful one. 

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Link to Blog post photos

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) Anas bridal a creative focus photography ct photographer ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography destination wedding photographer narragansett wedding ri wedding photographer soulshot soulshot band weedweavers weedweavers wakefield west bay gourmet http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/9/narragansett-wedding-chelsea-aaron Mon, 19 Sep 2016 17:59:07 GMT
Harkness Park Engagement Photos | Rachel + Jamil http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/8/harkness-park-engagement-photos-rachel-jamil "harkness park", "harkness park engagement", "harkness park engagement photos", "ct wedding photographer", "harkness wedding"

Rachel + Jamil are yet another couple that I felt very honored to be chosen as their photographer.  Photos have played such an important role in their relationship, so I knew these had to be special.  In fact Jamil's super sweet proposal involved sending Rachel a photo of them every week for a year.  Starting as her birthday present, and ending with a proposal.  She filled up one album with those photos and at the proposal he gave her a blank album to start the next chapter of their lives together, and to fill with new memories.  Just too sweet!

When the time came for their Harkness Park engagement photos, the weather was looking kind of sketchy.  They were all in for still going through with it though!  Their first date had some heavy downpours so they thought it would actually be fun if it rained! (seriously how do I keep getting so lucky with these amazing, adventurous, up-for-anything couples?!)  On that date, Rachel lost her flip flop in the flash flooding and Jamil actually rescued it all Cinderella style.  I love that story.  Photos and fairytales, what every good relationship is made of ;)  Rachel + Jamil have already been doing the long distance thing off and on again for a while, with job changes and moves and all sorts of things, but I can't wait to see what the two of them accomplish when they get to be in the same place at the same time!! 

I truly loved spending the day with Rachel + Jamil, crafting their engagement photos at Harkness Park.  They did not lose those bright smiles the entire time, and their laughter and love just shone through.  Congrats you two, enjoy every day leading up to your amazing wedding!!  Here are just a few of my faves from the day ;) 

 

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography ct wedding photographer destination wedding photographer harkness park harkness park engagement harkness park engagement photos harkness wedding ri wedding photographer http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/8/harkness-park-engagement-photos-rachel-jamil Thu, 18 Aug 2016 20:03:28 GMT
Preston Ridge Vineyard Wedding | Kathryn + Kevin http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/8/preston-ridge-vineyard-wedding-kathryn-kevin "a creative focus photography", "ct weddings", "ct wedding photographer", "ri wedding photographer", "ct brides", "ri weddings", "preston ridge vineyard", "preston ridge vineyard wedding", "ct vineyard wedding"D7500 0

I'm just going to say that I will probably have re-written this post 25 times by the time it sees the light of day.  In fact that first line started out with 15 times and I had to re-write THAT.  This is going to be a little overwhelming since Kathryn + Kevin have such a unique, sweet story and because so much time, love and little pieces of themselves went into every single detail of their perfect Preston Ridge Vineyard Wedding day that I hope I can do it some kind of justice.

I could start with the very obvious:  Kathy + Kevin are probably the kindest, most genuine people you will ever meet.  "Happy" is an understatement to describe their moods on any given day.  "In love" doesn't even come close to saying how they feel about being with each other.  However, "Soulmates" could tell you a little bit about their relationship.  The Greek meaning of "soul mate" describes one who would forever long for his or her other half, or the other half of their soul, and once the two find each other there is unspoken understanding of one another.  They feel unified and would know no greater joy than that.  The first time it was used in English literature was in 1822 by poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge.  He says "to be happy in Marriage Life you must have a soul-mate, you must have a Husband whom before the alter you can safely, conscientiously vow to love, honour and respect."  I know that Kevin + Kathy each genuinely feel this way about one another.  Anyone would after spending even just 15 minutes with them.

Kathy + Kevin's souls were definitely searching for each other long before they met.  Both were adopted from Korea at a very young age.  They were adopted into loving families that offered them the best chance at a new and different life.  Their journey began far away in Korea and their paths have run parallel ever since.  Both became teachers and were working in the same school district when they met.  Musical talent and a love for their students is what eventually brought them together to be in the same place at the same time.  That musical talent is just one thing on the list of reasons why they were meant to be.  In fact every guest at their Preston Ridge Vineyard wedding reception got to experience this when they played a beautiful song together.  Kevin, Kathy and Kathy's mother played the trumpet, violin, and keyboard in perfect harmony under a huge white tent on a perfect summer night.  Throughout the entire gorgeous Preston Ridge Vineyard Wedding we were constantly reminded of just how meant to be these two are.  Fittingly, their wedding hashtag was #Seoulmates {a play on Seoul, Korea... get it?!}, the toasts given by their best friends and family were hysterically funny, sweet and the most heart-felt.  The dancing was EPIC, causing three pairs of ripped pants.  THREE.  Just a few highlights from the night.  Oh and of course the Flanders Donuts that closed out the night.

It was interesting to learn the origin of "soulmate".  But it was way more exciting to discover the meaning of #SEOULMATE.  True, it is someone who is complete when they find their other half like the Greek would say, or would vow to love one another like Coleridge says.  But it is also one for whom your soul never had to go too far to find, someone who you were bound to meet wether you are 20 miles or 7,000 miles from.  Someone who drives to you in a snowstorm after hearing tears through the telephone, just to comfort you.  Someone who you would call your rock, who you turn to at the worst of times but also the best.  A #SEOULMATE is the person who you know has just changed your life for the better, forever, the very first time you meet.  Who you are just as happy sharing a workout or a cleaning spree with as you are sharing a delicious meal and bottle of wine.  Kathy + Kev, I can very obviously say you found your soulmates, or #seoulmates.  Thank you for being so amazing and sharing your contagious head over heels, crazy in love, love with all of us.  Cheers to the best future two people could possibly ask for, you absolutely deserve it!! 

Reception Venue: Preston Ridge Vineyard

Hair and Makeup: Larissa Lake & Co

Bridal Gown: Love Me Two Times

Bridesmaids Dresses: Weddington Way

Catering: Ivy's Simply Homemade

Florals + Design: KLW Design Co.

Wedding Cake: Zest Fresh Pastry

DJ: Local Motion Entertainment

Videography: East Coast Image

 

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acreativefocus@gmail.com (A Creative Focus Photography) a creative focus photography ct photographer ct vineyard weddings ct wedding photographer ct wedding photography destination wedding photographer preston ridge vineyard preston ridge vineyard wedding ri wedding photographer http://acreativefocusphotography.com/blog/2016/8/preston-ridge-vineyard-wedding-kathryn-kevin Mon, 08 Aug 2016 18:39:15 GMT