What can I say about Kristie and Nate? I’ve literally known Kristie for most of my adult life. We grew up together, rode the same school bus every day, had sleep overs, and lived about 2 miles from each other all through our childhoods. When Kris had asked me to shoot her wedding I couldn’t have been happier. I don’t have a bias as to whether I’m a guest or a photographer at friend’s weddings but when you’re the wedding photog for someone you’ve legitimately known for 20+ years, you’re definitely going to capture some shots, emotions and moments that otherwise wouldn’t be possible (family knowing you and the bride being comfortable around you plays a huge part in this). Family and friends greeted me and I knew most by name. I had attended many fun slumber parties, pre-prom bashes, and all around hung out at the Cole’s house growing up. I remember late night conversations with Gary and Bonnie, laughing and sharing funny jokes (and of course Bonnie’s chocolate covered strawberries… yum!) as well as Christmas celebrations and Powder Puff games.
It was so great to see my friend not only being so happy and in love with the man of her dreams but to see the love equally reflected in his eyes. You can tell from the moment you meet Kristie and Nate that they are a perfect match for each other. The story shared throughout the night was how the two had met. Kristie was coming over to her friend Mary’s house after volunteering at an animal shelter only to meet for the first time Nate. The two spent hours laughing, listening to Frank, dancing and sharing Old Fashioneds. As said in their ceremony (and very Italian apparently) they were both ‘struck by lighting.’ Kristie went home (after meeting Nate for the first time) telling friends and family that she had found the man she was going to marry.
And marry they did! The wedding was such an amazing event to be a part of. From the first moment I showed up at Founder’s Hall (aka the Blue Room) to start photographing the bride, party, and family getting ready it was a wild ride. So many unique things from the jewelry that the groom’s mother made to the groom’s gift (and his reaction to it!). There were a few bumps along the way like the rental car blowing a tire on the way to New Jersey and Kristie having to take all the wedding times, including the DRESS, out of the car on the side of the highway (so the tire could be changed), to her grandmother falling and twisting her ankle the night before the wedding in the hotel (she was fine, thankfully just had to be wheeled around… it didn’t hold her back though, she got out on the dance floor like a champ!). They seemed to be taken all with stride. This had to of course be the result of the love and support the families had to offer each other.
Nate and Kristie decided to do a first look before the ceremony (yes!). This was one of my favorite moments because it was really the only time throughout the whole event that I could tell they were both so nervous. The emotions were awesome to capture and when Nate first turned around to look at his bride for the first time he was starstruck. We made a trek out to the beach (without the bride blowing away thankfully!) and caught some fantastic photos of the whole party and couple. The ceremony took place on the back lawn of Congress Hall, with the beach in the background and the flowers garden’s around the guests. Kristie’s Uncle performed the ceremony and a number of their friends and family spoke about the two of them and their love. They even wrote their own vows! It was lovely. When they were officially announced, everyone in attendance cheered and applauded, joyful tears were shed and backs were patted as they proceeded down the aisle as husband and wife.
Cocktail hour was a whirlwind with lots of beautiful foods, custom cocktails and even an ice sculpture! Nate and Kristie waved to the crowd from the balcony before they came down to mingle with guests. The guests were then led into the beautiful ball room where the party was announced and the couple danced their first dance. Kristie and Nate got some serious moves, from twirls and spins to dips. Everyone at the wedding was a dancing animal! Even grandparents and great aunts! There were some special moments caught throughout the father/daughter and mother/son dances. The DJ at the party had happened to DJ at four other the other guest couple’s weddings (how cool is that?). He kept the crowd moving and having a blast! Dancing the night away with spurts of garter & bouquet toss as well as a good cake cutting and cake face smashing took place. The guests slowly started to mingle out into either the after party (downstairs in the boiler room) or back to their hotel rooms. One of the funniest moments of the night happened when almost all the guests had left and Nate decided it was time to eat the groom’s cake. His family, friends and him sat around with the groom’s cake at a table and dug in. It was a good end to a perfect day.
What a wonderful wedding it was. I can’t thank Kristie and Nate for letting me be able to capture it. Congrats you two and here’s to many years of happiness you two deserve it! Now for the photos and.. there might be a lot lol but this couldn’t be helped…. drumroll plleeeassseee..
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