Alyssa and Kevin were married at the end of June at the Jonathan Edwards Winery in Stonington, CT. I was fortunate to be witness to the event as a second shooter for the lovely Anna of Anna Sawin Photography.
As a second shooter, very different from a primary shooter, I don’t have much contact with a bride and groom before the day of their wedding. Normally, I come in the morning of and spend some time looking around and getting a feel for the day. In this case, I hadn’t met Alyssa and Kevin before that morning, but as soon as I got there, I was immediately struck by their playfulness and love as well as the admiration that their friends and family had for them as individuals. Everybody was so excited that two such incredible people are coming together to be married, and that feeling lasted all day long!
When it was time, Anna and I both went up to photograph the bride as she finished getting ready. The light in that room was stunning. I love the images shot in the bridal suite of the bride sitting in front of her mother, both of them laughing. I also love the black-and-white images of the bride reflected in the mirror. I got to use that beautiful light and play with the different planes of a focus on my camera. This little bit of creative freedom is why I love second shooting.
I then went out to meet Kevin as he and his guys arrived at the Vineyard. We headed out to the spot where we would hold the first look, and Alyssa came out into the field. I love that he turned her around and admired her from head to toe. They were so happy!
After the first look, we did bridal party and family photos. The bride and groom had a little down time, and I focused on some of the ceremony details, which were many and bright! The color scheme was amazing throughout.
Then, it was time to sign the Ketubah. The signing itself was held in The Barrel Room of the winery.
The Ketubah was extraordinary—filled with detail and just beautiful!
After the signing, we moved right into the ceremony, held in the middle of the vines. It was a traditional Jewish ceremony, celebrating the couple with readers and ending with the stomping of the glass.
Next, we took Alyssa and Kevin out alone for some portraits at the outskirts of the vines. I photographed them strolling along against the sky with the vines leading toward them. I like how they became part of the landscape, but had they not been there, the image would have been void of life. I also really like the portrait of them kissing when he is tipping her backward out on the stone path.
After the portraits, it was time for a cocktail hour. I spent most of the time photographing details and food—everything looked so delicious! I also took this time as an opportunity to photograph couples and candids as the guests celebrated.
Finally, it was time for the reception.
Alyssa and Kevin’s first dance opened the reception festivities and then led straight into an extremely energetic Hora Dance. It was the liveliest Hora I have ever experienced! The bride and groom went up in chairs almost immediately, and then the bride’s parents had a turn! Everybody danced like mad and enjoyed themselves. The chorus seemed to last forever!
We got a few more of Alyssa and Kevin alone as the sun set.
The evening progressed with toasts, dinner, and more dancing. You could see everyone having so much fun.
At the end of the night, the bride and groom cut a pie instead of the conventional wedding cake, and it suited them perfectly.
Thank you, Anna, for including me as part of this gorgeous and heartfelt wedding. I love meeting these wonderful people and shooting alongside you!
Photography: Anna Sawin and Nicki Pardo for Anna Sawin Photography
Venue: Jonathan Edwards Winery
Caterer: Russell Morin Fine Catering with Meghan Crump, Event Specialist
Floral: Hana Floral Design
Band: Search Party
Tent: Sperry Tents