Karoline and Aran were wed on a beautiful day at the end of August at the Salt Box Farm in Concord, Massachusetts. I was fortunate to be a part of their day as a second photographer for the wonderful Julia Gargano of Julia Jane Studios.
I arrived at the farm at 11:30am to photograph Aran getting ready. The air was filled with excitement and a touch of anxiety. Not only was Aran the groom, but also a chef at Salt Box Farm. Knowing exactly what was going on behind the scenes to make the day a success weighed on his shoulders, since the food was very important to the couple. When it was time to get ready he let his co-workers take over. Aran’s father and brother helped him get ready. (I think he tied his tie at least three times!)
In contrast, the mood in the bridal suite was quite relaxed as Karoline enjoyed her lunch, applied her makeup with the help of a friend and donned her gorgeous dress. The light in the bridal suite was INCREDIBLE and I was able to create some artistic black and white images. I love the contrast of these images and their ethereal quality. They feel more like line drawings than photos! Moments like this remind me why I can’t get enough of being a second photographer. It allows me to slow down and create images that are unexpected.
Finally it was time for the first look. We had Aran wait outside under a tree and Karoline ventured out to greet him. After exclamations, hugs and Aran twirling his gorgeous bride, it was time for some portraits. As a second shooter, I get to exercise my creativity and I shot a few through the foliage before we went over to the barn.
There we photographed the couple dancing in front of a wonderfully textured barn. We also got to see the sheep!
We shot formal portraits with the families, getting all of the formal images done before the guests began to arrive. I made sure to photograph the whimsical details that worked together to make the day so special. The escort cards were hung on string, the freshly-picked wild flowers placed on the tables, and Karoline’s bouquet were all so important to capture.
Since Karoline was Polish and Aran was Jewish, the family celebrated both heritages by signing the Ketubah and sharing in a Polish offering of bread and salt. During the ceremony, Aran and Karoline’s siblings held the posts of the Chuppah. Aran’s brother was the officiant, so the ceremony was both personal and uplifting. There was the perfect balance of laughter and tears.
The reception was filled with yard games like Bocce and Corn hole. Hay bale seats provided a rustic backdrop for this well-dressed, eclectic group. The DJ called everyone into the tent and Karoline and Aran danced their first dance to acoustic music played by their siblings. Heartfelt, hilarious toasts were shared and an amazing dinner was served. The sun set, the temperature dropped and it was time to DANCE! The couple enjoyed a lively Hora and the crowd danced the rest of the night away.
The mood the whole day was filled with anticipation, love and joy. This was one of the least stressful weddings I have ever attended. In fact, Karoline had a cheesecake made just for Aran (it’s his favorite) and they were going to cut it as their wedding cake. The guests did not realize this and the cheesecake was gone before the couple got to cut it! The chef had made another one as a trial cheesecake and he ran into the kitchen to grab it. Let’s just say it was not looking it’s best but Karoline and Aran enjoyed it all the more knowing what had happened for them to even have a cake! By the way, the second cheese cake was also devoured shortly after being cut!
Thank you so much, Julia, for choosing me to shoot alongside of you. This wedding was a joy to photograph and working with you made it that much better. I look forward to doing it again soon!