A couple of weeks ago, on a cold but sunny Friday, I photographed my first Catalyst Restaurant wedding in Cambridge with the wonderful Jen and Sebastien. It was an incredibly fun and quite unique wedding; although intimate, a third of the guest list was kids under the age of twelve, and although a fine dining and artful restaurant in the heart of Technology Square is the last place you’d think of for a family oriented wedding, it couldn’t have been more perfect for this vibrant group.
I started my day at the family home, a sunny apartment in Brookline, just up the road from my place. I was a few minutes early, and as I was beginning to photograph the details I noticed this sweet interaction between Jen, her daughter Linnea, and Linnea’s new dad Sebastien:
Now for a few of the details, which were such a perfect fit for this smart, quirky, and very artistic couple. I especially love Jen’s yellow Seychelles shoes:
While Jen was having her makeup done by superstar makeup artist Joanne of Joya Beauty, Linnea and Sebastien played some games on the iPad. I love this photo because it highlights the relationship between Jen’s daughter Linnea, and her new step-dad, Sebastien. And for the photo nerds out there: I also love that this shot came from my new Fujifilm X-Pro 1 camera. It’s not a camera I intended to use for weddings, but it’s helping me create some great images – its diminutive form allows me to get up much closer without being invasive than one of my huge SLR cameras would allow.
I love this next photo of Linnea watching with fascination as her mom Jen gets her makeup done (and Joanne of course gave Linnea a little sparkle of her own, too).
One of the things I really enjoy about a couple getting ready at home is that the photos become that much more meaningful because of the surroundings. The little elephant statue above was sitting on the mantel in the dining room, just begging to be used for a ring photo; and there’s something extra special about mom getting dressed with her daughter in her lovingly decorated bedroom.
Sebastien and Jen didn’t do a first look – they simply wandered between rooms as they got ready … and it was perfect. Love this photo of Sebastien helping Jen with her necklace:
And of course I had to get a couple of quick snaps of their doggies too.
We met up at Catalyst, the wedding venue, to take some portraits before the wedding started. The photo of the gorgeous fire at Catalyst was another photo from the X-Pro 1.
We spent a little time wandering around MIT. One of my favorites from this session is this portrait of Jen – Jen, you’re such a stunner!
We braved the outdoors for as long as we could bear (it was pretty chilly out!) and got some beautiful photos on the MIT campus:
Linnea got her very own mini photoshoot too!
We got back just as guests were beginning to arrive at their Catalyst Restaurant wedding. The dining room was set up, and the sun streaming through the huge windows made for some great light for a few detail shots of the reception setup:
Cocktail hour was held before the ceremony (love this!) and Jen and Sebastien socialized with their friends and family in the little area next to the fireplace.
The sweet ceremony took place in a small room adjoined to the dining room. There was an amazing reading by Sebastien’s sister, Juliette. She read the book, ‘A Lovely Love Story’ by Edward Monkton which is both delightful and hilarious. One of my favorite quotes: “I will forgive her skipping mind and her fondness for shopping,” thought the Dinosaur. “For she fills our life with beautiful thoughts and wonderful surprises. Besides, I am not unkeen on shopping either.” (Side note: Josh and I used the author’s Purple Ronnie series for our own wedding invitations seven years ago!)
At the end of the ceremony there were bubbles, then hugs. Thank you Erica for the photo above!
The reception was basically a multi-course dinner – the best wedding food I’ve ever eaten, period – interjected by toasts from friends. Oh, and a lot of drinking!
The kids had the best time of everyone, from what we observed. They had an awesome time, playing games, and coloring and crafting with items in their gift bags, then dancing and running, and hugging, and collapsing on the floor. It was pretty fun to watch – and document!
Sebastien was incredible with the kids. Erica and I nicknamed him the Pied Piper of Catalyst, and the boys, especially, had a grand time climbing all over him. He was completely unfazed … (Photo below by Erica.)
The highlight of the evening for me was a very special dance. Jen and Sebastien had planned not to have a first dance, but the kids got together and asked the bride and groom to let them do something special for them. Orchestrated by Sebastien’s sister Juliette, the kids created a circle around the couple, and danced and spun. It was really quite magical:
Thank you all so much for making us feel incredibly welcome. We loved documenting your Catalyst Restaurant wedding, and I hope you’ve enjoyed these teaser photos! The full set will be available in just over two weeks – I can’t wait to share the full collection with you!