Hamilton Hall Wedding in Salem: Allison + Eric

Apr 30, 2013 | Weddings

hamilton hall wedding photos in salem

It’s been a wonderfully busy few weeks around here with the start of wedding season, and I was lucky enough to photograph two weddings just two days apart last weekend. They were wildly different affairs, but there was something very fun that tied them together: the color red! A lot of couples shy away from this vibrant hue, so I was really excited to see it incorporated so beautifully in two very different ways.

Allison and Eric’s wedding was a relaxed daytime celebration at Hamilton Hall in Salem. These guys were referred to me by my awesome friend (and former wedding photographer) Jen in Seattle, and they became the first couple to try out a documentary style engagement session. Allison is quite possibly the most low-key bride I’ve ever met and when she told me she’d be wearing a red wedding dress I was pretty excited! I started my day bright and early at Hamilton Hall where the ladies were getting ready (a quick shout-out here to makeup artist Veronica Shin and hair stylist Jennifer Tawa who were, as always, phenomenal!)

cool shoe shot with bride's red shoes

Some fun red details to start – I also loved how Eric and Allison incorporated bikes throughout the day; cycling is their big passion.

wedding details in red

The getting ready room is usually off-limits for guys, especially the groom, but there were no such restrictions for these guys, and I LOVED that Eric wandered in and out throughout the process, right up until Allison got dressed.

sweet and fun family moment during getting ready time

We held a little first look for Allison and Eric in the shaded courtyard at Hamilton Hall …

hug during first look

… there were some sweet moments, followed by lots of laughter!

happy couple at hamilton hallcouple laughing together after their first look

Friends arriving for the ketubah signing:

photo of guests arriving for ceremonyarriving guests and sweet moment between bride and groom

Their ketubah was the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.

beautiful ketubah with color wash and laser cut outs

Some of my favorite moments from the ketubah signing:

rabbi and couple preparing for the ketubah signingketubah signing at salem jewish wedding

One of things I really appreciate about Jewish weddings is that the bride and groom are escorted down the aisle by both parents. I think this is such a wonderful tradition, and I wish more non-Jewish couples would incorporate it. Allison’s parents Wendy and Scott look just as excited as she does:

happy family - bride processes into ceremony with parents

Eric playing with his brand new wedding ring during the ceremony:

groom plays with hi9s new wedding ring during the ceremonyjewish wedding ceremony at hamilton hall

After the ceremony, I headed upstairs to the ballroom at Hamilton Hall to photograph the details. The flowers were absolutely gorgeous. And there were sweet peas!

gorgeous flowers in pinks and reds at hamilton hall weddingdecor at hamilton hall wedding

Meanwhile, cocktail hour was in full swing downstairs:

two older gentlmen chatting during cocktail hour

When I was told that the reception would open with a hora, I wondered how it would work, as there wasn’t really a dance floor … and this is how it went down – so much fun!

fun moment from the horaphoto from the hora during the reception at hamilton hall

The delicious food was catered by Capers. They not only create wonderful dishes, but they’re also an absolute joy to work with.

little snack and apps by Capers catering

During lunch, both sisters and each parent gave a toast. Eric’s sister is quite the entertainer it turns out!

toast by the sister of the groombride and groom reacting to his sister's toast

A couple more favorite moments from the relaxed reception:

sweet moments from the reception

After the wedding ended around 5pm, I headed out for a little portrait tour of Salem with the couple. At our first stop my awesome assistant spotted a woman with this kite – and then asked to borrow it for some photos. Hurray!

couples portrait with kite at beachcouples portrait with cherry blossoms

Thank you all for a wonderful day, and I hope you like these first few teaser photos! I’m excited to share your full set with you in a couple of weeks. And Allison, thank you for bucking tradition and wearing such a spectacular red dress, it was such a treat to photograph you!

bride with red dress walking along the beach in salem


  1. Love these photos! These two are so effervescent and adorable– you did a great job, Kate!

  2. Thank you so much Kate! 🙂

  3. We love working with you Kate! These photos are so amazing. 🙂


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