My first ever Willowdale Estate wedding photos – and what an amazing wedding! We had an absolutely perfect day, and I got to work with hands down the most hilarious bride I’ve ever worked with. Alex is super funny, and both her and Billy are so lovely. Their families, too.
I started my day at Alex’s hotel in Salem for some detail shots and makeup photos. We then jumped into a limo and headed over to Willowdale where the girls got dressed. There were some wonderful moments throughout this part of the day – including sweet moments with mom, a “faint” on the fainting couch (Alex is really funny – did I mention that yet?) and lots and lots of teary eyes once Alex was dressed. Several of her cousins were her bridesmaids, and I loved that their relationship to her felt like that of sisters.
Billy and crew were super fun too, and Billy’s uncle was his best man. These two really connect with their families, which always makes for the best moments.
For their first look, with the couple’s permission, I opted to photograph from the upstairs at Willowdale; it enabled me to capture a little of the mood that Alex had requested, and I absolutely loved this birds eye view of the courtyard. After a few moments I ran downstairs to capture some more traditional photos of the moment. But my very favorite photos of the day were taken from the getting ready room upstairs.
We stayed mostly in the shade for group photos and couples portraits; it is so easy at Willowdale as there are gorgeous shady spots everywhere, both at the house and down by the bridge. Another favorite photo is of Billy and Alex running back up the lawn from our photo session at the bridge, trying to avoid being seen by early arrival guests!
The ceremony was fantastic: so much laughter, and so many tears. I think everyone suspected Billy would shed a few tears but I don’t think we were expecting Alex to as well.
A note here on how I photograph solo at venues with multiple wonderful vantage points that aren’t easily accessed by one person: if it’s possible I set up a third camera on a tripod to be my “second photographer”. The birds eye view ceremony photos were all taken remotely using my tripod camera. It worked so well at this wedding, and I’m excited to continue to offer this when and where it makes sense (as well as a good spot for the tripod, I also need a minimum of 10 minutes of set-up time).
After the ceremony there was an indoor-outdoor cocktail hour, with a fantastic 50s band, some extended family photos, and a quick run around the tent to capture details. I loved the vibrant Italian theme and especially the lemons in some of the vases.
During dinner there were some short but very sweet toasts, a very lovely mother-son dance, and an epic father-daughter money dance followed by a traditional Greek dance (Alex is half Greek). I really love these traditions and it’s such a great way to get the dance floor going.
Thank you Alex and Billy for being so much fun to work with; I hope you enjoy the highlight photos from your amazing Willowdale wedding!