My second Nantucket Yacht Club wedding took place almost exactly a year after my first, and what a week leading up to it. Hurricane Lee was heading north and as we got closer to the wedding, it looked more and more likely that we’d get hit pretty hard on Nantucket.
I always head to island weddings a day early in case of bad weather and canceled ferries, but by Wednesday it was looking like arriving on Friday might be too late … so I moved a few things around and caught the last ferry over on Thursday evening, and I am so thankful I did. A number of guests as well as the band did not make it to the island in time for the wedding, which is such a shame because it turned out to be an absolutely perfect evening.
A few years ago, I photographed a wedding during Hurricane Irene, and it taught me a lot. I know to bring a change or two of clothes, full wet weather gear, and have backups for all of my gear. I also learned that the biggest “loss” in terms of coverage is the couples’ portraits, which really benefit from being outdoors. And so, a couple of days before the wedding, I asked Christian and Julie if they would consider having their first look and couples portrait session the day before. It was a little out there as far as suggestions go, so I was thrilled when they agreed! We decided to meet up after their rehearsal at Nantucket Yacht Club on Friday afternoon, travel to Julie’s parents’ home on the island, and have their first look and portraits there. The winds were already pretty high at that point, in the 30s and gusting, but we didn’t have to contend with rain or sodden ground, which made outdoor photos much easier.
I love these Friday photos, and they slot perfectly into the regular wedding day coverage, so that is how they appear here. I know most people just come here for the photos and don’t read the journal entry, so I wanted it to make visual sense as a wedding day collection. 🙂
The wedding day itself felt really relaxed despite the weather. I think taking photos the day before eased the timeline (and everyone’s stress levels) and the girls had a really chill day. I started with some detail photos of the invitation suite and rings while the girls enjoyed lunch, then Julie got dressed with her mom in her parents’ bedroom. Once dressed she had the sweetest first look with her dad (something she’d originally cut from the timeline) followed by one with her bridesmaids. It was – amazingly – dry enough in their yard to take a few portraits before we headed over to Nantucket Yacht Club to meet with Christian, his family, and the groomsmen.
For the sake of everyone’s hair (and due to the constantly changing conditions that afternoon) we took the family and full wedding party photos inside in the ballroom. Then, I headed down to the docks for a few photos of Christian and the guys – this group was a lot of fun. They are also mostly photographers so I felt a strange mix of loving being surrounded by wonderful fellow creatives, and anxiety about my performance. It is always both a huge compliment and utterly terrifying to be hired by someone who is themselves a very talented photographer!
Before the ceremony, their dear friend Jay who played double duty as groomsman and officiant, asked the wedding party and immediate families to gather. He asked everyone to share a thought, well wish or memory with the couple. I absolutely loved this! He had experienced this at his own recent wedding and wanted to gift this experience to Julie and Christian. It became very emotional and was of course an absolute treat to photograph!
The ceremony took place outside and the weather was absolutely glorious! We had these wonderful blue-gray skies that filtered the light so perfectly; I could not have asked for more perfect lighting, especially at this venue which can be pretty tricky to work with in full sun (I always cross my fingers for mist, fog, or good cloud cover at my Cape and island weddings, and am rarely granted it, so this was an extra special treat for me).
Cocktail hour was held mostly indoors, however right at the end as guests were about to be called into dinner, there was a spectacular sunset. Everyone gathered at the dock for photos, and the atmosphere was fantastic – perfect timing to get everyone into party mode for the reception!
The reception was a ton of fun, with dancing between courses and some very lovely toasts. Planner Sarah Storie, and Justine at the Nantucket Yacht Club, made my job so easy, and they are both such a delight to work with. I also have to give a special shout-out to Christian’s mom who hand embroidered each and every napkin so beautifully (wow!!) and to his brother Seth who very kindly agreed to be my back-up photographer for the cannon shot at cocktail hour. I am terrified of loud noises and jump every single time … well, apart from this time. I didn’t include my photo of “the moment” here as their expressions are not the most flattering (it is a LOUD cannon!!) – but you can see both Seth’s view from behind and my “right after” photo instead.
Thank you Christian and Julie for being such amazingly flexible, kind, sweet and fun people to work with. I hope you enjoy these highlights. It was an absolute honor to document this day for you both!