After James and Rebecca joined their lives together in the most beautiful riverside ceremony in Vermont, it was time for a little quiet celebration to reflect together on this incredible moment in their lives.
Rebecca conceived and realized the most amazing, zero waste reception I have ever seen. The paper goods were hand lettered by a friend who does work in their studio in Newburyport, they brought in locally made beverages, and Rebecca’s mother had taken months finding beautiful and unique plates from the local second hand shops.
The couple also brought up a trailer full of salvaged furniture that they turned into an outdoor living room. The flowers were locally foraged and stunningly styled by Rebecca’s mother and sister. After the wedding, every item was composted, recycled, donated or repurposed. From start to finish every detail was elegant, effortless and eco-friendly.
Guests talked and laughed around the campfire while feasting on delicious vegan bites from the Organic Garden Cafe in Beverly, MA. I can attest that their carrot cake was actually one of the best cakes I have ever eaten (and I don’t normally even like cake).
This day was all about family, love and togetherness. I couldn’t be happier for these two and wish them a lifetime of joy, adventures and fulfillment. Congratulations to the Murphys!
After an absolutely gorgeous engagement session, we were anticipating a simply beautiful wedding for Murphy and Rebecca on a campground in Vermont.
The setting was absolutely stunning.
And this bride and groom just couldn’t wait to get married.
What could be more lovely than a rushing river, ripening apples, wildflowers and hay bales?
The excitement was palpable as the groom and his good friend and officiant waited in bare feet at the front of the aisle and another friend seated atop a fallen tree stump played lilting music that floated into the forest.
The space was filled with laughter and a clear feeling of wonderful wishes for this pair.
On a perfect August afternoon, the music changed, the bride appeared with her father and the moments flowed together to join these two as husband and wife.
Their handwritten vows left not a dry eye and just as equally filled the space with laughter as they promised each other a life of adventures big and small and gratitude for the joy and fulfillment they have found together.
And in a moment, they were husband and wife.
I couldn’t contain all of this beauty in just one post, so come back next week for all of the amazing reception details and beautiful portraits.
After a morning of getting ready with family, the scene was finally set for Emily and Dylan’s wedding ceremony at Jamaica Plain Pond.
I always hope every bride and groom can get to this level of supreme happiness at the thought of spending their lives together. They were so elated looking at each other that everyone else just seemed to disappear.
Sisters and best friends.
How special that Emily and Dylan were able to continue that circle on their wedding day.
Of course, we had to go back to the arboretum for these magical portraits. The light was just right and these two couldn’t have looked more beautiful as newlyweds.
My favorite part about them is how they just couldn’t stop laughing.
Next, we were off to the FIreplace in Brookline, for the delicious and festive reception.
It was a night filled with toasts from family and friends. Each one added detail and depth as they told and retold the special story of Emily and Dylan’s early relationship. Emily and Dylan found each other in the early days of the internet when blogs were a rare and small network. Emily and Dylan came to know each other over across state lines and age differences on this now defunct website in such a special and intellectual way through their writing.
When they started talking on the phone for hours on end, neither thought the other was romantically interested, even though the calls lasting until 2:00 AM and their friends consistent eye rolling suggested otherwise.
Emily’s father shared how he felt when Emily asked if this man she had been talking to on the internet could come and visit. However, in an amazing show of parental support, they allowed Dylan to come to California and stay at their house. Everyone reiterated that as soon as they met him, all of their fears were allayed and they knew that this was a really special man and partner for Emily.
From every side, each person emphasized how perfect of a match this pair truly became. They are more themselves with each other: happier, more confident, independent, curious, and courageous together than apart. It’s hard to imagine what more you could hope for the ones you love the best.
This couple certainly seems like they are made to last. Congratulations, Emily and Dylan! I wish you so many happy years together.
After their adorable engagement session in the arboretum, it was obvious that Emily and Dylan’s September wedding was going to be absolutely lovely.
The autumn day couldn’t have been more perfect, skies were blue and the bride and groom were smiling from the start. I loved that Emily chose a lovely beaded dress, but paired it with pretty and comfortable flats for her outdoor ceremony at Jamaica Plains Pond.
The pair started their morning getting ready together. Emily and Dylan wanted to spend the entire day together and were really thoughtful about making the day special.
Allison, Emily’s twin sister, beautifully did her make up (even getting Emily to put on the lipstick that Emily worried might look too dark, but photographed just right).
This is one of my favorite moments of the entire day. When the dress is zipped up on the official day and all of a sudden everything about the approaching wedding feels real and filled with more emotions than words can capture.
This response from her parents is just about everything a daughter could ask for on her wedding day.
Bustles are never as easy to tie as they seem.
But, with the help of a call to the bridal shop, and the entire family, it bustled beautifully.
Meanwhile, Dylan waited, oh so patiently to see his bride.
These faces are why we do first looks (even if the bride and groom spent every moment of the morning together before putting on the dress).
Come back next week to see Emily and Dylan’s gorgeous Jamaica Plains ceremony and reception.
Jamaica Plain Arboretum is one of my favorite places in the world just about any time of the year.
However, there is something truly magical about a late summer afternoon and a couple who just really like each other a lot.
Emily and Dylan will be getting married in September at the Jamaica Plain pond, so for their engagement session we could think of nothing nicer than walking through the arboretum, laughing and maybe doing a little arm wrestling.
This couple is so tremendously sweet to each other.
Emily has been a volunteer at the arboretum, so it was such fun to walk amongst the trees together and learn all about all the foliage, and these two as a couple (did you know that there is a tree whose leaves smell like toasted marshmallows when they drop in the fall?!).
This pair met through their blogs when Emily was still in high school.
Though they were across state lines, after Dylan came to visit (these were some pretty amazing parents) they knew this was a relationship that was meant to last.
Through time and an awful lot of distance they’ve created such a remarkably strong and loving relationship, which just shines whether through a touch a kiss or a laugh.
They really were amazing to see together and so much fun.
Looking at the love these two have for each other, this wedding is going to be so lovely. September is just around the corner and I can’t wait.
Skip and Jenn found each other on a bicycle meet up. On their first ride together they had pulled over and off in the distance spotted two doves. Skip mentioned to Jenn that doves mate for life and they exchanged a smile.
As their relationship continued to grow, they took many more bike trips together and on each consecutive ride for the next year, they saw doves whenever they rode. After moving into their home together, a pair of doves amazingly made a nest in the tree of their back yard.
To say that the universe or fate or something larger was guiding them together, doesn’t seem farfetched.
To celebrate this remarkable symbol of their relationship, they had a local dove farmer bring a pair of doves that they released together. The doves circled the ceremony and then flew home. I truly can’t imagine anything more perfect for this pair.
What a joy to see such love among and amongst them all.
I particularly love these pictures of this community of women coming together around her and the granddaughters delighting in the blossoms.
How wonderful that they found each other.
They truly made this location look completely and uniquely them, if you look back at the getting ready photos, you will notice that her house is decorated in the same shades of green and purple. It makes it feel like they are welcoming their guests into perfectly planned version of their home ready for a party!
Each details was special to them. From the bicycles tastefully repeated to the sand from Plum Island near their home (If you know Jenn, you should ask her to tell you the story about how she surreptitiously snuck this sand past the national park rangers. It’s a great story.)
:Let the party begin!
They kicked off the group dancing with the traditional Greek wedding dance, the Tsamiko. As you will see, this group can dance!
The mother of the bride’s blessing and speech had everyone tearing up.
This is what it’s all about.
The atmosphere was jubilant filled with peels of laughter, but no one was more rapturously happy than the bride and groom.
They danced their first dance to “It’s Your Love” with Tim McGraw and Faith Hill and danced surrounded on the dance floor by their children and grandchildren. It was such a lovely symbol of the family they were melding and creating. Visually it demonstrated the close community that literally and figuratively embraced them in this celebration of their love. It made me think of their processional song. “And all I want is for you to be happy. And take this woman and make you my family.”
“And one to treasure the rest of your days here. And give you pleasure in so many ways, dear.”
“Will you agree to take this man into your world? And now we are as one.”
“And finally you have found someone perfect. And finally you have found yourself.”
As they walk into the sunset, it’s clear that they have found their something perfect.
Congratulations Jenn and Skip!
In September, I had the distinct honor of photographing Jenn Parkos and Skip Libby’s wedding celebration. Their entire day was filled to the brim with love and connection. I’m so happy to share their wedding story with you here.
There was such an energy and excitement from those wonderful nerves of knowing that the day that has been planned and anticipated for so long is in motion. I always find getting ready to be one of the most electric parts of the day and one of my favorite parts of the day.
As Jenn got ready at her home, her best friend and best man was at the site setting up every detail. He called her on his way over to pick her up. They had one of the sweetest wedding day conversation I have heard, as he reminded her of the incredible day to come. This is one of the many ways her community was so visibly encircling and supporting this couple throughout the entire process.
Greeting all those who came to the house, it was a parade of love.
Not only was every detail perfectly conceived and thoughtfully placed, but they were almost all made by the bride and the groom. Skip made these fantastic signs.
The Maudslay Art Center is exactly the type of venue I love photographing. Rustic, outdoors, with a charm and elegance that radiates even when nothing is in place. However, this couple took it to the next level. They literally outfit the entire location down to replanting the coleus that had been eaten by the woodchuck on their wedding morning. With that love and attention the entire site looked even more spectacular.
Brother-in-law and daughter began the ceremony by playing an acoustic version of the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s “Hard to Concentrate.” I teared up just listening to them practice before the ceremony began, but when this was paired with the flower girl walking down the aisle and then Jenn walking with her best friend, Mark, there literally was not a dry eye to be seen. Their version was so much more beautiful than any I could find, but if you like, this song gives a sense of the procession.
This is why we have pictures, because no words adequately describe the emotions of these moments.
Karen, their good friend, officiated the gorgeous ceremony. Speaking not only eloquently, but from the heart, I can only imagine every person in the crowd felt closer to this couple for the ways that this ceremony invited them into the connection between this couple.
The look on their faces says it all. I truly felt so lucky to be witness to the deep, authentic expression of love between these two individuals and their community. Being privy to these intimate and cherished moments is why this job is such an extreme honor.
Of course, a wedding this beautiful couldn’t be captured in just one post. Next week will feature the surprise ending to the ceremony and the vivacious reception.
On a beautiful, warm day at the beginning of June, Jenny and John exchanged vows at the historic Pierce House in Lincoln, MA. Hillary Harvey graciously had me join her to photograph the day. Hillary is a tremendously talented photographer based in New York. It was so fun spending the day photographing together!
Jenny wore lilies of the valley in her hair, which was her mother’s favorite flower and a lovely way to feel her near throughout the day. These small details were the touches that made the entire day so special.
The sound of laughter reverberated through the tent as the reception continued from afternoon to evening.
Thank you again to Hillary for having me as a part of the day and congratulations to Jenny and John!
Rina and I became close friends when we met freshman year at Tufts University. It was probably not much more than a couple weeks into the semester when she and her roommate welcomed me into their room to sleep on their aerobed, because my room was occupied. Sometimes I think I spent more nights in their room than my own. We spent many long nights talking and laughing together.
Each time, they treated me like a welcome guest, we ate snack food and watched old episodes of Saved by the Bell, like it was a middle school sleepover. This is how I first saw Rina’s tremendously gracious, generous and warm heart.
The first time I visited Philadelphia was after my sophomore year, when Rina invited some of her friends to her hometown to stay the week. She spent five days showing us the city, which was beautiful. However, what I remember most was going to each place that Rina said had “the very best ______ ever”. From Hope’s Cookies, to Rita’s Water Ice, to Wawa, to Jamba Juice, we literally ate our way through Philadelphia.
I remember the kindness of her family welcoming us into their home. Rina’s mother’s best friend was visiting the house when we returned from an outing to Longwood Gardens. This woman greeted us as if she knew us. Their authentic connection to their community makes everyone feel a part of each others lives. We saw that in Philadelphia and in every moment of the wedding. This Sobel hospitality comes so naturally to them.
Once you touch this family, you are part of this family. They want you to feel comfortable and to give you the best of everything. They cannot help it; this warmth just radiates.
Sophomore year, Halloween was on a weekday night. Having a huge stack of reading to do, I didn’t think I should go out. Rina wouldn’t take no for an answer. She found me a costume from friends on her hall and told me we wouldn’t be out late.
At this party, a young man came up to me and for the next twenty minutes Rina sat patiently by my side as I spoke with this handsome man dressed like a hobo. She didn’t rush us, even though she must have been bored out of her mind. That is just the kind of friend she is. That man is now my husband.
Rina always encourages people to step out of their comfort zone, to explore, to be daring, to enjoy life, because that is exactly what she always does.
Rina never does anything half way: from ballroom dancing, to playing the flute, to getting a joint doctorate (because let’s be honest, one specialty just wouldn’t be enough), and now to scuba diving.
She does everything so well and with such gusto, because she’s passionate about each thing she does. She loves well, deeply and truly. Amazing things are drawn to her because of this.
Every person in her life has Rina stories just like these. They are about the ways that Rina picked them up when they were down, how she helped them to be their best selves, by seeing them and treating them that way.
I am so grateful that she has met a man who sees all the best parts of her. You can see it every time he looks at her and the way he has opened her up to a whole new set of things that she has discovered that she loves. He has helped her to be her best self, a self we have seen in her all along.
Rina is one of those people who will love you no matter where you live or when you last saw each other. Although I wish we weren’t on opposite coasts, I am so grateful to know we will always be in each others lives. Here is to a stunning wedding, and a beautiful filled-to-the-brim life for Rina and Jason.
In many cultures, Japanese, Nepali, Brazilian, Bangladeshi, to refer of a fox’s wedding is to speak of a sun shower. What a beautiful image: a sun shower where everything is made fresh and the world quite literally sparkles.
As we know, Americans say that rain on a wedding day is good luck. So, it seems to me a sun shower, which also guarantees a rainbow, must be doubly lucky just about anywhere. I can only imagine that the wedding of Jason Fox to Rina Sobel, quite literally a Fox’s wedding, could by definition only be an incredibly beautiful, shining and lucky wedding. Without a doubt, it lived up to its name, and then some.
Rina was such a classically elegant bride. Though their day ended up being perfect blue skies without a drop of rain, there were certainly more than a few tears sprinkled throughout the day.
What made the wedding truly special was the authentic display of such deep emotions of love, exalted joy, and tenderness. A bride who literally jumped up and down when pronounced man and wife and a groom whose bride wiped away his tears of happiness.
Every moment was completely personal and bursting with emotion. From the brothers carrying the chuppah, to grandparent’s blessings, to the family and friends whose love was palpable throughout the ceremony. Every detail felt like them as individuals, and a couple.
Their reception held at the Warwick Hotel in downtown Philadelphia, Rina’s hometown, was an afternoon of dancing, speeches, and laughter. There are many more images of this festive affair in the next post, but I just couldn’t resist including just a couple.
These two are made to last.
Congratulations to Rina and Jason!