Right after we met at Chris & Meghan for the first time, we closed the door, looked at each other, and didn't have to say much to know that we were in complete agreement about two things. First, that we had probably just met the single most excited groom we had ever seen and second - that we couldn't wait to photograph their wedding. All through that first meeting, Chris held Meghan's hand tight as he talked about the wedding plans with the same level of energy you hear a lot of guys talking about the starting line up of their fantasy football team. And, to be honest, he was getting us pretty excited too. All of the details sounded amazing, of course, but we were just drawn to how happy they both were. Because it was clear that Chris wasn't really particularly interested in each and every single detail of the wedding, he was just that eager to marry Meghan. And Meghan, she actually didn't have to say much of anything to make her feelings known, happiness was clearly written all over her face.
They definitely brought that excitement to their wedding itself. In fact, they even turned it up several notches. That was evident from the beginning of the day when Meghan was nearly brought to tears by the note tucked into the roses Chris had delivered to her that morning. Her sister and her best friends gathered around her, ohh-ing and ahh-ing at it all. More than one of them told Meghan that she had found "a keeper," even though they knew that was not news to her. We saw that excitement again when we arrived at the church and saw Chris for the first time that day. He was surrounded by his groomsmen, making them all laugh. Pretty soon they all had the same big smiles on their faces. Not only because of Chris' jokes, but also because they were all so happy that he had found the perfect girl for him. But without a doubt, Meghan and Chris spread their joy to every single person in the room when they did their first dance. It was then that their excitement to be married to one another was in full view. They danced to Alicia Key's "If I Ain't Got You," an energetic dance with just a touch of drama and tons of fun, much like the two of them. Their guest lined the dance floor and the balcony of the Society Room, captivated. Even while we were photographing it, we were pretty enthralled ourselves. It was just another reminder of how lucky we are to do what we do, because of moments like this. Moments when two people's love for each other is so evident that you can actually feel it yourself when you see them together. No doubt that's what all of their guests saw too.
* * *
We started the day at Meghan's childhood home where we were greeted by her parents who were just as sweet as she is. They insisted on feeding us snacks (yes, please!) and showed us where we could find Meghan's dress and shoes to get a head start on the fun detail shots before Meghan and her bridesmaids returned from hair and make-up. We found some gorgeous light and great locations and had just finished up right in time for Meghan's return home. She saw the roses first thing and knew right away who they were from. After gushing a bit about just how amazing Chris is, she and her girls headed upstairs to get her into the dress. She came down looking stunning and braved the cold outside for a couple of shots. (She said she had been going outside without a coat the last couple of days to build up a resistance.) Thankfully she had a fur wrap to put on as we headed over to St. Thomas the Apostle Church in West Hartford for the ceremony.
It was a romantic ceremony which ended with one of our favorite readings, the Apache wedding blessing. (Check it out if you get a chance, it's really beautiful). From there, we headed over to City Hall in Hartford for some shots of Meghan, Chris and their wedding party in the hall's beautiful atrium (just some of the incredible architecture you can find in Hartford.) The reception took place at yet another Hartford architectural gem, The Society Room of Hartford, which we were very excited about since we are big fans of super cool old buildings. The Society Room is particularly unique in that aspect - it used to be bank and the building is just plain gorgeous (the light fixtures, the ceiling, the old vault). It was the perfect place for the type of party Chris and Meghan wanted their reception to be - elegant, romantic and fun. And that's exactly what the night turned out to be - tons of dancing, delicious food, and plenty of laughs. A huge celebration for one ridiculously happy couple.
We started the day at Meghan's parent's house where we actually arrived a few minutes before Meghan and her girls got back from the hair salon. It gave us a chance to know Meghan's parent's even better while we captured some photos of her dress...
...and her shoes.
Details are such an important part of a wedding story, after all they are the things that help trigger the feelings and memories of the day. On the bottom left, Meghan's Maid-of-Honor puts the finishing touches on her speech.
Meghan's classic red rose bouquet was really beautiful.
Meghan could not contain her excitement as she was helped into her wedding gown by her sister.
The moments before the ceremony are always filled with such a fun energy. It is a mix of a little bit or nervousness, a lot of excitement and usually a whole lot of fun, we really love it.
Meghan looked absolutely beautiful.
Despite the cold (and it was quite cold) Meghan had no problem going outside for a couple of shots...
...and neither did her girls!
We love this moment as Meghan's Dad sees her in her wedding dress.
We think of each part of a wedding day as a chapter in a book, many smaller stories that make up the big one. So I guess arriving to the church would be Chapter 2! :) Meghan and Chris got married at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in West Hartford. How insanely great is that winter blue sky?!
We entered to the sounds of string music filling the church with gorgeous music.
We also found this bobble head verison of Chris and let me tell you, it was really right on! Take a look...
...See how close. Now I kind of want one of myself! :)
Kathleen waited outside to capture Meghan getting out of the limo and coming into the church...
...as I stayed up front to get these three adorable flower girls coming down the aisle.
As everyone made it down the aisle Meghan waited patiently with her Dad.
This church was so classically beautiful and we absolutely loved the long aisle. Kathleen captured the photo on the left while I captured the one on the right. Meghan didn't stop smiling once as she made her way closer to her soon-to-be husband one step at a time.
I love the handoff, it is such an exciting and emotional moment. It is kind of when everything becomes really real.
As soon as Meghan and Chris sat down at the beginning of their ceremony, the both look at each other with pure happiness and love in their eyes.
There happened to be an elevator at the front of the church and it was partially covered by a small wall. This provided the perfect place for us to hide (as to not be obtrusive) and get a great vantage point such as this.
See didn't I tell you that this church was really beautiful?! It was filled with so many great architectural details.
Meghan and Chris stepped up three stairs to the sanctuary for their wedding ceremony.
Meghan did not once take her eyes of Chris as she sweetly watched him recite his vows to her...
...and Chris did not stop smiling or take his eyes off of Meghan. We LOVE moments like this.
Their exchange of rings...
...followed by their first kiss.
Kathleen loves looking for the groom's reaction after the wedding ceremony and this is really great.
I had to fight a little (in a good way of course - armed with a smile) to get this shot as many of the guests were jumping out in front of me to get Meghan and Chris walking out of the church. So much excitement!
After the church we headed over to Hartford City Hall for photos with the wedding party and of course with Meghan and Chris.
They were such a fun group.
We were running a little tight on time but that did not stop us from capturing some seriously amazing moments between Meghan and Chris.
The energy that Meghan and Chris radiate is really wonderful.
I know that we probably start to sound like a broken record, but we really love Hartford City Hall, especially the stairwells...
...and really tall ceilings.
The thing that is great about this photo is that Megan and Chris did this without us telling them to do anything.
Can't you tell how happy them make each other just by how they look at each other?!
As I mentioned a little earlier, some things ran a little late during the day so we had literally only about 10 minutes at City Hall. For those of you who have been there you know how amazing it is to get to all of these places in a such a short time. It was a really good thing though because we all got our workouts.
Chris always did a good job making Meghan laugh.
Kathleen captured the shot on the left (which I love - I really like the open space behind them) and I captured the shot on the right.
On our way out or course we had to get a couple more photos of Meghan and Chris on the stairs. Mine is the one on the left and Kathleen's is the one on the right.
Speaking of really beautiful architecture, we headed over to The Society Room of Hartford. This place is so magnificent, you feel like you have been transformed to a time where we should be carrying cameras that have those big lightbulb size flashes.
I mean tall ceilings, insane chandeliers, details everywhere - does it get any better?
Chris and Meghan had famed photos of their familiy members weddings as one of the details of their day. We love touches like this.
As if this room wasn't already amazing enough, Meghan and Chris were introduced down a big sweeping staircase with their guests on both levels cheering for them.
Their first dance started off slow...
...and then really picked up some speed.
Kathleen captured this emotional image...
...as I ran up the stairs to get this one. We could have shared a ton more moments from just their first dance.
Meghan also danced with her Dad - one of Kathleen's favorite moments...
...and Chris danced with his Mom.
Right after cake cutting, Chris swept Meghan off her feet and gave her a huge kiss.
The Society Room at one time used to be a bank so the original vault is still there. How cool is that!
Meghan & Chris - thank you so much for letting us into your lives for this truly magical day. We hope you had a wonderful time on your honeymoon and can't wait to catch up with you soon! ~Rob & Kathleen