Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Kara and Duane: Willowdale Estate Wedding

Kara and Duane were married at Willowdale Estate in Topsfield on a spring evening rich in charm and sentiment. My assistant Kristen and I felt like were were stepping back half a decade when we entered the dark wood walls of the mansion. Vintage touches were everywhere: soft peach and creams, throw-back dresses and up-dos, pearls and brooches, and tufts of delicate baby's breath. Kara has such a funny, warm, refreshing personality, and mixed with Duane's sweet, wacky, Texan vibe, they were so much fun to photograph. The ceremony was lead by a friend, and Kara and Duane's vows were so personal and heart-warming, not to mention hilarious! One significant touch was that Kara chose to wear her late grandmother's gown, which she donned on her own wedding day in 1959. The elegant gown suited Kara perfectly, hugging her narrow waist and sweeping out in a swirl of cream-colored silk. One of the most beautiful tributes I have seen was when Kara invited her grandfather to share a dance with her to honor her grandmother's memory. There were few dry eyes in the room as he lead his granddaughter onto the dance floor in the dress his bride wore fifty-three years before. It was so sweet to watch both of their faces during this tender tribute. Then Kara ran up to the bridal suite to step into her frilly, feminine strapless reception frock, and we strolled around the grounds for some portraits, the sun streaming through the trees for the first time as we reached the front lawn. Kara and Duane jumped into their cowboy boots for some hurried portraits, my favorites of the day. And then it was on to the reception, for gorgeous uplighting and merriment lead by talented DJ Shelly Shell, owner of Epic Entertainment Boston. Vintage silk and lace, a name embroidered in blue. Folds of tea-length crinoline and thick ropes of pearls in filtered sunlight. Cowboy boots and a well-worn baseball cap. A million twirls on the dance floor to a country song. It couldn't have been better, and it was truly an honor to document. Such a lovely tribute. The shared job of holding the banner wasn't easy, and there were a few (adorable) tears during the processional. Kara's touching dance with her grandfather... Kristen nabbed this shot of the lovely bridesmaids. I love a bride who isn't afraid to get down in the grass! I had to include this, it speaks to Duane's personality. For all his wackiness, Duane knows how to gracefully swirl his lady around a dance floor. This final image was taken by my lovely assistant, Kristen. And now for the slideshow, set to Kara and Duane's first dance song: