Saturday, December 21, 2013

Alyse and Dave {Stevens Estate Wedding}

I am elated to present the much-anticipated wedding of Alyse and Dave, who put so much love into planning their romantic autumn celebration. Alyse and Dave have a love affair with the magic of fall in New England, and they knew they wanted a wedding rich in every charm fall in New England has to offer. This ambiance was everywhere: in the crisp air, in the mugs of hot apple cider handed to guests upon arrival, in the assortment of delicious pies laid out at the reception, and of course, the in the vibrant backdrop of gold, red and amber of the changing leaves. I had been anticipating this mid-October day since meeting with Alyse and Dave last winter. Over a few hours, courses of delicious tapas, many anecdotes and much laughter, I came to know this amazing, well-traveled, well-tasted (they are foodies!), and well-learned pair (he is a lawyer, she a doctor of Audiology). Dave was the first to contact me; he had as much of a hand in planning the wedding as his bride (this was no groom who was told to just show up!). Alyse is driven, quick-witted, deliciously sarcastic, and fun-loving (not to mention she has a flawless complexion and a stunning smile). Dave is one classy guy; he is smart, enthusiastic, thoughtful and good-natured, but what struck me above all was how elated he was to marry his girl. When she stepped out of the doors of the estate, his reaction was, essentially, the sweetest reminder of why I do this work.
  Though the day dawned overcast, the clouds parted just as finishing touches were put on Alyse's hair. From that moment on, it was blue skies and full glorious sunshine. I was fortunate to have my pal and talented photographer Tony Yu at my side, busting out lenses left and right and carrying the antique couch I brought along as a "prop" (it was perfect!). As the couple envisioned, it was pure New England beauty, set against the the most perfect backdop, the house and breathtaking grounds of the Stevens Estate in North Andover. Alyse and Dave did not settle on any part of their celebration; they interviewed many vendors, and scoured Massachusetts venues to find the perfect setting for their nuptials. None were just right until they came up the windy drive and beheld Stevens Estate, perched grandly at the top of Osgood Hill, with its sweeping grounds, rustic outbuildings, and stately brick mansion. Both Dave and Alyse hail from Jewish families, and upholding Jewish marriage traditions was very important to them and their families. Their Rabbi came a long way to perform their beautiful sunset ceremony under the colorful chuppah, as their parents, siblings, and attendants stood beside them.
  With abundant thoughtful and personal touches, natural, rustic beauty, meaningful cultural traditions, and of course, a menu and dessert spread to die for, it was a very special affair. The food alone deserves a blog post! There was a very popular raw bar (practically gone by the time I arrived to photograph it), a mouth-watering pizza bar, exquisite entrees, and later in the night, an assortment of heavenly pies that made it feel like Thanksgiving! Of course, Dave and Alyse chose only the best of the best for their DJ as well, the talented, classy Chris Saraiva of DJ Entertainment and Lighting. Chris had the party started and everyone up and dancing immediately upon Dave and Alyse's entrance, and again in between courses. That revelry continued all night, first with a spirited Hora, and hours of joviality and fun until Dave and Alyse were escorted from the tent and into the waiting Rolls Royce that was a surprise from their parents. It was the perfect end to their day, and I was able to light the pitch black night enough to capture one more photo! It was a beautiful event in every sense, and it has been an honor to tell the story of the day through my photographs.
  So lovely. Making use of the bridal suite's sunsoaked bathroom! Dave just before and just after seeing Alyse for the first time (thank you Tony). The green Victorian couch from my living room was so perfect on the hill! Tony's shot on the left! Gorgeous ladies. This may be my favorite portrait of the entire day, thank you Tony! Signing the Ketubah... Thank you Tony for this wonderful shot. Exquisite details. I love the Queen Anne's lace in small vases. He had spent an hour with her already, and still this was his reaction. Precious. Sadly, this building is coming down, so we were sure to catch it in some photos. Shot by Tony! On the right, Tony's beautiful silhouette shot--gorgeous. Alyse's adorable parents. The Hora! Tony's perspective of the beautiful ribbon parasol! Classic Tony from above shot. And another! Exiting in style!
  My post wouldn't be complete without the slideshow.