Karen & Eric - April 7, 2013
First off, I just want to say how special this wedding was, not only to Karen and Eric, but to most people nowadays who have a family member, friend, or loved one who have either suffered or succomed to cancer. Karen went to great lengths to bring awareness to Breast Cancer and to dedicate her wedding day in remembrance of her mother, Rosemary, who has passed on. Before I get into the details of the wedding, I just wanted to say thanks to Karen and Eric, because it was an honor being a part of such a tribute that was so carefully put together.
Karen and Eric's wedding was held at Whispering Pines in West Greenwich, RI, on huge compound that has everything that nature has to offer. When we pulled onto the grounds, we were surrounded by tall pine trees that were marked with pink ribbons, which thankfully led us to the main house where Karen was getting ready with her bridesmaids. As we approached, pink flowers hung from the door in the shape of a ribbon which is the well known symbol from breast cancer which reminded me of how special and meaningful this day would be for this family. When we walked in, Karen was getting her hair and makeup attended to while she was sporting her "Bride" shirt which was decked out in diamonds. I love when brides embrace the excitement of their wedding day, and Karen did just that! While the girls were getting beautified, I was able to get some nice shots of Karen's dress which had a beautiful lace halter top followed by intricate beading along the hip area of the dress, and her veil was also outlined with a little bling! But to pull together the look, Karen had long white gloves, pink heels, and a pink clutch for accessories. She looked great, and the gloves reminded me of Cinderella! The couple decided to do a gift exchange before the ceremony, and across the way, Eric, handsomely dressed in his black suit and pink striped tie, opened his gift from Karen...after reading her card to him, he opened a photo album which, confusingly to him, had pictures of a white van. It finally hit him when tucked into that photo album were the keys, and he realized that Karen had bought him this white, work van to kick start Eric's new business. Rendered speechless, Eric became teary eyed, as did everyone else in the room! By far, one of the best gift exchanges in all of my years in the wedding business! After the shock of learning his wife to be bought him a work van, the groom and his groomsmen took some formals outside as Karen and the girls finished getting ready and taking pics as well.
The ceremony took place outside along a peaceful lake, amidst the tall trees and everything great that nature has to offer. White chairs lined both sides of the aisle blanketed with rose petals, and pink flowers hung from the chairs at the end of each row. Also, for a special tribute, each chair had a pink or white balloon tied to it. Now, ready for the ceremony to begin, Karen walked down the aisle, escorted by her brother, and Eric awaited, smiling. Eric's first words to her were "You look beautiful! Wow!" which definitely made Karen smile 🙂 To kick off the ceremony, family and friends released the balloons in the air in memory of Karen's mom, which made you feel that she was definitely looking down upon her daughter on this special day, which Karen chose particularly because it was her mother's birthday as well. The couple pledged their vows to one another and the officiant read a special blessing called "The Celebration of the Hands," which is always so sweet to listen to as you watch the bride and groom hold hands during it. The couple was then pronounced husband and wife, and they happily walked down the aisle to begin the next part of their day!
Formal portraits were taken right on location by photographer Polina Kelly. This was great for us because there was plenty of scenery which provided great backdrops for the video. We started off on the roof with a shot of the entire group of guests along with Karen and Eric huddled below us. This was nice because now they have video of everyone who attended their wedding! Formals continued with the bridal party and some pictures of the couple over on the doc near the lake which created a rustic/romantic look. Over in the reception area, guests enjoyed cocktail hour which served a variety of options from mini clam cakes and chowder, to spring rolls. All of which looked appetizing, especially the scallops and bacon! The patio area was decorated in tune with the breast cancer theme, as pink paper lanterns hung from the ceilings, and cocktail napkins adorned the breast cancer symbol. Seating charts were not the norm at this wedding, as the couple chose the have guests names written in a picture frame made from tree branches, also branded with the cancer symbol. Every detail was executed perfectly, and there was no stone left unturned as the nature theme as well as breast cancer awareness shone throughout. Even their four tier cake was draped in pink and white sugar flowers, and one tier dedicated solely to the famous symbol.
Victor from Victor Events was the MC for the night, and the bridal party, as well as Karen and Eric were introduced into the room, but before their first dance, Karen shared something special with everyone...here is the story...after Karen's mom had passed, Karen found a pearl and gold ankle bracelet in her moms room that had a note attached that read "For Karen on her wedding day..." There wasn't a dry eye in the room, as Karen had Eric place this anklet on her...although he had a tough time getting it on, which made for some humor, the anklet symbolized her mom in that moment! Karen literally kicked off those heels, and she and Eric danced their first dance to "A Thousand Years," by Christina Perry, as Eric's son watched proudly along with the rest of their friends and family. Great speeches from the Maid of Honor and Best Man brought tears and laughter to the night, and then the party got started! Karen danced the night away, and even helped Victor out on the turn tables for a bit!
Overall, the day was amazing, and congrats go out to the awesome couple, Karen and Eric! Take a look at their recap below!