new home maternity session in Stow, MA

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Parents-to-be Amanda and John moved into a new house four days before their maternity session. We timed it so that I would be able to photograph them among boxes unpacking and getting set up for baby (due in just a few weeks!). Nope. Everything was in place as if it always belonged there– there were even cloth napkins in rings on their dining table! "I was nesting! It's a symptom!" Amanda explained when my eyes got wide walking through the front door.

They did, however, leave the baby's bookshelf and clothes to unpack for me. Thanks, guys (wink, wink). Later, we snuggled in their beautiful bedroom and mosied around the grounds of their new home sweet home.

Amanda is glowing and so clearly ready to be a mom. When I met these two for their engagement session back in 2010, I was pregnant and Amanda showed up with oversized bags from Pottery Barn Kids for me, eager to hear all about how I was doing. Such a sweet surprise! I knew then that I couldn't wait for the tables to be turned. She has an amazing partner in John and it was heartwarming to see his attentiveness to her during our session.

So close, you two! Eyes on the prize!!
 

Flag Hill Winery engagement session in Lee, NH

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Lauren and Ryan invited me to their Beacon Hill neighborhood for a winter engagement session. Maybe it would even snow, Lauren had hoped. And snow it did! Between the never-ending snow in January and misaligned schedules, we never were able to make that winter portrait happen. So we rescheduled for early summer, and decided to meet at Flag Hill Winery in NH, a place none of us had been but had driven by many times.

Having your portrait taken can be awkward at first. I totally get that. Engagement sessions are great practice for getting accustomed to what it's like being in front of the lens and make that part of the wedding day a piece of cake. Such was the case with Lauren and Ryan. I feel so lucky to have had the chance to chat in person with this pair, hear more about their plans, be a little silly and capture the two of them interacting.

We were treated to a beau-ti-ful evening with lovely sun and occasional cloud cover, and just the right amount of breeze. Together we explored the pretty grounds, and even met some of the farm friends: families of pigs, chickens and geese (until I, oops, backed into the electric fence). As the sun began to disappear behind the trees, we witnessed a parade of turkeys and even a deer grazing in the field beyond. Magic.

See you two at Newagen in the fall!
 

Peaks Island wedding of Jillian and Michael at Trefethen

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“I was just as nervous to see you today as I was for our first date.”  I heard Jillian say this quietly to Michael just after their first look.  She didn’t know why and that was okay with Michael, who responded with his contagious, hearty laugh and big smile.  That put her at ease.  But I could still sense a conflicting urgency within Jillian — a “hurry up and let’s get married” feeling on the one hand, yet a “let’s slow down and never let this day end” feeling on the other.  Throughout the day I saw this same ease that Michael put Jillian at whenever she saw him.  Jillian’s mom Elaine surprised her daughter with dance to Rod Stewart’s “Forever Young” with a few special gentlemen who wanted to dance with her to this song, since her father passed away.  After this tremendously moving moment (not a dry eye in the TEIA Club), I witnessed her seek Michael out for that simple easy comfort he provides her with his hug and even just presence alone.  At that moment, I almost lost it again.  For me, these are the reminders for why I do what I do.  I feel a huge sense of responsibility to document a wedding day and all the emotions felt, from smiles to tears to love — those little moments, the sentimental connections between all of the people celebrating in both spirit and incarnate is really all that matters.  Jillian and Michael, thank you again for allowing me to witness it all.  Couldn’t be more happy for you both!
  photographer: Whitney, emilie inc. photographycoordinator: Heather Cuzzi, Cairn Eventsvenue: Trefethen-Evergreen Improvement Association (TEIA), Peaks Island • caterer: Dandelion Cateringtunes: Todd the Rocketcake: Let Them Eat Cakelighting: The Event Light Proshair/make-up: Allison Bognanon • transportation: Custom Coach and Limogown: Monique Lhuillier • maids: Amsale • guys: Alfani • invitation: Wicked Bride 

Lauren and Arthur's coastal island wedding at Jones' Landing

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I got to spend my birthday photographing these two on Peaks Island on a perfectly beautiful summer day.  As soon as I arrived, I could feel the casual, but still warm and welcoming, vibe that this wedding had from start to finish.  These two don't take themselves too seriously, and that just puts everyone at ease.

I soon learned that the one photo Arthur really wanted was of the Holy Donuts being delivered by water taxi.  If you've experienced them, you understand this.  If you haven't, you need to.  They were such a hit at the reception that I barely got them photographed before they literally disappeared before my eyes!

These two had a very cool vintage travel theme running through the event, with tickets as seating cards and a retro model plane greeting guests by the front door.  They have done a fair amount of globe trotting together, so it seemed very fitting to have these touches running throughout.  Lauren's father, Doug, joked during his toast that his daughter brought him a several thousand cigar as a souvenir from one of her international trips that he made possible.

The sun set ever so slowly on this nearly summer solstice affair, as guests danced and wandered down the dock to check out the view of Portland over the water.  I even got to visit with another emilie inc. couple we just adore, Sara and Brett, as Sara and Lauren know each other from college. People as fun and genuine as Lauren and Arthur obviously have great friends. I had a big smile on my face as I boarded the ferry back, thankful I got to spend the day with such a lovely couple.

Lauren and Arthur, thank you so very much for having me and I hope you had an amazing time in Nova Scotia!

How they met, in their own words:

A friend of ours, Bridget Kendall, pointed Arthur out to Lauren shortly after he started at Wayfair (their mutual employer). Lauren thought he was good looking but way too young. Fast forward a few months and Lauren started noticing Arthur again (Arthur says they worked together on a project before this but Lauren has no memory of it.) Lauren started talking to him at the company Christmas party that December. Arthur's very short response was, "Your hair looks nice." 

The following January Lauren was moving to London for a new position at Wayfair. Unfortunately, she didn't make it past customs without a work visa and was deported the day she arrived. Four very sad days later Lauren went to the Friday night office party. She spotted Arthur and saw this a chance to try again. Arthur's responses must have been more flirtatious because they ended up talking all night, long enough that he changed his plans to go to New York City that night. The relationship quickly escalated from there and six weeks after that night Lauren finally had her visa and was off to England. Daily calls, countless flights across the Atlantic and three European vacations later Lauren decided Arthur was worth leaving London behind. Two years after moving home, the morning wthey were flying to Dubai and South Africa, Arthur completely surprised Lauren when he asked her to be his "Homey, Lover and Friend."

 

photographer: Denise, emilie inc. photographyvenue: Harbor View at Jones Landing, Peaks Island • catering: Black Tieflowers: Broadturn Farmtunes: Celebration Corporation • sweets: Holy Donuthair/make-up: Big Day Beautytransportation: Casco Bay Lines • gown: Claire Pettibone • men: Indochino • invitation: Ming Thompson, Pounding Mill Presshoneymoon: Nova Scotia
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