Erica and Ryan's winter wedding at the Barn at Gibbet Hill


Erica and Ryan's wedding was the day after Thanksgiving.  Such a festive time of year and another fabulous reason for family and friends to come together and celebrate.  It was a bittersweet wedding for me as it was my last of the season, but for the sister of Meaghan, whose wedding to Kevin I photographed a couple years ago in Kennebunk, Maine (I was so excited to meet their little man, 10-month old Callan!).  Having met Erica and Ryan at their wedding and again at the emilie inc. studio earlier this year to talk about their own wedding, made me extra excited for their big day.  They've been together for almost seven years, so it has been a long time coming!  It was so nice to see familiar faces throughout the day- the bridesmaids, the cousins, and of course Erica's parents Frank and Karen.  It was just as nice to see new faces and meet Ryan's family.  Everyone was so kind and welcoming.  This truly reflects the character of Erica and Ryan, sweet and comforting themselves, and surrounding themselves with such good people. 

It was a chill-y day!  Erica and the girls were especially troopers trying to snag some shots pre-ceremony at the venue, The Barn at Gibbet Hill in Groton, MA.  The tricky part to weddings at this time of year is that darn cold and the sun setting so early, usually right as the ceremony begins.  My fingers and toes were numb, so I can only imagine how the girls felt in their strapless dresses and heels!  Bridesmaid Killian even hobbled around on crutches in the cold with a broken ankle (during her police officer training that tough gal!).  And Erica herself braved the cold for even longer, shedding her white coat (which was a great idea to have one) for a few shoulder-baring shots.  She looked beautiful either way in my opinion!  Ryan looked handsome as ever in his gray three-piece suit.  The white tie on the white shirt looked great and the pocket square was just the right finishing touch.  I was happy we were able to steal a few shots of them with the last remaining light just as dusk set in.

Then it was off to the church to get hitched!  Guests walked briskly up the church steps and right through the doors.  They unfortunately didn't get to see how cute this stone church is in daylight, as I did.  After a thoughtful and even humorous ceremony by Father Paul Ring, Erica and Ryan made it official, and quickly hopped on the shuttle back to Gibbet Hill for the rest of the festivities.  Brandon joked he was the "back-up" best man to his brother who couldn't be there -- the two were both best men.  Brandon read his brother's speech and then his own.  It was almost like a stand-up-roast of the couple, taking guests through all emotions, from hand-clapping laughter to oh-my-gosh-that's-not-true moments to tears rolling down their cheeks.  (And this guy was kind enough to pick me up at the church where I left my car at the start of the day, taking me on a speedy ride in a Mustang to Meaghan and Kevin's house where Erica and Ryan got ready).  Matron of honor Meaghan wrote a super sweet sisterly poem for Erica.  There were hugs all around.

The rest of the night was filled with lots of love and even more laughter -- Ryan always has Erica throwing her head back with giggles from making some funny face or silly comment.  A sweet first dance, tender parent dances, and a well-behaved cake cutting went down.  It was so nice to see and hear Honey Train again (they played at Meaghan and Kevin's wedding).  Carolyn and her team at Gibbet Hill were wonderful!  They were so kind and accommodating -- even serving my hot meal for me earlier, so I could be done eating before guests and back to shooting what I needed.  The whole day was just wonderful.  Such a great way to end my season!

Erica and Ryan, thank you again so much for allowing me to document your wedding day!  I am so happy for you, two, and love both of your families!  After this busy holiday time of year and our schedules free up, I hope to see you soon in Portland, Tyngsboro or Billerica!

How they met, in Erica's words:

Ryan and I met through a friend in the summer of 2007. We have been in love and together ever since. Our relationship has definitely been a "roll with the punches" type of relationship. Ryan is a member of the Army National Guard. He was deployed and since then has contracted as a civilian off and on for a couple years in Afghanistan. When working overseas, the timing of Ryan coming and going, is more often than not, unknown. This information is a precursor to our proposal story. Last November, Ryan had planned months ahead of time, with the help of my sister, to propose to me. He had a perfect night planned in Boston to surprise me (coming home a week earlier than expected and to propose). On the night of the proposal, I was stuck in class for my graduate program. I ended up not going into Boston with my family because of how late it was by the time I got home. This threw Ryan's whole plan off. A few hours later, I heard a knock on our door and it was Ryan. He proposed at the doorstep of our apartment. Although it was not the proposal he had planned, it was the most perfect proposal in my eyes. 

photographer: Whitney, emilie inc. photographyceremony: St. James' Church, Groton, MA • venue, catering: The Barn at Gibbet Hill, Groton • flowers: The Flower Mill, Lowell • band: Honey Train, Boston • cake: Konditor Meisterhair/make-up: Tiffany Brousseau, T & Co. • transportation: Black Tie Limoinvitations: Victoria Griffiths Designs, etsy

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