Jenn & Alden's Laidback Party on the River
First things first— Jenn’s dress is by We are Kindred.
Each time I post a photo of Jenn and Alden, I get numerous requests for info on that dress. I can totally see why— it’s feminine, sexy, simple, modern, and fit Jenn like a glove. It was a perfect dress for Jenn and Alden’s event, which felt more like a big party rather than a traditional wedding day.
Over the last two years, I’ve noticed an uptick of couples who have crafted their wedding day to their own specifications rather than society’s. There has been a sharp decline in the number of bridal party members I’ve photographed, flower girls/ring bearers are no longer considered “necessary”, and ceremonies have become much shorter (though no less sweeter!)
I’ve gotta admit, I’m loving that wedding days are evolving, and couples are becoming more vocal about what they want. (I’m assuming this is because more and more, couples are paying for their wedding day themselves, and are freer to speak up for what they want).
Jenn and Alden created a day that spoke to who they are not just as a couple, but also as individuals.
Side Note: I think Jenn wins an award for being THE MOST LAIDBACK BRIDE THERE EVER WAS! This HAS to be because when you write your own rules, it’s cool if you break them too.
Example: At the end of the night, as I was preparing to leave, I walked up to Jenn to snag her ring for a photo. Jenn was hesitant, not because she was uneasy giving me the ring. After beginning to slide it off her finger, she was just like, “You know what? I don’t need that photo. I am never going to look at that photo.” After I made sure that was what she wanted, I couldn’t help but smile. From the beginning of us chatting, Jenn made it clear that she loved candid, documentary images, and that was what was most important to her. I hear this a LOT from my couples, and I ain’t mad about it one bit. It’s what I do!
Hosting the event on a Friday evening last October, The Hermitage was the perfect spot for their casual vibe. Just because the day was untraditional, doesn’t mean there weren’t any traditions. Before everything kicked off, Jenn and Alden invited the family and friends who would be photographed to arrive about an hour earlier than everyone else, so we began photographing their family formals immediately. I had never done this before, but it was a great way to get those out of the way without the pressure of time; “COCKTAIL HOUR IS HAPPENING! THE CLOCK IS TICKING!” These two wanted to enjoy their cocktail hour with their guests, so we prioritized these important photos first.
From there, I took some time to walk around the property with Jenn and Alden for portraits. After the portraits, Jenn and Alden’s extended family and friends went to the reception for drinks, while Jenn, Alden, both sets of their parents, and their siblings headed to the Millstone Courtyard for an intimate ceremony. It was short on time, but full of emotion.
The three of us then took time for a few more portraits as the sun was setting before Jenn and Alden were announced to the reception, where, during the ceremony, over 100 guests had arrived for dinner and dancing on the back lawn.
As the sun sank lower into the sky and the wind whipped about, blowing hair and gowns this way and that, guests were treated to libations and the mellow tunes of Jesse Chong. After sunset, DJ Aetgy opened the dance floor, and Jenn and Alden’s guests wasted no time getting down. Another way these two tailored the evening was the removal of all traditions— speeches, special dances, etc. There was no pressure to perform for anyone— it was all love and drinks and fun under a starry fall evening sky.
There is just something about the sunsets at The Hermitage. The light is absolutely incredible! I remember snapping this photo in particular, because as Jenn and Alden were walking away, I said aloud, “This is why we come to the Hermitage.”
Jenn & Alden,
Thank you for allowing me the pleasure of photographing your unique day. I want to say ALL the things here, but I would sound like a total creeper. Instead, I’ll say this— I wish you a lifetime of love, peace, and smooth sailing.
All my love,