I feel so. damn. tender. about these two. Their love is so solid, so healthy; it radiates warmth and ease and a very long future together. I was elated to be a part of their big day.
They got married in Princeton, New Jersey at the beautiful Chauncey Hotel. This place has some of the most beautiful grounds I’ve seen at a hotel AND an amazing home on the property that feels like being at Grandma’s house. It was a pretty day, and it was HOT.
I met up with them before they were ready. They were still setting up, sleeves rolled up and putting the finishing touches on their homespun decorations. They were in good spirits, if a bit flushed from the heat. The tent-covered reception area was beautiful and very them, complete with games, homemade art, and family momentos. Their friends rushed around, tying up loose ends and fanning themselves.
When it was time to get ready, Kate and Ray headed into the big house where the family had taken over. It looked like a mansion and a family vacation lodge had had a baby—elegance and chaos melding to create the perfect pre-wedding environment.
I took special care photographing Ray’s wedding dress—it was an alteration of her mom’s wedding gown. Slightly off-white silk with classic lines, it was different from what I’m used to seeing. A nod to the past and a full embrace of the present without relinquishing either. Ray looked radiant in it. These are some of my all-time favorite getting ready photos.
Their ceremony was quick; their niece took it upon herself to be included (check out the photos—it was very cute) and, as usual, Kate and Ray rolled with it, holding her hands as they spoke their vows. After family photos, they escaped the heat inside with some of the family and waited for the day to cool.
One of my favorite things about this wedding was watching the brides’ parents. They kept grabbing my attention. Their faces were literally shining with joy (and fine, maybe a little from the heat). They could not stop smiling in the couple’s general direction. And they were as energized (if not more so) than the younger contingent, making sure I knew about the many family and alumni traditions they had in store throughout the reception.
This was a theatrical, fun-loving, dance-crazy crew. They knew how to party—which made my job a complete joy. And when the sky opened momentarily and rain threatened to ruin the mood, everyone just ran out into it and helped make wedding memories I, for one, will never forget.
Finally, before heading out, Kate and Ray took a private moment away from the festivities to do final, nighttime photos in the glow of a single light behind the big house. Tired and happy, they danced together in the sultry evening air.
You guys are the best. Thank you so much for trusting me with your day.