I grew up a mile down the road and watched the The Granite Rose in Hampstead, NH being built. I used to drive by every day and see a little more of the structure erected, including a couple engineering marvels like the “hollow” Embassy garden. The gardens, lawn, fountains, gazebo, and celebration area are suspended on pylons above parking lot. Without looking from below, you would never know you are not on solid ground.

I never anticipated I would be photographing weddings there a couple decades later. On a special Saturday this past September, 9/14/2014, I found myself once again doing just that. Having photographed at this elegant venue a few years ago, I was looking forward to using the front Embassy room and garden for one of its most striking features: it faces west. Sitting in the garden late in the day, guests are treated to the magnificence of the setting sun and the glow of deep royal twilight. Of course, these features are music to a photographer’s ears.

I had a chance to meet Mike a couple years ago as a groomsman for another wonderful wedding I photographed, Katelyn and Tom. I got to know Sarah at their engagement session at Odiorne Point State Park in Rye, NH last summer where a magic evening treated us on Foster Point.

On the wedding day, I was joined once again by sharp-shooter Mandy who worked the angles with me throughout the day and helped capture the beauty and magic of this occasion.

At the mic, and twisting the tracks was DJ Sean Reardon of Get Down Tonight, who carried us through the evening (and added a dose of fun).

I was happy again to work with Craig and Angela from iWed Video where we work as a team to create shots for video and stills.

With a late day September wedding, the daylight casts a perfect glow on subjects and surroundings.

Elegant place settings greeted guests with vibrant autumn accents set against a black and white theme.

Shot by Mandy

Sarah and Mike left note cards at each place where guests could share thoughts and warm wishes with the newlyweds.

Shot by Mandy

Shot by Mandy

Warm daylight floods into the Embassy room as evening makes its way closer.

Shot by Mandy
Shot by Mandy
Right Shot by Mandy

I think this is one of the cutest programs I have seen.

Shot by Mandy
Shot by Mandy

Shot by Mandy

Mandy met up with Mike and the guys at the Holiday Inn on Keewaydin Drive in Salem, NH. I have photographed here several times prior and I told Mandy there are some awesome spots around the hotel (which she proceeded to use for equally awesome shots).

With plenty of time to get ready, things were pretty laid back as the day began.

Shot by Mandy

Good friend and best man, Shawn, helps Mike with the finishing touches.

Shot by Mandy
Shot by Mandy

Mandy used the mirrors and staircase at the hotel for a stunning portrait of Mike.

Shot by Mandy
Shot by Mandy

Shot by Mandy

Shot by Mandy

I arrived at Mike and Sarah’s home in Nashua where I met the girls, the moms, and Sarah, who was busy getting ready for the ceremony.

Mike left a gift for Sarah before the wedding.

The party bus arrived as we prepared to make our way out to get the day rolling.

I brought the girls to Greeley Park in Nashua, NH to use its architecture and soft lighting for portraits before the wedding.

Matron of honor, Karen, joins Sarah for a photo.

Sarah with her mother Lorraine (r), and Mike’s mother, Chris.

These ladies are fun 🙂

At last it was time to converge on the Granite Rose where Mike and the guys awaited to usher in the formalities. As you can see, the gorgeous light of the setting sun carries over the entire Embassy garden where guests sit under a majestic western sky.

Sarah’s father, Fred, escorts his daughter down the aisle.

Friend Matthew Gagnon presides over the ceremony.

A photographer never knows when a side show may occur.

Shot by Mandy

A regal evening sky peers through the garden setting as we photographed Sarah and Mike’s families.

Mike’s parents, Dan and Chris, join their family.

The newly minted Mr. and Mrs. Simoneau made their grand entrance as the room rose to its feet.

Shot by Mandy

Shot by Mandy

Karen warms the audience with a toast to the happy couple. Smiles and laughter fill the room as Sarah and Mike listen.

Best man, Shawn, kicked it up a few notches. In a moving and hysterical slideshow presentation, he gave tribute to his good friend, “Sim”, and bestowed his blessing on his and Sarah’s life together.

Everyone knows I am a bit obsessed with my cake shots. Oh well, why change that now?

Chris shares a dance with her son.

Fred and Sarah take to the floor together.

DJ Shawn added some shenanigans to the evening’s fun 🙂

There was no trouble keeping the dance floor occupied.

As evening sets, the night winds down with cool air and the warm ambiance of the garden lanterns.

Sarah and Mike: thank you. Thank you for letting me tell your story in photos and for letting me share this momentous occasion in your lives with you and your closest family and friends. I hope you love the photos. This is only the beginning!

Ron

2 replies
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    The night was beautiful for Sarah & Mike’s wedding………….your photos are wonderful and at times breathtaking!

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