Bethany & Dan ~ Winter Wedding Magic – Hawthorne Hotel Salem MA Wedding Photography

If this winter has left your feet cold and your shoveling arms sore, pull up an ottoman and spend a few moments warming yourself on the beauty and splendor of Bethany and Dan’s winter wedding on January 25, 2014.

The day will start to unfold at the one and only Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, MA where we will find frosty pine cones, hot chocolate kits, Greek dancing, and superheros all together in a wonderfully orchestrated wedding celebration.

Dan and Bethany and I already had a strong affinity to seasonal photos, as exhibited by our delightful autumn engagement session at Smolak Farms in North Andover. In like tradition, we spent the day together photographing in the wintery and historic north shore town of Salem, MA.

I was joined by sharp-shooter, Mandy, who lent her talent and assistance throughout the day to help round out our story.

The ceremony at Grace Episcopal Church in Salem, MA was framed by some of my most favorite photographic elements: rich stone, textured wood, stained glass, and of course, my affinity to red doors (more on that later).

There was just enough decorative snow on the landscape to bestow a sense of stark beauty for a winter wedding, but thankfully the conditions did not impose on road safety in any way.

Every setting and detail in the Hawthorne’s historically elegant ballroom was awaiting the arrival of guests and the wedding party for an evening of celebration, live Greek music, and festivity.

Centerpieces carried the soft navy and indigo hues of the wedding theme, thanks to the talent of Bowler and Jones.

Shot by Mandy

Thoughtful and elegant detail could be found throughout the ballroom and adjoining mezzanine where cocktails would later be served as guests arrived.

Shot by Mandy
Shot by Mandy

Dan and the groomsmen dressed in one of the hotel’s historically flavored guest rooms. The guys’ wedding attire packed a powerful surprise, which would be revealed later when the moment was right.

Shot by Mandy

Best men Kevin (brother of the groom) and Kyle ventured next door to the Salem Common for photos prior to the ceremony.

Shot by Mandy
Shot by Mandy
Shot by Mandy

Dan asked if we could echo a shot that his father had taken at his own wedding. He is joined by groomsmen Kevin, Johnny, Kyle, Dan, and Chris.

This shot really speaks for itself.

Shot by Mandy

As the guys were getting ready and hanging out around the hotel, I met Bethany in the bridal suite where she and her bridesmaids were primping and enjoying spending time with one another.

Bethany’s beautiful bouquet by Bowler and Jones blended modern and classic, warm colors with cool.

Bethany’s mother, Laurie, helps her daughter as the immediacy of the wedding day begins to set in.

Laurie and Laurel (mother of the groom) are given corsages from Bethany.

Laurie pauses to share a moment with her daughter.

Maids of honor, Kirsten and Becca join Bethany and bridesmaids Pauline, Alexandria (sister of the bride), and Kristi as we made our way out of the bridal suite.

In a special moment together before the wedding ceremony, Bethany and Dan met on opposite sides of an open door in the hotel without seeing each other. They could hear each other’s voice, touch the other’s hand, and look forward to being joined in matrimony in the moments to follow.

Bethany and Dan were ready to make their way to the ceremony but there was one more person waiting for a moment with Bethany before the wedding. Jim and Bethany shared an intimate moment together as Jim beholds his daughter as a beautiful bride.

The grand stairway framed a stunning pre-wedding portrait of Bethany.

Trolley’s escorted the wedding party and guests to and from the church.

Shot by Mandy
Shot by Mandy

Jim uncorked some bubbly to pour a toast on the trip to the church.

Shot by Mandy
Shot by Mandy
Shot by Mandy

Laurel and Laurie are each ushered by their two sons: Kevin and Dan, and Chris and Dan (brothers of the bride).

Every eye turns as the wooden doors of the sanctuary open to reveal the bride as she makes her entrance and begins down the aisle.

Shot by Mandy

Bethany joins husband Dan with her family for a formal portrait: Dan (brother of the bride) and wife and bridesmaid Pauline, Alexandria (sister of the bride), Laurie, Jim, Chris (brother of the bride) and wife and bridesmaid, Kristi.

Laurel is joined by her sons Dan and Kevin and her new daughter-in-law.

The wedding party strikes a pose! 🙂

I am mesmerized by the textures of rustic wood and stone. Here, the perfect backdrop.

Back at the Hawthorne, the evening was just getting underway as the the wedding party returned to join guests gathering in the mezzanine during cocktails.

Bethany and Dan share their first dance together as husband and wife, beautifully presented, I might add.

Maids of honor, Kirsten and Becca, arouse laughter from the room as they present their toasts to the newlyweds.

Kevin and Kyle followed suit.

Jim takes his turn to honor his daughter and new son-in-law.

Dan asserts his capability to defend and protect Bethany.

Jim shares a dance with his daughter as Laurie looks on.

Shot by Mandy
Dan and Laurel sang their hearts out to each other.

Jim and his band, Ellas, treat the room to traditional Greek music as guests rise to dance under the traditional shower of good luck (and currency).

Shot by Mandy

Out in the lobby, the open air group photo booth was hopping as guests had some laughs and fun in costume for the camera. The photo booth is just such a fun add-on to spice up the reception. We love doing it.

I promised you a red door shot…

Bethany and Dan: It was such an extraordinary experience spending your wedding day with you, your families, and closest friends. Thank you for letting me tell your story. May you relive here the eternalness of the love, joy, and emotion circling around you on your wedding day. I hope you enjoy these images as much as I enjoyed making them with you.


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