What do a castle in Connecticut, a gold dress, and a french fry truck all have in common? If you would like to sit back and share in the story of Marybeth and Sarah’s incredible wedding day, you will soon discover what a wonderful story line they create!
Here are some of the highlights for the day:
- Wedding Date: 7/18/2015
- Ceremony Location: Bill Miller’s Castle Branford, CT
- Reception Location: Bill Miller’s Castle Branford, CT
- Wedding Coordinator: Victoria Smith, Bill Miller’s
- Officiant: Kazia Luce
- Photography: Ron Kolias Studios
- DJ: FM Productions
- Cake Vendor: Smith Island Cakes
- Hair: Susan Monahan
- Makeup: Susan Monahan
- Dress: Nicole Miller/The Dressing Room
- Suit: Bespoke/Bindle & Keep
Jaime joined me for the day as second shooter, spending time with Marybeth before the wedding, and creating a lot of great shots for the day’s storytelling.
Bill Miller’s Castle
When I first met with Marybeth and Sarah, they described how excited they were about their wedding location, a place with interest and character, that matched their personalities and the style of their wedding. With anticipation staged, I visited Bill Miller’s in Branford, Connecticut the day before the wedding to look around and meet the staff. It did not take long to understand the attraction to this venue.
Bill Miller’s is a family run business, and you can feel it. I met Victoria on arriving who was gracious enough to provide me a tour and let me explore the property. For me, this planning time starts the creative process and helps me visualize the imagery we might create on the wedding day. Victoria was wonderful to work with and allowed me to create the imagery I wanted for the wedding day. I am grateful for her help in planning, and keeping the wedding day moving and enjoyable.
As many of you know, I drink in texture: brick, stone, long grass, rustic wood, metal…lines and spaces. Bill Miller’s is a symphony for the visual creator’s eyes. Here is a small taste of what I mean.
The bar area.
When I began coverage on the wedding day, I walked past the mansion’s chapel, followed a corridor through this doorway inside the main building back to the bridal suite, which is the eccentric and stylish former residence of Bill Miller himself.
I found Sarah in the skilled hands of Susan, working her art at the beauty salon in the bridal suite.
Sarah and Marybeth chose a styled array of special elements to uniquely characterize their wedding day. Their wardrobes were among the most memorable I have encountered, not the least of which was Sarah’s stunning gold dress.
Monogrammed clutches were handmade for the ladies.
Jaime spent time with Marybeth and her attendants before the ceremony and created some wonderful detail shots.
The rings are engraved each with one of the words “mischief managed”. Stay tuned, this theme will reprise below.
Marybeth’s blue bespoke suit and of course, the socks! 🙂
Marybeth’s grandmother, Monie, spends a moment talking with her granddaughter while Marybeth helps fasten her corsage.
Marybeth’s father, Joe, was ready to go, and relaxes before the ceremony.
Marybeth’s mother, Beth, shares a moment with her daughter.
The First Look
The moment had come for the first look: a time for Marybeth and Sarah to see each other for the first time on their wedding day and spend a private moment together before the ceremony. The first look gives us plenty of time to enjoy creating photos before the ceremony in a relaxed manner. With family formals complete, it also allows the couple to join their guests during the cocktail hour.
Marybeth was waiting near the arbor while Sarah approached from the patio.
I was just at the edge of ear shot, but I believe Marybeth spotted a tear of joy making its way down Sarah’s face.
After only a moment spent together, however, Marybeth soon found her own eyes watering 🙂
The wedding party joined us for photos laid against the textured backdrop of the castle’s many interesting spots.
From left of Marybeth: Friend and officiant Kazia, Darren, Audie, brother of Marybeth, Mike, maid of honor Jenny, niece and flower girl Isabella. Right of Sarah: sister of Sarah, Olivia, brother of Sarah, Ben, Meredith, brother Luke, Lauren, and brothers Tom and Dominic.
We had to have a little fun too, nothing like a few shenanigans haha.
Marybeth and Sarah are joined by Marybeth’s family: Father Joe, niece Isabella, grandmother Monie, mother Beth, and brother Mike.
Sarah and Marybeth are surrounded by Sarah’s family: Father John, brothers Luke and Ben, sister Olivia, brothers Dominic and Tom, and mother Hillary.
Guests had gathered around the garden for the ceremony while live music played by Emily arose across the lawn.
John escorts his daughter down the isle.
I think the grounds around the mansion are among its most charming assets.
Darren and Demi shared their talent in the beauty of song.
A fun and celebratory touch: Marybeth and Sarah decided to dance their way out of the ceremony and have the wedding party, parents and guests follow suit on their way to the reception celebration. Disco pomp!
The Reception Celebration
A recurring theme: and I love it! Table place cards, dessert labels, and more, all spelled in scrabble letter tiles.
On each table a large, handmade letter tile (made by Beth) matched the small tiles on each place card.
The couple’s sweetheart table.
A closeup of the signs on the couple’s sweetheart chairs:
Remember the inscription inside the rings? In addition to the clever Scrabble sign on the cake, the setting for the cake table was fancifully flanked by mirrors and elegant decor.
On the menu? Clambake! Shrimp cocktail, oysters on the half shell, boiled lobster, steamers, chorizo, boiled potatoes, and corn on the cob.
The last line at the bottom of these lovely place setting notes made me laugh (and it was true haha!).
The crowd gathered around Monie for a special dedicated rendition of Billy Idol’s “Mony Mony” in her honor.
As if this night could not get any cooler, after a packed evening of laughter and dancing, Marybeth and Sarah arranged for a french fry truck to drop by the reception for a tasty late night snack.
You know it was a fabulous night when it ends like this 🙂
Marybeth and Sarah: I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I enjoyed creating them. I am delighted for the opportunity to get to know you, your family, and friends and to begin this first page of your life together with visual storytelling. This is only the beginning!