Christina Ward Photography » Authentic. Warm. Classic. Bright.

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Oooookay, everyone – welcome back to my seriously neglected blog!  I have so many amazing weddings from 2017 to get posted (I.Can.Do.It!) that’s its hard to know where to start … except that it’s actually fairly obvious where to start once I stop to think about it: as we head into the winter season once again, and this was my first wedding in 2017, we absolutely must begin Christina Ward Photography’s Great Blog Resurrection with Amanda + Bobby’s snowy (it was, in fact, a blizzard!) winter wedding at the Renaissance Golf Club in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

There’s two lines of thinking, it seems, for couples planning a winter wedding in New England — one being to pray for a freakishly beautiful, “warm” day and hope the real weather stays at bay, or, the other, being to pray for snow, snow and more snow and be ready to fully embrace the wintery-ness of it all.  Lucky for me, Amanda and Bobby fell into the latter camp, so when the snow just kept on falling and falling and even the plows had a hard time keeping up, they were totally on-board with making all that white stuff a central part of their aesthetic.   They put on their boots and fearlessly took photo after photo outside (it was maybe about 10 degrees!), and not just “barely” outside, but they stomped and trodded waaaaay out in the snow for the sake of the shot.  Wedding photographer dream clients, people!

Alright, so selfish wedding photographer goals aside, how about I talk now about what delightful people and what a sweet, loving couple Amanda and Bobby are?  Because they are all of that and then some.  Their friends and family were so much fun to spend time with on their wedding day, and you could feel the energy and excitement of everyone around them just being so 100% thrilled for them and also not letting the weather faze ’em one bit.   Amanda and Bobby exchanged gifts/cards before the ceremony (see the shots below) that were so over-the-top amazing — he is a total golf-nut, so she gifted him a trip to Master’s Golf tournament in Augusta GA; she has always dreamed of flying, so he gifted her pilot lessons!  Each of their reactions to opening their gifts were priceless, it was so fun to take photos of, along with their very emotional readings of the cards they wrote to each other.   Isabel (my amaaaazing second shooter) and I had such a great day/night with these two and their crew – thank you, Amanda + Bobby for having us along for the ride and trusting me to capture your wedding day in all its beautiful, authentic, and emotional glory.  Your wedding kicked off my year just right and, since I am soooo behind on blogging, I will go ahead and wish you Happy (Almost) First Anniversary! :)

See what I mean? These two are fearless! Have to start their blog post off with one of these shots.

Gotta love the winter wedding Sorel boots! :)

Dashing through the snow, literally, on the way to the Renaissance Club in Haverhill, MA.

Thank you for embracing the snow for photographic awesomeness, Amanda & Bobby & Crew!

One more in the snow to cap off this post – these are seriously some of my favorite shots ever!

Jen and Matt are SUCH a sweet couple; I absolutely loved photographing their beautiful wedding at St. Catherine of Alexandria church in Westford, Massachusetts, and Vesper Country Club in Tyngsborough.

Their love story is one that I’d imagine is fairly common when of the couple is an active duty member of the military — Matt is in the Navy and he and Jen have spent most of their time dating, and then engaged, apart, with Matt overseas, Jen visiting whenever possible, or together at home on Matt’s leave.  Jen planned their wedding while Matt served out the Pacific.  In fact, Jen wasn’t even 100% sure for some time that he would make it home on the exact day they’d planned for!   And as wedding week isn’t crazy enough, Jen and Matt were also preparing for a big move to another part of the country together immediately after their wedding — sounds like insanity, and yet it’s all part of what is “normal” for couples and families who serves our country in the armed forces.   I’m so grateful to Matt for his service to our country, and to his now-wife Jen for her sacrifice as part a family devoted to the military lifestyle.  There were quite a few touches as a nod to Matt’s navy career throughout their wedding, from the men in uniform (both Navy and Marines), to the Navy Salute with swords as the couple exited the church, to cutting the cake with one of those amazing, ceremonial swords.  So cool and such an honor to be a part of as well.

Jen and Matt’s wedding day started with a LOT of rain.  We had a spot out in the open planned for their “first look” but with rain pouring down and no end in sight, we scrambled for another scenic, but covered option.  Jen’s maid of honor, Jules, saved the day by calling a local family she knew had a beautiful farmhouse with a covered front porch – they were kind enough to open their home to us the last minute and it worked out great.  The rain even let up just long enough for us to scurry out to their open field to take a few group shots with the wedding party.  Then it was off the Catholic wedding mass at St. Catherine’s, followed by dinner and dancing at Vesper Country Club.  We also managed to get a few rain free portraits of Jen and Matt at Vesper as well, what a lovely venue!  There were wonderful speeches, a great dinner, cake cutting (with the sword!) and then dancing, dancing the night away.

Congratulations, Matt + Jen! You guys were made for each other!  Seeing you both finally be able to come together on your wedding day, with so much love and joy, was an absolute honor for me and also just so much fun.  Wishing you all the best in your new home as newlyweds and wherever the Navy and life may take you!

Nikki and Matt are total soul-mates and their wedding was an absolute celebration of their intense passion and commitment to each other.  Deep emotion poured out in their vows, in their loved ones’ toasts to them, in every kiss and look between them.  It was nothing shore of magical to witness and such a special day to photograph.

Their wedding took place at the rustic and beautiful Camp Kiwannee in Hanson, Massachusetts.  The bride, groom and many of their guests camped out and slept there the night of the wedding and kept the party going with s’mores and games around the campfire late into the night.

Matt & Nikki’s wedding aesthetic was centered around a dreamy astronomy theme of constellations and stars, punctuated with romantic lace, moss and woodsy touches.  Nikki has an absolutely amazing sense of style, and as a small business owner (like myself – kindreds!), her organization and attention to detail in bringing this event together DIY-style with so many personal touches was unbelievably impressive.

All of the decor, food, furniture, etc. was brought in by them and set up by their community of friends and family on site for the weekend.  Their reception dinner featured a finger-licking BBQ buffet and a fun selection of drinks, including signature mocktails, since N + M aren’t drinkers.  The dance floor was so fun and wild thanks to their kick-ass, amazing band (Business Time Rock!!) – they absolutely brought the house down and everyone had a blast.

Other moments, details and highlights: Nikki’s dress reveal to her bridal party and mom (love their reactions), her “first look” with her dad before the ceremony (this a trend I adore, crying dad’s with their daughters? the best), the unique and super-cool hand-fasting during their ceremony, the gazebo just next to the ceremony filled with photos of all of their deceased relatives and ancestors, meant to surround them with their spirits and love as they journey into the future together, and simply how the new husband and wife could not take their eyes off each other for the entire celebration.

Thank you, Nikki & Matt, for trusting me to capture your big day, your love and so many amazing memories!  I absolutely cherish being there and a part of it all …. now for the photographs!

There’s really not enough I can say about John and Mikayla and their picture perfect November wedding at the Red Lion Inn in scenic Cohasset, Massachusetts.  I mean, best group of girlfriends ever in the wedding party?  CHECK!  Dad openly crying upon seeing his little girl become a bride? CHECK!  Amazing late fall foliage adorning the rustic, but elegant barn-like setting at the Red Lion Inn? CHECK!  Bride and groom so over-the-moon to be getting married I couldn’t wipe the giant smiles off their faces if I tried? CHECK!  Delicious food, moscow mules served in their signature, take-home copper mugs, and a non-stop amazing dance party (DJ Shyne from E.C.F. Entertainment rocked the freaking house!)? CHECK & DOUBLE CHECK!

Around mid-morning, my camera and I arrived at Mikayla’s parents’ beachside home in Scituate, Massachusetts, to the some of the happiest chaos ever —  ladies getting ready with mimosas (as you do!) in their monogrammed robes, donuts all around (bride’s trademark obsession! check out their donut cake below …), music on blast and excitement bursting from every corner.  Mikayla opted to put her dress on with just her mom, so she did a reveal/”first look” with both her bridal party and then with her Dad, which was so fun and special – tears, squeals, hugs and a lot of “I can’t believe this day is finally here”s!

Over in Cohasset, we met up with John and his team of groomsmen, who’d taken much less time to get ready (haha!) at the Red Lion Inn.  For John and Mikayla’s first look, we set up a private spot under the ivied gazebo and had Mikayla walk towards John and tap him on the shoulder  — his reaction was easily the best first look reaction from a groom I’ve ever captured.  Tears began to flow immediately when he saw his bride (truth be told: he cried pretty much the whole wedding … grooms who cry are my fave!).    Their ceremony (officiated by a dear family friend), their best friends’ toasts, their dances together and with their parents, their total awe to be surrounded by all their friends and family to witness their vows – I’m not sure a single person didn’t cry that day (uhhh, including me).

I mean, seriously, Mikayla & John’s wedding was the absolute perfect mix of unbelievable in-love sweetness on display for all to see, combined with the party of the year.   I’m not sure a single moment of their day felt like “work” to me, just joy and fun and laughter.  Huge shout-out and HIGH-FIVES to the team at the Red Lion Inn for helping John and Mikayla put together such a spectacular event – the food, the bar, the staff, and the stunning space – there’s a reason they are one of the premier wedding venues on Boston’s south shore!

John, Mikayla, and also to your families – I love you all and am so thankful to have been able to capture these images and memories.  It was an absolute honor and also just a wicked great time!

Getting back to swing of things here on the blog, at last!  Happy that my first post in a long while is to share images from the beautiful and super-fun wedding of Tom and Lindsay, who are near and dear to my heart.  I could wax on and on about what they (especially Lindsay) mean to me, personally, but I already did that over on Instagram (see what I’m talking about here).

Congratulations, Mr. & Mrs. Loughran, it was one helluva party!

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Mark and Kate got married at the Codman Estate in Lincoln, Massachusetts early last fall; they celebrated with their family and friends, including their beautiful one year old daughter, on an absolutely perfect day weather-wise (and in every other respect, really).  The grounds of the Codman Estate, especially the gardens for the ceremony, were stunning, idyllic and set just the right tone and scene for Kate and Mark’s vows and big  party.

Every little touch, from the chilled welcome drinks at the ceremony to the out-of-control amazing cheese and accoutrements tables to the craft cocktail bar were a step (or two) above the usual wedding fare.   The crazy-talented folks at Chive Events took care of every last detail at the Codman Estate for Mark and Kate: the flowers, the decor and little touches (including the lovely calligraphy), the drinks, the tent, the DJ and the food — which was, bar none, some of the most impressively displayed and awesomely delicious food I have EVER encountered at a wedding, whether as a photographer or as a guest.  Afterwards, I kept thinking “I just really wish Chive Events could come plan and cater my entire life.”  (I’d be fat, but happy)  And they do it all with an emphasis on sustainability, locally sourced ingredients, and an eye on reducing waste as much as possible.   I was so unbelievably impressed by them, if you can’t tell.

In sum, superb combo of Mark & Kate (uber rad couple extradonaire, and dear friends of mine to boot) + Codman Estate beauty + Chive Events totally killing = one of the greatest weddings ever.  Their dance floor was insane, their love and joy infectious … I just want to do their wedding day and night over again and again.  What do you say M & K, can we throw this party every year???

And now some of my favorite images from start to finish during their wedding day to tell the tale …

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In honor of this beautiful, hilarious, crazy, super-fun, so so in love and inspiring couple’s FIRST wedding anniversary, I am *finally* getting my favorite story-telling images from their gorgeous wedding day up on the blog.  I hit it off instantly with Cassie (the bride) as soon as we had our first “meet and greet” (in a Target Starbucks, which is how I roll … ;)  with my then-six month old baby in tow.  She was easy to talk to, clearly a laid-back bride, and once I heard her and Ben’s unique and beautiful love story (plus all the rad music-lovers’ details of their big day) I knew I just had to photograph their wedding.  And, lucky for me, they felt the same way and that is how I ended up in historic downtown Plymouth, Massachusetts, on a chilly but sunny Saturday last May to make images at their Brewster Gardens ceremony and Plymouth Yacht Club reception.

Cool (& important) fact: Cassie’s brother is Rich Cronin of the 2000’s singing group LFO (think “Summer Girls”, definitely one of your early-aughts fave boy-band hits).  He passed away due to leukemia some years ago, and Cassie now heads up the Rich Cronin Hope Foundation in his memory and honor; take some time to visit their website and consider attending one of their Be The Match bone marrow drives — its a simple swab to enter the registry to learn if you could one day the the life-saving donor someone one desperately needs.

Cassie & Ben: meeting you both and photographing your wedding was a joy and an honor.  I’m so glad we’ve been able to stay in touch via the power of social media, and I’ll be in your cheering section always.  You made it this first year, through all life had to throw at you, and I know you’re a match made in heaven and will keep growing stronger year after year.  All my love to you both.  Thank you for allowing me to tell (just a small bit) of your story. <3 <3

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