In early July, when it seemed to be raining everyday, Amanda + Mike crossed their fingers that the clouds would clear for their wedding day. They were hosting their wedding on Amanda's grandfather's property - lush and green with a house to get ready in just down the road. They managed to put up a marquee tent in the field next to her grandfather's old house, and went back and forth about what part of the yard the ceremony should be held at.
The next morning, the wedding location was greeted with some rain, but, luckily, it didn't stay around for very long; the clouds parted ways and introduced the sun to Amanda + Mike's wedding day. My husband, Tre, was my second photographer for their wedding, and when we arrived at the property, we were immediately greeted by the couple's family members, all working together to set the tables, and decorate the tent and ceremony areas with plants, homemade favors, and, of course, with plenty of food. I always love when family members are able to contribute to a wedding day in some fashion - it makes it feel just that much more special.
Amanda's cousin also arrived early, a young guy with a big sense of humor, and he instantly became BFFs with Tre. He ended up being quite the character throughout the rest of their wedding day, making Amanda laugh, and making Mike roll his eyes.
After documenting all the little details, we got the 'okay' to go meet Amanda at the house down the road to capture some moments from her getting ready. When we walked in, Amanda was in the bathroom curling her hair, putting on her lipstick, and trying to decide what shoes to wear with her dress (she settled on pink Vans that we were all obsessed with - I was also biased because I had the same pair!). She put on her first of two wedding dresses, had a quick look in the mirror, and then was like, "cool, let's go!" She was so chilled out and just so ready to see Mike...and was, quite honestly, ready to get out of her ceremony dress and put her reception dress on!
Amanda greeted her parents outside, and walked up the road, linking arms with her dad as she walked, while Tre, her mum, and I drove back to the ceremony location to get everyone ready.
We met Mike by the arch at the head of the ceremony aisle, looking dapper in his blue suit jacket, and anxiously waiting to see Amanda. He didn't have to wait long, as Amanda and her father were close behind us. When Amanda and Mike locked eyes, they both had the biggest smiles on their faces and were beaming with happiness.
A friend of a friend led the ceremony, and did such a spectacular job - he included a 'Parks and Rec' reference, per the couple's request. Amanda + Mike laughed, held hands, and enjoyed their short and sweet ceremony - just they way they had wanted it to be. They were pronounced husband and wife, kissed, and strutted their way down the aisle, hand in hand, and let out a sigh of relief that the ceremony was over.
Amanda bee-lined straight for the chicken tenders that they ordered from one of their favorite restaurants, The Puritan Backroom in Manchester, NH, whilst Mike shook hands and hugged his loved ones. Once Amanda rejoined us, she spent a moment with her older brother, who was incredibly excited and happy for her. It was a precious moment to witness and document for her.
Next, we zipped through some family photos, and then snuck Amanda + Mike away from everyone so they could have quick moment by themselves to celebrate and be like, holy shit we just got married! This is something we really try encourage our couples to do because it helps them stay present and soak in the day together. It also provides them with a moment to just be together and breathe, which is generally pretty rare on a wedding day. So they hugged, danced a little, and popped some champagne to celebrate, which they also sprayed for some sick photos (my favorite thing to do)! These two absolutely LOVED doing the champagne spray during their engagement session earlier in the year, so it was something they felt like pros at by the time the wedding rolled around. They even came prepared with champagne flutes to toast to one another with whatever champagne remained in the bottle after the spray.
After their wedding portraits, Amanda + Mike changed into their more comfortable reception outfits, signed their wedding certificate, and enjoyed their reception with their families and friends. They had yard games surrounding the tent, plenty of booze, and LOADS of chicken tenders. There were kiddos playing chase out in the field, and no matter where you turned, you could hear laughter, good conversations being held, and see shy kiddos trying to avoid the camera - although we even got the shy ones to warm up to us eventually. One young boy ended up making a game out of hiding from us, until he took his parent's phone and started walking around the place snapping photos of everyone and everything. He was our little buddy, and potentially a future second photographer?! We'll see what the future holds haha :)
Just as it was starting to get pretty hot out, a Ben & Jerry's ice cream truck rolled up and opened up it's doors (or window rather) for orders. Everyone's jaws DROPPED when they saw the truck pulling into the field; the excitement seemed to bring out everyone's inner child, as guests were jumping up and down, and chatting to one another about which flavors they'd choose. Soon, all the guests lined up, eager to get a few scoops of Ben & Jerry's ice cream to cool them off.
As the sun dipped closer to the horizon and became more golden, people eased into the calmness of the evening. They played games, they hugged, they admired Amanda's pink Vans, and they slowly trickled away, taking some chicken tenders to-go as they went. Soon, it was time for Tre and I to part ways as well, so Amanda + Mike made sure we packed up tons of tenders, and we even decided to meet up, just the four of us, after the wedding sometime for a chicken tender date. We actually did (the same day we delivered their wedding photos!) and it was such a wonderful experience :)
I'm so thankful that Amanda + Mike chose me to document their laid back, DIY backyard wedding, and I'm even more thankful that I was able to document their engagement session as well.
Yet what I'm the MOST grateful for is that Tre and I developed a true friendship with these two. When clients become friends, it's the fricken best 🧡
So a huge thank you to Amanda + Mike for trusting me to freeze the important moments in their life in time with photographs, and for introducing Tre and me to The Puritan Backroom chicken tenders hahaha! We both appreciate the two of you so dang much!
Thanks for reading, and speak soon :)
The Francis Frames
Shoes: Vans | https://www.vans.com
Cake Alternative: Donut Twist from Crosby Bakery Nashua, NH | https://www.crosbybakerynh.com
Catering: Puritan Backroom | https://www.puritanbackroom.com
Dessert: Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Truck | https://www.benjerry.com/plano/catering/ice-cream-truck
Rental Company: https://specialeventsofne.com