It was a cold, rainy fall day on October 21, 2023, but nothing could damped their mood as Aliyah and Ben were surrounded by family and friends as they read personalized vows to each other and became husband and wife.
Bloom Meadows in Williamstown, Massachusetts is a beautiful venue. It has white wood paneling on the inside with family style square tables which were set up with tall white candles which casted a romantic glow during the dinner and reception. The views from the patio were so beautiful with the mountain on full display with fall foliage. It was raining so hard during most of the day, so plans were changed, and it was decided to bring the ceremony indoors. Needless to say, I was so thankful that it had stopped raining after their ceremony so we could get outside and capture a few photos with the view they booked this venue for.
While planning their wedding, Ben wanted to do a “first look” with Aliyah to help with some of the nerves that he knew he would be feeling. Aliyah went along with his plan (or so he thought), but came up with a plan of her own. During the first look, when Ben turned around expecting to see his beautiful bride, he was greeted by his best man. The look of “WTF” on Ben’s face is priceless before he realized what he was looking at and then burst out laughing. Ben took the news well that he was not going to have a first look after all and would be seeing Aliyah for the first time as she was escorted down the aisle by her dad.
Aliyah did, however, have a first look with her Dad. It was a sweet moment as he struggled not to cry and Aliyah warning him not to, because then she would. While waiting for the ceremony to start, Aliyah opened her wedding gift from Ben. He surprised her with a Louis Vuitton purse! It was beautiful and Aliyah also gifted Ben a wedding gift that was for his eyes only. I love the look on the groomsmen face as Ben read his card.
At the start of the ceremony, guests gathered around as the groomsmen tossed beer and shots to guests as they proceeded down the aisle. It was a hoot, and all the guests laughed and cheered. It was a fun way to set the stage!
Aliyah’s (and my) uncle Bill officiated the ceremony and Ben and Aliyah chose to write personalized vows to each other. They both struggled not to cry. The love that these two have for each other was so apparent. They were made for each other .
Following the ceremony we took family photos inside, and then saw that it had stopped raining and hurried outdoors to capture bridal party photos with the stunning backdrop.
At Bloom Meadows, deep in the woods, there is a path that leads to this old bridge which is just wooden planks over large cut down trees. It was a little scary!!!! It had rained all week and all day, so the wood was soaking wet, and very slippery. I also hate when I can see through the bridge to the water below in between the cracks of the planks, which was the case with this bridge! I just had to plow through, and not look down. haha. It was so worth it. The rain on the trees gave the images a moody feel that I just loved, they were my absolute favorite!
Being the photographer for a family member is so special. When Aliyah and Ben asked me to be their wedding photographer, I was honored. Aliyah is one of my cousins, the daughter of one of my Dad’s little brothers. Her Dad, my Uncle George, is the Uncle who was with my Dad the most, or so it felt to me. My Dad passed in 2019 so his passing still feels raw to us all. At Aliyah and Ben’s wedding, Uncle George told me a story that my Dad always thought he liked Coors Banquet so he always had some on hand for whenever Uncle George stopped over on a Friday or Saturday night. Years go by when finally Uncle George confessed to my Dad that he didn’t like that beer, he liked Coors Light. My Dad laughed and yelled at him for not telling him sooner. Well at the wedding, Uncle George brought out Coors Banquet, in honor and memory of his brother, my Dad. Hearing that story was touching, I love hearing new stories of my Dad. In a way, it’s creating new memories with him, even though he’s no longer here. Seeing the memory table with his photo, along with so many other family members that could no longer be there touched my heart deeply. These memory tables mean so much. I’ve seen and photographed them at other weddings over the years, but being on the family side and seeing it, it’s special and touching to honor those who would have been there if they could.
Aliyah and Ben, I love you guys. Thank you so much for letting me capture this special day.