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Marisa + Mike’s Newport Rhode Island Wedding Belle Mer, Including Our Musings About Why It’s Alright If It Rains On Your Wedding Day

September 5, 2013

“And really, it wasn’t much good having anything exciting like floods, if you couldn’t share them with somebody.” ~ A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Haven’t you heard? Dreary is the NEW sunny. Think romance… Paris, London, attractive couples in trench coats kissing in the fog…

Marissa and Mike wanted nothing more than to take photos around Newport on their wedding day. It was so important to them to capture the essence of the place, the sunshine, boats, ocean, breathtaking views the natural beauty and the grandeur of Newport. We had a whole plan and a map of our preferred spots, they allowed lots of time for us to make photo magic… and then, rain happened.

Not just a little rain mind you, the kind of rain and wind that relentlessly slaps you in the face. This is the kind of weather that settles in to stay. So much for the plan. About 10 minutes into the day our plan and map was literally soggy.

The question we had to ask ourselves was, “Could we still make Marisa and Mike’s photo dreams come true or would we see their worst photo nightmare realized?

We can’t control nature but we could we capture the essence of Mike and Marissa and maybe sprinkle in some pretty views in spite of the downpour.

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This wedding was obviously fabulous, but to say it presented it’s own unique set of challenges would be fair. I thought I’d offer a little bit of an extended post and an explanation about why it’s really okay if it rains on your wedding and how to make sure that your photos are amazing (per Marisa and Mike’s example). First to paint a picture for you, some behind the scenes photos of the snappers trying to “make it happen” for Marisa and Mike.

As I mentioned above, we had a whole plan which included Mike and Marisa having their first look at Breton Point on the rocks with the ocean in the background. Sooo, not going to happen. Here’s Trish and Liz demonstrating to me the new plan. Mike and Marisa see each other in the lounge at 41 North and I shoot it like a silhouette, I have to admit I was skeptical at first but their enthusiasm won me over.

Challenge #1, Come up with a new plan

Challenge #2, The Rambunctious groomsman (men)

We’re not naming any names Andrew, but here we have you after you’ve been “spoken to” by Trish. It seems you’ve reached an understanding. Sometimes boys don’t like being cooped up inside wearing ties. Not their fault really, but we’ve got photos to take so behave!

Challenge #3, How does my hair look?
It’s not raining! We should go outside to take the family photos right? Wrong! The mothers of the bride and groom do not like it when they look like they just stepped out of a washing machine. The wind is not your friend. Trish and Liz here doing a little hair test…fail.

Challenge #4, It’s a hot mess …herding cats

Weddings are pandemonium on a good day, throw in some bad weather and some crying ring bearers and things get pretty crazy really fast.

Okay, so those were the challenges. The good news is that Marisa and Mike set us up to succeed. Here are the EIGHT awesome things that Marisa and Mike put into place to ensure beautiful photos despite the bad weather.

1. Day of Coordinator… absolutely essential. Don’t get married without one. Marissa and Mike had the tenacious Jaime Nelson of Eventfully Planned on hand to take care of every blip on the radar and bump in the road. Without Jaime we would have all been washed out to sea! All those little things you never thought of? Jaime did. All the little problems that came up? You never knew about them because guess what? Jaime handled it.

2. The first look… DO IT!!! If Marisa and Mike had not planned a first look and set aside time for us to take great photos of them, this wedding post would look a lot different! Because we had time to regroup we were able to toss out the old plan and come up with a new one on the fly. Marisa and Mike also have a variety of locations in their photos because they had planned on a first look.

3. Don’t get ready in a shoe box… you may not think it’s very important where you get ready. In this case, 41North where Mike and Marisa were staying also became the location for their wedding photographs. Luckily, 41 North is a very cool place with lots of nooks for photos. Consider this when choosing your lodging… does the space have nice light, interesting furniture or architecture that could be used in a pinch if the weather doesn’t cooperate?

4. Trust… maybe the biggest one of all. It’s raining buckets, you’re freaking out, you want to cry but TRUST us. We know how to make it look good. At one point we stuck Marisa and Mike in a little alcove where the valet hangs out. We pushed aside the suitcase dollies to make room for them and the photo above {black and white, looks like a doorway with stonework in the background}, the area was essentially in the parking garage, not glamorous but Mike and Marisa never flinched!

5. Is your venue a fair weather friend? There are a lot of great things about Belle Mer that make it an excellent all-weather choice. First, it’s white! The light is bouncing around in that place like a big friendly reflector. Even when it’s gloomy outside it’s sunny inside Belle Mer. Second, there is room to take photos with a nice clean clutter free background, it also helps that you are able to “bring a little of the outside in” by utilizing the big windows. Finally, the cocktail hour and the reception area are separate areas weather it is raining or sunny. This means we can get great shots of the room without it getting all junked up prematurely by the wedding guests!

6. Vendor Appreciation. Marisa and Mike chose awesome vendors. In particular, Toni Chandler Florals, and Sweet Indulgence who did the dessert table. Both of these vendors understand presentation. From the cute little tags that were attached to the boutonnieres and wrist corsages to the perfect pink- a-palooza sweets extravaganza display. Quality vendors make for lovely detail photos! Marisa’s pretty paper and calligraphy was provided by Shine Wedding Invitations. Her flawless makeup was done by Ellen Cruz. Her hair was done by Lynda Williams of Formal Hair Design. Marisa’s gown was Christos and her shoes were Rene Caovilla. Bridesmaids dresses were by Woo Too.

7. Emotion Commotion! It’s the joy, tears, smiles, jokes, and laughs that make great photos not the breathtaking views. Breathtaking views are a dime a dozen. Emotion makes a photo memorable. You are going to have all the same emotions on a rainy day that you would have on a sunny day. Guaranteed if we can capture the emotion you will love your photos no matter the condition of the skies.

P.S. Rambunctious groomsmen and crying ring bearers can also make for fun photos.

8. We make it happen. Period.

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