Just so you all know, this was the best wedding ever. I had some really great weddings this year, but this one clicked in all the right places. Jamie is a friend from high school and also a fabulous photographer in her own right. I have been a huge fan of Jamie's photography work for awhile now, so when she asked me to be her wedding photographer I leapt with joy, but then quickly got nervous, so much to live up to! Jamie and Ben currently live in Jackson, Wyoming, so a lot of the planning was done remotely. The wedding was at Ben's family farm fields in Gill, MA. They had an army of people putting everything together, and it was also under the biggest tent I think I've seen. My business, Hillside Pizza, catered and Ben's family members made the cakes and also this incredible cheese and bread table. A close friend made the bouquets, and another team of talented friends played fiddles, a bass and guitars in the ceremony. Some guests that arrived early helped press apples for the cider, and others chopped wood for the fire pit area, a special request made by Jamie's father.
Jamie got ready across the street at a neighbor's house with stunning views, and a barn that had been built by the groom's best man. It was one of the best pieces of property I have ever been to. A dream spot really. The bridal party consisted of a few more high school friends of mine, and a few other ladies I was familiar with, in knowing Jamie through the years. They are the group of friends that everyone wants to have, super supportive of one another, keep in touch often, and will all fly out west to surprise their friend with a bachelorette weekend.
Ben's crew of friends were just as close. It was absolutely lovely to watch how easy and familiar everyone was around one another, and how many inside jokes were passed around. Ben and Jamie were so attentive to their wedding crew, and you could just feel the love swirling around everyone.
Ben, his parents and his groomsmen (and best lady) walked down the hill to the ceremony site, while Jamie hid in the caravan of cars that escorted her down. She wanted to have that sweet moment of having Ben see her for the first time while walking down the aisle. A boy was it sweet. There were so many tears shed during the ceremony. I even was a little misty eyed during the vows. I will always remember this vow exchange in how similar they were, intertwined with stories of canoeing and adventuring together, and of course the moment that Ben discovered that he had forgotten a page of his vows, after which he promised to always remember important items in the future. He proceeded to adlib the rest of his vows, which didn't skip a beat with the rest of the rhythm of what he had read. A choreography of readings happened among a few special appointed guests, standing up randomly among the crowd to speak. Jamie's mother gave the story of the chuppah, and Ben's sister and another and another also gave special readings. There was so much love and happiness that the wonderful officiant got too excited and almost skipped the ring exchange part, but that was the best thing about this wedding, everyone was so genuine and there were so many real life moments that happened that made it a truly authentic wedding.
Ben's family farm offered many backdrops for portraits, and we took our time exploring the fields and light after the ceremony. Then the cheese table was devoured, corn hole and a Donald Trump Pinata were played, and the kegs were popped. It all flowed into dinner and speeches. The speeches were all so well thought out and personal, including the matron of honor's surprise cardboard cut out of the bride in a USA flag mono-kini. There were also performances by Ben's sister and his best man, Sam, that put a spell over the whole tent. Family members dressed up in costumes also stormed the stage with a welcome for Jamie into the family. Then to top it off there was a live band that got everyone up and out of their seats and on to the dance floor. I remember thinking I had never seen so many guests participate in the dancing part of the reception. So much good energy going on at this wedding for sure. As I walked up the hill back to my car, under the supermoon and listening to the band continue to play late into the night I could only think of one word: Magic.