As we stepped off the plane and walked onto the tarmac at ACK, I said to Patrick, “Pinch me.” I couldn’t believe we were actually in Nantucket. Just two weeks before I’d received an email from Jaime asking whether I’d consider traveling to the island to photograph their private ceremony. A quick peek at my calendar and I answered with a definite and enthusiastic, “YES!” If being asked to travel to a gorgeous location wasn’t enough, they welcomed Patrick joining me to both second shoot the wedding and to enjoy a few days together in what they described as “a magical place you should enjoy with someone you love.” Seriously, that’s what they said.
Jaime and Matt originally asked me to photograph their intimate wedding earlier this summer in Washington, DC, but plans changed and they decided to get married while on their family vacation. With just their parents and his daughter Charlotte, they planned to say their vows on the beach and commit to sharing their lives together without the fuss and distraction of a large wedding. Plans were finalized just days before we left and off we went!
After getting to know Jaime and Matt over the days we spent with them, their intimate wedding was the perfect celebration to reflect who they are and what they value.
All three of our cheerful hosts met us at the airport when we arrived. They insisted on picking us up themselves and giving us a tour of the island so we could get our bearings. Matt grew up spending summers in Nantucket and it since became a special place for Jaime, too. After pointing out ‘Sconset landmarks like the market that makes the delicious blueberry muffins, the Bluff Walk covered in climbing roses, and the little chapel where his brother got married, they showed us to our room in the house next to theirs. It was all of my understated coastal decor fantasies come to life: painted blue floors, butcher block countertops, a claw-foot tub in the bathroom, and antique beds. Even better, our housemates were Jaime’s parents Kate and Bob who flew in from Philadelphia and happily welcomed us. They did not seem at all concerned to share a bathroom with complete strangers 🙂
From then on, we were treated as part of the family. We had intended to entertain ourselves and not intrude on their family trip until it was time to photograph the wedding, but they would have none of it. That evening we had the honor of joining them for what we called their rehearsal dinner. We drank wine on the porch and shared marriage advice (they laughably asked Pat and I for ours after two whole years as husband and wife, but I think they appreciated the tidbits of wisdom we’ve picked up). Then we learned how to boil lobster from the experts. I’ve been a Maryland blue crab girl since I was old enough to pick them, but that night almost made me scoff at the idea of picking a crab. Lobster all the way! One crack and a giant hunk of meat falls out! My Maryland roots came through when I started to eat the meat with my fingers. Apparently, lobster is a fork and knife meal (sorry for this etiquette snafu, Mom!!).
As we sat down to the feast, Matt toasted each person at the table, thanking them for the impact they have made on him and his family, and expressing how much Charlotte and Jaime each mean to him. There wasn’t a dry eye around the table. The wine and food flowed late into the night until college stories from each father were unearthed.
The tone of love and excitement carried through the following day. We spent the afternoon enjoying the almost-empty Tom Nevers beach (interesting story), then rode home in the pickup truck to get ready for the wedding. It was the most relaxed getting ready situation I’ve ever encountered, including my own wedding! Jaime let her hair air dry and picked her dress just a few minutes before we left for the ceremony. Most brides would be stressed until they made a decision, but her attitude was “I like both so it doesn’t really matter!” Both were so beautiful on her that she ended up wearing the short for the ceremony and the long for photos later in the evening.
Matt, Jaime, and Charlotte walked from the house to the ceremony on the beach, stopping along the way to admire flowers. Then, surrounded by those most important to them, they committed to forever. Matt’s parents had brought a large straw tote filled with champagne and glasses and lemonade for Miss Charlotte.
After their spontaneous champagne reception, we took photos along the bluff and they proceeded to dinner. Later in the evening, we stole Matt and Jaime away for a few more minutes of husband and wife photos. Their focus had been on experiencing this day as a family with their parents but agreed they deserved some images of just the two of them. Jaime slipped into the other dress and we made a beeline for the beach. The pictures we got during those twenty minutes are some of my favorites from the entire day.
Overall, this trip was a dream. To have photographed a destination wedding for these wonderful people in such a beautiful place almost exactly a year after launching this business is overwhelming. If you’d asked me last July where I would be now, I would have never expected to be doing photography full-time let alone traveling to Nantucket with my husband for work! (Real talk: I couldn’t have done it without him. I am so grateful to have such a supportive, selfless partner by my side who happily agreed to help me photograph a destination wedding. When I was shooting sunset photos as fast as I could before we lost light, he kept Charlotte entertained and happy. With his sweet nature, it’s no surprise they became besties immediately 🙂
This felt like a milestone in more than one way and a huge part of that was getting to serve such kind, welcoming, trusting (we’d only talked on the phone twice before!) people who made us part of their family. I don’t think they’ll ever know how much that meant to us.