Roses are red.
Violets are blue...
It's so important to find the right venue for you!
On a serious note. If you're looking for a unique venue. Then look no further than WIllowdale Estate. Willowdale Estate offers a beautifully landscaped terrace for an outdoor ceremony or you can have your ceremony inside, a grand atrium. Any special event would be wonderful inside their atrium!
Let's start with the exterior... once you arrive to the main entrance of this stone mansion, you're in awe at it's rare beauty. The Willowdale Estate is set on the Bradley Palmer State Park in Topsfield Massachusetts. You can read more about the property on the Willowdale Estate site!
The uplighting on the exterior of this stone mansion adds such a romantic touch to the whole scene.
We were thrilled to be a part of Brendan & Colleen's Wedding held here at Willowdale. The couple decided to have a winter wedding in December. The estate was filled with beautiful evergreens, some wrapped in just the right amount of red berries, white twinkling string lights, candles, and other romantic soft lighting setting the mood of the evening.
Wedding Ceremony & Reception: Willowdale Estate
Bridal Gown: Angelinas
Flowers: Flowers by Darlene ~ Salem, MA
Hair: Rebecca at Renew Hair & Make-up ~ Beverly, MA
Make-up: Krista Russo
Wedding cake & Pastries: Fredricks Pastries ~ North Andover, MA
DJ: Dane from Levitate Weddings (excellent to work with from vendor perspective!)
JP: An Aunt of the Groom
I'd like to start out by saying at this wedding we witnessed Zack Brown getting married to one of our best friends and we couldn't be happier! Alright, I'll admit he's not Zack Brown the country singer which is fine by us we're not country music fans anyways!
**Maybe I shouldn't admit that we may lose future clients! :) That sentence could be edited out later. :)
This adventurous couple thought it was only fitting to be married among the beautiful green ferns along the Great Works River in South Berwick, Maine. This intimate wedding celebration took place on family farm land. Acres and acres of gorgeous Maine woods! The reception was held under a romantically lit white tent with Edison lights.
Do it yourself Wedding (DIY Wedding)
I'm always blown away with crafty ideas from crafty people! Pinterest helps, but it can also cause headaches (I'm the queen of Pinterest fails)! The groom made the trailer to tow behind his Mahindra tractor for an easy mode of transportation to the ceremony spot! A lot of laughs were had during the hayride through the beautiful woods of South Berwick. Hand crafted signs lined the trail so guests knew they were getting closer to the Great Works River where the ceremony was held. The bride and groom handled all the details, with some help from family and friends. Which makes the day even more memorable!
Incorporate details you and your fiance love to do!
This world works in magical ways! The way life brings two people together is amazing. Zack is an animal trapper, hunter, and farmer and he was introduced to Staci, an adventure seeking hunter, with a radiant smile and a heart as big as the zucchini in her vegetable garden (okay - it's bigger than those, but you get what I'm trying to say). Also, how many brides would ride off after their wedding ceremony on a four wheeler? Ideal for taking a breather together as newlyweds before the wedding guests arrive back.
Dress: David's Bridal
Ceremony: Great Works River South Berwick, Maine
Reception: The Bride & Groom's backyard
Officiant: Betsy Hasty
Florists: Mother, Aunt, & Sister of the Bride
Cake and Whoopie Pie favors: Dustons in Dover, NH
Catering: Tuckaway Tavern, Raymond, NH
Hair: Jenna Sweet (and she really is the sweetest!) Instagram: SweetstylesbyJenna
Tent, tables, & chair rental: Marshal's Rental in Kittery, ME
Transportation: Hand made trailer by the Groom
Caterpillar rescue: Tim the photo man Allen
Everything else: Homemade thanks to Hobby Lobby & Michael's
The Cannon Mountain Wedding weekend with Cary & Eamon was definitely one I will never forget.
A visit to the mountain was a must prior to the wedding. Luckily we were able to meet Cary & Eamon there and got an amazing tour! It was a cold blue bird sky day. The cold weather made the fresh snow fine like fluffy powder. We met Cary, Eamon, and even Cary’s parents Tom & Randy that day. Little did we know we had just met mayor Tom Cannon! Not his real name, and he's not the mayor, but that guy certainly knows everybody!
Cannon Mountain sure is intimidating when approaching with those steep peaks staring right back at you! The view is to die for. You can see Mount Lafayette, Echo lake, Mount Washington and pretty much any mountain range surrounding it on a clear day. When you’re driving north on Route 93 through Franconia Notch look to the left and you’ll see Cannon Mountain in all its glory…
LOOKS ICEY as I always say when approaching any mountain. Regardless of how much fresh powder there is. My superstition. Just ask us why!
Cannon Mountain is definitely not for the weak. You could tell Cary & Eamon were totally in their element that day. Smiles grinning from ear to ear, showing us their favorite trails, the best views, and where the wedding ceremony would be.
Wedding weekend came and there had been a snowstorm the Friday before giving us 10 inches of fresh powder. Coming into the main lodge on Wedding Day we spotted the bride dressed in her all white Halley Hanson ski suit, and white pom pom hat to match her bridal party squad. The bridesmaids were dressed in a beautiful robin’s egg blue jacket, and white ski pants. The matching pom pom hats killed me! Such a fun detail! How do you like all the fun reflective eye wear? It's such a fun trend right now with goggles and sunglasses!
The guys strolled into the main lodge covered in snow, ice, and grins after shredding the mountain that morning. You couldn’t miss them with their royal blue Halley Hanson jackets and black pants. I loved every bit of the details. Some dudes were totally rocking beards with beard-cicles!
Wedding Ceremony - Cannon Mountain, Franconia, NH
Wedding Attire - Helly Hansen
Skis - Bride: Nordica Groom: Praxis
Officiant - John O'Malley
Mid-day break & Wedding formals - The Franconia Inn, Franconia, NH
Wedding Reception - Woodstock Inn & Brewery, Woodstock, NH
Flowers – The Fuchsia Peony, Ashland, NH
Dress – Camilla’s Bridal, Arlington, MA
Invitations & Stationary – All That Glitters Invitations
Band – Wicked Smart Horn Bandout of Franconia, NH
Time was ticking waiting for the call if the Tram would run. Turns out the 40mph winds were enough to keep the Tram closed. Time for Plan B! The ceremony took place in front of the Notch view base lodge to not interfere with the chair line, ski patrol, or everyday Cannon travelers.
This wedding processional was unlike any other! How many brides can say they skied into their wedding along with their Dad?
The wedding ceremony was just perfect. Wedding skier guests skied in, on foot guests gathered, and a lot of on lookers stopped to watch as curiosity rose.
I think a shout out is due here for the John O'Malley who officiated the wedding while in a backward snow plow and glove less on a cold 20 degree day! John has a special connection to both the bride & groom. John had introduced them as he is Cary's longtime friend and Eamon's cousin!
After the ceremony the bride and groom did what every ski wedding couple would do… a JUST MARRIED ski run! They took off quickly leaving us in the dust! Have to tease them about that. When you're caught up in the moment you can't help it! We had to move FAST! We strapped on our boards quick and FLEW. We cut in front of folks apologizing left and right, but everyone was so accommodating. How often do you see two snowboarders equipped with bags and two cameras each! We made it and got the chair right behind them! They didn’t even realize we were there until halfway up the ride. They were basking in all their just married glory!
If you thought the excitement was over after this epic ceremony, there’s more! This was the moment I had been waiting for... the chance to capture 80 skier's coming down the mountain all at once!
Tim was dead center in the lower ravine trail to capture the immediate action. I was down below at a trail intersection in a foot of powder! I was dying for these shots and would have done just about anything to get them. Ripped my board off and waited. My smile wouldn’t leave my face the moment the bride and groom came down. Followed by parents, bridal party, and about 80 skiing wedding guests!
I even captured a YARD SALE! Luckily, no skiers were seriously injured.
Yard Sale definition: A crash in which a skier's or snowboarder's gear - skis, poles, hats, gloves, etc - end up scattered around the slope. (skis.com)
Our next stop is the charming Franconia Inn for all to get refueled, refreshed, and dressed for the Wedding Reception!
While excitement was surging waiting for the newlyweds first look in their formal attire I (Trisha) jumped out of the snowbank I was standing in to capture this picturesque winter scene. What a winter wonderland feel. I just want to walk along this red barn path with some hot cocoa.
Do you know what happens when you tell a snow loving bridal party to pick up snow and throw it? They don't disappoint!
We did not authorize what happened next. In fact, we were almost hit with a miss-fired snowball. :)
Now for the Wedding Reception at the beautiful Woodstock Inn and Brewery in Woodstock, New Hampshire. Wedding guests drank rich flavored craft beers, ate a variety of delicious foods, danced, and possibly took part in the shot ski! There were so many touching moments like when the father of the bride sang to his lovely daughter before taking her hand for their dance!
The fun didn't end!
Since the weather didn't work in our favor on Saturday we reached out to see if we should coordinate the vista shots on Sunday morning. Sunday ended up being a an amazing blue bird sunny day with a high of 35 degrees. She was ecstatic and we got them!
Even after a long day and night of celebrating the friends and family that could make it that morning were champs in our book!
Do you have tons of boxes of old photographs?
Are you running out of cloud/drive space because of all of your digital photos?
We all know photographs are vital for remembering special memories. So, why are they always tucked away in boxes?
If these cold winter months keep you inside use the Konmari method and tackle photograph clutter! Can you tell we've been recently inspired by this popular Netflix show?
Avoid Nostalgia Grab a stack of photos and get to it. Go through each one quickly without taking unnecessary trips down memory lane. Oh and tell me (Trisha) how you did it because I am the Queen of distractions! Marie Kondo suggests keeping the photos that spark joy. Photos that no longer have meaning to you I would toss.
Categorize Side note: Whenever I organize and put items into categories I cannot help but think of Monica on the show Friends. Told you, distraction Queen right here! Your photograph categories will be different from mine, but some suggestions would be photos you want to frame and have different stacks for various years. Don't forget to weed out duplicates. Yes, I'm talking about those 5 SAME shots of the SAME landscape from your exotic vacation!
Store and Display Now that you have your photos organized be sure to store them in nice albums for display on your end table or coffee table.
If you find one of your most cherished photos has scratches, faded areas, or spots please please please reach out! We would love to help you restore your precious memory to last a lifetime!
Digitize The best way to ensure your images will last is to take the time to scan your printed photos and store them on an external hard drive or a USB drive. I highly recommend saving them digitally in two places (i.e. 2-flash drives or on an external hard drive & flash drive). Keep one in a fire proof safe.
Organize What works best for me is similar to Marie Kondos method to organize clothing.
De-clutter Now that your images are organized only keep those that spark joy! Just because these images are digital and you can't see the clutter doesn't mean it's not there.
Save & Store My rule of thumb for digital images is to store them in two places. Store images on an external hard drive and also back them up using USB drives. Keep these USB drives in a fire proof safe. I've recently discovered Google Photos to be very handy! The site has face recognition so you can search by face! Hello 21st century!
Display So you have all these digital images now what? Get them printed, find digital photo frames (Google Hub's are awesome), or upload them to an online photo printing service. We have been using Chatbooks for all of our quick snapshots from our phones and I just love the simplicity. Use my referral code for $10 off your first book!
Gallery walls are a great way to display photos. You can purchase gallery wall kits or find great ideas on Pinterest to establish your gallery wall. Challenge yourself to change out the photos quarterly or every month with old or new memories. Include the whole family in choosing which photos to display! Photos in frames are not protected from sun damage. I would frame a copy of the original image!
If you have any questions about photo storage, restoration, or digitizing reach out!
post inspired by: Tidying Up with Marie Kondo
Hi & welcome!
We are thrilled to have you here! Our blog is slowly growing as we continue to post all of the unique weddings, and fun families we've captured memories for over the years!
Have a fun day!
Tim & Trisha Allen