Mackenzie and Ben’s wedding story! Forest Park Wedding Photography
Well hi again, everyone!
Let’s give it up for one fabulous couple, who just so happen to be newlyweds. Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Manley!
I absolutely loved photographing MacKenzie and Ben’s wedding on 10-8-2017 at First Church of Christ in Longmeadow and Union Station in Northampton.
Even better is there story of how they met and how Ben popped the question. I will let MacKenzie tell the story.
One seasonably warm day in March, my girlfriends and I were out on the town in Manhattan. Because of the wonderful weather, everyone was out and about on one of the most charming pedestrian streets in the whole city. With drinks in hand, my friends and I were approached by a handsome group of men,. After a long evening of imbibing, I exchanged phone numbers with the most charming of the bunch, Ben. After a dozen more dates, including museums, dinners, excursions, and more – the rest was history!
One wet and wintry day in January of 2015, MacKenzie and Ben began their New Year’s resolution on the right foot. They woke up early, made their traditional pre-race breakfast, and laced up their running shoes. With the bride-to-be’s aunts in tow to cheer them on, they headed to Prospect Park in Brooklyn to begin what would be their monthly half marathon. A cold, soggy, and fairly miserable two hours later, MacKenzie and Ben crested the hill that would lead to the last .1 of the race. Who knew that miserable would quickly change to most memorable day of their lives? At first, MacKenzie thought, “Wow, how nice! My friend Meg came to cheer me on and she even made a sign!” As she rounded the next bend, she thought, “Holy cow! Kyle came all the way from Harlem to hold a sign that says, ‘Will!’ “Who’s Will,” she thought , “and how come he came all this way to cheer him on?” Soon, she reached yet another of her closest friends, Sophie, who came all the way from Baltimore with a sign reading “You!” MacKenzie was in total shock, but now things were starting to click. As they neared the finish line, MacKenzie’s best friend, Michelle, was waiting for her with the “Marry” sign, cheering them on. As they crossed the finish line, Ben unzipped his running jacket to display his shirt that read the word “Me” on it as he got down on one knee. With more friends and family there at the finish to celebrate this spectacular day, nothing could have been more perfect. Lots of champagne drinking ensued.
We spent a lot of time trying to make our big day feel special and personal in lots of different ways. We felt like this was most obvious during our ceremony. All of our readings were carefully chosen – one from the Bible, one from literature, and one call-and-response blessing where we encouraged all our guests to participate. A longtime friend of ours, who is a trained opera singer, graced us with her singing. We also lined the wall of the church with large photos of our parents and grandparents wedding photos showing generations of love. It was everything we hoped it would be.
Take moments during your big day to stop and just look around. You are surrounded by people who love you. It’s easy to get caught up in all of the goings-on, so look around at your guests enjoying themselves, look at the room that you spent so much time making special, and really try and take in the day. It all goes by so quickly, so you want to remember those little moments!
Make your lists! If there are specific things and moments captured, make sure you let your photographer know. Also, time flies, so it’s better to have your photographer for more hours than you think you need.
My dress was found in a little shop in South Hadley Called Bridal Heirlooms. I was lucky enough to have my mother and grandmother with me. We had visited a number of shops throughout the day, but from the moment I walked out of the dressing and my mother put her hand over her mouth with a gasp, I knew this dress was the one. With a satin, rushed bodice and a elegant lace skirt – the dress took my breath away. My favorite part, however, was the self-belt, lined with crystals and pearls
Greg was an absolute delight to work with. Throughout the planning process, he was organized, diligent and a great listener. He captured every detail that we requested without us even knowing he was there! From the planned photos, to the candids, each photograph was thoughtful and beautiful.
We planned a first look at a local park prior to the ceremony. While it would have been very special for us to have seen each other for the first time at the church, I am glad we had the extra time for photographs prior to the wedding actually beginning. Because of this, we were able to wind down before the reception began and reminisce about the wedding ceremony along with enjoy a few drinks with our bridal party. It made the day a lot less hectic, so I would recommend this for other brides and grooms.
Have all your bags packed and ready to go and give yourself plenty of time! Greg was great in giving us tips prior to the day beginning. He wanted to photograph the details first so we had everything ready for him. While he was doing that, we finished up our makeup and then let the group shots begin! It was a very smooth process with the help of Greg!