I am so happy to finally blog this wedding!
Some of you have been following my adventures with Erika + Matt on this blog for the last 3 years (engagement session one & two) and this is where I finally get to share their beautiful celebration of love and family.
I arrived in Albany, NY a couple days after Erika + Matt. They were busily preparing the H&H Ranch that Matt’s uncle owns and operates along with his AMAZING catering service; so Matt’s brother Sean picked me up and we drove 45 minutes into Massachusetts and The Berkshires. FUN FACT: The property is actually split in half between New York and Massachusetts. It was humid and a little buggy outside but the views were so breathtaking that you didn’t even care. Matt and the boys took me on a tour of the property via mule… not the animal, but a essentially a golf cart on steroids. After some fun everyone got cleaned up and headed out for rehearsal followed by the welcome dinner at the near-by lakeside lodge. At this point you might be asking why Matt + Erika had their wedding on the East Coast when they live in Portland, Oregon. …well when your family is as large and as enthusiastic as Matt’s it’s just better to take the party to them. 🙂 Erika’s family on the other hand is small – small but mighty – and with a B&B at our disposal it was a fun excuse to get away from the fires that were burning up the Northwest.
Two rows of large canvas tents were set up for guests staying overnight and let me tell you it was the quietest sleep ever… crickets.
Saturday arrived and like most wedding days it started with breakfast and me photographing all the details I could get my hands on. Clothes, jewelry, flowers, vows, paper goods, etc until everyone started getting dressed. I had spent a good chunk of the day before gawking over the property and taking venue photos so I could also enjoy the wedding day of a girl I’ve known since we were 7 years old. Matt’s family was in full work mode putting the finishing touches on programs, flowers, benches, a giant heart made of apples, feeding everyone, and setting up the reception area. One of the benefits of having a big family is that there was no shortage of ready hands and when they are pouring love into everything they do it turns the whole day into a giant celebration!
At first Erika + Matt were worried about doing a first look before their ceremony. They didn’t want it to take away from seeing each other while Erika walked down the aisle. I assured them that it wouldn’t, that it would make the day smoother, and that it would allow them to enjoy more of their reception which was super important to them. …plus Matt and I knew something that Erika didn’t. After an emotional first look, portraits with their bridesmaids and groomsmen, and portraits with their families, it was time for the main event.
Everyone was seated. Matt and their officiant entered from the front while parents and wedding party walked in from the top of the hill/aisle. Everyone waited for Erika…
…from the north side she came in on a beautiful horse! Erika has loooooved horses her whole life and always wanted a horse to be part of their wedding. Matt surprised her by having the horse meet her as she left the main house. She had no idea! Everyone was blown away by how stunning she looked riding side saddle with her cathedral length veil behind her; she was glowing with happiness when she reached Matt at the front of the aisle.
After a passionate kiss it was time for dinner and dancing! Followed by more dinner and more dancing, followed by the cutest desserts ever and more dancing. Matt + Erika were sent off to their Honeymoon Hut – an adorable micro cabin at the top of the hill – with a GIANT moon setting behind them. Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. D’Amboise!!!