Engagement Photos

I'm so excited to introduce our photographer - Rachel Hadiashar of Merge Weddings. I found her completely by accident, poking around the wedding blogs one afternoon. There was one post in particular where the couple did a day after shoot at Boston Sand and Gravel. I recognized the location, as I drive over it on the highways at least once a week. Who in the world would be taking such great pictures at Boston Sand and Gravel?


Some sleuthing led me to Rachel's website, and I was totally sold. As she puts it, "If you just want someone to take some nice photos of you cutting the cake, you might want to look somewhere else. I like to think of the ultimate wedding photo more along the lines of when your grandma gets on the dance floor at the same time as your uncle Hamid and starts dancing like she is 22 again. I am an artist committed to bringing out the amazing details of your life and personality. I am bored by mediocrity. I am inspired by life, color, and cultural collisions." To which I say, "Oh pick me, pick me!"


I love that Rachel was a flute player. Artists and musicians typically speak the same language. It was obvious as soon as we started emailing that she was the one for us. Besides the fact that she takes some fantastic photos! I'm not naturally comfortable in front of the camera - that's partly why we decided to do engagement shots - but that afternoon was such a blast.


Since Fred and I play weddings all the time, we know what it means to work with a couple and help create their most fantastic wedding day. There's no life in it if it's just another gig! Now that we're on the other side, we hope that everyone helping to pull off our day is excited for us too. So thanks, Rachel!!! And be sure to check out the rest of her website, she's pretty darn awesome.


Location Frustration

Fred and I have had the darndest time finding a wedding location. Without going into it, we contacted over 25 locations before we found a place we liked that was willing to work with us. I think this is just obstacle number one in our plans for a non-traditional wedding, and I'm ok with that. Any standard wedding venue would have been easy, but that's just not our style. So where are we getting married? Stanley Park in Westfield, MA.

Great, easy, done! Fred played soccer at Stanley Park when he was a kid. Their herb garden is the perfect balance of unstructured natural beauty. The park has a number of different gardens that beg to be wandered, and we like the idea of our guests exploring the space before the ceremony starts. So we went to visit said herb garden this Columbus Day weekend, one year out from the wedding. And . . . . they mowed it down.

herb garden

Ugh. That's not to say it won't look beautiful next year at this time, assuming they wait to mow, but I would have felt better seeing it. So the search is back on! Luckily, there are other places in the park we could use. Should we get married by the tree? In the rose garden? By the burning bush? In front of the gazebo?


I think we're going with the gazebo view. Not because we're particularly into the gazebo wedding thing! Hey, from our vantage point we don't get to see the gazebo at all, and I kind of like it that way. But that area looks like I imagine the herb garden might. Lots of texture and structure, but a little undone as it's all gone to seed. It's also one of the more private spaces in the park, despite being adjacent to the rose garden.

Stanley Park, Westfield, MA

There's that long strip of grass you see above, but there's also a break in the garden opposite that gazebo view. Basically there's a T-shaped space where guests can sit (the park only allows 20 chairs) and stand around us. It moves towards the wedding-in-the-round idea that we like, with people on three sides, and I think everyone will be able to see that way.

Stanley Park, Westfield, MA

Maybe it's for the best that we changed locations! Anyway, I'm still really glad to be getting married at the park. Stay tuned for the next segment of "our slightly atypical wedding," when my Aunt Judy and I take on my biggest rival - the puffy white wedding dress. Showdown!



Yesterday was our -1 year wedding anniversary! Well, we have the date set tentatively, but we'll nail it down for sure in the next couple of days. As Fred says, we're going to end up with two wedding anniversaries - the actual date, and the Sunday of Columbus Day Weekend. While we're at it, I think we might just take over the whole holiday weekend. Let's hope we have the same amazing weather next year that we've got right now!