Alison & Brian || Boston Aquarium Wedding
Yayyy! I’m so excited to share with you Alison and Brian’s amazing wedding at the New England Aquarium. I was so lucky to be a part of it, thanks to Diane and Ulysses, whose wedding I photographed in 2017. I just loved hanging out with them all morning while they were getting ready (together, which I totally recommend!), even getting some kitty pats in since their cat was also there at the hotel. Of course, their hilarious and touching wedding ceremony (only hilarious because of some heckling from the seals nearby :))… And then the party went on into the night, with literally no pauses on the dance floor (love a dancing crowd to keep me entertained). Alison and Brian also are the sweetest, and I had so much fun exploring the Aquarium with them for some epic photos! Thanks you guys! :)
Getting Ready: Intercontinental Boston
Ceremony & Reception: New England Aquarium, Boston
I asked Alison and Brian about their experience of the wedding, and their answers are throughout in italics.
(Be sure to read to the end, with their suggestion for you if you’re planning a wedding - I love it!)
What were your goals for your wedding day?
We wanted the day to be fun and relaxed for us and our guests.
We chose not to have bridal parties and decided to get ready together so the day started much like any other. We woke up, got breakfast around the corner from our hotel and ran into Alison’s entire family. Then, we drove to Duxbury to pick up our bouquet and boutonniere.
Having some fun with reflections :)
I love that Alison and Brian were able to have their cute kitty, Catrick Swayze, with them at the hotel!
OMG, that dress. I actually gasped when I saw it hanging in the hotel room. So so so amazing! <3
We laughed a lot during the ceremony! Some of it was intentional, but much of it was unplanned. We got married at the New England Aquarium and our ceremony was outside on the water. At one point, we had a seal barking and at another, a ship’s horn was sounding. We laughed and rolled with it. Looking back, those are some of our favorite moments of the day.
Can I just say what an absolute dream it was to photograph a wedding at the New England Aquarium? It’s such a fun and unique wedding venue, right in the center of Boston. And of course it has SO many amazing backdrops for photos! It was so hard to not just want to take pictures everywhere. But I am very happy with how these came out!
The Aquarium has your cocktail hour in the touch tank area - it is so much fun for the guests to look around at some of the exhibits and actually get to touch some of the creatures!
Neither of us are particularly confident in front of the camera and we RARELY like photos of ourselves. You somehow managed to not only make us forget that we were being photographed, but you also gave us images that we are proud to show off. You really are a ninja! I think the key for us was taking your suggestion and going ahead with an engagement shoot. That gave us a chance to get some experience in front of the camera and see how great the photos would be, so were even more relaxed on the wedding day. Your photojournalistic style was exactly what we were looking for—you captured all of these small moments that really told the story of the day and made them so special.
The first dance did not go exactly as planned—we had a somewhat non-traditional song and to make it more wedding appropriate, we cut out a particular line. Our DJ accidentally played the whole song. We both just shrugged and laughed—we were probably the only people in the room who noticed—and you caught the exact moment we both cracked up.
We had almost decided not to have a traditional wedding, but ultimately decided that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to have all of the people we love in the same room. Looking out at that room—seeing our newest friends laughing with our oldest friends—was incredibly special.
The party was awesome! We barely left the dance floor and when it was time to go, it had all gone by so quickly.
What is one suggestion that you have for other couples who are planning their weddings?
Plan the wedding that you want, not the wedding that other people think you should have. Ultimately, we made lots of non-traditional decisions (i.e.: no bridal parties, a floral printed dress, an ice cream bar instead of cake) because they were right for us and for the day we envisioned. In the age of Pinterest and Instagram, it is easy to get caught up in a lot of ‘shoulds’. That just adds unnecessary stress to a day that should be about you as a couple. Also, have fun, even if things don’t go exactly as planned. It’s a party and no one notices if the napkins do not match the tablecloths.
Florist: Consider the Lillies
DJ: DJ Sara Williams
Caterer: New England Aquarium
Officiant: Diane Bulpett (friend)
Jeweler: Roupen Sarkissian
Dress/Bridal Shop: Nordstrom
Planner: Tiesha Cole (New England Aquarium)
Hair: Sarah Miller-Thaxton and Rachel Marnik
Makeup: Loyvie Johnson
Suit/Tux: Men’s Wearhouse and Brooks Brothers
Favors: Tasty Cakes with boxes by PaperMart