Caroline & Steve’s wedding at Alden Castle was truly an elegant affair from start to finish! From stunning floral centerpieces, to personalized gold acrylic seat assignments and his and hers guest favors, every thoughtful detail was considered. But what really made their day incredible is the love these two share for each other and for their family and friends. So let’s start with how that love blossomed.
Caroline and Steve met in law school and were good friends throughout their time there. Caroline had a crush on Steve for a while but nothing romantic developed until after law school. Steve headed home to Buffalo, NY and Caroline stayed in Boston, but the two remained friends. Then, while Steve was visiting Caroline in Boston over Memorial Day weekend, things changed. They started dating and their romance, built on a strong foundation of friendship, grew quickly into a deep love. After a few months dating long distance, Steve moved in with Caroline in Boston and the two built an even stronger bond.
Their Proposal Story
Their proposal was super sweet and thoughtful – just like they are – with Steve pulling off a surprise that incorporated lots of things he knew Caroline loved. Under the guise of meeting someone for dinner, they got dressed up and headed into Back Bay. They took a walk before dinner. In front of a building that Caroline admired for the architecture, Steve got down on one knee and popped the question! Steve coordinated with a photographer to capture the proposal and that building happened to be the exact one they agreed he’d propose in front of. His real plans for the evening were then revealed and included an intimate dinner (just the two of them), a stay at the Fairmont Copley (he had her bag packed and ready for her), and couple’s massages the next morning! But of all the amazing moments and memories, Caroline’s favorite was that a few days later she received a letter in the mail. It was a letter from Steve with all of the sweet things he’d said to her during the proposal written down so she wouldn’t forget! How brilliant is that!?
We went to Arnold Arboretum on a gorgeous fall afternoon for their engagement photos and I got to see how loving and playful they are together. After that, I knew without a doubt that their wedding was going to be full of incredible moments and big emotion. You can check out their engagement photos here.
Getting Ready at Hotel Commonwealth
They got ready at Hotel Commonwealth surrounded by their bridesmaids, groomsmen, and parents. Caroline and the ladies had their hair done by B. Beauty Boutique and and makeup done by Christy & Co. Caroline snuck away and her mom helped her into her stunning Essense of Australia dress from Vows. She then had a reveal moment with her ladies – it was so fun to see their reactions! Steve and the guys got ready in the Fenway Suite and took some great photos on the deck overlooking Fenway Park before heading to the church. Caroline and Steve also gave each other notes and gifts to open before they saw each other. They each made the other tear up and smile at the same time. This is one of my favorite traditions. As you get ready you often get nervous and reading a note from your soulmate right before you head out to marry them is such a wonderful way shake off a few of the nerves.
Wedding Ceremony at Boston’s Basilica
Boston’s Basilica Our Lady of Perpetual Help is an absolutely beautiful, grand, and classic setting for a wedding. It’s nestled unassumingly right in the city streets of Brookline. The ceremony was beautiful and full of sweet emotional moments. Steve instantly had tears spring to his eyes as the doors opened wide and Caroline was escorted down the aisle by her dad. The two were constantly seeking each other’s eyes and held hands tightly throughout the mass.
When it was time for the rings and vows to be exchanged, they got up and faced each other and one of the most memorable moments of the ceremony happened. The best man pulled the rings out of his pocket and then dropped one on the floor in the handoff to the priest. He sprung into action and grabbed it within a second! But the reactions on Caroline and Steve’s faces were priceless – a split second of shock followed by immediately cracking up – and they never let go of each other’s hands! It was one of those totally unscripted moments that will become part of the story they tell about their wedding day for years to come.
Wedding Portraits at Larz Anderson Park
After the ceremony we whisked over to Larz Anderson Park for formal portraits. I love Larz Anderson and have done several engagement sessions and family portraits there, but this was my first time getting to bring a full wedding party there for photos! We started with family and then explored more of the park for couples portraits. It was a sunny day, but the park was mostly empty, which was wonderful for us! Because their wedding was truly an elegant city affair and we’d head to Alden Castle later on, we incorporated some of the architectural details of the wrought iron fence and the large gate covered with ivy at the park entrance into their photos. This helped tie the city elements of their wedding into their portraits while still also giving us plenty of natural elements to work with.
Their bridal party was an absolute blast while we took photos at the park. They all have an obvious love for Caroline and Steve and they helped keep the portraits lighthearted and fun. Their sun-soaked portraits are some of my favorites. It also helps that these two are naturals in front of the camera and love to snuggle!
Elegant Alden Castle Wedding Reception
Alden Castle is such a lovely venue to start with and Caroline and Steve’s personal touches, along with the incredible florals by Mahoney’s Garden Center where Caroline’s mom works, turned the room into an incredibly elegant celebration space. Cocktail hour was held upstairs with a fun selfie wall before welcoming guests downstairs to the reception. The gold acrylic name cutouts and macarons or cigars at each seat leant a personal touch. The talented Soul of Boston kept people on the dance floor between all night long. Their cake by I Dream of Jeanne Cakes featured macarons and gold foil details. They even had Sheila Foley, a live painter, there to capture their first dance! A huge thank you to Hannah and Katarina for second and third shooting with me! From their energetic entrance and first dance, through an adorable cake cutting, and giant family hugs on the dance floor, Caroline and Steve shared their love and joy with all of their guests. They are such an incredible couple – congratulations you two! XO