Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bermuda Wedding - The Reefs - Gwen & Phil

Phil and his kids were imaginative and playful in planning the proposal to Gwen. Gwen met Phil, Eli and Cori on the beach last Labour Day for what she believed would be a typical afternoon lounging on the Connecticut seashore. When the kids asked Gwen to help dig a hole in the sand, she thought nothing of it as this was what they always did, followed by someone getting buried. But this time, the children were not interested in being buried. As they dug, their fingers hit something hard that looked like an old piece of wood. It turned out to be a wooden box, and inside was on old tin box. Inside this tatty vessel was a beautiful engagement ring. Gwen could not have been more surprised, or more charmed by the way it unfolded. Of course the answer was yes and Gwen was excited to be starting a new journey with the three of them.

Gwen's dress was an Allure Couture bridal gown and her hair was styled at the Willowstream Spa at the Fairmont Southampton.

Cori (Corrine) was so excited about the wedding and such a willing model that I think I ended up taking more photos of the flower girl than I did the bride!

Phil pretended to hate the camera, but I know secretly, he loved me following him around all day!

I adored the stylish boutonnieres and flowers, by Lisa at Designer Flowers.

The rings were white gold and engraved on the inside of each band was their wedding date and a little something that the pair say to each other often - so romantic.

Phil and Gwen chose The Reefs for their wedding because of its beautiful yet intimate setting. They were looking for a facility which would allow them to successfully combine family, the beach and their wedding, without being too overwhelming. Kathleen Dodwell of Event Solutions and the resort did a fabulous job of helping to ensure that every detail fell into place perfectly.

Gwen and Phil wrote their own vows which I always love. It makes the service so personal and of course, new and interesting to me, not to mention helps me to know the couple better for the photos.

I adored that Phil's vows were on a piece The Reefs' letter headed note paper. They were hand written on the wee bit of paper and obviously came straight from the heart in all their eloquence, including some words from Gwen's favourite song, One, by U2.

Gwen had told me that at Phil is the funniest man she has ever met and it is part of the reason she loves him so much. At first glance, she says me looks very serious, and can indeed appear a tad intimidating, but seh very quickly learned - on their first date in fact - that he has a wicked sense of humour and this was clear even during his vows.

In contrast, Gwen's vows were neatly typed out which led me to believe she had written them long before even coming to Bermuda for the big day.

Half way through her vows to Phil, Gwen turned to face Cori and Eli and continued her vows for them. Gwen really wanted the children to be a part of the process of the marriage, and understand that she wasn't just marrying their father, but rather, she was marrying the three of them. She wanted to highlight how wonderful the two had been about letting her into their lives. She told them that she knows it is not always an easy thing to do, so wanted them to truly understand how much they meant to her and how appreciative she was of their open hearts.

Both of Gwen's parents are from Scotland and are fiercely proud of the fact. Phil had suggested that they find a piper to play for the wedding and surprise Gwen's parents. They found the Bermuda Island Pipe Band by searching online and David Frith was kind enough to agree to play for them during the holiday weekend. The piper made his appearance during the bridal processional down the beach, led my Gwen's mum, who later confessed that she was grateful she was wearing sunglasses since a few tears welled up from the surprise. The piper played Flower of Scotland, Scotland the Brave, and Amazing Grace, which was a favouirte of Phil's mum.

I loved these place cards - such a sweet idea that doubled as a party favour.

Gwen and Phil love Bermuda. It was the first place they went together on holiday, and they would come back every year if they could. In fact, the two long to retire here if they could, for they find the people wonderful, the beaches pristine, and the Island itself so beautiful. Thank you both for allowing me to share in your day and capture some of the love you all enjoy. Happiness in the future!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Baby Naomi Crofton

This is Naomi, which her mummy, Alexia, thought was the prettiest sounding name (I agree!) and luckily, it was not one of the ones on the list that her daddy, Lothar, vetoed. I was fortunate enough to be able to go to the Croftons' gorgeous home to capture Baby Naomi's first weeks with her parents and proud big brother, Benjamin.

Could all these different expressions be more delightful?

I originally met Alexia and Lothar when I photographed their wedding several years ago. Next, Alexia's sister arranged a secret shoot of Benjamin for surprise Christmas presents, and then last year, the sisters asked me to shoot Benjamin and his sweet young cousin, Taylor. So meeting the next addition was an honour and I can't wait to see how the children grow and change over the years.

Naomi's nursery was a collaboration of sorts. Alexia chose the colours, her mum found the bedding, and the stripes were the brainchild of Janice Burke of Eye4design. Alexia asked Janice to do something fun in the room and Janice, of course, surpassed the Croftons' expectations.

Benjamin is a great big brother. He is very gentle with Naomi (most of the time!) and now that he has started nursery, he likes to tell his baby sister how his day went and what he did.

Benjamin loves doing puzzles, and like most 2 year olds, must do it all by himself!

The Croftons have a fabulous family room where, once again, Alexia had only chosen the curtains and sofa, and gave eye4design complete artistic license. When Alexia returned home at the end of the day, she found the room completely transformed with lots of new furniture and the pattern of her curtains painted on the wall by Claire de St Croix.

Benjamin was such a cutie pop making the big climb onto his Mummy and Daddy's bed to see his new sister. And he was so nurturing giving her a little kiss when she wailed - my heart broke.

Congratulations on such a beautiful baby girl. Wishing you all the best and see you at the next shoot!