Chessa and Chase chose the lovely Dominican Republic to have their wedding but before the big day came they wanted to do an engagement session. We chose the quaint town of Altos De Chavon for their fine art engagement session It was just an hour outside of Punta Cana via a taxi. The streets of this little town were just as perfect as could be! Someone explained it as like a movie set. Which was incredibly accurate probably because a designer constructed the city. The designer wanted it to look like the historic center of Santo Domingo in The Dominican. The vegetation was lush and covered all the stairs and paths with flowers casually falling to the ground, leaving behind a colorful trail. The town itself looks over a beautiful ravine and the Chavon river that had cattle grazing on the side and vultures soaring above. Flower filled bush’s covered parts of the building that were already beaming of color and texture. The city is possibly the prettiest place I’ve seen- architecturally speaking.
St. Stanislaus Church
We didn’t have a ton of time so we missed out on going into the shops and little restaurants but we all did get taco bowls that were out of this world. I would definitely go back to this little village- maybe next time it will be to shoot a wedding in the towns church, St. Stanislaus Church. What an experience it would be to have a wedding in the midst of that little Dominican Republic village with that view and perfect architecture.
Chessa and Chase were beyond easy to photograph and I loved watching them be able to take some time away from the craziness of the wedding week to just enjoy each others company, kiss, play some maracas together with some locals, and take it all in. Some of my favorite photos are now from this engagement photo shoot. Oh, and there was a donkey. So yay for that!
I’ll be back, beautiful little city of Altos De Chavon. You were such a fun surprise!
Two things about these photos might seem familiar to you if you follow the blog at all. One of those is that this adorable neutral baby shower was shot at the gorgeous house of Always Piper that I did a shoot with last year that you can find. And the other thing that might be familiar is the lovely mama-to-be herself, Kristen of Campfire Stuido, whom I did a shoot with last year as well that you can find here.
I’ve loved getting to know Kristen since some mutual friends connected us when we first moved to Maine. So it was just a joy to shower her and little Florence with gifts and love. Another good friend, Meredith of Amie- a local (and online) shop that is filled with women made goods- designed the baby shower with Jennifer Bravo who is certified health coach and chef and now I want to have another baby just so she can throw a party for me too! 🙂
Sweet little details filled the space such as a little line of baby mittens. A little hedgehog sat on top of the delicious and stunning cake. And then the spread, again made by Jennifer, was perfect for our eyes and mouths to feast on.
One thing that I will always love is winter walks on the beach. I mean, nothing is better than summer walks on the beach, barefoot, with the sun kissing your skin but there is something so serene about the calmness of an empty beach all bundled up, watching the waves come in and out. So choosing higgins beach for Sam & Doug’s engagement session just seemed right- especially when winter in Maine can either be full of beautiful fresh fallen snow or dirty snow mixed with a lot of dead vegetation. But the beach never looks bad. Ever.
Sam and Doug live in Boston but made the hike up to Maine for their engagement session. I rarely get to meet my couples in person before their wedding day just because life + wedding planning makes most peoples lives a little bit busier. But I was thankful to get to see Sam & Doug before their big day in September. We chose Higgins beach for their engagement session and then followed it up with a little stop over in a more park-like area.
I have worked with this wonderful lady and her wonderful team for the past few years. Heidi of She Luxe Weddings is one of the best wedding planners that Maine has to offer. I shot some new headshots for Heidi and her team and had her answer a little questionnaire about herself and her business to go along with the photos. If you’re looking for a luxury wedding planner that’s going to listen to you, develop your vision into a reality, and then execute it perfectly- reach out to Heidi! And bonus, both Heidi and I would love to execute a wedding at Boston Public Library- so brides who are wanting to get married there, keep us in mind!
Tell me a bit about you- where do you live, where do you play, etc
I live in Kittery, ME for the past 14 years with my little family; my husband Alex and Siberian Husky, Nieko. We love Maine in the summer and fall, this is also during our busiest seasons. Maine is also the perfect place to explore, enjoy, play…but in the winter, we work remote and we travel to different parts of the world, meet new people, see historic sites, scuba dive in interesting places and always make our annual stop in Aruba to visit friends
Tell me a bit about your business- where are you based, where do you serve, etc
My business is based in Maine and the majority of our events are based in Maine, with additional events throughout NH and Greater Boston. We serve all of New England.
What makes you most excited about your business?
The fact that I can full heartedly say that I’ve been able to blend a passion, with a talent and turn that into a business, which supports my life and my family, that makes me most excited. From a business perspective, this industry is ever evolving. This keeps the potential for the creative juices to continue to flow and keep my job fun, unique, and indeed exciting.
What’s your favorite part of the wedding day?
I love the moment the bride and groom walk back down the aisle together after they have been married. During that quiet moment as they are walking away from their friends and when they look up…I am the first one they see. Their faces filled with joy (which sometimes comes with hugs) is the best moment of my day.
What’s been your favorite venue thus far?
I love working at most venues as we tend to produce most of our events at private homes, estates, etc where need to bring everything in. Working at the venue will always make our life is bit easier. Some that stand out in Maine for us because of their aesthetic and professionalism include: Marianmade Farm, Granite Ridge Estate, French’s Point, The Viewpoint, Hidden Pond, and the BlackPoint Inn
Where is your dream wedding venue?
Ah..that is hard because any day of the week it can change because we love and appreciate the feel and vibe in different locations. But, I would LOVE to produce a wedding at The Boston Public Library.
What does the perfect SHE Luxe Weddings client look like?
Typically they are from out of state and planning from afar. They are also a couple that is jointly excited for their wedding and both share their input. They both appreciate and care about the aesthetic of the wedding and have a sense of style that they wish to create on their wedding day. Food is high on their priority list along with music, and design. They care about creating an inviting and intimate atmosphere to help facilitate meaningful and special memories with their loved ones.
Any tips for engaged couples?
Really discuss what is most important to you. Stress around a wedding happens when you don’t discuss what is important before you jump into planning and set guest lists. If your top priority is to have the best food with an intimate & beautiful dinner party in a garden, with a small band and drinks….then setting a guest list for 200 will change that wedding completely. I encourage you to match your true desires next to your guest list. (because that is what affects the budget) Set a clear expectations before you place down deposits and send out save the dates. It sounds like it is easy, but I would say 60% of couples do the opposite first and then their true desires for the wedding are not met because of budget constraints. It’s your day….be clear on what you want.
Favorite wedding cake flavor?
Anything with coconut!
You can view weddings that Heidi and I have worked on together here, here, here, and here.