Brendan + Catherine’s North Shore Backyard Picnic Wedding

On Saturday, Brendan and Catherine were married in a joyful, down to earth picnic in the backyard of Catherine’s family home in Essex. (You might recognize these two from their stunning engagement shoot, or from the current cover photo of my website!) I’ve said it before and I hope to say it again – I am so lucky to work with amazing, kind humans who are truly present and filled with overwhelming joy and enthusiasm on their wedding day. Brendan and Catherine are this and so much more.

When I arrived, Brendan greeted me with a huge smile – he’d been up since 5:30am – while Catherine and her sister styled their vibrant multicolored curls upstairs in the bedroom. As her mom buttoned up the many tiny buttons on the back of Catherine’s dress, the guests began to arrive.

Brendan and Catherine met in the living room for one of the most enthusiastic first looks I’ve ever seen. Brendan was completely astounded by Catherine in her gorgeous dress, laughing and spinning her around, wrapping his arms around her as they peeked out into the backyard – normally, a span of grass surrounded by horse pastures – now transformed into a gorgeous picnic soiree with a white tent, blue gingham linens, and beautiful picnic baskets full of flowers on each table.

Catherine’s uncle Jim married the couple in a sweet and meaningful ceremony, followed by a passionate kiss. (He noted wryly that this kiss happened right after he pronounced them married, but before he had the chance to actually say, “You may kiss each other!”)

During the reception, I loved watching Brendan dance with his mom to “Child of Mine” by Carole King. She sang the words to him softly and sweetly while they swayed (and Catherine’s delighted expression as she watched her groom and his mother dance together was equally priceless).

Another favorite moment happened when a friend – asked to give a blessing before the meal – gathered the whole crowd (some 90 people) into one big misshapen circle around the dance floor. Everyone held hands to surround the couple with love and prayers. Together, Brendan and Catherine held a special candle, then their mothers lit the candle together to remind them of the presence of their fathers, both of whom have passed. The candle burned on their table for the rest of the day, a quiet reminder of the love of those who were with us in body, and those who were only present in spirit. (I’m not crying. You’re crying!)

I might have gone a little overboard with the number of pictures in this post, but I didn’t want to leave out a single moment of the story of this sweet, beautiful day. Scroll down to see the full recap!

Venue: Private Home // Coordinator: Kelly Elizabeth Events // Catering: Willowrest // Flowers: Sea Meadow Gifts // DJ: Jim Siegel // Donuts: Coffee Time Bake Shoppe // Dress: Bride n Belle // Hair: Alexis D’Agostino // Makeup: Bride // Rings: Satomi Kawakita // Invitations: Minted // Facilities: New England Restrooms