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Eyes up, heart open

Carla Ten Eyck

Litchfield CT Intimate Backyard Wedding

Intimate weddings are here to stay, and I am fully on board! Jeannette and Matt’s backyard Litchfield wedding was emotional, sweet and I think exactly what they envisioned. when Jeannette and I first chatted she opened up about how little she and Matt enjoyed being photographed. At the same time, they both value photography at their wedding enough to know they needed and wanted it to be photographed, but they just didn’t want to pose for any photos. They wanted them to feel natural, real and represent the day as it unfolded naturally.¬†

Hearing how much couples want candids over posed photographs is not a new conversation to me, at all. After almost 19 years of photographing weddings professionally, I have to say candid photography comprises the bulk of what I do for the wedding day. There is a magic balance of a few posed photographs like your family photos and some of the portraits that together can really give you a finished amazing album of photographs that you can feel great about. Jeannette and Matt’s Litchfield wedding was exactly that.

I stayed present with how they both really wanted about 98% candids and to not feel awkward while being photographed, while also inserting my professional opinion as needed to ensure terrific photos. What a beautiful balance that can be! For example, it was threatening to thunderstorm the whole day (I was carefully watching the radar the entire time) so they had a backup tent in their family yard just in case. When I arrived they were set up and ready to roll in the tent, as planned, since their original plan was to have the ceremony at Topsmeade State Park. Because of the rain the Litchfield wedding was moved to the family yard. I suggested since the rain was not going to be here that we move the ceremony outside of the tent onto the lawn with the field and this amazing view behind them. They happily agreed and man, I was thrilled! Their ceremony photos came out great!

The opted to see one another before the wedding ceremony but it was a totally organic meeting. They are two of the most open and emotional people and I was so moved by them both!

Jeannette wanted her bouquet to ‘smell like California’ and I would say it sure did! There was lilac, roses, oak leaves, pine, and some herbs. It smelled delightful and was gorgeous.

Their dog Jackie walked along as they approached the wedding ceremony, hand in hand, together.

A groom breaks the glass during their Jewish Litchfield wedding in a family backyard in Litchfield CT

Mazel tov!!!! Honestly could these two look any more joyful and excited to be married??

This wedding reminded me of all that I had missed this year. The hugs. The close proximity to my couples and their love, to their families. I watched these families merge, through the wedding, but also re-emerge together after a pandemic.

Jeannette bouquet was the bribe she used to get this little guy to be in the photo. It sort of worked…and I was keen to keep on firing away here to catch these type of fun moments.

Like. Hello the 70’s called and I am so ready to answer!! I love this shot of her friends husband using his film camera, manually focusing while her cousin and his girlfriend also are fully representing the 70’s!

While approaching any wedding I am always on the lookout for spots close by for portraits. I just about lost my mind when I saw this GINORMOUS rhododendron and also seeing how it was literally across the street from the Litchfield wedding ceremony. HELLO DOLLY I was definitely going to make some time for this beauty, and I am so glad I had a moment to get a few shots of Jeannette waiting for the others to join us.

A bride and groom pose for photos by a giant rhododendron after their Litchfield wedding in Litchfield CT

Another wedding favorite is how joyful people are to see a wedding couple. Congratulatory honks peppered the portrait time and Jeannette was more than happy to respond with a cheerful wave each time!

A bride waves at a passerby congratulating her after her Litchfield wedding in Litchfield CT

Walking down the street to their wedding lunch spot was important to them, so I tried to walk as fast as my short legs could go and get some scenic walking shots of them.

A wedding party walks down the streets after their Litchfield wedding in Litchfield CT A wedding party walks down the streets after their Litchfield wedding in Litchfield CT A wedding party walks down the streets after their Litchfield wedding in Litchfield CT A wedding party walks down the streets after their Litchfield wedding in Litchfield CT A wedding party walks down the streets after their Litchfield wedding in Litchfield CT

Litchfield CT is quaint as HECK and I was loving it. When people who don’t live in Connecticut hear I am from Connecticut, I believe this is what they conjure up in their minds. Quintessential New England charm galore!

A wedding party walks down the streets after their Litchfield wedding in Litchfield CT

A special spot for Jeannette and Matt, the Litchfield CT Post Office.

Then a special spot for ME! This adorable little alley street that was screaming for a quick little photo session right before we arrived at the lunch spot! We all win!

A couple kisses in a side street during their Litchfield wedding in Litchfield CT A couple laughs during their Litchfield wedding in Litchfield CT A couple poses for photos on a cobblestone street at their Litchfield wedding, Litchfield CT A bride and groom kiss on a cobblestone street during their Litchfield wedding, Litchfield CT A bride and groom walk down the street during their Litchfield wedding, Litchfield CT

They had their celebratory wedding lunch at The Village Restaurant in Litchfield CT

The place cards were hand picked for each person and featured an author that Jeannette and Matt associated with each person. It was fun to watch everyone flip theirs over to see who they got!

The toasts are one of my favorite parts of a wedding to be present for. It’s not even about the photos for me, if I can be honest. To me, it’s the bow on the whole day, where I can learn how wonderful, compassionate, present and kind my couples are. I learn SO MUCH about each person being toasted, their impact on their loved ones lives, how they show up for one another, all of it.

Jeannette’s uncle said a few words that made my heart just fully engage. I believe it made everyone’s hearts just swell. The whole day the pandemic wasn’t mentioned, save for this toast, where he acknowledged how hard of a year it was for him, for everyone. How looking around at the table and being able to even be there was so special. Everyone was vaccinated, it was what we are all working towards so we can get back to some type of normalcy again, while being safe. ¬†There was a pause here, as we all collectively took this in, while remembering those hard parts of this past year, acknowledging those things we have all missed, like HUGGING and seeing our families face to face. It moved me deeply and rounded out the toasts perfectly.

In years past would I have included so many hugging photos? Perhaps, I am a hugger, after all. But this year, even right this moment as I write this, I can feel my heart engage and swell while looking at these photos.

Jeannette and Matt, thank you so much for trusting me with your memories. I am truly honored to have been a part of your wedding day!

To see more intimate weddings photographed by CT wedding, event and family photographer Carla Ten Eyck, click the links below:

Shawn and TJ’s Hartford City Hall Elopement, Hartford CT

Rachel and Rob’s Intimate Wedding at Winvian Farm, Morris CT

Alex and Alexis’s Autumn Wedding at Chatfield Hollow, Killingworth CT

Danielle and Victor’s Family Wedding at Lighthouse Point Park Carousel , New Haven CT

Lauren and Brian’s Backyard Wedding, Long Island, New York

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