Massachusetts Wedding Photographer | Summer Wedding Planning Tips | New England Wedding Photographer
*If you are here mainly for Jeremiah and Val’s beautiful+joyful gallery, scroll to bottom!*
*If you are here for resources AND gorgeous imagery, read along :)*
In this post, you will read about:
- Key tips on “how to plan a summer Massachusetts wedding”
- How to simplify your wedding day (PHEW)
- This incredible couple that I love so dearly
» For more elopement, wedding, and family photography resources, tips, and stories of kind humans, check out my work here.
» Interested in working together? Let’s connect! Contact me here, and I can’t wait to get adventuring.
How To Plan A Summer Massachusetts Wedding
Although I now live in New Hampshire, I was raised on the south coast of Massachusetts and grew up there among the incredible beaches, trails, and New England vibrancy the dynamic state has to offer. As we know, New England weather is predictable in its’ unpredictability. The focus of these wedding planning tips are specific to Massachusetts, but apply to most of New England as well.
To START your Massachusetts Wedding Planning, I suggest:
- Deciding where you want to get married. This will be the arch over the rest of your wedding plans.
- Decide what your vision is: what are your MUST haves?
- Outdoor adventure?
- Epic photography?
- Dance the night away?
- Decide when you want to get married. June, July, and August can vary with weather, rates, and availability.
- Based on your wedding priorities, identify your key vendors.
- There are so many online platforms to determine local vendors, but I also recommend:
- Asking trusted people. Check out the work of the weddings of your friends/loved ones and see if they match your vision/vibe.
- When clients book me, I always offer to refer them to trusted vendors I know
- Reach out to vendors asap.
- The wedding industry has evolved massively since COVID, and part of this means clients are booking FAR in advance.
- For wedding photography, some book out 2 years. I book out 1.5-2 years in advance for larger weddings (I limit my large weddings each year and it is first come first serve).
Getting Married in Massachusetts: Legal Logistics
- For detailed requirements on Massachusetts weddings, click here for updated, official business.
- You don’t need to be a Massachusetts resident to get married here 🙂
- For your officiant, they must be at least one of the following:
- In-state clergy member (priest, pastor, etc.). If they have not conducted a marriage ceremony before, head here for the necessary paperwork.
- In-state justice of peace
- Out-of-state justice of peace– like me! I’m ordained 🙂 if you want privacy (like many adventure elopement clients), I’ve got you covered. If you choose this option, your officiant will fill out this out-of-state paperwork
- Apply for a marriage license– there is a 3-day waiting period. After you receive it, it’s valid for 60 days.
- Fill out “Notice of Intention” Form at your local town clerk. Yayyy paperwork. You’ll need:
- Proof of age (like from a birth certificate or passport)
- Social Security number
- Town-specific payment fees
- Want to get married in a state park? Click here. If your have a permitted wedding, you don’t need a separate permit for taking pictures and videos 🙂 if you don’t have a permit for your wedding, you can fill out a special use permit to photograph a wedding at a state park.
- Contact the state park to ensure authorization and details. There are over 150 Massachusetts State Parks to choose from! Contact them here.
- Sign, seal, deliver– after your ceremony, your officiant must returned your signed marriage license to the specific town clerk within your 60 day window 🙂
How to Simplify Your Wedding Day: a Photographer’s Opinion
Years of experience partnering with incredible people on their intimate, full-sized, or in-between weddings, have given me the following perspective on GAME CHANGING planning tips. Although I specialize in adventure elopements and intimate weddings (under 80 guests), I have developed so experience to help make the full-sized weddings I book a beautiful combination of organized and authentic to the couple 🙂
- Find vendors who are organized- you want to be fully present during your actual day, so well before that day comes, you want peace that each detail is taken care of. I do a final walk-through call with my clients to ensure the following are DONEEE before their day:
- Final timeline where the couple knows what’s happening when, who will be where, and the pressure is taken off them
- A list of priority images: this way, communication is clear
- Any planning advice or ideas they may need from me, we brainstorm together and I ensure their vision is realized
- Elect your team of helpers- your friends/family, etc., who will know their role for the day. They can help with:
- Making sure your getting-ready space is spotless for pictures
- Being the food-and-water person…TRUST me, you’re going to need this. Especially on those scorching, humid, summer days of Massachusetts
- ANYTHING else you need
- Drink. Water- Massachusetts summer weddings are freaking hot as hell. Stay hydrated, and I assure you this will be a true game changer.
- Hair spray and hair back ups – given the humidity of Massachusetts summer weddings, I highly recommend the couple have some hair care handy as well as some towels/napkins packed for portraits. Sweat is inevitable, but we can prepare!
- DIY- cost-effective, simple way to cut down on your wedding both financially and logistically with vendors. As you will see in this INCREDIBLE wedding gallery, this special family elected one of their bridesmaids to do:
- Flower arrangements
- LOTS of other creative, behind-the-scene moments
- Spacious accommodations- think nearby, cleared-out airbnbs, or hotel rooms with a good layout- your getting ready morning is going to be busy and often packed with people. The difference between a chaotic, messy getting-ready morning and a spacious, gorgeous, picturesque one is often the accommodations you choose. These don’t need to be fancy. Airbnb, VRBO, and even friends/family’s houses are such an easy way to have your morning start off right. (the airbnb for this wedding took my breath away).
- Knix the things that aren’t important to you both- if you’re not a huge traditional group, consider omitting the often “stereotypical” wedding traditions that don’t serve your authenticity. This simplifies your day and makes it true to what YOU want.
- Carve out time for just you two- even if it’s just a few minutes during your first look, or after your ceremony. Taking time to be present and soak in a few moments privately is so special and intimate.
- Back-ups- sticky bras, boutonniere pins, safety pins, etc. (yes, socks go missing sometimes).
- Prepare. For. unpredictable. Weather- this one makes me laugh. Unpredictable weather for a Massachusetts summer wedding is guaranteed. I tell EVERY couple that in every wedding I’ve partnered with outside in Massachusetts, the weather ALWAYS works out. Even if that means the clouds clear for just 20 minutes for couples portraits, we make it work. I promise, it’s best to just surrender to it, have a back up plan, for indoor photos and have some umbrellas for you and the wedding party. I have never had a wedding where we weren’t able to sneak outside even for just a few moments. I even had one wedding outside in the pouring rain for 12 hours and it was literally a blast. It always works out, I PROMISE.
ABOUT THE COUPLE: JEREMIAH AND VALENTINA ADAMS
To avoid writing a book here, I’ll let their images speak for themselves. These two souls are among the kindest, most selfless, vibrant people I know. I am lucky enough to have the groom be my little cousin, and I just couldn’t be happier for these two. Their paths crossed during their time at West Point Military Academy in New York. During their final year at school together, they got engaged, graduated, received their military assignments, and planned the most EPIC, family-and-friend-centered, waterfront wedding of their dreams. Mind you, their “dreams” had to evolve during the pandemic, but these two rolled with it and made this day true to them. I am fiercely proud of them, their sacrifice, and the love on their day was a reflection of the love they give others.
Taking place on the waterfront of Historical New Bedford, MA, this downtown wedding was for the books. The weather said change of storms all day, but these two had the heavens literally open up for them all day AND night. Some unique highlights of their day:
- they had an incredible team of family and friends, some near and some who traveled to the south coast for the week, who had their hand in this wedding. Additionally, being on the fourth of July weekend, this wedding turned into a week-long love fest at Jeremiah’s house and hometown of Mattapoisett. Think: night boating, bonfires, fireworks, pool parties, and just being together as a circle of love.
- Val and her PRECIOUS bridesmaids had a first look together…as did her dad. Cue the tears.
- Jeremiah’s mother and mother-in-law walked him down the aisle
- Maggie Adams, one of the four sisters of Jeremiah, arranged EVERY bouquet as well as hand-made several of the decorative signs.
- Abby Adams (oldest sibling sister of Jeremiah) and cousin Adrian, did hair and make-up for the ladies.
- Scott Adams, Jeremiah’s dad, officiated the wedding. And it was powerful in faith, guidance, and emotions. Ugh. (he’s also just a fabulous uncle and human…love you Uncle Scott).
- As is true to West Point Tradition, the couple’s friends and fellow military relatives/friends conducted a Saber Arch ceremony. It was epic.
- This was a massive wedding. Instead of blessing the couple with a line of sparkler love and celebration, we rocked the cell phones so the sparklers wouldn’t burn out. This was a really emotional part of the ceremony for me. EVERY guest lined up, cheered them on, and pumped them up with love and light. They ran through the line with all the joy in their hearts.
ENJOY. I LOVE YOU BOTH. HAPPY HONEYMOONING.
Wonderful Vendor Team:
Photography: me, Kayla! Babel Photos
Second Photography: Maria Chaney
Venue: Merrills on the Waterfront , New Bedford MA
DJ: Tom Cooney
Violinist: Sarah Hancher
Dress Designer: Morielee
Dress Shop: The Winner, Sharon PA
Suit: US Army
Flower Arrangements: Maggie Adams
Hair: Abby Adams and Adrian Corrazinni
Photo Booth: South Coast Entertainment
All my love,
Kayla | Babel Photos
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