Andover, Massachusetts Intimate Backyard Wedding – Lori & Brian

You guys, this pandemic has been absolutely wild. I know you’re well aware of this but I am going to go into a little bit about what it’s been like for me as a wedding photographer because the people you will see in the following pictures made working in this uncertain world so much easier.

Something I never really talk about – and definitely never talked about in my business until now – is that I have an autoimmune disease. My particular kind means that if I don’t control the disease it will attack my joints and cause lots of pain as well as potential destruction of my joints unless I take care of myself and also unless I take low grade chemotherapy drugs to keep my immune system calmed the hell down. I take this medicine once a week and have been for many many MANY years now and while the medicine does have its side effects it has rid the destruction it was causing to my body and changed my achy joints into much more functional parts of my body.

How does this relate to the pandemic?

Welp, I’m one of those lucky people that are at risk during this COVID-19 stuff since I have to suppress my immune system which means it isn’t as strong as other’s when fighting diseases. Over the years I have learned how to be really careful about hand washing and not touching my face until I have cleaned my hands so that part was a snap during this mess, but this disease is a monster and it has put me on high alert times a billion so I don’t get sick and really risk being severely taken out by it since my body already doesn’t fight infections well.

These are things I have never talked about with clients because it never mattered. I have had this since I started photography and have functioned fine for a long time and never had a worry so there was no need to tell people. But once COVID-19 became a reality and I had weddings with hundreds of guests coming up – I had to start the conversation and let people know that unless things were done safely (and legally according to the states the events took place in!), I was really putting myself in grave danger.

Additionally, as a wedding vendor, it is our duty to be safe during this time because we could easily become super spreaders of this disease! I have many peers in this industry who work up to three weddings a weekend (I cannot do that, personally and that’s something I always tell my couples) and can you imagine if they caught the disease on a Friday wedding and then proceeded to spread it the rest of the weekend into however many weekends going forward? Y I K E S.

Add into that that the couples you would have to cancel on when you found out you were sick and it just wasn’t worth it to risk getting sick so it became imperative for a great deal of us responsible kids to do everything in our power to be safe and to only work weddings that were also being safe.

And that brings us (finally!) to Lori and Brian.

When I told them about my health issues and how I’d need to not be inside with unmasked family and friends or in areas where I couldn’t maintain 6 feet of distance they INSTANTLY were so accommodating.

Instantly!!

No questions asked, no pushing of the limits, no nothing! They in fact took extra care to find ways to make sure everything would be safe and sound on their wedding day – and not only for me, but for the few family and friends would be there too!

Hand sanitizer everywhere and free to be used. Water bottles to drink from on a very very hot and humid day. A tent in the backyard (they were supposed to be married at a mountain resort in Vermont and moved to a family backyard to keep the date the same) so if it rained we could still all be outside. They never once asked me to even come inside or made me feel as if I should. Masks provided for everyone as well as those colorful bracelets to denote everyone’s comfort level. No one crowded around me and everyone was SO respectful all. day. long.

They were just awesome and they made me feel so safe and cared for….great, now I am starting to cry all over again thinking about their level of kindness. Lori, Brian and your families…YOU GUYS RULE!!!!

And these photos, ahhhhh! I really hope they portray the incredibly fun, loving, happy, and wonderful they are!

Just like when I got to photograph their engagement session in the winter wonderland, I had so much fun capturing their love on their wedding day. They are so vivacious and were so very happy to be wed to one another that it didn’t phase them that this was the day they were going to have even though it was wildly different from what they intended.

They shared the day with family and friends who couldn’t be there via Zoom and did a “reception greatest hits” real quick to share a toast, a dance, and a cake cutting for all to view too!

When I asked Lori how she was doing before the wedding and how she felt all about this change she said she was totally fine about it all. She just wanted to marry Brian and she knew that someday they would celebrate with everyone but this day was going to be awesome no matter what. And then she jokingly said, “and I cry myself to sleep every night too, nbd” HAHAHAHAHA! Ohhh Lori! I love you!

From running around in the gardens at Stevens-Coolidge Place (so damn pretty!) where they danced, played, laughed and spun around in their dress (Lori, not Brian) – to the ceremony full of laughter and champagne bottle slicing with the saber Brian proposed to her with (yes you read that right, I told you they are awesome), this was such a perfect day to be a part of.

Lori, Brian AND YOUR PUP NISSA (oh lord, I will steal her!!) congratulations and thank you so very much for being you. I can’t tell you how safe you made me feel on your day and I hope you love these images of your joy as much as I do.

The bride tires to sneak up on the groom in the gardens at Stevens-Coolidge Place in MA

The bride and groom try to cool down in the heat of the summer

The couple read cards from one another on their wedding day

The groom helps the bride into her wedding day shoes out in the grass

A funny joke gets the couple belly laughing on their intimate wedding day

The couple share a laugh together in the deep green gardens of Stevens-Coolidge Place, MA

The bride spins in her wedding gown in the gardens of Andover MA

A laugh together under the tree canopy

A quiet moment together before eloping in the gardens of Andover, MA

A hug in the gardens of the Stevens-Coolidge Place gardens in Andover, MA for a backyard wedding

Smiling and sunglasses on the hot bright wedding day for the couple

Hey there good lookin' - nice sunglasses

The groom holds onto his bride as they head off to be married

The couple's dog joins them for their backyard wedding day!

The groom and his mom peek through the trees as he goes to enter the backyard intimate wedding ceremony

The bride laughs during the wedding vows at the backyard intimate wedding day

The couple cracks up during their vows on their wedding day

A Zoom wedding in Coronavirus times for the backyard intimate wedding in Andover MA

A guest tears up during the intimate wedding ceremony in the backyard

Just married! The couple celebrates being officially married at their backyard Coronavirus wedding day

The bride's mom kisses her after she's officially married

The bride and her mom celebrate the backyard wedding ceremony being complete

Family friend blows a kiss to the newlyweds during the Coronavirus pandemic at the wedding reception

The bride and family talk to guests over the Zoom meeting on her Coronavirus wedding day

The bride and her champagne sabre get prepped to toast

The bride and her champagne sabre get prepped to toast

The newlyweds sign off of the Zoom call with family and friends after their backyard intimate wedding in Andover MA

The bride and her sister dance on the intimate wedding day in MA

The bride and the champagne saber that her husband propsed to her with

The bride and groom laugh on a Facetime call during their intimate backyard wedding in Andover MA

Maine & New Hampshire wedding photographer, I AM SARAH V Photography, photographs events for wildly in love couples seeking an NH & Maine wedding photographer with a photojournalism & cinematic approach. You can see more of my work online at www.iamsarahv.com or on Instagram. I photograph many locations including being an Andover, Massachusetts and Stevens-Coolidge Place intimate wedding photographer and I would enjoy photographing your day too! If you’d like to contact me directly, please email me at hello@iamsarahv.com

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