Kelly Benvenuto | Wedding Photography | Boston, New England » Intimate and authentic wedding photography in Boston, New England and Beyond

Jess and Eric are in the midst of a big year. Not only are they planning a wedding, but they’ve recently purchased their first house together. We started their engagement session there, making some relaxed portraits in the backyard. These two enjoy spending time together outdoors and are currently working towards a goal of hiking all the Four Thousand Footers in NH. We couldn’t make it up there for an engagement session, so instead headed to the Middlesex Fells. Not quite the mountains, but beautiful nonetheless!

casual backyard engagement portrait
casual backyard engagement portrait
relaxed engagement portrait not quite American Gothic
relaxed Middlesex Fells engagement portrait
outdoors engagement session near Boston
Middlesex Fells sunset engagement portraits
relaxed outdoors engagement portrait

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I’m so excited to share this fun, slightly-untraditional-but-still-traditional wedding today. You see, Allison is one of the best friends I’ve made since moving to Boston. I started the day hanging out with her and her bridesmaids, playing Cards Against Humanity as people cycled through the hair and make-up stations. As both she and James are into history (a slight understatement, since Allison just completed her PhD), they were smitten with the Gothic Revival architecture of Bigelow Chapel, on the grounds of Mt. Auburn Cemetery. They decided to not see each other before the ceremony, which was officiated by one of their oldest friends. The extra long pause before Allison entered the chapel (she couldn’t hear the change in music) had James sweating (or maybe it was just the July heat). Following the ceremony, we took some portraits on the grounds of Mt. Auburn (so lovely) and then headed in to Harvard Square for drinks with the wedding party at the Legal Seafoods Terrace Bar. There are no pictures of that here, as I was officially “off the clock” so I could also enjoy myself as a guest. The reception was held at Silvertone in Boston, and I have to thank and credit Kristen Scheuler for taking most of the reception images. It was such a fun and relaxed wedding, and really allowed these two southern transplants to show off the city they now call home.

01-mt-auburn-cemetery-wedding
bride getting ready at Mt. Auburn cemetery
bride getting ready at Mt. Auburn cemetery
bride getting ready at Mt. Auburn cemetery
aunt excited to see bride in dress
Mt. Auburn Cemetery Bigelow Chapel
groom hugs mother at start of wedding ceremony
Mt. Auburn Cemetery Bigelow Chapel wedding
Mt. Auburn Cemetery Bigelow Chapel wedding photography
bridesmaids look on during wedding ceremony
parents during wedding ceremony
parents during wedding ceremony
exchange of rings during wedding ceremony
exchange of rings during wedding ceremony
groom kisses brides hand on altar
bride and groom leave Chapel following wedding ceremony
formal portrait of bride and groom with both families
formal wedding party portrait
relaxed portrait of bride and groom
relaxed portrait of bride and groom
silly portrait of bride and groom
Silvertone wedding photography
Silvertone wedding photography
Silvertone wedding photography
Silvertone wedding photography
Silvertone wedding photography
Silvertone wedding photography
Silvertone wedding photography
Silvertone wedding photography
Silvertone wedding photography
Silvertone wedding photography
Silvertone wedding photography
Silvertone wedding photography
Silvertone wedding photography
Silvertone wedding photography
Silvertone wedding photography
Boston bar wedding photography
Silvertone wedding photography
Silvertone wedding photography
Silvertone wedding photography
Silvertone wedding photography
Silvertone wedding photography
Romantic documentary wedding photography first dance

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We started Joydita and Simon’s engagement session on their couch – the first piece of furniture they’ve bought together – one of those little, uncelebrated milestones in a relationship. Their cat made a brief appearance, lured in front of the camera by the promise of treats. We then meandered to and through Cabot Woods, a nearby park in Newton where there were all sorts of photographic possibilities. These two are so sweet together; I loved seeing how they leaned into each other and made each other feel more comfortable in front of the camera. I’m already looking forward to their Pride-and-Prejudice-inspired wedding this fall. Joydita really knows her way to a Jane-Austen-lover’s heart!

engagement portrait at home with cat
relaxed engagement portrait at home on front steps
engagement portrait in field in Newton MA with beautiful light
engagement portrait in field with beautiful golden light
woodsy New England engagement portrait
relaxed and authentic engagement photography
engagement portrait in Newton MA

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It has been such a pleasure getting to know Stephanie and JP over the past year. We first met last spring at their friends’ Katherine and Aaron’s wedding, and then had a lovely long chat the next week over dessert to discuss their own wedding plans. Last fall I visited them at their apartment for their engagement session. These two have been together since high school – imagine meeting the love of your life in high school and getting to grow up together! They’ve enjoyed trips to the Cape through the years, so it was natural to choose a destination wedding on Martha’s Vineyard, a beautiful place for friends and family to visit. I started the day with Stephanie at the house her family had rented for the week. We then headed to Sailing Camp Park for the ceremony and reception. The weather was brilliant on this June day – sunny and not too hot – just what you hope for when planning a June wedding. The guests enjoyed the grounds and views – which were also wonderful for making portraits. Stephanie and JP surprised many of their guests with a choreographed first dance to “You Make My Dreams Come True” and then packed the dance floor with their own iPod dance mix. So many little memories and vignettes stand out to me from the day – Stephanie getting ready with her sisters, the intensity of JP’s expression during the vows, JP’s dad’s toast referencing driving the two of them on dates before they had licenses, their guests delighted faces during the first dance, the couple being serenaded by a friend, and JP’s grandma holding it down on the dance floor. Stephanie and JP – thank you so much for inviting me to document this amazing day for you!

Martha's Vineyard view
Martha's Vineyard wedding photography bride getting ready
Martha's Vineyard wedding photography bride getting ready
Martha's Vineyard wedding photography bride getting ready
Martha's Vineyard wedding photography bride getting ready with mother and sister
Martha's Vineyard wedding photography bride leaves for ceremony
Martha's Vineyard wedding photography
Martha's Vineyard wedding photography bride arrives at Sailing Camp Park for ceremony
Sailing Camp Park wedding ceremony
Sailing Camp Park wedding ceremony
Sailing Camp Park wedding ceremony
Sailing Camp Park wedding ceremony
Sailing Camp Park wedding ceremony
Sailing Camp Park wedding ceremony
Sailing Camp Park wedding ceremony
Sailing Camp Park wedding ceremony
Sailing Camp Park wedding ceremony
Sailing Camp Park wedding family portrait
Sailing Camp Park wedding family portrait
Sailing Camp Park wedding party portrait
Sailing Camp Park classic wedding portrait
Sailing Camp Park wedding
Sailing Camp Park intimate wedding portrait
tent at Sailing Camp Park wedding
Sailing Camp Park wedding
Sailing Camp Park wedding
Sailing Camp Park wedding  photojournalism
relaxed Sailing Camp Park wedding
relaxed Sailing Camp Park wedding
Sailing Camp Park wedding first dance
Sailing Camp Park wedding
Sailing Camp Park wedding parent dance
Sailing Camp Park wedding parent dance
Sailing Camp Park wedding reception
Sailing Camp Park wedding reception
Sailing Camp Park wedding reception
Sailing Camp Park wedding reception
Sailing Camp Park wedding reception
Sailing Camp Park wedding reception
Sailing Camp Park wedding reception
Sailing Camp Park wedding reception
Sailing Camp Park wedding reception
Sailing Camp Park wedding reception
Sailing Camp Park wedding reception
Sailing Camp Park wedding reception
Sailing Camp Park wedding reception
Sailing Camp Park wedding reception
Sailing Camp Park wedding reception
Sailing Camp Park wedding reception
Sailing Camp Park wedding reception
Sailing Camp Park wedding reception
Sailing Camp Park wedding reception
Sailing Camp Park wedding reception
Sailing Camp Park wedding reception
Sailing Camp Park wedding reception
Sailing Camp Park wedding reception
Sailing Camp Park wedding reception
Sailing Camp Park wedding reception
Sailing Camp Park wedding reception
Sailing Camp Park wedding
Sailing Camp Park night sky

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With all the engagement sessions I’ve photographed, I’ve lately started thinking about how couples can prepare for a relaxed engagement session. So many of the couples with whom I work want to make sure that the photos “look like us” and not overly-posed versions of themselves. I have a few tricks up my sleeve to help you relax and get comfortable in front of the camera, but here are some things you can do to prepare for your engagement session:

1. Treat it like a date or adventure, not a chore. Attitude matters so much – so come excited. If you need to get in the right headspace by going out for coffee or a drink beforehand – by all means, do that. I’ll even meet you early and happily buy your glass of wine or beer.

Boston Beacon Hill engagement session

2. Choose a location that is meaningful to you or an activity you enjoy doing together. We could go to the place where you got engaged or where you like to take your dogs for a walk. If you love mini-golf or visiting bookstores or sailing or exploring neighborhoods in Boston – let’s build an engagement session around that.

relaxed engagement session sailing on Charles River

2b. Consider doing part of your session at home. You don’t need to have a home fit for Design*Sponge. Embrace where you are now, because I bet you’ll someday want to remember where it all started.

relaxed engaged couple at home with dog

3. Leave yourself plenty of time to get there. Sitting in traffic and running late is a recipe for feeling the exact opposite of relaxed.

relaxed engagement session photograph with large landscape view of the New Hampshire seacoast

4. Pamper yourself a little beforehand. I’m not suggesting you need full professional hair and make-up, but take some time for yourself. Maybe that’s going for a run or bike ride or yoga class earlier in the day (yay endorphins!) or curling up with a cup of tea and a good book. Just do what makes you feel good.

relaxed engagement session in Arnold Arboretum

5. Wear something you feel confident in, but also that doesn’t require a lot of fuss. You don’t want to worry about if something is pulling/too tight/falling down/riding up, etc.

relaxed engagement photography

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