As befits a princess, Sarah rode to the church in a horse-drawn carriage. The glow of the setting January sun gilded the old buildings and snow-slicked streets of Portsmouth, NH as she was drawn towards her Prince Charming. Cheers of friends and family greeted her and her father as they arrived at South Church.
Emotion flooded through John, to the point he could barely contain it, as he caught the first sight of his gorgeous bride. With each step down the aisle, the love and the joy swelled inside bride, groom, mothers, and fathers until bursting forth in the happiest of tears. And then they were finally side by side, hand in hand at the altar. Ready for their lives to become one.
Stories, thoughts, and advice offered by the minister and friends during the ceremony alternately elicited uproarious laughter and solemn reflection. After lighting of the unity candle, the exchange of rings, and the eagerly anticipated First Kiss, the new couple greeted their friends and family and led the way back up the aisle. Then, on to the party! (After a few photos).
Sarah and John rode the horse-drawn carriage through the now darkened streets back to the Sheraton Harborside Hotel. We made one more photo stop before heading into the reception: a curved stairway in the lounge of the hotel. Keeping in the princess theme, Sarah wore shoes with crystals on the front and she wanted some shots of her “losing” her shoe on the stairs a la Cinderella. The spell of the moment didn’t quite reach full effect because of cheers and groans from other hotel guests (and some of the wedding party) gathered in the lounge watching the Patriots in a playoff game.
The rest of the evening swirled by with all the traditional events – dances, cake cutting, bouquet and garter toss. One special surprise remained, though. In the only touch of sadness, two of the couple’s grandmothers had passed before this wonderful day arrived. But fate still smiled on the wedding. Miraculously, the dress Sarah’s grandmother wore on her wedding day also perfectly fit Sarah. Towards the end of the evening, Sarah slipped out – and then returned in her grandmother’s dress. She looked radiant as she danced with her grandfather. The tears flowed one more time.
And … they will live happily ever after.